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July 31, 2008

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Photo: Evelyn holds a photo of her Queen for a Day victory in May 2007.
Evelyn holds a photo of her Queen for a Day victory in May 2007.

Queen For A Day

QUEEN FOR A DAY

Reality TV may seem like a recent phenomenon. But programs featuring real people were all the rage back when television was in its infancy. Just ask JoAnne Rushton and Debra Cotich. In 1957 their mother, Evelyn Stuart, starred in one the biggest hits of all time - Queen for a Day.  

Queen for a Day was the ultimate rags-to-riches drama. Ten million people a day watched as hard-up housewives poured out their tales of woe and then asked for a wish. The audience chose the winner, then cheered as she was showered with gifts. 

Evelyn's daughters tell Dick Gordon how the event changed their lives.  They also reveal the surprise discovery they made after their mom died last year.

 

LISTENER FOLLOW-UP: MAY I TAKE YOUR ORDER?

We recently aired part of an interview Dick did with Rodolfo Acevedo, an architect from Argentina who helped create new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration buildings in Florida. Rodolfo mentioned working in a restaurant when he first arrived in the U.S. Well, John Wootton heard that interview, and felt we had demeaned waitering. 

As he tells Dick, John deals with the best and worst in people. Families who refuse to speak to each other at the table. A porn producer so rude no other waiter will serve him. Yet it's also a job which allows him to make people happy. John makes his living - and it's a good one, he assures Dick - at an upscale steakhouse in Coral Gables, Fla.

Music

Queen for a Day by Bobby "Blue" Bland for the album Turn on Your Love Light/The Duke recordings Vol. 2

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