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Friday, February 25, 2011

Orbiter X - (BBC) (1959)

This is taken from our Times Past SCIFI Group posted by member Riklaa

Into Orbit with the Space Pioneers
(Text Is Taken from Radio Times Edition Dated 25/09/59)
The new Light Programme serial beginning on Monday, 'Orbiter X', introduced here by B. D. CHAPMAN, the scriptwriter, tells the story of a bid to conquer space. With the arrival of the Russian moon probe in the lunar Sea of Serenity a fortnight ago, scientific fact and fiction have become curiously interwoven. The time cannot be far distant when man himself will be setting foot on the moon, but such an undertaking still poses major problems, not least of which is the question of fuel for the return trip.

At the present time, a rocket consumes the bulk of its fuel during its breakaway from the earth. To make the return trip possible, a refueling point or terminal will be required beyond the limits of the atmosphere. This dual purpose could be served by a space station which would also be equipped with facilities such as a space laboratory, workshops, an observatory and, of course, living accommodation for the crew. I believe that we shall see such a station taking shape within the course of the next ten years or so, and it is this possibility which has given me the background of the new serial.

'Orbiter X' is, in fact, the code name of an imaginary space station which is to orbit around the earth like a giant sputnik. It is based on designs which have been proposed by a number of eminent scientists and takes the familiar pattern of a giant wheel, the shape which has been particularly advocated by Dr. Wernher von Braun. Travelling in a polar orbit, it will rapidly cover the entire globe. Accommodation is provided inside the plastic, self-sealing rim of the wheel; synthetic gravity will be produced by a steady rotation around the central hub.

When I first suggested the idea of the series to the BBC, I was asked what age group of listeners I would have in mind when I started writing the scripts. I said that I felt the programme could interest listeners of all ages, so long as the technical details and the action were kept within the realms of possibility.

The story opens, therefore, in the not far distant future when the prefabricated components of the space station have been rocketed into orbit. They are about to be assembled by the space pioneers who must work in vacuum, a thousand miles above the surface of the earth. The work is being carried out by an imaginary organisation bearing the label Commonwealth Space Project, with headquarters at Woomera in Australia.

How will the spacemen react to their strange new environment? The producer, Charles Maxwell, is aiming at authenticity in his production of the serial, and in the first episode we shall accompany our leading characters as they experience zero gravity and its consequent weightlessness. When they step into space you will perhaps share their  emotions and remember that they are pioneers whose quiet determination
must match the spirit of the great explorers of the past.

The members of the space crew are played by John Carson, Andrew Crawford and Barrie Gosney, and towards the end of their first rehearsal the effects of playing a rather breathless scene inside their studio 'space helmets' helped them to achieve a remarkable sense of realism. A highly efficient and enthusiastic team led by Harry Morriss is providing special sound effects. As many as forty different recorded effects spin from the hands of Harry's assistant, Ian Cook, during the course of the first episode - four of five effects sometimes being blended together to produce one particular sound. For myself, I am hoping that the serial will not be outdated by the News before it starts!

Info Taken from http://www.whirligig-tv.co.uk/radio/orbiterx.htm
Info on that page researched by Kim Stevens.
According the the whirligig website Orbiter X was broadcast in 14
episodes. I have never seen a 14 episode version of this and only have 4
80-90 minute files.
File Type: MPEG 2 Layer III
Bit Rate: 40kbps
Frequency: 22050Hz
Channels: Mono

Orbiter X 1of4.mp3

Orbiter X 2of4.mp3

Orbiter X 3of4.mp3

Orbiter X 4of4.mp3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Andrews Sisters


The Andrews Sisters were a prolific and hugely successful close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras, consisting of three actual sisters: LaVerne, Maxene and Patty – Laverne Sophia, contralto and redhead (July 6, 1911 – May 8, 1967); Maxene Angelyn, soprano and brunette (January 3, 1916 – October 21, 1995); and Patricia Marie "Patty" Andrews, mezzo-soprano, lead singer, and blonde (born February 16, 1918). Their harmonies and songs are still influential today, and have been covered by entertainers such as Bette Midler, the Puppini Sisters and Christina Aguilera. Throughout their long career, the sisters sold well over 75 million records (the last official count released by MCA Records in the mid-1970s). The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998. Their hit "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" can be considered an early example of rhythm and blues or jump blues.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Orbit One Zero (BBC)


ORBIT ONE ZERO was a science fiction radio drama, in six 30-minute parts, presented by the British Broadcasting Corporation. The plot involves the search for a source of gamma radiation in space and the discovery of a mysterious cylinder on a remote island. The cylinder quickly takes center stage but a connection to the radiation source becomes important to the final resolution of the story.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Friends And Neighbors (SA)


South African comedy show about Harry and Thelma Duff played by Jim Williams and Valarie Miller-Brown

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rick Nelson


Eric Hilliard Nelson (May 8, 1940 – December 31, 1985), better known as Ricky Nelson or Rick Nelson, was an American singer-songwriter, instrumentalist, and actor. He placed fifty-three songs on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1957 and 1973, including nineteen top-ten hits, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 21, 1987.

Nelson began his entertainment career in 1949 playing himself in the radio sitcom series, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, and, in 1952, appeared in his first feature film, Here Come the Nelsons. In 1957, he recorded his first single, debuted as a singer on the television version of the sitcom, and recorded a number one album, Ricky. In 1958, Nelson recorded his first number one single, "Poor Little Fool", and, in 1959, received a Golden Globe Most Promising Male Newcomer nomination after starring in the western film, Rio Bravo. A few films followed, and, when the television series was canceled in 1966, Nelson made occasional appearances as a guest star on various television programs.

Nelson and Sharon Kristin Harmon were married on April 20, 1963, and divorced in December 1982. They had four children: Tracy Kristine, twin sons Gunnar Eric and Matthew Gray, and Sam Hilliard. On February 14, 1981, a son was born to Nelson and Georgeann Crewe. A blood test in 1985 confirmed Nelson was the child's father. Nelson was engaged to Helen Blair at the time of his death in an airplane crash on December 31, 1985.

 Ozzie and Harriet

Monday, February 14, 2011

Dad's Army (podcast)

Web Site

SCI-FI Radio (NPR)


Sci-Fi Radio from 1989 was an anthology of magazine short story adaptations, with a pretty good choice of the stories. A favorite of many was "Houston, Houston, Do You Read", by James Tiptree, Jr. The series consisted of 26 weekly half-hour shows produced by Kevin Singer. Acting is usually stiff, which distracts from the stories, but the production is very well done and listenable on radio. Aired on NPR playhouse and other stations.  Following is a list of the plays included in the series and the author of the original story.

* I'm Scared, Jack Finney
* Dark Benediction, Walter M. Miller
* Light of Other Days, Bob Shaw
* Sales Pitch, Philip K. Dick
* Diary of the Rose, Ursula K. LeGuin
* Frost and Fire, Ray Bradbury
* The Cold Equations, Tom Godwin
* Sundance, Robert Silverberg
* Shape, Robert Sheckley
* The Twonky, Henry Kuttner
* Yanque Doodle, James Tiptree, Jr.

* Close Encounter with the Deity, Michael Bishop
* Wall of Darkness, Arthur C. Clarke
* Vintage Season, Henry Kuttner & C.L. Moore
* The Grantha Sighting, Avram Davidson
* Call Me Joe, Poul Anderson
* Imposter, Philip K. Dick
* Field of Vision, Ursula K. LeGuin
* Houston, Houston, Do You Read?*, James Tiptree, Jr.
* Home Is The Hangman, Roger Zelazny
* The Ballad of Lost C'Mell, Cordwainer Smith

These were recorded off the radio and vary in quality.

Zip file is under miscellaneous. 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.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Patsy Cline


Patsy Cline (September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963), born Virginia Patterson Hensley, was an American country music singer who enjoyed pop music crossover success during the era of the Nashville sound in the early 1960s. Since her death in 1963 at age 30 in a private airplane crash at the height of her career, she has been considered one of the most influential, successful, and acclaimed female vocalists of the 20th century.

Cline was best known for her rich tone and emotionally expressive bold contralto voice, which, along with her role as a mover and shaker in the country music industry, has been cited as an inspiration by many vocalists of various music genres. Her life and career have been the subject of numerous books, movies, documentaries, articles and stage plays.

Her hits included "Walkin' After Midnight," "I Fall to Pieces," "She's Got You," "Crazy," and "Sweet Dreams." Posthumously, millions of her albums have sold over the past 50 years. She has been given numerous awards, which have given her an iconic status with some fans similar to that of legends Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. Ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame.

In 2002, Cline was voted by artists and members of the country music industry as number one on CMT's television special, The 40 Greatest Women of Country Music, and in 1999 she was voted number 11 on VH1's special The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll by members and artists of the rock industry. She was also ranked 46th in Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Singers of all Time." According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, "Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity."

Hank Williams Sr (2)


Hiram King Williams (September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953), better known as Hank Williams, was an American singer and songwriter and musician who has become an icon of country music and one of the most influential songwriters of the 20th century. A leading pioneer of the honky tonk style, he had numerous hit records, and his charismatic performances and succinct compositions increased his fame. His songbook is one of the backbones of country music, and several of his songs are pop standards as well. He has been covered in a range of pop, gospel, blues and rock styles. His death at the age of 29 helped fuel his legend.

Other Series Here

Health and Happiness Show, The 

Mother's Best Flour Show (OTRR Certified) 

Friday, February 11, 2011

On Stage (OTRR Certified)


On Stage appeared on CBS from January 1953 until September 1954, for a total of 78 episodes. Only 41 of the 78 shows are in circulation today. The show was produced and directed by Elliot Lewis and starred the husband and wife team of Elliot and Cathy Lewis. The idea for the show came about when someone suggested they work together in the 40's. CBS gave them the go ahead for a show in 1952 and they formed the production company Haven Radio Productions. Each show was written with a strong male and female part. Both were at the pinnacle of their careers. At the time, Elliot was playing Frankie Remley on The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show, producing, directing and starring in Suspense, and Broadway is My Beat. Cathy Lewis was starring in My Friend Irma on both radio and television; however, "The Golden Age of Radio" was coming to an end. The big money was shifting over to television. This would be one of the last good series on radio. (From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group)

Zip file is under miscellaneous. 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.


Studio One


Studio One is a long-running American dramatic radio-television anthology series, created in 1947 by the 26-year-old Canadian director Fletcher Markle, who came to CBS from the CBC.

On April 29, 1947, Markle launched the 60-minute CBS radio series with an adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's Under the Volcano. Broadcast on Tuesdays, opposite Fibber McGee and Molly and The Bob Hope Show, the radio series continued until July 27, 1948, showcasing such adaptations as Dodsworth, Pride and Prejudice, The Red Badge of Courage and Ah, Wilderness. Top performers were heard on this series, including John Garfield, Walter Huston, Mercedes McCambridge, Burgess Meredith and Robert Mitchum.

Zip file is under miscellaneous. 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. 

The Night America Trembled

The landmark Halloween edition of Orson Welles' weekly radio show created a panic that swept the Nation as the classic tale of a Martian invasion was broadcast to more than 1 million households. Exploration of the panic caused by the radio broadcast of H.G. Wells "War of the Worlds." John Astin, Ed Asner, Warren Beatty, Warren Oates, James Coburn, and hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

Download iPod/Zune


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Frontier Gentleman (OTRR Certified)

Frontier Gentleman began with these words: "Herewith, an Englishman's account of life and death in the West. As a reporter for The London Times, he writes his colorful and unusual accounts. But as a man with a gun, he lives and becomes a part of the violent years in the new territories. Now, starring John Dehner, this is the story of J. B. Kendall, Frontier Gentleman..."

That was the beginning of as fine a series of Western drama as ever graced the air. Frontier Gentleman was the last important show to premiere on radio. It was heard on CBS for a brief run premiering February 9, 1958, and stands as the only serious rival to Gunsmoke in the Radio Hall of Fame.

The producers could do no better with the part of Kendall than John Dehner. Dehner, who also played Paladin in the better known but inferior Have Gun Will Travel, was always convincing in these parts that called for dry wit and subdued sophistication. His handling of J. B. Kendall was letter-perfect, and he got fine support from such old pros as, John McIntire, Jeanette Nolan, Lawrence Dobkin, Stacy Harris, Harry Bartell, Virginia Gregg, Jack Moyles, Joe Kearns, and Jack Kruschen. The series was created by Antony Ellis, the writer-director whose work on Gunsmoke, Escape, and other top shows stamped him as one of radio's outstanding talents. Wilbur Hatch and Jerry Goldsmith, both composers and conductors, were responsible for the beautiful trumpet theme that introduced the show.

Kendall's adventures through the new territories came in all forms. There was tragedy, brutality, pathos, and earthy humor. Kendall met nameless drifters, bushwhackers, and real people from history. Ellis asked his listeners to believe that when Jack McCall shot Wild Bill Hickok during a poker game, J. B. Kendall was one of the players. Kendall met Calamity Jane, Jesse James, and "the richest man in the West". He won a slave girl, Gentle Virtue, in a card game, and became friends with a gambling queen. He defended an unpopular man against a murder charge, and one night on the wild Kansas prairie, he even had a brush with the supernatural.

Perhaps the best of all Frontier Gentleman shows was "Random Notes". It wasn't even a story in the strict sense -- rather a loosely woven collection of vignettes. On a long stage trip, Kendall jotted down some of the funny, touching things he had seen in Western America; little snatches of life that might really have happened. A condemned killer asked Kendall to write his story; a hick-town production of Shakespeare turned to shambles. That detail, cumbersome on other shows, was what made this series go. Too bad Kendall's great performance was for a condemned medium. (Information for this description came from John Dunning’s "Tune In Yesterday The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio”.)(OTRR)

Zip file is under miscellaneous. 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.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Absolute Power (BBC) (OTRR Certified)

Zip file is under miscellaneous. 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.


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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