"W.O. Mitchell's Jake & The Kid: The Popular Radio Play as Art & Social Comment."

by Alan J. Yates



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 6/10/2010

Format : E-Book
Dimensions : N/A
Page Count : 328
ISBN : 9781426933639

About the Book

W.O. Mitchell's "Jake & The Kid" captivated radio audiences in the days before television and enjoyed ratings that rivalled those for the radio broadcasts of the CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada." These homespun tales about the hired hand, Jake Trumper and his sidekick, The Kid, explored very human stories about life on the often cruel Prairies of Saskatchewan in a humorous vein that made a household name for the series across the breadth of Canada.

Although he wrote many novels, most notably " Who Has Seen the Wind," featured during the ceremonies at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Mitchell was as well known for these folksy plays. They enabled him to hone his writing craft in a mass medium, when few other outlets were available; to tackle social issues of the day with a light hand, and to develop many of the themes he would explore in his later novels. This study analyzes these popular radio plays, their Prairie and literary roots, the production process and their contribution and critical reception.

About the Author

Alan J. Yates was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, but moved to Canada in his late teens to pursue a career in journalism and broadcasting that would span more than 30 years, most of these spent with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as a national reporter, a documentary producer, a program director and a senior consultant to Senior Management at the CBC.

In parallel, he pursued an academic stream, with an Honours B.A in English and French Literature from Montreal's Concordia University and Honours M.A. and Ph.D in Communications from McGill University. He wrote his thesis on the broadcast plays of Canadian author, W.O. Mitchell, with a focus on the popular radio series, "Jake & The Kid, " which featured nearly 300 episodes over a 30 year period. Now retired, Alan has published the Mitchell thesis with Trafford. He feels that the work should not be left to languish in the National Archives but should be available to scholars of the Canadian literary scene, as well as to readers and perhaps listeners, who still remember the radio series, at one point drawing ratings as high as those for the CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" broadcasts. Entitled; "W.O. Mitchell's "Jake & The Kid:" The Popular Radio Play as Art & Social Comment," the work explores: the Prairie context and Prairie Literary milieu from which the stories were drawn; an analysis of the thematic content of the plays, the contributions of the various broadcast components - script, cast, music score, sound effects and the studio mix; the "styles of the various Jake producers; and, finally, appraises the broadcasts from a public, critical and Canadian literary perspective.

Yates also contributed to a critical review of the writings of W.O. Mitchell published by The University of Toronto Press.He has also written a Historyof the Yates Family since his arrival in Canada, as well as a prequel to it - "Figs of the Imagination," a novel of childhood development set in the Scotland of his youth, and to be published shortly by Trafford. He lives in Ottawa, Canada, with his wife, Carla Curran and has two children, Valerie and Neil, as well as two grand-children, Ida and Findlay.