Stephenson Tales

Are You Stephen Nelson?

When I worked in radio drama on WWJ and in the many series that used to be produced by WUOM, I began using my "stage name" Stephen Nelson.

When I was toying (for many years) with the idea of making a career in radio, theatre and television I, for some reason, decided on the name Stephen Nelson. I believe I was influenced by the fact that my best friend as a pre-teen was Jimmy Glass whose cousin was Harriet Snyder - better known as Harriet Hilliard, married to Ozzie Nelson. I thought Stephen Nelson had a nice sound to it. So I always used it on "The Mark Adams Program" on WWJ. The television shows of Traffic Court never used any names, except the name of the judge, of course, so I did not need it in those experiences.

The last time I used it was when I did some "radio announcements" for our daughter Toni's production of L'il Abner at the Suttons Bay High School and just this year (in two different voices) as two radio announcers in her production of The Mouse That Roared, although I do not believe THOSE announcers were ever identified.

A few years ago my next door neighbor Joe Rice made a couple of films about model railroads called "Live Steam In America" and wanted a narrator (voice over) for the films and asked me to do the recording for him, which I did. The credits at the end of the film: "Narrator, Stephen Nelson." Dude's son, Tom, was living in Traverse City at the time and happened to see an airing of the film. He called me the next day. "I knew I knew that voice! Are YOU Stephen Nelson?"

I confessed that, anyway, I used to be...

Composed 13 November 2008; Transcribed by Lucky

Toni's Note: When Dad did the radio news reporter's voice for my production of Li'l Abner at Suttons Bay High School, he added a line to the end of his news report. After reporting the news as it was written in the script, he said "This is Stephen Neslon reporting from Washington." I loved it. Several years later, John and Lucky came to the Friday performance of The Mouse That Roared and they laughed harder and louder than anybody at each of Dad's recorded speeches. It was like we were the only three in the audience who really got the joke.

© Jim Bob Stephenson 2008

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