Arthur Godfrey, the gruff-voiced "old redhead," was known for his folksy chitchat, unremarkable ukelele and frequent irreverence for commercials that made him perhaps the most popular figure in the history of radio.
Godfrey was on radio and subsequently television so much during the 1940s and '50s that he was regarded as the Columbia Broadcasting System's biggest asset when he survived cancer in 1959 and returned to his five-day-a-week radio series.
The grinning man with the shock of reddish hair grew in popularity beyond anything known in radio. He conducted his Monday through Friday daytime shows as well "Talent Scouts" on Monday nights and the hourlong "Godfrey and His Friends" Wednesday nights.
In the late 1940s, his two nightly shows moved into television and remained at the top of the rating charts for several years. His baritone drawl was once described as being "like a shoebox full of bullfrogs."