Guest Author - Alice Rienzo
The Days of our Lives is a personal account of the history behind one of our most beloved soap operas. The story begins with one man's dream and continues with his family carrying on his legacy.
The Once and Future King
Ted Corday, as a producer, director, or creator, was a visionary. He is most known for his work in producing radio programs such as Guiding Light and later, for bringing the first color serial soap to daytime television, Days of our Lives. As fate would have it, Corday was stricken with cancer and died in 1966. His wife, Betty, bravely took over the reigns and continued to carry out her late husband's dream.
The book recounts personal and professional struggles encountered by members of the Corday family. Ken, The Once and Future King (a nickname given to Ken by Ed Mallory (ex-Bill Horton), is upfront with the difficult decision to continue the family legacy when his mother's health began to fail. He was a musician by choice, not wanting the Tinseltown life. Ken compares the work ethic between New York City and Hollywood. In NYC, your worth is based on what you do and how you do it. Alternatively, in Hollywood, the measure of one's worth is based on who you know and who will do it for you. This sense of false security, is what Ken tried to avoid as long as he could. Ken Corday is now the Executive Producer of the longtime serial soap; a position in which fate and some amount of luck led him to who he is today.
Play it Again
Interestingly, Corday does not mention Mary Jackson, who was the first actress who played Alice Horton; albeit, the pilot was re-shot with Frances Reid as the Horton family matriarch. At times, the events that have unfolded before millions of viewers on the long running sudser have paralleled the events experienced by the Corday family. For example, Corday's older brother suffered from mental illness. Laura Horton also suffered with this same disease.
Another replay is the fact that Ted Corday was a superb chess player. According to Ted, his father taught him a valuable life lesson: "The pressing pawn wins the game ... because the pressing pawn, usually overlooked, can become the most powerful piece on the board" (Corday, 2010, p. 105). Sound familiar?
The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold Story of Days of Our Lives reads like a factual textbook. While some of the tidbits of information provided by Corday are interesting factoids, I would consider this book to be a snoozer. Save your money and wait for it to become available in your local library.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I bought The Days of our Lives: The True Story of One Family's Dream and the Untold History of Days of our Lives with my own funds from Amazon."