The decoder rings are, sadly, out of stock.
January 12, 2011 12:15 PM   Subscribe

Don't Touch That Dial! is a simple tumblr that collects radio shows and advertisements now in the public domain. The archive is pretty great.
posted by Lutoslawski (8 comments total) 42 users marked this as a favorite
Hey, this is a good place as any to ask if Tumblr is down today for anyone else. I haven't been able to access any sites on any browsers ....
posted by mrgrimm at 12:38 PM on January 12, 2011

"one-airline service to the orient, direct from Cleveland..."

Having been born in Cleveland and dragged to California at the age of 5 via Route 66, I had to LOL. This singlehandedly justifies the existence of Tumbler, and I salute its creator(s) for not using a "Fuck Yeah" in the title, even though this certainly deserves one. Of course, considering the 'language standards' of the time of these radio goodies. "Heck Yeah" would've been much more appropriate.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:42 PM on January 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

I have XM radio in my pick-up. I enjoy almost all of the shows that are on XM 164. I especially like "Yours truly, Johnny Dollar" and anything with Orsen Welles.
posted by Jumpin Jack Flash at 2:04 PM on January 12, 2011

Awesome. Faved. Thank you!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:17 PM on January 12, 2011

This is a great find. So great that really I think it kind of does the subject a disservice to only offer a couple of links. There are episodes of Little Orphan Annie, Amos & Andy (warning: racist), the Jack Benny Program, The Bob Hope Show, Fred Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly, The Great Gildersleeve and many more awesome shows in here. In Hall of Fantasy you can even find a couple of dramatizations of Edgar Allen Poe stories.
posted by JHarris at 3:55 PM on January 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

Oops, neglected to link Little Orphan Annie.
posted by JHarris at 4:00 PM on January 12, 2011

How are any of those shows in the public domain? They largely appear to be the same Old-Time Radio episodes that have appeared in a thousand other places a thousand other times, not a one of them truly in the public domain. They simply continue to be passed around because the rights-holders have not pursued claims — not the same thing as being in the public domain. They're no more public domain than Gameboy ROMs, Mockingjay epubs, or Star Wars torrents.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:46 PM on January 12, 2011

That's an interesting point, Mo. Public domain still confuses me. I was sort of under the impression that if the work was done before '23, or the copyright had expired, it was in the public domain. I have no idea about these programs except the statement on their site:

In addition to the statement above, Don't Touch That Dial posts recordings of old radio advertisements. These archival recordings are not paid advertisements and are intended for entertainment purposes only. Don't Touch That Dial does not endorse, promote or encourage the use of any product advertised in these recordings.

All programs are considered to be in Public Domain unless noted otherwise.

posted by Lutoslawski at 10:05 AM on January 13, 2011

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