Archive for the 'adventure' Category

"Red Horse Ranch" was a fun early syndicated show distributed by World Broadcasters.  A continuing serial about a group of cowboys, the show was a mix of adventure, romance and great cowboy songs.

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Ryan Ellett has been researching the show at the University of Missouri-KC collections and is assembling a log of the program, and has dug up extensive background information on the series.  The show was created by Arthur Church, the head of KMBC, Kansas City and started out on a contract basis for the Socony-Vacuum Oil Company for the first 26 episodes.  Church hoped to produce at least 104 shows, but only 65 were made.  Socony's contract is dated March 30, 1935 for the series and the episodes were delivered by April 15th.  The series was recorded in World Broadcasting's Chicago facilities and the program ran mainly in the midwest US.

The cast members of "Red Horse Ranch" were Gomer Cool, Doie Henlasey (Tex) Owen, Duane Swalley, Edward Cronenbold, Roderick May, Robert Crawford, Ruth Barth, John Preston, Paul Sells, Herbert Kratoska, Eddie Edwards, and Marion Folville.  You can see a photo of the cast at the University of Missouri-KC website and also read about the the Arthur B. Church KMBC Radio Portfolio Collection.

The show was transferred from an original red acetate World Broadcasting, Inc. transcription, matrix number C-2208-1L.

I'd like to thank the Old Time Radio Researchers Group for this disc and the others that comprise the first 26 episodes of the series in my collection.

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Did you know that, at one time, bars and other locations had a "jukebox" that contained no records?  You might have never heard of it, but these jukeboxes were connected by wire to a central location where an operator would pull records you requested.  You could talk to the operator through the jukebox.  This type of music device is at the center of this blog post, "Juke Box Romance", an episode of "Night Beat" from May 18, 1951.

Reporter Randy Stone, in this noir look at a big city paper, investigates a store robbery that takes several plot turns.  I won't give any of it away, but it does involve a self-inflated actor played by the hardest working man in old time radio, William Conrad.

The show was transferred from an original lacquer line check from an unknown local NBC station.  The show includes the NBC chimes and catchy singing promotional announcements for the network.

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The Avenger - Pgm 15

Wouldn't it be neat if you were a biochemist and could invent a Telepathic Indicator to pick up thought flashes and a Secret Diffusion Capsule to make yourself invisible?  Well, if you were smart, you might go out and go on a nice crime spree with stuff like that.  But, if you're Jim Brandon, you'll get yourself an attractive assistant, run your voice through a telephone filter, and go out fighting crime.

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"The Avenger" ran for 26 episodes in the Fall of 1945, based on a Street and Smith Publications character that had its own magazine from 1939 to 1942.  The Avenger combined elements of the more well-known Shadow and Doc Savage, but didn't do as well as either one of his more famous siblings.

In this entry, we offer program 15 in the series, "The Department of Death" where the Avenger and his assistant, Fern, investigate murder in a department store.  The whole idea is rather charming - today, the incredible Digital Security Camera would make the Avenger's Telepathic Indicator rather obsolete.

Our show was transferred directly from a set of Charles Michelson, Inc-WOR red vinyl transcriptions.

I’d like to give a special tip of the hat to David Kiner for this week’s mp3 transfer. I recently arranged a trade for a couple of transcriptions with him and he generously threw in a digital transfer of the discs, complete with CEDAR processing. Kiner sells high quality discs of old time radio material and you can find his cds at his ebay store.

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The Avenger, Pgm 14

Next up, we're going to hear a program about a man who leads a double life, using mysterious powers of the mind to fight crime with his attractive assistant.  Sounds like "The Shadow", doesn't it?

Well, not exactly...

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"The Avenger" was a series that ran for 26 episodes in the Fall of 1945, based on a Street and Smith Publications character that had its own magazine from 1939 to 1942.  The character combined elements of the more well-known Shadow and Doc Savage, but never really caught on.  A kind of "poor man's Shadow" is how some have described the series.

In this entry, we hear "The Thoroughbred Murders", program 14 in the series, originally broadcast September 7, 1945 and syndicated by Charles Michelson, Inc.  In this show, the Avenger goes through Standard Radio Mystery Plot Number 37, investigating shady dealings and murder at a race track.

The mp3 was transferred directly from a set of Charles Michelson, Inc-WOR red vinyl transcriptions.

I’d like to give a special acknowledgment to David Kiner for this week’s mp3 transfer. I recently arranged a trade for a couple of transcriptions with him and he generously threw in a digital transfer of the discs, complete with CEDAR processing. Kiner sells high quality discs of old time radio material and you can find his cds at his ebay store.

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And now our weekly look at the action-packed "Adventures of Frank Race", a Bruce Eells and Associates syndicated program that was first distributed in 1949.

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In program 5 of the series,  "The Enoch Arden Adventure", Race, played by star Tom Collins, takes on an insurance case for a woman whose husband has been missing for six years.  The title of the story might give you a clue to how the case will unfold if you're familiar with the famous poem.

The mp3 was transferred to digital directly from an original vinyl Bruce Eells and Associates transcription, matrix numbers UR-139177 and UR-139178.

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We continue our weekly visit to Tom Collins in "The Adventures of Frank Race", a program recorded and first syndicated in 1949, from a near-complete run of the series in my collection.

In this week's exciting episode, Race encounters a woman in Istanbul who is being pursued by killers and is mixed up with some smugglers.  It's program 3 in the series, "The Istanbul Adventure".  Dames!  Bullets!  Fisticuffs!  Now that's the stuff to get a post-War male audience on the edge of their seats.

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The show was transferred from an original set of Bruce Eells and Associates vinyl transcriptions, matrix numbers U-137477 and U-137478-N.

Oh, and be sure to check out the labels of these discs as we progress through the series.  You can see rubber stamps and notations from the different stations that ran the series from this set of discs all the way through 1957.

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Well, some readers of the blog like the idea of running my discs of "The Adventures of Frank Race", so here we go with episode two of this Bruce Eells and Associates series originally recorded and initially broadcast circa 1949.

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Program two of the series is untitled, but is referred to as "The Adventure of the Darling Debutante" in some listings.  Frank wakes up from a restful sleep to find a down on his luck ex-GI whose English wife has turned up dead.

The show was transferred from an original vinyl Bruce Eells and Associates transcription set, matrix numbers U-137407 and U-137478-N.

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I'm trying something a little different on the blog for the next few months.

In the past, I've posted a brief run - perhaps four of five episodes of a series - over a period of weeks when I'd run into some discs from a series.  A couple of months back, I wound up buying an almost complete run of the syndicated series, "The Adventures of Frank Race".

So, the plan is to post one episode per week, from beginning to end of the show, in addition to the usual mix of things you'll hear on the blog.  If I get a lot of negative feedback about this experiment, I may end the series early, so let me know in the comments if this is something you're interested in.

"The Adventures of Frank Race" was produced in 1949-1950 by Bruce Eells Productions in Hollywood.  Tom Collins played Race for the first half of the episodes, then Paul Debrov took over the role.  Forty three episodes were produced; I'm missing a few programs from the middle of the run of the show.

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Race was a two-fisted adventurer and investigator.  Although his office was in New York, he and his sidekick, Mark Donovan, would travel to exotic locations in search of crooks trying to rip off insurance companies.  The show intro pretty much sums up the premise:

"Before the war,  Frank Race worked as an attorney, but he traded his law books for the cloak-and-dagger of the OSS. When the war was over, his former life was over too.  Adventure became his business!"

The program was written by Joel Murcott and Buckley Angel and the organ music was composed and performed by Ivan Ditmar.

I'm a fan of film noir and detective radio shows, so "Frank Race" was a fun program to transfer to digital.  The shows are always action packed - Race gets into at least a couple of fists fights and gets shot at a time or two in each episode.  It sounds like the sound effects guys were having a fun time with this one.

Program 1 in the series is titled "Audition" in the vinyl trail-off.  The story concerns Race's investigation of some disappearing ships, so in some listings the story is called "Victory Ship Adventure", "The Adventure of the Hackensack Victory" or other titles.

The show was transferred from an original Bruce Eells Productions vinyl transcription, matrix numbers U-133761 and U-133763.

Next week:  The Adventure of the Darling Debutante!

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This program contains racial stereotyping themes that may be offensive to some listeners.

We come to the end of our brief run of "The Adventures of Jungle Jim", originally broadcast in early 1936 and syndicated by Hearst Newspapers to promote their Sunday comics supplement.

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In program 18, run February 29, 1936, Jungle Jim and Reverend Chalmers continue their battle with the nefarious Bat Woman.  Chalmers's daughter interrogates one of the Bat Woman's henchmen as Jim and the Reverend work on the Bat Woman's right hand man of uncertain nationality, Jacques Lebatt.

The show was transferred directly from an original RCA Victrolac pressing, matrix number MS 98995.

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Note:  This program contains racial stereotypes that may be offensive to some listeners.

In this post, we start a short run of four programs in the series "Jungle Jim" from early 1936.  The program was based on an adventure comic first published in 1934 in Hearst newspapers.  The radio show was an early attempt at "cross promotion", with each week's radio episode reflecting the content of the Sunday comic running in the newspaper.

In the storyline, Jungle Jim goes up against the nefarious "Bat Woman" who has captured the Reverend Chalmers.  Will Jim rescue the Reverand from the evil clutches of the Bat Woman?  Will Chalmers be able to withstand the Bat Woman's methods of torture?  Will the Reverend's daughter find more ways to give us exposition about the story?  Listen and find out...

I purchased these four discs from an antiques dealer.  They were found in the attic of an old hardware store, still in the original shipping packages where they were sent by railroad to a station in Arizona.  One even included the special "Shadowgraph" needle used to play these early vinyl discs.

Program 12 in the series was released for broadcast on January 18, 1936.  The show was transferred from original RCA Victrolac transcription, matrix MS98584.

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