Adapted from Harold Gray’s comic strip and James Whitcomb Rileys’ 1885 poem of the same title, Little Orphan Annie was a 15-minute radio drama show that began airing on WGN Chicago on August 5, 1924. It followed the adventures of Annie, along with her dog named Sandy and “daddy” Mr. Oliver Warbucks. The show moved to NBC Blue a year later.
According to the story, Annie was an 11-year old girl adopted from an orphanage by a character named Mrs. Warbucks. Her husband, Mr. Warbucks, instantly developed fatherly affection for Annie, and asked the young girl to call him “daddy.” A few months later, unfortunately, Annie was returned to the orphanage by Mrs. Warbucks after his husband left home for business. Annie, who disliked the way the matron treats her, decided to run away. One day, she saves Sandy, a dog who was being tormented by a group of bad boys. That became the start of their adventure together.
Little Orphan Annie became gained immense popularity to its listeners, particularly among little children. It had approximately 6 milllion fans who kept on listening to every episode, until the last one in 1942.