Peg Lynch papers, 1944-1976  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Lynch, Peg, 1917-
Title
Peg Lynch papers
Dates
1944-1976 (inclusive)
Quantity
48.5 linear feet, (102 containers)
Collection Number
Coll 066
Summary
Margaret Frances "Peg" Lynch (1916- ) is a writer for radio and television, known in particular for her "Ethel and Albert" radio and television program that aired in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. The collection includes correspondence, scripts for radio and television, audiotapes, kinescopes, and photographs.
Repository
University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives.
UO Libraries--SPC, 1299
University of Oregon
Eugene OR
97403-1299
Telephone: 541-346-3068
Fax: 541-346-3485
spcarref@uoregon.edu
Access Restrictions

Collection is open to the public.

Collection must be used in Special Collections & University Archives Reading Room.

Collection includes sound recordings or moving images to which access is restricted. Access to these materials is governed by repository policy and may require the production of listening or viewing copies. Researchers requiring access must notify Special Collections & University Archives in advance and pay fees for reproduction services as necessary.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Margaret Frances "Peg" Lynch was born on November 25, 1916 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her father died when she was two years old, and the family moved to Kasson, Minnesota. Lynch graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1937 after majoring in English with an emphasis on writing and dramatics.

She got her start in radio shortly after graduation, landing a job at station KATE in Albert Lea, Minnesota about 100 miles southwest of Rochester. To earn her $65 per month salary as a copy writer, Lynch wrote commercials, a daily half-hour woman's show, a weekly half hour little theater show, a weekly farm news program, three 10-minute plays, and two 5-minute sketches. It was at KATE that Lynch first introduced, as a 3-minute "filler" sketch in the woman's show, the husband and wife characters of Ethel and Albert. Lynch portrayed Ethel and a station announcer played Albert. She got the idea from her commercial writing for the station. Challenged by the lack of personnel and other resources at the small station, she discovered that a husband-wife format could be used to sell a variety of products.

After four months at KATE, Lynch moved on to WCHV in Charlottesville, Virginia and then to WTBO in Cumberland, Maryland. At each station she continued to develop "Ethel and Albert," expanding it at WTBO into a five-times-per-week, 15-minute evening feature.

In February 1944, Lynch moved to New York where she got a job as a writer for a network serial. While writing scripts for the serial, she submitted some "Ethel and Albert" scripts to the Blue Network, which later became the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). The network not only accepted the show and signed her to write it, but after auditioning actresses for the Ethel role, insisted she do it herself. The Albert character in the show was played by Richard Widmark who quit after six month. He was replaced by Alan Bunce, who co-starred with Lynch in "Ethel and Albert" and later "The Couple Next Door." Their partnership lasted 20 years to the time of his death in 1965.

"Ethel and Albert" went on the air on April 17, 1944 as a 15-minute daily show. It continued in that format until 1949 when it was expanded to a half hour. The show moved into commercial television in 1950 as a 10-minute segment on the "Kate Smith Hour," and in April 1953, "Ethel and Albert" became a half hour program on the NBC network.

The show was well received by the public and the critics. Kay Gardella of the New York Daily News wrote that "Ethel and Albert" was "generally regarded as the top domestic comedy on T.V. The warm, realistic characterizations and situations of this stanza reflect the personality of its creator. Peg is completely down to earth and so are her scripts." Jack Gould of the New York Times gave credit to the show and its creator-writer when he wrote, "The author of 'Ethel and Albert,' of course, is Miss Lynch herself. She has lost none of her uncanny knack for catching the small situation in married life and developing it into a gem of quiet humor. The charm of 'Ethel and Albert' is that they could be man and wife off the screen."

Lynch, however, in real life was married to Odd Knut Ronning, an engineering consultant, whom she married in 1948. The couple have a daughter, Elise Astrid Ronning.

NBC cancelled "Ethel and Albert" in December 1954, but the show found new life when it was picked up by CBS as a 1955 summer replacement for "December Bride." In the fall of 1955, the show switched networks again, this time to ABC where it would remain until May 1956. Lynch owned the rights to the show and so was not limited to a single network. Despite a vocal and loyal support among the public and the critics, "Ethel and Albert" aired for the final time on television on May 25, 1956. However the show continued on CBS radio, starting in 1957, with the title changed to "The Couple Next Door." Lynch and Alan Bunce continued in the title roles and Lynch remained as the shows writer. "The Couple Next Door" had a 3-year run in a 15-minute format, ending in 1960.

"Ethel and Albert" enjoyed revivals in 1963-1964 on NBC "Monitor" and on National Public Radio's "Earplay" in 1973. In 1975-1976, Lynch wrote and starred in "Little Things in Life" for Radio Playhouse.

Peg Lynch lives in Becket, Massachusetts with her husband and continues to write, most recently adapting "Ethel and Albert" for a limited run on British television in 1982.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Peg Lynch Papers span the years from 1944 to 1976. The collection consists largely of the radio and television scripts written by Lynch for the two shows which she created and starred in with Alan Bunce: "Ethel and Albert" and "The Couple Next Door."

The scripts contained in the collection follow two folders of chronologically arranged correspondence and are arranged by date from 1944 to 1964. They are followed by two indexes. The first index is comprehensive, providing a listing of scripts written between the inception of "Ethel and Albert" on the Blue Network (ABC) in 1944, through "The Little Things in Life" which appeared on the syndicated Radio Playhouse in 1975-1976. The second index lists scripts for "The Couple Next Door" (1951-1960) and "Ethel and Albert" on NBC "Monitor" (1963-1964). These indexes provide inclusive air dates and script numbers along with a one-line plot synopsis. In some instances individual air dates are also included.

Following the radio-television scripts are special and promotional scripts of "Ethel and Albert" and "The Couple Next Door." Many were written for special events, such as a CBS sales convention, or for special causes, such as muscular dystrophy fund-raising efforts.

Of special interest is a folder relating to the attempted purging of suspected communists within the Radio Writers Guild in 1950-1952.

The collection includes reel-to-reel and cassette tapes of "The Couple Next Door" which appeared between 1957 and 1960 on CBS radio. Also included are reel-to-reel tapes of "Ethel and Albert" from a brief run on National Public Radio in February 1973.

The collection concludes with packaged oversize material. Package #1 contains a 2-record set of the March 8, 1949 "Ethel and Albert" show, as well as other records of Arnold Baker's jingles for commercial spots and "The Financial Filberts" with Lynch, her daughter Elise Ronning and Eddie Bracken. Kinescopes of four "Ethel and Albert" shows between 1953 and 1966 comprise package #2, and package #3 is a scrapbook/album.

Individual photographs are included the photograph series. They include twelve images, primarily publicity portraits of Lynch and her co-star, Alan Bunce (1902-1965). Also included are 77 images from the set of Ethel and Albert.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries. Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs. All requests for permission to publish collection materials must be submitted to Special Collections & University Archives. The reader must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Archival material may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws and other regulations.

Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g. a cause of action for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Oregon assumes no responsibility.

If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Peg Lynch papers, Coll 066, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries, Eugene, Or.

Alternative Forms Available

Selected sound recordings in this collection are available as digital audio files in Special Collections & University Archives: "The Financial Filberts"

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Biographical MaterialReturn to Top

Container(s): Box 1

Correspondence, 1946-1948Return to Top

Container(s): Box 1

Radio-TV ScriptsReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
"Ethel and Albert." ABC Radio (WJZ-New York), 1944-1949, 15 minutes
1944-1949
Box
1
Episodes 1-25 (15 missing)
April 17, 1944-May 17, 1944
2
Episodes 26-65 (35 and 50 missing)
May 23, 1944-July 24, 1944
3
Episodes 66-105 (75, 96, 103, and 104 missing)
July 25, 1944-September 19, 1944
4
Episodes 106-145 (107, 114, and 140 missing)
September 20, 1944-November 15, 1944
5
Episodes 146-185
November 16, 1944-January 10, 1945
6
Episodes 186-225 (200 missing)
January 11, ,1945-March 8, 1945
7
Episodes 226-265 (260 missing)
March 9, 1945-May 7, 1945
8
Episodes 266-305 (289 and 302 missing)
May 8, 1945-July 4, 1945
9
Episodes 306-345
July 5, 1945-August 29, 1945
10
Episodes 346-385
August 30, 1945-October 24, 1945
11
Episodes 386-425
October 25, 1945-December 19, 1945
12
Episodes 426-465 (442 missing)
December 20, 1945-February 13, 1946
13
Episodes 466-505
February 14, 1946-April 10, 1946
14
Episodes 506-545 (523 missing)
April 11, 1946-June 5, 1946
15
Episodes 546-585 (560 missing)
June 6, 1946-July 31, 1946
16
Episodes 586-625
August 1, 1946-September 25, 1946
17
Episodes 626-665 (662 missing)
September 26, 1946-November 20, 1946
18
Episodes 666-705 (696 and 703 missing)
November 21, 1946-January 15, 1947
19
Episodes 706-745 (735 missing)
January 16, 1947-March 12, 1947
20
Episodes 746-785 (770 missing)
March 13, 1947-May 7, 1947
21
Episodes 786-825
May 8, 1947-July 3, 1947
22
Episodes 826-825
July 4, 1947-August 28, 1947
23
Episodes 866-905 (869 and 876 missing)
August 29, 1947-October 23, 1947
24
Episodes 906-945 (936 missing)
October 24, 1947-December 18, 1947
25
Episodes 946-985 (974 missing)
December 19, 1947-February 12, 1948
26
Episodes 986-1025 (997 missing)
February 13, 1948-April 8, 1948
27
Episodes 1026-1065
April 9, 1948-June 3, 1948
28
Episodes 1066-1105
29
Episodes 1106-1145
30
Episodes 1146-1185
31
Episodes 1186-1225
32
Episodes 1226-1265
33
Episodes 1266-1305
34
Episodes 1306-1340
"Ethel and Albert." ABC Radio (WJZ-New York), 1949-1950, 30 minutes
1944-1949
Box
35
Scripts 1-13
December 24, 1949-April 10, 1950
36
Scripts 14-28 (script 19 missing)
April 17, 1950-July 24, 1950
37
Scripts 29-32
July 31, 1950-August 28, 1950
"Ethel and Albert" segment on "The Kate Smith Hour." NBC-TV, 1950-1952, 10 minute sketches
1950-1952
Box
37
Scripts 1-40 (scripts 3, 9, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 31 missing)
October 6, 1950-October 25, 1951
38
Scripts 41-65 (script 48 missing)
November 2, 1951-May 28, 1952
"Ethel and Albert." NBC-TV (Sunbeam sponsor), 1953-1954, 30 minutes. Includes original and "as broadcast" copies
1953-1954
Box Folder
38 1
Proposal and Script for Half-hour Ethel and Albert programming
0.1 linear feet
n.d.
38
Scripts 1-2 (1, one copy only)
April 25, 1953-May 2, 1953
39
Scripts 3-9 (scripts 5, 6, one copy only)
May 9, 1953-June 20, 1953
40
Scripts 10-16 (scripts 10, #11, #13, one copy only)
June 27, 1953-October 3, 1953
41
Scripts 17-23 (scripts 19, 20, one copy only)
October 10, 1953-November 21, 1953
42
Scripts 24-30 (script 27, one copy only)
November 28, 1953-January 9, 1954
43
Scripts 31-36
January 16, 1954-February 20, 1954
44
Scripts 37-42
February 27, 1954-April 3, 1954
45
Scripts 43-48
April 10,1954-May 15, 1954
46
Scripts 49-54
May 22, 1954-September 25, 1954
47
Scripts 55-60
October 2, 1954-November 6, 1954
48
Scripts 61-67 (scripts 61, 65, 67, one copy only)
November 13, 1954-December 25, 1954
"Ethel and Albert." CBS-TV (Maxwell House sponsor), Summer 1955, 30 minutes. Scripts are "as broadcast."
Summer 1955
Box
49
Scripts 1-12
June 20, 1955-September 5, 1955
50
Scripts 13-15
September 12, 1955-September 26, 1955
"Ethel and Albert." ABC-TV (Ralston Purina sponsor), 1955-1956, 30 minutes. Includes original and "as broadcast" copies
1955-1956
Box
50
Scripts 1-5
October 14, 1955-November 11, 1955
51
Scripts 6-12
November 18, 1955-December 30, 1955
52
Scripts 13-18
January 6, 1956-February 10, 1956
53
Scripts 19-25
February 17, 1956-March 30, 1956
54
Scripts 26-33 (scripts 32, 33, one copy only)
April 6, 1956-May 25, 1956
"The Couple Next Door." CBS-Radio, 1957-1960, 15 minutes
1957-1960
Box
55
Scripts 1-40
December 30, 1957-February 21, 1958
56
Scripts 41-75
February 24, 1958-April 11, 1958
57
Scripts 76-110
April 14, 1958-May 30, 1958
58
Scripts 111-145
June 2, 1958-July 18, 1958
59
Scripts 146-180
July 21, 1958-September 5, 1958
60
Scripts 181-215
September 8, 1958-October 24, 1968
61
Scripts 216-250
October 27, 1958-December 12, 1958
62
Scripts 251-285
December 15, 1958-February 2, 1959
63
Scripts 286-320
February 3, 1959-March 23, 1959
64
Scripts 321-355
March 24, 1959-May 11, 1959
65
Scripts 356-390
May 12, 1959-June 29, 1959
66
Scripts 391-425
June 30, 1959-August 17, 1959
67
Scripts 426-460
August 18, 1959-October 5, 1959
68
Scripts 461-495
October 6, 1959-November 23, 1959
69
Scripts 596-530
November 24, 1959-January 12, 1960
70
Scripts 531-565
January 13, 1960-March 1, 1960
71
Scripts 566-600
March 2, 1960-April 19, 1960
72
Scripts 601-635
April 20, 1960-June 7, 1960
73
Scripts 636-670
June 8, 1960-July 26, 1960
74
Scripts 671-705
July 27, 1960-September 13, 1960
75
Scripts 706-740
September 14, 1960-November 1, 1960
76
Scripts 741-758
November 2, 1960-November 25, 1960
"Ethel and Albert." NBC Radio "Monitor," 1963-1964. Individually undated
1955-1956
Box
76
Scripts 1-30 (script 4 missing)
77
Scripts 31-130
78
Scripts 131-233
Indexes
Box Folder
78 11
Complete index including script number and brief plot synopsis.
1944-1976
78 12
Index includes "The Couple Next Door" (1957-1960) and "Ethel and Albert" (1963-1964).
1957-1964
Special and Promotional Scripts
"Ethel and Albert"
Box Folder
79 1
"The Paul Whiteman Record Club," program 152
January 28, 1948
79 1
"Special Program for Muscular Dystrophy"
November 25, 1954
79 2
Swedish translation of August 22, 1955 program
August 22, 1955
79 2
Undated script (missing cover page)
Undated
79 3
"The Couple Next Door," CBS National Sales Convention
May 11, 1960
Movie Script
Box Folder
79 4
"The Secret World" by Peg Lynch and Walter Hart, 2 drafts (final and next-to-last versions)
Movie Script
Box Folder
79 5
"The Secret World" by Peg Lynch and Walter Hart, 2 drafts (final and next-to-last versions)
Financial Data, ratings, and sponsor lists
Box Folder
79 6
Financial data, ratings, and sponsor lists
Promotional Materials
Box Folder
80 1
Promotional material; includes issue no. 5 of Radio Nostalgia

Radio Writer's Guild (RWG)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
80 2
Anti-Communist material sent out during "Blacklist" days, 1950-1952
1950-1952
80 3
RWG Free Lance Market list, strike fund financial statement and promotional material

Reel-to-reel TapesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
"The Couple Next Door," CBS Radio, 1957-1960
1957-1960
Box
81
Reel-to-reel tapes
December 30, 1957-February 26, 1958
82
Reel-to-reel tapes
February 27, 1958-April 25, 1958
83
Reel-to-reel tapes
April 29, 1958-June 25, 1958
84
Reel-to-reel tapes
June 26, 1958-August 22, 1958
85
Reel-to-reel tapes
August 25, 1958-October 21, 1958
86
Reel-to-reel tapes
October 22, 1958-December 18, 1958
87
Reel-to-reel tapes
December 19, 1958-February 19, 1959
88
Reel-to-reel tapes
February 20, 1959-April 21, 1959
89
Reel-to-reel tapes
April 22, 1959-June 18, 1959
90
Reel-to-reel tapes
June 19, 1959-August 14, 1959
91
Reel-to-reel tapes
August 17, 1959-October 13, 1959
92
Reel-to-reel tapes
October 14, 1959-December 10, 1959
93
Reel-to-reel tapes
December 11, 1959-February 9, 1959
94
Reel-to-reel tapes
February 10, 1960-April 7, 1960
95
Reel-to-reel tapes
April 8, 1960-June 6, 1960
96
Reel-to-reel tapes
June 7, 1960-August 4, 1960
97
Reel-to-reel tapes
August 5, 1960-October 6, 1960
98
Reel-to-reel tapes
October 7, 1960-November 25, 1960
98
Reel-to-reel tapes--Opening and closing theme
"Ethel and Albert," NPR "Earplay" (WHA, Madison, Wisconsin), February 1-28, 1973
February 1-28, 1973
Box Folder
98 1-10
Scripts 1-20

Cassette TapesReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
"The Couple Next Door," CBS Radio, 1957-1960
1957-1960
Box
99
Cassette tapes
December 30, 1957-November 18, 1958
100
Cassette tapes
November 19, 1958-November 4, 1959
101
Cassette tapes
November 5, 1959-November 25, 1960

OversizeReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Records
package
1
"Ethel and Albert," ABC Radio. 2 records
March 8, 1949
1
Arnold Bakers, Inc. Music and jingles for commercial spots. 2 records
1
"The Financial Fiberts." Recorded with Eddie Bracken for the American Bakers Association. 1 record
Sound recording is available in the form of digital audio files in Special Collections & University Archives.
Kinescopes
"Ethel and Albert"
package
2
"Pumpkin Head"
October 31, 1953
2
"Mr. Lyons"
December 23, 1955
2
"Mink Coat"
April 6, 1956
2
"Ethel's Dress Falls Apart"
April 27, 1956
package
3
Scrapbook/Photograph Album (PH062)
0.01 linear feet
Lynch, Peg, 1916-
1944-1959
PH062_01: [Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce]
1.0 photographic print
7 x 5 inches
1944
PH062_02: [Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce]
1.0 photographic print
7 x 5 inches
1944
PH062_03: [Alan Bunce sitting behind "Monitor" microphone]
1.0 photographic print
9 x 7 inches
1964
PH062_04: Lum and Abner [2 men behind cash register]
1.0 photographic print
8 x 10 inches
1950s
PH062_05: [Portrait of Alan Bunce]
1.0 photographic print
10 x 8 inches
1953-1954
PH062_06: [Portrait of Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce]
1.0 photographic print
10 x 8 inches
1953-1954
PH062_07: [Portrait of Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce]
1.0 photographic print
10 x 8 inches
1953-1954
PH062_08: [Portrait of Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce]
1.0 photographic print
10 x 8 inches
1953-1954
PH062_09: [Portrait of Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce]
1.0 photographic print
10 x 8 inches
1953-1954
PH062_10: [Peg Lynch sitting behind "Monitor" microphone]
1.0 photographic print
9 x 7 inches
1964
PH062_11: [Alan Bunce sitting behind "Monitor" microphone]
1.0 photographic print
9 x 7 inches
1964

Photographs (PH062)Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box
1
[Black and white publicity stills and head shots of Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce; one photo of Lum and Abner set]
12.0 photographic prints
1944-1964
1
[Images from the set of Ethel and Albert, black and white]
77.0 photographic prints
1944-1956

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Media and Communication
  • Moving Images
  • Photographs
  • Radio authorship
  • Sound Recordings
  • Television authorship
  • Women
  • Women radio writers
  • Women television writers
  • Personal Names :
  • Lynch, Peg, 1917---Correspondence
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Scripts (documents)