Old-time radio convention meets for last time

By WARREN LEVINSON | October 23, 2011 | 11:55 PM EDT

Writer and director Edgar Farr Russell III, left, directs Russell Horton, standing center, as Jughead Jones, and others during rehearsal of his "Radio Goes To War," episode, "Any Bonds Today" at the Friends of Old-Time Radio convention in Newark, N.J., Friday, Oct. 21, 2011. To devotees of old-time radio, Fibber McGee is still opening that closet and Fred Allen and Jack Benny are still enjoying their feud. But time has run out on this convention. This weekend's gathering of the Friends of Old-time Radio is the 36th and last, says the organizer. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The annual Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention is signing off for the last time Saturday.

The ghosts and survivors of Jack Benny, Benny Goodman and hundreds of other legends of the old days of radio are holding court for one final weekend at a hotel in Newark, N.J.

After 36 years, musician and organizer Jay Hickerson says the march of time has taken its toll.

The gathering used to call on a constellation of stars from radio's early days. Now it's down to former child stars in their 80s and 90s.

Eighty-eight-year-old Arthur Anderson acted as a teen with Orson Welles and is an honored guest. Also on this year's program are the grandsons of 1930s song and dance star Eddie Cantor and Brace Beemer, voice of the Lone Ranger.