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 Post subject: Suggested Old Time Radio shows and my thoughts
PostPosted: Mar Fri 20, 2020 1:47 am 
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Joined: Dec Wed 14, 2011 2:30 am
Posts: 119
Location: Frankenmuth, MI
We once again find ourselves in a time of historical significance. Every generation seems to go through many history making events in their lifetime. For me, I was born in 1967. I was to young to remember the Vietnam war/conflict news headlines and watergate. I do remember the country's bicentennial celebration very well in 1976. I marveled at the accomplishments of humans conquering space, the joint Apollo-Soyuz mission, the Iran hostage crisis, the space shuttle flights, AIDs outbreak, tearing down "the wall", The Gulf War, a horny President getting busted with a White House aid, Y2K, 9-11, 2008 depression, first black President, and now a virus that has spread so fast throughout the world it is labeled a pandemic.
Not meant to bring a new conversation about the current pandemic, but to stay with this websites theme of antique radios, I would like to recommend a few radio shows with a "virus" theme. There are many old time radio shows I could listen to over and over, and if people are looking for entertainment while "social distancing" here are some of my favorites.
Escape - The Scarlet Plague - April 8, 1954
Escape - The Earth Abides, Parts 1 & 2 - Nov. 5 & 12, 1951
Dimension X - Courtesy - July 26, 1951
There was one that I heard a few years ago, but can't remember the name, or the show. It was about a parasite or virus that was in a fog. People were drowning on dry land. A couple of scientists figured it out, but were trapped by the fog. If anyone knows this show and episode, I hope they could let me know what it is.
There are many others I would recommend, but would like to hear others recommendations first. What are your recommendations for listening to old time radio shows? many are available on youtube and archive.org
regards,
Dennis


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 Post subject: Re: Suggested Old Time Radio shows and my thoughts
PostPosted: Mar Sat 21, 2020 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 28, 2006 12:51 pm
Posts: 7057
Location: Sarasota, Florida
The story you're referring to is "The Fog." I don't recall if it was Suspense or something else, but checking the logs of these shows should turn it up.

There's an episode of Suspense that's a true story. The names and locations were kept under wraps to prevent panic. Someone had stolen a vial of cholera-infected substance from a lab. I don't recall if it was sinister to intentionally infect a city, or if it was mistaken, but drop that vial in the water supply and the city is history. There was a chase with detectives trying to find and retrieve it; clues came about as someone would report opening it, smelling rotten eggs, closing it, and dying a short time later. They eventually found it in a crib where a baby was playing with it, and when they seized it, the mother complained that they were taking the baby's toy away.

We can't overlook the most famous radio play of all -- the War Of The Worlds. As the Martians were taking over the world with their death rays and other weapons, they all died off from viruses like the common cold that they were not immune to.

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Gary Tayman, Sarasota, Florida


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 Post subject: Re: Suggested Old Time Radio shows and my thoughts
PostPosted: Mar Sat 21, 2020 8:22 pm 
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Joined: Dec Wed 14, 2011 2:30 am
Posts: 119
Location: Frankenmuth, MI
Thanks Gary. I used your tip about the name "The Fog" and found the show I was looking for. It's an episode of The Hall of Fantasy - Night the Fog Came - March 23, 1953.
I remember the plot you describe of a Suspense episode, but can't remember the name either. It reminded me of another radio episode of Escape called "Funeral Fires". It's a different plot, but another suspenseful story to be sure.
I am also reminded that there is a Gunsmoke episode named "Cholera". Oh, and an episode of Have Gun Will Travel, that featured diseased soil, but I can't remember the name of it.

I can't believe I didn't think of War of the Worlds. That's the first old time radio show I ever heard, back in my grade school days. It got me hooked on old time radio.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggested Old Time Radio shows and my thoughts
PostPosted: Oct Sun 17, 2021 2:00 am 
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Joined: Apr Thu 23, 2020 1:20 am
Posts: 198
Location: Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON, Canada
I recently bought The War of the Worlds on vinyl. I played it on my mid-1980s Sony turntable and broadcasted it to my Stewart Warner radio from 1938. It was a wonderful experience!!!

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I know I got a problem, but it's a good one.


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 Post subject: Re: Suggested Old Time Radio shows and my thoughts
PostPosted: Oct Sun 17, 2021 3:27 am 
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Joined: Sep Thu 28, 2006 12:51 pm
Posts: 7057
Location: Sarasota, Florida
I have a Halloween lineup of shows that I broadcast to my immediate neighbors with Part 15 transmitters. With an S, 1500 AM and 107.1 FM. The AM is for my own radio that I set on a card table in the driveway with a bowl of candy. The FM is for the neighbors.

The lineup includes commercials and station breaks, even news of the war in Europe. The station breaks come from WJSV broadcast day 1939, which is in circulation. The lineup has included episodes of The Shadow, Escape, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, and of course the War Of The Worlds. The latter is not the version in circulation but a clean, complete broadcast.

How many copies of this program are out there? Here's a bit of history of how we have it: Somebody made a transcription of the show as it was being broadcast. For what reason I don't know; I think Orson Welles wanted copies of his shows. whatever, it's wonderful that a copy was made. When people heard it and panicked, the FCC and members of Congress wanted to investigate what happened. So numerous copies were made for them. First the original transcription was played and copied onto two sets of 12" 78 rpm transcriptions -- 12 sides. These two copies were played as other transcriptions were made to be given to authorities. So what was distributed were third generation copies at least. Don't know how many. When the investigation was through the copies were discarded. Remember this was a recent show and there were no collectors interested in them at the time.

Sometime during the 1960's, somebody found a transcription of the show. Probably one of the disks made for the investigation. It was immediately copied and sold on LP's and cassettes to the public. If you've heard the show, you no doubt heard a copy of this transcription. However some experts noted that there were lines in the script that were not in the copy. Were those lines not broadcast for some reason?No clues.

The answer came when the two 78 rpn copies were found. The location or existence of the original is unknown but we have the two initial copies, both in the hands of private owners, and both have made their copies available for download in Facebook. Sure enough those missing lines were used. The guesses are that as copies were being made, there might have been bad places on the disks that were simply skipped over. One is rather obvious, the station ID break is only a second or two, and it was originally 15 seconds. In fact, curiously the length of the program is one hour and 15 seconds. Did this overlap into another show? Why the overtime? Probably they allowed Orson Welles to make his disclaimer at the end (We couldn't steal all your garden gates so we did the next best thing, we annihilated the world in front of your very ears and utterly destroyed the CBS.). Anyway it's easy to identify this copy because the beginning is crystal clear audio.

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Gary Tayman, Sarasota, Florida


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