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."

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Sound effects of old-time radio

The sound of effects of these classic radio programs are what made the shows what they are today. They put your mind in the program as if you are a character in the program. In my opinion that's why I am such a big time old-time radio fan. There is no boundaries when you use your imagination. The characters are what you want them to look like. The scenery and surroundings are what comes up in your mind. I love the feeling of getting lost in a good program, and i find it very exciting. Here is a very interesting video on the sound effects of old-time radio. Hope you enjoy.


Phil Harris and Alice Faye
Episode: A Fight in the Market (10/16/1949)