From the blistering surface of Mercury to Pluto's frosty icefields, their fame had spread: John Thorn, Saul Av, and Gunner Welk - better known as The Three Planeteers! Are they heroes, or outlaws? Could they be both? No more knew. In the year 2952, the fate of the solar system rests on a trio of hired ray-guns who dare the pirate-infested asteroid wilderness known as the Zone…from which few return…. The Three Planeteers return in these vintage pulp tales.
"A great space yarn in the finest tradition"
Whether you remember the big band era yourself or appreciate the timeless music of the war years and beyond, you'll find many treasures in this collection, offering 20 half-hour broadcasts dating from 1943 to 1952 and featuring 20 of the top bands and musical groups so popular at the time. In addition to performances by orchestras that are still well remembered today - Jimmy Dorsey, Harry James, Stan Kenton, Ray Anthony, Louis Prima - this collection also features broadcasts by several lesser-known but equally talented ensembles.
In the early months of World War II, radio producer Louis G. Cowan was faced with a problem. Not long before the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December of 1941, Cowan had joined the radio arm of the War Department's Special Services division, where his primary duties had been to produce radio-based propaganda for civilian audiences. Now, however, hundreds of thousands of newly enlisted soldiers were in desperate need of mainstream entertainment.
Though the romantic drama anthology nature of Curtain Time usually eschewed any kind of "star", actor Olan Soule portrayed most of the male leads on the program, often opposite actresses like Betty Lou Gerson and Louise Fitch. (Soule later graduated to Nighter in 1943, frequently acting opposite Barbara Luddy.) Directed by Blair Walliser, with music by Henry Weber and the announcing chores handled by Don Gordon, the production offered plenty of the same fare as featured on First Nighter.
Dangerous Assignment featured tough guy actor Brian Donlevy as Steve Mitchell, a troubleshooting agent of some sort, no real title or number is identified, for an unnamed agency established to protect the country and prevent unrest and turmoil from abroad.
Once again, we've combed through innumerable issues to cull the best - or should we say worst? - offerings torn from the torturous pages of Horror Stories. These terrific tales have been handed to Milton Bagby, who delivers them with gruesome gusto. Listen with the lights on. You might end up sleeping the same way.
In this third volume of Nightbeat, Frank Lovejoy stars as hard-nosed Chicago Star newsman Randy Stone, a reporter who looks for the human stories behind the headlines. Lovejoy's distinctive voice and manner, combined with excellent scripts and performances by radio veterans like Lurene Tuttle, Peter Leeds, and Jeff Corey, give the series an unusual and engrossing style - literally film noir for the mind.
As a follow-up to that novel and a special Halloween treat, this month we present another title from the Wagner list, this time from the Science Fiction category. One of the famous Creeps series published in England, it is a unique horror story that describes a vampire invasion from outer space. The monsters are definitely Vampires Overhead! The author of this forgotten classic of horror fiction was Alan Hyder. As best as can be determined, Vampires Overhead was Hyder's only work of horror fiction.
"It took a while to get into it but I enjoyed it"
In the Fall of 1937, Popular Publications launched a new type of detective magazine, one that combined the weird-menace-style stories that had made Terror Tales and Horror Stories so hot with readers with hardboiled detective-action tales. They called it Strange Detective Mysteries. In his first-issue editorial, managing editor Rogers Terrill set the stage: "Remember the time you read that one perfect knockout detective story - bizarre, mysterious, thrill-packed, different? It still remains the detective story for you."
"The Black Bat" was the featured story in Black Book Detective magazine beginning in July of 1939, and running through 1953. Blinded former District Attorney Anthony Quinn was the costumed crusader who regained his sight to an amazing extent: He could now see in the dark. With super hearing, an enhanced sense of touch and smell, he battled the dark underbelly of crimedom.
For 10 grim years, the Spider battled the underworld, imprinting his scarlet seal on the bodies of the criminals he slew. No one knew his name. His face was unknown. Pursued by the police, sought by the mob, the Master of Men crushed crime with a blazing intensity never witnessed before or since. Now he's back with a vengeance in a new series of audiobooks retelling his pulp-pounding exploits, as chronicled by Norvell W. Page, writing as Grant Stockbridge.
Set in an indeterminate future, the new series was out-and-out-science fiction built around the popular aviation genre. Flying the futuristic Silver Flash aircraft, backed up by wingmen Curly Brooks and Biff Bolton, Captain Dusty Ayres strove every month to beat back the forces of the modern Genghis Khan called Fire-Eyes, who had conquered all but North America.
Tom Collins played the lead role of American-born Frank Chandler, who had learned occult secrets from a yogi in India. Known as Chandu, he possessed several supernatural skills, including astral projection, teleportation and the ability to create illusions. Chandu's goal was to "go forth with his youth and strength to conquer the evil that threatens mankind". "Time and space are only an illusion" to the American called Chandler.
An underrated and long-running family series, Dr. Christian comes across today more as a quiet anthology of small-town life than as a straight medical drama, bringing the people of the small town of River's End to life through the eyes of the kindly Dr. Paul Christian. As portrayed by actor Jean Hersholt, Dr. Christian can perhaps best be described as a male Molly Goldberg with a medical degree; a gentle and well-meaning meddler who always manages to lead you in the right direction, whether you want to be led there or not.
Those strange, impassioned orators preached peace and the brotherhood of man - as they tongue-lashed their eager, duped recruits to brutal deeds, bloody violence, and suicide...while dull-witted authorities ridiculed Jimmy Christopher - Operator #5 of the Secret Service - the Dragon Emperor ruthlessly conquered New England....
It is a panorama of what radio was like in its prime - featuring the unique comedy of Easy Aces, Bob and Ray, and dramatic shows starring Charles Boyer, Robert Cummings, and Rosalind Russell. Two innovative plays written by radio poet laureate Norman Corwin are included as well as domestic comedy with Mr. & Mrs. Blandings, starring Cary Grant and Betsy Drake.
In The Sapphire Death, Peter the Brazen is thrust by a powerful urge for revenge into a final showdown with his diabolical arch-foe and, knowing that it will be the battle of his life, undergoes a regimen of physical and mental training calculated to transform him from the Man of Bronze into the Man of Chromium. Yes, Peter the Brazen becomes a superman, fully prepared to destroy the Man with the Jade Brain.
Mysterious happenings - cloudbursts in the arid desert, churches and skyscrapers horribly destroyed, priests and pastors oddly maddened, intelligence agents craftily slaughtered - all these heralded the attack on America by the Son of Kasma - spokesman for a vicious, Oriental cult. The populace flocked to the new religion in self-defense. Our country seemed helplessly doomed….