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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Simon & Garfunkel: Live 1969 (Podcast)


Rita Houston from WFUV-FM in New York hosts the story of Simon & Garfunkel, from their early days in Queens, NY to their 1969 tour captured on the new live album, Live 1969.

Throughout this series, we’ll hear archival interview clips with Paul and Art and new comments by pop journalist Bud Scoppa. We’ll even hear from two of Paul & Art’s Forest Hills High School classmates - Stuart Hochman and Robert Lieberman (director of the documentary Last Stop Kew Gardens).

Simon & Garfunkel: Live 1969 - Part 1 [9:02m]:  Download

Simon & Garfunkel: Live 1969 - Part 2 [6:40m]:  Download

Simon & Garfunkel: Live 1969 - part 3 [6:15m]:  Download

Standard Podcast [8:50m]:  Download


Lights Out


Lights Out is an extremely popular American old-time radio program, an early example of a network series devoted mostly to horror and the supernatural, predating Suspense and Inner Sanctum. Versions of Lights Out aired on different networks, at various times, from January 1934 to the summer of 1947 and the series eventually made the transition to television.

In the fall of 1933, NBC writer Wyllis Cooper conceived the idea of "a midnight mystery serial to catch the attention of the listeners at the witching hour."[1] The idea was to offer listeners a dramatic program late at night, at a time when the competition was mostly airing music. At some point, the serial concept was dropped in favor of an anthology format emphasizing crime thrillers and the supernatural. The first series of shows (each 15 minutes long) ran on a local NBC station, WENR, at midnight Wednesdays, starting in January 1934. By April, the series proved successful enough to expand to a half hour. In January 1935, the show was discontinued in order to ease Cooper's workload (he was then writing scripts for the network's prestigious Immortal Dramas program), but was brought back by huge popular demand a few weeks later. After a successful tryout in New York City, the series was picked up by NBC in April 1935 and broadcast nationally, usually late at night and always on Wednesdays. Cooper stayed on the program until June 1936, when another Chicago writer, Arch Oboler, took over. By the time Cooper left, the series had inspired about 600 fan clubs.

Cooper's run was characterized by grisly stories spiked with dark, tongue-in-cheek humor, a sort of radio Grand Guignol. A character might be buried or eaten or skinned alive, vaporized in a ladle of white-hot steel, absorbed by a giant slurping amoeba, have his arm torn off by a robot, or forced to endure torture, beating or decapitation -- always with the appropriate blood-curdling acting and sound effects. Adhesive tape, stuck together and pulled apart, simulated the sound of a man's or woman's skin being ripped off. Pulling the leg off a frozen chicken gave the illusion of an arm being torn out of its socket. A raw egg dropped on a plate stood in for an eye being gouged; poured corn syrup for flowing blood; cleavered cabbages and cantaloupes for beheadings; snapped pencils and spareribs for broken fingers and bones. The sound of a hand crushed? A lemon, laid on an anvil, smashed with a hammer.

Though there had been efforts at horror on radio previously (notably The Witch's Tale), there does not seem to have been anything quite as explicit or outrageous as this on a regular basis. When the series switched to the national network, a decision was made to tone down the gore and emphasize tamer fantasy and ghost stories.

There are no known recordings from Cooper's 1934-1936 run, but his less gruesome scripts were occasionally rebroadcast. An interesting example is his "Three Men", which had aired on Christmas 1935, was performed again on the series in 1937 (a version circulates among collectors under titles like "Uninhabited" or "Christmas Story"), and was revived for a 1948 episode of NBC's prestigious "Radio City Playhouse" anthology series. The plot is typical of Cooper's gentler fantasies. On the first Christmas after World War I, three Allied officers meet by chance in a train compartment and find one another vaguely familiar. They fall asleep and share a dream in which they are the Three Wise Men searching for Jesus. But is it really a dream? In the best tradition of supernatural twist endings, Cooper has the officers wake to find a strange odor in their compartment -- which turns out to be myrrh and frankincense.

In the mid-1940s, Cooper's decade-old scripts were used for three brief summertime revivals of Lights Out. The surviving recordings reveal that Cooper was experimenting with both stream of consciousness and first person narration a few years before these techniques were popularized in American radio drama by, among others, Arch Oboler and Orson Welles. In one tale, a murderer describes how the Chicago police try to beat a confession out of him. When that doesn't work, they put him in a jail cell haunted by the ghost of a previous occupant, a smooth gangster named Skeeter Dempsey who describes his own execution and discusses the afterlife knowledgably. In the final twist, the narrator reveals that he has taken Skeeter's advice to commit suicide and is now, himself, a ghost.

Another story, originally broadcast in March 1935 as "After Five O'Clock" and revived in 1945 as "Man in the Middle", allows us to follow the thoughts of a businessman as he spends a day at the office cheating on his wife with his secretary. The amusing contrast between what the protagonist thinks to himself and what he says out loud to the other characters enlivens one of Cooper's favorite plot devices, the love triangle.

One radio critic, in reviewing a March 1935 episode that used multiple first person narrators, said:
“ Technique in writing and producing this script is one of pure radio license and can't even be compared to the flashback from the movies, since characters dead at the close of the tale do considerable talking of their experiences. This feat, combined with the terse, stark sock of the drama, is probably one of the most realistic pieces radio has ever presented.[2] ”

Other Cooper scripts are more routine, perhaps in part because the author's attention was divided by other projects. From the summer of 1933 until August 1935, Cooper was NBC Chicago's continuity chief, supervising a staff of writers and editing their scripts. He resigned in order to devote more time to Lights Out as well as a daily aviation adventure serial, Flying Time. At various times, he also served on NBC's Program Planning Board, wrote soap operas like Betty and Bob and commuted weekly to produce another program in Des Moines, Iowa.

From early 1934 to mid-1936, Cooper produced close to 120 scripts for Lights Out. Some episode titles (all from 1935) include "The Mine of Lost Skulls", "Sepulzeda's Revenge", "Three Lights From a Match", "Play Without a Name" and "Lost in the Catacombs" (about a honeymoon couple in Rome who lose their way in the catacombs under the city).

When Cooper departed, his replacement -- a young, eccentric and ambitious Arch Oboler -- picked up where he left off, often following Cooper's general example but investing the scripts with his own concerns. Oboler made imaginative use of stream of consciousness narration and sometimes introduced social and political themes that reflected his commitment to anti-fascist liberalism.

Although in later years Lights Out would be closely associated with Oboler, he was always quick to credit Cooper as the series' creator and spoke highly of the older author, calling him "the unsung pioneer of radio dramatic techniques" and the first person Oboler knew of who understood that radio drama could be an art form.


In 1946, NBC brought Lights Out to TV in a series of four specials, broadcast live and produced by Fred Coe, who also contributed three of the scripts. NBC asked Cooper to write the script for the premiere, "First Person Singular", which is told entirely from the point-of-view of an unseen murderer who kills his obnoxious wife and winds up being executed. Variety gave this first episode a rave review ("undoubtedly one of the best dramatic shows yet seen on a television screen"), but Lights Out did not become a regular NBC TV series until 1949.

Coe initially produced this second series but, for much of its run, the live 1949-1952 Lights Out TV series was sponsored by Admiral (makers of television sets and refrigerators), produced by Herbert Bayard Swope, Jr., directed by Laurence Schwab, Jr., and hosted by Frank Gallop. Critical response was mixed but the program was successful for several seasons (sometimes appearing in the weekly lists of the ten most watched network shows) until competition from the massively popular sitcom I Love Lucy helped to kill it off.

The 1949-1952 series featured 'Dead Man's Coat,' an episode starring Basil Rathbone, adapted from the radio script 'Wear the Dead Man's Coat' from the program 'Quiet, Please.' Arch Oboler's 'And Adam Begot' was also adapted from the radio script for the television series, with Kent Smith in the lead.




Saturday, October 24, 2009

Famous Jury Trials


"Famous Jury Trials was billed as 'the dramatic story of our courts, where rich and poor alike, guilty and innocent, stand before the bar of justice."

All Shows

Famous Jury Trials.zip

Single Shows

From the 1936-10-03 issue of Radio Guide:


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mr. President


Mr. President was a radio series that ran on the ABC Network from June 26, 1947 to September 23, 1953. Each half-hour episode was based on an incident in the life of one of the people who have held the office of President of the United States, but the dialogs were written in such a way as not to reveal the name of the President until the last line of dialog at the end of the program, when the President would be addressed by name. The audience was thus encouraged to guess, from the plot of the episode, which President it was.

The series was created by Robert G. Jennings and written by a team that included Jean Holloway, Bernard Dougall and Ira Marion. A research staff made certain that the stories were accurate. It was produced and directed by Dick Woolen.

The President each week was played by Edward Arnold, with supporting performances by Bea Benaderet, Gil Stratton, Hans Conreid, Lurene Tuttle, and Herb Butterfield. The announcer was Owen James.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Radio City Playhouse


RADIO CITY PLAYHOUSE premered July 3, 1948 and ran until it's last curtain call on January 1, 1950 over NBC stations. This was a short-lived but solid drama series that frequently compared favorably with Suspense drama. Some scripts for the series were written by Ray Bradbury (for example, "The Wind"), Steven Vincent Benet and Cornell Woolrich. Frequent appearences were made by John Larkin and Jan Minor in major roles. Announcers for the series were Fred Collins and Bob Warren. Harry W. Junkin directed and narated. Production supervisor was Richard P. McDonough.

During the Summer of 1949, NBC ran a special series of 8 repeat shows that ran concurrent with the regular run. These shows aired on Thursdays and is known as RADIO CITY PLAYHOUSE.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Encore Theater


Encore Theater was a 1946 Summer replacement series, sponsored by Schenley Labs, Inc. All shows had a medical theme, some concerned medical research, some covered personal stories of people in the medical field but all based on true stories. Schenley Labs, Inc. was the sponsor for the series. The shows aired Tuesday evenings from 9:30 to 10:00 PM over CBS affiliated stations. Members of the cast were typically well-known radio or screen actors, such as Lurene Tuttle, Eric Snowden, Gerald Mohr, Ronald Colman, Robert Young or Lionel Barrymore. Producer for series was Bill Lawrence, who also directed the series. The announcer was Frank Graham. Music was by Leith Stevens. Scripts were written and adapted by Jean Holloway, Lloyd C. Douglas, Sidney Kingsley and Milton Geiger.

Twelve of the thirteen scripts were adapted by Jean Holloway. The 1946 Summer series ended with the August 27th show, replaced by "Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players" (possibly known as "The Hollywood Players Company". There was a second Encore Theater Summer series in 1949, however there is little information on it. It aired on Sundays. Eight shows are known to be in circulation. Known air dates are April 17, April 24, May 8 and June 5.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Roy Acuff Show, The


Roy Claxton Acuff (September 15, 1903 – November 23, 1992) was an American country music singer, fiddler, and promoter. Known as the King of Country Music, Acuff is often credited with moving the genre from its early string band and "hoedown" format to the star singer-based format that helped make it internationally successful.

Acuff began his music career in the 1930s, and gained regional fame as the singer and fiddler for his group, the Smoky Mountain Boys. He joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1938, and although his popularity as a musician waned in the late 1940s, he remained one of the Opry's key figures and promoters for nearly four decades. In 1942, Acuff co-founded the first major Nashville-based country music publishing company— Acuff-Rose Music— which signed acts such as Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, and The Everly Brothers. In 1962, Acuff became the first living person to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Great Gildersleeve, The


The Great Gildersleeve (1941-1957), initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. Built around Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, a character who had been a staple on the classic radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly, The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest success in the 1940s. Actor Harold Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in a quartet of feature films released at the height of the show's popularity.

On Fibber McGee and Molly, Peary's Gildersleeve was a pompous windbag who became a consistent McGee nemesis. "You're a haa-aa-aa-aard man, McGee!" became a Gildersleeve catch phrase. The character was given several conflicting first names on Fibber McGee and Molly, and on one episode his middle name was revealed as Philharmonic. Gildy admits as much at the end of "Gildersleeve's Diary" on the Fibber McGee and Molly series (10/22/40).

He soon became so popular that Kraft Foods - looking primarily to promote its Parkay margarine spread - sponsored a new series with Peary's Gildersleeve as the central, slightly softened, and slightly befuddled focus of a lively new family.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Carter Brown Mystery Hour (AU)


Australian paperback writer Alan G. Yates poured from his typewriter between 1953-68 under the name Carter Brown about 150 crime stories, with sales in the tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of copies. His last books appeared in the early 1980's. All the stories were set in the Unites States, but he never became there so well-known as in Europe. Yates's novels had light atmosphere and his heroes could deliver more wise-guy remarks than Robert B. Parker's famous private detective Spencer.

Alan Geoffrey Yates was born in London and educated at schools in Essex. From 1942 to 1946 he served in the Royal Navy as a lieutenant. After the war he worked as a sound recordist at Gaumont-British Films for two years and moved to Australia in 1948. In the same year he became an Australian citizen. Before devoting himself entirely to writing from 1953, Yates was a salesman in Sydney and a public relations staff member at Quatas Empire Airways. His early books were intended only for Australian audience, but when Carter Brown series was picked up by the New American Library, he found readers also in the United States.

The Brown books were fast paced, they had humor and action, and several corpses, although not much violence. Women are gorgeous, and the story is usually set among the rich and glamorous. A typical Carter Brown story did not take itself too seriously - it was a mixture of sex, action, and humor. Yates's female hero was the curvaceous private detective Mavis Seidlitz, whose feminine weapons are more developed than her mental capacities. Petri Liukkonen (author)

The Carter Brown Mystery Hour was based on his best selling novels and are introduced by Carter Brown himself.

10-2-4 Ranch


A syndicated radio show during World War II called “The 10-2-4 Ranch” (later, “10-2-4 Time”), aired in the South and other areas to which Dr. Pepper’s distribution had extended. The show featured the Sons of the Pioneers.

Dr Pepper was identified with the slogan, "King of Beverages." "Old Doc," a typical country doctor character with monocle and top hat, became the Dr Pepper trademark character in the 1920s and 1930s. During that era, research was discovered proving that sugar provided energy and that the average person experiences a letdown during the normal day at 10:30a.m., 2:30p.m. and 4:30p.m. A contest was held for the creation of an ad using this new information. The winner of the ad campaign came up with the famous advertising slogan, "Drink a bite to eat at 10, 2, and 4."  Dr Pepper Museum

To play or download a single file just click on it, this opens up play page. Then click on any file to play and download link for selection is at bottom right of page.  Zip file is under miscellaneous.

Whistler, The


The Whistler is one of American radio's most popular mystery dramas, with a 13-year run from May 16, 1942 until September 22, 1955.The Whistler was the most popular West Coast-originated program with its listeners for many years. It was sponsored by the Signal Oil Company: "That whistle is your signal for the Signal Oil program, The Whistler."

Each episode of The Whistler began with the sound of footsteps and a person whistling.[1] (The Saint radio series with Vincent Price used a similar opening.) The haunting signature theme tune was composed by Wilbur Hatch and featured Dorothy Roberts performing the whistling with the orchestra.

The stories followed an effective formula in which a person's criminal acts were typically undone by either an overlooked but important detail or their own stupidity, except on some rare occasions when a curious twist of fate caused the story to end happily for the episode's protagonist. Ironic twist endings were a key feature of each episode of the series. The Whistler himself narrated, often commenting directly upon the action in the manner of a Greek chorus, taunting the criminal from an omniscient perspective.

Bill Forman had the title role of host and narrator. Others who portrayed the Whistler at various times were Gale Gordon, Joseph Kearns, Marvin Miller (announcer for The Whistler and The Bickersons and, later, Michael Anthony on TV's The Millionaire), Bill Johnstone (who had the title role on radio's The Shadow from 1938 to 1943) and Everett Clarke. Cast members included Hans Conried, Joseph Kearns, Cathy Lewis, Elliott Lewis, Gerald Mohr, Lurene Tuttle and Jack Webb.

Writer-producer J. Donald Wilson established the tone of the show during its first two years, and he was followed in 1944 by producer-director George Allen. Other directors included Sterling Tracy and Sherman Marks with final scripts by Joel Malone and Harold Swanton. A total of 692 episodes were produced, of which over 200 no longer have copies in existence. In 1946, a local Chicago version of The Whistler with local actors aired Sundays on WBBM, sponsored by Meister Brau beer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Detectives Black And Blue


The exploits of shipping clerks named Black and Blue who take a correspondence course and open a detective agency "and promptly set the art of detection back 40 years." The show aired from 1933-1935.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dead Of Night Radio (New Drama - Horror Podcast)

Turn off the lights. Lock your doors. It's... the Dead of Night!

Dead Of Night Radio (website) is a new radio podcast done in the tradition of the old time radio horror shows like "The Witch's Tale" and "Inner Sanctum."


Times Past has no affiliation with Old Time Radio Researchers. Any related content is provided here as a convenience to our visitors and to make OTRR's work more widely known.

References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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