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"Ivory soap... ninety-nine and forty-four one-hundredths percent pure. It floats."
During the Golden Age of Radio, the announcer was often as famous as the star of the program: he introduced the program, read the commercials, and was often responsible for warming up the audience for the precisely timed opening laugh. Announcer Nelson Case was known to millions of Americans as "Mr. Radio." Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, his deep voice was heard on a great variety of broadcast programs ranging from crime dramas and soap operas to musical variety and quiz shows. For nineteen years, he hosted Ivory Soap sponsored radio programs and worked with stars, such as Lowell Thomas and Ed Sullivan. His television credits included The Armstrong Circle Theater, Wide, Wide World, and Masquerade Party. Additionally, Case served as the announcer for the Miss America Pageant and NCAA football games. He also worked with Sigmund Rothschild on television's first art appraisal program. He served as the New York president and national vice-president of the American Federation of Radio Artists. With a voice that was compared to Ezio Pinza's, he was also a born singer and pianist.
Photo by Vandamm. Image courtesy of Nondas Metcalfe Case.
Education and Training
William and Mary College (no degree, married at 18),
United States Navy, Pilot, 1942-1945
Training for actor/television appearances at Newberry, Massachusetts
Connection to Bucks County
After visiting the area and "falling in love with it's stone houses", Nelson and Nondas Metcalfe Case moved to Bucks County permanently in 1957. They bought the historic London Purchase Farm in Jericho Valley, Bucks County where they were neighbours and friends with painter Harry Leith Ross and his wife Emily. Too busy with broadcast engagement to run a farm, the Cases' sold the farm after 3-4 years and moved to a 1846 brick house on Aquetong and Windy Bush roads. In the 1970s, they moved to River Road in Center Bridge were Nelson Case lived until his death in 1976. He lived in Bucks County for 18 years.
Colleagues and Affiliations
Painter Harry and Emily Leith Ross, painters Charles Child and Alden Wicks; actress Margaret Mullen Root and set designer John Root; musicians Sherry and Ronald Fiore.
Case served as president for the local SPCA; served as director of the Bucks County Mental Health Society; and was active in promoting the Pro Musica Society.
Major Television Performances:
What's It Worth, Art Appraisal, CBS and Dumont , 1948-1953
Trash Or Treasure?, Art Appraisal, Dumont, 1952-1953, Hosts: Sigmund Rothschild, Nelson Case
Armstrong Circle Theatre, Dramatic Anthology, NBC, 1950, CBS, 1963, Host/narrator 1950-1951
Road Of Life, Serial Drama, CBC, 1954-55, Narrator
Summer Playhouse, Anthology, NBC, 1954 and 1957, Host ,1954
Sneak Preview, Anthology, NBC, 1956, Host
Pulitzer Price Playhouse, Dramatic Anthology, ABC Television, 1950 1952
Wide, Wide World
Miss America Pageant, most likely commercial reader acc to Nondas Case
NCAA football games
The Days Of Mary Marlin, Serial Drama, NBC, 1935, announcer
Marriage Club, Inc., Interview-Quiz, NBC, 1939; CBS, 1940, announcer
The Lanny Ross Show, Musical Variety, CBS, 1939: Mutual, 1950, announcer
Against The Storm, Serial Drama, NBC, 1939, announcer
Lone Journey, Serial Drama, NBC, 1940,
Charlie and Jessie, Comedy, 1940s, announcer
Ford Theater, Anthology, NBC, 1947, announcer
Criminal Casebook, Crime Drama, ABC, 1948, announcer
Radio Commercial for Ivory Soap, Proctor & Gamble, 19 years
Light Up the Sky, Massachusetts, 1949. Far right Nondas Metcalfe and Nelson Case, courtesy Nondas Metcalfe Case
Nelson Case and Leo Hicks
Nelson Case, Una Merkel and Ray Bloch rehearsing for radio broadcast
WSB radio broadcast during World War II
Nelson Case as announcer for Armstrong Theatre
Nelson Case and Ed Sullivan
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