To Ev Suffens (stage name of announcer Raymond Nelson) [Letter 24]

Item Reference Code: 099_07x_001_001

Date(s) of creation

April 6, 1936


Ev Suffens


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April 6, 1936

“Midnight Jamboree” Program,
WEVD Broadcasting Station,
160 W 44 Street,
New York, N. Y.

Dear Announcer,

(Please excuse me, but I haven’t been able to catch your name yet.) Thank you for the nice welcome you gave me on your program Saturday night. But I’m not really a new customer. I’m a very old and faithful one. I have been listening to your program for months. I must admit that you’ve made a radio fan out of me. And you were wrong when—in answer to my wire about your being my favorite announcer—you said that I “probably say it to all the announcers”. If you’ll excuse me, I hate radio announcers. But you are a most amazing exception. My husband and I started by listening to your program for the classical music you played and we used to turn the radio down while you talked. Now—we wait impatiently through the music just to hear you talk. You probably know that the secret of your charm is in the fact that you don’t sound as if you were talking to morons. And I want to thank you for the real treat that your program and your wit are for us. We listen to you faithfully every night, rain or shine, guests or no guests. When we have guests, we make them listen too.

Of course, we would like to hear as many classical recordings as you can give us. For the life of me, I can’t understand why people should intrude with their senseless jazz requests upon the only classical program we have, when every other station plays plenty of jazz night and day. Can’t we, the badly neglected minority that possesses a trace of good taste, be allowed one good program out of a hundred trashy ones? Particularly since I don’t think that we are a minority. However, I know it’s not your fault. But if we have to compromise, please enter my vote for as many classics as possible. Your recordings of “Faust” were grand and I would like to hear more of it.

As to special requests, I would like very, very much to hear the “Phedra Overture” by Massenet. Of course, I don’t mean to rush you and nag you about it. But if it is possible to get the record, I would appreciate it very much. Also—do you have “Serenade” by Drdla? I would love to hear it. And are you allowed to play any of the Viennese operettas of Emmerich Kalman? If they are not restricted, I would like to hear

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selections from “Countess Maritza” and “Czardas Fürstin”. (I hope I have spelled it correctly. If not—excuse me.) As you see, I don’t ask for heavy classics, but only for what is called “light concert classics”. They are really the most delightful form of music and the one most seldom heard.

Please give my love to Oscar and Oswald.[*] I think they are one of the cutest things on your program. (Just between you and me, did you really lose Oscar or did you lose the machine that barks for Oscar? I don’t care, because I like to think that there is an Oscar. Anyway, I’m glad he came back.)

Thanking you again for your delightful work.

Sincerely yours,


Ayn Rand

P.S. You were right about my name the first time. It’s pronounced “I – n.” If you noticed it, I sent you my first wire on Saturday, when “Night of January 16” closed. I didn’t want you to think that I was after some free advertising.


*Oscar and Oswald were dog characters on Suffens’s show. The names were given to two stuffed lion cubs given to AR by her husband, and they became like family members. Forty years later, they were still being brought out at Christmastime, with Frank doing the talking for them.