rand’s esoteric otr

rand’s esoteric otr header image 1

Entries Tagged as 'WW II related'

KARM, Fresno home recorded War broadcasts

October 13th, 2018 · Comments

A few weeks ago, I picked up a small collection of ten inch home recorded lacquers on eBay.  They contained excerpts of CBS News broadcasts dating from early 1941 about the War in Europe.

The seller, who picked them up several years ago at a local estate sale, had dozens of these discs and said he had trouble finding anyone interested in them.  (He actually threw some away and donated others to someone making an art project of some type.). There’s an archival collection of CBS News programming from this period, primarily “The World Today”, and they said they already had the material.

However, if you look at the labels of the discs, most seem to have originated with five minute news updates broadcast on CBS at 8:00 pm Eastern time and aren’t preserved in any other format.

We have no idea why a home enthusiast recorded these.  A writer for a local paper or college researcher assembling background material?  A news fan hoping to document the US entry into the War?  A Nazi spy monitoring what the networks were saying about Germany?  We have no way of knowing.

Since there are so many of the shows, and each is only a three minute excerpt, I decided not to post them individually on the blog.  Instead, click here to see a folder where you can download an mp3 of each excerpt and a couple of sample labels.

I’m hoping someone more familiar with these Wartime broadcasts can verify if they’re, indeed, the only copies left and figure out where some with voices I did recognize, might have originated.  I think at least one or two might be local broadcasts.  (All of the info available on the labels is what you see in the filenames.)

If you’re reading this post months from now, please note that the link to the shared folder may not work - it will only be available for a limited time.

Tags: WW II related · news

Civilian Defense - Your Neighbors, the Millers

May 27th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s the final disc in our run of special Civilian Defense dramas distributed by the US government in the early days of World War II to encourage communities to organize and contribute to the War effort.

In “Your Neighbors, the Millers”, poor Mrs. Miller had to bring back three cans of grease because she forgot to strain it and Mr. Miller doesn’t know what to do with his radiator.  And the kids are using all kind of slang that Mrs. Miller doesn’t like.  Perhaps in the Civilian Defense coordinator in the local neighborhood can help.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription, pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6000.

This is our last show from the series.

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Civilian Defense - What’s Good for the Army

May 20th, 2017 · Comments

The Office of Civilian Defense has another short drama from the early days of World War II.

“What’s Good for the Army” is about what can happen when we don’t coordinate and work together for civilian defense on the home front.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription, pressed by Allied, matrix number G-1994.

 

 

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Civilian Defense - They Perish Alone

May 13th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another episode in a series of dramas produced in the early days of World War II by the Office of Civilian Defense.

“They Perish Alone” compares the plight of our fighting forces to the dangers faced by early settlers of the American West and how they had to work together.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription, pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6001.

 

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Civilian Defense - “Of Interest to the Enemy”

May 6th, 2017 · Comments

In recent weeks, I’ve posted some shows from a previously overlooked World War II series, “Yankee Doodle”, produced by the Office of Civilian Defense to encourage people to support the war effort on the home front.  This week, we kick off a few individual shows, not part of a series, from the same batch of discs.

“Of Interest to the Enemy”, is a fifteen minute drama about Larry Crane, “told by the man who wrote his obituary”.  The editor of a small-town newspaper talks with different people in the town about the loss of one of their own who died fighting in the Pacific.  It prompts the editor to write an editorial about the “Block Plan”, to coordinate neighbors for civilian defense.  The show was written by Pauline Gibson and directed by William Rousseau.

Our mp3 was transferred direct from an original sixteen inch vinyl OWI transcription, matrix number G-1995.

We’ll have a few more shows in this series in the following weeks.

 

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 5

April 8th, 2017 · Comments

Here's the last program in my collection from the 1942 Civilian Defense series, “Yankee Doodle”.

Program 5 is titled “There’s a Guy on Your Block”.  It’s a story about how a man volunteers and is trained for serving as an air raid warden in his community.  The series was directed by Clinton Johnston.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6024.

In future weeks on the blog, I’ll be posting some further Civilian Defense shows from the same period that weren’t released as part of a series, but offered as “one off” special programs.

 

 

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 4

April 2nd, 2017 · Comments

Up next on the blog, another entry in the previously lost World War II Civil Defense public service series, “Yankee Doodle”.  This is from a group of pretty beat-up transcriptions from the series I obtained a few years back.

Program 4 in the series is a drama where a guy who just got out of the Army and wants to mind his own business, learns a lesson in caring about the importance of air raid wardens in his local community.  The show was directed by Clinton Johnston.

The program was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6025.  My apologies for the rough sound on this one - some of the sides in this set were in such bad shape, I couldn’t get them to play at all without constantly skipping.

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 3

March 18th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another episode in the previously lost World War II Civil Defense public service series, “Yankee Doodle”.  I obtained a few beat up transcriptions of this show and managed to salvage most of them.

Directed by Clinton Johnston, program three in the series looks at the role of auxiliary firemen in civil defense in your local community with a dramatic sketch about a reluctant volunteer.

Our show was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6019.

 

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Yankee Doodle - Pgm 1

February 22nd, 2017 · Comments

Finally, this week, a forgotten little fifteen minute public service series from World War II.

When I first saw the US Office of Civilian Defense logo on these discs, I thought they might date from the Cold War period when so many government public service programs were distributed.  However, after listening to the shows on the discs, I discovered they were produced during World War II in the early days of the Office of Civilian Defense, promoting work with local and neighborhood coordinators on areas such as blackouts, recycling, and learning first aid and firefighting.  Based on internal references, the shows date from 1942.  The label credits Clinton Johnston as director, but I didn’t really turn up anything else on him.

Program 1 in the series is “What’s This Civilian Defense?” and uses dramatic vignettes to show how the listener can become involved in the War effort on the home front.

Our show was transferred from an original sixteen inch vinyl transcription pressed by Allied, matrix number G-6004.

I believe this series isn’t in circulation and might be previously lost.  One reason it might not have turned up before is the information printed at the bottom of the label:  “The vinylite in this pressing is a strategic material allocated by the WPB.  Help us conserve it.  As soon as the pressing has been used, please return it to Allied Record Mfg. Co, Hollywood, Calif., with the enclosed “frank”.”  I wonder how many of these were recycled and simply lost to modern old time radio researchers and collectors.

 

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related

Rupert Hughes - Pgm 4 - September 4, 1944

January 18th, 2017 · Comments

Here’s another anti-FDR speech from the 1944 Presidential campaign, this one originating on the West Coast.

This is the fourth program in a series of 15 minute commentaries by Rupert Hughes sponsored by the Republican Party of California and heard on KMPC, Los Angeles, California.  The series was broadcast at 6:30 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Rupert Hughes was a writer who was the uncle of billionaire Howard Hughes; he served as president of the American Writers Association, a group of anti-Communist writers, and is most well-known for his biography of George Washington.

Hughes spends his quarter hour commentary raising fears about FDR’s death and what might happen if his inexperienced VP Truman took over the Oval Office.  He’s suspicious of FDR’s dealings with Churchill and Stalin and the ability of Truman to serve as President, noting how he had been left out of the Tehran Conference.  Hughes goes on to liken Roosevelt to a king or dictator - “Is he going to liquidate the American republic?  He’s already liquidated the Democratic party … This is an election that’s coming up - not a coronation!”

Our mp3 was transferred from a single-sided 16” glass-based NBC Reference lacquer.  I think this may be the only surviving episode of this series and it appears to not be currently in circulation among old time radio enthusiasts.

I had a very difficult time playing this program - it was cracked long ago from the edge to the label and, typical of glass-based discs, the lacquer coating was beginning to flake off and deform.  I had to “ride the needle” to get it to track, especially in the first few minutes.

Please note that I did a “copy and paste” of one phrase from the end of the program to the beginning, where the announcer states that the program was paid for by the Republican Party of California - there was a nasty skip in the opening and I did the alternation since the announcer was saying the same phrase to preserve the continuity of the program content.  I also saved a raw wav file of the full transfer.

By the way, the label fell off this disc.  Here’s what was underneath it.

 

 

00:0000:00

Tags: WW II related · commentary · politics