Another week has gone by at Rancho Yesteryear, and I’m pleased as punch to announce another giveaway on the blog. This week: a copy of the Radio Spirits CD collection The Couple Next Door: Business & Pleasure—thirty-two consecutive episodes of the radio comedy serial created and starring Margaret “Peg” Lynch, as originally broadcast over CBS Radio in 1959.
Back in March of 2016, I had a contest to give away two copies of an earlier Couple Next Door set that I wrote liner notes for, Merry Mix-Ups. This giveaway had the distinction of being one of two competitions I held on the blog and Got. No. Takers. I’m not making this up. Nobody entered the doggone thing. Even Andrew “Grover” Leal, one of the blog’s most faithful entrants, skipped this one (though I later learned it was because he was convalescing after dental surgery). Eventually I created a “second chance” contest (in December that same year—which was quite appropriate, concerning the “Yuletide” flavor of many of the broadcasts) and welcomed a flood of entries…but it was touch-and-go there for a moment or two.
The Couple Next Door premiered over CBS on December 30, 1957 and for the next three years or so provided marital mirth for loyal listeners as Lynch and her co-star played the average American couple, Mr. and Mrs. Piper. The Pipers were never identified by the first names (they referred to one another as “Dear,” “Darling,” “Sweetheart,” etc.) but it wasn’t too hard to suss out that Peg and Alan were really playing Ethel and Albert Arbuckle—the creations of Lynch’s earlier radio sitcom success, The Private Lives of Ethel and Albert. Peg had relinquished the rights to E & A about the time she brought the couple to TV, so even though they had a new last name it wasn’t too farfetched to speculate the Pipers were really the Arbuckles…just in some kind of odd witness relocation program.
At a time when women on the creative side of radio—directors, writers, producers, etc.—were few and far between, Peg Lynch’s The Couple Next Door is a marvel because it’s really an engaging little sitcom that is the textbook definition of “character comedy.” You think Seinfeld is “a show about nothing”? Next Door was doing that long before Jerry and his pals went “yada yada yada.” And you can score yourself a free copy of these comedy classics by following the rules of this contest.
1) Send an e-mail with “Business and Pleasure” in the subject header to igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com. (I only hope Gmail doesn’t interpret these entries as spam.) You have until 11:59pm EDT on June 15, 2019 (next Saturday) to enter, and it’s not necessary to include all of your personal info (like home address) if you’re worried about privacy issues. If your name is picked, however, I will need some snail-mail details—the last time I tried to send a prize to “Third stall, men’s room at the Target”…it didn’t work out so well.
2) You will need to be a resident of either the U.S. or Canada to participate. I would love to be filthy rich (as it stands, I’m only half this) and be able to afford to send items to the enormous worldwide Thrilling Days of Yesteryear audience online (okay, this may not even be a thing) but I’m so poor I can’t even pay attention. (Rimshot!)
3) If you’ve been a previous winner in a TDOY giveaway, please consider waiting thirty days before entering another so that someone without your phenomenal streak of good fortune gets a chance to win some swag. My mother thanks you, my father thanks you, my sisters thank you, and I thank you.
4) I will choose a winner (via the Random Number Generator at Random.org) the morning of June 16 and inform the lucky individual via e-mail. I will also not only try to have this announcement up on the blog in a timely manner but attempt the additional daring feat of getting the prize out to the winner. I profusely apologize in advance but these eBay auctions (shameless self-promotion) have really kept me occupied and I don’t always get the swag mailed out as quickly as I would like.
Business and Pleasure will make a wonderful gift for that OTR-loving family member in your life…or if you’re unfamiliar with the incredible writing talents of Peg Lynch, you’ll want to keep it for your own. But you can’t win if you don’t enter! And remember, as always: Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is the phrase that pays!