Monday, December 31, 2012

Father Knows Best
Episode: New Years Sitter (12/51/1953)

Father Knows Best is an American radio and television comedy series which portrayed a middle class family life in the Midwest. It was created by writer Ed James in the 1940s, and ran on radio from 1949 to 1954 and on television from 1954 to 1960.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday Night X-Minus One Double Feature!!

Countdown for blastoff... X minus five, four, three, two, X minus one... Fire! [Rocket launch SFX] From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future; adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand may-be worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Street and Smith, publishers of Astounding Science Fiction presents... X Minus One.

No Contact (4/24/1955)

The Parade (5/1/)1955)

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Whisperer
Episode: Tea Time for Strangers (7/8/1951)

The Whisperer was an American old-time radio program which broadcast 13 episodes on late Sunday afternoons [5:00 p.m. Eastern] as a summer replacement from July 8 to September 30, 1951 on NBC.
It was based on stories by Dr. Stetson Humphrey (in collaboration with his wife, Irene).
The tone of the show was often tongue-in-cheek, and satirized the radio crime dramas of the day.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Mysterious Traveler
Episode: The Locomotive Ghost (7/6/1943)

The Mysterious Traveler was an anthology radio series, a magazine and a comic book. All three featured stories which ran the gamut from fantasy and science fiction to straight crime dramas of mystery and suspense. (1943-1952)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Sealed Book
Episode: Time on my hands

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
Episode: Who took the taxis for a ride (7/24/1949)

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was a radio drama of "the transcribed adventures of the man with the action-packed expense account — America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator." The show aired on CBS Radio from January 14, 1949 to September 30, 1962. There were 811 episodes in the 12-year run, and more than 720 still exist today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Planet Yesteryear will be broadcasting the best in Christmas Old-time radio all this month. Be sure to tune in daily for new programs from the golden age of radio! Merry Christmas Radio fans!
-Adam from

Fibber Mcgee And Molly
Episode: Spending Christmas at Home (12/25/1953)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Whistler
Episode: The Last of Devereaux

The Whistler
Episode: Retribution (1942)

The Whistler
Episode: Comeback (1/7/1948)

The Whistler
Episode: The Weakling (1/3/1943)

The Whistler
Episode: Evening Stroll (1/1/1950)

The Whistler (1942-55)

The Whistler was an American radio mystery drama which ran from May 16, 1942 until September 22, 1955. It was sponsored by the Signal Oil Company: "That whistle is your signal for the Signal Oil program, The Whistler." The program was adapted into a film noir series by Columbia Pictures in 1944.

Each episode of The Whistler began with the sound of footsteps and a person whistling.The Saint radio series with Vincent Price used a similar opening.) The haunting signature theme tune was composed by Wilbur Hatch and featured Dorothy Roberts whistling with an orchestra.

The stories followed a formula in which a person's criminal acts were typically undone either by an overlooked but important detail or by their own stupidity. On rare occasions a curious twist of fate caused the story to end happily for the episode's protagonist. Ironic twist endings were a key feature of each episode. The Whistler himself narrated, often commenting directly upon the action in the manner of a Greek chorus, taunting the criminal from an omniscient perspective.

Bill Forman had the title role of host and narrator. Others who portrayed the Whistler at various times were Gale Gordon, Joseph Kearns, Marvin Miller (announcer for The Whistler and The Bickersons and later the actor who portrayed Michael Anthony on TV's The Millionaire), Bill Johnstone (who had the title role on radio's The Shadow from 1938 to 1943) and Everett Clarke. Cast members included Betty Lou Gerson, Hans Conried, Joseph Kearns, Cathy Lewis, Elliott Lewis, Gerald Mohr, Lurene Tuttle, and Jack Webb.

Writer-producer J. Donald Wilson established the tone of the show during its first two years, and he was followed in 1944 by producer-director George Allen[disambiguation needed]. Other directors included Sterling Tracy and Sherman Marks with final scripts by Joel Malone and Harold Swanton. Of the 692 episodes, over 200 no longer exist. In 1946, a local Chicago version of The Whistler with local actors aired Sundays on WBBM, sponsored by Meister Brau beer.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween from Planet Yesteryear
Enjoy a day of "The Whistler" Programs
Thanks for tuning in!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Strange As it seems
The Most Ingenious Salesman (9/21/1939)

Strange As It Seems was a radio program of strange and unusual tales about fantastic people and events, based on the daily syndicated newspaper cartoon panels of John Hix of the same name. Strange As It Seems began as a 15 minute radio program on March 22, 1935. It was broadcast over the Columbia Don Lee Coast radio network. The schedule was 3 nights a week, Sunday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:45 PM (6:45 during summer daylight savings time). The sponsor was Ex-Lax. In late September 1935 the show changed to two shows per week, dropping the Sunday show. In late September 1936 the schedule changed again to Tuesday and Friday nights. A 1936 booklet of the Strange As It Seems stories was sponsored by Ex-Lax and given away as a free promotion of the radio program by writing to the station.

The show was hosted by Gayne Whitman, produced and directed by Cyril Armbrister and the music was composed and directed by Felix Mills. Whitman had been the announcer on the Strange As It Seems movie shorts from 1930 - 1934. The programs included 2 or 3 segments of dramatized events in mini plays with dramatic, fanfare music interspersed in the show between segments. After the opening line, an Ex-Lax commercial would follow. Then 2 or 3 strange stories would be presented. The show would conclude with a preview of the next show's stories, an Ex-Lax commercial, a strange fact of trivia, such as "Butterflies smell with their feet" and finally a short musical ending. There were occasionally live interviews with unusual personalities, such as the World's Fastest Talker.

Many of the programs were distributed on 16" 33 RPM records with one 15 minute show on each side. Many sources list at least 39 of these records with a total of 78 programs recorded. This run of the shows concluded at the end of January 1937, after over 210 shows. The show began again in January 1938 as a 15 minute once a week program, airing on Sunday afternoons at 3:00 (2:00 during daylight savings time). The show ended at the end of December 1938, with 53 shows in this run.

 The Strange As It Seems radio program was picked up as a 30 minute network program on the CBS network from August 17, 1939 to Dec. 26, 1940 on Thursdays at 8:30 P.M. (7:30 P.M. during the summer daylight savings time). There were 72 broadcasts of these half hour broadcasts. The sponsor was Palmolive Shave Cream and the host was Alois Havrilla. Havrilla was the announcer on the Stranger Than Fiction movie shorts beginning in 1934 and continuing in that role until the shorts were ended in 1942. Stranger Than Fiction was the successor to the Strange As It Seems movie shorts that ran from 1930 until 1934. The program had one final run in its original 15 minute format from Nov. 10, 1946 to April 13, 1947, airing at 7:30 PM on Sunday nights. There were 22 episodes aired in this run. In the newspaper story about the death of John Hix on June 6, 1944, Ernest Hix stated there were over 600 radio programs produced, indicating there were other shows than those so far identified.

 Source: Old Time Radio Researchers Group.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Nights At Seven

I'm beginning to read my recent purchase "Sunday Nights at Seven the Jack Benny Story". I am about 30 pages in and i'm already hooked I cant put the book down. I will sure to have a full review of this book once I have completed it. If anyone else is interested in purchasing this book. FYI I only payed One cent for it on amazon (plus shipping) You cant really go wrong a Jack Benny book for a penny!

Here's is the link to it purchase the book on

The Mel Blanc Show
Episode: Mel Bakes A Prizewinning Putty Cake (9/17/1946)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Adventures of Philip Marlowe
Episode: The Bums Rush (9/3/1949)

Philip Marlowe "The Bum's Rush" 9/3/49 Oldtime Radio Crime Drama The Adventures of Philip Marlowe came to Radio in the Summer of 1947 as a Pepsodent Program replacement for their wildly popular show starring Bob Hope and his ensemble. Both CBS and Pepsodent promoted the first nine programs to the maximum extent. In all likelihood as much to promote Van Heflin himself, as to keep The Pepsodent Program's time slot nice and cozy for Bob Hope's return in The Fall of 1947. Indeed, the fact that Van Heflin got far greater billing than Raymond Chandler himself, demonstrates the relative celebrity of the two diverse talents for their time.
source: goldenageofcinema youtube channel


The Bob Hope Show
Episode: Guest Chico Marx (11/8/1938)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Old-Time Radio Treasure Hunt in the Big Apple

This past Saturday me and my wife ventured out to the New York City in search for treasure. Now to my wife a treasure is a good purse deal, or some sort of clothing deal floating around somewhere down by Canal Street. But in my eyes a treasure is buried in an old record store. Every time I visit the city I gotta float around the village. It's filled with lots of culture, good foods, friendly people, and of course it's unique record shops. This time I found myself at Bleeker Bob's on West 3rd street in the village. This place is heaven for a person who is a collector of any kind of records, cd's, or musical memorabilia. I was in there for a good hour browsing the enormous selection this place has to offer. When I started coming across the 40's and 50's section I started to find myself in old-time radio heaven!! I have been on the search for old-time radio records for years now. I find them online from time to time and there are a bit over priced. Well in excitement I bought everything I can get my hands on. I spent roughly around 75 dollars, but I thought to myself when am I gonna get the opportunity to find all these gems in one place again. So I jumped on the deal. Unlike the music stores in the malls you really never know what you gonna find in an independently owned music store. Piles and piles of record there are never ending possibilities in places like Bleeker Bobs. Here is some pictures of my recent purchases!

Pete Kelley Blues
Episode: Gus Trudeau (8/22/1951)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Baby Snooks Show
Episode: House Breaking (4/4/1939)

The Baby Snooks Show was an American radio program starring comedienne and Ziegfeld Follies alumna Fanny Brice as a mischievous young girl who was 40 years younger than the actress who played her when she first went on the air. The series began on CBS September 17, 1944, airing on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm as Post Toasties Time (for sponsor General Foods). The title soon changed to The Baby Snooks Show, and the series was sometimes called Baby Snooks and Daddy. source:



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lum and Abner
Episode: Friday Night Sociable (1/1/1933)

Lum and Abner was an American radio comedy network program created by Chester Lauck and Norris Goff that was aired from 1931 to 1954. Modeled on life in the small town of Waters, Arkansas, near where Lauck and Goff grew up, the showed proved immensely popular. In 1936, Waters changed its name to Pine Ridge after the show's fictional town.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Planet Yesteryear proudly presents
A week a Ray Bradbury
In Honor of the late great Ray Bradbury

NBC Presents: Short Story was a half-hour program offering dramatizations of contemporary American short stories by famed writers such as William Faulkner, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Shirley Jackson.

 Broadcasting from Hollywood, the series premiered February 21, 1951 on NBC with an adaptation of "Fifty Grand" by Ernest Hemingway. Script editor for the series was Hugh Kemp, who supervised scripts by George Lefferts, Ernest Kinoy and others. The series was first heard on Wednesdays at 10:30pm EST and then moved May 4 to Fridays at 8:00pm. Featuring stories by Conrad Aiken ("Silent Snow, Secret Snow"), Sherwood Anderson, Stephen Vincent BenĂ©t, Ring Lardner and John Steinbeck, the first series continued until July 13. The dramas were directed by Andrew C. Love. Overall supervision of production was by Margaret Cuthbert and Wade Arnold. Lamont Johnson, Don Stanley and John Wald were the announcers. source:

Nbc Short Story
Episode: The Rocket (1/4/1952)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Planet Yesteryear proudly presents
A week a Ray Bradbury
In Honor of the late great Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles is a 1950 science fiction short story collection by Ray Bradbury that chronicles the colonization of Mars by humans fleeing from a troubled and eventually atomically devastated Earth, and the conflict between aboriginal Martians and the new colonists. The book lies somewhere between a short story collection and an episodic novel, containing stories Bradbury originally published in the late 1940s in science fiction magazines. The stories were loosely woven together with a series of short, interstitial vignettes for
publication. source:

Dimension X
Episode:  The Martian Chronicles (8/18/1950)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Planet Yesteryear proudly presents
A week a Ray Bradbury
In Honor of the late great Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury was a legendary sci-fi writer whose works were translated in more than 40 languages and sold tens of millions of copies around the world. Although his imagination created a world of new technical and intellectual ideas, he had never driven a car and did not have one. He was born Ray Douglas Bradbury on August 22, 1920, in Waukegan, Illinois. He was the third son in the family. His father, Leonard Spaulding Bradbury, was a telephone lineman and technician. His mother, Esther Marie Bradbury (nee Moberg), was a Swedish immigrant. His grandfather and great-grandfather were newspaper publishers. In 1934 his family settled in Los Angeles, California. There young Bradbury often roller-skated through Hollywood, trying to spot celebrities.

Young Bradbury attended Los Angeles High School. There he was involved in the drama club and planned to become an actor. He graduated from high school in 1938 and had no more formal education. He learned from reading works of such writers as Leo Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky, among others.

From 1938 to 1942 he was selling newspapers on the streets of Los Angeles, spending days in the local library and nights at the typewriter. At that time he published his stories in fanzines. In 1941 Ray Bradbury published his first paid work, a short story titled "Pendulum", in the pulp magazine Super Science Stories, and became a full-time writer by the end of 1942. He published a collection of stories as his first book, "Dark Carnival" (1947). That same year he married Marguerite McClure (1922-2003), whom he met at a book store a year earlier. They had four daughters and eight grandchildren.

Bradbury shot to international fame after publication of his short story collection "The Martian Chronicles" (1950), which was partially based on ideas from ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Then he followed the anti-Utopian writers Yevgeni Zamyatin and Aldous Huxley in his best known work, "Farenheit 451" (1953). The 1966 film adaptation (Fahrenheit 451 (1966)) by director 'Francois Truffaut' , starring Julie Christie, received several nominations. Bradbury was not happy with the 1980 TV adaptation ("The Martian Chronicles" (1980)) starring Rock Hudson. His other novels and stories also have been adapted to films and television, as well as for radio, theatre and comic books. Bradbury had written episodes for Alfred Hitchcock's TV series, as well as for many other TV productions. His total literary output is close to 600 short stories, more than 30 books and numerous poems and plays. He was writing daily.

In 2004 Bradbury received a National Medal of Arts. He was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6644 Hollywood Blvd. An asteroid is named in his honor, "9766 Bradbury", and the Apollo astronaut named a crater on the moon "Dandelion Crater", after his novel, 'Dandelion Wine'. Bradbury also received the World Fantasy Award for Lifetime Achievement, the Grand Master Award from Science Fiction Writers of America, an Emmy Award for his work as a writer on 'The Halloween Tree', and many other awards and honors. source:

Episode: The Earthman

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Planet Yesteryear proudly presents
A week a Ray Bradbury
In Honor of the late great Ray Bradbury

Ray Bradbury, a master of science fiction whose imaginative and lyrical evocations of the future reflected both the optimism and the anxieties of his own postwar America, died on Tuesday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

 By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. His name would appear near the top of any list of major science fiction writers of the 20th century, beside those of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and the Polish author Stanislaw Lem. His books are still being taught in schools, where many a reader has been introduced to them half a century after they first appeared. Many readers have said Mr. Bradbury’s stories fired their own imaginations.

 More than eight million copies of his books have been sold in 36 languages. They include the short-story collections “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man” and “The Golden Apples of the Sun,” and the novels “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”source:


Episode: The Whole Towns Sleeping (6/14/1955)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Planet Yesteryear proudly presents
A week a Ray Bradbury
In Honor of the late great Ray Bradbury

Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers of speculative fiction. Many of Bradbury's works have been adapted into television shows or films. source:

 Ray Bradbury had a big impact in sci-fi and horror writing. He wrote some of my all time favorite old-time radio programs. His writings were in programs such as X-Minus One, Suspense, Escape and many more. Some of his writings were featured in shows such as The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock. I really enjoyed his television for The Ray Bradbury Theater which featured some of his old time radio shows such as today's show Mars is heaven. His work really inspires me, and one day I would like to put my words into a radio drama. Ray Bradbury may of passed away last week, but his work will live on forever.
RIP Ray Bradbury (1920-2012)


 X-MINUS ONE Episode: Mars Is Heaven (5/8/1955)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Nero Wolfe
Episode: The Missing Book (12/15/1946)

Nero Wolfe is a fictional detective, created in 1934 by the American mystery writer Rex Stout. Wolfe's confidential assistant Archie Goodwin narrates the cases of the detective genius. Stout wrote 33 novels and 39 short stories from 1934 to 1974, with most of them set in New York City. Wolfe's residence, a luxurious brownstone on West 35th Street, features prominently in the series. Many radio, television and film adaptations were made from his works.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Episode: Darkside of the mind (1/23/1981)

Nightfall is the title of a radio drama series produced and aired by CBC Radio (see Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) from July 1980 to June 1983. While primarily a supernatural/horror series, Nightfall featured some episodes in other genres, such as science fiction, mystery, fantasy, and human drama. One episode was even adapted from a folk song by Stan Rogers. Some of Nightfall's episodes were so terrifying that the CBC registered numerous complaints and some affiliate stations dropped it. Despite this, the series went on to become one of the most popular shows in CBC Radio history, running 100 episodes that featured a mix of original tales and adaptations of both classic and obscure short stories.

Nightfall was the brainchild of producer Bill Howell, who was best known at the time for his work on CBC Playhouse and the cult favorite adventure series, Johnny Chase: Secret Agent of Space. (Howell later went on to be executive producer of CBC Radio's highly-popular series, The Mystery Project, which ran from 1992 to 2004.) When CBC Radio was revamped and given an expanded budget in 1980, Howell approached the newly-appointed Head of Radio Drama, Susan Rubes, about his idea for a supernatural/horror anthology series that would push the envelope. Though not a fan of the horror genre, Rubes recognized a hit when she saw one and gave Howell the green light to begin production. Bill Howell served as Executive Producer of Nightfall at CBC Toronto for the first two seasons. The reins were passed for the third season to veteran CBC Radio producer Don Kowalchuk (Doctor Bundolo's Pandemonium Medicine Show) at CBC Vancouver.

Nightfall featured two hosts during its run. The Toronto years (1980–1982) were hosted by "the mysterious Luther Kranst", a character created by Bill Howell's devious imagination and played by character actor Henry Ramer. For its Vancouver run (1982–1983), Don Kowalchuk worked with voice actor Bill Reiter to develop the character of Frederick Hende. source:

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lux Radio Theater
Episode: Notorious (1/26/1948)

Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS (1935-54) and NBC (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. It became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Half Hour to Kill
Episode: Blackout (10/29/1946)

Half Hour to Kill is a rare old time radio gem I was lucky enough come across. It's a suspenseful mystery program from 1946 that never was even aired. The only episode ever made is titled "Blackout" hope you enjoy it.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Date with Judy
Episode: Aunt Lily Needs a Date (8/11/1942)

A Date with Judy was a comedy radio series aimed at a teenage audience which had a long run from 1941 to 1950. The show began as a summer replacement for Bob Hope's show, sponsored by Pepsodent and airing on NBC from June 24 to September 16, 1941, with 14-year-old Ann Gillis in the title role. Dellie Ellis portrayed Judy Foster when the series returned the next summer (June 23 – September 15, 1942). Louise Erickson took over the role the following summer (June 30 – September 22, 1943) when the series, with Bristol Myers as its new sponsor, replaced The Eddie Cantor Show for the summer. Louise Erickson continued in the role of Judy over the next seven years as the series, sponsored by Tums, aired from January 18, 1944 to January 4, 1949. Ford Motors and Revere Cameras were the sponsors for the final season of the radio series on ABC from October 13, 1949 to May 25, 1950. source:

Monday, June 4, 2012

Old Vs New

Here are some very cool vintage radio ads from the 1950's. They show you how much quality was put into them, and if you compare these radios to the ones out today i'm sure the new ones have better sound quality. But these radios were built stronger and more durable. I would like to see what today's radios will look like in 50 or 60 years. I'm sure many of these vintage radios still exist today and are still in great working condition. Being an old-time radio fan I really appreciate these ads. If I was only born in the golden age.  Enjoy these wholesome vintage radio commercials.

True Detective Mysteries
Episode: Rattlesnake and Barefoot Bride

True Detective Mysteries radio series was based on the True Detective magazine. Later it was sponsored by Listerine and Oh Henry Candy, but kept the same name. Each week the show presented the case history of an actual crime. Many were told from the criminals point of view.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

X MINUS ONE Double Feature

Episode: The Trap (2/13/1957)
Two drunken hunters come upon a machine in the woods and the listener gets theirs as well as the alien's view

Episode: Hallucination Orbit (5/15/1956)
A tale of a spaceman orbiting Pluto. Did he or did he imagine what he saw?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

under construction

will return on air monday june 4th
feel free to search the archives for classic radio programs

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Boston Blackie
Episode: Larry the Kid vs the Savinni

The Boston Blackie radio series, also starring Morris, began June 23, 1944, on NBC as a summer replacement for Amos 'n' Andy. Sponsored by Rinso, the series continued until September 15 of that year. Unlike the concurrent films, Blackie had a steady romantic interest in the radio show: Lesley Woods appeared as Blackie's girlfriend Mary Wesley. Harlow Wilcox was the show's announcer. On April 11, 1945, Richard Kollmar portrayed Blackie in a radio series syndicated by Frederick Ziv to Mutual and other network outlets. Over 200 episodes of this series were produced between 1944 and October 25, 1950. Other sponsors included Lifebuoy Soap, Champagne Velvet beer and R&H beer. While investigating mysteries, Blackie invaribly encountered harebrained Police Inspector Farraday (Maurice Tarplin) and always solved the mystery to Farraday's amazement. Initially, friction surfaced in the relationship between Blackie and Farraday, but as the series continued, Farraday recognized Blackie's talents and requested assistance. Blackie dated Mary Wesley (Jan Miner), and for the first half of the series, his best pal Shorty was always on hand. The humorless Farraday was on the receiving end of Blackie's bad puns and word play.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Lone Ranger
Episode: The Osage Bank Robbery (12/17/1937)

A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver! The Lone Ranger! ... With his faithful Indian companion Tonto, the daring and resourceful masked rider of the plains led the fight for law and order in the early western United States! Nowhere in the pages of History can one find a greater champion of justice! Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear! From out of the past come the thundering hoofbeats of the great horse Silver! The Lone Ranger rides again!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Duffys Tavern
Episode: Guest Clifton Fadiman (6/5/1943)

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 source:

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Quiz Kids
Episode: Guest Jackie Benny (Jack Benny)

Quiz Kids, a popular radio and TV series of the 1940s and 1950s, was created by Chicago public relations and advertising man Louis G. Cowan. Originally sponsored by Alka-Seltzer, the series was first broadcast on NBC from Chicago, June 28, 1940, airing as a summer replacement show for Alec Templeton Time. It continued on radio for the next 13 years. On television, the show was seen on NBC and CBS from July 6, 1949 to July 5, 1953, with Joe Kelly as quizmaster, and again from January 12 to September 27, 1956, with Clifton Fadiman as host. The premise of the original show involved Kelly asking questions sent in by listeners and researched by Eliza Hickok and Rachel Stevenson. Kelly often said that he was not an intellectual, and that he could not have answered any of the questions without knowing the answer from his flash card. Yet he was remarkably kind and affable, and put even novice young contestants at ease immediately. The answers were supplied by a panel of five children, chosen for their high IQs, strong academic interests, and appealing personalities, as well as such qualities as poise, quickness, and sense of humor. One of the first Quiz Kids was seven-year-old nature expert Gerard Darrow. For the initial premiere panel he was joined by Mary Ann Anderson, Joan Bishop, Van Dyke Tiers and Charles Schwartz. Other Quiz Kids of the 1940s were Joan Alizier, Claude Brenner, Geraldine Hamburg, Mary Clare McHugh, war refugee Gunther Hollander and math experts Joel Kupperman and Richard Williams. Panelists rotated, with the three top scorers each week joined by two others the following week; they were no longer eligible to participate once they reached the age of 16.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Hermits Cave
Episode: Notebook of Murder (1940)

The Hermit's Cave was a radio horror anthology series, syndicated by WJR Detroit in the mid-1930s, sponsored by Olga Coal after the first two years. As the wind howled, the ancient Hermit narrated his horror fantasies from his cave. The cackling character of the Hermit was played by John Kent, Charles Penman, Toby Grimmer, and Klock Ryder. William Conrad produced when the show moved to KMPC Los Angeles with Mel Johnson as the Hermit (1940-42), followed by John Dehner (1942-44). source:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Big Siege (5/24/1955)

Dragnet debuted inauspiciously. The first several months were bumpy, as Webb and company worked out the program's format and eventually became comfortable with their characters (Friday was originally portrayed as more brash and forceful than his later usually relaxed demeanor). Gradually, Friday's deadpan, fast-talking persona emerged, described by John Dunning as "a cop's cop, tough but not hard, conservative but caring." (Dunning, 210) Friday's first partner was Sergeant Ben Romero, portrayed by Barton Yarborough, a longtime radio actor. After Yarborough's death in 1951 (and therefore Romero's, who also died of a heart attack, as acknowledged on the December 27, 1951 episode "The Big Sorrow"), Friday was partnered with Sergeant Ed Jacobs (December 27, 1951 - April 10, 1952, subsequently transferred to the Police Academy as an instructor), played by Barney Phillips; Officer Bill Lockwood (Ben Romero's nephew, April 17, 1952 - May 8, 1952), played by Martin Milner (with Ken Peters taking the role for the June 12, 1952 episode "The Big Donation"); and finally Frank Smith, played first by Herb Ellis (1952), then Ben Alexander (September 21, 1952-1959). Raymond Burr was on board to play the Chief of Detectives. When Dragnet hit its stride, it became one of radio's top-rated shows.

Webb insisted on realism in every aspect of the show. The dialogue was clipped, understated and sparse, influenced by the hardboiled school of crime fiction. Scripts were fast moving but didn’t seem rushed. Every aspect of police work was chronicled, step by step: From patrols and paperwork, to crime scene investigation, lab work and questioning witnesses or suspects. The detectives’ personal lives were mentioned but rarely took center stage. (Friday was a bachelor who lived with his mother; Romero, a Mexican-American from Texas, was an ever fretful husband and father.) "Underplaying is still acting", Webb told Time. "We try to make it as real as a guy pouring a cup of coffee.” (Dunning, 209) Los Angeles police chiefs C.B. Horrall, William A. Worton, and (later) William H. Parker were credited as consultants, and many police officers were fans.
Most of the later episodes were entitled "The Big _____", where the key word denoted a person or thing in the plot. In numerous episodes, this would the principal suspect, victim, or physical target of the crime, but in others was often a seemingly inconsequential detail eventually revealed to be key evidence in solving the crime. For example, in "The Big Streetcar" the background noise of a passing streetcar helps to establish the location of a phone booth used by the suspect.

Throughout the series' radio years, one can find interesting glimpses of pre-renewal Downtown L.A., still full of working class residents and the cheap bars, cafes, hotels and boarding houses which served them. At the climax of the early episode "James Vickers", the chase leads to the Subway Terminal Building, where the robber flees into one of the tunnels only to be killed by an oncoming train. Meanwhile, by contrast, in other episodes set in outlying areas, it is clear that the locations in question are far less built up than they are today. Today, the Imperial Highway, extending 40 miles east from El Segundo to Anaheim, is a heavily used boulevard lined almost entirely with low-rise commercial development. In an early Dragnet episode scenes along the Highway, at "the road to San Pedro", clearly indicate that it still retained much the character of a country highway at that time. source:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Voyage of the Scarlet Queen
Episode: Ah Sin & The Balinese Beaux Arts Ball

Voyage of the Scarlet Queen was a radio adventure on the high seas, airing on Mutual from 3 July 1947 to 14 February 1948. James Burton produced the scripts by Gil Doud and Robert Tallman. Elliott Lewis starred as Philip Carney, master of the 78-foot ketch Scarlet Queen, with Ed Max as first mate Red Gallagher. The show seems to foreshadow Star Trek in a number of ways. Each episode opens with an entry from the ship's log: "Log entry, the ketch Scarlet Queen, Philip Carney, master. Position -- three degrees, seven minutes north, 104 degrees, two minutes east. Wind, fresh to moderate; sky, fair..." with a similar closing: "Ship secured for the night. Signed, Philip Carney, master." Arriving at an exotic port of call, the captain and first mate would go ashore and immediately run into trouble with local authorities, agents of rival merchants, or desperate women in need of rescue. After some investigation and at least one good fight they would solve the problem, get back on the ship and sail away, Carney and Gallagher sharing a laugh and a drink at the wheel before the captain's closing log entry. Technically the show was among the better radio productions of the time, employing realistic sound effects and sailing terminology, well paced stories and colorfully detailed settings. Most places visited by the Queen are real. Even the map coordinates given by the captain are mostly accurate, following a zigzag course around the South Pacific. After the show was cancelled, an attempt was made to revive it under a different name. Unfortunately, only the audition show was produced which was not picked up. The new show's title was to be "The Log Of The Black Parrot". The cast included Ed Max, Ted Osborne, Lillian Buyeff, Harold Hughes, Jack Krushen, and Ben Wright. Music was directed by Walter Schumann and composed by Nathan Scott. The audition was produced by the star of Scarlet Queen, Elliot Lewis and directed by Gil Doud. The announcer was Bob Stevenson. It was recorded on May 6, 1950. source:

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Alan Young Show
Episode: Alan buys a water heater (10/24/1944)

(51 Episodes)
"The Alan Young Show" was a 30 minute situation comedy that ran from 1944 thru 1949. In 1944, Canadian actor Alan Young was hired away from the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) radio, by NBC Radio, as a summer replacement for "The Eddie Cantor Show.' Young switched to ABC in late '44, (October 03 1944 - June 28 1946), eventually returning to NBC in the fall of '46 Sept. 20, 1946-July 05, 1949) to complete "The Alan Young Show" program run. Alan Young is probably best remembered for his 1961-1966 Television role, playing Wilbur Post, second fiddle to a talking horse named "Mr. Ed." ** I originally followed the dates from Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Site, ( but after listening to each episode, I have discovered the dates are totally out of wack! As noted in the Description Section of Properties, episodes marked as being form the first year of AYS with ABC, are actually from shows from the first year with NBC Blue Network, when his show was the summer replacement show for Eddie Cantor.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Honeymoon with Death (9/19/1949)

Good evening, friends of the Inner Sanctum. This is Raymond, your host. I'm glad you came tonight, because we have a very special guest of horror with us. I'd like you meet the late Johnny Gravestone. The most celebrated member of the Inner Sanctum Ghost Society. He's the best haunter of the all. Johnny's the tall figure in the white sheet wearing the blue ribbon. He's haunted everything from a palace to a telephone booth. And uh, if you're very nice to him, he'll be glad to consider giving your house the once over. Who knows? He might even haunt you? Ha-ha-ha-ha!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Episode: Death of a doll (10/18/1946)

Inner Sanctum in films: A series of six low-budget Universal Horror movies starring Lon Chaney, Jr. and based on the radio show was produced in the 1940s: Calling Dr. Death (1943), Weird Woman (1944), Dead Man's Eyes (1944), The Frozen Ghost (1945), Strange Confession (1945) and Pillow of Death (1945).[4] A Film Classics release Inner Sanctum was made in 1948. source:

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A word from Mr Yesteryear..

Hello Radio Fans. I will be stepping out of town this coming Monday (May 14th) for my honeymoon. Venturing down to the Caribbean with my wife on a 9 day cruise. I set up a nice schedule of programs for everyone to tune into. Hope you all check them out I think you will enjoy them. Thanks for tuning into Planet Yesteryear.

Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Episode: The Amazing Death of Mrs Putnam (1/7/1941)

The program's familiar and famed audio trademark was the eerie creaking door which opened and closed the broadcasts. Himan Brown got the idea from a door in the basement that "squeaked like Hell." The door sound was actually made by a rusty desk chair. The program did originally intend to use a door, but on its first use, the door did not creak. Undaunted, Brown grabbed a nearby chair, sat in it and turned, causing a hair-raising squeak. The chair was used from then on as the sound prop. On at least one memorable occasion, a staffer innocently repaired and oiled the chair, thus forcing the sound man to mimic the squeak orally. source:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Episode: The man from yesterday (12/21/1941)

Its campy comedy notwithstanding, the stories were usually effective little chillers, mixing horror and humor in equal doses. Memorable episodes included "Terror by Night" (September 18, 1945) and an adaptation of "The Tell-Tale Heart" (August 3, 1941). The latter starred Boris Karloff, who was heard regularly in the first season, starring in more than 15 episodes and returning sporadically thereafter.
Other established stars in the early years included Mary AstorHelen HayesPeter LorrePaul LukasClaude RainsFrank SinatraOrson Welles. Most of the lead and supporting players were stalwarts of New York radio. These included Santos OrtegaLarry HainesTed OsborneLuis van RootenStefan SchnabelRalph BellMercedes McCambridgeBerry KroegerLawson ZerbeArnold MossLeon JanneyMyron McCormickIan Martin, and Mason Adams. Players like Richard WidmarkEverett SloaneBurgess MeredithAgnes MooreheadKen LynchAnne Seymour, andSantos Ortega also found fame or notability in film or television.
Of more than 500 programs broadcast, only about 200 remain in circulation, sometimes minus dates or titles.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Episode: The Edge Of Death (1/15/1946)

The program's familiar and famed audio trademark was the eerie creaking door which opened and closed the broadcasts. Himan Brown got the idea from a door in the basement that "squeaked like Hell." The door sound was actually made by a rusty desk chair. The program did originally intend to use a door, but on its first use, the door did not creak. Undaunted, Brown grabbed a nearby chair, sat in it and turned, causing a hair-raising squeak. The chair was used from then on as the sound prop. On at least one memorable occasion, a staffer innocently repaired and oiled the chair, thus forcing the sound man to mimic the squeak orally. source:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Inner Sanctum Mysteries
Episode: You Could Die Laughing (5/7/1946)

The anthology series featured stories of mystery, terror and suspense, and its tongue-in-cheek introductions were in sharp contrast to shows like Suspense and The Whistler. The early 1940s programs opened with Raymond Edward Johnson introducing himself as, "Your host, Raymond," in a mocking sardonic voice. A spooky melodramatic organ score (played by Lew White) punctuated Raymond's many morbid jokes and playful puns. Raymond's closing was an elongated "Pleasant dreeeeaams, hmmmmm?" His tongue-in-cheek style and ghoulish relish of his own tales became the standard for many such horror narrators to follow, from fellow radio hosts like Ernest Chappell (on Wyllis Cooper's later series, Quiet, Please) and Maurice Tarplin (on The Mysterious Traveler).
When Johnson left the series in May 1945 to serve in the Army, he was replaced by Paul McGrath, who did not keep the "Raymond" name and was known only as "Your Host" or "Mr. Host". (Berry Kroeger had substituted earlier for a total of four episodes). McGrath was a Broadway actor who turned to radio for a regular income. Beginning in 1945, Lipton Tea sponsored the series, pairing first Raymond and then McGrath with cheery commercial spokeswoman Mary Bennett (aka the "Tea Lady"), whose blithesome pitches for Lipton Tea contrasted sharply with the macabre themes of the stories. She primly chided the host for his trademark dark humor and creepy manner.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Phil Harris and Alice Faye
Episode: Frankie Borrows Phil's New Chartreuse Car (10/12/1949)

Proudly brought to you by Rexall Drugs

Legendary character actor Gale Gordon appeared frequently as Mr. Scott, the slightly pompous and withering fictitious representative of actual sponsor Rexall. Each show was bookended by a serious Rexall commercial, narrated by a sonorous, sober-sounding "Rexall Family Druggist," played by veteran film supporting actor Griff Barnett. One running gag involved Scott's affected disdain for Harris, wondering just how he and Rexall had consented to sponsor this philistine who should have been paying Rexall to appear on the show and not the other way around. Another involved Harris's continuous misidentifications of the Rexall brand (naming the company's trademark colors as pink and purple, rather than their familiar blue and orange, for example)---when he remembered them at all.
Rexall didn't mind the jokes that referred to the company or brought the company briefly into a full scene. It didn't even mind that the Scott character himself could be seen as satirizing the company more than promoting it. This was rare in an era where sponsors didn't always enjoy being zapped on the programs they were paying to produce and sometimes were accused of influencing the content of the shows they sponsored heavy-handedly.
Rexall sponsored The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show through 1950 (then moving to rival CBSThe Amos 'n' Andy Show that fall). After a self-sustaining period, RCA Victor picked up the show through the end of 1954. That didn't stop Gordon (who was also a regular as the vain, blowhard high school principal who bedeviled Our Miss Brooks) from continuing his recurring role as Mr. Scott---this time representing RCA Victor and with the same satirical edge.
The sponsorship switch to RCA also brought the Harrises a family pet, a dog---named, naturally, Nipper, a la the familiar terrier (with an ear cocked to a Victrola horn, in the famous painting "His Master's Voice") that served as RCA's logo for many years. Sometimes, Harris would address the dog with a backhanded allusion to the famous painting: "Sit, boy. Listen to your master's voice."