rand’s esoteric otr

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rand's Favorites at archive.org

Here's a running list of unusual old time radio programs I've run into at archive.org.  I'll update it periodically.

Fibber McGee and Molly - Flying Saucer Lands in McGee's Yard

From March 28, 1950, we hear how the UFO craze even had an influence on your favorite old time radio shows.

link to mp3

Judy and Jane - March 3, 1942

Judy and Jane was a soap opera heard in the 1930s and later syndicated via transcriptions.  In this episode, marijuana cigarettes are being sold at the high school!  It's rare to hear drug references in OTR; I was surprised to find this program.

link to mp3

The Hartz Mountain Radio Canaries - December 12, 1944

I have some 78s featuring the Hartz Mountain Radio Canaries and never thought there was a surviving episode of the series, which ran on Mutual throughout the 40s.  One 78 included a sleeve with a shot of the program on the air - indeed, they brought in little wooden cages into the studio to chirp as the musicians played.  Can you imagine what kind of job this was for the announcer in a studio full of screaming canaries?

My cat really found this show fascinating.

link to mp3

The Haunted House of Song

I'm not sure what to say about this interesting concept in vocal music...

link to mp3

Rajput, Hindu Secret Service - Jasmine Tower Murder

Anyone know anything about this series?  The file is dated 1930 and it appears to be syndicated.

link to mp3

Roosevelt for President

During FDR's 1944 reelection bid, the Democratic Party staged a slick one-hour program heard on all four networks to promote their candidate.  The show featured musical numbers, testimonials, and many major movie and radio stars of the day.  The Republicans weren't amused, as you can imagine.

link to mp3

Yiddish Melodies in Swing

"Your old favorite Yiddish folks songs sizzle in the manner of modern Yiddish swing!"

link to mp3

Suspense - The TV Series

There's a series of DVD box sets that has been released of the live, early 1950s version of "Suspense" broadcast on CBS television.  If you'd like to see some samples, a few episodes have been uploaded to archive.org.

These aren't seen too often since they were broadcast live and are only preserved on kinescopes.  It's too bad CBS didn't arrange to make "Suspense" a filmed tv show - it might have gone on to have the fame on tv that "Twilight Zone" did later.

Murder at the Mardi Gras

Originally broadcast in 1950, the show features George Reeves before he found fame as tv's "Superman" and Jack Klugman early in his career.  Includes the original Autolite commercials.


The Cask of Amontillado

From 1949, this episode features Bela Lugosi and includes Ray Walston in the cast; complete with the original Autolight commercials.


Vic and Sade - Television show

A very rare kinescope of one of the few television versions made of the old time radio classic series "Vic and Sade"; in the comments, someone dates this to 1957.


Glimpses of 1930's German Television

Someone with a home movie camera shot some clips of various tv shows on German television, giving us a rare peek at what a viewer would have seen at the time.  The sequence of clips is a bit surreal, since we have no info on the shows themselves.


Jack Benny's 1956 New Year's TV Show

In the main sketch in the show, about 15 minutes into the program, Jack recreates a New Year's sketch he originally performed on radio with the cast reading from scripts and gathered around mics.


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