Posting a few shows every few weeks - app availability

March 24, 2013

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 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!

Your humble host featured on public radio’s The Story

July 10, 2012

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:

Boulevard of Make Believe - Pgm 12

July 10, 2012

Here's the only other episode in my collection of "Boulevard of Make Believe", a syndicated serial drama about Hollywood stars featuring Anna Q. Nelson and Viola Dana.  In program 12, Wally talks to the police about how he might be mixed up in the kidnapping of his wife.


The end theme plays through and we hear a male vocalist crooning the lyrics to "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" - he sounds a bit like Bing Crosby.  Anyone have an idea who it might be?  It wasn't uncommon for these early 30s syndicated shows to use cues from commercial records, so it might be from a commercially released 78.

Dave Goldin, by the way, lists program 1 in the series in his database, a show which ran in my blog a few months ago.  He conjectures that one of the performers playing a Mexican sounds like Bela Lugosi.  What do you think?

The show was digitized direct from an original shellac Radio Release Productions transcription disc, matrix number A-1055.  Radio Release Productions, you might recall, also produced the "Police Reporter" series I ran on the blog awhile back.

I wish I could run into the full run of the series, which I'm guessing was just 13 or 26 episodes - this sounds like a fun serial.

My special thanks to the Old Time Radio Researchers Group for adding this disc to my collection!

Village Store - Pgm 87

July 10, 2012

Some comedy now with the "Sealtest Village Store", a series with a bit of a convoluted history.

Originally the series premiered in 1943 with Joan Davis as a followup to the "Rudy Vallee Show".  Davis got her own solo show in 1945, with her co-host, Jack Haley, taking over hosting dues until he departed in 1947.  Then, Eve Arden emerged from the cast to carry the program and she was later joined by Jack Carson.  Both Arden and Carson left the program in 1948, with Arden starring in her own sitcom, "Our Miss Brooks".


Program 87 of the series, heard on the Armed Forces Radio Service as "Village Store", was originally broadcast on NBC on May 17, 1945.  The episode has a wartime theme, with Jack trying to make up his mind whether he's going to buy a speedboat or a War Bond.

The mp3 was transferred from an original AFRS vinyl transcription and appears to be a previously lost episode of the series.

There's probably plenty more episodes of this series to emerge from AFRS discs.  Despite being on the air for a few years, Goldin only lists 23 programs existing in his database.


Words with Music - Pgm 28

July 10, 2012

If you were a GI on an island in the Pacific or fighting the War in Europe in the 1940s, wouldn't it have been nice to hear a romantic voice from home?  Well, that's the idea behind the series "Words with Music", produced by the Armed Forces Radio Network.


Program 28 features love sonnets read by Jane Wyatt, accompanied by organist Milton Charles.

Poetry reading programs were quite common in old time radio and popular on the networks in the early 30s; they continued to be heard on many local stations around the country into the 1950s.  Ernie Kovack's did his own parody of the style with his famous Percy Dovetonsils character.

Our program was transferred direct from an undated original vinyl AFRS transcription.


Front Page Drama - Pgm 174

July 10, 2012

Here's another episode of one of my favorite series, "Front Page Drama", sponsored by the Hearst Newspapers to promote their Sunday supplement.


Program 174 of the series was heard August 22, 1936 and is titled "Fallen Stars".  The story concerns a "famous star of the past" and looks at happens when the footlights fade.  Any guess who it might be?

The show was transferred from an original Langlois & Wentworth, NYC/Hearst Newspapers Victrolac transcription pressed by RCA, matrix number MS 104245-1.


Best Plays - Pgm 6

July 10, 2012

For your drama fans, here's the last episode I have in my collection of "Best Plays", an hour-long anthology series of plays from the New York stage.  The other programs in the series in my collection are here and here.


Program 6 in the series, as it was heard on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service on June 5, 1953, is "Autumn Crocus" with Carmen Matthews and Walter Slezak; the announcer is Fred Collins.  "Autumn Crocus", according to Wikipedia, was first staged at London's Lyric Theatre in 1931 with Fay Compton and was adapted into a film in 1934.  The drama concerns a schoolteacher who goes on holiday and falls in love with the owner of the hotel where she is staying.

Carmen Matthews had a long career on stage, film and television and appeared in episodes of the "CBS Radio Mystery Theater" in the 1970s.  The show is hosted by John Chapman, drama critic for the New York Daily News.  As I mentioned in a previous post, many of the radio scripts for "Best Plays" were written by Earl Hamner, years before he found fame creating "The Waltons".

Our program was transferred to digital direct from an original vinyl AFRTS transcription set.


Five Minute Mysteries - Pgm 28

July 10, 2012

Well, I must have a short attention span today.  Up next on the blog, an episode of that great little syndicated dramatic filler program, "Five Minute Mysteries".


Program 28 is "The Tell Tale Knife" and concerns murder on a southern plantation.  The show was transferred from an original RCA Syndicated Program vinyl transcription, matrix number ND5-MM-3244-7.


Fun at Breakfast with Ford Bond - February 28 1946

July 10, 2012

If you were getting ready for work on February 28, 1946 and listening to a local morning show of light patter and music with parts originating from "transcriptions and phonograph records", you might have heard this five minute syndicated feature.


"Fun at Breakfast with Ford Bond" features Bond announcing and comedians Tom Howard and George Shelton cracking jokes - the first routine on the show is about starting a telegraph company.  Howard and Shelton, of course, were heard  on "It Pays to Be Ignorant".

A highlight of the show, is the commercial content for Mennon shaving cream featuring a sultry female announcer to lull you into your day.  Who says sex doesn't sell?

The concept - a short recorded comedy routine for a local morning show - isn't unlike the comedy features syndicated to radio stations today.  Think of it as a 1940s version of "Larry the Cable Guy".

The program was transferred from an original Duane Jones Company vinyl NBC Orthacoustic transcription pressed by RCA, matrix number ND6-MM-3560.

Thanks to the Old Time Radio Researchers Group for adding this one to my collection.  You can hear another episode in the series here.


Bobby Hammack - Pgm 213

July 10, 2012

Well, let's get this series of posts started with some nice up-tempo jazz from the Bobby Hammack Quartet, a quarter-hour of live, in-studio music originally heard on the ABC radio network.  Here's program 213 of the series as it was heard on the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service.  The first tune is "Mountain Greenery".


As I mentioned in a previous post of this series, Hammack played in several bands over the years and worked for ABC-Parmount Records from 1958 to 1963 as a musical director.  Fans of lounge music will likely enjoy his original composition in the show, "Wind on the Dune".

The transfer of this previously lost show is from an original microgroove AFRTS transcription.  There's no date on the matrix, but I'm guessing it's from somewhere around 1958-1960, based on the contents of the other shows on the same disc.