The Shadow was long believed to have debuted on radio as a program in its own right on September 26, 1937, on the Mutual Broadcasting System. But the character actually premiered in September 1931, on CBS, as part of the hourlong The Blue Coal Radio Revue (named for the show's sponsor), featuring Frank Readick - The Shadow announcer of Detective Stories - as The Shadow, and playing Sundays at 5:30 p.m. Eastern standard time.
"Too Many Duplicates"
Orson Welles' dramatic anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air, infamous for its Halloween broadcast of War of the Worlds, found a sponsor and became Campbell Playhouse in December 1938. The program continued to feature the charismatic and fiery Welles as both a host and an actor. The great Lionel Barrymore portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in Campbell Playhouse's annual performance of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
Here are 12 acclaimed, exciting, fully dramatized performances of Conan Doyle classics. It's elementary that any Conan Doyle fan will want this splendid set of Sherlock Holmes mysteries, 12 timeless tales performed as radio theater and linked by violin-music interludes.
"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle would be proud"
On the evening of October 30th, 1938, Earth went to war with Mars. Martians invaded New Jersey! Here is the famous panic-inducing broadcast that shook the world, starring Orson Welles.
Theater Five was ABC's attempt to revive radio drama during the early 1960s. The series name was derived from its time slot, 5:00 p.m. Running Monday through Friday, it was an anthology of short stories, each about 20 minutes long. News programs and commercials filled out the full 30 minutes. There was a good bit of science fiction, and some of the plots seem to have been taken from the daily newspaper. Fred Foy of The Lone Ranger fame was an ABC staff announcer in the early '60s who, among other duties, did Theater Five.
The Whistler was a radio mystery anthology that debuted on CBS Radio on May 16, 1942. The show was heard only on the West Coast and had Signal Oil as the main sponsor. There were attempts to broadcast the show on the East Coast, one in July to September 1946 and the other in March 1947 to September 1948, with Campbell Soup and Household Finance as the suggested sponsors. The show centered on a character called The Whistler, the mysterious narrator of various murder stories.
"A few were hard to hear but still great value"
America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator had little patience for liars and liked nothing better than females, fishing, and a free hand with an expense account. Bob Bailey's Johnny Dollar was skeptical without being cynical, sympathetic without being a sucker, and had a way of delivering a sarcastic remark with more sincerity than most detectives delivered straight talk. Join him for 10 action-packed, digitally remastered five-part serials.
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar began in 1949 as a typical slam-bang detective series, and though consistently well written and acted, the series never really captured an enthusiastic audience. However, in the fall of 1955, Bob Bailey took over the title role; veteran director Jack Johnstone and writers John Dawson, Robert Ryf, and Les Crutchfield joined the production team; and the series was transformed into a quarter-hour, five-a-week strip show.
Everyone's favorite western, Gunsmoke, debuted June 26, 1952, on the CBS radio airwaves on starring William Conrad as Matt Dillon, and ran until June 18, 1961, making it the longest running dramatic series in radio history. This amazing audio collection contains 64 episodes from the first radio season, and are the live cast recordings from the original on-air performances.
"Flawed, but good, collection of the classic series"
The CBS Radio Workshop was an experimental series of productions, subtitled "radio's distinguished series to man's imagination" that ran between 27 January 1956 and 22 September 1957. The premiere production was Brave New World, narrated by Huxley himself, with a complicated sound-effects score that evidently took a long time to construct, and comprised a ticking metronome, tom-tom beats, bubbling water, an air hose, a cow's moo, an oscillator, and three kinds of wine glasses clicking together.
"OH, FOR FORD'S SAKE"
The Whistler was a radio mystery anthology that debuted on CBS Radio on May 16, 1942. The show was heard only on the West Coast and had Signal Oil as the main sponsor. There were attempts to broadcast the show on the East Coast, one in July to September 1946 and the other in March 1947 to September 1948, with Campbell Soup and Household Finance as the suggested sponsors.
Gunshots, fist fights, and footsteps in the dark! Come hear crime and mystery, action and suspense with radio's greatest detectives! Ten hours of bracing crime-stopping broadcasts bring you Sherlock Holmes, Sam Spade, The Saint, The Shadow, Johnny Dollar, Bulldog Drummond - and 14 more favorites! Vincent Price, Bob Bailey, Basil Rathbone, Howard Duff, Dick Powell, and more star in 20 tales that are hard boiled and heroic, brilliant and bloody.
This collection contains six classic Christmas radio productions from the '30s, '40s, and '50s.
"Great old shows!"
Suspense went through several major phases, characterized by different hosts, sponsors, and director/producers. Formula plot devices were followed for all but a handful of episodes: The protagonist was usually a normal person suddenly dropped into a threatening or bizarre situation; solutions were "withheld until the last possible second"; and evildoers were usually punished in the end.
"Needs to be culled to eliminate programs"
Celebrate Christmas along with radio's greatest performers, characters and programs. These timeless holiday classics include moving and mirthful comedies, wholesome dramas, and adventurous missions of mercy. May these 21 digitally restored and remastered tales of nostalgia and nativity bring you cheer and become a part of your own Christmas traditions.
Starring Orson Welles, Anges Moorehead, and Ray Collins, The Count of Monte Cristo is a tale of revenge and retribution. Edmond Dantès, a young, energetic sailor, is falsely accused of treason on his wedding day and incarcerated in the forbidding Château d'If. His escape and ultimate revenge on those who wronged him makes this one of the most thrilling stories in French literature, as compelling now as when it was first published in 1846.
This collection features 13 of the best radio performances by one of America's most beloved stars.
"A few gems in here."
Radio listeners first heard the sinister laugh of The Shadow on July 31, 1930. This 80th anniversary treasury includes two never-before-released shows starring Orson Welles and Margot Stevenson - "Revenge on the Shadow" and "The Hospital Murders" - from previously lost transcription records. This 9-hour digitally restored and remastered collection also includes the premiere broadcast of the 1937 radio revival.
It... is... later... than... you... think! Radio's premier showcase for heart-stopping horror is presented in this collection of 20 great episodes of Lights Out! Produced, written, and directed by broadcasting legend Arch Oboler - and starring Boris Karloff, Mercedes McCambridge, Dinah Shore, Gloria Blondell, and more - these tales are devilishly devised to keep you up all night!
If you are a lover of old-time radio and a fan of Orson Welles, you won't want to miss this treasure chest of legendary Orson Welles radio broadcasts! With his flair for the sensational and innovative, Welles captured audiences' attention with his 1930s CBS weekly drama series The Mercury Theatre on the Air, later renamed The Campbell Playhouse, which featured hour-long dramatizations of classic books. His 1938 production, The War of the Worlds (an H. G. Wells adaptation) was especially memorable, as were many other productions, each featuring talented voices and actors.
"Here is my review for what is worth."
He knows many things, for he walks by night! He knows the nameless terrors of which we dare not speak! He's radio's grim conscience: The Whistler! And he's back with another collection of tense, twisting tales featuring some of Hollywood's finest radio talent. Though Bill Forman is the actor best remembered as the series' ruinous raconteur, there were others who shared the role. Their voices are heard in these strange stories, including Gale Gordon, Joseph Kearns, Marvin Miller, and Bill Johnstone.
A man, frustrated with the casual corruption in the world around him, takes the law into his own hands. Britt Reid, a millionaire playboy turned crusading newspaperman, operates as a masked vigilante by night. The wartime era represented in this set, a definitive period for the series, finds The Green Hornet fighting against Nazi saboteurs, fifth columnists, and black marketers.
Escape was radio's leading anthology series of high-adventure, airing on CBS radio from 1947 to 1954. The series' well-remembered opening combined Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain with an introduction spoken by Paul Frees and William Conrad: "Tired of the everyday grind? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you...Escape!"
Who's laughing now? It's you! Why? Because you're settling back with a rib-tickling collection of great radio comedy! All of your favorites are here: Jack and Fred, Phil and Alice, Fibber and Molly, Edgar and Charlie, George and Gracie, Lum and Abner, Snooks and Daddy, and many more! Crack a smile as the kings and queens of comedy crack wise. Here are 24 digitally restored and remastered episodes of radio revelry from shows that have kept Americans in stitches for more than 50 years.
Getting away with murder? Don't bet on it! Sometimes even the careful get caught. Sometimes revenge leads to regret. Sometimes we wade through dark thoughts and dark water, through evil and espionage to...suspense! Radio's outstanding theater of thrills dishes up a dose of tension-packed drama in this collection of 20 engrossing episodes, featuring performances by Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Burt Lancaster, Red Skelton, Ginger Rogers, Charles Boyer, Joseph Cotten, and more!
Hard-boiled, good-looking, and just a bit of a wise guy - that's Richard Rogue, the private investigator with the active imagination! Join movie favorite Dick Powell for 16 two-fisted adventures. Ted von Eltz costars as Lieutenant Urban, with Lurene Tuttle as Betty Callahan. Peter Leeds joins the cast as Eugor, Rogue's alter ego, who emerges only when our hero is rendered unconscious! Filling out the gallery are radio favorites Gerald Mohr, Gloria Blondell, Lou Merrill, Paul Frees, Harry Bartell, Jay Novello, and more.
Logically illogical - that's Gracie Allen! And you can imagine what that means for her long-suffering husband, George Burns! Here are 16 laugh-packed adventures with the people who live in the Burns house, costarring announcer Bill Goodwin, musical director Meredith Willson, and Mel Blanc (as the Happy Postman)! Listen along as Gracie encourages George to get more romantic and discourages his singing.
From medicine shows to minstrel tours, circuses, riverboat shows, vaudeville, burlesque, radio, television, and movies, Red Skelton did it all! And for a comic best remembered by the television generation for his physical comedy, he was quite adept at well-honed, character-driven verbal comedy on the radio.
The Shadow knows! The weed of crime bears bitter fruit, and if criminals cultivate the crops, the Shadow will do the reaping! Hear the Shadow fight crime, as he becomes both the stalker and the stalked, in an assortment of tales featuring some of his most exciting encounters with some of the series' most sinister scoundrels. Whether matching wits against a spy, a madman, a monster, or a psychotic killer, he forces his foes to face the stark realization that crime does not pay!
No matter what the problem, he's the solution. Roaming the Old West like a knight of old, the man called Paladin brings his deadly aim to bear...for a price. Join John Dehner for hard-hitting adventure on the frontier in 20 thrill-packed episodes of Have Gun - Will Travel! Ben Wright and Virginia Gregg costar in these digitally restored and remastered episodes representing the best broadcasts of the series' first season on radio.
Father knows best - or does he? Reliable family man Jim Anderson deals with the everyday problems of postwar life in the radio precursor to the famous 1950s TV series. Robert Young stars in these 16 heartwarming comedy classics - including several previously uncirculated broadcasts. Visit the white frame house on Maple Street, and listen in as Father struggles to keep his cool and set a good example in spite of an onslaught of surprises, secrets, and shenanigans!
You can't join the army when you're three feet tall and made of wood - but honorary sergeant Charlie McCarthy found a way to help the war effort by entertaining on the home front! Here are some of Charlie's funniest wartime escapades from 1943 - many of which have never before been available! Oh, and Edgar Bergen's around, too - that guy who somehow makes us believe that Charlie, Mortimer, and Effie are real.
Crooked politicians, corrupt businessmen, gangland racketeers - they're all fair game for the masked man with the gas gun! Join Britt Reid, daring young publisher, and his faithful valet, Kato, as they crusade against crime in 20 thrilling episodes of The Green Hornet! They can always count on secretary Lenore Case and ex-cop turned reporter Michael Axford, who've got their ears to the ground and their eyes open.
Who among us doesn't dream of a new life, a fresh start? But what happens when dreaming turns to scheming? The Whistler walks by night, stalking those who no longer walk the straight and narrow - the men and women, their backs against the wall, who step into the shadows and take matters (and the lives of those who stand in their way) into their own hands. What follows from one ill-timed impulse is the suspenseful subject of the 20 digitally restored and remastered episodes in this collection.
The Saint - the hero of a hundred thrilling yarns of breathless adventure and mystery, the Robin Hood of modern crime, the 20th century's gayest buccaneer! Vincent Price, Tom Conway, and Denis Green, in a rare, never-before-available audition recording, star as the suave Simon Templar - poised in the presence of ladies, cool when confronted with danger. Well known to both the criminals and the common man, his services are frequently sought, his involvement quickly detected, and his cases promptly solved.
First heard on network radio in 1948, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar chronicled the adventures of freelance insurance investigator Johnny Dollar, "the man with the action-packed expense account". For 15 years, it was one of the most popular detective shows on the air, lasting until the final days of network radio drama in 1962. Each story started with a phone call from an insurance executive calling on Johnny Dollar to investigate an unusual claim.
This collection contains 12 episodes from the greatest science fiction shows ever broadcast during the golden age of radio, including a two-part Suspense episode starring Orson Welles, written by Curt Siodmak, author of The Wolf Man, one of Universal Pictures' biggest hits. Other classics include stories by H. G. Wells, Robert Heinlein, Frederick Pohl, and Murray Leinster on Dimension X, Escape, and X Minus One.
Pat Novak, for Hire began in 1946 as a regional radio show produced at KGO in San Francisco and starred Jack Webb in the title role, with scripts by Webb's friend Richard L. Breen. When Webb moved to Los Angeles in 1947, Ben Morris replaced Webb as Novak. In a later network version, Jack Webb resumed the role along with Breen as scriptwriter. Pat Novak, for Hire lasted until 1949, when Jack Webb turned his attention to the series that would make him a star, Dragnet.
The Whistler was one of radio's top mystery programs airing from May 16, 1942 until September 22, 1955, sponsored by the Signal Oil Company. The Whistler was an ominous narrator who opened each episode with: "I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, many secrets hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak."