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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Feb Sat 16, 2019 6:12 am 
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We watched Sanders in "Journey to Italy", he starred with Ingrid Bergman. On youtube channel that had at least a couple dozen George Sanders movies. The video quality was excellent and restored.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Feb Sat 16, 2019 9:02 am 
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I'll have to watch that movie. There are so many films which were made at the time, and they were very good movies. And all before the Censorship of films was dropped around 1968. The first film made after the Hayes Code and Censorship was dropped happened to be Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby". That film marked the downhill trend.

There have been good films made since that time, but overall the lack of Censorship marked the "downhill" trend, and with "Rosemary's Baby", Hollywood was definitely on the way downhill and has really continued so since that time.

I remember in interviews with the older stars the interviewer would always ask them what they thought about the newer Hollywood films. I can't remember one interview where there was a positive response. Censorship may be a dirty, restrictive word to many people, but in regard to Hollywood films, it really helped them be more creative, inventive and overall present a better product than is the case today.

Glad Youtube is putting on a huge variety of the older films (and early television programs) with stars like George Sanders, Tom Conway and Ingrid Bergman to name just a few. I did read that George Sanders also played Sherlock Holmes for a while, and then later his brother Tom Conway took over the radio role and was very good.
I listened to 2 episodes of Sherlock Holmes tonight with an introduction by Nigel Bruce and they were very good. There are many restoration groups for film (UCLA Film Institute and other groups) and radio today (such as Radio Archives and others) who are doing amazing work in the field of restoration to save what has been stored away in vaults and even basements over the years.

Harold Lloyd's radio show was actually found on the original transcription discs in the basement of his Beverly Hills home after his death and luckily Radio Archives got them and now they have been beautifully restored back to the quality they were when initially broadcast, if not better. A similar story happened with some of the radio work of Orson Welles and even The Railroad Hour with Gordon MacRae which was found in a storage unit up for an auction with the seller's not knowing what was in that particular storage unit. Had it not been for that storage unit being auctioned off, the original transcription radio discs of The Railroad Hour may have been lost for all time. But now Radio Archives has beautifully restored them all.

At least we have so many good movies, radio and television shows to last us all a lifetime and not have to rely solely on the newer, computer graphic films of today with all the violence and obscenities so prevalent today. Radio shows typical of those from the Golden Age are no longer on radio, but we do have the old shows which by the time we could possibly listen to them all, then we could just start all over again, if we live long enough!

Thank goodness they put so many of them on the large transcription discs and have the restoration methods available today there are many left although many were lost or destroyed. Same with film. 50% of all films since 1950 have been lost and probably even more with the radio shows, but there are still enough to last us all a lifetime!


Last edited by ZenithStratosphere on Feb Sun 17, 2019 3:00 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Feb Sat 16, 2019 8:50 pm 
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I think you will like A Trip to Italy, it is very unusual. Reminds me of Fellini films a little bit. Issues that resonate with Valentines day play a role too. The OTR archivers such as Radio Archives saving our heritage are doing the Lord's work.

"MASSIVE Collection of Sherlock Holmes Radio Shows" thread here in the forum linked to a huge file of over 550 Sherlock Holmes broadcasts, but it was removed from the archival site. I managed to get it last year, although now I only fave the files re-tagged as to Program names and Album etc. Because in the original zip archive they were not in order of date of broadcast which I happened to prefer. I no longer have the unmodified zip file, just a collection of re-tagged files which number 558 shows, separated into folders for the different programs. One program was only heard on Airlines (I think British Airways) never over radio. Some few may be duplicates (such as when Armed Force Radio rebroadcast episodes that were done on commercial AM networks).

Conway has thirty-six of these programs with Nigel Bruce as Watson, I do not see any with Sanders labeled as being in those 550, but he may be in some of them anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Feb Sat 16, 2019 10:09 pm 
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I will look up "A Trip to Italy". Oddly, when I first read that I thought you meant I should take a trip to Italy! :) I have always wanted to visit Venice, but time will tell. I did visit Greece once (in better financial times) and went to Delphi, Athens and some time on the island of Crete which I greatly enjoyed. Also 3 trips to India and a visit to Holland and Paris several years back. In reading about George Sanders and Tom Conway the information and their work tends to overlap, as such seemed the case when they were getting along well in earlier years, oftentimes switched parts.

I read where Sanders was playing the part (on radio) of "The Falcon" but then turned it over to Tom Conway for his run and they are supposed to be quite good. I have a boxed set of "The Falcon", but I can't remember the Actor right now, but wish I had the Sanders or Conway episodes of "The Falcon". I seemed to have also read the same thing happened with Sanders (playing probably for a short time Sherlock Holmes), then turned it over to Conway. I assume this happened when Basil Rathbone gave up the part for a very brief time. Those episodes may not exist. Nigel Bruce however seemed to stay on for the ride as long as he could. He was always quite charming as Dr. Watson.

On one of the (I think) Radio Archives, Archives Treasures series I have there is a live interview with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and he openly states that Dr. Watson was written to be out and out dim-witted. That surprised me as I thought oftentimes that aspect of Dr. Watson's personality had been over-played by the player's and director's, but evidently that was not the case. I am working on the few Tom Conway episodes I have now and enjoying them.

I also collect restored vintage vacuum tube radios and play my CD's on a Sony Walkman through the old radios. Many of those original speaker's (and many of the original tubes still in the radio) probably played these shows when they were originally broadcast. I just like the vacuum tube sound and was really much more fascinated with vacuum tube technology than what we have today. Glad the old vacuum tube radios can work with the new technology if you have an RCA Jack on the radio to plug a new device into, although I do have a small AM Transmitter that I can download into and play the old radios on my dial setting of 880 AM. I guess you could call me "techno-phobic!

I also think these restoration groups such as Radio Archives are doing the Lord's work also, as they are preserving entertainment that only lasted for a short time which generally did not have the negative elements found so often in today's entertainment offerings. Many of those radio shows would not exist today had they not been put on transcription discs and sent to the AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Services). I notice that episode #58 on the Radio Archives, Archives Treasures of George Sanders singing debut on "The Big Show" was taken from one of the AFRS recordings. It probably would not exist had that not been the case.

At the closing of each "The Big Show" Tallulah Bankhead would sing a verse from the song "May The Good Lord Bless and Keep You", and then each subsequent evening's guest's would sing a verse. At the close Tallulah would then ask for a special blessing for our troops overseas. That song (which many people still know today) was written by Meredith Willson specifically as a tribute to Tallulah Bankhead and she likened it to a Hymn.

https://youtu.be/ZC7k70-HTbc

You will never hear such a closing on any show today. After the song was finished at the show's end, Tallulah would then as she called it "Ring her Chimes" which was the familiar NBC theme sound, which I think was dropped many years ago.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Feb Sun 17, 2019 2:48 am 
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TO; Federated_P By the way, what is the radio you have pictured accompanying your name? It is certainly a lovely one with beautiful lines and curved wood over the grill cloth (I would assume) Tombstone cabinet?


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Feb Tue 26, 2019 6:22 pm 
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"The Story of Gunsmoke" a 5 hour PBS Documentary done in the mid 1970's explores the reasons for the success of primarily the "Gunsmoke" radio show (which first aired April 26, 1952) which led to the television show starting in 1955. It also analyzes the decline of radio and the effects the new medium of television had in ending the Golden Age of Radio. Interesting comments are made by everyone associated with "Gunsmoke" from Norm MacDonnell (the producer and Director), William Conrad, Parley Baer, Georgia Ellis and many others.
The second photograph below is of Georgia Ellis and Parley Baer in costume for the roles of Miss Kitty and Chester Wesley Proudfoot.
William Conrad in the Documentary makes this statement regarding the success of "Gunsmoke" as it relates to the primary writer and creator of "Gunsmoke", John Meston. The first photograph is a photograph of William "Bill" Conrad as he looked on Radio's version of "Gunsmoke".

"John is a most unique talent, a lovely man who is a great bleeder. He bleeds for everybody. And perhaps that is the key to the success of that show ("Gunsmoke") is that it is so filled with the repulsion of man's inhumanity to man, seasoned and highlighted by red streaks of magnificent violence........
and yet the final total comparison with whatever the problem was. You add all those up and they spell "Mother" under any conditions."

That is a very interesting statement and one that in many ways does explain the writing success of John Meston's "Gunsmoke" insightfully made by William Conrad. I don't quite understand how it spells "Mother", but hopefully someone can explain how they see the meaning of that statement, if I understood it correctly from the audio of the program "The Story of Gunsmoke".


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Sun 03, 2019 4:22 am 
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An entry from the early days of radio and Just for the sheer fun of it, there is always the serial "Jungle Jim", which first aired in 1935 and starred Matt Crowley and Vicki "Victoria" Vola for its' first 3 year run until about 1938.

Interestingly enough a poll was taken in the 1930's of the women who spoke with the most perfect diction. On the movie side, Elissa Landi was accorded that honor and for radio Vicki "Victoria" Vola was considered to have the most perfect diction. She spoke 5 languages fluently. When hearing her on the first episodes of "Jungle Jim" with Matt Crowley in which she played the part of "Shanghai-Lil" aka Lilly DeVrille, that talent becomes quite apparent.

Jim is aided by his right-hand guide and friend Kolu, (played by Juano Hernandez), and in most adventures, Shanghai Lil played initially by Vicki Vola (who had by far the most charm) and later (after 1938) by (Frances Hale,) a worldly woman who has been everywhere, and is along for the ride but provides a great deal of the charm in the early days of the serial.

The quarter-hour weekly adventure series winds its way through a tangle of wild beasts, fierce tribes, foreign spies, poachers and traders, wily tribal leaders and warriors.
Gerald Mohr several years later took over the role with Frances Hale, but these episodes just prior to World War II and after never quite had the innocent and adventurous appeal of the series with the first stories and exotic characters such as The Bat Woman and "The Purple Triangle (with Vicki "Victoria" Vola) involving searches for treasure, ghostly happenings and mysterious islands steaming with dread.

Vicki "Victoria" Vola, the notorious "Shanghai Lil" aka "Lilly DeVrille" in the early "Jungle Jim" serials is pictured below with Matt Crowley also. She later starred in many other radio shows including "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar", many soap operas and work with many radio stations of the time.

When the later adult, more sophisticated radio programs begin to get a bit boring, there is always "Jungle Jim" with Matt Crowley and Vicki "Victoria" Vola to remind one of those earlier innocent childhood and even adult memories.


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Last edited by ZenithStratosphere on Mar Mon 04, 2019 9:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 6:19 am 
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I saw some episodes of Jungle Jim TV show (Johnny Weissmuller) in syndication. Now there are episodes on Youtube. I had no idea there were OTR radio shows on the character and I see it ran for almost 20 years on radio, LOL.

I did not know Conrad had his spinoff from Matlock on TV later and it ran 5 years or so: Jake and the Fatman.

Mainly I knew Conrad from the (pretty good) series on TV: Nero Wolfe, and Cannon. And the Gunsmoke OTR which our neighbors listened to (they had no TV, nor electricity).


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 8:57 pm 
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The "Jungle Jim" early radio serials started a series that ran in many directions over the years. The original show, which first aired on radio with Matt Crowley and Viola "Victoria" Vola set the stage for the characters in the radio serial along with the syndicated comic strip that ran conjunctively in the Hearst newspapers of the time. And they were in color! Many newspapers were sold because of "Jungle Jim" and other popular comic strip characters. Gerald Mohr took over the part on radio about 1938 and I think Viola Vola went in other directions with that part going to Frances Hale. The radio serial was never the same with this change. :cry:

The first 3 or 4 years of "Jungle Jim" on radio to me were the best as they were simply adventurous fun, but with World War II and the changing social climate, the stories became darker and more aligned with the cloak and dagger type of shows. As a result the innocent, adventurous fun of the first three radio years went by the wayside, but they remain a classic of early radio.

Initially described as a "gentleman adventurer, a true friend of all good men and relentless enemy to all bad ones, no matter what their race or creed may be", Jim was joined by his faithful aide Kolu, a powerful Hindu giant. The pair often encountered "Shanghai" Lillie DeVrille, who served as Jim's alluring femme fatale.

However with Matt Crowley and Vicki Vola in those first 15 minute serials beginning in 1935, were probably the best written and performed, interesting to both children and adults. Those first stories included such radio serials as ("The Bat Woman"[the first in the series], "The Purple Triangle", "The Tiger's Claw", "The Afghan Hills",,"The Ghost of the Java Sea" and "Karnak the Killer". With these stories, "Jungle Jim" had been firmly cemented in the public's mind regardless of which direction or medium the later stories took.

Gerald Mohr filled in for a few episodes from "The Ghost of the Java Sea", but as good as he later was in other vintage radio shows (especially "The Adventures of Philip Marlowe"), he was no comparison to Matt Crowley. Matt Crowley may not have had the looks, but he certainly had the "Million Dollar" radio voice, and especially so for his role as "Jungle Jim".

The early "Jungle Jim" stories remain classics of early radio serials drawing the audience back for the next (15 minute) "cliff hanging" chapter in the story and selling many newspapers that followed the radio show if one missed a radio episode (and there were many!).


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 9:40 pm 
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Quote:
I did not know Conrad had his spinoff from Matlock on TV later and it ran 5 years or so: Jake and the Fatman.
Mainly I knew Conrad from the (pretty good) series on TV: Nero Wolfe, and Cannon. And the Gunsmoke OTR which our neighbors listened to (they had no TV, nor electricity).


William "Bill" Conrad was across the board in just about every direction of the entertainment industry after his service in the Military as a Fighter Pilot during World War II. There were movies, a lot of radio work, then Executive work at Warner Bros. which probably led to his later television work. Sydney Greenstreet was one of radio's Nero Wolfe actors I especially enjoy.

I did not see the TV version with William Cannon, but feel sure it was well done as was his work on "Cannon" and the other shows you mentioned including his appearance on "Matlock". He will always be well remembered for his work as the first Marshall Matt Dillon on radio which definitely set the later tone for the successful television version of "Gunsmoke".
The television cast of "Gunsmoke" owe a great deal to the first characters and especially John Meston who wrote most of the stories and had editorial approval over the other writer's for the additional stories written for the series.

William Conrad's last wife was the widow of the former NBC newsman Chet Huntley. From all I have read they had a very good relationship working together on many of the later projects in which he was involved prior to his death.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Mon 04, 2019 11:21 pm 
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This show ran for 5 years on CBS...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3NTHlwXyhA


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Tue 05, 2019 2:57 am 
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Looks like I will enjoy watching "Jake and the Fat Man". Don't know how I missed that one.

Part of William Conrad's success was simply that he was a very likable and charismatic person in just about every role he starred in over his long career both in the movies, radio and television. He had that indefinable quality that works for an entertainer. One just couldn't help liking him.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Fri 08, 2019 4:14 am 
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A popular vintage radio show that would make a major Hollywood character actor J. Carroll Naish a household name was Life with Luigi—a situation comedy that premiered over CBS Radio on September 21, 1948. :)

J. Carroll Nash played Luigi Basco, a newly-arrived Italian immigrant to these shores whose attempts to achieve the American Dream with his own antiques business—a scheming restaurateur named Pasquale, portrayed by actor Alan Reed.
Pasquale never missed an opportunity to remind his friend that Luigi owed much to Pasquale’s generosity in helping him get established in his new country…and all Pasquale wanted in return was for Luigi to walk down the matrimonial aisle with his hefty daughter Rosa (Jody Gilbert).

"Life with Luigi" was a solid hit for CBS Radio for six seasons with a charming lead character that still holds up well today, and even more-so than we may think as it deals with immigrants assimilating into the once known "melting pot" discussed so much these days in the United States,

Life with Luigi can still be heard on a few vintage radio programs that continue to air radio stations around the Country with radio programs from the Golden Age of Radio and is available on CD's with restored sound and tonal quality.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Fri 08, 2019 4:40 am 
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Tired of the everyday grind? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you ... ESCAPE!

If I had to list some of my favorite programs from the Golden Age of Radio, ESCAPE would be right at the top. :D

And you may oftentimes hear William "Bill" Conrad quote those beginning lines of ESCAPE and star or either co-star in many of the episodes.
ESCAPE was wery well written and superbly produced series that brought to listeners adaptations of classic works by famous writers as well as brand new work by unknown talent. Many of the stories were later reused by more high profile shows such as Suspense, but on the whole the ESCAPE versions were of equal quality and sometimes more dramatically focused and atmospheric.

If you've never listened to this wonderful series it's well worth taking the time to listen to it. Two of my favorite episodes are "A Shipment of Mute Fate" (which was so popular an episode it was aired on several occasions with different radio actors, Jack Webb being my favorite) and "The Second-Class Passenger" (which first starred Parley Baer and also as the episode was so popular, it was later re-aired with other radio actors).


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Sun 10, 2019 10:35 am 
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Fred Allen at the height of his popularity on radio had 3 out every 4 radio listener's at the time his show was on the air. Fred Allen was an American comedian whose absurdist, topically pointed radio shows ran from 1932 through 1949, and made him one of the most popular and forward-looking humorists in the so-called Golden Era of Radio. Fred Allen and his wife Portland Hoffa (who worked regularly with him) began full time radio work in 1932.

He is very well remembered for his The Hour of Smiles (1934–35), and later called Town Hall Tonight (1935–39), but was finally changed to simply The Fred Allen Show. He and Jack Benny are oftentimes considered similar in their comedy shows at the time and they played off each other very well. He was later on Tallulah Bankhead's "The Big Show" so much that many people felt he was a co-host.
In actuality, as Fred Allen was for the most part out of work from radio after 1949 and hadn't yet developed a television show. Tallulah Bankhead gave him as much work as possible on her "The Big Show" to help out an old friend. He was on "The Big Show" for 27 of its' 57 episodes running from 1950 until 1952. He was oftentimes on "What's My Line?" and other early television shows of the time, but his running joke was always that he was now on Social Security and out of work, which in many ways was true.

His shows still hold up well today, primarily because of his uniqueness as a comedian that was well known to his large radio audience during the 1930's and 1940's, and also possessing a very likable personality which worked well for him on radio for many years and his later limited television work.
He died of a sudden heart attack while walking his dog in 1956.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Wed 20, 2019 12:15 am 
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"Rocky Jordon" starring Jack Moyles was a popular primarily West Coast radio show in the late 1940's into the early 1950's with several reincarnations before and after the simply "Rocky Jordon" series. The show has the feel of the movie "Casablanca" with all the exotic and dangerous adventures of the East. Instead of the Cafe American in the Humphrey Bogart movie "Casablanca", the Cafe is called the Cafe Tambourine.

Rocky had changed the name to the Cafe Tambourine and moved the location to Cairo, Egypt. Veteran radio actor Jay Novello also stars in a role reminiscent of Claude Rains in "Casablanca". playing the role of Captain Sam Sabaaya, the local constable who gets along much better with Rocky Jordon than was the case with "Boston Blackie" and his Captain Farraday which was over the top at times. Paul Frees and other familiar voices can oftentimes be heard.

Rocky Jordon is played by radio actor Jack Moyles and he does an excellent job. For those familiar with and like "Boston Blackie" and similar types of radio detective type of shows, you will have a treat in store for you with this series that ran for about 2 years around 1950.
It existed in various forms (George Raft even played the role in its last incarnation) prior to this show both before 1950 and after, but the version simply called "Rocky Jordon" with Jack Moyles and Jay Novello is the one to get.

The photograph is of Jay Novello standing and Jack Moyles sitting at the desk.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Wed 20, 2019 5:43 pm 
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The New Adventures of Michael Shayne with Jeff Chandler was one of the most popular of the famous Detective shows from the Golden Age of Radio. Jeff Chandler was in many different radio shows over the years and played various parts even as the biology teacher in the popular "Our Miss Brooks" with Eve Arden.

Many people played the part of Michael Shayne, but Jeff Chandler (circa 1946) was one of the best :!: He had brains, brawn, and an insatiable attraction to attractive and dangerous females. A cigarette dangling from the corner of the mouth, a slouch hat parked on a coat rack in a seedy downtown office, a willingness to get beaten, punched, sapped, shot, and generally abused for twenty bucks a day.
It was everything that radio listeners came to expect from the tough guy noir detectives of the mid-1940s. And all of these traditional elements fit Michael Shayne to a tee.

Jeff Chandler played "Michael Shayne" for 26 episodes and the syndicated series drew to a close - but this wasn't the end of the redheaded Irishman's radio appearances. Being prerecorded for syndication, this series continued to run in local markets well into the 1950s and on Armed Forces radio into the late 1960s, providing listeners with perhaps the most distinctive and well-remembered incarnation of the character.

We lost Jeff Chandler way too soon (1961), but he left many memorable radio and later movie performances which live on to this day. Many of the radio actors stayed only in radio work, but Jeff Chandler had the voice and looks for both radio the the Silver Screen.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Sun 24, 2019 12:39 am 
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“I am the Whistler and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak!”

"The Whislter" was one of radio’s most memorable radio shows from the Golden Era and seems known to people unfamiliar with old radio shows. The Whistler during its' heyday was a west-coast favorite for over a decade but, despite two attempts to go nationwide, never was able to achieve the same success as a coast to coast feature. But for listeners across the western states served by the Signal Oil Company, the program’s eerie theme music opened a weekly window into the very darkest corners of the human soul.

The Whistler himself as the narrator is never seen, but rather the voice of Fate itself. And his stories revolved around ordinary people, pushed by the pressures of daily life into taking drastic actions. Greed, lust, and infidelity of every kind figure in the plots -- and when Fate inevitably catches up with these unfortunate, driven souls, The Whistler is always ready, at the very end, to see that the knife is properly twisted.

If you like the old radio stars, they are all here except for William Conrad, and he just may be in a few of the episodes and surprise us. The Whistler was a prime outlet for the cream of Hollywood’s top radio performers - actors such as Wally Maher, Cathy and Elliott Lewis, Gerald Mohr, Lurene Tuttle, and Betty Lou Gerson, who emphasized skill over star power - as well as announcer Bill Forman in the title role, with Marvin Miller voicing the commercials.

Note the Signal Oil Company image on the newspaper advertisement from KIRO AM out of Seattle pictured here. In gasoline it takes EXTRA quality to go further :!:

"The Whislter" did transition into television for a while, but never seemed to have the success it had in radio's "The Theater of the Mind", which may have been the reason for the success of the program on radio, sponsored for many years by the Signal Oil Company of California.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Sun 24, 2019 6:06 am 
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Suspense is one of the classics of old time radio. Some fans have special favorites in the thriller/chiller/macabre genre, but all will agree that Suspense did it best. The guiding light of this show was William Spier (photographed below), who developed the formula into a human drama that attracted the finest of Hollywood's elite as well as the cream of radio's great actors.

Orson Welles was in many episodes, and Cary Grant was quoted in 1943, "If I ever do any more radio work, I want to it on Suspense, where I get a good chance to act." Spier's method with his show's stars was to keep them under-rehearsed, somewhat uneasy. In Suspense, as it were, he got great performances, and the show gained greater and greater popularity.

The Roma Wine sponsorship in 1943 allowed the show to create works that are a lasting part of the old time radio entertainment experience. All the production values were first class. The great Bernard Hermann did the musical scores. He previously had worked with Orson Welles in his Mercury Theater series, and went on to do of Alfred Hitchcock film fame. Lucian Moraweck did many of the greatest episode scores.

Agnes Moorehead performing the famous script, 'Sorry Wrong Number' the "Man in Black" is your host, reminding one of the many thriller show presenters, but Suspense was the best of the bunch, and never did the show lapse into over-the-top melodrama. William Spier was so deft in his weaving of the spell of Suspense, he was dubbed "the Hitchcock of the airwaves."

Through the years, various directors were enlisted to create the show. Anton Leader directed in the late 40s, and Norman Macdonnell, producer/developer of The Adventures of Phillip Marlowe and Gunsmoke did stints in the 50s. William M. Robson, another radio great known for his writer/director credentials, finished the series in Hollywood in the late 50s, but the show continued from New York with radio's best actors under the production/direction of Bruno Zirato, Jr.

"Radio's outstanding theater of thrills" was just that. It was not a show about crime or detection like many others, nor was it a melodramatic horror show. In quality and tone, it's closest rival was Escape. Throughout its long run, Suspense was dedicated to the excellent script in which a normal person becomes involved in a situation that becomes beyond control. As the intro said, "We invite you to enjoy stories that keep you in .... SUSPENSE!


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 Post subject: Re: Old Radio Programs
PostPosted: Mar Tue 26, 2019 10:54 pm 
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Joined: Oct Mon 12, 2015 4:44 am
Posts: 405
One of my favorite old time radios shows is The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe starring Sydney Greenstreet as Rex Stout's fictional detective genius Nero Wolfe. Produced by Edwin Fadiman and directed by J. Donald Wilson, the series aired on NBC from October 20, 1950 to April 27, 1951. Don Stanley was the announcer. The episodes were written by Alfred Bester and others. Sydney Greenstreet was famous in movies for Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon. He had retired from the movies due to ill health and had his health not prevented him, he would have continued on with the very popular radio series. He had to fully retire from both film and the radio due to ill health and passed away in 1954 :(

Nero Wolfe's assistant detective named Archie Goodwin on the show was played by a succession of actors including Gerald Mohr, Herb Ellis, Lawrence Dobkin, Harry Bartell, Lamont Johnson and Wally Maher, with Harry Bartell being my favorite.

The New Adventures of Nero Wolfe was the first radio series that, like the Nero Wolfe stories themselves, stressed characterization over plot. It is regarded as the series that is most responsible for popularizing Nero Wolfe on radio. All but one episode ("The Case of the Headless Hunter") has survived as all the others in the series are available.

Interestingly enough, William "Bill" Conrad played in a television version of Nero Wolfe in the early 1980's.


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