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.
Tune into the master of entertainment and enjoy this collection of original Orson Welles recordings, including more than 16 hours of radio drama! Content:
©2011 ABN (P)2011 ABN
Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.
Allow for variable radio quality from the 30's and 40's.
Naturally there are some plays I am enjoying more than others. however this was a great adventure for radio of it's day.
Some are adaptations from movies of the day with the actors from the movies. Some have Orson Wells playing one or many roles. Some are adaptations created especially for the radio.
Classics like 'War of the Worlds' and 'The 39 Steps' are here.
A list of the plays and length would be a good addition (as a pdf). As it is, it is pot luck.
Even the adverts for soap and soup are interesting. To their credit they did sponsor these creative radio plays.
Retired nightclub performer/computer technician, I now teach hula and ukulele to seniors, and record Hawaiian music for my halau!
I just purchased this collection of stories, and I am so thrilled, I can't stand it. Listening to Orson Welle's radio programs is astonishing. I had forgotten what listening to radio was like. In the 1940s and early 50s, I used to listen to the radio all the time as a kid. We didn't have TV until 1953, and then it was mostly test patterns with about 4 hours of programming.
But listening to the radio--that was the THING! As I listened to it today, I am amazed at all the special effects that went into the program: the music, the sound effects, the crowd in the background, how wonderful is that? My imagination came to life again. So far I have listened to about ten of the episodes -- the first one, the Christmas Carol is a little gritty, so I moved on. I can go back an listen to it later, Algiers was a great listen, with Paulette Goddard in the lead role. What a young voice she had.
I listen on my iPod late at night after I get in bed. The stories are short enough that I can listen to an entire episode before falling asleep. The actors and actresses are great, too. I'll admit, it's a little hard to hear with the static and all, but that's not in all the programs. And if I remember right, listening over the radio in the 1940s was the same. Reception wasn't that good then, either. So, it's like going back in time for me. I'm delighted.
I have found a new genre now which I hope to mine and get more of the stories that I used to listen to as a kid. Do you remember "Let's Pretend"? It was a Saturday morning series of fairy tales. Ooh, I hope I can find it.
As for the story listings, I googled the book name and found a site that had all the episodes listed in order. So now, I can pick and choose, and I'll be able to go back and listen to my favorites again and again.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
Like it says in my bio, I looooooove the golden age of radio, and absolutely nobody defined that era quite like the great Orson Welles. The majority of these performances are from the Mercury Theater and the Campbell's Playhouse. The scripts are based on a variety of novels, historical figures, and such, and showcases what I consider to be not only Welles' finest hours, but also some of his forgotten treasures and even some of the performances that weren't quite up to snuff... which is still a lot of fun in most cases. From "The War of the Worlds" to "A Christmas Carol" to a portrayal of Abraham Lincoln and beyond, this is truly an eclectic mix, as one would expect from the Renaissance Man of Radio.
Experienced listeners will already know what to expect, and odds are that if you're in this camp, you know a great deal of the material. Listeners who are new to these sorts of recordings may find that the age and recording / broadcast quality of some of these are, well, quite terrible by modern standards. Static and distortion are to be expected, but for those with ears to hear, these things may actually lend to the overall charm. Regardless of the quality of the recordings or of the scripts, the performances are a great cross-section not only of Welles, but of his fellow actors and actresses as well, Agnes Moorehead and Frank Readick to name but a couple. This is the stuff that began the empire of large scale entertainment, the stuff of legend.
The Collection was a major disappointment. The low quality recordings defeated every audio system I attempted, I was disappointed that I couldn't hear the recordings without great effort (at best); and disappointed that Audible made the recordings available without a disclaimer.
Clearly, the performances were recorded in the 20's and 30's by early (READ: bad) equipment; and the recordings have only grown worse over time. Actresses sound like Alvin the Chipmonk; actors appear to be speaking underwater; Orson Welles sounds like he is talking though a hat; and there are numerous incomprehensible off-stage sounds. The recording are a mess.
This Collection should have been distributed by in-Audible.
"Dreadful sound quality"
Yes I know it's a very old radio programme but you should be able to make out the words.
Lasted about 10 minutes.
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