rand’s esoteric otr

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Suspense - January 16, 1947 - Version B

January 14th, 2010

We continue to double our pleasure and double our fun with "twin" versions of the same "Suspense" episode.  In the previous post, I outlined the questions behind this mysterious disc set.

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In this post, what I'm calling "version B" of "Overture in Two Keys", a "Suspense" episode originally broadcast January , 1947 on CBS, sponsored by Roma Wines and featuring Joan Bennett and Howard Duff.  As I mentioned in the last post, I'm unsure if these two versions of the same program represent "East" and "West" coast broadcasts of the program or if one or both are rehearsal recordings.

If you listen closely, or open up the two files in the left and right channel in an audio editing program, you can easily hear that they are different performances.  In version A, heard in the previous post, the actors perform the dialogue at a slower pace - listen to the difference in the pause between the two versions after Bennett's opening dialogue and the scene at the train station around the 2:00 mark.  At the end of version A, you heard a promo for "The FBI in Peace and War" at the end of the show - this is missing from version B.  In addition, in version B, listen to the strange sound (like a baton hitting against a music stand) at the end music, just after the announcer says "keep you in suspense" and the coughing by someone in the background after the CBS network id.

Version A, in the previous post, sounds like the performance heard on an mp3 of the show that's been floating around the web - you can download it for comparison from the Internet Archives.  That recording appears to have been made from a later generation tape copy, since the sound isn't quite as clear and there's some cross-channel cross talk on that version.  Of course, we don't know what transcription that version came from.

Our mp3 of Version B of the program was transferred from an original Radio Recorders lacquer transcription set cut for the Biow Company, an advertising agency that produced "Suspense" at the time.  The file has undergone editing to eliminate skips and click reduction to improve the sound since the disc set is deteriorating and starting to crack.

Please note that I'm offering this file up in a higher bit rate than normal for posts to the blog because of the wide interest in the "Suspense" series in the otr community - be patient if you're on a slower Internet connection.

Please post your comments if you know something of the ins and outs of production practices of the time or similar "Suspense" transcriptions and might have some thoughts on what these two versions of the program might be.