Note: The mp3 attached to this post is the same transfer I put up earlier in the summer; it is included here as a convenience.
Since my original post, I've dived into researching the background on the set, surviving copies of the broadcast, and have concluded this set is, indeed, a "live" master, probably ordered up by Mercury actor and associate producer Paul Stewart.
In this post, I'll share some details on my research into the set, highlighting what we know and don't know about how the show was recorded and preserved over the years.
If you are near Los Altos, California, tune in to KFJC-FM 89.7 on Wednesday, October 30th at 8:30 pm. The station will be carrying a special on the 75th anniversary of "War of the Worlds" that includes an interview with me on my find of the "Paul Stewart" "War of the Worlds" lacquer set and collecting transcriptions. Information on the anniversary special is here. You can listen live to the broadcast on the KFJC stream.
I'm still pretty busy with work and family, but I'll be trying to post some news shows every few weeks, particularly more unusual items that are rare or previously lost.
I've also activated a new feature provided by Podbean - if you go to http://randsesotericotr.podbean.com/mobile/ with your mobile device, such as an iPhone or iPad, you can see the blog in a special format. There's also an option on this link to add it to your device as an app.
Thanks for reading and listening!
If you'd like to get a peak "behind the scenes" at the blog and my collection of radio transcriptions, tune in to public radio's "The Story, on Thursday, July 12th.
Sean Cole, who is filling in for vacationing regular host Dick Gordon, stopped by my apartment on Monday to listen to some of my discs, take a look at the transcription collection and talk about old time radio as a hobby.
You can find a list of stations carrying the show and the time it will be heard in your area at "The Story" website. They should have it available for listening online Thursday night after the broadcast.
Update: You can listen or download the episode at "The Story" archives here.
And here are links to the full shows heard in the program:
- Night Beat - February 6, 1950 - Promo 45 set version
- Rosemary - July 22, 1946
- Lum n' Abner - "Accidentally Yours" - July 1947
- American Family Robinson - Pgm 42
- American Family Robinson - Pgm 62
- Hearts in Harmony - Confidential Prevue - circa 1941
- Plantation Echoes - Pgm 9 - circa 1929-30
- Suspense - "Sorry Wrong Number" - May 25, 1943 - AFRS Pgm 8
- Suspense - "The Lost Special" - Sept 30, 1943
Well, I'm still quite busy with work and family, but I'll be popping up to post an interesting show once in a while on the blog. These won't be on a regular schedule - just a little something now and again when I have the time that I hope you find interesting.
I want to thank all of you following the blog for your kind words and thoughts over the past few months.
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, I have several things going on with my job and family. So I'm going to be stepping away from the blog for a time. I may be posting an occasional show or interesting recording, but not on a regular weekly schedule as I've done in the past.
I appreciate all the kind words, comments, and research folks have sent my way over the past couple of years. I'm still interested in pursuing old time radio research, and I'm thinking about heading in a different direction with my old time radio work, so feel free to send an email, if you're so inclined and are interested in talking over some ideas.
Looks like this week's posts will be delayed a few days because of some work and family commitments - the last two episodes of "Monticello Party Line" and some other goodies will be going up soon.
Instead, I'd like to offer up an amusing little old time radio collecting story.
You might recall this odd 45 rpm box set posted a couple of years ago on the blog.
Pressed by RCA, the set contained three records - 7" 45s - that contain a full episode of the crime drama "Night Beat". It's unusual in that it also contains a promo announcement, after the opening of the show, inviting potential sponsors to pick up the program. I found the set at the Burlington, NC Goodwill thrift store - I think I might have paid 50 cents for it.
A few months after I put the show from the set on my blog, I was contacted by a gentleman from Montreal. He had an original NBC reference acetate of the first audition episode of the series - a rare find indeed. So, we set up a trade and I posted that disc on the blog.
Fast forward to this week.
One of the readers of the blog, Thomas, noted in a comment that the "Night Beat" promo 45 set is something rather unusual.
You see, around 1949, when the set was created, there was a promising young commercial artist who was designing magazine ads and some album covers.
His name: Andy Warhol.
Thomas had found the "Night Beat" set in a museum catalogue of record covers designed by Warhol. Turns out it's collectable as a piece of art. Thomas also pointed me to another otr related lp from circa 1950 that had similar cover art by Warhol currently on ebay, "The Nation's Nightmare", which contained two CBS news programs about the country's drug problems.
Well, the story gets better.
I contacted the gentleman in Montreal about his find. Turns out, he was the author, Paul Marechal, who put together the original exhibition featuring Warhol's album covers - the "Night Beat" set I traded him is the one that Thomas found in the book.
Paul believes that the "Night Beat" set I found is the only copy to surface - he's going to donate it to a Warhol archives, along with some of the other rare Warhol works he discovered in his research. My guess is that it turned up in Burlington, NC because it was given to an employee of Lorillard or RJR Tobacco, both located in the Triad NC area.
Oh - that Warhol lp of "The Nation's Nightmare" that Thomas saw on ebay?
Moral of the story - look carefully at memorabilia you find at Goodwill. You might go looking for an old radio show and be taking home a work of art instead.
More new shows in a few days.
Big thanks go out to two listeners for their generous donations - Robert and Harlan.
I really appreciate your support for the blog!
A couple of recent comments on the blog are worth a look. Reader Capt shares a link to a series of several other VA Hospital Christmas shows that he has in his collection. And Dave Dawes offers up some info on the recordings featured in Skinner's Romancers, Pgm 2 and Pgm 3.
I hope everyone had a safe holiday break. We're back with new shows for 2011.
You'll notice some changes on the blog in the next few months. With family and work commitments, and some other projects I'm concentrating on, I'm probably going to cut down on the number of shows I post each week and the schedule may get a big irregular at times. In some cases, rather than running a series of discs over a few weeks, I might post the series at once to archive.org and put a link here to the collection there.
I'm seeing is that there are less transcription discs out there for sale. I'm not sure if this is one of those "lulls", or if people are selling them in other ways than ebay or similar outlets. What I've tried to do each week is present discs in a series, with a post of a show in better sound that might be in circulation, and something that's previously uncirculated or "lost". I'm just picking up on less network and major syndicated series that are uncirculated for the collection, so you'll start seeing some more esoteric shows pop up from local stations and some ephemera and fewer of the major drama and comedy shows from the networks. I'm also getting a bit more picky about what I pick up for the collection, since I've got over 500 discs and I am running out of space to store them properly.
So, the otr blog isn't going away - just going through a few changes over the next few months.
I'm putting up the last set of posts before Christmas - a new set of shows will go up sometime around New Year's. Thanks to everyone for your kind words of support, donations and corrections to the listings over the past year.
Some comments received in the past week are worth mentioning. Tom identified the quartet singing the jingles in the Life of Riley tv production discs as the Sportsmen, who, of course, worked on the "Jack Benny Show". David, in the comments for "The Eddy Duchin Show - Pgm 12", noted he couldn't find program 1 of the series that I had posted on the blog some time ago; the show wasn't tagged properly, so it should show up now if you click on the category for "Eddy Duchin" on the right of the screen. Finally, I'll say I'm amazed that a post I put up in 2008 is still getting comments - many people seem to remember "The Great Crepitation Contest" from their childhood.
Around the web, people are still talking about the Radio Spirits takedown notices to archive.org earlier this year. Folks are still talking about the notices on the archives.org OTR message boards and there are still several shows not part of the takedown notices that have been removed by the people who uploaded them, fearful they might be a notice. There's also an interesting blog post I ran into recently that gives another overview of the notices and the problems with otr copyright questions.
Have a safe holiday, everyone - see you in 2011.