Sunday, July 31, 2011

2000 PLUS (1950-52)

2000 Plus (aka Two Thousand Plus and 2000+) was an American old-time radio series that ran on the Mutual Broadcasting System from March 15, 1950 to January 2, 1952 in various 30-minute time slots. A Dryer Weenolsen production, it was the first adult science fiction series on radio, airing one month prior to the better known Dimension X.

2000 Plus was an anthology program, using all new material rather than adapting published stories. The series was the creation of Sherman H. Dryer (October 11, 1913-December 22, 1989) who scripted and produced the series with Robert Weenolsen (April 19, 1900-August 1979).

Dryer directed cast members Lon Clark, Joseph Julian, Henry Norell, Bill Keene, Bryna Raeburn and Amzie Strickland and others. Emerson Buckley conducted the music composed by Elliott Jacoby. Ken Marvin was the program's announcer, and the sound effects were by Adrian Penner.

The nature of the series is indicated in the titles of 1950 episodes: "The Brooklyn Brain," "The Flying Saucers," "The Robot Killer," "Rocket and the Skull," "A Veteran Comes Home," "Men from Mars," "When the Machines Went Wild," "When the Worlds Met," "The Insect." "Silent Noise," "The Green Thing," "The Giant Walks" and "Worlds Apart." There are 32 known episodes, and only some of these have survived.

In Science Fiction Television (2004), M. Keith Booker wrote:

It was not until the 1950s that science fiction radio really hit its stride, even as science fiction was beginning to appear on television as well. Radio programs such as Mutual's 2000 Plus and NBC's Dimension X were anthology series that offered a variety of exciting tales of future technology, with a special focus on space exploration (including alien invasion), though both series also often reflected contemporary anxieties about the dangers of technology. reference:

Episode: A veteran comes home

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Haunting Hour
Episode: Murder Wears a Strange Mask

"No.. No... stay where you are. Do not break the stillness of this moment.
For this is a time of mystery. A time when imagination is free, and
moves forward swiftly, silently. This is The Haunting Hour!"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Duffy's Tavern (1940-52)

Hello, Duffys Tavern where the elite meet to eat, Archie speaking Duffy aint here. Oh Hello Duffy.

Duffy's Tavern was a popular American radio situation comedy which ran for a decade on several networks (CBS, 1941–1942; NBC-Blue Network, 1942–1944; NBC, 1944–1951), concluding with the December 28, 1951 broadcast.

The program often featured celebrity guest stars but always hooked them around the misadventures, get-rich-quick schemes and romantic missteps of the title establishment's malaprop-prone, metaphor-mixing manager, Archie, portrayed by Ed Gardner, the writer/actor who co-created the series. Gardner had performed the character of Archie, talking about Duffy's Tavern, as early as November 9, 1939, when he appeared on NBC's Good News of 1940. reference:

Episode: Archie has three days to live (2/9/1949)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Creaking Door

The Creaking Door was an old-time radio series of horror and suspense shows originating in South Africa. There are at present anywhere from 34-37 extant episodes in MP3 circulation, yet no currently available program logs for the series indicate the year of the series' broadcast (though it was likely sometime in the 1950s, given the generally high audio quality of the available shows), or the total number of episodes, and only a handful of them are known by their broadcast order. The stories are thrillers in the Inner Sanctum vein, and generally thought of favorably by most fans of OTR.

Episode: Death in your hands

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Life With Luigi (1948-53)

Life with Luigi was a radio comedy-drama series which began September 21, 1948 on CBS, broadcasting its final episode on March 3, 1953. The story concerned Italian immigrant Luigi Basco, and his experiences as an immigrant in Chicago. Many of the shows take place at the English classes that Luigi attends with other immigrants from different countries, as well as trying to fend off the repeated advances of the morbidly-obese daughter of his landlord/sponsor.

Luigi was played by J. Carrol Naish, an Irish-American. Naish continued in the role on the short-lived CBS television version in 1952 and was later replaced by Vito Scotti when the series was briefly revived in the spring of 1953. With a working title of The Little Immigrant, Life with Luigi was created by Cy Howard, who earlier had created the hit radio comedy, My Friend Irma. Other characters on the radio show included Pasquale (Alan Reed), another Italian-American who was always trying to set Luigi up with his daughter Rosa; and Shultz (Hans Conreid), a German immigrant and fellow student in Luigi's citizenship class.

The show was sometimes regarded as the Italian counterpart to the radio show The Goldbergs, which chronicled the experience of Jewish immigrants in New York. reference:

Episode: Finds Stolen Diamond Ring (11/9/1948)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Strange Doctor Weird

The Strange Dr. Weird is a radio program broadcast on Mutual from 1944 to 1945.

Sponsored by Adams Hats, the drama is notable in part because it was a sister series to The Mysterious Traveler, both in theme and its narrator. Maurice Tarplin, who was also the creepy voice of The Mysterious Traveler. Many of the scripts were condensed 15-minute versions of scripts originally broadcast on The Mysterious Traveler.

To the accompaniment of an organ's spooky strains, Tarplin introduced each episode:

Good evening. Come in, won't you? Why, what's the matter? You seem a bit nervous. Perhaps the cemetery outside this house has upset you. But there are things far worse than cemeteries. For instance...
The closing line never changed:

Perhaps you’ll drop in on me again soon. I’m always home. Just look for the house on the other side of the cemetery... the house of Dr Weird!
The 29 episodes were produced and directed by Jock McGregor and written by Robert A. Arthur, who also scripted for The Mysterious Traveler.

Episode: Man who talked with Death (12/12/1945)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Episode: Sorry Wrong Number (5/25/1943)

Originally aired on the Suspense radio program on May 25, 1943, essentially a one-woman show with Agnes Moorehead as Mrs. Stevenson. The play was reprised seven times, each starring Moorehead. The final broadcast was on February 14, 1960. However, there was another radio version: on January 9, 1950, Lux Radio Theater broadcast an adaptation of the film, with Stanwyck recreating her big screen role. reference:

Sorry Wrong Number

Friday, July 8, 2011

The 1938 radio broadcast of Orson Welles
War of the Worlds

On Sunday, October 30, 1938, millions of radio listeners were shocked when radio news alerts announced the arrival of Martians. They panicked when they learned of the Martians' ferocious and seemingly unstoppable attack on Earth. Many ran out of their homes screaming while others packed up their cars and fled.

Though what the radio li...steners heard was a portion of Orson Welles' adaptation of the well-known book, War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, many of the listeners believed what they heard on the radio was real.

War of the Worlds

Sunday, July 3, 2011

When Radio Was (Radio Documentary)

I found this a very interesting and informational video on the history of radio broadcasting. I recommend any old time radio fans to take the time and check it out!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Sealed Book (1945)

The Sealed Book was a radio series of mystery and terror tales, produced and directed by Jock MacGregor for the Mutual network. Between March 18 and September 9, 1945, the melodramatic anthology series was broadcast on Sundays from 10:30pm to 11:00pm.
Each week, after "the sound of the great gong," host Philip Clarke observed that the mysteriously silent "keeper of the book has opened the ponderous door to the secret vault wherein is kept the great sealed book, in which is recorded all the secrets and mysteries of mankind through the ages, Here are tales of every kind, tales of murder, of madness, of dark deeds strange and terrible beyond all belief." After this introduction, the dramas began, occasionally interrupted by curiously extended organ solos. Although this anthology series did not have recurring characters (other than the Narrator and the Keeper of the Book), the writers often used the same names for different characters from week to week, including "Hester," "Drake," and most especially "Roger."
At the end of an episode, Clarke told listeners to tune in the following week when "the sound of the great gong heralds another strange and exciting tale from... the sealed book." Scripts were by Robert Arthur, Jr. and David Kogan, who also were responsible for The Mysterious Traveler, and recycled many of the more popular stories from that parent program. "The Hands of Death" was the first of the 26 episodes which concluded with "Death Laughs Last." reference:

Episode: Death Laughs Last

Episode: Time On My Hands