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Ma Perkins

Ma Perkins

 

From 1933 - 1960 listeners tuned in daily to listen to the drama that Ma Perkins, America's mother of the air, offered.

Ma Perkins was a widow and the owner of a lumber yard. She was the center of the town she lived in, always ready to hand out her wise advice, take care of those in need, and defend those who were in trouble.

The character of Ma Perkins was probably in her 60s, but in 1933 when the show debuted, the actress Virginia Payne who played her was only 23. This fact was kept hidden for much of the show’s run. In fact, she even appeared in wigs and glasses when she was photographed for publicity.

Over the years the show had many melodramatic story lines. From family troubles to episodes where Ma protected a political refugee from Russia, there was no shortage of ups and downs in the plot lines. There were marriages, divorces, and murders. and even a black market operation to sell babies! Yet with all of this drama, the show centered on our salt-of-the earth heroine, and her life in a small town.

Somehow the pace of the show made it believable that Ma Perkins’ small town could have so many strange situations, and one of the reasons the show worked so well was the pacing. There were usually two or three major plot twists or events every year, but the rest of the time the episodes focused more on daily life. For example, holiday celebrations and front porch conversations which could fill entire episodes!

The cast of the show was fairly stable with the main characters remaining the same for most of the show’s run, but other supporting cast members revolved as necessary with the story lines. Listeners grew to love the stable and familiar characters, while the supporting cast helped to keep things interesting.

The show was one of the most popular to ever air, and had a very long run of 27 years! It was heard in virtually every state in the United States and was even broadcast in Canada and Europe before it was replaced by the many soap operas that began appearing on the small screen during the emerging television era.

Incredibly, Virginia Payne never missed an episode of the show in her 27 year run. She passed away in 1977, 17 years after the show she spent most of her adulthood on ended, and in 1988 both she and Ma Perkins were inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame.

Broadcast: 30th May 1938
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 19 2009
Broadcast: 31st May 1938
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 20 2009
Broadcast: September 27, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 02 2016
Broadcast: September 28, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 09 2016
Broadcast: September 29, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 12 2016
Broadcast: September 30, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 14 2016
Broadcast: October 3, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 16 2016
Broadcast: October 4, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 19 2016
Broadcast: October 5, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 21 2016
Broadcast: October 6, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 23 2016
Broadcast: 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 26 2016
Broadcast: October 10, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 28 2016
Broadcast: October 11, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jun 30 2016
Broadcast: October 12, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 03 2016
Broadcast: October 13, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 05 2016
Broadcast: October 14, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 07 2016
Broadcast: October 17, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 10 2016
Broadcast: October 18, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 12 2016
Broadcast: October 19, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 14 2016
Broadcast: October 20, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 17 2016
Broadcast: October 21, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 19 2016
Broadcast: October 24, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 21 2016
Broadcast: October 25, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 24 2016
Broadcast: October 26, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 26 2016
Broadcast: October 27, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 28 2016
Broadcast: October 28, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Jul 31 2016
Broadcast: October 31, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 02 2016
Broadcast: November 1, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 04 2016
Broadcast: November 2, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 07 2016
Broadcast: November 3, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 09 2016
Broadcast: November 4, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 11 2016
Broadcast: November 7, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 14 2016
Broadcast: November 8, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 16 2016
Broadcast: November 9, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 18 2016
Broadcast: November 10, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 21 2016
Broadcast: November 11, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 23 2016
Broadcast: November 14, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 25 2016
Broadcast: November 15, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 28 2016
Broadcast: November 16, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Aug 30 2016
Broadcast: November 17, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 01 2016
Broadcast: November 18, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 04 2016
Broadcast: November 21, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 06 2016
Broadcast: November 22, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 08 2016
Broadcast: November 28, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 11 2016
Broadcast: November 30, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 13 2016
Broadcast: December 1, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 15 2016
Broadcast: December 2, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 18 2016
Broadcast: December 5, 1949
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 19 2016
Broadcast: January 5, 1950
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 20 2016
Broadcast: August 7, 1950
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 25 2016
Broadcast: August 8, 1950
Starring: Virginia Payne, Oxydol
Added: Sep 26 2016
Broadcast: 29th August 1950
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 30 2008
Broadcast: 30th August 1950
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jul 01 2008
Broadcast: 15th October 1950
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 12 2009
Broadcast: 19th February 1951
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 13 2009
Broadcast: November 24, 1960
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Nov 26 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 01 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 02 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 03 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 04 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 05 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 06 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 05 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 06 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 06 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 08 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 08 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 09 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 09 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 10 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 10 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 11 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 11 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 12 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 13 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 15 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 16 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 17 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 18 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 19 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 20 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 22 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 23 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 26 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 27 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 29 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: May 30 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 02 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 03 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 05 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 06 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 09 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 08 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 09 2009
Broadcast: Not Known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 12 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 13 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 16 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 17 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 19 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 20 2008
Broadcast: not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 23 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 24 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring:
Added: Jun 26 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Jun 27 2008
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 15 2009
Broadcast: Not known
Starring: Virginia Payne
Added: Oct 16 2009