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.
Welcome to Pastreunited, here you will find hundreds of videos, images, and over 80 pages about all aspects of the 20th century. A great deal of the content has been sent in, other content is the work of numerous writers who have a passion for this era, please feel free to send in your memories or that of your family members, photos and videos are all welcome to help expand pastreunited's data base.
You may also add a dedication to a loved one if you wish, we have been on-line for many years and intend to be here for many years to come as new family members will take over the website, all content is regularly backed up to safe guard the content, so what are you waiting for send us an email and we will do the rest.
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 , 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 sampler OTR 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! All of my CDs are professionally labelled, and I personally guarantee your satisfaction!
If I could give these old-time radio CDs away I would, but I have to pay a lot for supplies and equipment. Below are the fees that cover my expenses: 1 - 11 CDs are $6.00 each 12 - or more CDs are $4.98 each Twelve or more old-time radio CDs are shipped by Priority Mail at no extra charge! (Discounts will not appear until the very end of the check-out process.) Shipping/handling is $3.00 per shipment in the U.S. and Canada, $5.00 per shipment worldwide, regardless of the size of your order.
The number of old time radio episodes per CD is in parentheses. Episode logs are available by clicking on the CD’s title. If you would prefer to pay by check or money order, please either use the shopping cart on this website or make a list of what old-time radio shows you'd like and send your payment to:
When Ed Sullivan welcomed America to watch the premier of a new CBS tele vi sion show called “Toast of the Town,” at 9 p.m. on Sunday, June 20, 1948, World War II had been over for only three years, the boys were back, babies were booming, and everything was bountiful— bubblegum, nylon stockings, gasoline, jugglers, acrobats.
In the spring of 1948, the country was in a contented, conservative mood following the turmoil of a world war, even if the memory of Hiroshima had been replaced by a silent mushroom cloud that hovered over the globe and instilled a chilly new interior turmoil— a “cold war.” Outwardly, peace and prosperity had descended on America and created the appearance of a population eager to forget the past and have a good time.
As John Updike said in an interview with Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg of the Wall Street Journal in 2005, “The U.S. in the wake of World War II was a naive, innocent country looking to be led.” Radio had united, and helped cheer up, the nation during the war and, by the late 1940s, was in its middle- age prime, but several of its major programs had overstayed their welcome.
A new broadcasting menace, the “give away show,” knocked off the air such beloved veterans as Fred Allen and Edgar Bergen. CBS president William Paley, desperate to rejuvenate his radio network, went on the march in what were called No-Talent Host Tames the One-Eyed Beast “the Paley raids,” enticing Jack Benny, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Amos ’n’ Andy (Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll), and other loyal long time NBC radio stars to defect to CBS. For Paley, it was insurance against the slim chance that television might succeed. Movies were still pop u lar, though their huge war time attendance dipped after 1945, when movie going became less a diversion from war time angst.
To help pull people into movies in their new streamlined Oldsmobiles and Studebakers, the drive- in theater was invented; older movie houses played to small audiences. It was time for some serious nest building and cocooning.
Finally, everyone was home together again, and TV was there to welcome them. The first hit show that kept people at home was “Texaco Star Theater,” whose star was a used- up radio comic and battered ex–slapstick vaudevillian named Milton Berle. Berle debuted on TV only 12 days before Sullivan’s TV debut and shortly after the emergence of TV’s other early major megastar, Arthur Godfrey, a radio- bred personality as relaxed as the brassy Berle was in- your- face.
Neither a brash Berle nor a folksy Godfrey, Ed Sullivan somehow managed to squeeze himself into a niche between these two reigning TV giants of 1948. Berle, though he didn’t know it yet, was about to become old news.
As fresh as he was on TV in 1948, he wore out his comic welcome in a few years, whereas Godfrey, with his homespun, guy- next- door style, was the wave of TV’s future. Together, Berle and Godfrey ruled those primitive video airwaves.
Godfrey had an all- time high of four CBS shows on the air at once: one telecast every morning (“Arthur Godfrey and His Friends”) and one seen weekly (“Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts”), and both programs were also simulcast on radio.
Godfrey wore a radio headset on screen, as if treating TV as a branch of radio; he could wing an entire show, often arriving at the studio five minutes before airtime. An unidentified Milwaukee broadcaster said, “The only thing a person could turn on in his house without getting Godfrey was the faucet.”
On November 2, 1920, the first commercially recognized radio broadcast was heard on station KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Radio became a family experience. Friends and neighbours joined the family and gathered around the radio to listen to the news, comedy shows, and music.
The world became a little smaller. Radio, like music, is an entertainment form that is directed to the ear, not the eye. Radio uses sound to stimulate the imagination. The mind’s eye is exercised, and the listener is forced to imagine what is happening, what the performers look like, and where the action is taking place.
Think about how radio affects the imagination. For example, in 1938 when Orson Welles presented a Halloween eve program of H. G. Wells’s 1898 book War of the Worlds (about a Martian invasion of Earth), millions of listeners panicked.
They thought the invasion was really happening. The Golden Age of Radio lasted only about thirty years, from 1925 to around 1956, when television captured Americans’ attention with visual programming. The first known radio broadcast in America was made from an experimental station in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, on December 24, 1906.
It was a Christmas Eve program of phonograph records; a speech; and a violin solo. There is no record of how many people may have heard it. Radio’s potential would not be realized for another ten years, except by the military in World War I. In 1916 David Sarnoff believed in the possibility of having a radio receiver in every home. Sarnoff would later become the head of RCA (Radio Corporation of America) and NBC (the National Broadcasting Company).
Dr. Frank Conrad, a Westinghouse assistant chief engineer, transmitted the first true wireless radio program in 1916, over station 8XK, from Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania. The program consisted of talks and some recorded music. When Conrad ran out of phonograph records, the Hamilton Music Store agreed to supply him with more records if he announced that they came from its store in Wilkinsburg. This became the first commercial on radio.
By 1920 the Joseph Horne Department Store in Pittsburgh advertised in the local paper that the music broadcast by Dr. Conrad could be heard on the wireless sets they were selling. Westinghouse, realizing the potential, began to manufacture and sell radio receivers. On November 2, 1920, Westinghouse station KDKA–Pittsburgh went on the air with the presidential returns.
President Warren G. Harding’s inaugural ceremonies later followed. KDKA in 1921 set many firsts: the first commercially licensed station; the first remote church broadcast; the first broadcast by a national figure, Herbert Hoover; the first regular baseball scores; the first stock market reports; and the first World Series broadcast.
In 1920 Westinghouse, General Electric, AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation), and RCA opened radio stations. By the end of 1920, there were thirty broadcasting licenses issued, and by 1923 there were nearly six hundred. AT&T was the most aggressive, with station WEAF in New York.
It developed many early technical changes and many broadcasting techniques, including sponsored continuous broadcasts. AT&T sold ten-minute blocks of time for one hundred dollars each. On December 6, 1923, WEAF–New York; WCAP–Washington, D.C.; and WJAR– Providence, Rhode Island, were connected by wire and became the first radio network in the United States.
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 was said to have sent the first radio program broadcast, consisting of some violin playing and passages from the Bible. While Fessenden's role as an inventor and early experimenter is not in dispute, several contemporary radio researchers have questioned whether the Christmas Eve broadcast took place, or whether the date was in fact several weeks earlier.
The event was never reported in any sources of Fessenden's time, and was mainly disseminated after his death, in a book authored by his wife Helen. (See for example, Halper and Sterling, "Seeking the Truth About Fessenden" and also James O'Neal's essay
It was not until after the Titanic catastrophe in 1912 that radio for mass communication came into vogue, inspired first by the work of amateur (or "ham") radio operators. 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; owned by the Detroit News, the station covered local election results.
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.
The first North Carolina radio station—as well as the first commercial station in the Southeast—WBT, started broadcasting in Charlotte in 1922. The second station licensed in the state was WLAC at North Carolina State College. Students and faculty of the communications department founded that station, which first broadcast on October 16, 1922. WLAC went off the air one year later because of financial hardship. The first popular radios cost sixty dollars, without headsets or speakers.
Sixty dollars in 1920 was a lot of money. In today’s currency, it would equal about six hundred dollars. In 1922 radio crystal sets were in general use. Listeners had to use earphones, and only one person could listen at a time. Static was a big problem.
In 1922 Gimbel Brothers’ department store broadcast an hour-long musical program, and the American Tobacco Company came on the air with the Lucky Strike Radio Show. By late 1925, radio was really beginning to prosper because of the financial support of the many advertisers anxious to get more recognition for their products.
Newspaper publishers throughout the country feared the success of radio. Many papers refused to carry lists of radio programs, because radio was taking away a large number of their advertisers. Time reduced their fears, and radio even increased their business.
NBC became the first nationwide radio network on November 15, 1926. It was headquartered in New York, with WEAF, and connected nineteen scattered stations, using more than thirty-five hundred miles of telephone wire. The first coast-to-coast broadcast occurred in January 1927. It was the Rose Bowl football game, broadcast over NBC.
CBS started in 1927. It was originally called the United Independent Broadcasters, Inc. which merged with the Columbia Phonograph Company and aired on September 18, 1927, as the Columbia Phonograph Broadcasting Company. The name was changed in 1929 to the Columbia Broadcasting System. It began with 28 stations, and it grew in ten years to 114 stations.
The early years of radio were experimental. Programming was based on what station managers thought people wanted to hear. Before radio existed, audiences liked sports events, dance bands, and vaudeville. It was therefore thought that they would like the same type of entertainment over the radio. As time went on, radio listeners had an assortment of types of programs to choose from. Radio appealed to almost every musical taste, from grand opera to novelty music.
From the 1930s on, radio began offering more of a variety of programming. The Metropolitan Opera in New York began airing productions every Saturday afternoon. The Longines Symphonette offered chiefly classical music.
The National Barn Dance and Grand Ole Opry dominated country music. Radio’s comedy shows were mainly of two types: those with plots and those without. Those with plots were called situation comedies. They included the widely popular serial Amos ’n’ Andy. Comedy-variety shows had no plots but instead consisted of skits, music, and joke telling. Most of the radio comedians were veterans of vaudeville. Some dramatic programs were showcases, or groups of short stories.
They presented plays that had been written for the stage or plots of Hollywood films. The showcase programs included The Lux Radio Theatre, Hallmark Playhouse, and Hollywood Star Playhouse. Radio also offered mystery, crime, and suspense—everything from everyday detectives to the most bizarre encounters with the supernatural. Westerns, which later became popular on television, varied from the singing-cowboy shows of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers to the more dramatic Gunsmoke and Have Gun, Will Travel.
Commonly called the “soaps” or soapers, because soap manufacturers sponsored many of them, serial dramas appealed mostly to women and were broadcast during the day. Soap operas started in Chicago, and most were fifteen-minute shows broadcast five days a week. Radio offered a number of quiz programs, but these gave very little money as prizes.
The BBC radio services began in 1922. It was licensed by the British Government through its General Post Office which had original control of the airwaves because they had been interpreted under law as an extension of the Post Office services.
Today radio broadcasting still makes up a large part of the corporation's output and this is still reflected in the title of the BBC's listings magazine called 'Radio Times'. First charter On 1 January 1927 the British Broadcasting Company was succeeded in monopoly control of the airwaves by the British Broadcasting Corporation, under the terms of a Royal Charter.
John Reith, who had been the founding managing director of the commercial company became the first director general. He expounded firm principles of centralised, all-encompassing radio broadcasting, stressing programming standards and moral tone.
These are set out in his autobiography, Broadcast Over Britain (1924), influencing modern ideas of public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom. To this day, the BBC aims to follow the Reithian directive to "inform, educate and entertain".
Critics of Reith's approach state that he was dictatorial and that he imposed a theocratic viewpoint on the broadcasting service. Reith's ideals were utterly at odds with the model of light-entertainment-based commercial radio adopted in some other countries (e.g. the USA). Competition from overseas stations Although no other broadcasting organisation was licensed in the UK until 1973, commercial competition soon opened up from overseas.
The commercial competitors were for the most part represented by the International Broadcasting Company that bought blocks of airtime from radio stations such as Normandy, Toulouse, Ljubljana, Juan les Pins, Paris, Poste Parisien, Athlone, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome. In the period from 1927 to 1939, light entertainment on the British airwaves was for the most part the domain of the 10 part-time English language IBC stations.
By 1938 on Sundays upwards of 80% of the British audience turned their dials away from the BBC to these IBC stations which followed an American format of commercial broadcasting. They were eventually silenced by the advent of the German military taking control of their transmitters in France, Luxembourg and other countries during World War II.
The after-school hours and Saturday mornings were devoted to children’s programming. These shows were mostly adventures, featuring such heroes as Jungle Jim, Captain Midnight, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Superman, Tarzan, and Dick Tracy.
There were also programs in a lighter vein, such as Gasoline Alley, Joe Palooka, L’il Abner, and for instance, was a weekly talent contest. It was the predecessor of such popular television shows as American Idol and Star Search. The Answer Man gave responses to listeners’ questions on all subjects. And Vox Pop, Latin for “voice of the people,” was an interview show.
It originated in Houston, Texas, as a man-in-the-street program and was later transferred to New York, becoming one of the most popular shows on the air. Radio in the 1920s was a way for many people to escape from their everyday cares.
They could listen to a variety of programs. People could find out what was happening in the world almost as soon as it happened, and much faster than waiting for the newspaper to print it. Listeners could hear favorite performers or dramas. Radio became the popular form of entertainment of the 1920s for most Americans.
During the Golden Age of Radio, radio featured genres and formats popular in other forms of American entertainment—adventure, comedy, drama, horror, mystery, musical variety, romance, thrillers—along with classical music concerts, big band remotes, farm reports, news and commentary, panel discussions, quiz shows (beginning with Professor Quiz), sidewalk interviews (on Vox Pop), broadcasts, talent shows and weather forecasts. Rehearsal for the World War II radio show You Can't Do Business with Hitler with John Flynn and Virginia Moore.
This series of programs, broadcast at least once weekly by more than 790 radio stations in America, was written and produced by the radio section of the Office of War Information (OWI). In the late 1920s, the sponsored musical feature was the most popular program format.
Commercial messages were regarded as intrusive, so these shows usually displayed the sponsor's name in the title, as evidenced by such programs as The A&P Gypsies, Acousticon Hour, Champion Spark Plug Hour, The Clicquot Club Eskimos, The Flit Soldiers, The Fox Fur Trappers, The Goodrich Zippers, The Ingram Shavers, The Ipana Troubadors, The Planters Pickers, The Silvertown Cord Orchestra (featuring the Silver Masked Tenor), The Sylvania Foresters and The Yeast Foamers. During the 1930s and 1940s, the leading orchestras were heard often through big band remotes, and NBC's Monitor continued such remotes well in the 1950s by broadcasting live music from New York City jazz clubs to rural America.
Who doesn't like a good laugh now and then? Have you ever tried listening to old time radio? If you enjoy good comedy shows, then you're in luck. There are many very funny shows in old time radio. One of my very favorites is "Father Knows Best". The role of father is actually played by Robert Young, who played in the TV show by the same name.
At times, I find myself laughing out loud at the antics of the Anderson family. All of the funny situations they get themselves are so clever and humorous. If you enjoyed the TV show, I think you'll really enjoy the radio version. The series began in 1949, on NBC Radio and was sponsored by General Foods. The show was heard on Thursday nights and ran until 1954. Another great old time radio comedy show is "The Bickersons".
This is a radio comedy that began in 1946 on NBC, and then moved the next year to CBS where it ran until 1951. The show is very funny. It's about a couple that's always arguing about just about everything. The exchange of verbal jabs is a real hoot. The couple is played by Don Ameche and Frances Langford. They do a great job in their roles. You won't want to miss this show.
Or how about "Fibber McGee and Molly". This series ran from 1935 to 1959, being One of the longest running comedy shows in the history of old time radio. Even after radio stopped being the main form of entertainment in America, this show was still running, due to it's huge popularity. This was one of the best loved shows in radio in it's day.
It's a situational comedy that's sure to get a laugh from you. The shows was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1989. Another one of my personal favorites is the ever popular "Abbott and Costello". You just can't help laughing at this pair of friends who are always finding themselves in funny situations everywhere they go.
The most famous skits they performed was called "Who's On First". This is one of the most listened to comedy routines in history. They had their own weekly show starting in 1942. The show was sponsored by Camel cigarettes. No discussion of old time radio comedy would be complete without mentioning Amos and Andy. What a popular show this once was.
It ran from 1938 through the early 50's. It was about the funny adventures of two friends that moved to the "big city" to start a new life for themselves. Of course, they always found themselves in the most comical situations that'll keep you laughing through the entire show. These are just a few of the hilarious shows you can be enjoying when you join the many thousands of old time radio listeners.
But how are you ever going to find these old shows? It's easy. There are so many people who love old time radio comedy shows that there are many websites devoted to sharing these fine old shows with anyone who may be interested in listening to them. Why don't you give it a try. Listen to just one "Father Knows Best" show and you'll be hooked. Old time radio is a great hobby that'll provide you with hour after hour of pure enjoyment.
With all of the hundreds of cable TV channels, why would anyone bother listening to old time radio these days? I would, for one. And believe it or not, there are thousands of people who listen to old time radio (OTR) shows every day.
You just can't match the great story lines and plots in a good OTR mystery show. I'm talking about great shows, such as the Inner sanctum, Ellery Queen, CBS Radio Mystery Theater and the like. If you like mystery shows, you'd probably like to listen to any one of these series. I started listening to old time radio when I was a kid. Right away, I was hooked.
It may seem odd to some, that you can enjoy a show that's only audio. But yes, it is possible. You see, when you listen to old time radio, your imagination gets to working. The actors from that day and age can make a story magically come alive.
You can almost see in your mind what is taking place. What great fun it is to accompany Sam Spade on one of his exciting cases. Can you solve the mystery before he does? Maybe you can. Why not give it a try and see? Over the years, I've enjoyed many adventures with the "Space Patrol" and the "Green Hornet" and many, many others. Old time radio is not just a bunch of people talking into a microphone. It's so much more than that.
Before television, radio was the way to be entertained. Whole families would sit around the radio, just like they do with TV today. These were serious actors in their day. They knew how to give a great entertainment experience to their audience. What's nice about OTR is that there is something for everyone. Do you like a great comedy? Then try "Father Knows Best". And yes, Robert Young actually plays the part of father.
I sit and laugh out loud at these shows. They really are quite funny. Maybe you like a good western. You may want to listen to Gunsmoke or "The Diamond K". There are many high quality western shows that were performed on the radio in the 30's, 40's and 50's.
If you like a good mystery story, and who doesn't, there are many shows to choose from. Just a few of them are "ABC Mystery Time", "Carter Brown", "Charlie Chan" and many more. There are many good shows for you horror fans too. Such as, "The Creaking Door", "The Black Museum", "Creeps-By-Night" and "The Creaking Door".
Adventure fans, you won't be left out either. You can sit and enjoy many hours of Superman and "The Green Hornet and "Doc Savage" as well as many others. There are so many thousands of old time radio shows available that you can listen to them for many years and never run out of great shows to listen to. Why not just give it a try and see what you think.
Listen to one good show and I'll bet you'll listen to more. Just turn off the TV set for a while, get online and download some OTR shows. Many can be had for free on the Internet. If you do this, I'm sure you'll find that listening to and collecting old time radio shows is a hobby that you'll enjoy as much as I do.
The term "Old Time Radio" refers to the entertainment programs that were broadcast to the public from the early 1920s to the early 1960s. In the beginning, most radio programs emulated the vaudeville acts that were the mainstay of public amusement before radio.
Comics and singers ruled the airwaves! Best of all, you no longer had to leave your home to enjoy their talents! Eventually, however, audiences matured and other types of programs were added to the radio schedule.
Drama series became extremely popular including shows about doctors, soap operas, and even movie scripts that were adapted for radio. Action series brought cops, robbers, private detectives, and westerns into the home! Fantasy series thrilled audiences with well known characters including Superman and the Green Hornet! Horror fans got their share of ghosts, vampires, and werewolves.
Those who craved science fiction got their weekly craving for tales of the future, space travel, and exploration of the unknown. Game shows like "You Bet Your Life" gave the average person an escape from everyday life! The first commercial radio station in the U.S. (KDKA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) began occasional broadcasting in 1920.
By 1922, the first regularly broadcast old time radio shows had begun. Up until the late 1920s, musical programs were most popular with shows highlighting opera, big bands, jazz, classical, and popular music. In the 1930s, the first daytime series appeared featuring romance and other subject matter that appealed to the typical American housewife.
Most of those programs were sponsored by soap products and that's where the term "Soap Opera" originated. Radio shows like "The Cisco Kid" and "Captain Midnight" were broadcast in the afternoons for the entertainment of young people as they returned home from school.
Comedy series began to appear including the "George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" and the "Jack Benny Show" which both began in 1932. "Amos 'N Andy" actually hit the airwaves in 1928! Then in the early 1940s, a nearly never-ending list of comedy programs joined those pioneers and comedy shows became the most prolific genre through the end of Old Time Radio.
By 1947, 82% of people in the U.S. listened to the radio on a regular basis. The Old Time Radio shows were not like most audio books of today where someone with a pleasant voice reads you a book. Old Time Radio shows were productions just like the television programs of today. There were sound effects, multiple actors in multiple roles, and first rate scripts! Many people today are shocked at how entertaining they can be when they hear their first Old Time Radio program.
The lack of video can actually be a plus! Your mind often imagines the characters and scenery much better than seeing those things on a television screen. Most Old Time Radio Shows were aired live up until the late 1940s. Therefore, the most popular shows had to be performed twice due to the time difference between the east coast and the west coast. Most of those programs are lost to us today as they were generally not recorded.
There are exceptions where and advertiser wanted copies of their programs or for some programs that aired in syndication. Thankfully, by the early 1950s, many programs were broadcast live on the east coast and recorded for later broadcast on the west coast.
A surprisingly large number of those recordings are still in existence today thanks, mostly, to collector/hobbyists who acquired them through the years. Due to their age, most of those are available free of charge on the web or at very low cost on cd (in mp3 format) from numerous vendors. In the mid 1950s TV was becoming the king of entertainment and radio was transforming into a mostly musical format. There were shows, however, that continued for a few more years and some of them even aired at the same time as a TV version of the same program.
"Philip Marlowe" is one of the more popular detective thrillers that created a stir in the golden age of American old time radio. This fictional character was created by renowned novelist, Raymond Chandler. Although Chandler was more involved in short fiction and poetry during the earlier part of his career, his rise to fame was largely attributed to his change of writing style.
It was in the midst of switching from his favoured genre of ficlets and short tales into novels that the notorious private eye was born. Despite suffering one failure after another while trying to penetrate the literary industry, Chandler spent the latter part of his life writing full-length novels.
However, it was a series of short stories targeting the pulp fiction genre that launched his career. His ideas and hardened views of society were reflected in his tales, and were published in "Black Mask" and "Dime Magazine." His earlier heroes shared the same basic characteristics and would later become the building blocks from which the most notorious hard-boiled detective old time radio anthologies would be born.
It was in "The Big Sleep" in 1939 that Philip Marlowe made his first appearance. His unexpected popularity with the masses led to Marlowe becoming the central figure in most other creative writings of Chandler.
It is possible that part of his charm stemmed from the fact that Marlowe was a far cry from being a regular detective. Going deeper into his past, we learn that his roots in crime-fighting came from the time he worked as a district attorney's assistant. His slightly unsociable behavior quickly alienated him from his peers and he was fired for insubordination.
This led our errant hero to start running a one-man business of his own. As a private detective, he could get down and dirty, the toughest and most disgusting creatures of the night and still maintain his own particular brand of elegance.
Indeed, Philip Marlowe possessed a mysterious charisma that was truly undeniable. The complexities of his persona created an interesting paradox that the program's listeners could not get enough of. One minute, Marlowe would be sipping a fine brandy while pondering the subtle nuances of chess, and at the next he would be delivering a staggering punch to the heart of the metro's most degenerate denizens.
It is not surprising that the overwhelming success of this literary work was immediately snapped up and adapted into other forms of media-- the foremost being syndicated as a radio program. Philip Marlowe was one of the most popular old radio shows to grace the airwaves in the mid-1940s. Some of the most famous talents have lent their voices to the character was Dick Powell, Van Heflin, and the distinguished Gerald Mohr.
A Simpler Time - One exception to this rule was the dramatic adventure anthology series called Escape, whose time-slot shifted an incredible eighteen times in its seven-year run from 1947 through to 1954. To make matters even worse it had a habit of coming and going and sometimes disappearing off the schedules altogether at short notice for weeks on end only to resurface weeks later in a completely different timeslot.
The fragrant disregard CBS paid to building a regular timeslot and audience for Escape could make you think that it was a mediocre show that was only good as a lightweight filler for when the regular show was off-the-air, such as during the quiet summer months.
In my opinion, and that of many old radio aficionados, this couldn't be further from the truth. Escape is probably the best adventure anthology ever broadcast. In my opinion, Escape brings together everything that was good about old-time radio drama rolled into one. The title itself almost sums up the very essence of what radio drama is all about. Each and every episode was a micro drama carefully planned to capture the listeners attention for thirty minutes.
There were over two-hundred episodes made and almost every one is as good today as it was half a century ago. For the first few years the series was on air the announcement at the start of the show varied almost every week, but by the 1950s it had settled down to be the now famous: Tired of the everyday grind? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you ... ESCAPE!
This may give the wrong impression as Escape was far more than a swashbuckling adventure yarn. It was a brilliantly scripted and superbly produced series that brought to listeners adaptations of classic works by famous writers as well as brand new work by unknown talent.
Many of the stories were later reused by more high profile shows such as Suspense, but on the whole the Escape versions were of equal quality and sometimes more dramatically focused and atmospheric. When Radio Life wrote "These stories all possess many times the reality that most radio writing conveys" it hit the nail on the head.
This is a quality show in every way. If you've never given this tremendous series a chance it's well worth tracking down. Whether you listen in the car on your daily commute, whilst doing the housework, relaxing in your favorite easy-chair, or snuggled up in bed - you really will be thrilled!
On November 14, 1922, the BBC – that is to say the British Broadcasting Company, constituted in its first incarnation of a number of commercial radio set manufacturers – made its first transmission from the London station, 2LO. However, more than two years earlier, on 15 June, 1920, the celebrated Australian singer, Dame Nellie Melba, was taken to the Marconi company’s Chelmsford works to take part in a 30-minute experimental broadcast. The story goes that on that day, Arthur Burrows, Marconi’s Head of Publicity, later to become a key figure within the BBC and European broadcasting, took Melba outside to show her the transmission antenna rising above the building, explaining that from the top of the masts, her voice would be carried far and wide. Legend has it that at this point the great lady retorted: “Young man, if you think I am going to climb up there, you are greatly mistaken.” The point of that story is, that Melba’s broadcast was organised by a commercial company, AND – over two years before the rules of British Broadcasting were set out, it was PONSORED; it was sponsored by the popular UK newspaper The Daily Mail, and is rightly regarded and a key moment in the development of radio, particularly in Britain and Europe. In this paper I want to discuss the tension between the development of the BBC as Public Service Broadcaster, and non-regulated commercial competition broadcasting into the UK mostly from European transmission sites. I want to argue that a combination of an at times over-paternalisticBBC policy contributed to the success of populist radio which gained huge audience in Britain during the 1930s in particular, challenging the BBC’s monopoly, and contributing to the development of broadcasting in the UK in ways which until recently have not been fully explored. In order to put this further into context, it is important to understand that – unlike many countries – commercial radio did not begin in Britain until almost 20 years after commercial television; Legal, land-based commercial radio in Britain began in October 1973. Prior to this there had been postwar challenges to the BBC monopoly from Radio Luxembourg and during the 1960s, offshore pirate radio. The accepted perception of pre-war UK broadcasting history is however that the BBC’s Public Service monopoly exclusively dominated radio listening. The fact that there was a major source of competition from commercial broadcasters, increasingly influenced by the US model and often sourced and sold by US agencies such as the J Walter Thompson Organisation has been widely overlooked until now. Even before the Melba broadcast, a Dutch pioneer called Steringa Idzerda was broadcasting a series of concerts which he called Soirees Musicales , whch he funded by both English and Dutch benefactors, and in 1922, shortly before the first BBC broadcast, the London Ilustrated News carried a picture showing a rather idealised family sitting around a receiving set while the father figure tuned in a signal, and carrying the caption, “This is How and English Family listens to the Dutch concerts”. The Daily Mail always at the forefront of these developments, continued to sponsor the programmes from the Hague until 1924. Thus, it could actually be claimed that commercial broadcasting to a UK audience actually pre-dated the birth of the BBC, which, in its first incarnation, could itself be called “commercial” in the sense that the company was initially formed by a group of wireless set manufacturers whose purpose was to create a demand for their receivers.
In the 1930s to the 1950s, the golden age of old time radio, most popular radio shows had a set broadcast time each week. On the odd occasion, there might be a change in the schedule, but the general rule of thumb was that a consistent time-slot helped build a larger audience and so was something the big networks desired. Related Articles Odyssey Streaming Radio for Radio Lovers Radios have been a source of entertainment since a long time now.
Radio has been really powerful in the past, specially at the times when older folks used to sit in front of the old dial tune box radio getting carried away listening to some hit talk shows from the past. When it all started there were only AM channels and these channels mainly had talk shows and story-telling. There was music too, but not to the great extent as it happened later.
With the introduction of the FM channels, music programs were shifted mainly to the FM-s while the talk shows and stories remained for the AM channels. However, with the popularization of TV as an alternate media for entertainment, the power of AM and FM radio was greatly diminished. Due to its variety of channels, great options and greater appeals to the senses, TV had almost driven the once powerful radio out of business.
Nonetheless, some still held on to the old radio. It was probably because they could get into a multi-tasking mode i.e. doing other things while still listening to their favorite radio programs. This was one thing that they could probably have not been able to do with TV. TV required them to sit in front of it and concentrate on the programs. But this small issue was too minor to stop the diminishing power and importance of radio as a primary source of entertainment.
Soon, radio was a thing of the past. Another major problem with the older radios was the frustrating loss of reception due to the device getting out of range. People had already got into the habit of carrying portable radios with them while they were outdoors. And often, they would be out of range causing them to probably miss the crucial conclusion of an interesting discussion or the climax of a story. In a bid to revive the radio experience, satellite radios were introduced.
These radios typically had several channels, often hundreds of them, dedicated to specialized programs. The model was more like that of a TV. It solved the out of range issue of the older generation radios. With satellite radio, one could be anywhere in the continent, listening to the same streaming everywhere.
Its various channels were designed to cater to the interests of several individuals across diverse demographics. However, the main problem with satellite radio was its cost. In order to subscribe to satellite radio, a charge of almost twenty dollars or more was required.
The evolution of radio started showing its potential and reached a more apt state towards the early nineties when the internet talk radio was introduced. It was a new wave in the advancement of talk radio that hit the market with a bang.
Internet talk radio provided a cheap and powerful alternative to the old AM radios. It required a computer, an internet connection, a phone, headsets and software to get started. Subscribing to the channels came completely free.
The reach was now global, a lot more than the continental average of the satellite radios. And adding more to it was the easy option of creating a channel and participating. Being on the radio to reach out to the entire world became open. It was then possible for an avid listener of a talk show for years to easily host his own talk show and let the world know about his views.
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