Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Radio

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 23 Mar 2010

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    Just finished learning to thoroughly despise the phrase "heavy line edit," and been tied up with that, so coming a little late to this discussion, but happy to share with other enthusiasts.

    For decades I've been a fan of Old Time Radio. It started for me when I was a teenager in the early 80s and would listen to full-cast radio plays produced by Radio Mystery Theater, hosted at first by the late, great E.G. Marshall and then by Tammy Grimes.

    I couldn't get enough of this stuff. It opened up a whole new world for me, and for years I would listen to re-broadcasts of old time radio programs being introduced by former radio comedian Stan Freiberg.

    These days I get a lot of this stuff via podcast. The OTR website is also a great place to start.

    My favorites include in no particular order:

    "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar" (especially the earlier ones featuring Edmond O'Brien)

    "The (New) Adventures of Michael Shane" (the fantastic Lloyd Nolan as the red-headed detective)

    "Let George Do It" (Bob Bailey at his best as private investigator George Valentine)

    "Broadway is My Beat" (featuring Larry Thor in a NYC procedural as a Manhattan detective lieutenant)

    "The Line-Up" (pure procedural and damned good production values)

    "The Adventures of Sam Spade" (Howard Duff is great fun in this. It's light stuff, but it's fun)

    "The Adventures of Phillip Marlowe" (both the early shows based on Chandler's shorts featuring Van Heflin as a world-weary Marlowe and the later ones with the jauntier but always entertaining Gerald Mohr)

    Lastly, I have to say that one of my favorite radio shows has an interesting history. John mentions "Gunsmoke" below, and I think that radio westerns aside from "Gunsmoke" get short shrift these days, undeservedly so. There's great stuff out there like "The Six Shooter," which starred Jimmy Stewart, and "Frontier Gentleman," a fish-out-of-water story featuring the great John Dehner as a columnist for the *London Times* roaming the Old West in search of stories for his readers back home.

    Dehner is also integral to the program that I referenced above. Many of you might recall "Have Gun, Will Travel," a TV series starring Richard Boone as
    "Paladin," a gun-fighter with a "code" all his own, very much in the Spade/Marlowe vein. Interestingly enough, CBS had such great success with the TV show, they actually turned it into a radio series (with great production values and first-class scripts) that ran concurrently with the TV show for four years (1958-1962). Dehner played Paladin in the radio, and is really worth a listen. Also, since it was radio, and radio drama was on the downhill slide as a money-maker, CBS allowed the writers of the radio show to get a hell of a lot more "existentialist" with their scripts than they ever would have allowed on TV at the same time.

    This is one program that is really worth a listen for any and all Rare Birds with any interest in audio story-telling.

    All the Best-


    On Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 11:28 AM, J.C. Hocking <> wrote:

    > For a while there I became somewhat obsessed with the radio Gunsmoke. It
    > really is excellent-- tough stories, deep atmosphere, fine acting and
    > characters that really come alive.
    > The hardest thing about it was trying to get my friends to believe that an
    > old western radio show was worth listening to.
    > John
    > ________________________________
    > From: James Michael Rogers < <>>
    > To: <>
    > Sent: Fri, March 12, 2010 11:41:14 AM
    > Subject: Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Radio
    > Alfred Bester did a lot of radio work. Quite a few of the late Shadow shows
    > and, I think, Inner Sanctum were done by him. The radio Gunsmoke was
    > consciously modeled off of the Continental Op.....very hardboiled scripts.
    > James
    > ----- Original Message -----
    > From: davezeltserman
    > To: rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com
    > Sent: Friday, March 12, 2010 09:58
    > Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Radio
    > Bill, any idea who used to write for these? Any familiar names?
    > When I was in high school I used to listen to a station that was
    > rebroadcasting them, as well as the old Jack Benny show. This is the best
    > argument I've heard yet for satellite radio.
    > --Dave
    > --- In rara-avis-l@ yahoogroups. com, Bill Crider <macavityabc@ ...>
    > wrote:
    > >
    > > Speaking of things noir, the radio shows of the late '40s and early '50s
    > > were very dark stuff, indeed. Shows like "The Whistler" and "Suspense"
    > and
    > > "Inner Sanctum" and many others had plenty of doomed protagonists whom
    > > nobody could love, and most of them met bad ends. I've been listening to
    > a
    > > lot of these old shows on satellite radio. If you did a series like any
    > of
    > > these shows today, it would have to be on cable. Is cable the Gold Medal
    > of
    > > television?
    > >
    > > Bill Crider
    > >
    > >
    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    > >
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


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