Ma Perkins (sometimes called Oxydol's Own Ma Perkins) was a radio soap opera which was heard on NBC from 1933 to 1949 and on CBS from 1942 to 1960. Between 1942 and 1949, the show was heard simultaneously on both networks. Oxydol dropped its sponsorship in 1956. Ma Perkins ran for 7,065 episodes.
"America’s mother of the air" was portrayed by actress Virginia Payne, who began the role at the age of 23 and never missed a performance during the program's 27-year run. Kindly, trusting widow Ma Perkins had a big heart and a great love of humanity. She always offered her homespun philosophy to troubled souls in need of advice.
Ma owned and operated a lumber yard in the small Southern town of Rushville Center (population 4000), where the plot lines pivoted around her interactions with the local townsfolk and the ongoing dilemmas of her three children, Evey, Fay and John. One of her children died during World War II.
When the show finally ended the day after Thanksgiving Day, 1960, it was one of only eight entertainment shows still on the CBS radio network.