Do you have memories of sitting with your parents listening to the radio at night, Well, now
you can listen once again to the old radio shows you remember from your childhood Radio was taken over by television for quite
a while, and now the internet threatens to take over TV as more shows and movies are available online. Radio was for all intents
and purposes replaced, the internet, has now brought new life to it. You can download a copy of an old radio show from these
pages, in fact a internet search will find you a copy of most of the radio shows you remember as a child, check out our links
to the old radio shows you remember.
Welcome to OldRadioWorld.com! Here at OldRadioWorld.com
you will find some of the most popular radio programs of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. Before television, radio provided entertainment
by presenting radio plays and programs of mystery, intrigue, and comedy.
I speak now from my home and from my heart to you all; to men
and women so cut off by the snows, the desert, or the sea, that only voices out of the air can reach them. King George V, first royal broadcast to the British nation and
The British Broadcasting
Corporation, which is usually known simply as the BBC, is the world's largest broadcasting corporation. It has 28,000
employees in the United Kingdom alone and an annual budget of more than £4 billion. Founded on 18 October 1922
as the British Broadcasting Company Ltd, it was subsequently granted a Royal Charter and made a state-owned corporation in
1927. The corporation produces programmes and information services, broadcasting globally on television, radio, and the Internet.
The stated mission of the BBC is "to inform, educate and entertain" (as laid down by Parliament in the BBC Charter);
its motto is "Nation Shall Speak Peace Unto Nation". The BBC is a quasi-autonomous public corporation as a
public service broadcaster. The Corporation is run by the BBC Trust; and is, per its charter, "free from both political
and commercial influence and answers only to its viewers and listeners".
Make Your Own Crystal Radio! Here at the Cornell University
Center for Materials Research Radio Factory you’ll make your own radio wave powered crystal radio set. You’ll
learn a lot about how your radio works and the special materials that you’ll use to make it go. You’ll also gain
some valuable electronics construction skills such as the ability to recognize components and join them together by soldering.
Have you listened to web radio lately? A
lot of folks still don't know what web radio is. Let's note first of all that it is not the same thing as podcasting,
although the two are often confused. Without going into the technicalities, web radio uses streaming audio to create a "live,"
ongoing broadcast such as you would hear from a regular radio station. Podcasting involves the creation of individual recordings
which people can download for listening at a later time, either on their computer or on an MP3 player such as an iPod. For
a long time web radio was plagued by problems. Sound quality was usually poor. Because of the bandwidth required, many web
radio stations were severely limited in the number of people they permitted to listen at any one time--in some cases, this
could be as few as a half dozen! The number and variety of stations were quite limited, as well. Happily, most of those early
limitations have been resolved. The web radio scene today presents a wonderful smorgasbord of musical variety, an incredible
array of genres to suit all tastes, and a quality that often matches high-end stereo for the ability to produce a satisfying
listening experience. Although web radio's primary audiences remain office workers and college students, more and more
people are discovering this neat entertainment source. One study in the UK reported an 84% increase in internet radio listening
hours for the most recent year. Another study said web radio attracts 52 million listeners during a typical month.
Web radio is free to listen to, for the most part, and the software one needs to take advantage of it is free as well. Player
software such as WinAmp or iTunes not only sends the music to your computer speakers, it also generally includes a directory
of radio channels--just click on your choice and play. The directory will almost always be arranged by genres, some of the
more popular being blues, oldies, rock, psychedelia, easy listening, country, trance or electronic, country, reggae, world
music and hip hop. The diversity truly is astounding: the other day I ran across a web radio station devoted exclusively to
Hawaiian and polka music!
The War of the Worlds was
an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween special
on October 30, 1938 and aired over the CBS Radio network. Directed by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G.
Wells' classic novel The War of the Worlds.
The first half of the 60-minute broadcast was presented as a
series of news bulletins, which suggested to many listeners that an actual Martian invasion was in progress. Some fled their
homes; others merely were terrified. The news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public
figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode launched Welles to fame.
There is an addiction waiting out there for you on the Internet.
It could be a good addiction, if you like great actors performing great stories. They may be actors that you have not heard
of before, and stories that you have only heard about. Orson Welles performs Captain Bligh from Mutiny on the Bounty. Carlton
Hobbs analyses and uncovers the answer to the Speckled Band as Sherlock Holmes. Judy Garland sings her way into your heart
in another old time radio show. These great actors and actresses make these classic stories come alive, and revive the art
of storytelling for modern America. It is almost ironic to have an audio book in MP3 format revive the ancient art of storytelling,
but the combination works very well. These old time radio shows in MP3 format are a treasure that you should take some time
This interest in these MP3 audio books can also spread to your family, and with a little influence may
replace the influence of television. Not only are a number of old time radio shows done with better stories, but the whole
idea of storytelling triggers the imagination. When the crew of the Bounty are not given enough food and are caught in a storm
on the high seas, no movie director can make it as thrilling or real as your own imagination. Even if you listen to Sherlock
Holmes in modern MP3 format in an audio book, you can be walking with him in a dark and fog shrouded London street with the
sound of only one other person in the street, rapidly drawing closer to you. Driving on a modern interstate to work is much
more interesting when Daniel Boone is making a trail through the forest from another old time radio show. These audio book
programs can accompany you anywhere, and can make many tedious times more pleasant.
The Rock-it Radio Launching Pad focuses on the music that we play here online at Rock-it Radio. When you order off of this website and the
links to this site, not only do you get the great 50’s and 60’s music that we play or movies dedicated to the
life style of the 1950's ... you also help us stay on the air and broadcast this music of the first decade of Rock and
Roll & Rockabilly Roots band out there playing today.
What was radio really like at the dawn of the 1930s?
As the new decade began, the medium was moving into its adolescence. The experimental years were over, the networks
were off and rolling, and the movement toward making radio a form of Wholesale Entertainment For The Masses was well under
way.The most popular program format of the late twenties was the sponsored musical feature. It could be a large symphonic
group, a dance orchestra, or a song-and-patter team -- and it would usually carry the sponsor's name. The A&P Gypsies,
for example -- a large, genre-crossing orchestra conducted by Harry Horlick. The Ipana Troubadours -- a hot dance band directed
by Sam Lanin. The Goodrich Zippers -- a banjo-driven orchestra conducted by Harry Reser, when he wasn't leading the same
group under the name of The Cliquot Club Eskimos. Everyone remembers The Happiness Boys, Billy Jones and Ernie Hare -- but
what about Scrappy Lambert and Billy Hillpot, who performed exactly the same sort of material as Trade and Mark,
The Smith Brothers. The list is endless: The Silvertown Cord Orchestra, featuring the Silver Masked Tenor. The
Sylvania Foresters. The Flit Soldiers -- yet another Harry Reser group. The Champion Sparkers. The Fox Fur Trappers.
The Ingram Shavers, who were the Ipana Troubadours on alternate Wednesdays. The Yeast Foamers. The Planters Pickers. And,
the magnificently named Freed-Eisemann Orchestradians. All playing pretty much the same sorts of music, all announced
by Phillips Carlin or John S. Young or Alwyn Bach or Milton Cross in pretty much the same sort of stiffly formal style.
We offer hundreds of vintage
radio shows for you to listen to online in mp3 format, all for free. Before the days of video games, shopping malls, MTV,
and the Internet, families used to sit in their living room each night to listen to radio shows such as Superman, Groucho
Marx, The Avenger, Gunsmoke, Sherlock Homes, and many others. When TV become popular in the 1950's, most of these shows
went off the air, but they now live on at websites such as this one and on weekly nostalgia radio broadcasts worldwide.
Old-Time Radio (OTR) and the Golden Age of Radio refer 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. During this period, when radio was dominant and
the airwaves were filled with a variety of radio formats and genres, people regularly tuned in to their favorite radio programs.
In fact, according to a 1947 C. E. Hooper survey, 82 out of 100 Americans were found to be radio listeners. The end of this
period coincided with music radio becoming the dominant radio form and is often marked in the United States by the final CBS
broadcasts of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar on September 30, 1962.
Radio content in the Golden Age of
Radio had its origins in audio theatre. Audio theatre began in the 1880s and 1890s with audio recordings of musical acts
and other vaudeville. These were sent to people by means of telephone and, later, through phonograph cylinders and discs.
Visual elements, such as effects and sight gags, were adapted to have sound equivalents. In addition, visual objects and scenery
were converted to have audio descriptions.
On Christmas Eve, 1906, Reginald Fessenden sent the first radio program
broadcast, which was made up of some violin playing and passages from the Bible. At least one radio researcher has questioned
whether this broadcast took place, because it was not mentioned in print until many years later.Then, after the Titanic catastrophe
in 1912, radio for communications went into vogue. Radio was especially important during World War I, since it was vital for
air and naval operations. In fact, World War I sped the development of radio by transitioning radio communications from the
Morse code of the wireless telegraph to the vocal communication of the wireless telephone through advancements in vacuum tube
technology and the introduction of the transceiver.
After the war, numerous radio stations were born and set the
standard for later radio programs. The first radio news program was broadcast on August 31, 1920 on the station 8MK in Detroit,
Michigan. This was followed in 1920 with the first commercial radio station in the United States, KDKA, being established
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The first regular entertainment programs were broadcast in 1922, and on March 10, Variety carried
the front page headline "Radio Sweeping Country 1,000,000 Sets in Use." A highlight of this time was the first Rose
Bowl being broadcast on January 1, 1923 on the Los Angeles station KHJ.
A message from Tom Heathwood:
Thanks to every one of our listeners...Heritage Radio Classics has been providing collectors and nostalgia buffs with
the best in vintage radio shows from the 1930's, 40's and 50's on high quality audio cassettes since 1971!
Old time radio shows are
a wonderful form of entertainment. If you've never experienced the thrills of a classic detective show such as Sam Spade
or a police procedural series such as Dragnet you're in for a pleasant surprise and if you have then you'll know just
what I'm talking about.
Amongst the hundreds of series available (over 500 at the last count) on the OTR-FTP
Server you'll find an excellent mix of suspense, drama and comedy along with quiz shows, classic sports events and even
shows for kids. Start downloading today! Most of the shows are 30 minutes long and are ideal for listening to in your car,
whilst sat working at your computer or even when out walking or jogging if you have a portable MP3 player.
Old-Time Radio (OTR) and
the Golden Age of Radio refer to a period of radio programming 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 late 1950s and early
1960s. During this period, when radio was dominant and the airwaves were filled with a variety of radio formats and genres,
people regularly tuned in to their favourite radio programs. In fact, according to a 1947 C. E. Hooper survey, 82 out of 100
Americans were found to be radio listeners. The end of this period coincided with music radio becoming the dominant radio
form and is often marked in the United States by the final CBS broadcasts of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar on September
Country music The
1950s also saw the popular dominance of the Nashville sound in country music, and the beginning of popular folk music with
groups like The Weavers. Country's Nashville sound was slick and soulful, and a movement of rough honky tonk developed
in a reaction against the mainstream orientation of Nashville. This movement was centered in Bakersfield, California with
musicians like Buck Owens ("Act Naturally"), Merle Haggard ("Sing a Sad Song") and Wynn Stewart ("It's
Such a Pretty World Today") helping to define the sound among the community, made up primarily of Oklahoman immigrants
to California, who had fled unemployment and drought. A similarly hard-edged sound also arose in Lubbock, Texas (Lubbock sound).
By the late 1950s, a revival of Appalachian folk music was taking place across the country, and bands like The Weavers were
paving the way for future mainstream stars like Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Bluegrass was similarly revitalized and updated by
artists including Tony Rice, Clarence White, Richard Green, Bill Keith and David Grisman. The Dillards, however, were the
ones to break bluegrass into mainstream markets in the early 1960s.
addition, doo wop achieved widespread popularity in the 1950s. Doo wop was a harmonically complex style of choral singing
that developed in the streets of major cities like Chicago, New York, and, most importantly, Baltimore. Doo Wop singers would
work a cappella without backing instruments, and practice in hallways of their schools, apartment buildings, or alleys to
achieve echo effects on their voices, and lyrics were generally innocent youthful observations on the upsides of teen love
and romance. Groups like The Crows ("Gee"), The Orioles ("It's Too Soon to Know") and Brooklyn's
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers ("Why Do Fools Fall in Love") had a string of hit songs that brought the genre
to chart domination by 1958 (see 1958 in music).
The pre-history and early
history of radio is the history of technology that produced instruments that use radio waves. Later radio history increasingly
involves matters of programming and content.
Various scientists proposed that electricity and magnetism, both
capable of causing attraction and repulsion of objects, were linked. In 1802 Gian Domenico Romagnosi suggested the relationship
between electric current and magnetism, but his reports went unnoticed. In 1820 Hans Christian Ørsted performed a widely
known experiment on man-made electric current and magnetism. He demonstrated that a wire carrying a current could deflect
a magnetized compass needle. Ørsted's experiments discovered the relationship between electricity and magnetism
in a very simple experiment. Ørsted's work influenced André-Marie Ampère to produce a theory of electromagnetism.
In the history of radio and development of "wireless telegraphy", several people are claimed to have "invented
the radio". The most commonly accepted claims are:
Jagadish Chandra Bose Alexander Stepanovich Popov
Nikola Tesla, who developed means to reliably produce radio frequency currents, publicly demonstrated the principles
of radio, and transmitted long distance signals. In 1943 the US Supreme Court upheld Tesla's patent number U.S. Patent
645,576 in effect recognizing him as the inventor of radio. Guglielmo Marconi, who equipped ships with life-saving wireless
communications, conducted a reported transatlantic radio communications experiments in 1901 and established the first commercial
transatlantic radio service in 1907.
Radio content in the Golden
Age of Radio had its origins in audio theatre. Audio theatre began in the 1880s and 1890s with audio recordings of musical
acts and other vaudeville. These were sent to people by means of telephone and, later, through phonograph cylinders and discs.
Visual elements, such as effects and sight gags, were adapted to have sound equivalents. In additions, visual objects and
scenery were converted to have audio descriptions.
On Christmas Eve, 1906, Reginald Fessenden sent the first
radio program broadcast, which was made up of some violin playing and passages from the bible. At least one radio researcher
has questioned whether this broadcast took place, because it was not mentioned in print until many years later.Then, after
the Titanic catastrophe in 1912, radio for communications went into vogue. Radio was especially important during World War
I, since it was a primary source of communication for both sides. Then, after the war and before radio regulation, numerous
radio stations began starting up and setting the standard for later radio programs.
Broadcasting was not yet
supported by advertising or listener sponsorship. The stations owned by manufacturers and department stores were established
to sell radios and those owned by newspapers to sell newspapers and express the opinions of the owners. In the 1920s, Radio
was first used to transmit pictures visible as television. During the early 1930s, single sideband (SSB) and frequency modulation
(FM) were invented by amateur radio operators. By 1940, they were established commercial modes.
was brought into the patent allies group, General Electric, American Telephone and Telegraph, and Radio Corporation of America,
and became a part owner of RCA. All radios made by GE and Westinghouse were sold under the RCA label 60% GE and 40% Westinghouse.
ATT's Western Electric would build radio transmitters. The patent allies attempted to set up a monopoly, but they failed
due to successful competition. Much to the dismay of the patent allies, several of the contracts for inventor's patents
held clauses protecting "amateurs" and allowing them to use the patents. Whether the competing manufacturers were
really amateurs was ignored by these competitors.
In the United States, radio comedy and drama
gets relatively little airplay apart from National Public Radio, satellite and Internet radio, but it continues full strength
on British and Irish stations, and to a lesser degree in Canada. Regular broadcasts of radio plays are also heard in South
Africa, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Vintage shows and new audio productions in America are accessible more
on recordings and by satellite and web broadcasters rather than over conventional AM and FM radio. There are, however, several
radio theatre series still in production, usually airing on Sunday nights in the United States. These include original series
such as Imagination Theatre and a radio adaptation of The Twilight Zone, as well as rerun compilations such as the popular
daily series When Radio Was and USA Radio Network's Golden Age of Radio Theatre.
One of the longest running
radio programs celebrating this era is The Golden Days of Radio, which was hosted on the Armed Forces Radio Service (later
Armed Forces Radio and Television Service) for more than 20 years and overall for more than 50 years by Frank Bresee, who
also played "Little Beaver" on the Red Ryder program as a child actor.
Cajun and Creole music
The 1940s saw a return to the roots of Cajun music, led by Iry LeJeune, Nathan Abshire and other artists, alongside
musicians who incorporated rock and roll, including Laurence Walker and Aldus Roger. In the late 1940s, Clifton Chenier, a
Creole, began playing an updated form of la la called zydeco. Zydeco was briefly popular among some mainstream listeners during
the 1950s. Artists like Boozoo Chavis, Queen Ida, Rockin' Dopsie and Rockin' Sidney have continued to bring zydeco
to national audiences in the following decades. Zydeco shows major influences from rock, and artists like Beau Jocque have
combined other influences, including hip hop.
The Armed Forces Radio Services (AFRS) has its
origins in the War Department's quest to improve troop morale. This quest began with short-wave
broadcasts of educational and information programs to troops in 1940. In 1941, the War Department began
issuing "Buddy Kits" (B-Kits) to departing troops, which comprised radios, 78 RPM shellac
records, and electrical transcription disks of radio shows. However, with the entrance of the United States
into World War II, the War Department decided that it needed to improve the quality and quantity of its offerings.
This began with the broadcasting of its own original variety programs. Command Performance became the
first of these, when it was produced for the first time on March 1, 1942. On May 26, 1942, the Armed
Forces Radio Services was formally established. Originally, its programming comprised network radio
shows with the commercials removed. However, it soon began producing other original Programming, such
as Mail Call, G.I. Journal, Jubilee, and G.I. Jive. At its peak in 1945, the Service produced around twenty
hours of original programming each week.
The Shipping Forecast is
a four-times-daily BBC radio broadcast of weather reports and forecasts for the seas around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.
It is produced by the UK Meteorological Office (part of MOD) and broadcast by BBC Radio 4 on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard
Agency (part of Department for Transport).The forecasts sent over the Navtex system use a similar format, and the same sea
AFRTS is the American Forces Radio and Television
Service. It is part of the Department of Defense, and is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. The AFRTS mission
is to communicate Department of Defense policies, priorities, programs, goals and initiatives. AFRTS provides stateside radio and television programming, "a touch of home,"
to U.S. service men and women, DoD civilians, and their families serving outside the continental United States.
The most common type of
receiver before vacuum tubes was the crystal set, although some early radios used some type of amplification through electric
current or battery. Inventions of the triode amplifier, motor-generator, and detector enabled audio radio. The use of amplitude
modulation (AM), with which more than one station can simultaneously send signals (as opposed to spark-gap radio, where one
transmitter covers the entire bandwidth of spectra) was pioneered by Fessenden and Lee de Forest.
To this day
there is a small but avid base of fans of this technology who study and practice the art and science of designing and making
crystal sets as a hobby; the Boy Scouts of America have often undertaken such craft projects to introduce boys to electronics
and radio, and quite a number of them having grown up remain staunch fans of a radio that 'runs on nothing, forever'.
As the only energy available is that gathered by the antenna system, there are inherent limitations on how much sound even
an ideal set could produce, but with only moderately decent antenna systems remarkable performance is possible with a superior
I've been collecting old-time radio (OTR)
shows in MP3 format (OTR MP3) for a while now and old time radio has turned out to be a great hobby! I want other people to experience
what I have through OTR MP3 and also to pass our entertainment heritage on to future generations, so I’m offering to
make copies of the old time radio shows in my collection for anyone who is interested.
The old-time radio shows
I've collected are all in MP3 format. They will play on your computer with a free, easy-to-download OTR MP3 player (click here to download the free player), on most portable MP3 players (just e-mail me for recommendations) and on many DVD/MP3 players. Note: These
OTR MP3 CDs will NOT play on standard CD players. If
you're new to MP3 format or if you want to sample the quality of my old time radio show collection, I'll be happy
to send a free, 92-episode samplerOTR MP3 CD! Just click HERE and enter your name and address. I'll get the old time radio shows right out to you for free!
This little project is a sure interest grabber with students of
electronics of any age! It does not require a great amount of skill, but a little application will produce a good basic radio
receiver. Construction is fairly simple. This radio DOES NOT require batteries to operate, using simple electrical principles
to power itself. It does not include the Double Headset shown but does include a Crystal Earphone. Tuning is done by rubbing
a piece of metal (large paper clip included in kit) across the coil of wire which is wrapped around a toilet paper tube. The
best antenna for this radio can simply be a really long wire, mounted as high above the ground as you can make it. Though
sometimes just connecting the antenna lead to a bed spring can bring surprising results, especially in city areas, or close
in to a transmitter station in the country.
In 1938 the top brass of the BBC decided that they should have
a regular weekly comedy show, along the lines of the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show which was very popular in the United
States. It was to star Tommy Handley, a well-known Liverpudlian comedian, whose first broadcast was a relay from the London
Coliseum of the Royal Command Performance of December 1923.
Several scripts were prepared, but, not being very
keen on any of them, Tommy asked a friend to see if he could come up with something. The friend was Ted Kavanagh, and the
something was ITMA, soon to become the most popular radio series of the 1940s.
Tommy and Ted, together with producer
Francis Worsley , retired to the Langham Hotel in Portland Place, opposite Broadcasting House. Here they devised the format
over pints of beer amid a packed conference of clergymen.
They decided to name the show after a topical catchphrase
associated with a short moustached Nazi who seemed to be causing quite a stir internationally. Whenever Hitler made some new
territorial claim, the newspaper headlines would proclaim 'It's That Man Again'. That looked fine in print, but
was a bit of a mouthful to repeat over the microphone. Something snappier was called for, and once again inspiration was to
be found in contemporary issues. At the beginning of the war everyone seemed initial crazy. People spoke of the R.A.F., the
A.R.P., E.N.S.A and many others, so the programme title was shortened to ITMA.
A trial series of four shows began
fortnightly from 12th July 1939. The setting was a pirate commercial radio ship, from which Tommy Handley sent his choice
of programmes. He was assisted by Cecilia Eddy as his secretary Cilly, Eric Egan as a mad Russian inventor, Sam Heppner and
Lionel Gamlin. These early editions broadcast from London, were modelled on the ground-breaking Bandwaggon, starring Arthur
Askey and Richard Murdoch. However, they weren't considered a success, and ITMA seemed destined to end there.
Ironically, the aforementioned Herr Hitler deemed otherwise. The outbreak of war shook up the BBC schedules and ITMA returned
on 19th September 1939 for a weekly series of 21 episodes. These were transmitted from Bristol, where the BBC Variety Department
had taken up residence, hoping to avoid the heavy bombing raids directed at London.
A pirate radio ship was not
considered to be a suitable subject during wartime, so a new scenario was sought. In the early days of the war, new Government
Ministries sprang up like mushrooms, almost overnight. It was decided that for the second series Tommy Handley should be Minister
of Aggravation and Mysteries at the Office of Twerps. A brand new supporting cast was enlisted, amongst them Vera Lennox as
his secretary Dotty, Maurice Denham as Mrs. Tickle the office char and Vodkin the Russian inventor, Jack Train and Sam Costa.
In the second episode, Jack Train created Funf, the elusive German spy, whose catchphrase 'This is Funf speaking'
was to work it’s way into many private telephone conversations over the next few years. It all who helped to make the
German propaganda machine seem little more than a wireless joke.
One of the regular features in this series was Radio Fakenburg,
send up of Radio Luxembourg which had stopped broadcasting for the duration. Increased popularity led to a couple of stage
shows which briefly toured the country. Unfortunately they lacked the impact of the radio shows and folded when the blitz
destroyed many of the theatres.meanwhile Bristol had also suffered from German bombing, so the BBC Variety Department was
once again on the move, this time to Bangor in North Wales. With escalating bad news for the allies abroad, take-offs of Government
Departments would no longer be acceptable. Instead, it was felt that ITMA should provide an escape for a war weary public.
The show was renamed 'It's That Sand Again' and began a six week summer season on 20th June 1941. It was set in
a seedy seaside resort called Foaming at the Mouth, with Tommy Handley as the town's Mayor. Vera Lennox and Maurice Denham
had departed, and in their place came Sydney Keith, Horace Percival, Dorothy Summers and Fred Yule. Several soon-to-be-famous
characters were launched: Lefty and Sam, the gangsters (Train and Keith); Deepend Dan the Diver (Percival), (based on a man
that Tommy Handley once saw seeing diving off the pier at New Brighton and collecting money from ferry passengers), Claude
and Cecil, the over polite handymen (Train and Percival) and Ali Oop (Percival), a Middle Eastern vendor of saucy postcards
and other dubious merchandise.
The popular seaside setting was continued in the fourth series which ran for 32
weeks from 26th September 1941. The show reverted to its original name. The team were joined by Dino Galvani as Tommy Handley's
Italian secretary Signor So-So and Clarence Wright as the commercial traveller who never made a sale but didn't seem to
care. In October, Dorothy Summers introduced the famous office char, Mrs. Mopp, sent by the ,Labour, to dust the Mayor's
dado with much clattering of bucket and brush. She later progressed to her own series, 'The private life of Mrs Mopp'
in 1946. In April the cast were honoured to be invited to perform a special show at Windsor Castle to celebrate the then
Princess Elizabeth' s 16th birthday. This was the first such event for a BBC programme. A recording was made, which has
never been broadcast, but still exists in the BBC Sound Archives. Another high point was the release of a film version
of ITMA starring Tommy Handley as the Mayor of Foaming at the Mouth, putting on a show to save a bombed theatre. This was
to prove quite successful, but like the stage show, the visual characters lacked the appeal of their radio counterparts. Like
many later radio shows, Ted Kavanagh’s creations worked best in the mind of the listener.
By the time they
had returned to the airwaves in September 1942, Foaming at the Mouth was graced with a war factory. It was never made clear
what, if anything, it was producing - even the workers didn't seem to know. The famous Colonel Humphrey Chinstrap made
his first appearance, and rapidly became one of the most popular characters. The colonel was a dipsomaniac army officer who
turned almost any innocent remark into the offer of a drink with his catchphrase 'I don't mind if I do'. The following
season saw the war factory turned into a spa, a holiday camp, a hotel and other similar things. By October 1943, the worst
of the air raids were thought to be over, so the BBC Variety Department packed up and made it’s way back to London.
The seventh series, with Tommy now Squire of Much Fiddling, was recorded without Jack Train who was seriously ill, but with
the addition of Jean Capra, discovered by the first ever auditions for the show. A special edition was broadcast early the
following year from the Navy base at Scapa Flow. Not to be outdone, this was followed by episodes allocated to The Royal Air
Force (held at the Criterion Theatre in London) and the Army (from a garrison theatre ‘somewhere in England’).
Jack Train returned in September, and with a new voice named Mark Time, an elderly, depraved character who answered
all questions with 'I'll 'ave to ask me Dad', newcomer Diana Morrison played Miss Hotchkiss, Tommy’s
domineering secretary, was named after a make of machine gun. The end of the war was celebrated by the VE edition on 10th
A decision was made that the first post-war series should have a completely new look, and most of the
familiar characters were dropped. Dorothy Summers, Sydney Keith and Dino Galvani departed, while Carleton Hobbs (later to
become radio’s Sherlock Holmes), Hugh Morton, Mary O'Farrell, Michele de Lys and Lind Joyce joined the cast. Clarence
Wright returned after leaving at the end of the fifth series. As a reward for his war work, Tommy Handley was appointed
Governor of a newly discovered South Sea island called Tomtopia. During the month-long sea cruise to the island. During the
journey Tommy met Curly Kale (Carleton Hobbs), the chef who hated food but loved terrible puns; George Gorge (Fred Yule),
a glutton who could eat any quantity of 'lovely grub' and Sam Fairfechan (Hugh Morton), the contradictory Welshman.
Accompanying them on the journey was Colonel Chinstrap, who made straight for the Jungle Arms on arrival at their destination.
The local population included Bigga Banga (Fred Yule), the native chief who spoke only Utopi language, his daughter and translator
Banjeleo (Lind Joyce); Wamba M'Boojah (Hugh Morton), another Tomtopian native whose Oxbridge accent was the result of
a spell as an announcer with the BBC's Overseas Service and Major Munday (Carleton Hobbs), an ex-British army officer
who had lived in isolation since the Boer war and now believed that England was exactly as it had been in the nineteenth century.
On 19th September 1946, back from a few months off the air, Mrs. Handley’s boy was rather closer to home, resting
at Castle Weehouse in Scotland. Here he met Tattie Mackintosh (Molly Weir), Dan Dungeon the castle guide and fellow Liverpudlian
and Frisby Dyke (both Deryck Guyler). Following a misdirected attempt to visit the moon in a rocket, he found himself back
in Tomtopia for the rest of the series.
A year later Tommy was appointed the Governments adviser on industrial
and scientific affairs. The position led to investigations into the radio industry and industrial psychology, organisation
of a fuel saving campaign and a PR programme for England. Hattie Jacques debuted as Sophie Tuckshop, the greedy schoolgirl,
whose prandial excesses were invariably followed by a giggle and 'but I'm all right now'. The twelfth, and final,
series began on 23rd September 1948. Down on his luck, Tommy was now a permanent resident at Henry Hall (the tramps guest
house), run by Miss Hotchkiss. For the milestone 300th episode of 28th October the setting was Madame Tussaudes Waxworks in
London. Here passing through a door marked 'The Hall of ITMA's Past', Tommy was reunited with many favourite characters
from Foaming at the Mouth and Tomtopia, with Dino Galvani, Horace Percival, Clarence Wright, Lind Joyce and Dorothy Summers
all making guest appearances.
The last ITMA went out on 6th January 1949. Tommy Handley died suddenly of a cerebral
haemorrhage three days later. The news was conveyed to a stunned public immediately after the usual repeat broadcast. Tommy
had been suffering from high blood pressure for some time, and his death seems a direct consequence of his dedication to work.
Thousands of mourners and sightseers lined the six mile route from a private chapel in Westbourne Grove to the Golders Green
Crematorium, where the scene looked more like the Palladium on the night of a Royal Variety Performance than a funeral. Crowds
of sightseers cheered as each celebrity arrived for the service, and several people took flowers from the tributes as souvenirs.
Two memorial services were held. One at St. Pauls Cathedral in London and the other at Liverpool Cathedral. At the St. Pauls
service the then Bishop of London said that 'he was one whose genius transmuted the copper of our common experience into
the gold of exquisite foolery. His raillery was without cynicism, and his satire without malice....... From the highest to
the lowest in the land, people had found in his programme an escape from their troubles and anxieties into a world of whimsical
nonsense. The Radio Times shows that there was an ITMA show scheduled for 13th January, but this was to be replaced by a special
tribute programme. Later in the Light Programme magazine show 'Mirror of the Month', sound effects boys Brian Begg
and Johnny Ammonds reminisced and demonstrated some of the ITMA effects. The item ended with the suggestion 'Shall we
close the door for the last time?'. They did, and this was followed by a five second pause. One radio critic thought this
the most poignant tribute of the all. Many editions of ITMA were recorded, but only small percentage have survived. Listening
to them now, they seem very dated, and it is often difficult to see why the show was so immensely popular, sometimes with
forty percent of the British population tuning in. But it took people's minds off the horrors of war and produced a sort
of nationwide family spirit. This was helped by the liberal use of catchphrases, many of which passed into the language. Characters
would a knock at the famous imaginary door, enter, exchange funny lines with Tommy Handley at machine gun speed, deliver the
unvarying closing remark and exit to enormous applause - almost like a factory production line.
of the catchphrases is demonstrated by a letter which Tommy Handley received from a little girl who had been taken to see
the Tempest in Manchester. At one point an unfortunate actor playing Ariel had to say the fatal words 'I go, I go',
which was followed by the whole audience shouting 'I come back' -the catchphrase of Ali Oop. After the death of Tommy
Handley the BBC wisely decided to let the show die with him. The only surviving character was Jack Train's Colonel Chinstrap.
In 1950, the Colonel appeared in a long forgotten series called The Great Gilhooly. A documentary about his life was broadcast
on 1st January 1954 and he appeared in two episodes of a series which was to achieve the same popularity in the 1950s (and
beyond) that ITMA had enjoyed a decade before……The Goon Show.
Thank you for stopping
by the home of sixties music on the net. With shows broadcast 24/7, you can bet that wherever you are, you can listen to this
great music anywhere in the world at a time to suit you!
We are happy to be able
to offer hundreds of old time radio shows for free download. Once you download these free OTR shows you can then listen to
them on your computer or copy them to a cd so you can listen anywhere! We started this website out of a love for classic radio
shows from the 30's, 40's and 50's. By offering free OTR downloads we can keep the innocent spirit of the golden
age of radio alive in the new millennium! Some of our favourite old time radio shows include The Shadow, Amos & Andy,
Fibber McGee & Molly, Sherlock Holmes and so many more! All the old radio shows on this site are in MP3 format so you
should have no trouble downloading and listening to them. We love to hear from other OTR fans so please send us email and
let us know you think of the site, what your favourite old time radio show is, or just to say hi! Thanks for stopping by and
Here you may once again
listen to those great old radio classics by way of contemporary broadcasters. These broadcasts each contain several complete
old-time radio programs provided by broadcasters dedicated to preserving and encouraging Old Time Radio.
On these pages are pictures
of old BBC radio equipment and memories from the people who built, maintained and used it. We don't aim at building a
comprehensive history but to provide some 'snap-shots' of times and places. Many thanks to all conatributors of photos
On August 14, 1967 - In the
United Kingdom a Marine Offences Act came into force prompting many offshore radio stations to close, most prominently Radio
London off Frinton in Essex at 3pm local time on this day. The Act boosted a campaign for onshore commercial radio to be legalised,
which would enable listeners to choose a non-BBC English-language station and cause the establishment style of BBC radio to
be relaxed and refreshed. See BBC Radio 1. Modern day pirate radio stations often
cater for local communities and underground music fans that are not necessarily catered for by larger corporate radio stations.
Some of the pirate stations are now legal and successful outfits, including Radio
Jackie and Kiss FM in London, and the Sunshine Radio in Ludlow, Shropshire, which was run from studios at the end of a farm
drive in its unlicensed days.
1938, Bill Monroe formed the Blue Grass Boys (named after his native state of Kentucky, the blue grass state) and combined
diverse influences into Appalachian folk music. These include Scottish, Irish and Eastern European folk, as well as blues,
jazz and gospel. Monroe became the father of bluegrass music, and his band was a training ground for most of bluegrass'
future stars, especially Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Scruggs and Flatt popularized bluegrass as part of the Foggy Mountain
Boys, which they formed in 1948. Though bluegrass never quite achieved mainstream status, it did become well-known through
its use in several soundtracks, including the T.V. theme song for The Beverly Hillbillies and the movies Bonnie and Clyde
and Deliverance. In the 1950s, bluegrass artists included Stanley Brothers, Osborne Brothers and Jimmy Martin's Sunny
World War 2, gospel began its golden age. Artists like the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi, The Swan Silvertones, Clara Ward
Singers and Sensational Nightingales became stars across the country; other early artists like Sam Cooke, Dionne Warwick,
Dinah Washington, Johnnie Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett began their career in gospel quartets during this period,
only to achieve even greater fame in the '60s as the pioneers of soul music, itself a secularized, R&B-influenced
form of gospel. Mahalia Jackson and The Staple Singers were undoubtedly the most successful of the golden age gospel artists.
Radio -- signaling and audio communication using electromagnetic radiation
-- was first employed as a "wireless telegraph", for point-to-point links where regular telegraph lines were unreliable
or impractical. Next developed was radio's ability to broadcast messages simultaneously to multiple locations, at first
using the dots-and-dashes of telegraphic code, and later in full audio.
Although "electromagnetic radiation" is the formal scientific term
for what Heinrich Hertz demonstrated with his simple spark transmitter in the 1880s, in addition to "radio" numerous
other descriptive phrases were used in the early days, including various permutations of "Hertzian waves", "electric
waves", "ether waves", "spark telegraphy", "space telegraphy", "aerography" and
"wireless". In the November 30, 1901 Electrical Review, a letter from G. C. Dietz offered "atmography"
as the answer to What Shall We Call It?, but the suggestion fell on deaf ears. Spark, Space, Wireless, Etheric, Hertzian Wave
or Cableless Telegraphy--Which? by A. Frederick Collins in the August 24, 1901 Western Electrician wondered whether the question
might eventually become academic, for "In the distant future when all wire systems, both telegraph and telephone, have
been superseded by the so-called wireless, there will be no confusing qualifying adjectives, for there will be no dual systems
requiring qualification, and wireless telegraphy and telephony will be spoken of as simply telegraphy and telephony."
So, what's the difference between wireless and radio? "There ain't none" -- both refer to the exact same
thing -- explains Edward C. Hubert in Radio vs. Wireless, from the January, 1925, Radio News.
The 1901 edition of J. J. Fahie's A History of Wireless
Telegraphy reviewed in detail the development of wireless technologies up though Guglielmo Marconi's work. In 1917, Donald
McNicol wrote about the importance of documenting radio's "historical narrative", noting: "I believe it
to be the duty of those acquainted with views and facts of its introduction to set [the most illuminating essentials] down
for the inspection of the ultimate historian". McNicol's overview of The Early Days of Radio in America, from the
April, 1917 issue of The Electrical Experimenter, covered significant events, articles, books and individuals during the period
from 1896 through 1904, beginning with Guglielmo Marconi's groundbreaking demonstrations in Great Britain. (Included in
this article are links to nineteen items mentioned in the review.) In the June, 1917 Proceedings of the Institute of Radio
Engineers, Robert H. Marriott comprehensively reviewed technical advances plus the struggles and character flaws encountered
during early United States Radio Development.
Beginning in the late 1880s, Heinrich Hertz conducted a
series of experiments in Germany which proved the existence of radio waves. Moreover, the devices used in early radio demonstrations
could readily be constructed by self-trained individuals -- in the July 6, 1894 The Electrician (London), Oliver Lodge, reviewing
"The Work of Hertz", noted that "Many of the experiments lend themselves to easy repetition, since they require
nothing novel in the way of apparatus except what is easily constructed; many of them can be performed with the ordinary stock
apparatus of an amateur's laboratory." A few months later, 21-year-old Guglielmo Marconi began his historic experiments
on his father's Italian estate.
Prior to late 1912, there were no laws or regulations restricting amateur radio transmitters in the United States.
The industrialized northeast quickly became congested with a mixture of competing amateur and commercial stations, and it
was the amateur operators who sometimes dominated the airwaves, as recounted in Irving Vermilya's Amateur Number One,
from the February and March, 1917 issues of QST magazine. (Vermilya came from the ranks of a group which provided a number
of the earliest radio enthusiasts -- amateurs operating private telegraph lines, who wanted to expand their range without
the bother of having to ask the "Mr. Taylors" of the world for permission to string their wires. Amateur Telegraphers,
from the August 6, 1892 Electrical Review, reviewed a plan in Cranford, New Jersey to interconnect 30 locations by telegraph
lines.) Although most amateur enthusiasts were male, in 1911 a young woman, who worked as a landline telegrapher but hoped
to someday become a shipboard radio operator, joined the New York City-area airwaves. Her personal review of early radio,
The Autobiography of a Girl Amateur, appeared anonymously in the March, 1920 Radio Amateur News. The Feminine Wireless Amateur,
from the October, 1916 The Electrical Experimenter reviewed female amateur and professional radio operators.
It was difficult at first for amateur experimenters to
find technical information about radio. In Hertzian Waves, the November, 1901 issue of a mechanical and electrical hobbyist
magazine, Amateur Work, included construction information for a simple transmitter and receiver, similar to what Heinrich
Hertz had used. Another early resource was How to Construct An Efficient Wireless Telegraph Apparatus at Small Cost, by A.
Frederick Collins, from the February 15, 1902 Scientific American Supplement -- in 1917, Donald McNicol reported that within
the United States "this article did more to introduce the art of amateur radio than anything else that had appeared".
Many early amateurs were young, and most built their own spark-transmitters and receivers. In Amateur Work's June, 1904
issue, "Wireless" Telegraph Plant By Amateur Work Readers showcased the efforts of two Boston, Massachusetts 8th
graders, who had built a set capable of covering eight miles (12.8 kilometers). And the September, 1906 Technical World Magazine
included an article by M. W. Hall, Wireless Station in Henhouse, which featured the activities of two Rhode Island teenagers.
Over time radio technology became more refined, and an eight-part series beginning in the September, 1916 Popular Science
Monthly, How to Become a Wireless Operator by T. M. Lewis, provided detailed plans for constructing a tuned spark transmitter
and crystal detector receiver.
One of the first companies to sell affordable radio equipment to experimenters and amateurs was the Electro Importing
Company of New York City, set up in 1904 by Hugo Gernsback, an 18-year-old immigrant from Luxembourg. Beginning in 1905, this
company sold what may have been the first complete radio system -- including both a simple transmitter and receiver -- offered
to hobbyists on a national scale, under the name of Telimco Wireless Telegraph Outfits. The first national advertisement for
Telimco outfits -- possibly the first-ever advertisement by a company offering an inexpensive complete radio system to non-professionals
-- appeared in the November 25, 1905 issue of Scientific American. The Electro Importing offerings were later expanded, and
in a 1910 catalog, which featured "Everything for the Experimenter", the company claimed it was "the largest
makers of experimental Wireless Material in the world". The basic Telimco systems, plus other radio transmitting and
receiving equipment, are included in a 1910 extract from Electro Importing Company: Catalogue No. 7.
Hugo Gernsback would continue to be one of amateur radio's
strongest proponents during its first years. In addition to the radio equipment sold through his Electro Importing Company,
Gernsback started three magazines with large amateur followings -- Modern Electrics in 1908, The Electrical Experimenter in
1913, and Radio Amateur News in 1919. He also claimed credit for coming up with the idea of assigning amateurs to 200 meters,
dating to an Editorial which appeared in the February, 1912 issue of Modern Electrics. Gernsback's other accomplishments
were recounted in a rousing review which closes with "Long live the Wireless! Long live the Amateur!!": Wireless
and the Amateur: A Retrospect, from the February, 1913 Modern Electrics. And the 1914 Electro Importing catalog included A
Sermon To Parents, written by Gernsback, which predicted that "Electricity and Wireless are the coming, undreamed of,
world-moving forces" and were also the perfect hobby, because "It Keeps Your Boy At Home". (At least it did
in most cases. Gernsback may have been unaware of "an up-to-date band of rogues" whose run-in with the law was recounted
in Wireless Telegraphy Used by Boy Burglars, from the July 27, 1909 The Atlanta Constitution.)
The Archers is a British
radio soap opera broadcast on the BBC's main speech (as opposed to music) channel, Radio 4. It is the world's longest
running radio soap with more than 15,000 episodes broadcast, and was originally billed as an "everyday story of country
folk".Despite its rural flavour, it is recorded in the heart of Birmingham, the UK's second largest city. The Archers
is the most listened to Radio 4 non-news programme, and holds the BBC Radio programme record for the number of times listened
to over the internet, with over one million listeners.
BHM continues to celebrate the unique relationship between baseball
and radio by offering old-time-radio programs related to baseball every Wednesday from noon to 1 pm starting on March 10.
Baseball stories such as “It Happens Every Spring,” and “Angels in the Outfield,” are just some that
were adapted into radio programs during the 1940s and 1950s. Programs like “The Bob Hope Show,” and “Information
Please” often had baseball guests. Recordings of these shows, old baseball broadcasts, and other radio programs of the
past allow new generations to enjoy this cultural history. Visitors are encouraged to “brown bag” lunch or patronize
one of the several eateries within the Colonial Marketplace and enjoy lunch and old-time radio, including the Baseball and
Broadcasting Exhibit on the lower level of the BHM.
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