Frank Eschen, New WIL Announcer, Came To Radio Via Stage
A few months ago the Little Theatre Group were busily engaged in rehearsing for the big pageant, the “Trial of Joan of Arc,” special artists was coming from the East to take part. The expenses were mounting high - every effort must be put forth to attract a big crowd and so they immediately decided upon an advertising campaign.
It was decided to use radio as one of the publicity features, and someone hit upon the happy idea of presenting scenes from the “Trial of St. Joan” over Radio Station WIL. It was very successful and the excerpts proved very popular. It also introduced to the WIL listening audience a voice whose clearness, distinction and quality has won a place on WIL’s staff. The owner of this pleasing voice is none other than John Francis Eschen, known as Frank Eschen.
Mark Twain, through his writing, made Hannibal, Missouri widely known. We trust that Frank Eschen, who comes from the same little town, will add to its fame. After jumping about the country for a number of years pursuing an elusive education in a number of different institutions for that express purpose, he finally landed in the University of Missouri - tarried a while and stepped forth armed with a sheepskin - “Bachelor of Journalism.”
Ventured into the world of the theatre (whose main road leads to radio) in which he created the role of Warden Brady in Martin Flavin’s “The Criminal Code,” appeared in “Saturday’s Children,” “He Who Gets Slapped,” “Trial of Joan of Arc” and others.
Frank’s first radio experience was gained as announcer over Station KFRU in Columbia, Missouri. Through diligent work he has become a “Bachelor” of Radio and has renounced his earlier loves, the theatre and newspaperdom.
(Originally published in Radio and Entertainment 9/3/1933).