Malone, Ted, 1908-1989
- Existence: 1908 - 1989
- Russell, Frank Alden
Ted Malone was born Frank Alden Russell in 1908, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He became interested in oral performance when he attended high school in Missouri. He was also a champion debater in college, and graduated from William Jewell College in 1928.
Malone had a long career in radio as a storyteller and reader of poetry. He was one of the few broadcast “interpretationists” recorded in the history of radio. His radio programs – spanning three decades on local stations and national networks – perhaps best represent both the initiation and prime of broadcast interpretation.
He acquired his pseudonym, Ted Malone, when asked to fill in for a program at KMBC radio station in Kansas City by reading poetry. The positive audience response to his reading led to his radio program ""Between the Bookends"". An associate of Ernie Kovacs later revealed that this program was the inspiration for his character Percy Dovetonsils. As his popularity increased, Malone began writing for other programs, and soon became production manager, production director, and program director at the radio station.
During World War II, Malone ventured into other types of broadcasts, such as variety shows and quiz shows, and even went overseas to broadcast as a war correspondent, providing human interest soldier stories for the listeners back home. Malone's growth as a reporter-writer-interpretationist continued to expand between 1950 and 1956, and by 1957, he had established ""Ted Malone Productions"" as an independent operation to consult, write, record, and produce audio-visual presentations and educational material for radio, television, and films.
Malone worked for all the major networks in his lifetime. Whatever the task, Malone continually relied on oral interpretation and strove to communicate with his listeners conversationally and convincingly through his readings – always the broadcaster, always the interpretationist. Ted Malone partially retired in the 1970s, and died in 1989 after contributing more than 60 years to broadcasting and its development.