Alberta novelist W.O.) Mitchell began
to write the Jake and the Kid radio series for CBC Radio in 1950.
The series continued until 1956 with over 300 episodes
produced. It 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.
Jake was played by John Drainey, arguably Canadas best
radio actor. The Kid was played by Billie Mae Richards. Yes, Ms.
Richards was female, but her voice had an intonation that easily
passed for a boys voice that was on the verge of changing.
Richards became internationally famous as the voice of Rudolph in
the 1964 TV Christmas classic Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
Jake, the kid, and his mom lived near the fictitious town of
The series was revived briefly in 1972 during rotating work disruptions across the country. In both instances Marie Hotans played the kid's mom. In the short-lived 1972 revival, Fred Diel played Jake. He was also a drama producer at CBC Calgary at that time.
Here are a few episodes of this series: one from 1952 called Elbow Room, and two from the 1972 re-recordings of older scripts, during the rotating CBC strikes: Crocus Under The Microscope, and Hair Is Here To Stay.