Smilin' Ed McConnell (1882 - July 23, 1954) was the host of the children's radio and television series, Smilin' Ed's Gang, closely identified with its sponsor, Buster Brown shoes and also known as The Buster Brown Program. For his work in radio, McConnell was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
For the Buster Brown Show, Ed had support from producer Frank Ferrin, writer Hobart Donavan (who also wrote the Buster Brown comic book giveaways) and director Arthur Jacobson. Buster Brown and Smilin' Ed were joined together in 1944, with "Smilin' Ed's Buster Brown Gang" taking to the airwaves on September 2. The show continued on NBC radio every Saturday morning at 11:30 through April 11, 1953. There was an adventure story to open the show, plugs for Buster Brown shoes, and Froggy the Gremlin might sing a song or annoy a guest, such as Shortfellow the Poet or Alkali Pete the Cowboy. The character Midnight the Cat actually spoke a few lines on the show and Smilin' Ed was always prone to sing a novelty song or two by plunking his magic twanger.
The full cast of the radio show had included June Foray, Wendall Noble, Conrad Binyon, John Dehner and Jimmy Ogg. All of them took part in the adventure stories. Foray was called upon to voice Midnight and Old Grandie the Piano, and Bud Tollefson, the sound effects engineer, growled the voice of Tige the Dog.
Smilin' Ed would tell the young audiences that they could go to their local store and get a comic book without having to make a purchase. The books had many premiums to offer, including a Buster Brown Gang neckerchief, various games, music records and trinkets. (Source: wikipedia.org)