Posts

Showing posts from 2014

Autistic Children in The Eternal Light Radio Show

Image
"Nobody is expected to do what it is impossible for them to do..." 64 Years Ago today in Radio History:   In this December 3, 1950 broadcast of The Eternal Light , "Thou Shalt Teach Them Diligently" is the 1872 story of teacher, Julia Richman who was 17 years old when she began.  She taught autistic "retarded" children in a way that better suited to them. She went to be appointed as the youngest principal in New York City for 19 years.  She was later appointed the first woman superintendent. If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element Julia taught that "children and adults need to respect themselves and each other" when the mother of a fellow student shames autistic Amy.  Despite obstacles, Julia taught alternative methods of instruction for arithmetic by sewing with autistic students. "The world rests on the breath of  the children in the school yard..." Sponsored by the

Radio's Escape To Adventure

Image
Old time radio had a few distinct purposes. One of those was to allow the listener an opportunity “Walter Mitty” their routine life. Just as Mitty daydreamed his days away, so programs like Escape gave the radio audience a chance to become part of the drama. Take for example the episode “Shipment of Mute” the listener became part of the cruise as the narrator shared about his time in South America and seeking to get back to New York. The voice of Jack Webb as Chris Warner shared the adventure of capturing the BushMaster snake... the deadliest snake in Venezuela. He was planning on removing the specimen he captured to take back to the museum in NYC. Now was this going to be a simple cruise travelling back to the states, or a travel of terror? (I don’t want to give it away.) This type of programming was the trademark for  Escape   s the audience member would crane their ear closer...to hear the screams, gunfire, sound effects creating the storm to start their active imaginations i

Top Five Scariest Old Time Radio Broadcasts

Image
Young and old people enjoy Old Time Radio alike. People who grew up during the Radio Age are naturally fans of OTR. It isn't a surprise when kids from the Age of Television discover Radio, and the fact that it is often a superior storytelling medium. When we hear about folks who grew up in the age of the Internet professing their enthusiasm for old radio shows, we choose to just put on a smug and satisfied smile. A lot of young fans find they laugh at themselves for actually liking radio drama, but they are fascinated by how effective the speaking voice can be in conveying a story. As long tie OTR fans know, rarely do we see how effective this is as in the scariest Horror and Thriller radio programs . 5) “The Yellow Wall Paper”  starring Agnes Moorehead on Suspense , 1948.  Orson Welles called Moorehead one of his favorite actresses to work with.  4)“The Walking Dead” from Creeps By Night , 1944.  Rise of Zombie Apocalypse in popular culture for this one, while recog

What’s a Breakfast Program without ‘Cereal’ (Old Time Radio Breakfast Shows)

Image
Programs, such as Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club , would not have lasted very long without their sponsors. breakfast time was a great format for the big name corporations to get their wares out to the listening public. Aunt Jemima slipping out of the bottle onto warm, buttered pancakes. The “snap, crackle and pop” of Rice Krispies. These were samples of the fare being offered to the morning crowd, starting their day off just right with a delicious wake-up meal. Boardrooms all over America were figuring on how to find the perfect fit for their product line to be commercialized. One of the big leaguers in the day was Frosted Flakes. Kelloggs had its name in a few of the popular programs of the time. Many folks today that enjoy the sugar-coated corn flake owe their tastebuds to the old-time radio morning shows. Kelloggs was one of the pioneers of using the morning radio slot to figure in their cereal line. “Tony the Tiger” can still be remembered with his famous, “it’s Great” approach

Portrayal of Autistic Children in Old Time Radio: Pepper Youngs Family Radio Show

Image
In this first part: enjoy this classic radio broadcast from the radio soap opera, Pepper Young's Family Episode #61.  The Pepper Young family are selling their property and Sam has some good news. "I know you're going to be excited about it... they're gonna put up some kind of home or group of cottages for retarded children!" Sams is going to make some good money selling the lumber and was hired to run the home while Edie will invite the children to their home for supper. If you cannot see the audio controls, your browser does not support the audio element

What does it mean for an old time radio show to be "Transcribed"?

Image
"Transcribed" means the entire show is/was written down as recorded and broadcast. To complicate things, in British English, a transcription would probably be a written record of what was said in the show. In America, During the golden age of radio and in the age of heavy censorship, extensive records were required by the government. In addition they needed to be able to demonstrate to advertisers that their copy was read/delivered as paid. For example Johnny Dollar uses the phrasing--"The transcribed adventures of the insurance investigator with the action-packed expense account."

Remembering Al Gordon, Jack Benny Gag Writer

Image
Al Gordon, in rear with glasses, with Jack Benny, center, and the writers Sam Perrin, left, Hal Goldman and George Balzer. Al Gordon and Hal Goldman joined Jack Benny 's writing team in 1950. Jack Benny was famously dependent upon his writers, and was quick to give them credit for making him look good. Despite Jack's supposed reputation as a cheap skate, his writers were also some of the best paid in Hollywood. It wasn't that Jack couldn't be funny without a script, but he was much more comfortable performing with one. One well reported incident occurred when Jack stopped a rehearsal to call his writers around him. "Look," Jack told the writers, "I want to give Mel Blanc credit. I want a line for the tag of the show that says the part of the violin teacher was played by Mel Blanc." One of the four writers took Jack's script from him and wrote "The part of the violin teacher was played by Mel Blanc." Reading the new writing in the

Passing Parade Elizabeth Woodcock Old Time Radio Show

Image
The Wilson-Nesbitt Summer Program is an all-time family favorite. One of my favorite episodes is Elizabeth Woodcock . This was a story of a lady in Massachusetts who was buried in the snow for five days but woke up to tell the tale. From John Nesbitt ’s interesting narration, the audience learned that Ms. Woodcock went with her horse on a snowy day, thinking that the ride outdoors would be short and quick. However, before she reached her house, a blizzard overtook her and she became disoriented and was not able to find her way home fast enough. She fell asleep on the snow and eventually was covered with snow as well. During the entire five days before she was discovered, she woke up to several moments of wakefulness.  The storyteller’s captivating manner of relating the events enabled listeners to feel the cold of the snow during Ms. Woodcock’s ordeal and the warmth of relief at the end when Ms. Woodcock turned up alive. John Nesbitt did not stop at narrating the story, he

Fort Laramie Old Time Radio Show

Image
Instead of ending with a whimper, the Golden Age of Radio went out with a bang. Many of the best network and syndicated shows began in the 1950’s, even after the public interest and advertising dollars shifted to television. FORT LARAMIE   was certainly one of the finest shows on the air at the time. Were it, not for GUNSMOKE , it may have been deemed the best adult Western radio program ever to hit the airwaves. FORT LARAMIE  and GUNSMOKE are closely related. Both shows had many of the same staff members, including the producer-director, writers, sound effects men, and actors.  FORT LARAMIE  was brought to CBS by Norman Macdonnell almost four years after the beginning of his original hit program,  GUNSMOKE   Macdonnell’s newest show was noted for its attention to detail and gritty portrayal of the conditions in the developing west, qualities that also drew audiences to GUNSMOKE . Fort Laramie, Wyoming and Dodge City, Kansas were both real and significant locations in the expans

Who was Radio's Sherlock Holmes?

Image
When radio's Sherlock Holmes dug into the case at hand, he was as obsessed as a hound-dog on the trail of the scent and as determined as a shark heading towards its quarry. Holmes stuck to it until all possible avenues had been traced. He was a detective’s detective. So what...or rather who created this paragon of detail and pursuit? As a doctor and writer, Sir Doyle prescribed (like that?) his character of  Sherlock Holmes  to stay committed to the task at hand...and find the answer. The unique aspect of England’s leading private detective was he found answers where no one even noticed...or dained to perceive a clue. Holmes was a complex mind that harbored cliches for clues and eloquence for action. The radio audience became entranced by Holmes ability to locate the thread in the bizarre location and the drop of wine that “should not have been there”. America developed a following for the non-Tarzan who was as quick with the wit as he was the reveal of the potential cold-case