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Entries Tagged as 'drama'

Guest Star - Pgm 383

January 10th, 2011 · Comments

A big thanks goes out to Michael Utz for this disc, program 383 of the popular and long-running Treasury Department syndicated public service show "Guest Star" from July 25, 1954.

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In this episode, we hear a short drama, "Object: Matrimony" starring favorite 50s television star Donna Reed.  The program also features John Conte and Harry Sosnik and the Savings Bond Orchestra.  It was transferred from an original Treasury Department vinyl transcription pressed by Allied.


Tags: drama · Treasury Department

Christmas Seals - 1950 Campaign - Thunder in the Valley

December 7th, 2010 · Comments

Since it's the holiday season, I'm starting a short run of a few Christmas-themed shows on the blog.

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First up this week is "Thunder in the Valley", a special drama produced as part of the 1950 Christmas Seal Campaign.  Ralph Bellamy stars in this short drama about a rural doctor that needs an x-ray machine to detect TB in his patients.  The show is marked "Style E" - I'm still not sure what that designation means and it shows up on some other Christmas Seals discs I've run into.

The show was transferred from an original National Tuberculosis Association, New York, vinyl transcription pressed by RCA Victor, matrix number NE0-MM-3229-4.  My thanks to Michael Utz, who donated the disc to my collection.


Tags: drama · Christmas related

Famous American Authors - circa 1947-48

November 14th, 2010 · Comments

Awhile back I obtained a curious group of discs, all containing local programming from around the country originally broadcast in late 1947 and early 1948.  I think these might have been submitted to some type of competition, based on some notes I found on the disc sleeves.

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From that group, here's "Famous American Authors", a program produced by WSUI in Iowa City.  This episode dramatized the life of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.  It's an interesting glimpse into the wide range of shows, including drama, that were commonly heard on local radio many years ago.  WSUI, founded in 1919 by the University of Iowa, is still around and is the oldest surviving educational radio station west of the Mississippi.

The show was digitized from an original lacquer transcription from WSUI.

Correction, 11/15/2010 - In my haste to put together the post, I typed the name of the subject incorrectly in my original version of the post - it's on Oliver Wendell Holmes, not Longfellow...


Tags: drama · local radio

The Search - Pgm 14

October 21st, 2010 · Comments

A few weeks ago, I posted an episode of a rather mysterious series I found on some circa 1960 AFRTS discs.  "The Search" is a quarter-hour religious drama about everyday people facing moral choices and was hosted by Robert Young.  Many of the episodes have familiar actors from the otr era.  But I've been unable to find out anything about the show - I'm wondering if it was created by one of the mainstream churches for syndication.

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Program 14 is a drama about trapped coal miners who learn what courage really means.  The show features Douglas Kennedy and Willard Waterman, better known for his work on "The Great Gildersleeve".

The show was transferred from an original AFRTS vinyl transcription that also contains Bobby Hammack #213 and part of Jim Ameche Pops Concert #3.

Anyone figure out where this series originated?


Tags: drama · religion · The Search

The Weird Circle - Pgm 19

August 8th, 2010 · Comments

If you're an old time radio collector, you're no doubt familiar with "The Weird Circle", a horror/mystery anthology series based on famous books that was syndicated by NBC in the 1940s.

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Well, here's your chance to take a gander at one of the labels and listen to an episode dubbed right from an original transcription set for the show.  Program 19 in the series is based on Edgar Allen Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue".  The show was digitized from an original vinyl NBC Orthacoustic Syndicated Program Series vinyl transcription set, matrix numbers ND3-MM-4682-3 and ND3-MM-4683-1.


Tags: drama · NBC Syndication · Weird Circle

Your Movietown Radio Theatre - Pgm 113

July 24th, 2010 · Comments

Here's another entry in the ZIV syndicated anthology series, "Your Movietown Radio Theatre", dated by Goldin to 1948.

Program 113 features John Howard in "Hold That Memory", a lighthearted story about a psychology professor running a little experiment.    The show was transferred from an original vinyl ZIV transcription set, matrix numbers UR 167878 AU5 and UR 167879 AU5.

The disc was pretty scratched, so I've run it through some serious click reduction for presentation here.  The label was obscured by water damage, so I'll spare you the picture of the murky mess there.


Tags: drama · Ziv syndication · Your Movietown Radio Theatre

Columbia Workshop - January 11, 1942

July 3rd, 2010 · Comments

In keeping with our Independence Holiday patriotic theme, we next offer up a seldom heard little broadcast from the "Columbia Workshop" series.  This one is circulating among collectors, but this copy offers a sound upgrade for the show.

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"Free Speech" was originally broadcast January 11, 1942.  It's a drama where different voices of the past, such as Churchill and Socrates, speak about the right to free speech.  The featured soloist is Lansing Hatfield, Metropolitan Opera Baritone and John Daly is your announcer.  The show was directed by Earle McGhill and music is from "The People, Yes" by Carl Sandburg, William C. White and Earl Robinson.

During the program, they announce that this is a rebroadcast of a program heard a few weeks earlier.  Goldin speculates it might have been heard on December 7, 1941; I would guess it was done as part of the larger Bill of Rights anniversary celebration that month that gave us Norman Corwin's "We Hold These Truths" heard earlier on the blog.

The show was digitized from an original Columbia vinyl transcription set, matrix numbers YTNY 996 and YTNY 999, probably pressed for educational institutions.  My apologies for the very slight groove damage in the first few minutes of the program.

Hats off to blog listener Michael Utz for donating this wonderful rare disc to my collection!


Tags: drama · WW II related

American Cancer Society - 1948 Fund Drive - Square Moon

June 25th, 2010 · Comments

Michael Utz recently donated another curious little disc to my collection, this one from the American Cancer Society's 1948 Fund Drive.

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Cancer, along with mental illness, and several other health issues, used to be very taboo subjects - the disease could be so devastating that it wasn't something that was talked about in polite company.  This little drama "Square Moon", attempts to combat this attitude and the resulting fear and misinformation that can result.

In the show, a man goes to his doc with a sore on his lip and deals with the prospect that he might have cancer by trying to find out as much about the disease as he can.  The description of cancer he reads in a book at the library makes it sound like the disease is a Communist invasion.

Unintentional creepy moment in the program:  He visits a cancer research lab and the doc there offers him a cigarette to calm his nerves (and he thanks the doc for it on his way out of the lab).

The show was recorded by the American Broadcasting Company Recording Division.  It was digitized from a vinyl American Cancer Society transcription, matrix number ABC 562

Thanks again Mike for this unusual show!


Tags: Uncategorized · drama · medical related

Studio X - Pgm 5

May 27th, 2010 · Comments

A few months ago, we heard a couple of episodes of "The Man With the Story" where all the parts in the program were played by a single actor.  In this post, we hear a similar series from the 1950's, "Studio X", featuring the voice of Paul Frees.

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Frees was a prolific voice actor and you're sure to recognize his work right away - his credits include voiceovers and character work for many Disney films and theme park rides, dubbing other actors in films such as "Midway", and acting on radio series like "Escape" and "Gunsmoke".

"Studio X" was a syndicated series from Capitol Transcriptions; each program was a quarter hour story with some kind of ironic twist.  Program 5 is "The Red Macau", concerning a butler, who skims a bit off the household expense accounts and is undone by a little red bird.  Goldin dates "Studio X" to 1948, but the style of the show, with the sparse production style, sounds like it might have been recorded a bit later - perhaps it was a bit ahead of its time.

The show was transferred from an original vinyl Capital transcription, matrix number SX-5-T1. I think this episode is previously uncirculated.


Tags: drama

The Police Reporter - Pgm 1

May 13th, 2010 · Comments

I'm pleased to be starting up a brand-new "previously lost" series on the blog - it's so obscure that I haven't found out much about it, but I hope you can dig a bit and post what you find about the show in the comments as we go through the complete run of 26 episodes over the next six months.

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Based on true crime stories, "The Police Reporter" was a fifteen minute dramatic series syndicated by Radio Release Limited.  The earliest listing I found for it was in the December 10, 1933 issue of the "New York Times" where it showed up on WEAF's program grid on Friday, December 15, 1933 at 10:00 pm.  There are also several listings in the "Los Angeles Times" in February and March 1936 for a fifteen minute "Police Reporter" program on KGPJ at 8:00 pm.  Some of the discs in my set have penciled-in dates from 1935 on the labels.

The company that produced the series, Radio Release Limited is listed in the 1934 edition of "The Writer's Market", noting that they're "looking for anything with commercial value and will consider good scripts carefully.  Pays good rates".  The company is also listed in the 1935 edition of "Broadcasting: Yearbook-Marketbook Issue" on page 122.

Google Books turned up a reference to Radio Release Limited in a trade publication, "Printer's Ink", in Volume 167, page 70, with some type of article about the company being sold.  I don't have access to the publication at Duke - does anyone else have access to see more of what this is about?

"The Police Reporter" is a quarter hour drama that might remind you a bit of "Front Page Drama" in its sensationalism and melodrama.  What makes the series unique is that all the stories featured are true.  "Gangbusters", the pioneering "true crime" series of the period, premiered in July 1935 on NBC as "G-Men" according to Wikipedia.  So, "The Police Reporter" pre-dates the more famous network show by a couple of years - if not the first, it could be one of the earliest true crime shows on the air.

Program 1 of the series is about a man who has been missing for four days.  A neighbor calls the police, thinking something may be wrong.  It's the Lincoln murder case, which occurred in Aurora, Illinois in 1923.  The program includes an announcement that this is the first program of the series.

The series uses real names, dates and locations, so it's easy to track down information on the real cases dramatized on many of the programs.  You can see a summary of the "real" murder story in this week's show on a website devoted to true crime stories and check out a detailed May 13, 2007 newspaper article from the Aurora Beacon News about the murder.

Our program was transferred from original shellac Radio Release, Ltd transcription, pressed by Allied Recording in Hollywood, matrix number A-1068.

We're running through all 26 episodes in the series over the next few months - all the shows are previously lost, unheard since their original airing in 1933-34.

Next week:  the case of the "Vampire of Dusseldorf".

My deepest thanks to an anonymous donor that provided the funding to purchase this set for my collection.


Tags: drama · Police Reporter