In the Corner with Dan Hughes (oldtimeradio)
258-150507 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - 2014 Cincinnati Trivia Bowl

Why did Shirley Temple turn down the lead role in The Wizard of Oz?

Who named his sidekick after his high school shop teacher - and for good reason?

Which actor did Lassie himself pick to be in his TV series?

How old was the Naughty Lady of Shady Lane?

All these questions were asked in the Trivia Bowl at last year's Cincinnati Nostalgia Convention.  This program gives you all the answers.

Pictured are last year's winners - The Tom Mix Ralston Straightshooters (left to right, Jim Widner, Randy Larson, Bill Oates, and Meredith Granger).


Direct download: 258cincy14.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:38pm CDT

257-150421 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - I Deal in Crime

Beautiful dames, psychotic criminals, and ominous organ music - the classic elements of the audio-noir private eye radio show. 

This one was called I Deal in Crime, and the detective was named Ross Dolan.  He was played by William Gargan, who three years later would play private eye Martin Kane. 

Gargan was also a film actor, and he appeared in over 90 movies and nine TV series. 

This episode of I Deal in Crime is called The Davis Daughter Case, and it first ran on April 15, 1946.

Direct download: 257idealincrime460415davisdaughter2959.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 2:53pm CDT

256-150414 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Tarzan

Edgar Rice Burroughs was destitute.  He had tried several careers, from gold mining to running a retail store, from cowboying (?) to the army, and failed in all of them. 

Finally, at the age of 35, he turned to writing.  He believed he could write better drivel than he was seeing in the pulp magazines, and his first effort, Under the Moons of Mars, sold for $400.  He was on his way.

He wrote Mars books and Venus books and "inner Earth" books and westerns, but he is best remembered for his 26 Tarzan books.

There are over 200 Tarzan movies, and comic books, and newspaper strips, and action figures.  And three radio series. 

This episode is from the third series, which ran from 1950 to 1953.  Tarzan and the Hooded Death first aired on January 25, 1951.

Direct download: 256tarzan510125hoodeddeath2959.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:32pm CDT

255-150407 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Results Incorporated

Lloyd Nolan and Claire Trevor were two movie stars who also starred in a short-run, kind-of-private-eye series in late 1944.

Lloyd Nolan appeared in the movies for a full half-century, from 1935 to 1985.  He was detective Michael Shayne in a series of films, and he appeared in such movies as A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Peyton Place.

Claire Trevor won an Oscar in 1948 for her work in Key Largo.  She made films for 54 years, from 1933 to 1987.

Lloyd Nolan was ex-circus performer Johnny Strange, who used his circus skills in his new business.  And Claire Trevor was Terry Travers, his blonde and beautiful secretary.

Though it lasted for just 12 episodes, Results Incorporated was a fine show.  Why was it over so quickly?  Probably because Nolan and Trevor were just too busy making movies.

Here's the premiere episode of Results Incorporated, from October 7, 1944.  It's called The Haunted House.

Direct download: 255ResultsIncorporated441007TheHauntedHouse2941.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:35am CDT

254-150330 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - It's Higgins, Sir

Here's another fun show that slipped through the cracks.  What happens when an average American family is bequeathed a genuine English butler?  That's easy - hilarity ensues, of course. 

Harry McNaughton, who for years was a panelist on the zany quiz show It Pays To Be Ignorant, was Higgins. 

The show ran for just three months, from July to September, 1951.  Here's the first episode, Higgins Arrives, which first aired on July 3, 1951.

Direct download: 254itsHigginsSir510703HigginsArrives2953.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:31pm CDT

253-150323 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Philo Vance

What do Superman, Popeye, and the Falcon have in common?  The stars of all those shows were also stars in the detective radio drama, Philo Vance.

Philo is played by Jackson Beck, who was the voice of Popeye's Bluto.  His secretary was played by Joan Alexander, who was Superman's Lois Lane.  And the DA was played by George Petri, who was the Falcon. 

Philo may have been rather the dandy in his early books, but by the time he made it to radio, he was a hard-boiled private detective. 

This episode, The Cover Girl Mystery Case, first aired on October 12, 1948. 

Direct download: 253philovance481012CoverGirlMurderCase2953.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:35pm CDT

252-150316 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Free Company

Schoolbook controversies are nothing new.  Nearly three-quarters of a century ago, the subject was covered in this episode of a CBS docu-drama called The Free Company. 

Should American history textbooks cover only the glowing, positive aspects of our early heroes, or should they present the complete truth, warts and all?

The group that produced these shows, the Free Company, was about as prestigious as you could get.  Nobody was paid, and writers included Ernest Hemingway, Stephen Vincent Benet, Norman Corwin, William Saroyan, and Sherwood Anderson. 

Hollywood actors like John Garfield, Orson Welles, and Paul Muni volunteered their services, and the series was hosted by Burgess Meredith.

The series ran less than three months in early 1941.  This episode, The Mole on Lincoln's Cheek, aired on March 2, 1941.

Direct download: 252thefreecompany410302TheMoleOnLincolnsCheek3001.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:46am CDT

251-150309 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray Show (Bright Star)

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, television was exploding everywhere, and radio was fading.  Radio producers went to great lengths to survive as long as they could.  One of their tricks was to hire famous movie stars as radio actors.  Hence Jimmy Stewart as the Six-Shooter, Alan Ladd in Box 13, and Bogart and Bacall in Bold Venture. 

The Ziv Company, a radio syndicator, created a show starring Irene Dunne (five Oscar nominations) and Fred MacMurray (who would become even more popular several years later on My Three Sons).  The show was called Bright Star, but it was also called The Irene Dunne and Fred MacMurray Show in an attempt to pull in more listeners.

Dunne was a smalltown newspaper editor and MacMurray her star reporter, George.  The program ran just one season, in 1952-53. 

This episode, George and the Society Burglar, first aired on December 11, 1952.

Direct download: 251irenedunnfredmacmurray521211societyburglar2954.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:13pm CDT

250-150302 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Blue Beetle

The Blue Beetle began as a comic book in August, 1939.  In 1940, CBS radio brought him to the airwaves. 

Dan Garrett was a rookie cop who had a good friend named Dr. Franz, who was a pharmacist and an inventor.  Dr. Franz invented a lightweight bulletproof "superbeing" costume for Officer Garrett, and he also concocted a special formula called Vitamin 2X, which gave Garrett "super energy." 

With the magic vitamin and the bulletproof uniform, Dan Garrett became the Blue Beetle, fighting for truth, justice, and  - no, wait, that's the OTHER superhero.

The Blue Beetle reappeared briefly in the 1950s, then again in the 1960s, and finally as a DC property in the 1980s. 

And by the way, if you enjoy Nightbeat, you'll be happy to know that the Blue Beetle was played on the radio by Frank Lovejoy. 

This episode, Thoroughbreds Always Come Through, aired on June 19,1940.

Direct download: 250BlueBeetle400619ThoroughbredsAlwaysComeThrough2830.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:17pm CDT

249-150224 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Now Hear This

Now Hear This told Navy stories, mostly from World War II. 

It was narrated by a sailor named Boats, who was played first by Arnold Robertson and later by Larry Haines.

It had a short run, just a few months in the summer and fall of 1951, on NBC.  

Here is the first episode, called Fire at Sea.  It aired on June 24, 1951.

Direct download: 249nowhearthis510624fireatsea2942.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:23pm CDT

248-150217 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Radio Hall of Fame

The Radio Hall of Fame was produced by Variety, the show-biz bible.  Classical music composer and first president of ASCAP Deems Taylor was the host of the show, and conductor Paul Whiteman was the musical director. 

The Radio Hall of Fame was a variety show, with news, comedy, drama, music, and biographies all rolled into one show.  It ran from 1943 to 1946, as an hour show for the first half of its run, then as a half-hour show.

This episode, from April 7, 1946, salutes Bill "Mr. Bojangles" Robinson and comedian Larry Storch.

Direct download: 248radiohalloffame460407bojanglesstorch2854.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:17pm CDT

247-150212 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - An American in England

The World War II radio program An American in England was written and directed by Norman Corwin and produced by Edward R. Murrow. 

Corwin auditioned several British actors for the role of narrator, but at the last minute he rejected them all and sent for American actor Joseph Julian to come to England to do the show.  Julian arrived via bomber, the day before the first broadcast.

The purpose of the series was to let America see what the British people were really like, through the eyes of an American.  The series ran for just six episodes on CBS, in the summer and fall of 1942. 

This episode first aired on September 7, 1942. 

Direct download: 247AnAmericanInEngland420907AngloAmericanAngle2937.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:32pm CDT

246-150205 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Rate Your Mate

Joey Adams was in show biz for over 70 years.  From vaudeville to the nightclub stage, from radio and TV to the authorship of 23 books, Adams was a stellar comedian.

He hosted the radio quiz show Rate Your Mate on CBS in 1950 and 1951. 

This episode aired on August 5, 1950.

Direct download: 246rateyourmate500805joeyadams2915.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:41pm CDT

245-150126 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Cloak and Dagger

Cloak and Dagger was a high-quality spy thriller that ran in the summer and fall of 1950. 

Though it was short-lived, it made an impression and picked up a lot of fans, what with the star power of Willis Cooper, "Raymond" from Inner Sanctum, Everette Sloan of Citizen Kane fame, and Superman's "Look, up in the sky, it's a bird" announcer, Jackson Beck. 

The Cloak and Dagger stories were inspired by the book of the same name, written by Corey Ford and Alistair MacBain. 

This episode, The Last Mission, first aired on September 9, 1950. 

Direct download: 245cloakanddagger500929thelastmission3009.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:09am CDT

244-150119 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Life With Luigi

An Irishman playing an Italian?  Somehow it worked.  Luigi Basco, newly arrived in Chicago from the Old Country, writes a letter each week to his mother back home in Ireland.  And each episode of Life With Luigi is the story told in Luigi's letter.

J. Carroll Naish was Luigi, and Alan Reed (TV's Fred Flintstone) was Luigi's friend Pasquale. 

The show touched a tender spot in many Americans, and it aired from 1948 to 1953.

This episode, Luigi's First Date with an American Girl, first aired on January 9, 1949.

Direct download: 244lifewithluigi490109firstdatewithamericangirl2956.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:09am CDT

243-150112 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Space Patrol

Space Patrol was on radio and TV simultaneously, from 1950 to 1955. 

Ed Kemmer was Commander Buzz Corry, and Lyn Osborn was his young sidekick, Cadet Happy. 

The Space Patrol took place in the 30th century, and the setting was the entire universe, thanks to the spaceship Terra 5. 

This episode, The Immortal Brain, first aired on May 30, 1953.

Direct download: 243spacepatrol530530theimmortalbrain2943.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:35pm CDT

242-150105 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Night Editor

Night Editor is another of those OTR shows that fell through the cracks, even though it ran on NBC for 13 years. 

Unfortunately, it had no stable day or airtime, so it was hard to find unless you kept up with your radio schedule regularly.

Hal Burdick starred as the night editor of a big-city newspaper, and he told stories to his young assistant Bobby. 

The show was so popular that it was made into a movie in 1946, starring William Gargan and Janis Carter. 

The radio version ran just 15 minutes, so I'll play you two episodes in this show.

Direct download: 242nighteditor2shows2925.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:23pm CDT

241-141229 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Command Performance

Command Performance!  Possibly the best variety show ever to air on radio - and people who lived in the USA didn't get to hear it! 

Because it was broadcast via shortwave to our Armed Forces overseas during World War II, but not to the folks here at home. 

Soldiers - thousands of them every week - wrote letters to Command Performance, requesting that a certain star sing a certain song, or a particular female star just "sigh" into the microphone, or a team from the show travel to a small town in Indiana to record birds singing.

The idea was that the soldiers were giving the orders, rather than obeying them as they had to do in real life. 

And every star, every technician, every stagehand - they all worked the show for no pay.  Even the networks lent their studios and equipment free for this show.

Virtually every star in Hollywood appeared on Command Performance during the war.  This episode, from June 17, 1944, features Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Harpo Marx.  (Pictured here:  Don Wilson and Carole Landis)

Direct download: 241commandperformance440617BennyCrosbyHarpo2955.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:18pm CDT

240-141222 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Philip Morris Playhouse

Johnny Roventini was a huge voice in a tiny body.  He was a real bellhop who was spotted by an advertising executive who thought Johnny might be the spark he needed for a cigarette campaign. 

He auditioned Johnny right there in the Hotel New Yorker, and hired him to represent Philip Morris cigarettes.

Johnny appeared on a lot of radio shows, including (what a surprise) The Philip Morris Playhouse.  The show ran, off and on, from 1939 to 1953. 

This episode, Murder Needs an Artist, stars Vincent Price.  It first aired on May 6, 1950.

Direct download: 240philipmorrisplayhouse500506murderneedsanartist2830.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:34pm CDT

239-141215 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Bob Hope Show

Bob Hope lived to be a hundred, and his wife lived to 102. 

He got a lot of mileage out of those one hundred years - singing-dancing-joking in vaudeville; radio, movies, TV, books, and live shows all over the world, mostly in war zones.  And even Bob Hope comic books.

Bob was at his best in wartime, entertaining the troops.  And this episode of the Bob Hope Show, from February 27, 1945, was broadcast live from a troop hospital in California.

Direct download: 239bobhope450227franksinatra2940.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:24pm CDT

238-141208 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Quick as a Flash

Quick as a Flash was a quiz show with just five questions - four fast ones, then a fifth one that took up over half the show.  It ran for six years, first as a prime time show, then as a daytime show.

Six audience members were selected as contestants, and after they answered the first four questions, the program shifted to a mystery show!  A short mystery play was performed, with a different guest star each week.  The contestants then had to solve the mystery.

The show had three hosts over the years:  Ken Roberts for 2 years, Win Elliot for 2 years, and Bill Cullen for 2 years.

In this episode, the guest star is the Shadow, as played by Bret Morrison.  It first aired on March 23, 1947.

Direct download: 238quickasaflash470323BretMorrison3006.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:26pm CDT

237-141201 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Top Secret

Top Secret was an espionage series that ran on NBC in the summer and part of the fall of 1950.  It never had a steady time slot, and it was often preempted, so it didn't really get the chance it deserved to become a regular prime time thriller series.

Ilona Massey ("the new Dietrich") starred as a female spy.  She was born in Budapest, and her heavy accent was natural.  Massey appeared in several movies in the 1940s.

This episode, The Case of the Tattooed Pigeon, first aired on August 13, 1950.

Direct download: 237topsecret500813CaseoftheTattooedPigeon3027.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:16pm CDT

236-141124 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Cinnamon Bear

The Cinnamon Bear is a 26-episode adventure serial about Jimmy and Judy Barton's quest to regain the star that tops their Christmas tree. 

With an all-star cast, fascinating fairytale characters, and an exciting storyline, the Cinnamon Bear  has become an annual tradition with many families, over three-quarters of a century after it first aired  in 1937.

Actors who appear in this serial include Joseph Kearns, Frank Nelson, Howard McNear, Gale Gordon, Elliott Lewis, Verna Feldon, and Barbara Jean Wong. 

My podcast includes the first two episodes of The Cinnamon Bear.  You should gather the kids together at bedtime and play them Episode One on November 29.  Each episode runs about 12 minutes.  The next night at bedtime, play them Episode Two.  Then either download the other 24 episodes, or play them directly from the website each night:

And why start on November 29?  Because then the last episode will play on Christmas Eve. 

Direct download: 236cinnamonbear2episodes2737.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:46pm CDT

235-14117 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Hercule Poirot

But for Shakespeare and the Bible, she is the best-selling author of all time. 

Her book AND THEN THERE WERE NONE is the best-selling mystery novel of all time.

Her book THE MURDER OF ROGER ACKROYD was voted the Best Crime Novel ever by the CWA (Crime Writers Association).

And her play THE MOUSETRAP is the longest-running stage play of all time - over 62 years now and still going strong.

I'm speaking of AGATHA CHRISTIE, creator of that aggravating little Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot, who came to radio near the end of World War II.  This episode, Murder Wears a Mask, first aired on May 3, 1945.

Direct download: 235HerculePoirot450503murderwearsamask3003.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 2:08pm CDT

234-141110 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Renfrew of the Mounted

Quick - What was the first old-time radio show about the Royal Canadian Mounted Police?  Hint:  It started as a 15-minute triweekly show, then was expanded to a half hour. 

If you cheated and saw the name of this episode, you know it was Renfrew of the Mounted, which ran on the CBS network two years before Sergeant Preston showed up on Mutual.  Both the Sergeant Preston show (Challenge of the Yukon) and Renfrew began as 15-minute programs, and then went to a half-hour. 

Starring as Renfrew was House Jameson, who is better known as Sam Aldrich, Henry's father, on the Henry Aldrich Show. 

Renfrew ran from 1936 to 1940, and this episode, The Bribe, aired on February 4, 1939. 

Direct download: 234RenfrewOfTheMounted390204TheBribe3008.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:57pm CDT

233-141103 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Alan Young Show

Alan Young? Wasn't he Wilbur Post on Mr. Ed? You mean he did RADIO?

Yep, Alan's first show was on the CBC (Canada) just before World War II. He was born in England (his real name is Angus, not Alan), lived in Scotland for a spell, then moved to Canada when he was six.

He became attached to radio when he was a child, listening to it while spending long stretches at a time in bed because of his bad case of asthma.

He came to the United States in 1944, where The Alan Young Show became an instant hit. The TV version won him the "Outstanding Lead Actor" Emmy in 1951, and he made several films until he was chosen to be Mr. Ed's sidekick in 1961.

This episode of The Alan Young Show, from February 7, 1947, is called Photo of a Bank Robbery.

P.S. That's Dorothy Lamour in the photo with Alan.

Direct download: 233alanyoung470207photoofabankrobbery2943.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:15pm CDT

232-141027 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Sealed Book

Like scary stuff?

The Sealed Book was a short-lived but well-remembered old-time radio show of horror, terror, murder, and madness. 

Written by the same team who wrote The Mysterious Traveler, The Sealed Book was on the air for just six months, from March to September, 1945. 

This episode, Queen of the Cats, first aired on June 24, 1945.

Direct download: 232sealedbook450624queenofthecats2920.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:12pm CDT

231-141020 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Arch Oboler's Plays

Arch Oboler sold his first short story to a magazine when he was ten. 

He started writing for radio because he thought radio should be a lot more than the soap operas he was hearing. 

Most people either loved him or hated him.  His "strong personality" (which got him expelled from college) often overshadowed his genius. 

Oboler wrote some of the best radio plays ever aired.  He wrote this one after World War II war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by a Japanese sniper just months before the war ended.

(In the photo, Raymond Edward Johnson watches as Arch Oboler is on the phone.)

Direct download: 231archobolersplays450614mrpyle23002.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:51pm CDT

230-141013 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Presenting Charles Boyer

Charles Boyer made 80 movies, generally appearing as a suave leading man. 

He also did short-lived radio series in which he played a romantic rogue name Michel. 

In each episode, Michel told a story about one of his adventures to a writer named Bart Conway, and Conway sold the stories to an American magazine.

This episode, Madamoiselle Cinderella and the Brooklyn Dodger, first aired on June 27, 1950.

Direct download: 230presentingcharlesboyer500627cinderelladodger3033.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 2:20pm CDT

229-141006 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Pete Kelly's Blues

Though Jack Webb's first love was police work, his second love was jazz. 

And in his series Pete Kelly's Blues, he played the leader of a jazz combo in 1920's Kansas City.  The program oozed of gangsters, gun molls, G-men, and hot, smoky music.

The series ran on NBC in the summer of 1951.  There were only 12 episodes, but the show is still well-remembered. 

This is the first episode, called Gus Trudeau.  It ran on July 4, 1951.

Direct download: 229petekellysblues510704gusTrudeau2942.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:14pm CDT

228-140929 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Big Story

The Big Story, which ran from 1947 to 1955 on NBC, told true crime stories through the eyes of newspaper reporters. 

The show's producer, Bernard Prockter, scoured newspapers from around the country for lurid stories, usually of murder, that he could turn into radio shows.  And of course, the names were changed to protect the innocent.  Or the guilty.

The newspaper reporters who had originally written the stories were paid $500 at the end of his or her episode. 

This episode, The Bobbysox Kid, originally aired on October 10, 1947.

Direct download: 228bigstory471016theBobbysoxKid3000.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:23am CDT

227-140922 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Hall of Fantasy

Richard Thorne and Carl Greyson created The Hall of Fantasy when they worked together at radio station KALL in Salt Lake City.  In its first incarnation, it was a pretty standard mystery show, where the bad guys always got what was coming to them. 

Thorne and Greyson left KALL in 1947, but two years later they were reunited at radio station WGN in Chicago.  They put together a new version of The Hall of Fantasy, but this time they did terror and the supernatural instead of mystery. 

Their show ran for three years on WGN before it was picked up nationally by the Mutual Network. 

This episode, The Automaton, first aired on July 27, 1953.

Direct download: 227halloffantasy530727theAutomaton2750.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:47am CDT

226-140915 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Stars Over Hollywood

Stars acting in their pajamas?  Well, it WAS radio, and the radio audience couldn't see them....

Stars Over Hollywood aired early on Saturday afternoon, when many people were just getting out of bed.  And Hollywood stars liked their Saturdays informal, too, and they loved the relaxed atmosphere of the studio where Stars Over Hollywood originated.

Running for over 13 years on CBS, Stars Over Hollywood showed the world that light comedies and romances for adults could succeed on Saturday afternoons. 

This episode featured Debbie Reynolds in The First Man She Met.  It first aired on August 23, 1952.

Direct download: 226starsoverhollywood520823firstmanshemet2951.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:08am CDT

225-140908 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Big Guy

Do you recognize the name Henry Calvin?  No?  Well, howsabout Sergeant Garcia, on Walt Disney's Zorro?

Henry Calvin was a singer, a Broadway actor, and a film and television actor.

But he started as a radio actor, and in 1950 he starred in the NBC radio series The Big Guy. 

The Big Guy, Joshua Sharp, was even bigger than Don Wilson!  His shoe size, he said, was "902 in a triple D".  He was a detective who got a lot of help from his two small children, Josh Junior and Debbie.

The show was short-lived; it ran for just six months. 

This is the first episode, called The Unheard Voice.  It was heard on May 7, 1950.

Direct download: 225thebigguy500507theUnheardVoice2956.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:31am CDT

224-140901 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - That's Rich

Stan Freberg's first radio show wasn't the infamous Jack Benny summer replacement show of 1957 - it was the 1954 satirical sitcom, That's Rich. 

Freberg played Richard E. Wilk of the Consolidated Paper Works Company. 

The list of actors in the show was spectacular:  Frank Nelson, Alan Reed, Daws Butler, Hal March, Peter Leeds. 

In later life, Freberg was an advertising genius.  He won 21 Cleos (the advertising world's equivalent of the Oscar). 

As a special bonus for you, I've added  his most famous one-minute radio spot at the end of this show.  It's the one where, with the help of the Royal Canadian Air Force, he turns Lake Michigan into a huge chocolate sundae.

Direct download: 224ThatsRich1954audition2940.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:32pm CDT

223-140825 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Answer Man

The Answer Man was kind of a goofy show. 

For 15 minutes, the narrator would throw questions at the Answer Man (Albert Mitchell), and Mitchell would throw back his answer.  Back and forth at a rapidfire pace, and there were no boundaries for the question topics, which were mailed in by listeners. 

The show ran on Mutual from 1937 to 1956, and overseas versions ran with different local hosts as the Answer Man.

If you wanted to know Adolph Hitler's phone number, or how many muscles were in a elephant's trunk, the Answer Man could tell you.

Direct download: 223answerman2shows40s2958.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:48am CDT

140818 - In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Skippy Hollywood Theatre

The Skippy Hollywood Theatre was one of the first radio programs that was NOT aired live in front of a studio audience.  Instead, it was recorded and edited before it went on the air. 

And until its final year on the air, it wasn't on a national network.  It was a syndicated program, meaning that individual stations contracted to carry the show.  Skippy Peanut Butter had a good thing going, because in the markets where the Skippy Hollywood Theatre played, Skippy Peanut Butter sales skyrocketed.

This episode, Three Strikes Yer Out, first aired on August 13, 1948.

Direct download: 222skippyhollywoodtheatre480813threestrikesyerout2920.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:33pm CDT

221-140811 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Mark Trail

Cartoonist Ed Dodd, who was also a Boy Scout leader and a National Parks guide, created the newspaper comic strip Mark Trail in 1946. 

Mark Trail was a wildlife writer and photographer.  The strip started in 45 newspapers, and at its peak it appeared in over 400 markets.

The comic strip became a radio show in 1946, first as a half-hour program airing three times a week, and later as a 15-minute show.

This episode, Purse Strings of Danger, first aired on September 25, 1950.

Direct download: 221marktrail500925_pursestringsofdanger3002.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:09am CDT

220-140804 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Dark Venture

J. Donald Wilson produced two radio series:  The Whistler, and Dark Venture.

Dark Venture began as a west-coast-only show (as did The Whistler), but after a year it expanded to the nationwide ABC radio network.

It was a psychological thriller.  The listener was able to get inside the murder's head, hearing his thoughts as he (or she) rationalized and planned their foul deeds.

Dark Venture ran from 1945 to 1947.  This episode, The Last Inhabitant, originally ran on November 18, 1946. 

Direct download: 220darkventure461118The_Only_Inhabitant2955.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:26pm CDT

219-140728 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Inspector Thorne

Husband and wife writing team Frank and Anne Hummert (pictured here) were known as the parents of the radio soap opera.  Among their many creations are Ma Perkins, Just Plain Bill, Mary Noble Backstage Wife, Stella Dallas, Young Widder Brown, Lorenzo Jones, Our Gal Sunday, and the Romance of Helen Trent. 

 But they also created some nighttime shows, too, like Front Page Farrell, Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons, and Mr. Chameleon.  And Inspector Thorne,  a murder mystery summer replacement series.  It ran on NBC from July to September of 1951. 

 Inspector Thorne was played by Karl Webber for the first half of the run, and then Staats Cotsworth took over for the rest of the run.

This episode, The Defrosted Refrigerator Murder Case, first ran on August 10, 1951.


218-140721 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Author's Playhouse

Author's Playhouse turned the world's finest short stories into half-hour radio shows. 

The program aired from 1941 to1945 on the NBC Network. 

This episode, The Man Who Woke Up Famous, first aired on July 15, 1944.

Direct download: 218authorsplayhouse440715manwhowokeupfamous2930.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:09am CDT

217-140714 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Seahound

Bob Hastings, who died last month, was best-known by old-time radio fans as Archie Andrews, of the Archie-Jughead-Betty-Veronica series. 

But before playing Archie, Bob was Jerry, the young mate on Captain Silver's ship, the Seahound.  The Seahound sailed the seven seas in search of adventure.  The program was written by Fran Striker, who also created and wrote scripts for The Lone Ranger.

The Seahound had two runs, from 1942 to 1944, and then as a summer replacement show in 1948. 

Because the episodes were just 15 minutes each, I've been able to fit two of them into this show.  They are called The Capture and The Escape, and they both aired in October, 1944.

Direct download: 217seahound44410x2capture-escape3110.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:40pm CDT

216-140707 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Tales of Tomorrow

Tales of Tomorrow was a short-lived radio show wherein short stories from Galaxy science fiction magazine were adapted into half-hour radio dramas. 

Host of the series was the famous "Raymond" - Raymond Edward Johnson.  The series started on ABC and then moved to CBS.  It was on the air from New Year's Day to April 9, 1953. 

Galaxy editor H.L. Gold, who also wrote for the magazine, bought stories that had a psychological, sociological, or satirical bend, rather than the "earth vs. aliens" stories that were popular in other magazines.   

This story, Gold's own The Old Die Rich, appeared in the March 1953 issue  of Galaxy, and was broadcast on Tales of Tomorrow on March 26, 1953. 

Direct download: 216talesoftomorrow530326TheOldDieRich3053.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:27am CDT

215-140630 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Magnificent Montague

The radio sitcom The Magnificent Montague was created by Nat Hiken, who was a comedy writer for Fred Allen and Milton Berle. 

He later created You'll Never Get Rich (The Phil Silvers Show) and Car 54, Where Are You. 

The star of The Magnificent Montague was Monty Wooley, a college professor turned actor. 

He starred in both the Broadway production and movie version of The Man Who Came to Dinner before he went into radio.

Montague was a Shakespearean actor who had fallen on hard times and had to take a job as - gasp! - a RADIO actor!

This is the first episode.  It aired on November 10, 1950.

Direct download: 215MagnificentMontegue501110premiere3031.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:30am CDT

214-140623 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The NBC University Theater

College credits by radio!  Sounds great for those enrolled in the class, but who else would want to listen to "educational programs" on the radio, when all the fun stuff was on the other stations?

That was the dilemma the NBC University Theater faced.  People were afraid they might be educated if they listened to the show!  And we all know how boring THAT is.

Nonetheless, this show, which was on the air from 1948 to 1951, more than held its own with the other radio programs that adapted books and short stories to the air.  Big name stars appeared, and the scripts were outstanding.  If the program had been given a more enticing name, it might well have garnered a much larger audience.

This episode, Mark Twain's The Man That Corrupted Hadleyville, first aired on January 24, 1951.

Direct download: 214NBCUnivTheater510124ManThatCorrputedHadleyburg2951.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:34am CDT

213-140616 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Lineup

The Lineup was probably inspired by the success of Dragnet on the radio. 

The Lineup ran on CBS from 1950 to 1953, and it had an impressive cast presenting well-written stories.

Bill Johnstone, who had played the Shadow for five years (between Orson Welles and Bret Morrison) starred as Police Lieutenant Ben Guthrie in "a great American city."

This episode, The Silk Stocking Bandit, originally aired on March 25, 1952.

Direct download: 213thelineup520325silkstockingbandit2918.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:36pm CDT

212-140609 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Casebook of Gregory Hood

Poor Gregory Hood.  He got no respect from Mutual or ABC, the two networks that carried him. 

Six different actors in five years played Hood, and his time slot changed (both day AND time) seven times during its run.

Gregory Hood was an importer and amateur detective who lived in San Francisco.  The scripts were written by the same team who scripted the Sherlock Holmes radio series.  (Gregory Hood began as a summer replacement for Sherlock.)

This episode, Gregory Hood, Suspect, first aired on September 30, 1946.

Direct download: 212casebookofgregoryhood60930gregoryhoodsuspect3002.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:31pm CDT

211-140602 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The House of Mystery

The House of Mystery ran on Mutual from 1945 to 1949. 

Narrator Roger Elliott (played by John Griggs) told ghost stories to kids. 

The show started as a 15-minute strip, but soon expanded to a half-hour. 

This episode, A Gift from the Dead, first aired on August 3, 1947.

Direct download: 211houseofmystery470803AGiftFromtheDead2810.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:23am CDT

210-140526 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Words at War

"One of the most outstanding programs in radio" - Variety.
"The boldest and hardest-hitting program of 1944" - New York Times.

Words at War ran just two years, from June 1943 to June 1945.  Its theme was World War II.  Novels and short stories were featured, as were non-fiction war correspondents like Ernie Pyle. 

In this episode, host Carl Van Doren presents Fair Stood the Wind for France, which is both a war story and a love story, and is considered one of the very best shows of the series.  It first aired on June 27, 1944.

Direct download: 210WordsAtWar440627FairStoodTheWindForFrance3005.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:36am CDT

209-140519 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Baby Snooks Show

Fannie Brice had two careers.  She was the actress and singer as portrayed by Barbra Streisand in the movies Funny Girl and Funny Lady, and she was an exasperating six-year-old girl on the Baby Snooks Show. 

Baby Snooks first appeared on the radio in 1936, when Brice was 46 years old.  The last episode of her show aired the day she died suddenly of a brain aneurism in 1951.

In this episode from November 21, 1940, Jack Benny is the guest star.

Direct download: 209babysnooks401121jackbenny2919.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:04pm CDT

208-140512 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Convention Time!

The Cincinnati Nostalgia Expo will be held this Friday and Saturday (May  16 and 17), and you're invited!  Meet Jon Provost, Lassie's Timmy; Old Yeller's Beverly Washburn; and Ivan Curry, radio's Bobby Benson. 

Complete details are at - click the links in the header of that page.

Instead of an old-time radio episode, this week you can hear all the questions (and answers!) from last year's Nostalgia Trivia Bowl, which was held at the convention.  The photo is the team that won the first trivia quiz, the Tom Mix Ralston Straightshooters.

There will another trivia bowl this year, Friday night at 8:30, written and hosted by yours truly.  I'd love to see you there!

Direct download: 208cincyquiz13-2555.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:56am CDT

207-140505 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Armstrong Theater of Today

Every Saturday at noon from late 1941 to early 1954, CBS radio presented a romantic drama "theater" called the Armstrong Theater of Today.  It was named after its sponsor, the Armstrong Quaker Rug and Linoleum Company.

Each week, a different play was presented, with stars from the Hollywood movie industry. 

This episode, Thunder and a Miracle, stars Joan Caulfield, pictured here.  It first aired on January 3, 1948.

Direct download: 207armstrongtheater480103thunderandamiracle2902.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:15pm CDT

206-140428 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Calling All Cars

Calling All Cars was a groundbreaking police procedural program that paved the way for later shows like Gangbusters and Dragnet.

On the air from 1933 to 1939, it was written and directed by William N. Robson, who later received acclaim for his work on such shows as Suspense and Escape.

This episode, The 26th Wife, is about a man whose hobby is marrying women and then killing them.  It first aired on July 20, 1939.

Direct download: 206callingallcars390720-26thwife2959.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:37pm CDT

205-140421 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Quiz Kids

Some of you may know that in another life, I am a treasure hunter.  And sometimes my hobbies collide. 

I once found a 1935 Radio Orphan Annie decoder wheel while I was searching for old coins with a metal detector.  And this past weekend, I found another OTR treasure while perusing an old bookstore.

I picked up a first-edition copy of The Quiz Kids, a 1947 book written by the chief researcher for the show.  And the book was signed by the author, the host of the radio show, and three of the quiz kids themselves.  Hog Heaven!

And since I haven't run a Quiz Kids episode yet, now seems to be the perfect time. 

In fact, this episode  was aired on March 9, 1947 - the day after my book was signed at the autograph party in Chicago. 

Direct download: 205quizkids470309hopetribe2902.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:46pm CDT

204-140414 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Silver Theater

The Silver Theater was so named because it was sponsored by the Rogers Silverware Company.  It ran for 11 years on CBS. 

Most of the shows were original dramas written especially for this program, though sometimes they ran movie adaptations. 

Many of Hollywood's stars appeared on the Silver Theater, including Cary Grant, Clark Gable, and Helen Hayes. 

This episode, starring Robert Montgomery as a not-so-nice guy, first aired on April 16, 1939.  It's called Expert Opinion.

Direct download: 204silvertheater390416expertopinion3016.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:40pm CDT

203-140407 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Hello Sucker!

Consumer fraud has been around a long time. 

In 1952, Chicago's WMAQ, in conjuction with the Better Business Bureau of Chicago, produced a series of half-hour radio dramas illustrating how con men work. 

It ran for four months, and it was called Hello Sucker!

This episode, Spare Time Sucker, first aired on March 1, 1952.

Direct download: 203hellosucker520301sparetime2918.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:55pm CDT

202-140331 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Green Lama

Double Detective magazine wanted a character like The Shadow, so they hired a writer to create one. 

Result:  The Green Lama, a multimillionaire American who studied under Tibetian masters, and returned to the United States with superpowers. 

The Green Lama began as a series of short novels in Double Detective magazine, then he appeared in a series of comic books, and finally CBS put him on the radio, with voice artist extraordinaire playing the Green Lama.  

This episode, The Last Dinosaur, first aired on July 2, 1949.

Direct download: 202greenlama490702lastdinosaur2905.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:07pm CDT

201-140324 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Cavalcade of America

When the DuPont Company was getting a bad name for profiteering from World War I, they decided to fight back by sponsoring a patriotic radio program.  Cavalcade of America first aired in 1935. 

DuPont hired the most prestigious writers for the show - a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and poets Carl Sandburg and Stephen Vincent Benet.  They also used famous Hollywood movie actors in major roles, rather than radio actors.

These factors made Cavalcade of America one of the most professional programs ever to air.  This episode, All That Money Can Buy, first ran on October 20, 1941.

Direct download: 201cavalcadeofamerica411020allthatmoneycanbuy2822.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:35pm CDT

200-140317 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Black Museum

The Black Museum was the name given to Scotland Yard's Crime Museum by a newspaper reporter, and it stuck. 

The Crime Museum was opened in 1875.  In 1951, a radio series about the musuem was recorded in Australia for the BBC, and it featured Orson Welles as the narrator. 

Each week, Welles would pick up a display item that was used in an actual crime,  and its story would be told. 

The series was carried in the United States on the Mutual Network from January to December, 1952. 

This episode tells the story of A Pair of Spectacles.

Direct download: 200theblackmuseum1952apairofspectacles2704.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:49pm CDT

199-140310 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Grand Marquee

Who remembers Beryl Vaughn?  She was probably best-known playing Penny on radio's Sky King.  When she lived in Detroit, she was a member of legendary radio station WXYZ's talent pool, and she played many female characters on the Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, and Challenge of the Yukon. 

In 1946, she teamed with first Jim Ameche, and later Olan Soule, as the two stars of Grand Marquee, a weekly romantic comedy play on NBC. 

This episode, A Man's Home is Her Castle, first aired on February 20, 1947.

Direct download: 199grandmarquee470220AMansHomeIsHerCastle2907.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:19pm CDT

198-140303 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Treasury Agent

Raymond Edward Johnson was an old-time radio actor from the early 1930s until the late 1940s.  His best-known role was Raymond, the ghoulish host of Inner Sanctum.

He also appeared on Broadway, and he played Alexander Graham Bell in the 1947 movie Mr. Bell. 

In that same year, he played treasury agent Joe Lincoln in the ABC series Treasury Agent.

This episode, The Faithful Wife, first aired on August 11, 1947.

Direct download: 198treasuryagent470811thefaithfulwife3015.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:13pm CDT

197-140224 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Tailspin Tommy

Tailspin Tommy started as a newspaper comic strip in 1928, and it spawned two movie serials, four movies, a comic book series, a Big Little book (pictured), a novel - and a radio show.

Tailspin Tommy Tomkins, his best friend Skeets Milligan, and his girlfriend Betty Lou Barnes all fly for airship developer Paul Smith in a town called Three Point, Texas. 

Strangely enough, the actors are unknown.  Anybody?

This was the first radio episode, known both as "The Hidden Mine" and "Murder in the Sky."  It aired on September 5, 1941.

For a great article on this show by Karl Schadow, visit

Direct download: 197tailspintommy410905hiddenmine3104.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:19pm CDT

196-140217 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Defense Attorney

NBC needed a show to replace Mr. District Attorney, which had gone to ABC. 

They came up with The Defense Rests. 

But at the last minute, they turned it down and ABC picked it up, renaming it Defense Attorney. 

The title character was played by Mercedes McCambridge, and Howard Culver played a newspaper reporter. 

The show was on in 1951 and 1952, and this episode, The Jim Leonard Case, first aired on September 14, 1951.

Direct download: 196defenseatty510914jimleonard2948.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:03am CDT

195-140210 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Continental Celebrity Club

The Continental Celebrity Club aired for just half a year, but it had several big stars appear in those few shows. 

Newsman John Daly and the Aldrich Family's Jackie Kelk hosted the show.

Clayton (Bud) Collyer announced, Margaret Whiting was the show's vocalist, and Ray Bloch's Orchestra provided the music. 

And each week, a guest celebrity appeared for a song or two or a dramatic or comedy sketch.

This episode, with guest star Dorothy Lamour, first aired on May 4, 1946.

Direct download: 195continentalcelebrityclub460504dorothylamour2942.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:03pm CDT

194-140203 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Eddie Bracken Show

Eddie Bracken was in show biz at age 9 as a vaudeville performer.  He was in a Broadway musical (Too Many Girls) in 1939 which was made into a movie (starring Eddie) in 1940.

He did several more movies in the forties, appeared as a guest star on numerous radio shows, and had his own show in 1945-47. 

Later he returned to Broadway, doing Hello Dolly, The Sunshine Boys, and The Odd Couple.  He also guested on serveral television shows, from the fifties through the nineties.

This episode of The Eddie Bracken Show is called Switching Beauty Contest Photos.  It originally aired on April 1, 1945.

Direct download: 194-140203eddiebracken450401switchingbeautycontestphotos2922.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 2:31pm CDT

193-140127 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - A Life In Your Hands

Can you name the American fiction author whose works have been translated into the most languages? 

The answer is Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of Perry Mason.  Gardner was a self-taught attorney who found writing for the pulp magazines more exciting than lawyering. 

In 1949, Gardner was asked to create a new radio series.  The show was called A Life In Your Hands, and the main character, Jonathan Kegg, solved crimes in the courtroom, much like Perry Mason. 

This episode, Murder at the Eye Doctor's, first aired on July 31, 1952.  And the newspaper clipping you see here advertises this very episode.

Direct download: 193LifeInYourHands520731Murderattheeyedoctors3001.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:16pm CDT

192-140120 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Stars in the Air

Stars in the Air was on the air for just shy of seven months.  Like the Screen Guild Theater, it featured the biggest Hollywood stars in half-hour adaptations of famous movies. 

It was a project of the actors' union, the Screen Actors Guild, and the performers worked for little or no pay, because they saw their work as a contribution to their union. 

The hope was that as people heard these movie adaptations on the radio, they would go to the movies more often.

This episode, The House on 92nd Street, stars Humphrey Bogart and Keefe Braselle.  It first aired on May 3, 1952.

(NOTE:  There is background noise in this program, a voice coming and going, but I felt the show is so good that it's worth putting up with the interference.)

Direct download: 192starsintheair520503thehouseon92ndst2908.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:48pm CDT

191-140113 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Shorty Bell

This show had everything going for it.  A Hollywood star in the lead role, a great radio network, excellent writing, and fantastic reviews.

Still, CBS cancelled it after just three months. 

Mickey Rooney played Shorty Bell, who worked in the newspaper business like his father before him. 

But Shorty wanted to be a reporter, instead of the truck driver who delivered the newspaper bundles around town.

This is the first episode of Shorty Bell, from March 28, 1948.

Direct download: 191shortybell480328firstshow3000.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:16pm CDT

190-140106 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Adventures of Leonidas Witherall

Leonidas Witherall, as created by Alice Tilton, looked just like William Shakespeare. 

He ran a private school for boys and wrote detective novels on the side.  He was also an amateur detective himself. 

His stories were confusing but fun, and Miss Tilton's books sold well from the late 1930s through World War II. 

In 1944, the Mutual Network turned them into a radio series. 

This episode, The Case of the Vanishing Housekeeper, is from July 23, 1944.

Direct download: 190witherall440723vanishinghousekeeper2959.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:57pm CDT

189-131230 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Al Pearce Show

Al Pearce was on the air for almost two decades.  His show was mostly broad vaudeville-style humor, the type that ages poorly. 

But Al brought to radio many future stars - Morey Amsterdam, Yogi Yorgesson, Lord Bilgewater, Eb and Zeb, and fast-talking Arlene Harris.

And Al himself was famous for his shy door-to-door salesman character, Elmer Blurt. 

This episode, from March 6, 1940, features special guest star Gene Autry.

Direct download: 189alpearce400306geneautry3029.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:27pm CDT

188-131223 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Columbia Workshop

The Columbia Workshop was an experimental program on CBS from 1937 to 1947, with a break during the war years. 

It featured programs about the technical side of radio, about sound effects and microphones and how music can enhance radio drama. 

It also featured Orson Welles in Hamlet and MacBeth, and radio plays based on short stories and poetry by authors both historic and contemporary. 

But its most famous broadcast was its adaptation of the Archibald MacLeish work The Fall of the City, about the relentless march of Fascism.

Pictured here, left to right, are actor Orson Welles, producer/director Irving Reis, and author/poet Archibald MacLeish, working in the Manhattan Armory with over 200 extras, performing this week's featured show:  The Fall of the City, first broadcast on April 11, 1937.

Direct download: 188columbiaworkshop370411thefallofthecity3023.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:11am CDT

187-131216 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Bob Burns Show

He hosted the 1938 Academy Awards show.

His newspaper column was carried in 240 papers. 

He had major roles in 25 movies, and he was the male lead in eight of them.

And the Army named a weapon after a musical instrument he invented, the Bazooka.

Yet few people recognize the name Bob Burns, the Arkansas Traveler. 

His radio show ran for six years, and his house band was Spike Jones and the City Slickers.  In this episode from May 6, 1943, Spike plays a great song called The Sound Effects Man.

(Photo is of the Army bazooka, and Bob Burns with his musical Bazooka.)

Direct download: 187bobburnsshow430506-3033.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:40pm CDT

186-131209 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Romance (and a little Burns & Allen)

The CBS radio show Romance is little-known, because in its 15-year run, CBS used it mostly as filler.  It had no long-term time slot or day of the week.  It would appear whenever CBS had a slot to fill.

Which is sad, because it was a top-flight program, with excellent writing and great stars.  In this episode, you'll hear William Conrad, John Dehner, Parley Baer, Joseph Kearns, Vic Perrin, Sam Edwards, and Virginia Gregg.

And stay tuned afterwards for a short but hilarious clip from George Burns and Gracie Allen.

This episode of Romance was the last episode ever broadcast.  It's called Uncle Fats and the Goose Step, and it aired on January 5, 1957.

Direct download: 186romance570105UncleFatstheGooseStep2823.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:27pm CDT

185-131202 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - NBC Presents: Short Story

Though novels were often adapted for radio plays, short stories seldom made it to the air in dramatized form. 

In the latter days of the Golden Age of Radio, NBC ran a weekly short story dramatization called NBC Presents: Short Story.  It ran for 15 months, from early 1951 to mid-1952. 

Authors represented included Steinbeck and Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ray Bradbury.  Hollywood's best actors appeared in the series.

This episode, Beautiful Summer at Newport, first aired on April 18, 1951.

Direct download: 185NBCshortstory510418beautifulsummerinnewport3017.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:49pm CDT

184-131125 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Easy Aces

Goodman Ace was a radio writer, a television writer, a magazine columnist, and a joke doctor. 

His show, Easy Aces, featured Goodman and his wife Jane, who was a scatterbrain much like Gracie Allen.

They were on the air from 1930 until his show was dumped after the 1945 season by its sponsor, Anacin, because Ace insulted them. They came back for one more season in 1948. 

This episode, The Radio Show Talent Hunt, first aired on March 6, 1948.

Direct download: 184mraceandjane480306talenthunt2935.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:53pm CDT

183-131118 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Ripley's Believe It or Not

Leroy Ripley liked the name Robert better than Leroy, so he became Robert.  And he liked the idea of being born on Christmas Day better than being born on the day after, so he changed his birthday to December 25. 

Hopefully, he was more accurate with the truth of the claims he made in his Believe It or Not shows than he was with the facts of his own life. 

Robert Ripley's professional cartoon career began in 1918, when he drew a daily one-panel sports cartoon called Champs and Chumps.  The following year it became Believe It or Not, and in time it appeared in magazines, books, movies, radio, and television.

The radio version aired from 1930 to 1948, the year before Ripley died.  This episode, Warden's Pardon, first aired on June 30, 1939.

Direct download: 183believeitornot390630wardenspardon3000.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:00pm CDT

182-131111 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Tales of Fatima

Basil Rathbone was coming off a big success as Sherlock Holmes when Fatima cigarettes hired him to play a private detective named - Basil Rathbone. 

Rathbone was given clues to his cases by an otherworldly female voice named Fatima.  What a coincidence - just like the cigarettes!

And Rathbone even read the Fatima commercials. 

The program aired on the CBS radio network, and it lasted from January to October, 1949.

This episode, Time to Kill, first aired on May 28, 1949. 

Direct download: 182talesoffatima490528timetokill2956.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:40pm CDT

181-131104 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Out of the Deep

The Blue Falcon was a salvage ship that sailed the world under the direction of Captain Gunnar Carlisle.

Based on the life of deep-sea diver Captain Carlisle, Out of the Deep aired on the Mutual Network in 1945 and 1946. 

This episode, The Panther Story, first aired on February 9, 1946. 

Direct download: 181outofthedeep460209thepantherstory3008.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 2:53pm CDT

180-131024 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Show

Paul Winchell had polio as a child, and while sick in bed he answered a magazine ad for a ventriloquism kit for a dime.  He built his first dummy in shop class at school, and named it after his shop teacher. 

Winchell appeared on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour radio show, and he won.  So at age 14, Paul Winchell became a professional ventriloquist. 

In later life he did cartoon voices.  He was Walt Disney's Tigger the Tiger.  And he was an inventor - he held a patent for the world's first artificial heart. 

This episode of his radio show aired on July 10, 1944.

Direct download: 180paulwinchell440710-3045.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:18am CDT

179-131021 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - It's a Crime, Mr. Collins

Mandel Kramer was Lt. Tragg on the radio version of Perry Mason, and Richard Denning was Lucille Ball's husband in My Favorite Husband.  Together with Gail Collins, they starred in a short-lived, light-hearted detective series called It's a Crime, Mr. Collins.

The series ran from August 1956 to February 1957, and it was pretty much a copy of The Adventures of the Archers, which was pretty much a copy of Mr. and Mrs. North. 

But those were pretty good shows to copy, and Mandel Kramer did a super job with this program.

Direct download: 179itsacrimemrcollins56xxxxBluetreasure2757.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:25pm CDT

178-131014 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Passing Parade

John Nesbitt's father left him a treasure chest full of old news clippings of strange and wondrous things.  Nesbitt used those clippings to launch a radio show that lasted for 15 years, from 1937 to 1951. 

His programs were similar to what Robert Ripley did on Believe It or Not. 

Nesbitt talked of disasters, disappearances, amazing coincidences, and unexplained phenomena.  He told tales of fanatics, swindlers, andventurers, and treasure hunters. 

He called the show The Passing Parade. 

Here are two episodes from 1949.  The first talks of minor events that caused great events to happen, and the second tells the tale of the airplane that crashed into the Empire State Building.

Direct download: 178passingparade1949twoshows2756.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:33pm CDT

177-131007 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Leave It to the Girls

Four women against one man - that was the basic setup of Leave It to the Girls, a Mutual Radio series that aired from 1945 to 1949. 

Listeners sent in their "Dear Abby" type problems, and the celebrity panel offered their solutions. 

The producers of the program expected the show to be serious, but much to their surprise - and delight - the panelists were often quite funny. 

This episode originally aired on December 8, 1945. 

Direct download: 177leaveittothegirls451208-3052.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:08am CDT

176-130930 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Abie's Irish Rose

Abie's Irish Rose opened on Broadway and ran for six and a half years - at the time, the longest Broadway run ever.  (The record was finally broken 40 years later by Hello, Dolly.)

The plot was simple:  A Jewish boy marries a Catholic girl, against their families' wishes. 

Two movie versions were made, and a radio version ran on NBC from 1942 to 1944.  This episode, Abie Buys a New Jersey store, was originally broadcast on January 13, 1943.

Direct download: 176abiesirishrose430113abiebuysanjstore2845.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:50pm CDT

175-130923 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Abe Burrows Show

Abe Burrows was a New York wit, a composer/singer of clever parodies that made him a favorite of Danny Kaye, Robert Benchley, and Groucho Marx. 

He also wrote Broadway musicals, like Breakfast at Tiffany's, Can-Can, and Guys and Dolls.  And he won a Pulitzer Prize for How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying. 

His radio show ran from 1947 to 1949, and since it was just 15 minutes nightly, this show is comprised of two back-to-back episodes.

Direct download: 175abeburroughs47102x-romance-TV2829.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:01pm CDT

174-130916 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - This Is My Best

One of the best-selling books of 1942 was THIS IS MY BEST, edited by Whit Burnett.  Burnett asked 93 different authors to name their best short story, and those stories were printed in this anthology. 

In 1944, the anthology became a CBS radio series.  Orson Welles hosted the show for a short time, but he was fired because one of the scripts he chose just happened to be one in which he had a financial interest.

This episode, Miss Dilly Says No, first aired on March 20, 1945.

Direct download: 174ThisIsMyBest450320MissDillySaysNo2929.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:05pm CDT

173-130909 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - That Brewster Boy

That Brewster Boy was a radio sitcom that ran pretty much concurrently with World War II. 

The formula was typical of radio sitcoms - Mom and Dad, and cute, popular teenage daughter, and younger, boisterous son. 

The main character, Joey Brewster, was played first by Eddie Firestone, then by Arnold Stang, and finally by Dick York.  (Yes, THAT Dick York.)

This episode, A Visit From Dottie, first aired on December 29, 1941.

Direct download: 173thatbrewsterboy411229avisitfromdottie2820.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:02am CDT

172-130903 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Somebody Knows

In 1947, Elizabeth Short was murdered.  Now, two-thirds of a century later, the crime is still unsolved. 

Sixty people have confessed to the murder, but they were all lying.  Or were just 59 of them lying? 

Somebody Knows ran on CBS in 1950.  Each week, a true-life murder was reenacted, and a $5,000 reward was offered to anyone providing information that led to the arrest of the murderer. 

This episode is about the still-unsolved murder of Elizabeth Short, in a case that has become known as the Black Dahlia Murder.

Direct download: 172somebodyknows500824blackdahlia3017.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:21pm CDT

171-130826 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Orson Welles Almanac

Orson Welles, comedian?

This little-known talent of the master was exhibited in his radio show, The Orson Welles Almanac, which was broadcast in 1944. 

Each week, Orson did both comedy and drama.  His show also featured musical numbers, random facts, and guest stars. 

This episode features actress Mary Boland, and it was first broadcast on March 29, 1944.

Direct download: 171orsonwellesalmanac440329maryboland3025.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:58am CDT

170-130819 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Murder By Experts

Mystery writer John Dickson Carr published 45 novels under his own name and 25 more under the pen name Carter Dickson. 

He also hosted this radio mystery show.  Murder By Experts was on the air from 1949 to 1951. 

Each week, a different mystery novelist recommended his or her favorite mystery story, and that story was told on Murder By Experts.

This episode, The Case of the Missing Mind, aired December 26, 1949.

Direct download: 170murderbyexpeerts491226caseofthemissingmind3008.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:41pm CDT

169-130812 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Everyman's Theater

Arch Oboler was the second - and best known - host of the horror show Lights Out. 

He also wrote and directed Arch Oboler's Plays.  When that show became popular, the name was changed to Everyman's Plays.

This episode, Cat Woman, first aired on October 18, 1940.

Direct download: 169everymans.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:30pm CDT

168-130805 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Death Valley Days

Death Valley Days was written by a female New York advertising copywriter who travelled once a year to the wild west to gather ideas for her stories. 

The series ran for 40 years total on radio and TV.  Sometimes the stories were fiction, sometimes they told the story of famous westerners. 

This episode, from August 27, 1936, is the story of the famous outlaw Sam Bass.

Direct download: 168deathvalleydays360827sambass2820.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:04am CDT

167-130729 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Adventures of the Abbotts

Some radio shows were so popular that the rival networks ran imitations. 

The Adventures of the Abbotts was in a way a copy show.  It was about a sophisticated married couple who solved mysteries, a la Nick and Nora Charles, and Mr. and Mrs. North.

But this particular copy was pretty much as good as (and sometimes better than) the originals.  The Abbotts began as a series of novels by Frances Crane.

This episode, The Fabulous Emerald Necklace, first aired on April 3, 1955.

Direct download: 167abbotts550403fabemnecklace3030.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:11am CDT

166-130722 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Blue Ribbon Town

Groucho Marx is best-known for his radio and TV quiz show, You Bet Your Life. 

But before that, during World War II, he did a comedy show called Blue Ribbon Town (you can guess the sponsor).  Groucho did a lot of vaudeville jokes, and he had a different guest star each week. 

This episode, from February 26, 1944, features Jack Benny.

Direct download: 166blueribbontown440226jackbenny3006.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:59pm CDT

165-130715 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station had quite a run - from 1937 until 1954.  Over the years, it appeared on CBS, NBC, ABC and the Blue Network. 

Each week, it followed a random passenger who was getting off a train in Grand Central Station. 

The programs were usually light romantic comedies. 

This episode, Moon Blind, originally aired on August 24, 1946.

Direct download: 165grandcentralstation460824moonblind2951.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:49pm CDT

164-130708 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Chandu the Magician

Chandu the Magician was the alter ego of Frank Chandler, an American who had learned occult powers from a yogi in India.  Sounds a lot like Lamont Cranston and The Shadow!
Chandu had two OTR runs twelve years apart.  First in the early 1930s, then again in the late 1940s.  Each series was written by Vera Oldham.

Chandu was played by Gayne Whitman and Howard Hoffman in the early run.

This episode is from the later run of the show, with Tom Collins as Chandu and Irene Tedlow as Chandu's sistor Dorothy.  It first aired on November 26, 1949.

Direct download: 164chandu491126-2942.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:33am CDT

163-130701 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Dr. Christian

Dr. Christian ran from 1937 to 1954.  In its later years, the scripts for the show were written by listeners.  Prizes were awarded for the best scripts, and those scripts were actually used for the show. 

Two college students who sold scripts to Dr. Christian later went on to become famous:  the Twilight Zone's Rod Serling, and The Waltons creator Earl Hamner Jr.

This episode, Old Battle Ax, originally aired on November 2, 1949.

Direct download: 163drchristian491102oldbattleax2024.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:51pm CDT

162-130624 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Words at War

Words at War was a World War 2 program that was pretty much forgotten after the war ended. 

But Newsweek magazine called it "one of the best contributions to serious commercial radio in many a year", and the show business newspaper Variety said it was "one of the most outstanding programs in radio."

See for yourself if it stands up to that billing.  This show, Fair Stood the Wind for France, is considered one of the best episodes of the series.  It originally aired on June 27, 1944.

Direct download: 162wordsatwar440627fairstoodthewindforfrance3022.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:29pm CDT

161-130617 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Voyage of the Scarlet Queen

Elliott Lewis was the consummate radio man.  Actor, director and producer, Lewis was superb in both comedy and drama.  From Suspense to the Phil Harris-Alice Fay show to Nero Wolfe to the Adventures of Maisie, Elliott Lewis seemed to be just about everywhere. 

One place he was often found was on board the Scarlet Queen, an adventure ship that sailed the seven seas. 

Lewis was the narrator of the series, and also the captain of the ship. 

This episode, The Bubble Dancer and the Buccaneers, first aired on January 28, 1948.

Direct download: 161scarletqueen480128bubbledancer2951.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:35am CDT

160-130610 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Screen Guild Theater

The Screen Guild Theater was another of those programs that turned  full-length movies into half-hour radio shows.  But this show was a little different.  All the stars worked for free. 

The money they would have earned instead went to the Motion Picture Relief Fund, and it was used to build a rest home for retired performers. 

The show was on the air from 1939 to 1952, and in this episode we hear Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell present the radio version of their hit movie, His Girl Friday.  It originally aired on March 30, 1941.

Direct download: 160screenguild410330hisgirlfriday3030.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:27pm CDT

159-130603 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - One Out of Seven

Dragnet, Pete Kelly's Blues, Pat Novak For Hire, Johnny Modesto.  Jack Webb fans know those names intimately. 

But what about One Out of Seven? 

It was aired on the west coast only, and it ran just a few months in early 1946.  Jack Webb did all the voices, and all the ethnic accents.  The show ran 15 minutes, and each week it fought racial intelerance. 

Here are two episodes, and I think you'll find them fascinating.

Direct download: 159oneoutofseven4602xxTwoshows3048.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:35pm CDT

158-130527 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Fourth Annual Cincy OTR Trivia Bowl

What western replaced The Lone Ranger on the Mutual Network when the Lone Ranger switched to the Blue Network? 

What quiz show gave us Beulah the Buzzer? 

The town of Waters, Arkansas, changed its name to honor what radio show in 1936? 

According to the jingle, where should you never put bananas?

Find out the answers to these questions, and many more, on this week's episode of In the Old-Time Radio Corner. 

In this special program, you'll hear all the questions - and answers - from last year's Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Trivia Bowl. 

This year's Trivia Bowl, which will be held Friday night, May 31, 2013, at the Cincinnati Nostalgia Convention, is recruiting contestants now.  If you'd like to play, just find me at the convention and I'll sign you up.  Or email me at

The photo, by the way, is last year's winning team, the Tom Mix Ralston Straightshooters.  Left to right, Jim Widner, Meredith Granger, Dan Riedstra, and Randy Larson.

Direct download: 158-2012quiz.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:37pm CDT

157-130520 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Eyes Aloft

After Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, our west coast feared air attacks.  Private citizens were asked to constantly watch the skies for enemy aircraft. 

And in 1942, NBC created the program Eyes Aloft to promote the Aircraft Warning Service.  This series ran only on west coast radio stations.

This episode, featuring guest star Henry Fonda, aired on August 24, 1942.

Direct download: 157eyesaloft420824henryfonda3033.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:50pm CDT

156-130513 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - That Hammer Guy

The best-selling hard-boiled detective of them all?  Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. 

Hammer first appeared in the novel I the Jury, a book that sold over 6 million copies in the United States alone. 

Spillane's detective novels have sold  over 225 million copies worldwide, and the Mutual radio network turned the popular private eye into a radio series, That Hammer Guy. 

This episode, The Saddle Shoes, first aired on April 7, 1953.

Direct download: 156thathammerguy530407thesaddleshoes3004.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:25am CDT

155-130506 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders

Bobby Benson was an early - and late - kids' western show.  Bobby was an orphan who inherited a ranch in Texas. 

His ranch handyman, Windy Wales, was played by Don Knotts, who would later become much better known as Andy Griffith's deputy, Barney Fife. 

The show first appeared on the air in 1932, and last appeared in 1955.  But the show was only broadcast for 10 years, because it disappeared in 1936 and didn't reappear until 1949.

Over the years, several actors played Bobby.  Ivan Cury had the part in 1949 and 1950, and Ivan will be one of the guests at this year's Cincinnati Nostalgia Expo.  He will play Bobby Benson again at the convention, and you're invited.

The Expo will be Friday and Saturday, May 31 and June 1, 2013.  Details here:  I'd love to see you there! 

This episode, Double Dare, was first broadcast on November 25, 1949.

Direct download: 155bobbybenson491125doubledare3002.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

154-130429 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Hollywood Star Playhouse

Hollywood Star Playhouse was a half-hour program that featured a different Hollywood movie star every week, appearing in a radio drama especially written for the show.

Marilyn Monroe made her first radio appearance on the Hollywood Star Playhouse. 

And the episode we have for you here proved so popular that it evolved into a series of its own - The Six Shooter, starring Jimmy Stewart.

Direct download: 154hollystarplayhouse520413sixshooter2947.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:59pm CDT

153-130422 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Curtain Time

New York City had The First Nighter, Chicago had Curtain Time.  The shows were quite similar. 

The idea in each case was that you were not listening to your radio, but actually attending the premiere of a new play in the downtown theatre district.

Most of the plays on Curtain Time were lighthearted comedy romances. 

This play, The Dishonest Ghost, first aired on July 10, 1948.

Direct download: 153curtaintime480710dishonestghost3019.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:58pm CDT

152-130415 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Kraft Music Hall (Al Jolson)

Al Jolson was once known as the World's Greatest Entertainer.  He had his own radio show from 1932 to 1949.  He starred in the first "talkie" movie, The Jazz Singer, in 1927. 

His radio show had many names over the years.  This version was called The Kraft Music Hall, and this episode, from May 6, 1948, features special guest Groucho Marx.

Direct download: 152kraftmusichall480506grouchomarx2957.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:18pm CDT

151-130408 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Young Love

In this short-lived sitcom, Janet and Jimmy played Janet and Jimmy. 

Janet Waldo (who played radio's Corliss Archer, and much later, TV's Judy Jetson) and Jimmy Lydon (who played Henry Aldrich in nine movies,  and much later was co-creator of M*A*S*H) starred.  They played a secretly-married young college couple. 

This episode, Jimmy and Janet Get Jobs, first aired on August 15, 1949.

Direct download: 151younglove490815jimmyandjanetgetjobs2841.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:37pm CDT

150-130401 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - 20 Questions

20 Questions was one of the most popular quiz shows to ever air.  It drew as many as 20,000 letters in one week. 

The contestants were mostly the Van Deventer family - Mom, Pop, and two kids - but they used different last names so the audience wouldn't know they were related.

The show was simple. The contestants had to identify a mystery "something" by asking no more than 20 yes-or-no questions, and their only clue was that the answer was animal, vegetable, or mineral. 

From this basic concept, hilarity often ensued.

This episode first aired on September 10, 1946.

Direct download: 150-20questions460910-2951.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:09pm CDT

149-130325 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Bride and Groom

Bride and Groom was a daytime "reality" show that aired from 1945 to 1950. 

Each weekday afternoon, a happy couple told about how they met, their first date and their first kiss, and some funny stories about their romance. 

After their wedding, they were given gifts like appliances and a honeymoon trip. 

This episode first aired on May 24, 1947.

Direct download: 149bridegroom470523-2958.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:59pm CDT

148-130318 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Witch's Tale

Here's one of the early radio horror shows - The Witch's Tale.  It began on local New York City radio station WOR in 1931, and three years later it moved to the Mutual Network.

Old witch Nancy cackled with glee as she introduced gory and grisly tales, and her black cat Satan screeched in the background. 

This episode, Firing Squad, first aired on August 21, 1933.

Direct download: 148thewitchstale330821firingsquad2730.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:27pm CDT

147-130311 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Straight Arrow

Clark Kent and Superman.  Bruce Wayne and Batman.  And Steve Adams and Straight Arrow!

Steve Adams was a full-blooded Comanche indian who was raised by white settlers.  As a teen, he heard a legend of a fierce Comanche warrior who would someday appear to fight for the good and for the right.  And he decided that he was to be that warrior. 

As Straight Arrow, he had a secret cave, and a wonder horse named Fury, and a white sidekick named Packy. 

This episode of Straight Arrow, The Doctor and the Quack,  originally aired on December 16, 1948.

Direct download: 147straightarrow481216thedoctorandthequack3057.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:55pm CDT

146-130304 In the Old-Time Radio Corner  - The Stan Freberg Show

Stan Freberg was doing cartoon voices for Walt Disney when he was 18. 

In the early 1950s he had several national hits with satirical songs like Little Blue Riding Hood and St. George and the Dragonet. 

And in 1957, he was chosen to do a radio show as the summer replacement for the Jack Benny Program. 

Freberg's radio shows were full of satire, often swipes at network censors.  The audience loved them, the network executives were worried by them, and the show ran for just that one summer.

In this episode, Freberg fights with a network censor as he tries to sing the song Old Man River.

Direct download: 146thestanfrebergshow570818programcensor3020.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:30pm CDT

145-130225 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - This is Your FBI

FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called this show "the finest dramatic program on the air. 

Not only did he endorse the show, he also met regularly with the show's producer-director Jerry Devine. 

He even sent Devine to a two-week FBI school so he would better understand the workings of the Bureau.

This is Your FBI was on the air from 1945 to 1953.  This episode, Campus Shakedown, first aired on March 31, 1950.

Direct download: 145thisisyourfbi500331campusshakedown2749.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:34pm CDT

144-130218 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Results, Incorporated

Actor Lloyd Nolan appeared in over sixty films in his career.  Claire Trevor won an Oscar for her role in Key Largo.

Together, they starred in a short-lived detective series called Results, Incorporated. 

Nolan played private detective Johnny Strange, and Trevor was his secretary Theresa Travors.  (That's Claire holding Lloyd in the photo.)

This episode, The Haunted House, was the pilot for the series.  It aired on October 7, 1944.

Direct download: 144resultsincorporated441007thehauntedhouse2924.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:28am CDT

143-130211 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Scattergood Baines

Scattergood Baines, a small town hardware merchant, was a well-known character three-quarters of a century ago.  

He was created by Clarence Budington Kelland, who was also well-known back then.  Kelland wrote hundreds of short stories, many appearing in the Saturday Evening Post, and dozens of popular novels.  

Scattergood Baines aired on CBS for six years (1937-1942), then returned in 1949 on Mutual.  This episode, Sweet Charity, was originally broadcast on February 24, 1949.

Direct download: 143scattergoodbaines490224sweetcharity2604.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:59am CDT

142-130204 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Private Files of Rex Saunders

Most well-known shows from the Golden Age of Radio ran for several years.  This week, we're going to hear one that lasted for just three months. 

Rex Harrison, who would later win both a Tony and an Oscar for his role as Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, starred in this radio series.  He played a private detective named Rex Saunders. 

This episode, A Shocking Still Life, originally aired on May 9, 1951.

Direct download: 142Pkrexsaunders510509ashockingstilllife2448.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:36pm CDT

141-130128 In the Old-Time Radio Corner  - The Damon Runyon Theatre

Damon Runyon was as much of a character as the gamblers, grifters and gangsters he wrote about. 

This episode of the Damon Runyon Theater, The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown, gave us the musical Guys and Dolls, with Sky Masterson, Nathan Detroit, Harry the Horse, and Nicely-Nicely Jones (Nicely-Nicely Johnson in the movie version).

Narrator Broadway (John Brown, who also played Digger O'Dell, the Friendly Undertaker, on The Life of Riley) tells the story.

Direct download: 141damonrunyontheatre490206theidyllofmisssarahbrown2922.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:52pm CDT

140-130121 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Plays for Americans

Arch Oboler was radio's Rod Serling, best known for writing and hosting the horror show Lights Out.  Remember Bill Cosby's "Chicken Heart that Consumed the World"?  That was Arch Oboler. 

So was the infamous Adam and Eve skit that got Mae West banned from radio for 30 years. 

But another side of Oboler, perhaps the most important part of his character, was his patriotism.  He created an anti-Nazi radio series in 1942 called Plays for Americans, and some of the biggest names in Hollywood lined up to take part in the show.

This episode, Letter at Midnight, stars Jimmy Stewart.  It first aired on March 15, 1942.

Direct download: 140playsforamericans420315letteratmidnight2933.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:02pm CDT

139-130114 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Better Half

There were lots of quiz shows on radio in the golden days.  Here's one that pitted husband against wife in a battle of the sexes.

The stunts were crazy, the audience was enthusiastic, and host Tiny Ruffner really got into the show.

Enjoy this episode from September 23, 1949.

Direct download: 139betterhalf490923quiz2857.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:39pm CDT

138-130107 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Jeff Regan, Investigator

Before Jack Webb was Joe Friday of Dragnet, he was Jeff Regan of The Lyon's Eye Detective Agency. 

He solved crimes for ten bucks a day, plus expenses. 

A year into this series, he left to begin Dragnet. 

But here, you can hear Jack Webb as a private eye.  This episode, The Lonesome Lady, first aired on July 24,1948.

Direct download: 138jeffreganinvestigator480724thelonesomelady2856.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:05pm CDT

137-121231 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Durante-Moore Show

Jimmy Durante was a gruff, ragged burlesque and vaudeville veteran.

Garry Moore was a young, handsome, crewcut-topped radio emcee.

One night by chance they appeared together on a radio show, and a savvy radio producer was fascinated by their contrasts and convinced them to team up for a radio show.

The result is the Durante-Moore Show, which aired from 1943 to 1947.

This episode was broadcast on December 22,1944.

Direct download: 137durantemoore441222lionisbusy3005.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:14pm CDT

136-121224 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Avenger

Mix equal parts of Doc Savage and the Shadow, and what do you get?  The Avenger! 

Author Paul Ernst wrote the Avenger novels on which the radio shows were based.  Ernst had two mentors:  Walter Gibson, who wrote the Shadow novels, and Lester Dent, who, under the pen name Kenneth Robeson, wrote the Doc Savage novels.

The Avenger was on the air twice - in 1941-42, and again in 1945-46. 

This episode, Keys of the City, first aired on September 21, 1945.

Direct download: 136avenger450921keysofthecity2645.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:47pm CDT

135-121217 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Hawk Larabee

Elliott Lewis, one of the most versatile radio actors who ever lived, was perfectly at home in any radio genre. 

Here he tackles a western, playing cattleman Hawk Larabee in radio's first adult western drama. 

Six years before Gunsmoke, Elliott Lewis, with Burton Yarborough as his sidekick, had weekly adventures in Texas of the 1840s.
This episode, The California Kid, aired on October 18, 1946.

Direct download: 135hawklarabee471018californiakid2953.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:07pm CDT

134-121210 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Doctor IQ, the Mental Banker

Doctor IQ, which aired from 1939 to 1950, was one of the most popular quiz shows of all time. 

With six assistants roving the theater with microphones, choosing contestants, Doctor IQ handed out silver dollars to winners and boxes of candy to losers. 

The doctor was on stage, and he called on each of his assistants in turn to supply the next contestant. 

The remembered catchline from the show was "Doctor, I have a lady in the balcony."

The show moved at breakneck speed, and the questions were fairly difficult. 

This episode aired on January 26, 1942.

Direct download: 134drIQ420126westpoint3119.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:52am CDT

133-121203 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The First Nighter Program

According to the Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, the opening sequence of The First Nighter Program ranks right up there with the creaking door of Lights Out and the haunting, sarcastic, scornful laugh of the Shadow.

Every week for 23 years, Mr. First Nighter took us to that Little Theater off Times Square, where we witnessed Opening Night of a new production. 

Most of the shows were light romantic comedies, and both Don Ameche and Les Tremaine became famous as regular performers on this show. 

This show stars Olan Soule, who later moved to television and appeared in hundreds if not thousands of shows, including I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith, Bonanza, and Dallas.  And from 1968 to 1980 he was the cartoon voice of Batman. 

From July 20, 1952, this episode is called Speak Ever So Gently.

Direct download: 133firstnighter520720speakeversogently3129.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:01am CDT

132-121126 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Candid Microphone

Before Candid Camera, there was Candid Microphone. 

Allen Funt, fresh out of the Army, worked as an idea man for the radio show Truth or Consequences. 

He had an idea of his own, and he turned it into first a radio show and then a television show that was on the air for over two decades.

Here's how it started.  A hidden microphone and a wacky situation thrust upon an unsuspecting stranger. 

In this episode, from August 10, 1947, Funt tries to get people to donate to a charity set up to help Eskimos who struggled through a too-warm winter.

Direct download: 132candidmicrophone470810eskimos3018.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:29pm CDT

131-121119 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Granby's Green Acres

Do you know the connection between the TV shows I Love Lucy and Green Acres? 

You'll find out when you listen to this episode of the Old-Time Radio Corner. 

Gale Gordon, Bea Benaderet, and Parley Baer starred in Granby's Green Acres, a spinoff of My Favorite Husband. 

Though the show featured three of the biggest stars in radio, it lasted just two months.  

This episode, Granby Lays an Egg, first aired on July 31, 1950.

Direct download: 131granbysgreenacres500731granbylaysanegg3107.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:19am CDT

130-121112 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Bold Venture

In 1951, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were major Hollywood stars.  They had met and fallen in love while they were making the movie To Have and Have Not. 

He was 44, she was 19. 

They made three other films together, all hits:  The Big Sleep, Dark Passage, and Key Largo.  And in 1951, they starred together in a radio series, Bold Venture, for which they were paid $4,000 for each half-hour episode. 

Bogart played the owner of a hotel in Cuba, and Bacall was his sidekick.  Jester Hairston was the mysterious singer who advanced the story lines with his songs.  And Bold Venture was Bogart's ship.

In this episode, from May 28, 1951, Lauren Bacall is framed for murder.

Direct download: 130boldventure510528sailorframedformurder2818.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

129-121105 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Adventures of Frank Merriwell

Before Tom Swift, before the Hardy Boys, before Jack Armstrong.  There was Frank Merriwell, the All-American Boy. 

Frank was a Yale athlete, a star in baseball, basketball, football, track, and crew.  He also solved mysteries.  And he neither drank nor smoked.

Frank first appeared in a juvenile serial magazine, Tip Top Weekly, in 1896. 

His creator, Miles L. Standish (real name Gilbert Patton), was one of the most prolific authors of all time.  He wrote a 20,000-word book a week, every week for 20 years.

In the early part of the 20th century, Frank Merriwell books actually outsold the Bible.
His radio show ran briefly in 1934, then weekly on NBC from 1946 to 1949. 

This episode, Sold At Auction, first aired on July 24,1948.

Direct download: 129adventuresoffrankmerriwell480724soldatauction3050.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:30pm CDT

128-121029 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Mr. District Attorney

Everybody remembers Jack Benny and Fibber McGee and Molly.  But there was another radio program that was in the Hooper Radio Ratings Top Ten for many years, and it is not so well remembered. 

It was called Mr. District Attorney, and it was the most popular crime show on radio throughout the 1940s. 

It was gritty, true to life, and written by an attorney who spent most of his time at bars and dives, talking with the people he was writing about. 

His scripts were so realistic that he was once visited by the FBI, who thought he was somehow getting information they couldn't get.

Jay Jostyn starred as the nameless District Attorney, and Len Doyle was Harrington, his chief investigator.

This episode, The Case of the Hijacked Worker, aired on August 19, 1942.

Direct download: 128mrdistrictattorney420819caseofthehijackedworker2956.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:32pm CDT

127-121022 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Screen Directors Playhouse

Screen Directors Playhouse was one of those shows that let you watch a movie on your radio. 

Each week, a movie director would introduce a radio version of his latest film, often featuring the same stars that had appeared in the movie.  And after the show, the director chatted with the stars. 

Screen Directors Playhouse ran from 1949 to 1951.  This episode stars a young Lucille Ball, recreating her movie Miss Grant Takes Richmond.  It originally aired on May 19, 1950.

Direct download: 127screendirplayhouse500519missgranttakesrichmond3051.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:02am CDT

126-121015 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Mayor of the Town

Mayor of the town was part comedy, part drama, a Norman Rockwell picture of small-town life during World War II. 

Lionel Barrymore starred in this program that aired from 1942 to 1949.

Agnes Moorehead played his housekeeper, and Conrad Binyon was his young ward. 

This episode, The Mayor Takes Care of Five Cats, originally aired on June 23, 1943.

Direct download: 126mayorofthetown430623fivecats3019.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:34am CDT

125-121008 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Wanted

Here's a show that failed to click on both radio and television. 

The idea behind Wanted sounded good on paper - real-life crime stories, using the actual voices of the policemen and victims who were involved in the cases. 

The stories were interesting -this one is about the famous bank robber Willie Sutton.

But the problem was that the police officers and crime victims were the real thing, not actors, and some of them had trouble reading their lines realistically. 

The show aired for just one summer, in 1950.  This is the pilot episode.

Direct download: 125wanted500701williesutton3005.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:10am CDT

124-121001 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Mysterious Traveler

Like The Whistler and Inner Sanctum, the Mysterious Traveler was a half-hour radio series of strange tales narrated by an all-knowing host. 

The Mysterious Traveler was on the air for ten years, from 1943 to 1952, on the Mutual network. 

This episode, about a mysterious wagon train trapped in a cave, is one of the most popular of the series.  It aired several times over the run of the show.  This version was broadcast on November 6, 1951.

Direct download: 124mysterioustraveler511106behindthelockeddoor2804.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:58pm CDT

123-120924 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Truth or Consequences

For seven weeks in early 1948, the question on the lips of America was, "Who is the Walking Man?"

The Walking Man was heard walking across the stage every week on the radio show Truth or Consequences, and the prizes awarded the winner of the contest totalled nearly a quarter of a million dollars in today's money.

The winner, and the Walking Man, are revealed in this episode of Truth or Consequences.

Truth or Consequences, created and hosted by Ralph Edwards, ran from 1940 to 1956 on radio, and from 1950 to 1978 on television.

This episode, with guest William Bendix who was then starring in The Life of Riley, first aired on March 6, 1948.

Direct download: 123truthorcon480117walkingman3040.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:05am CDT

122-120917 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Player

Paul Frees was a lot like Mel Blanc, only not so well-known by the public. 

Frees was the voice of the Pillsbury Doughboy, Boris Badinoff, Professor Ludwig Von Drake, and two of the Beatles in the popular cartoon series. 

He was both female voices when Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis posed as women in Some Like It Hot. 

He was the deep-voiced narrator of hundred of films, from The Manchurian Candidate to Hardware Wars to Earth vs. the Flying Saucers.

And he did every single voice heard on the short-story radio series The Player.

This week, we present two episodes of The Player, starring Paul Frees, Paul Frees, and, of course, Paul Frees.

Direct download: 122theplayer1948twoepisodes2612.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:11pm CDT

121-120910 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Easy Money

Easy Money was a show about crooked gambling. 

Two-time Emmy winner Larry Haines played Mike Trent, a professional magician turned private eye who specialized in exposing dirty gambling schemes.

In this episode he takes on a crew of crooked dice gamblers.

From November 11, 1954, this episode of Easy Money is called Galloping Ivories.

Direct download: 121easymoney541114gallopingivories3003.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:16am CDT

120-120903 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Bulldog Drummond

A Bulldog Drummond episode on In the Old-Time Radio Corner is long overdue, so here's a show from the detective series that ran from 1941 to 1954.

Over the years, several different radio actors played Bulldog Drummond, the Brtitish World War I hero-turned-private detective. 

In this episode, Help Wanted, from August 13, 1945, Ned Wever takes on the title role.

Direct download: 120bulldogdrummond450813helpwanted2658.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:11am CDT

119-120828 In  the Old-Time Radio Corner - Break the Bank

Other radio quiz shows paid under $100 to their winners, but Break the Bank often gave prizes in the thousands of dollars. 

Bert Parks and Bud Collyer were both on Break the Bank at the same time, and the show aired from 1945 to 1955. 

This episode was first broadcast on October 5, 1949.

Direct download: 119breakthebank491005firstNBC3029.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:04pm CDT

118-120820 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Vox Pop

This week, another show that had a tremendous audience in its day (it lasted for 17 years), but is pretty much forgotten now.

It was called Vox Pop, which means "Voice of the People." 

Each week, the hosts would have bizarre conversations with people chosen at random, asking strange questions and awarding them small amount of cash if they could properly answer a quiz question. 

This episode, from September 9, 1939, was recorded live at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Direct download: 118voxpop390923nyworldsfair3032.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:36pm CDT

117-120813 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Spike Jones Show

Spike Jones began as an ordinary musician, but somewhere along the line he went totally nuts. 

He added new instruments to his band that had never been heard before, like pistols and anvils and cowbells and a stringed toilet seat called the Latrinaphone.

He wore suits that must have been specially made for him, because nobody else alive would wear them. 

And he had lots of hit records in the 1940s.  His radio show aired from 1945 to 1949, and on this episode his special guest was Lassie. 

After the show, stay tuned for a special bonus:  Spike's hit record, Cocktails for Two.

Direct download: 117spikejones490528lassie3000.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:30pm CDT

116-120806 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Nick Carter, Master Detective

Nick Carter was a fictional detective who, over the course of more than a century, starred in hundreds of books, a dozen movies, forty years' worth of magazines, and a 13-year radio series. 

So why haven't you heard of him? 

Dan tells all, before he plays you the January 21, 1945 episode called Death by Ricochet, or Nick Carter and the Mystery of the Abandoned Gravel Pit.

Direct download: 116nickcarter450121deathbyichochet2945.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:14pm CDT

115-120730 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Mr. & Mrs. Blandings

The short story spawned a novel, the novel spawned a movie, and the movie spawned a radio series. 

The novel and the movie were Mr. Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse, and the radio show was Mr. & Mrs. Blandings. 

The movie and the radio series both starred Cary Grant, and in the radio version, Mrs. Blandings was played by the real-life wife of Cary Grant, Betsy Drake (seen in this photo). 

The series lasted less than 20 episodes, reportedly because Grant felt he wasn't being paid enough.

This is the pilot episode, from November 8, 1950.

Direct download: 115mrmrsblandings501108audition2947.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:36pm CDT

114-120723 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Dizzy Dean Show

Dizzy Dean was the last National League pitcher to win 30 games in one season, in 1934, and he won TWO world series games that year.  He entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1953.

But he is probably better-known by more people as a hillbilly baseball play-by-play announcer.  He was on the air from soon after his retirement from baseball in 1947 until 1965.

He did a 15-minute weekly show in the summer of 1948, and in these two episodes Dizzy discusses the 1948 All-Star game, and he lists his own All-Time All-Star team.

Direct download: 114dizzydean1948twoshows2913.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:42am CDT

113-120716 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Academy Award Theater

Many of the movies on the Academy Award Theater did not win Academy Awards.  The only requirement was that either the movie, or one of its stars, had been nominated for an Oscar.  That left the door open for a huge number of movies to appear on this radio-adaptation series. 

The Academy Award Theater ran for just one season, in 1946. 

This episode, My Sister Eileen, starred Rosalind Russell (who was nominated for Best Actress) and Janet Blair, both in the movie and in this radio version of the movie. 

It originally aired on May 18, 1946.

Direct download: 113academyawardtheater460518mysistereileen3102.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:14pm CDT

112-120709 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Jack Paar Show

Though Jack Paar is best known as the host of the Tonight Show before Johnny Carson, he was active in radio in the 1930s and 1940s. 

He was a DJ on stations in Cleveland, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Buffalo before World War II.  He entertained the troops in the South Pacific during the war, and one of the fans who saw him perform was Jack Benny. 

Thanks to some inside pull from Benny, Paar was named  the summer replacement for Jack Benny in 1947. 

In this episode, broadcast on August 17, 1947, Jack Benny is a contestant in a talent contest designed to find a "fall replacement" for the Jack Paar Show. 

Direct download: 112jackpaar470817jackbennyguest3052.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 2:10pm CDT

111-120702 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Song of the South Promos, and Rush Gook

Here's something different - three short radio promos for the Walt Disney movie Song of the South, featuring all the stars and Walt himself. 

These shows were sent to radio stations in October, 1942, when the movie premiered.

After the movie promos, we have time for a short Vic and Sade script that was written on the spot by Paul Rhymer when he realized the show was running short and he needed to add one more bit. 

Only Rhymer's twisted mind could come up with these methods of measuring yourself for ordering the right size of mail-order underwear.

Direct download: 111songsouthrushgook2741.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:18am CDT

110-120625 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - You Bet Your Life

Groucho Marx was approached by a radio producer with the idea of hosting a quiz show.

Groucho wasn't excited.  Then they told him he could adlib. 

He gave it a shot, and the rest is history. 

This episode of You Bet Your Life first aired on October 25, 1947.

The inline audio player is no more, so to listen to this show just click the POD icon up top left, or click the "Direct Download" link down below.

Direct download: 110youbetyourlife491026secretwordradio2542.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:17pm CDT

109-120618 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Blackstone, the Magic Detective

Blackstone was perhaps the most famous magician of the World War II era.  His extravagant stage show was legendary, and his career spawned both a comic book and a radio show. 

The radio show was Blackstone, the Magic Detective.  It ran on the Mutual network from 1948 to 1950 as a fifteen-minute Sunday afternoon show.  Most episodes began with the telling of a mystery that Blackstone had solved, and then Blackstone taught the radio audience a trick they could play on their friends. 

The scripts were written by Blackstone's friend Walter Gibson, a professional magician who also wrote novels.  Under the pen name Maxwell Grant, Gibson wrote over 300 stories of The Shadow.

Here are two episodes of the Blackstone radio show, both from the spring of 1949.

Direct download: 109blackstone1949twoshows2840.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:08pm CDT

108-120611 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Adventures of Dick Cole

Like Frank Merriwell and Jack Armstrong, Dick Cole was a schoolboy athlete hero who also got involved in mystery and intrigue.

Dick Cole was a comic book hero from 1940 to 1950, and he got his own radio show in 1942.

This episode was probably broadcast in the summer of 1942.

Direct download: 108dickcole1942baseball2951.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:20am CDT

107-120604 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Jimmy Durante Show

Jimmy Durante was born in New York City in 1893, and he played ragtime piano in honky-tonks when he was still in junior high. 

His 1934 record Inka Dinka Doo propelled him to national prominence, and he was a radio regular from then on. 

He got his own radio show in 1943, and this episode, from October 29, 1947, featured guest star Lucille Ball.

P.S. The Petrillo joke at the beginning of the show refers to the musicians union boss who forbid union musicians to record music in the mid-1940s (in a bid for higher royalties for musicians).

Direct download: 107jimmydurante471029lucilleball3031.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:46am CDT

106-120528 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Radio Reader's Digest

For the second week in a row, we are spotlighting an obscure old-time radio show. 

As its name suggests, Radio Reader's Digest was a radio adaption of stories that originally appeared in Reader's Digest magazine. 

From the episodes available, my best guess is that the show ran from 1943 to 1948.

This performance, He Fell in Love With a Picture, is a humorous adaptation of the romance of Mark Twain and Olivia Langdon.  It originally aired on October 17, 1946.

Direct download: 106radioreadersdigest461017hefellinlovewithapicture3002.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

105-120521 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Murder Clinic

I still marvel at how little is known or remembered about old-time radio.  We know more about the history of ancient Rome than we do about radio shows of the 1940s. 

And here's another example - a program that is nearly forgotten, though it ran for over a year on the Mutual network during World War II.

The show is Murder Clinic, and it adapted murder mystery short stories into half-hour radio shows. 

This episode, Murder at Marsden Manor, featured Agatha Christie's detective Hercule Poirot.  It was first broadcast on October 6, 1942.

Direct download: 105murderclinic421006tragedyofmarsdenmanor3037.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:36am CDT

104-120514 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Art Linkletter's House Party

This week's Radio Corner show was a needle in a haystack. 

Though Art Linkletter's House Party was on the air for 24 years, it seems that nobody saved any of the episodes. 

I searched everywhere, and just as I was about to give up, I found the website of the granddaughter of a radio engineer who had recorded an episode of House Party in 1947.  The photo is the label of that recording.

And here's the show, just for you.

Direct download: 104houseparty470521-3152.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:58am CDT

103-120507 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Nightwatch

Nightwatch was the first true-life, real-time radio police procedural.  Reporter Don Reed rode with Culver City, California cop Don Perkins on the night shift. 

Reed's tape recorder saved for posterity the drama of Officer Reed's exploits.

The show ran just one year near the end of the old-time radio era, from April 1954 to April 1955.  This episode, Three Time Loser and Shotgun Boy, aired on August 7, 1954.

Direct download: 103nightwatch540807threetimeloser2809.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:43am CDT

102-120430 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Rogers of the Gazette

Will Rogers Junior was much like his father - down-home, folksy, and always spouting gems of country wisdom.  

And Rogers of the Gazette was the perfect program for him. 

Rogers played a small-town newspaper editor who was constantly called upon to solve the problems in his community. 

With Georgia Ellis (radio's Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke) as his assistant Maggie Button, and Gunsmoke's Chester, Parley Baer, as the local doctor, there are several voices in this show you'll recognize. 

This episode also features Howard McNear, Gunsmoke's Doc Adams and Andy Griffith's Floyd the Barber.

From July 8, 1953, this is Newspaper Being Taken Over.

Direct download: 102rogersofthegazette530708newspapertakeover3052.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:50am CDT

101-120423 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Peg Lynch Programs

Peg Lynch is a national treasure.  She's still going strong at 95, and as funny as ever.

She assures us that she comes from a family of good genetic stock, her grandmothers living well into their 100s.  Speaking of one of them, Peg says: "She collected three war pensions.  Civil War, Spanish-American War, and World War I.  And I think she was a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War."

Peg performed last week at the Old-Time Radio Convention in Cincinnati.  She was a national radio fixture from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s, first writing and starring in Ethel and Albert, then writing and starring in The Couple Next Door (same show, new name).  She wrote nearly 800 shows over two decades. 

Peg and her late partner, Alan Bunce, played a married couple who talked with each other.  A simple concept, and absolutely hilarious.  But rather than me talk about it, let's just listen to it.

Here are two 15-minute shows:  Ethel and Albert, More Storage Space, from June 4, 1945, and The Couple Next Door, Barking Test for Brownie, from May 7, 1959.

Direct download: 101peglynch2shows2927.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:50am CDT

100-120416 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin is known as the Dog That Saved Warner Brothers.  There are still rumors that he beat out Emil Jannings for the 1929 Oscar for Best Actor, but the Academy was too embarrassed to give the Oscar to a dog. 

Be that as it may, Rin Tin Tin ruled Hollywood from the late 1920s into the Depression.  He was discovered as an orphan pup by American soldier Lee Duncan somewhere along the French-German border in 1918.  When he died in 1932, news bulletins broke into radio programming around the world to report that Rin Tin Tin had passed away.

Rin Tin Tin enjoyed a second round of fame in the 1950s, when he became the star of a television series.  For most of 1955, Rin Tin Tin was also on the radio again. 

This episode, The Ambassador, first aired on November 13, 1955.

Direct download: 100rintintin551113theambassador3041.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:13pm CDT

099-120409 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Trivia Bowl, 2011

How much do you know about old-time radio? 

Match wits with the experts at the Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Convention!  This week's show was recorded at last year's convention, and it consists of the questions and answers from the 2011 Old-Time Radio Trivia Bowl. 

This year's convention is Friday and Saturday of this week - April 13 and 14, 2012. 

We need contestants for this year's contest, and if you're coming to the convention, I urge you to play the game!  Grab three partners - there are four players to a team - and put your heads together to answer the old-time radio questions. 

This is a photo of last year's winners.  Take a look - don't you think YOU could beat these guys?  C'mon, give it a try!

Complete rules are at

If you make it to the convention, please look me up.  I'd love to meet you!

Direct download: B99-2011trivia2747.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:30am CDT

098-120402 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Bill Stern

Bill Stern was the Walter Winchell of sports commentary. 

His stories were outrageous, dramatic, exciting, and often false. 

But he was so interesting to listen to that most listeners forgave him his exaggerating. 

Stern was on the air from 1937 until 1956, and the sensationalist broadcasters of today could learn a lot from listening to old tapes of Bill Stern. 

Here are two of his shows.  The first, from December 7, 1945, features boxing legend Joe Louis.  The second, from February 18, 1949, has New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel as guest.

Direct download: B98dbillstern451207-490218lewis-stengel2654.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:01am CDT

097-120326 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Take It or Leave It

Take It or Leave It was a quiz show that doubled the prize with each correct answer.  First you won a dollar, then two, then four, and on up to the top prize of $64.00. 

When the show went to television, it worked the same way, but the top prize was a thousand times more - hence the show name, The $64,000 Question.

The radio show was on the air from 1940 to 1952, and over the years it had several well-known hosts, including Phil Baker, Eddie Cantor, Garry Moore, and Jack Paar.

This episode, which first aired on November 8, 1942, featured special guest Jack Benny.

Direct download: B97takeitorleaveit421108jackbenny3038.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:13am CDT

096-120319 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Red Ryder

Red Ryder was a juvenile western that for a time rivaled and even topped The Lone Ranger in the Hooper ratings. 

First a series of short stories, then a newspaper comic strip, Red Ryder was so popular in the early 1940s that it spawned a series of movies and a comic book. 

Red Ryder was responsible for tons of branded merchandising items, including the Daisy Red Ryder BB rifle made famous in the movie A Christmas Story.

The radio series was on the air from 1942 to 1951.

Red Ryder was called "Red" because he had red hair and wore a red shirt.  He had a sidekick called Buckskin and a native American juvenile partner named Little Beaver. 

This episode, The Law Comes to Stovepipe, first aired on January 12, 1943.

Direct download: B96redryder430112thelawcomestostovepipe3037.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:27am CDT

095-120312 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Red Skelton Program

Red Skelton began working in show biz when he was ten years old. 

He did vaudeville and burlesque, and he made his first radio appearance in 1937. 

He soon had his own show, and he was on the air with his own program (first radio, then TV) for 32 years.

In this episode, from January 8, 1950, Red is required to take a physical for CBS.

Direct download: B95redskelton500108cbsphysical2955.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:00am CDT

094-120305 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Author, Author

There were a lot of quiz shows on old-time radio, but none were quite like Author, Author. 

Famous authors, led by Ellery Queen, had to create a story that made sense out of a nonsense situation that was thrown at them. 

Ellery Queen was really two people - a pair of cousins named Manfred Lee and Frederic Dannay. 

This is the pilot episode, and the host here is humorist-poet Ogden Nash.  When the show was picked up for the regular schedule three months later, the host was humorist S.J. Perelman.

This pilot episode, The $2,001 Watch, was originally broadcast on January 4, 1939.

Direct download: B94authorauthor390104the2001watch2523.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:03am CDT

093-120227 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Candy Matson

Yukon 2-8208!

Old-time radio aficianados know that as the phone number for Candy Matson, San Francisco's female private eye. 

Created by Monty Masters and starring his wife Natalie Parks in the title role, Candy Matson ran on radio for three years, from 1949 to 1951.

This episode, Devil in the Deep Freeze, was originally broadcast on November 10, 1949.

A Reminder:  The Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Convention is almost here!  For all fans of old-time radio, the show will be held Friday and Saturday, April 13 and 14.  Come meet Bob Hastings, star of radio's Archie, and Lt. Elroy Carpenter on McHale's Navy.  Complete details at

Direct download: B93candymatson491110devilinthedeepfreeze3039.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:07am CDT

092-120220 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Old Gold Comedy Theater

The Old Gold Comedy Theater was a short run (just one season, 1944-45) program that attempted to turn 90-minute movie comedies into 30-minute radio comedies. 

The show was not as successful as it should have been, lasting just one season, 1944-45. 

The host, Harold Lloyd, had been a movie star in the silent era, and was perhaps thought to be no longer relevant. 

And the shows had to move very fast and leave out a lot to finish in just 30 minutes. 

Still, the program was able to draw many of the biggest box office stars of the time, from Lucille Ball To Edward G. Robinson to June Allyson to Dick Powell.

This episode, Brewster's Millions, is about a man who must give away a million dollars in 30 days, or lose an inheritance of 30 million dollars. 

It aired on March 18, 1945.

Direct download: B92oldgoldcomedytheater450318brewstersmillions3127.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:23am CDT

091-120213 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Falcon

The Falcon was a private detective who first appeared in a short story, and it was so popular that it spawned 16 Falcon movies in the 1940s. 

The radio version was on the air from 1943 to 1954. 

Over the course of its run, five different actors played the Falcon:  Berry Kroeger, James Meighan, Les Tremayne, Les Damon, and George Petrie.

This episode, The Case of the Puzzling Pinup, was broadcast on November 19, 1950.

Direct download: B91thefalcon501119thecaseofthepuzzlingpinup3126.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:39am CDT

090-120206 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Roy Rogers Show

Roy Rogers was the King of the Cowboys (after Gene Autry relinquished the throne), and Dale Evans was Queen of the West. 

Together they rode the happy trails on Trigger and Buttermilk.

Where the Lone Ranger had silver bullets, Roy and Dale had a German shepherd  named Bullet. 

And where Gene Autry had a comic sidekick named Frog, Roy had a comic sidekick named Pat Brady. 

Roy's radio show was on the air from 1944 to 1955.  This episode, Ed Bailey's Bad Luck, originally aired on October 12, 1951. 

Direct download: B90royrogers511012edbaileysbadluck3043.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:50pm CDT

089-120130 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Blondie

Blondie was the most popular comic strip in America in the early 1930s, and in 1938 it became a movie series, with 28 films made and released in just the next 12 years. 

Blondie and Dagwood were played by the same actors in the movies and on the radio.  Penny Singleton was a redhead who had to dye her hair blonde for the part, and Arthur Lake played Dagwood.

The radio series began in 1939 and ran until 1950. 

This episode, The Entertainment Committee, ran on April 8, 1940.

Direct download: B89blondie400408theentertainmentcommittee3152.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:03am CDT

088-120123 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Cathy and Elliott Lewis On Stage

Elliott and Cathy Lewis were two of the most talented radio actors who ever lived.  They were equally at home doing comedy and drama.

They appeared in thousands of radio shows, and in 1953 they starred in their own weekly radio theater. 

This show, Cathy and Elliott Lewis On Stage, showcased their talents for a year and a half, but it was created near the end of the radio era, and the explosion of television took away much of its luster. 

This is the premiere episode, from New Year's Day, 1953.  It's a fun story about a man who posed for a perfume ad, and found himself lusted after by the entire female population.  Sheldon Leonard (the smooth-talking "tout" on the Jack Benny Program) is hilarious in this show, The String Bow Tie.

Direct download: B88cathyandelliottlewisonstage530101thestringbowtie3112.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

087-120116 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Whisper Men

Most of our shows are episodes of popular, well-remembered old-time radio shows.  This one is different - it's the pilot episode of a show that was not picked up as a regular series. 

It had two names:  The announcer calls it The Adventures of Max Chandler, but old-time radio fans call it The Whisper Men. 

Karl Swenson starred as Max Chandler, a spy-fighting radio commentator.  Karl was best known in radio as Lorenzo Jones in the series of the same name, and in television he played Lars Hanson on Little House on the Prairie.  He was also Eddie Haskell's father in Leave It to Beaver.

This episode of The The Whisper Men was broadcast on the Mutual network on October 20, 1945.

Direct download: B87whispermen451020blacklights3129.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:12am CDT

086-120109 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Double or Nothing (with War Blooper)

Double or Nothing was a quiz show that ran for 14 years.  Over that time there were four hosts:  Walter Compton, John Reed King, and Todd Russell, and Walter O'Keefe.

Prizes were small, but the emcees were interesting enough that the program always drew a good audience. 

John Reed King, the host of this episode, was a World War II news correspondent for CBS before he moved to the Mutual Network and took over Double or Nothing.

This episode, from August 12, 1945, is unique in that early in the show it has a incorrect war bulletin.  A newsman breaks into the program to announce that Japan has agreed to sign the surrender papers agreeing to the Allies terms.  But later in the show another bulletin interrupts, stating that the first bulletin was in error and that Japan had made no such announcement.  (The actual announcement came three days later.)

Direct download: B86doubleornothing450812warerror2929.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:04am CDT

085-120102 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons

Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons, was the longest-running radio detective show of all time.  In the 18 years it was on the air, it aired 1,690 episodes. 

Mr. Keen began in 1937 as a three-a-week serial, and in December 1943 it became a half-hour stand-alone show. 

Mr. Keen was played by Bennett Kilpack, and his dimwitted partner, Jim Clancy, was played by Mike Kelly.

This episode, The Case of the Leaping Dog, first aired on April 13, 1944.

Direct download: B85mrkeen440413leapingdog3036.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:16am CDT

084-111226 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Aldrich Family

Of all the teen sitcoms that aired during the golden days of radio, none was more popular than The Aldrich Family. 

Henry began as a minor character in a 1938 Broadway play, then moved to radio first as a one-time skit on the Rudy Vallee show, then as a weekly feature on the Kate Smith Show, then as the summer replacement for Jack Benny, and finally as its own stand-alone show in 1939.

Besides its radio success, Henry Aldrich has his own comic book, television series, and 11 Paramount movies. 

Ezra Stone played Henry (with time out as a soldier during World War II), and Jackie Kelk was his best friend Homer Brown. 

This episode, Girl Trouble, originally aired on October 17, 1939.

Direct download: B84aldrichfamily391017girltrouble3120.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:28am CDT

083-111219 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Gang Busters

The old-time radio program Gang Busters is famous for adding a phrase to the Dictionary of American Slang:  "Coming on like Gang Busters."  And indeed, the program had one of the wildest openings of all, with windows breaking, guns firing, and sirens screaming.

Gang Busters was created by Phillips H. Lord.  The show dramatized police cases, both famous and obscure.  FBI director J. Edgar Hoover begrudgingly promoted the show even though he wished it were not on the air. 

At the end of each episode, the description of a wanted suspect was broadcast, and over the 22 years that the program was on the air, it was responsible for the identification and capture of hundreds of suspected criminals.

This episode, The Case of the Unknown Killer, was first heard on June 9, 1944.

Direct download: B83gangbusters440609thecaseoftheunknownkiller2950.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:24am CDT

082-111212 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - X Minus 1

Many of the great authors who prospered during the Golden Age of Science Fiction were represented on the radio show X-1.  Its early shows were adaptations of stories appearing in Astounding Science Fiction magazine, and most of its later stories were from Galaxy Science Fiction magazine.

Poul Andersen, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Robert Bloch, Theodore Sturgeon, and Ray Bradbury all had stories dramatized on the show. 

This episode was written by Ray Bradbury.  It originally appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on September 23, 1950, under the title The World the Children Made.  It aired as an X-1 episode entitled The Veldt on August 4, 1955.

I might add that this version has a happier ending than does the original story.

Direct download: B82xminusone550804theveldt2537.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:01am CDT

081-111205 - In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Hopalong Cassidy

Hopalong Cassidy was a national phenomenon in 1950. 

He was on television, in movies, in comic books, and in newspaper comic strips.

His image was on over a hundred products, from T-shirts to lunchboxes to toy guns to flashlights to pajamas. 

This episode of the Hopalong Cassidy radio show , The Mystery of Skull Mountain, originally aired on January 22, 1950.

Direct download: B81hopalongcassidy500122themysteryofskullmountain2833.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

080-111128 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Maisie

Ann Sothern is probably best remembered for her role as Susie McNamara in the TV series Private Secretary. 

But before that, she had starred in 11 movies about Maisie, a burlesque dancer who got herself into fixes that would have stymied even Lucille Ball. 

Maisie became a radio series in 1947, with Ann Sothern reprising her movie role. 

This episode of Maisie, Department Store Clerk, was broadcast on November 24, 1949.

Direct download: B80maisie491124deptstoreclerk2656.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:02am CDT

079-111121 - In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Rogue's Gallery

In the course of his radio career, Dick Powell played two detectives named Richard.  He is most famous as Richard Diamond, but before that he was Richard Rogue. 

Richard Rogue had a gimmick.  Whenever he was knocked unconscious (that is, in every episode), his alter ego Eugor spoke to him, giving him a clue as to how to proceed with the case. 

This episode of Rogue's Gallery, The Pat Flynn Case, first aired on June 6, 1946.

Direct download: B79roguesgallery460606thepatflynncase2951.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:33pm CDT

078-111114 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - You Are There

John Charles Daly is best known for hosting What's My Line in the early days of television, but before that he was a CBS newsman who anchored a unique radio program that went back in time. 

The show was called You Are There, and in it the CBS News department covered historical events live, like the landing of the Pilgrims, the assassination of President Lincoln, and in this episode, the battle of the Alamo. 

Originally broadcast on August 18, 1947.

Direct download: B78youarethere470818thealamo2934.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:47am CDT

077-111107 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Your Hit Parade

Before Casey Kasem's American Top 40 Countdown, there was Your Hit Parade.  America tuned in every Saturday night, from 1935 until 1953, to find out what song was Number One. 

Each week, Your Hit Parade featured the top seven songs, performed not by the hit artists, but by the stable of singers who appeared on the show every week. 

Several regular performers on the show became stars, including Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Dinah Shore, and Gisele MacKenzie.

See how many songs you remember from this episode, with Frank Sinatra, which originally aired on December 30, 1944.

Direct download: B77yourhitparade441230dontfencemein2829.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:55am CDT

076-111031 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Cabin B13

Cabin B13 was one of those fondly-remembered radio programs for which no recorded episodes survived.  Or so it was thought, until tapes of three of the shows were unearthed. 

Cabin B13 was the cabin of the ship's doctor on a luxury cruise liner, and the doctor was the narrator of the stories.  He was played by Arnold Moss, a Broadway actor who also appeared in movies and even a Star Trek episode.

This is the premiere episode of Cabin B13, and it originally aired on July 5, 1948.

Direct download: B76cabinB13-480705billandbrendaleslie3055.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

075-111024 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Buck Rogers in the 25th Century

Buck Rogers in the 25th Century was the first radio science fiction series.  It was based on the comic strip which started in 1929, and the radio version was on the air for fifteen years, from 1932 to 1947. 

Several actors played Buck over the years, and the program went from fifteen minutes to a half hour and then back to fifteen minutes. 

On this show, you'll hear the very first episode and, fifteen years later, the very last episode.

From April 5, 1932, and from March 28, 1947, here is Buck Rogers in the 25th Century.

Direct download: B75buckrogers32-47firstandlast2932.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:22am CDT

074-111017 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Adventures of Ellery Queen

The Adventures of Ellery Queen was a fun detective radio show, because the audience was given a chance to solve the crime before Ellery fingered the culprit. 

Near the end of each episode, Ellery would stop the show to announce that he had the necessary clues to solve the mystery, and he then invited the listening audience to name the villain. 

He often had famous guests in the studio who were challenged to figure out the clues.  After guesses were made, the program began again and revealed the criminal.

This episode, The Adventure of the World Series Crime, originally aired on September 30, 1943.

Direct download: B74elleryqueen430930adventureoftheworldseriescrime3117.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

073-111010 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Dangerously Yours

Victor Jory played an evil plantation overseer in Gone With the Wind.  He played Lamont Cranston and the Shadow in the movie serial The Shadow.  And he was in over 150 movies. 

He was also the lead actor in each episode of the radio series Dangerously Yours, playing a different character every week.

In this June 1944 pilot episode, Masquerade, Jory plays an espionage agent in a one-on-one battle of wits with another spy - who happens to be female, and beautiful.

Direct download: B73dangerouslyyours440620masquerade1959.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:30am CDT

072-111003 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Meet Corliss Archer

NBC had a hit radio series with A Date With Judy (see show 52), and CBS wanted a similar program.  They found a series of humorous stories about a precocious teenage girl in Good Housekeeping magazine, and CBS adapted the stories for radio.

The result was Meet Corliss Archer, which aired from 1943 to 1956.  The legendary Janet Waldo was Corliss, and 40 years later she was still playing teenage girls, including Judy Jetson on the TV series The Jetsons.

Corliss had a boyfriend, Dexter, played by Sam Edwards, a famous character actor who many years later played the banker on Little House on the Prairie.

The radio series was so popular that it spawned a book, a comic book, a Broadway play, and a television series.

This episode of Meet Corliss Archer, Rival Boyfriend, originally aired on June 23, 1946.

Direct download: B72meetcorlissarcher460623rivalboyfriend2448.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:58am CDT

071-110926 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Sad Sack

Sad Sack is chiefly remembered as the star of a comic book, but he was also the star of a 1957 movie (he was played by Jerry Lewis!) and a 1946 summer replacement radio series (in Frank Sinatra's time slot).

On the radio, Herb Vigran played the Sad Sack and Jim Backus was his roommate (in the radio series, Sad Sack was a veteran, World War II being over by the time the series was on the air).

This is the first episode of the series, Sad Sack Returns Home From the Army, from June 12, 1946.

Direct download: B71sadsack460612returnshomefromarmy2917.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:31am CDT

070-110919 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Can You Top This?

Can You Top This? was a joke show in which listeners sent in jokes, and the three resident comics tried to top those jokes. 

It ran from 1940 to 1954, and it was so popular that it spawned two books of jokes from the show, and it attracted upwards of 3,000 letters per week at the height of its popularity.

The jokemasters were Senator Edward Ford (not a real senator, but the creator and owner of the show), Harry Hirshfield, a popular cartoonist of the day, and ex-vaudevillian Joe Laurie, Jr. 

This episode was originally heard on December 5, 1947.

Direct download: B70canyoutopthis471205indignation2422.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:30am CDT

069-110912 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Tales of the Texas Rangers

Great news!

It is now possible to get automatic downloads of new In the Old-Time Radio Corner shows as they are posted, without getting my other shows on treasure hunting and softball. 

Go to and subscribe only to the old-time radio podcasts.

Tales of the Texas Rangers was on the air from 1950 to 1952 as a radio show, and from 1955 to 1957 as a TV show.  It was an adult show on radio, and a kids' show on television. 

The radio version starred film star Joel McCrea as Texas Ranger Jayce Pearson, and it was rather like a western version of Dragnet.  McCrea used modern police procedural methods to solve Texas crimes.

This episode, White Elephant, first aired on July 15, 1950.

Direct download: B69talesofthetexasrangers500715whiteelephant2901.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:39am CDT

068-110905 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The FBI in Peace and War

In 1943, a little-known author named Frederick Collins wrote a best-selling book called The FBI in Peace and War. 

A year later, CBS radio turned the book into a weekly series starring Martin Blaine as FBI field agent Sheppard. 

The program remained one of the best-rated crime shows on radio until it went off the air near the end of the old-time radio era, in 1958. 

This episode, Unfinished Business, aired on August 2, 1951. 

Direct download: B68FBIinPeaceWar510802unfinishedbusiness2739.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:39pm CDT

067-110829 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - A Day in the Life of Dennis Day

Dennis Day had TWO radio shows, and Jack Benny had only one.  Dennis often kidded Jack about that on the Jack Benny Program. 

This is the second show Dennis had - A Day in the Life of Dennis Day.  It ran from 1946 to 1951. 

In his own show, Dennis played the same naive young innocent that he played on the Benny show.  He had a girlfriend named Mildred whose parents couldn't stand him, and he had a boss named Mr. Willoughby, played by the great John Brown.

This episode, Second Job, originally aired on October 22, 1947.

Direct download: B67dennisday471022sellinginsurance3116.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:23am CDT

066-110822 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Lights Out

Did you ever hear Bill Cosby's routine about being terrified by a horror show on the radio when he was a kid, about a giant chicken heart? 

Well, that show was a real episode of Lights Out, a program that offered horror and the supernatural every Wednesday night. 

Lights Out was created by Wyliss Cooper (top photo) in 1934, and taken over by Arch Obeler (bottom photo) in 1936. 

This episode, Cat Wife, is one of the most popular shows of the series, and it was repeated several times.  This version stars Boris Karloff, and it originally aired on April 6, 1938.

Direct download: B66lightsout380406catwife2812.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:01am CDT

065-110815 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - My Friend Irma

Remember Ted Baxter's girlfriend (and later, his wife) Georgette on the Mary Tyler Moore Show?  See if you don't think her character might have been based on Irma from this old-time radio show, My Friend Irma. 

This show was so popular in its day that it also gave us a newspaper comic strip, a comic book, two movies, and a television series.

My Friend Irma was on the radio from 1947 to 1954.  This episode, Irma's Inheritance, first aired on April 5, 1948.

Direct download: B65myfriendirma480405irmasinheritance3131.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:28am CDT

064-110808 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - It Pays to Be Ignorant

Who's buried in Grant's Tomb? 

That question originated on the old-time radio show It Pays to Be Ignorant, which ran for nine years, from 1942 to 1951. 

Easy questions were presented to a team of idiots, who mangled their answers until nobody quite knew what was happening. 

Host Tom Howard (on the right in the photo) tried to moderate the three contestants, (left to right) Harry McNaughton, Lulu McConnell, and George Shelton. 

This episode was first broadcast on July 14, 1944.

Direct download: B64itpaystobeignorant440714howtokeepmilkfromsouring3014.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:09am CDT

063-110801 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Challenge of the Yukon

WXYZ radio in Detroit was the home of three classic juvenile radio shows - The Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, and Challenge of the Yukon.

Challenge of the Yukon ran on radio from 1947 to 1955, and then on TV from 1955 to 1958.

It was set in the Alaskan Gold Rush of the 1890s, and the show featured a dog named King.  At first he was a husky, but somewhere along the way he became a malamute.  He was the lead dog for Sergeant William Preston, the star human of the show.

This episode, The Fraud, was originally broadcast on September 18, 1947. 

Direct download: B63challengeyukon470918thefraud3020.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:17pm CDT

062-110725 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts

Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts was on the radio from 1946 to 1956, and on television from 1948 to 1958.

Some of the stars discovered by the show were Patsy Cline, Pat Boone, Tony Bennett, Jonathan Winters, Wally Cox, and Connie Francis. 

But Arthur missed the biggest star of all, a singer who auditioned for the show, but was not picked to appear - and that was Elvis Presley. 

A future star appears in this episode from April 18, 1949 - comedian Lenny Bruce.

Direct download: B62talentscouts490418lennybruce3042.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

061-110718 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Abbott and Costello

Though Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were most famous for their baseball skit Who's On First, they actually did several other routines written with that same basic formula, where Lou misunderstands what Bud is trying to tell him. 

This show has one such skit, about the Hertz U-drive company.

Actress Veronica Lake is the guest in this episode from December 2, 1943.

Direct download: B61abbottcostello431202triptopalmsprings2814.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:48am CDT

060-110711 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Murder and Mr. Malone

Many of our In the Radio Corner shows are the first show of a series.  This time, we're giving you the last show of a series.

Murder and Mr. Malone ran on ABC and then NBC for four years, from 1947 to 1951.  A television version aired in 1951 and 1952. 

John J. Malone was a criminal lawyer.  He was created by Craig Rice, a female mystery novelist who appeared on the cover of Time Magazine in 1946, but has since been mostly forgotten. 

Malone was first played by Frank Lovejoy (better known as Nightbeat's Randy Stone), then Gene Raymond (Broadway and movie actor; husband of Jeanette MacDonald), and finally George Petri. 

Petri was in television for over half a century, with recurring roles in shows ranging from The Honeymooners to Dallas to Mad About You.  He also played Eddie Haskell's father on Leave It To Beaver.

This final episode, Haste Maketh Waste, was broadcast on July 13, 1951.

Direct download: B60murdermrmalone510713hastemakethwaste3113.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:00am CDT

059-110704 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Radio City Playhouse

Here is one of the all-time classic old-time radio broadcasts.  Actress Jan Miner delivers a masterful virtually-solo half-hour performance as a frantic wife trying to save her husband (via telephone) from execution.

The show was the premiere episode of NBC's Radio City Playhouse, which ran for just a year and a half but was universally praised for its strong writing (many famous authors wrote especially for the show) and its excellent acting.

This episode, Long Distance, was originally broadcast on July 3, 1948.

Direct download: B59radiocityplayhouse480703longdistance2908.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

058-110627 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Gene Autry's Melody Ranch

Gene Autry was 21 when he began singing on the radio, in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

A year later he signed a recording contract with Columbia records, and he moved to WLS in Chicago, where he was on the National Barn Dance for four years. 

He made his first movie in 1934, and his radio show, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch, aired from 1940 to 1956. 

This episode, Cattlemen's Money Stolen, was originally broadcast on June 9, 1951.

(And by the way - that's not a lighter in the picture, that's the flashlight I describe in the show.)

Direct download: B58melodyranch510609cattlemensmoneystolen2624.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:27am CDT

057-110620 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Inner Sanctum Mysteries

Himan Brown envisioned a creaking door as an introduction to a spooky radio series.  He created the series, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, but he couldn't

get the sound he wanted from a door.  So he used a creaking chair, and that's what you hear at the beginning of each episode of Inner Sanctum.

The early episodes were hosted by a ghoul named Raymond, who was full of morbid jokes and ghastly puns. 

This episode, The Man From Yesterday, originally aired on December 21,1941.

Direct download: B57innersanctum411221themanfromyesterday3036.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:40am CDT

056-110613 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The New Adventures of Michael Shayne

The New Adventures of Michael Shayne was one of several incarnations of the radio version of the famous detective series. 

In the 1948-1949 run, Jeffrey Chandler starred as Shayne, and Dragnet's Jack Webb worked on the series as an uncredited script advisor. 

This episode, The Hate That Killed, originally ran on August 27, 1948.

Direct download: B56michaelshayne480827thehatethatkilled2822.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:31am CDT

055-110606 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Beyond Tomorrow

Beyond Tomorrow was the first adult science fiction series on radio - maybe.  Some sources say three episodes aired on CBS in April 1950, but other sources say the programs were  recorded and scheduled, but never aired. 

The series was hosted by John W. Campbell Jr, perhaps the most influential person in the development of science fiction from the late 1930s through the 1960s.  Campbell was the editor of Astounding Science Fiction magazine (which later became Analog) all those years, and he directed his authors with a strong hand.  He insisted on specific themes for his magazine, and he directed authors to change endings if he didn't like what they had written.

This episode, a western-science fiction story called Incident at Switchpath, was written by Theodore Sturgeon.  The magazine version was named The Sky is Full of Ships, but they changed the title for radio because they were afraid the words "ships" might be heard as something else.

From April 11, 1950, here is Beyond Tomorrow and Incident at Switchpath.

Direct download: B55beyondtomorrow19500411incidentatswitchpath2943.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:04am CDT

054-110530 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Have Gun, Will Travel

Have Gun, Will Travel was on television for over a year before a radio version was created.  John Dehner, who had just finished a year as Englishman J.B. Kendall in Frontier Gentleman, was chosen to play the radio version of Paladin.

Paladin was a gun for hire, but somehow he always managed to fight for the good.  A good guy dressed all in black - not a common sight on the western scene.

This episode,  Death of a Young Gunfighter, originally aired on March 15, 1959.

The photo shows radio's Paladin, John Dehner, with TV's Paladin, Richard Boone.

Direct download: B54havegun590315deathofayounggunfighter2522.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:11am CDT

053-110523 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - People Are Funny

People Are Funny hit the air in 1943, with Art Baker as host. 

Baker was fired and replaced by Art Linkletter, ostensibly because Linkletter would work for less money. 

The show was a hit with Linkletter, and it stayed on the radio for seventeen years,  from 1943 to 1960.  The TV version was on the air from 1954 to 1961. 

The show generally followed this formula:  Send an audience member out on the street at the beginning of the show to do a stunt, then do several on-stage stunts with other audience members, and finally bring back the first audience member to relate his or her experience outside the studio.

This episode is from January 13, 1952.

Direct download: B53peoplearefunny520113-2558.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:40pm CDT

052-110516 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - A Date With Judy

A Date With Judy was on the air for a full decade, from 1941 to 1950. 

It was so popular that it spawned a movie starring Jane Powell and Elizabeth Taylor, a TV series which ran from 1951 to 1953, and a comic book which was issued from 1947 to 1960. 

The show was similar to Henry Aldrich and Archie, but its star was a teenage girl rather than a teenage boy.

This episode, A New Dress for the Dance, originally aired on May 18, 1946.

Pictured are Judy (Louise Erickson) and her boyfriend Oogie (Dick Crenna).

Direct download: B52datewithjudy460518ANewDressForTheDance3120.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:16pm CDT

051-110509 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Mr. and Mrs. North

Mr. and Mrs. North began as a series of magazine stories, then was expanded into a mystery novel (actually 26 of them), then a Broadway play, then a radio series, and finally a TV series.

This is the pilot episode of the radio show.  Mr. and Mrs. North were a happily-married couple, a bit on the eccentric side, who happened to be adept

at solving crimes.  It starred Carl Eastman and Peggy Conklin (who also played Pam in the Broadway show).

The roles of Jerry and Pam were given to Joseph Curtin and Alice Frost after the pilot was picked up by NBC.  (The show moved to CBS in 1947, hence the CBS mic flag in this photo of Joseph and Alice).

This episode, Picnic, originally aired on NBC on December 30, 1942.

P.S.  Visit the Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Discussion Board at

Direct download: B51mrandmrsnorth421230picnic3307.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:06am CDT

050-110502 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - OTR Trivia Bowl #1, Cincinnati, 2010

Rather than play an episode from an old-time radio series this week, we present all the questions and answers from the First Annual Old-Time Radio Trivia Bowl, recorded at the Cincinnati Old-Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention on May 7, 2010. 

I've edited out dead air and spaces between questions and answers, so the show moves along quickly.  If you'd like to play the game, get your paper and pencil, and keep your finger on the pause button as you write your answers.

In the photo, last year's winning team, the Tom Mix Ralston Straightshooters (left to right, Jim Widner, Jack French, Meredith Granger, Randy Larson).

Visit the Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Discussion Board:

Direct download: 050-2010cincytrivia2803.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:18pm CDT

049-110425 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Adventures of Superman

In 1938, Superman first appeared in Action Comics #1, a comic book that has reportedly sold for as high as one and a half million dollars. 

In 1939, Superman became a daily comic strip.

And in 1940, Superman took to the air with a three-afternoons-a-week radio show. 

Who played Superman on the radio?  It was a closely-guarded secret until 1946, when Clayton Collyer was identified as the voice of the Man of Steel.  Collyer is better known to early television enthusiasts as Bud Collyer, host of game shows like Beat the Clock and To Tell the Truth.

This episode, The Mystery of the Mechanical Monster, first aired on December 10, 1949.

In the photo:  Jackson Beck, the announcer whose never-to-be-forgotten words "Faster than a speeding bullet!  More powerful than a locomotive!" began each episode; Clayton Collyer; and Joan Alexander, who played Lois Lane.

Direct download: B49superman491210mysteryofthemechanicalmonster3125.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:29am CDT

048-110418 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Wild Bill Hickok

Wild Bill Hickok (Guy Madison) and his rotund sidekick Jingles Jones (Andy Devine) rode across our radio dials - and television screens - from 1951 to 1956 (radio) and 1951-1958 (television). 

Guy Madison (real name Robert Moseley) was on leave from the Coast Guard in 1944 when he was "discovered" and cast in a small movie part.  His good looks got him several roles, but his lack of acting ability kept him from being a star until he was cast as Wild Bill Hickok.

This was a cowboy show for kids, with lots of shooting and yelling and simple plots of bad guys vs. good guys.

Our episode is Six-Gun Serenade, from December 1, 1954.

Direct download: B48wildbillhickok541201sixgunserenade2553.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:12am CDT

047-110411 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Jack Benny Program

The Jack Benny Show is probably the most-often named Favorite Show of All Time amongst old-time radio fans. 

I chose this episode not because of its content, but because I own the actual script that Jack edited (in pencil) and read from when this particular show was originally broadcast (on October 7, 1945). 

I have posted the first three pages of the script at, so you can read along as you listen to the program.

See if you don't think the changes Jack made to the script make the show even funnier.

The photo is of my daughter Karen in her JACK JACK JACK (on the front) BENNY BENNY BENNY (on the back) shirt, with Jack Benny impersonator Eddie Carroll. 

For more photos of Karen with OTR celebrities, visit, and for more Jack Benny photos visit

ALSO - A reminder that the 2011 Cincinnati Old-Time Radio Convention is on May 13 and 14. Admission is just $10 -  Check it out.

Direct download: b47jackbenny451007script2431.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

046-110404 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Great Gildersleeve

The Great Gildersleeve was a spinoff of Fibber McGee and Molly.  Hal Peary was introduced as the character in 1939, and in 1941 Gildy got his own show. 

His exasperating pre-teen nephew Leroy, was played by Walter Tetley, who was actually 26 when the show began.  His niece Marjorie was  played by several different actresses, starting with Lurene Tuttle, who was replaced by Louise Erickson and then Mary Lee Robb.

Gildersleeve was blustery but lovable, the water commissioner of Summerville.  He was constantly in and out of romances, and several regular characters, including Druggist Richard Q. Peavey and Judge Horace Hooker, added to the fun.

This episode is an audition show that never made the air.  Three months later, it was rewritten and used as the first episode of the new series.

Direct download: B46gildy410516auditionshow3208.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:30am CDT

045-110328 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Archie Andrews

The Archie comic book was also a radio show in the late 1940s, starring Bob Hastings (later Lt. Elroy Carpenter on McHale's Navy, and bartender Tommy Kelsey on Archie Bunker's Place) as Archie. 

In the photo, left to right:  Alice Yourman as Archie's mom, Harlan "Hal" Stone as Jughead, Bob Hastings as Archie, Gloria Mann as Veronica, Arthur Kohl as Archie's dad, and Rosemary Rice as Betty.

With a live studio audience composed mostly of boisterous children, the show was pretty noisy, to say the least.

This episode, The New TV, first aired on May 21, 1949.

NOTE:  Archie and Betty (Bob Hastings and Rosemary Rice) will both be at the Old-Time Radio Convention in Cincinnati on Friday, May 13, and Saturday, May 14, appearing in old-time radio re-creations. 

All attendees are invited to audition for parts in the shows, so you might get to act with the stars!  More info at

The Cincinnati convention is more informal than most, with the stars mixing with the audience.   If you're able to come, look me up and say hello!

Direct download: B45archie490521thenewtv2942.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

044-110321 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Casey, Crime Photographer

Casey, Crime Photographer ran from 1943 to 1950, then again in 1954-55, on the CBS radio network. 

Jack Casey took crime pictures for the Morning Express, and his adventures turned him into a reluctant detective. 

Staats Cotsworth, who played Casey for most of the show's run, started in radio in 1937 as an actor in the soap opera Pepper Young's Family, and he was still going strong in 1974, when he appeared often on the CBS Mystery Theater.  He also appeared in guest roles on various television shows in the 1950s and 1960s. 

This episode, Acquitted, about a policeman with a temper that often gets him into trouble, first aired on July 3, 1947.

Direct download: B44casey470703acquitted2946.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

043-110314 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Let George Do It

Let George Do It was a one-of-a-kind radio show.  It started as a funny mystery/detective show, and over the years it evolved into a more hard-boiled private eye program.

Bob Bailey, best-known for his later work as Johnny Dollar, starred as George Valentine, a returning World War II veteran.  Valentine had saved up a little money, and he used it to open a business where he would do things other people needed done but didn't want to do themselves. 

The show was quirky and fun to listen to.  George was a happy-go-lucky optimist who seemed to enjoy life, no matter what.

This is the pilot episode, The First Visitor.  It aired on September 20, 1946.

Direct download: B43letgeorgedoit460920thefirstclientk3000.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:28am CDT

042-110307 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Duffy's Tavern

Duffy's Tavern was one of the most popular radio shows of the 1940s.  The title character, Duffy, never appeared on the show. 

Each episode began with Archie (Ed Gardner), the manager of the tavern, answering the phone and talking to owner Duffy.  You only heard Archie's side of the conversation. 

Miss Duffy, the owner's daughter, was a wacky dame played by several different actresses over the run of the show. 

Eddie was a smart-aleck waiter who always talked back to his boss. 

And Finnegan was an easy-talking lush who was later copied by Frank Fontaine when he played Crazy Guggenheim on the Jackie Gleason show.

Duffy's Tavern was tried on TV, but it did not work, mainly because Ed Gardner could not learn his lines.  He worked fine with a script in his hands, but you can't do that on television.

This episode of Duffy's Tavern is called "Archie Wants to Patent Electricity," and it first aired on February 23, 1949.

Direct download: b42duffystavern490223archieelectricity2622.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:08am CDT

041-110228 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Broadway Is My Beat

This crime drama was on the air for five years, from 1949 to 1954.  Detective Danny Clover was a Manhattan native who knew his neighborhood, and his people. 

Larry Thor starred as Danny Clover, and the producer and director was the legendary Elliott Lewis, who was also an excellent actor equally at home in comedy (he was Remley on the Phil Harris-Alice Fay Show) and drama (he played the captain of the Scarlett Queen and often appeared in shows like Suspense).

Listen carefully and you'll hear the distinct voice of Howard McNear (Andy Griffith's Floyd the Barber) in this episode.

From May 12, 1950, this is The Marcia Dean Murder Case.

Direct download: B41broadwayismybeat500512marciadean2954.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:04pm CDT

040-110221 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Whistler

The Whistler was one of those shows that delighted in surprising us with a trick ending, sometimes even a double trick ending.  Think Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Twilight Zone, and even farther back to O.Henry's stories. 

The title character, The Whistler, was a mysterious apparition who narrated the program but never had an active part in it.  He talked to the other characters, though they couldn't hear them, which was just as well, because what he had to say was never pleasant.  His snide, mocking attitude was a big hit with listeners.

The Whistler began as a west coast-only program, and it was sponsored by Signal Gasoline, a company that existed only in California and a few other western states. 

To many old-time radio listeners, Signal Gasoline will always be associated with The Whistler.

This episode, The Gentle Way, was first heard on June 23, 1947.

Direct download: B40whistler470623thegentleway3022.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:33am CDT

039-110214 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Frontier Gentleman

Frontier Gentleman ran only one season, in 1958, near the end of the old-time radio era. 

John Dehner, who played Paladin in the radio version of Have Gun, Will Travel, also played the Frontier Gentleman, J.B. Kendall. 

Kendall was a British newspaper reporter covering the American west for the London Times. 

He was good with a gun, and he often ran into famous people, like Wild Bill Hickok and General Custer. 

The show had humor, drama, and excitement, and was one of the best adult westerns old-time radio had to offer.

This episode, Honky Tonkers, first aired on February 16, 1958.

Direct download: B39frontiergentleman580216honkytonkers2436.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:37am CDT

038-110207 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Vic and Sade

Just four characters - husband Victor Gook, wife Sade Gook, stepson Rush Gook, and beyond-insane Uncle Fletcher - were the only people who appeared on this 15-minute-a-day, five-day-a-week program.

Each show took place in the Gook house, "halfway up in the next block."  They talked.  And talked.  And we laughed.  Until the tears streamed down our faces. 

There was no studio audience, no laugh track, just these four strange people carrying on bizarre conversations. 

Vic, who was super-serious about his kitchenware job and his lodge.  Sade, the sane wife who almost kept the show grounded.  Rush, the eager and excitable young high school student.  And Uncle Fletcher, a confused visitor from another galaxy.

The writer of this marvelous show, Paul Rhymer, had a rare talent for humor perhaps not seen since Mark Twain. 

Often the engineers had to duck their heads below the studio window, they were laughing so hard.  They were afraid that if the actors saw them, they wouldn't be able to keep a straight face as they read their insane lines so matter-of-factly.

Vic and Sade is an acquired taste.  At first you just shake your head in wonder, but after a few episodes you begin to catch on.  I urge you to find more of these shows and give them a listen.  You won't regret it.

This show consists of three clips from Vic and Sade episodes originally broadcast in 1940 and 1941.

And now, let's drop in on radio's home folks, Vic and Sade.

Direct download: B38vicsade3clips2839.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:44pm CDT

037-110131 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Dragnet

Jack Webb was a radio comedian, if you can imagine that, working as a disc jockey in San Francisco in 1945. 

In 1946 he created and starred in a radio series called Pat Novak for Hire, then he did Johnny Modero:  Pier 23.

And in 1949, Dragnet.  Webb wanted it to be as true-to-life as possible, so he rode with police detectives and took classes at the police academy.  He knew more about being a policeman than many of the actual cops.

When Jack Webb died in late 1982, the Los Angeles Police Department honored him by flying its flag at half-mast.

Here's Jack Webb and Dragnet, and The Big Grab, which was aired on June 29th, 1950.

Direct download: B37dragnet500629thebiggrab2750.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:36pm CDT

036-110124 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Dimension X

Until the 1950s, most radio science fiction stories were aimed at children.  Shows like Superman,  Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon were regular afternoon fare for the kids.

But science fiction magazines for adults were going strong in the early 1950’s.  Titles like Fantasy and Science Fiction, Astounding Science Fiction, Fantastic Universe, and Amazing Science Fiction were popular. 

Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, Isaac Asimov, and many more legendary authors wrote for the pulp science fiction magazines.

In 1950, the NBC radio network created a new radio series of science fiction for adults, called Dimension X.  It first aired on April 8th, 1950, and it ran until September 29, 1951.  It made a return appearance as X Minus 1 from 1955 to 1958.

This story, Dwellers in Silence, was written by Ray Bradbury, and was a chapter in his novel The Martian Chronicles.  It originally aired on July 19th, 1951.

Direct download: B36dimensionX510719dwellersinsilence3040.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 1:00am CDT

035-110117 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

When popular comedian Red Skelton was drafted, the bandleader of his radio show was offered a chance to create a replacement show.  

And thus was born The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet.  

The bandleader, of course, was Ozzie Nelson, and the band's vocalist was his wife Harriet, who had sung professionally under the name Harriet Hilliard.

So virtually overnight, Ozzie and Harriet moved from the world of music to the world of acting.  

Their radio show aired from 1944 to 1954, and the TV version ran from 1952 to 1966.

This episode, Card Tricks, was first broadcast on January 23, 1949.

Direct download: B35ozzieharriet490123cardtricks2819.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:38pm CDT

034-110110 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Sam Spade

The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio says:  "The Adventures of Sam Spade remains today the pinnacle of radio private eye broadcasts."

In 1930, author Dashiell Hammett wrote what is perhaps the most famous private detective novel of all time:  The Maltese Falcon.  The book was made into a move twice before the ultimate film version starring Humphrey Bogart was released in 1941.  Bogie made Sam Spade an unforgettable character, the original hard-boiled private eye.

In 1946, ABC radio brought Sam Spade to the airwaves, starring tough-talking Howard Duff as the title character.  The show remained on the air until Duff decided to take a spin on the movies in 1950.

Here's The Farmer’s Daughter Caper, originally broadcast on September 3, 1950.

Direct download: B34samspade490828thefarmersdaughtercaper2844.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:51am CDT

033-110103 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Fred Allen Show

Fred Allen was a radio humorist whose humor was much more sophisticated than that of most comedians. 

His show first aired in 1932, and its final episode was broadcast in 1949. 

During that time, Fred had a famous feud with fellow comedian Jack Benny, after Fred insulted Jack’s violin skills.  The feud sparked the careers of both entertainers, and continued for years on the air, even though they were great friends in real life.

Fred carried on another feud, too – this one a real one – against the radio censors.  His deleted material wasn’t blue – it was simply insulting to the network executives.  He was often cut off by the censors in mid-sentence. 

Fred was not particularly fond of Hollywood or the people who ran it. Here is one of his famous quotes:  "You can take all the sincerity in Hollywood, place it in the navel of a fruit fly and still have room enough for three caraway seeds and a producer's heart."

From June 26, 1949, this is Fred Allen's last radio show.

Direct download: B33fredallen490626lastshow2841.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:20pm CDT

032-101227 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Lone Ranger

Fred Foy, the announcer on The Lone Ranger radio program whose voice will live forever with the immortal line "Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear," died this week at the age of 89.

Foy also played the Lone Ranger himself in one episode, when Brace Beemer, the radio voice of the Lone Ranger, had laryngitis. 

Here is that episode, Burly Scott's Sacrifice, as it originally aired on March 29, 1954.

The girl in the photo with Fred is my daughter, Karen Hughes, who had the privilege of acting with Fred in several radio re-creations of the Lone Ranger. 

For a short video clip from a re-creation of Burly Scott's Sacrifice, visit

And by the way, I play one of the outlaws - that's me in the dark T-shirt.

Direct download: B32loneranger540329burlyscottssacrifice2748.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:47am CDT

031-101220 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Boston Blackie

He first appeared as a jewel thief in a pulp magazine in 1914, then he showed up in the silent movies, then in the talkies, and then on the radio.  Finally, he had his own TV show in the early 1950s.

I'm talking about Boston Blackie. 

He was played in the movies and initially on the radio by Chester Morris, but Richard Kollmar (husband of Dorothy Kilgallen) took over the radio role the second year and held it until the show went off the air in 1950.

This episode, Murder With an Alibi, originally aired on March 5, 1946. 

Direct download: B31bostonblackie460305murderwithanalibi2837.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:00am CDT

030-101213 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Six Shooter

Jimmy Stewart is best-remembered for his movie roles in films like It's a Wonderful Life, Harvey, and Rear Window.

But in the fall of 1953, he starred in a radio series.  He played wandering cowboy Britt Ponset, the title character of the western series The Six Shooter. 

Though the series lasted just one year, the writing was excellent and Stewart was at the top of his form.  The plot was simple:  Ponset travelled around the wild west, and each week he had a new adventure. 

Some of the shows were serious, some of them were funny, and some of them were classic stories retold with a western background, like Cinderella and A Christmas Carol.

This episode, Silver Annie, was first broadcast on October 11, 1953.

Direct download: B30sixshooter531011silverannie2834.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:30am CDT

029-101206 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Phil Harris Show

One of the funniest programs ever to air. 

Phil Harris as a vain, happy-go-lucky bandleader, Elliott Lewis as his scheming guitarist Frankie Remley, Alice Faye as the wife and family anchor, two actresses playing the precocious daughters, and Walter Tetley as the brash, insulting grocery delivery boy.

In this episode, Remley needs a family to seal an inheritance, and so borrows Phil's wife and daughters as his own. 

This show originally aired on December 5, 1948.

Direct download: B29philharris481205remleytwantstoborrowphilsfamily2911.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:12am CDT

028-101129 - In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Halls of Ivy

The Halls of Ivy ran from 1950 to 1952.  It was a weekly half-hour sitcom set on the campus of Ivy College. 

Ronald Colman starred as William Todhunter Hall, the college president.  Colman’s real-life wife Bonita played his wife Vicky, an ex-star of the English theater. 

One of the regulars you'll recognize is Willard Waterman, who was also the second Great Gildersleeve, as Colman’s friend on the college board of governors.

This episode, Student Editorial, was the second show of the series.  It aired on January 13, 1950.

Direct download: B28hallsofivy500113studenteditorial2829.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:21am CDT

027-101122 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Nightbeat

Frank Lovejoy starred as the nighttime beat reporter for the Chicago Star in Nightbeat. 

This episode will be of particular interest to Gunsmoke fans, because the radio actors who played Matt Dillon, Chester, and Miss Kitty all appear as guests.

So with Frank Lovejoy in the lead role and William Conrad, Parley Baer, and Georgia Ellis in supporting roles, here's Nightbeat, from October 13, 1950, and Einer Pierce and His Family.

Direct download: B27nightbeat501013einerpiercefamily2932.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:19am CDT

026-101115 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Sherlock Holmes

On radio and in the movies, Basil Rathbone WAS Sherlock Holmes.

He played the part from 1939 to 1946, appearing in hundreds of radio shows and fourteen movies.

Along with Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, here's Basil Rathbone in The Unfortunate Tobacconist, which originally aired on April 30, 1945.

Direct download: B26sherlockholmes450430unfortunatetobacconist2641.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:30pm CDT

025-101108 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Information Please!

Information Please! was a popular quiz show, on the air from 1938 to 1951. 

Listeners sent in questions to stump the panel.  If the listener's question was used on the air, the listener won a few dollars. 

If the panel couldn't answer the question, the listener won a few more dollars.

Clifton Fadiman was the moderator of the show.  The panel consisted of three regulars who had an immense knowledge of music, sports, literature, popular culture, and several other fields. 

They were joined by a different celebrity panelist every week. 

Some of the celebrities who played the game were Orson Welles, Dorothy Parker, Boris Karloff, and Mike Wallace, when he was still known as Myron Wallace.

From June 20, 1939, here’s Information Please, with guest panelist Gracie Allen.


Direct download: B25infoplease390620gracieallen2922.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:22am CDT

024-101101 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Shadow

The Shadow was created in 1930 as the narrator for a radio show that dramatized stories from Detective Story magazine. 

The character became more popular than the shows he introduced, and soon The Shadow magazine was born. 

The Shadow radio show appeared in 1937, with Orson Welles as one of the early Shadows. 

This episode, the Gibbering Things, was originally broadcast on September 26, 1943.

Direct download: B24shadow430926thegibberingthings3050.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:46pm CDT

023-101025 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Saint

Though at least seven actors played The Saint on the radio over the years, Vincent Price is the Saint to most of us who listened to the show. 

The Saint got his name from his initials - ST, for Simon Templar.  He was a suave, clever, fun-loving and lovable criminal whose targets were pretty much rich bad guys. 

The Saint first appeared in 1928 in a book, moved to the movies in 1938, then to radio in 1940, and finally to television in 1968.

This radio episode, The Corpse Said Ouch, stars Vincent Price and was first aired on August 6, 1950.

Direct download: B23saint500806thecorpsesaidouch3103.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:00am CDT

022-101018 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Our Miss Brooks

How many old-time radio sitcoms do you know of that were also a television series, and a movie?  I'll probably hear from listeners who have other answers, but the one that springs to mind for me is Our Miss Brooks.

Connie Brooks was a high school English teacher who had a crush on Mr. Boynton, the science teacher.  Gale Gordon played the blustery principal, Mr. Osgood Conklin.  And a very young Richard Crenna played the high school student who dated the principal's daughter. 

Incidentally, forty years later, Richard Crenna played Colonel Denton Walters in the movie Hot Shot Part Deux - a reversal of his Our Miss Brooks character, Walter Denton.

This episode, Student Government Day, originally aired on January 16, 1949.

Direct download: B22ourmissbrooks490116studentgovernmentday2741.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:17pm CDT

021-101011 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Luke Slaughter of Tombstone

In the late 1950s, radio as a dramatic medium was dying out, giving way to disc jockey formats.

CBS radio tried to hold on a while longer by putting on radio what the public adored on television:  westerns!

This western, Luke Slaughter of Tombstone, perhaps would have been a huge hit twenty years earlier.  It was produced by the same folks who gave us Gunsmoke. 

But, good as it was, it was just too late.

This episode, Tracks Out of Tombstone, was originally broadcast on March 3, 1958.

Direct download: B21lukeslaughter580303tracksoutoftombstone2551.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:17am CDT

020-101004 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Richard Diamond

Richard Diamond on radio and Richard Diamond on TV were two different animals. 

The radio Diamond (Dick Powell) was rather lighthearted and funny, and the television Diamond (David Janssen) was more hardboiled and serious.

Dick Powell himself does the whistling that opens the radio show.  This episode, the Ralph Chase Case, was originally broadcast on May 15, 1949. 

Direct download: B20richardiamond490515ralphchasecase2937.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:57am CDT

019-100927 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - My Favorite Husband

This is the show that evolved into television's I Love Lucy.

Three years before Lucy and Ricky on TV, there were Liz and George on the radio. 

The radio program was called My Favorite Husband, and many of the radio episodes were rewritten for use as scripts on the I Love Lucy TV show.

Lucy played Liz, but George was played by Richard Denning, who was replaced by Lucy's real-life husband, Desi Arnaz, when the show went to television.

So listen now to an early version of I Love Lucy.  Here's Lucille Ball in My Favorite Husband, from August 20, 1948.

Direct download: B19myfavoritehusband480820lizteachestheasamba2534.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:10pm CDT

018-100920 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Inner Sanctum Mysteries

Inner Sanctum Mysteries ran from 1941 to 1952, and in those 11 years over 500 shows were broadcast. 

Many old-time listeners refer to it by its signature sound effect, The Creaking Door.  It was hosted by a ghoulish character who enjoyed bad puns.

The show was similar to television’s Twilight Zone, with stories that mixed humor with horror. 

From September 25, 1945, here’s Inner Sanctum, and The Lonely Sleep.

Direct download: B18innersanctum450925thelonelysleep2934.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 10:22am CDT

017-100913 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Philip Marlowe

Philip Marlowe was a hardboiled private eye created by hardboiled author Raymond Chandler.

He began in the pulp detective magazines, then moved to the movies and then to radio.

Marlowe was played by film star Van Heflin on the radio, then later by Gerald Mohr.

This is the very first episode of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe.  It originally ran on June 17, 1947 on the NBC radio network.

Direct download: B17marlowe470617redwind2827.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:20am CDT

016-100906 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Gunsmoke

Gunsmoke was an original concept in radio – a bleak western for adults.   It ran on the radio from 1952 to 1961. 

The program had the perfect cast members – straight-talking Bill Conrad as Marshall Matt Dillon, quirky Parley Baer as Chester, ghoulish Howard McNear as Doc Adams, and Georgia Ellis as Matt’s love interest and saloon girl Kitty Russell.  

They had all done hundreds, perhaps thousands of roles in various radio programs before they were signed for Gunsmoke.  

William Conrad went on to star in television’s Cannon and Jake and the Fat Man, and Parley Baer and Howard McNear both had regular parts in the Andy Griffith Show, with Parley as Mayor Stoner and Howard McNear as Floyd the Barber.

This episode, from July 24, 1960, is called The Imposter.

Direct download: B016gunsmoke600724theimposter2524.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:10am CDT

015-100830 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Pat Novak for Hire

Before Jack Webb made those four notes “dum da dum dum” forever famous, he starred in a quirky series set at the San Francisco harbor, called Pat Novak for Hire.

The dialog he wrote for Novak was just bizarre – there’s just no other way to describe it.

Listen for yourself, as we give you the April 23, 1949 episode of Pat Novak for Hire. This is called Rita Malloy.

Direct download: B15patnovak490423ritamalloy2957.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:25am CDT

014-100823 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Mel Blanc Show

He was the voice of Bugs Bunny.  He was the voice of Porky Pig.  He was the voice of Jack Benny’s perpetually-frustrated violin teacher, and Jack’s parrot, and Jack’s antique Maxwell automobile when it struggled to get started.

Mel Blanc, the man of a thousand voices, had his own radio series that ran for one season on CBS.  Mel played a mousy handyman who ran a fix-it shop with the help of his assistant Zookie, who sounded a lot like Porky Pig. 

Sadly, Mel’s unique talents were wasted in this series.  The writing was weak and the jokes not very funny.  Still, for historical purposes, old-time radio fans should listen to an episode or two of The Mel Blanc Show. 

This one is called The Astrologer, and it was originally broadcast on November 19, 1946.

Direct download: B15melblanc461119theastrologer2527.MP3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:06pm CDT

013-100816 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - I Was a Communist For the FBI

McCarthyism was rampant in the early 1950s, and radio gave us a weekly series called I Was a Communist for the FBI.  It ran from 1952 to 1954. 

Dana Andrews played the real-life spy who pretended to be a Red so he could infiltrate the Communist Party. 

I Was a Communist for the FBI was an independent syndicated program, not run by any specific network, and it was carried by an astounding 600-plus radio stations. From May 7, 1952, here’s an episode of I Was a Communist for the FBI, called Little Red.


Direct download: B13iwasacommunist520507thelittlered2711.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:49am CDT

012-100809 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Fort Laramie

Radio producer-director Norman McDonnell and head writer John Meston gave us two old-time radio western series.  Both were “adult, thinking-man” programs.

One was Gunsmoke. 

The other was Fort Laramie.

Fort Laramie ran for less than a year, from January 1956 to October 1956.  It starred a relatively unknown mostly bit-part actor who had done radio for several years and had been in the movies too. 

The year after he starred in Fort Laramie, his career would skyrocket as he became television’s Perry Mason.

Canada’s Raymond Burr was picked to play Perry Mason over such better-known actors as Jeff Chandler, Fred MacMurray, and Efrem Zimbalist Jr. 

Legend is that Perry Mason author Erle Stanley Gardner said, “THAT’s Perry Mason” when Burr walked in to audition.

Raymond Burr played cavalry Captain Lee Quince in Fort Laramie.  From February 5, 1956, here’s an episode of Fort Laramie called Squaw Man.

Direct download: B12ftlaramie560205squawman2848.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:25am CDT

011-100801 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Nero Wolfe

Nero Wolfe was a most unlikely detective. 

He was a gourmet and an orchid connoisseur, and he was generally a rather nasty man altogether.

He was so vastly overweight that he seldom left his apartment.

He listened to clients tell their stories, then he sent his assistant Archie Goodwin to do the footwork (and the dirty work).

Archie tracked down the clues, often putting himself in great physical danger, then he turned his findings over to Wolfe, who solved the mystery in the comfort of his easy chair. 

Three actors played Nero Wolfe on the radio.  In this program, we hear the most well-known Nero Wolfe, Sydney Greenstreet.

This episode, Stamped for Murder, was originally broadcast on October 20, 1950.

Direct download: B11nerowolfe501020stampedformurder.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:37am CDT

010-100726 - In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Fibber McGee & Molly

Fibber McGee and Molly were one of America's best-loved radio couples. Stars Jim and Marion Jordan were married in real life, and their show was on the air from 1935 to 1959.

Their radio show was as popular as The Lone Ranger, Jack Benny, Gunsmoke, and Burns and Allen, but unlike those programs, Fibber McGee and Molly was not able to adapt itself to television. 

Perhaps it failed because it was better heard than seen.  Fibber McGee and Molly was more "sound-oriented" than other radio shows.

For example, Jim Jordan was a wizard at delivering extended alliteration at breakneck speed, and he was also a professional punster.  No picture is required to fully appreciate either of these verbal gymnastic techniques.

Also, the most popular running gag of the show was Fibber McGee's closet.  It was stuffed with junk, and whenever it was opened, you heard everything fall out.  The sound effects man would sweep shelf after shelf of umbrellas and bowling balls and pots and pans to the floor, going on for maybe thirty seconds, and it got funnier all the time.

But in real life, gravity isn't that slow.  The closet crash would last only three seconds or so, and the humor was lost.

And finally, when the TV version was cast, new actors were chosen for the parts of Fibber and Molly.  Like David Letterman said (repeatedly) of Val Kilmer, "That ain't Batman."

This episode, Catching a Train, first aired on February 20, 1945.

Direct download: B10fibbermcgeeandmolly450220catchingatrain2904.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 11:14pm CDT

009-100719 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Escape

Once upon a time there were radio shows - and then television shows - that told a different story every week, with no continuing characters except the host who introduced each story, and with different locations, and even time periods, every week. 

In radio, there was Suspense, and Lights Out, and The Whistler, and Academy Award Theater and Lux Radio Theater and the First Nighter Program. 

In television, there was Playhouse 90 and the Loretta Young Show and Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone. 

One of the best radio shows of this type was Escape, which ran on CBS and was hosted by William Conrad and Paul Frees. 

Escape usually took place in some exotic locale, and dramatized someone in a life-or-death situation. 

This episode, The Man Who Stole the Bible, first aired on May 5, 1950.

Direct download: B09escape-500505manwhostolethebible2922.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 7:14am CDT

008-100712 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - The Green Hornet

The Green Hornet (Britt Reid) was the son of the nephew of the Lone Ranger. 

Like the Lone Ranger, he fought crime though law officers thought he was an outlaw. 

And like the Lone Ranger, he had a foreign sidekick (Tonto for the Lone Ranger, Kato - a Philipino - for the Green Hornet).

The program ran from 1936 to 1952, and though several actors played Britt Reid, Al Hodge is best remembered for the role.

This episode, Torpedo on Wheels, originally aired on November 14, 1942.

Direct download: B08greenhornet421114torpedoonwheels2837.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 6:29am CDT

007-100705 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Dr. Six Gun

For every really successful radio western, like The Lone Ranger and Gunsmoke, there were dozens of lesser-known cowboy shows.  

A good example of one of these programs that flew under the radar is Dr. Sixgun, which ran just one year, from 1954 to 1955.

Karl Weber played the gun-toting physician.  Weber was no stranger to radio, or to the medical profession.  He had played a doctor for two years in the radio soap opera The Guiding Light, and he appeared in several movies and tv shows, including Perry Mason, Doctor Kildare, and Maverick.

Dr. Sixgun was narrated by Weber's sidekick, Pablo, who was played by Bill Griffis.  

This episode, "No Guns" Ordinance, originally aired on October 31, 1954.

Direct download: B07dr6gun541031nogunsordinance2825.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 8:09am CDT

006-100628 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Burns and Allen

Nathan Birnbaum married Grace Ethel Cecile Rosalie Allen in 1926.  For the next 30 years, they were one of the best-loved couples in America. 

Nathan became George Burns and Gracie dropped all those middle names, and Burns and Allen were headliners in vaudeville, radio, and television for almost half a century.  George was in show biz for over 93 years!

Their radio program was one of the top-rates shows for many years.  This episode, Sweeping Into Office, was originally broadcast live from the San Francisco World's Fair on May 29, 1940.

Direct download: B06burnsallen400529sweepingintooffice3002.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:35am CDT

005-100621 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Box 13

Movie actor Alan Ladd played Dan Holiday, an ex-newspaper reporter who wrote mystery novels. 

To find ideas for his stories, he ran a classified ad:  "Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything.  Write Box 13, Star-Times." 

Each episode began with the reading of a letter responding to this ad, and Halliday was off on another adventure.

The series ran in 1948 and 1949, and Ladd himself was co-writer of some of the scripts. 

This episode, Suicide or Murder, aired on November 7, 1948.

Direct download: B05box13-481107suicide_or_murder.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 3:42am CDT

004-100614 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Dark Fantasy

Dark Fantasy was a supernatural anthology, much like the television show, The Twilight Zone.  It didn’t last very long – it was on the air from November 1941 to June 1942 – but it was written by Scott Bishop, who also wrote The Mysterious Traveler, and it was much admired by fans of the genre.

This episode, The Thing From the Sea, originally aired on November 28, 1941.

Direct download: B04darkfantasy411128thethingfromthesea2517.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 5:00am CDT

003-100607 In the Old Time Radio Corner - The Cisco Kid

Westerns were big on radio.  Some were almost "literary" and aimed at adults, like Gunsmoke, Frontier Gentleman, and Have Gun Will Travel.

Others were full of exciting action and more for the kids, like Gene Autry's Melody Ranch, Wild Bill Hickok, and Roy Rogers.

The Cisco Kid definitely fit into the lots-of-action category.  Cisco and his sidekick Pancho got into a new fix every week, and by the end of the show they were back on the trailing, laughing with each other.

The program was on radio from 1942 to 1956, and a television version aired from 1950 to 1956.

This episode, War at Oak Pass, starred Jack Mather as the Cisco Kid, originally aired on July 14, 1953.

Direct download: B03ciscokid530714waratoakpass2710.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 12:00am CDT

002-100531 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Amos 'n' Andy

It was, simply, the most listened-to radio series of all time.  People planned their activities so as not to miss this show. 

First they were Sam 'n' Henry, but they had to change their names when they switched radio stations.  One of the stars overheard two elderly black men address each other as Famous Amos and Handy Andy, and the new identities were thus created.

Direct download: B02amosandy531101catburglar2844.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 9:12am CDT

001-100524 In the Old-Time Radio Corner - Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator

This is the first in a weekly series of old-time radio shows.  I have been doing this show for a local (Champaign, Illinois) radio station for the sight-impaired for the past year.  The radio station is on an SCA subcarrier, meaning that you have to have a special radio to listen to it. 

By putting it on the internet as a podcast, anyone can hear it whenever they like.

The first show is a Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator episode, starring William Gargan. 

I am also involved with the annual Cincinnati Old-Time Radio convention.  Please visit our site here:

Thank you!

Dan Hughes,

Direct download: B01barriecraig511205paperbullet3001.mp3
Category:oldtimeradio -- posted at: 4:05pm CDT