LAUCK (FAMOUS), CHESTER HARRIS "LUM" - Garland County, Arkansas | CHESTER HARRIS "LUM" LAUCK (FAMOUS) - Arkansas Gravestone Photos

Chester Harris "Lum" LAUCK (FAMOUS)

Greenwood Cemetery
Garland County,

RADIO ACTOR 1931-1955

9 February 1902 - 21 February 1980

Chester Harris "Chet" Lauck was born on February 9, 1902, in Alleene, Little River County, Arkansas, to William J. and Cora M. Lauck. The family moved to Mena, Arkansas, in 1911 where Lauck met his lifelong friend Norris Goff (Findley Norris Goff). On September 1, 1926, Lauck married Harriet Wood, daughter of John and Desdoma Williams Wood, of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mr. and Mrs. Lauck were the parents of three children; the first child being born in Mena, Arkansas, and the next two being born in Chicago, Illinois. In 1920 at age 28, Chester was a manager for a finance company. Chester and Norris "Tuff" Goff, created Lum and Abner, a radio program based on life in Waters, Montgomery County, Arkansas. The program was popular nationwide from 1931 to 1955. Lauck portrayed various characters including Lum Eddards, Grandpappy Spears, and Cedric Wehunt. Lauck and his friend Goff were popular entertainers at local events in Hot Springs; and they were invited to appear for a statewide charity radio broadcast in Hot Springs in April 1931. The radio show named Lum and Abner was an instant hit. Within a short time they were performing in Chicago and then heard nationwide. The Lum and Abner show was set in the Jot ‘Em Down Store in Pine Ridge, the name they used for the small town of Waters. The citizens of Waters changed the town's name to Pine Ridge in honor of Lum and Abner on April 26, 1936. Lum and Abner was the first network program broadcast from Radio City in New York in 1933 and was also the first program to make a transatlantic simulcast with Lauck in London and Goff in Chicago. Their promotions of war effort causes were very successful. Their radio program's concept was copied by the television program Beverly Hillbillies and by the comic strip "Li'l Abner." Lauck moved his family to Hollywood, California, where he and Goff continued radio broadcasts and made six movies during the 1940s. Due to Goff's poor health, the series ended in 1955. The radio program Lum and Abner made the small town of Pine Ridge in Arkansas world famous. Today the Lum and Abner Museum is housed in Pine Ridge. Lauck returned in 1963 to Hot Springs where he continued to portray Lum for Conoco Oil Company while he was the company's vice president of public relations until shortly before his death on February 21, 1980, in Hot Springs. In 1983, Chester Lauck and his partner Norris Goff (1906-1978) were inducted into the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame, posthumously.

Ref: (accessed October 2008).
Ref: (accessed October 2008).
Ref: (accessed October 2008).

Photograph courtesy of Patti Hays.

Contributed on 10/2/08 by mitzibitzi2
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Record #: 70443

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Submitted: 10/2/08 • Approved: 11/29/08 • Last Updated: 7/22/12 • R70443-G0-S3

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