Harold Peary, who played the part of Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve enjoyed a long career as an American actor, comedian and singer, but the role of Gildy a water-commissioner who worked in the town of Summerfield, U.S.A., was the one he became best known for.
During the height of his success on the Great Gildersleeve Peary was commissioned by Capitol Records to make a recording of stories especially for children in his character of “Gildy.”
Telling the stories in his character Gildy's voice gave him the opportunity to expand his many vocal talents, which was amazing for capturing the voices of giants, witches, bears and other characters in the stories.
For authenticity in Gildersleeve’s Stories for Children Capitol records hired Gildersleeve writers, John Whedon and Sam Moore, to adapt the records to suit the voice and personality of Gildy.
Robert Emmett Dolan, talented musical director for radio and film, was responsible for the wonderful background music accompanying the stories. The combination of music, writing, sound effects and the kid-pleasing voice of Gildy captured the imaginations and attention of all children who listened.
There were three Capitol records albums available on the old 78 format in total. The first was released to the public in the Fall of 1945 and featured the stories Puss In Boots, Rumplestiltskin and Jack and the Beanstalk. It was so well received that the following November 1946 the second record was released with the wonderful stories Hansel and Gretel and The Brave Little Tailor. The final recording came in 1947 and included two stories, Snow White and Rose Red and Cinderella.
While Great Gildersleeve Stories for Children to my knowledge were never broadcast on radio the fact that they are available today makes them a wonderful addition to RUSC in wonderful memory of a by-gone era.