rand’s esoteric otr

rand’s esoteric otr header image 1

Entries Tagged as 'religion'

All Aboard for Adventure - Series III - Pgm 10

April 2nd, 2017 · Comments

Awhile back, I picked up around twenty sets of 78 rpm records from “All Aboard for Adventure”.  It was a radio series distributed by the Joint Radio Committee of the Congregational Christian, Methodist and Presbyterian USA Churches.

I won’t be posting the entire series, but I’m offering up a sample to see what other researchers might make of it.  I'm not sure if these are actual broadcasts or restagings of broadcasts or something else.

Each show is recorded on two sides of a 12” 78rpm record and runs anywhere from eight to ten minutes.  There’s an opening to each show, but no closing.

I did some digging and did find a local New York radio series with this title from the time period when the records were released.  As part of the set, there was an audition show that seemed more complete, spread over four 78 rpm sides and running around 15 minutes.  That audition included a ten minute drama and a discussion with some children about it.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to dub the audition since all of the records in that set were broken, so I could only sample what they contained.

So, these records were either dubbed from broadcasts of the local New York show or restaged for these records.  I’m guessing they were pressed and released in sets for use by churches in different parts of the country.

The dramas are competently done and deal with missionary work in various countries.  Most of the discs are from Series III, which deals exclusively with stories about India.

The main problem with the series, at least for a listener today, are the depictions of racial and ethnic stereotypes of simple-minded and superstitious natives being “saved” by better educated (and more intelligent) white Christian missionaries.  They’re a relic of their time.

Program 10 in Series III is about David, “The Boy Who Didn’t Belong”, where Red, the son of a missionary becomes friends with an outcast and sees the discrimination his friend goes through.

Honestly, this episode is just about the least offensive program in the set that I have.

Our mp3 was transferred from a two sided twelve-inch 78rpm vinyl disc, matrix numbers ND6-MC-224 and ND6-MC-225.


Tags: religion

Hymns and Their Romance - April 2, 1950

April 2nd, 2017 · Comments

We pick up this week with another in our series of previously lost radio programs from WHBC in Canton, Ohio, transferred from a small collection of “throwaway” working lacquers from the station.

This is the last of the episodes in the collection of “Hymns and Their Romance”, a series featuring Major Charles McCray of the Salvation Army, with organist Martin Alexander, telling the stories behind famous hymns.  The program for April 2, 1950 focuses on the story behind “Ride On, Ride On, In Majesty”.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original 16” Audiodisc lacquer.

Tags: local radio · religion

Hymns and Their Romance - January 21, 1950

March 25th, 2017 · Comments

And here’s another lost local show from WHBC in Canton, Ohio.

“Hymns and Their Romance” features Major Charles McCray of the Salvation Army telling the story behind famous hymns with organist Martin Alexander playing the songs.  The program of January 21, 1950 tells the story of “Savior, Thy Dying Love”.

Oddly, the transcription starts out with a bit of a recorded or broadcast opera before the start of the program.  Since the show was pre-recorded, the engineer would have just kept this part off the air.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original 16” Audiodisc lacquer.


Tags: local radio · religion

Hymns and Their Romance - July 24, 1949

March 18th, 2017 · Comments

We continue entries this week with another lost local radio show from WHBC, Canton, Ohio.  I got these a couple of years back from a collector in the midwest; they appear to be “throwaway” working discs from the station.

“Hymns and Their Romance” is a program featuring Major Charles McCray of the Salvation Army telling the story behind famous hymns.  The organist is Martin Alexander.  The first hymn performed on the show of July 24, 1949 is “Love Lifted Me”.  McCray tells the story behind the hymn “Love Divine, All Love Excelling”.

Our mp3 was transferred from an original 16” Audiodisc lacquer.  I have another episode in the series I’ll post in coming weeks.

Tags: local radio · religion

Coke Club - July 19, 1946

November 19th, 2010 · Comments

Here's a new addition to the blog, courtesy of the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group.

"The Coke Club" was a quarter hour of song featuring Morton Downey that was syndicated by the Coca Cola Company in the 1940s and produced by the D'Arcey Advertising Agency.  The show, heard Monday through Friday, was aimed at women in the household and featured light music and sometimes an interesting story of a "Big Little American" who had made contributions in their local community.

transcription label

The program of July 19, 1946 starts out with Downey singing "So It Goes".  Since this is a Friday show, there's a religious segment with a hymn and a reading by announcer David Ross.  The show also features Jimmy Lytell and his Orchestra.

Downey was nicknamed "The Irish Nightingale" and, if Amazon.com were around in the 1940s, it would likely say that "People who bought Morton Downey also bought Dennis Day".  Downey had a long career in records and radio and is the father of television personality Morton Downey, Jr.

Digital Deli has a nice page about Coke's various sponsorships in radio over the years including "Singin' Sam" and many other series.  I'd like to thank OTRR for this disc and a few others from the series that they donated to my collection.  I'll drop in episodes of "Coke Club" on occasion.

The program was transferred from an original World Broadcasting vinyl transcription, matrix number bb45810.  Sorry for the rough sound - I had to use some serious click reduction on this one.  Other shows I have in the series are in a bit better shape.

Tags: music · religion · Coke Club

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.

transcription label

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 Search - Pgm 18

August 19th, 2010 · Comments

"The Search" is a little dramatic series that's a bit of a mystery to me.  I found several episodes of it on some Armed Forces Radio and Television Service transcriptions I recently obtained.  Although the discs date from circa 1960, I haven't a clue on when the show was produced or where it originated.

transcription label

Each fifteen minute drama looks at individuals in a "real life" situation about jobs, family or relationships that's magically solved by regular church attendance.  The shows are hosted by Robert Young and include guest stars like Laureen Tuttle and Joseph Cotten.

In program 18, a judge has to deal with a group of teenagers that have been caught smoking "narcotic cigarettes", which is a nice way of saying that the kids are getting high on reefer.

Hmm...I wonder if regular church attendance might help the situation?

"The Search" was a religious series with something of a non-denominational "soft sell" and the episodes are usually more compelling and well-written than this particular unintentionally funny example.

Was the program was originally produced by one of the mainstream Protestant churches for general radio syndication?  Unfortunately, I haven't had the chance to pick up a copy of Harry Mackenzie's "Directory of Armed Forces Radio Service Series" discography, since I'm spending my collecting funds on discs.  Anyone have it handy and know if "The Search" included in his book?

The show was transferred from an original AFRTS vinyl microgroove transcription.  The episode number on the label - 218 - is a misprint.  It's number 18 in the matrix, matching the number sequence of other programs I have in the series from this period.

Tags: religion · drug-related

Joe Emerson’s Hymntime - Pgm 15

April 3rd, 2010 · Comments

Since many of you probably celebrate Easter, I thought I'd offer up "Joe Emerson's Hymntime", a program syndicated by Morton Radio Productions in Chicago in the 1940s. Program 15 in the series starts off with "Wonderful Words of Life". Although religious programming was a regular part of radio programming, little circulates from the otr era.

transcription label

I couldn't really find out much about Joe Emerson, except mentions of his radio work on religious programming in the 30s, 40s and 50s. Goldin lists this series and one from 1954 on ABC under his name. Newsweek mentions him in a 1939 article on religious programming, noting that he introduced the song "The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi" while he was a student at Albion.

The show was digitized from an original Morton Radio Productions vinyl transcription pressed by RCA-NBC, matrix number CD7-MM013084.

Tags: religion

Greatest Story Ever Told - Pgm 55

January 1st, 2010 · Comments

Here's another entry in the popular religious dramatic program, "The Greatest Story Ever Told", originally broadcast on ABC radio and based on the best-selling book that novelized stories from the Bible.

transcription label

Program 55 in the series, as heard on Armed Forces Radio, is the famous story of "The Prodigal Son".  This particular script was broadcast several times during the run of the series, but I think this performance may date from February 13, 1949, based on the sequence of shows in the set that I have.

The program was transferred from an original Armed Forces Radio vinyl transcription.

Tags: religion · Greatest Story Ever Told

Greatest Story Ever Told - Pgm 53

September 13th, 2009 · Comments

Program 53 of the series as broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Service is the story of "The Good Samaritan".  This particular script was used several times during the run of the show, but I think this was probably broadcast on January 30, 1949 on ABC based on logs of the show and the contents of other AFRS discs I have from the series.

transcription label

It's not one of the best structured scripts in the series - the opening spends almost ten minutes getting to the point where Christ actually tells the story and feels like it's being padded in some ways.

The transfer is from an original AFRS vinyl transcription.

Tags: religion · Greatest Story Ever Told

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App