Suspense was a thriller-style radio drama that ran on CBS from 1942 to 1962 and is widely considered to be one of the greatest Old Time Radio (or "Golden Age Of Radio") series and model for "The Twilight Zone". In addition to theme music by Bernard Herrmann and scripts by leading mystery authors of the day, Suspense also featured a stunning roll call of big-name Hollywood stars, often playing against type or in more lurid material then the movie studios would allow. While nearly all 947 episodes are available online (exhaustively comprehensive previously) the sheer number of episodes can be daunting. Old Time Radio Review is halfway through the series with a convenient rating system to finding the best - why not enjoy these Youtube versions of a few episodes starring Judy Garland, Lucille Ball, Robert Taylor, Orson Wells, Agnes Moorehead (again), Cary Grant, and more
I am The Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes... I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak. So tonight, I tell you this story.... If you lived near a west coast CBS radio affiliate between May 16, 1942 and September 22, 1955, you probably heard The Whistler, or at least knew of the radio mystery series that was somewhat in the style of the better-known franchise, The Shadow. If you missed it, you can catch up on Archive.org, with selections from 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951 and '52, or browse through a collection of 502 episodes. [more inside]
National Public Radio produced at least two short runs of sci-fi radio dramas in the relatively recent past. The first of these two was Sci-Fi Radio, which was was produced out of Commerce, Texas, and broadcast on NPR in 1989-90. The producers drew their inspiration from some of the best stories from some of the best science fiction authors of the 20th century, including Ray Bradbury, Roger Zelazny, Henry Kuttner, and Poul Anderson. You can read more here on the Old Time Radio Plot Spot, or listen to the series on the Times Past Old Time Radio blog (also on Archive.org). A decade later, NPR revisited the format with 2000X: Tales of the Next Millennia, for which they won a a 2001 Bradbury Award. The official site is no longer online, but Archive.org captured Yuri Rasovsky's site for the series. Rasovsky shared two of those broadcasts and talked about his work in radio with Radio Drama Revival, and you can listen to the rest, as recorded from radio and grouped in an unsorted jumble (with duplicates), thanks to the very generous OTR Sounds.
Can you identify a composition, given only a single clarinet cadenza? Can you recite a poem, given only the last words from a single stanza? Can you play on the piano extempore the most popular song from a Gershwin show, given only a snippet of a few seconds from a little-known piece in the production? And can you believe this was once one of the most popular radio shows in America? The radio quiz show from a wrier age, Information, Please, features an urbane, erudite host (Clifton Fadiman, the editor of the New Yorker's book review section), whip-smart panelists (like Franklin P. Adams, of "Baseball's Sad Lexicon" fame), and ridiculously interesting guests (Dorothy Parker, Leonard Bernstein, S. J. Perelman...!). Several years' worth are available here, for your listening pleasure. (Start with Page 2 -- the quality of the broadcasts on Page 1 is quite low.)
Old-time radio (often abbreviated as "OTR," also known as the Golden Age of Radio) refers to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the dominant home entertainment medium in the 1950s, with some programs continuing into the early 1960s. The origin of radio dramas in the United States is hard to pin down, but there is evidence of a remote broadcast of a play in 1914 at Normal College (now California State University at San José), and the first serial radio drama was an adaptation of a play by Eugene Walter, entitled "The Wolf," which aired in September 1922. Given the age of the programs and the fact that home reel-to-reel recording started in the 1950s (followed by Philips "compact cassettes" in 1963), it might be surprising that quite a few of these old shows have survived. Thanks in part to original radio station-sourced recordings made on aluminum discs, acetates, and glass recordings and other unnamed sources, many radio dramas and newscasts from decades past are available online, and more are being digitized and restored to this day. [more inside]
"Wally Ballou here, reporting for the Matinob with Ray and Bob from the World Wide Internets..." Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding are better known as Bob and Ray. Spending over four decades on the radio, television, print, and Broadway, beginning in Boston in 1946, they pioneered absurdist, satirical, dry, improvisational sketch comedy, influencing a legion of future comics (and others). The duo was inducted into the NAB Hall of Fame in 1984. They last appeared on the radio in NPR's "The Bob and Ray Public Radio Show" from 1982-1987. [more inside]
Enjoy a heaping helping of old time radio with classic Christmas specials from The Jack Benny Show. [more inside]
Starting tomorrow The ZBS Foundation will be running a free podcast re-broadcast of Moon Over Morocco, a radio series from the 70s featuring the continuing strange adventures of Jack Flanders. Some of you may be familiar with the first Jack Flanders story, The Fourth Tower of Inverness, a mystical and hilarious little cult favorite that would occasionally pop up on independent radio stations. Moon Over Morocco is its sequel.
When Fred Gwynne and E.G. Marshall died, I was a little depressed. Most people knew Fred from the Munsters and Mr. Marshall from movies; I knew them from work on the CBSRMT.
When Fred Gwynne and E.G. Marshall died, I was a little depressed. Most people knew Fred from the Munsters and Mr. Marshall from movies; I knew them from work on the CBSRMT. My dog was named Marshall, in fact. It's strange that most people never knew there was another whole world of radio acting out there."