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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

True Detective Mysteries

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Stories from the pulp magazine.

One of the swiftness radio series, the True Detective Mysteries program broadcast over CBS every Thursday evening, owes much of its popularity to the action which takes place in the studio. Reproducing as it does true stories of various police cases, it is often impossible to go into every detail of the story, and so far no one has actually been murdered in the broadcast: but when a struggle is indicated in the script the actors proceed to struggle; when the gong and siren on the police cars are heard, there are sirens and gongs in the studio.

Staged under the direction of Charles Schenck, one of radio's pioneers in stagecraft, "True Detective Mysteries" utilizes approximately the same cast each week to dramatize the more thrilling story in the current issue of the magazine from which it takes its name. Much of the program's success is due to the fact Mr. Schenck has been able to assemble the cast which his experience has shown him possesses really ideal voices for the microphone, as well as dramatic ability. The sound effects, pistol shots, slamming doors, crashing glass, speeding autos---every conceivable noise, in fact---are produced by one man, who sets up his apparatus before his own special microphone, and, working from his own copy of the script, follows his cues as carefully and promptly as do the actors.




Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Inner Sanctum Mysteries, The

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Inner Sanctum Mysteries was a popular old-time radio program that aired from January 7, 1941 to October 5, 1952. Created by Himan Brown, the anthology series featured stories of mystery, terror and suspense. The tongue-in-cheek introductions were in sharp contrast to shows like Suspense and The Whistler. A total of 526 episodes are known to have been produced.

Taking its name from a popular series of mystery novels, Inner Sanctum Mysteries debuted over NBC’s Blue Network in January 1941.

Inner Sanctum Mysteries featured one of the most memorable and atmospheric openings in radio history: an organist hit a dissonant chord, a doorknob turned and the famous “creaking door” slowly began to open.

Every week, Inner Sanctum Mysteries told stories of ghosts, murderers and lunatics. Produced in New York, the cast usually consisted of veteran radio actors, with occasional guest appearances by such Hollywood stars Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Claude Rains.

What made Inner Sanctum Mysteries unique among radio horror shows was its host, a slightly-sinister sounding man originally known as “Raymond.” The host had a droll sense of humor and an appetite for ghoulish puns, and his influence can be seen among horror hosts everywhere, from the Crypt-Keeper to Elvira. Raymond Edward Johnson was the show’s host until 1945; Paul McGrath took over the role until the show left the air in 1952. Producer Hiram Brown would utilize the creaking door again in the 1970s, when he produced and directed The CBS Radio Mystery Theater.

Inner Sanctum Mysteries was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988



Inner Sanctum (1948) is a stand-alone film based on the radio series of the same name in which a fortune teller foresees danger for a young girl.

Monday, June 22, 2015

CBS Radio Mystery Theater (CBSRMT)

CBS Radio Mystery Theater (a.k.a. Radio Mystery Theater and Mystery Theater, sometimes abbreviated as CBSRMT) was a radio drama series created by Himan Brown that was broadcast on CBS Radio Network affiliates from 1974 to 1982, and later in the early 2000s was carried by the NPR satellite feed.

The format was similar to that of classic old time radio shows like The Mysterious Traveler and The Whistler, in that the episodes were introduced by a host (E. G. Marshall) who provided pithy wisdom and commentary throughout. Unlike the hosts of those earlier programs, Marshall is fully mortal, merely someone whose heightened insight and erudition plunge the listener into the world of the macabre (in a manner similar to that of "The Man in Black" on yet another old time radio program, Suspense).

As with Himan Brown's prior Inner Sanctum Mysteries, each episode of CBS Radio Mystery Theater opened and closed with the ominous sound of a creaking crypt door, accompanied by Marshall's disturbing utterance, "Come in!... Welcome. I'm E. G. Marshall." This was followed by one of Marshall's other catchphrases, usually either "The sound of suspense" or "The fear you can hear." At the conclusion, the door would swing shut, preceded by Marshall's classic sign off, "Until next time, pleasant... dreams?" Marshall hosted the program from January 1974 until February 1982, when actress Tammy Grimes took over for the series' last season, maintaining the format.

CBSRMT was broadcast each weeknight, at first with a new program each night. Later in the run three or four episodes were new originals each week, and the remainder repeats. There were 1,399 original episodes. The total number of broadcasts, including reruns, was 2,969. Each episode was allotted a full hour of airtime, but after commercials and news, episodes typically ran for about 45 minutes.

In repeats of the show broadcast in the early 2000s, Himan Brown replaced E.G. Marshall's original host segments.
______________________________________________________


Ken Long maintains a site dedicated to CBSRMT with better encodes and master inventory of all the CBSRMT broadcasts plus downloads of the episodes.

LINK:  http://cbsrmt.thelongtrek.com/

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure story that takes place during the historical events of 1815 to 1838. This piece tells the tale of a man who seeks revenge after his escape from prision and deals with the central themes of vengeance, justice, forgiveness, and mercy.











Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Bluegrass Preservation Society Radio Show (podcast)


The Bluegrass Preservation Society, Inc Radio Show is an one hour of homegrown Appalachian Bluegrass Music, hosted by Ewell Ferguson and his Bluegrass Kitty Cat, Buster. Dedicated to the preservation of old time bluegrass music, these shows are ones you should enjoy.

Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and is a sub-genre of country music. It has its own roots in Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English traditional music. Bluegrass was inspired by the music of immigrants from the United Kingdom and Ireland (particularly the Scots-Irish immigrants in Appalachia), as well as jazz and blues. In bluegrass, as in jazz, each instrument takes its turn playing the melody and improvising around it, while the others perform accompaniment. This is in contrast to old-time music, in which all instruments play the melody together or one instrument carries the lead throughout while the others provide accompaniment. Traditional bluegrass is typically based around acoustic stringed instruments, such as mandolin, acoustic guitar, banjo, fiddle, and upright bass, with or without vocals.

The podcast is a very entertaining show and if you are interested in exploring this Appalachian old time radio music, you can subscribe free here.

Bluegrass_RadioShow_001.mp3 
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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Lum and Abner



From 1931 to 1955, the Lum and Abner radio show brought the town of Pine Ridge (Montgomery County), into the homes of millions of listeners across the country. During World War II, Armed Forces Radio took Lum and Abner around the world.

Chester “Chet” Lauck and Findley Norris “Tuffy” Goff, two young comedians from Mena (Polk County), created the characters when they were invited to appear on a statewide flood relief broadcast over KTHS radio in Hot Springs (Garland County) on April 26, 1931. Seconds before being introduced, they created the names Lum Eddards for Lauck and Abner Peabody for Goff.

The two old codgers (Lauck and Goff were actually in their late twenties) ran the Jot ‘Em Down General Store in Pine Ridge. Lum was a bachelor with an eye for women, and his ego usually got in the way of common sense. Abner was a hen-pecked married man, and his gullibility was enormous. They were civic-minded merchants who never seemed to have any money in the cash register. Their schemes for grandeur always brought them to the brink of tragedy.

Additional characters were created for later broadcasts. Lauck portrayed Cedric Wehunt, and nosey Grandpappy Spears, while Goff became Dick Huddleston (the real store keeper in Waters, the town upon which Pine Ridge was based), schemer Squire Skimp, shy Mousey Gray, Mose Moots the barber, town-meany Snake Hogan, and many others. Each character was based on a composite of old friends from Waters and Mena.

The Lum and Abner show was set in the Jot ‘Em Down Store in Pine Ridge. On April 26, 1936, the citizens of Waters changed the town’s name to Pine Ridge in honor of Lum and Abner.

Their humor was clean and honest, reflecting small town life and human nature. The stories had universal themes that have not become dated, and therefore Lum and Abner continues to be popular with old-time radio fans.

KTHS groomed the young talent on Sunday broadcasts for just a few months, and then they auditioned in Chicago for a network show on NBC radio. Lum and Abner was picked up immediately and continued for almost twenty-five years, including 5,800 daily live fifteen-minute programs. A series of contracts saw them on the air for four radio networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, and Mutual), sponsored by such major companies as Quaker Oats, Ford Motor Company, Horlick’s Malted Milk, Alka Seltzer, General Foods, and General Mills.

Lum and Abner was the first network program broadcast from Radio City in New York in 1933, the first to do a marathon charity broadcast, and the first to make a transatlantic “simulcast,” with Lauck in London and Goff in Chicago. Their promotions of war effort causes during World War II were especially successful. Their sponsors offered premiums that are now collectibles.

As a result of their radio popularity, Lum and Abner broadcasts moved to Hollywood studios in 1939 in order for the actors to pursue careers in motion pictures. The pair made six movies during the 1940s: Dreaming Out Loud (1940), The Bashful Bachelor (1942), So This is Washington (1943), Two Weeks to Live (1943), Going to Town (1944), and Partners in Time (1946). Lum and Abner Abroad (1956) was made in Europe as a television pilot, with the two characters as Hollywood personalities. Lauck and Goff did not like the result, and it was not released to theaters; it is now sought-after piece of Lum and Abner history.

Lum and Abner began as a lark in Mena, traveled to Hot Springs, and grew in Chicago and other cities. Hollywood fulfilled the dreams of two small-town boys. Early broadcasts were carried by local sponsors, but soon, nationwide sponsors reached into millions of homes. After nearly twenty-five years of radio, television made inroads into audiences, and the programs were again locally sponsored. By 1955, the two were ready to quit, as Norris Goff had been in poor health for many years. Their concept has been copied on such programs as Beverly Hillbillies and by the comic strip “Li’l Abner,” which is often confused with Lum and Abner, but the original has never been equaled.

Lum and Abner made a small town in Arkansas world famous. Today, Pine Ridge is home to the Lum and Abner Museum. The National Lum and Abner Association was founded in 1984 and has 600 members nationwide. (Encyclopedia Of Arkansas)








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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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