How Did You Discover Old Time Radio?

Discussion in 'Radio' started by LizzieMaine, Sep 30, 2006.

  1. Stewart Field

    Stewart Field New in Town

    Messages:
    33
    Location:
    Atlanta,GA
    I came across Old Time Radio programs rather late in life as I'm not originally from this country. It was actually on XM radio that I first heard "Tales of the Texas Ranger", "The Lone Ranger", and many of the detective programs of the day. Since then I have collected several CD's and downloaded them to my computer.
     
  2. Futwick

    Futwick One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Detroit
    My earliest encounter with OTR was that old Twilight Zone episode about the bitter old guy who finds his old radio in the basement of a boarding house. Somebody told me that Bob Crane did all the OTR voices on that episode. That was also the first time I'd ever heard of Tommy Dorsey. Now I have the complete discography of him and Jimmy. Firesign Theatre was next encounter with OTR even though it was comedy put-on--Nick Danger and like that. CBS Radio Mystery Theater was my next encounter and I was a regular listener of that. Then we have an AM rock/pop oldies station that would play OTR programs late at night and I would tune into those. Then I bought a bunch of CDs from OTRCAT online and really started listening to the old shows rather heavily. Now I listen a lot to Radio Classics on Sirius/XM.

    All these actors I grew up watching in the 60s and 70s were virtually all radio stars before that.
     
  3. Fibber Mcgee

    Fibber Mcgee New in Town

    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Callahan
    I'm kind of backwards as Old radio shows got me into this. I picked up some old shows on a radio station one night and realized , this is where I belong. Once I found out that you could get old shows on XM , that was it. I drive a truck so I probably listen to six hours a night mixed in with the 40s music channel .
     
  4. MikeKardec

    MikeKardec One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,051
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    CBS Radio Mystery Theater to begin with. I used to hide a transistor radio under my pillow at night.

    20 years later I started actually doing it, first working with David Rapkin and Charles Potter who did it "old school" with our effects man, Arthur Miller (no joke!) right there in the studio doing horse hooves with coconuts and the like ... then I branched off working more in a manner like doing an animated film, getting the voices then going through a long complicated post effects process. I'm hoping to finish show #70 this year. Probably my last, it's fun but I'm better off writing 100% of the time.

    Jeruprod.jpg
     
  5. plain old dave

    plain old dave A-List Customer

    Messages:
    477
    Location:
    East TN
    Back in the 70s, Krystal had a series of OTR radio programs on thin plastic records. I specifically remember a Lone Ranger episode. Now, on drill weekends, I will go out in the evenings just so I can be in the car and listen to 94.7 in Chattanooga (North GA, really) as they have OTR all Saturday evening. Gunsmoke at 9, Duffy's Tavern follows and You Are There is earlier.
     
  6. ChiTownScion

    ChiTownScion One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,801
    Location:
    The Great Pacific Northwest
    One of my friend's dad had several LP vinyl records of OTR that we'd listen to as kids. The Hindenburg crash account of Herb Morrison of WLS Chicago got replayed a lot as I recall. As time went on I'd listen to similar recordings in libraries. It's never really been a passion for me, but I do enjoy listening to those old shows.
     
  7. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,772
    Location:
    Cobourg
    I toddled into the kitchen in my rompers and there it was. Only it wasn't old at that time.
     
  8. elisabethm

    elisabethm New in Town

    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    USA
    I discovered old time radio just 3 years ago while reading someone's vintage movie blog. Some commenter to a post mentioned an actor's radio career and included a link to the huge OTR collection at archive.org. I downloaded a few Lux Radio Theater & Suspense episodes and that was it. Been hooked ever since.
     
  9. RLM

    RLM Familiar Face

    Messages:
    69
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Haven't listened to any OTR braodcasts in a long time. My dad used to tune in the BBC (I think that's what it was) on his old 1950's Hammerlund shortwave receiver whenever we were working on things in his basement workshop. Green Hornet, Burns and Allen, Gunsmoke, Lone Ranger, Jack Benny, seems like Sky King might have started as an old radio show too, and there was some sci-fi radio show, Buck Rogers maybe?. Those are just the ones that come to mind now. Good times. Wish I could relive some of those moments. I have that Hammerlund now and it's still picking up broadcasts from around the world, though the reception is far from stellar in my basement. Haven't run across any OTR broadcasts in years.
     
  10. Mayor La Trivia

    Mayor La Trivia New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    I grew up with radio drama, variety, comedy, westerns, adventure and kids' shows. BTW, if you're not aware, there are thousands of show episodes available for free download at http://www.otrrlibrary.org/
     
  11. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,772
    Location:
    Cobourg
    MikeKardec maybe you can answer a question for me. How hard would it be to add a sound track to a twenties silent movie? Not just music but sound effects, dialogue matching the actors' lip movements, a complete sound track? In effect, turning the movie into a modern talkie?

    I am sure it could be done but have never seen it tried. I suppose cost is the big holdup.
     
  12. Matt Crunk

    Matt Crunk One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,033
    Location:
    Muscle Shoals, Alabama
    In a strange way it was probably my discovering A Prairie Home Companion that got me listening to radio dramas. One of the best Summers of my life took place in the late '80s. I'd just gotten a divorce from a marriage that happened way too young, had a good-paying, easy corporate job doing graphic design, and had just bought my first sailboat. Just about every Saturday that Summer was spent on the lake, and I'd always tune into NPR in the evenings. Summer winds usually died on the lake around 5 or 6 o'clock and didn't come back up till after dark, so the hours around dusk were usually spent drifting rather than sailing, which made for a perfect time to eat dinner, relax and listen to A Prairie Home Companion while I drifted toward nightfall and the returning breeze. When Garrison Keillor discontinued the show for a couple years in the late '80s, I sought out cassette tapes of the program at my local bookstore, and in the same section I discovered a treasure trove of old time radio shows. I bought a few and starting listening in my car. I was hooked.

    In more recent years I've subscribed to Sirius XM and listen to Radio Classics a lot, and that has led me to find a lot of free downloads of many programs too, which I now store on my MP3 player and often play in my car as well. My favorite would have to be Bold Venture with Bogart and Bacall.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2014
  13. Sourbone

    Sourbone New in Town

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Kalamazoo
    WKZO 590 in Kalamazoo played Suspense Sorry Wrong Number one Halloween night, and I've love it ever since. WKZO was a CBS affiliate and aired Himon Brown's CBS Radio Mystery Theater. I couldn't get enough of it.
     
  14. Jaychis

    Jaychis New in Town

    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Vermont
    My dad had hours and hours of recorded radio shows from the 40's and 50's on cassette tape. I remember as a kid listening to the shows with him and how much I had to use my imagination. My father always said TV gives everyone an image, but radio gives birth to a million images in a million minds. Due to this influence in my youth, I ended up with a hobby I hold close to my heart. I restore antique radio's.
     
  15. Dennis Young

    Dennis Young A-List Customer

    Messages:
    439
    Location:
    Alabama
    I discovered OTR in a round about way. Of course I'd heard my parents and grandparents talk about sitting around the radio listening to WW2 stuff as well as the music and variety shows of the era. That always seemed a kind of magical time for me. I love old movies from Turner Classic Movies best of all and the films of the era have a particular appeal to me. Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, and films like that are my favorites.

    Then came the film "Radio Days". This, imo, epitomized all the romance of the era for me. I love the old music, the ads, the clothing and culture of the era. Along the way I discovered Amos ad Andy and they quickly became my favorite comedy team. So it was while looking for Amos and Any dvds on the internet that discover podcasts on iTunes.

    Imagine my delight when I found hundreds of other great shows as well! And since tat time I have enjoyed listening to many kind of shows "Space Patrol, Buck Rodgers, Flash Gordon, Tom Corbett, Orson Welles ad many other terrific shows that people use to listen to in those days.

    Now, very evening before I settle in for the night, I listen to an hour or so of OTR and am transported back to another era. :)
     
  16. Delma

    Delma New in Town

    Messages:
    17
    Location:
    Oregon
    I helped take care of someone who was legally blind. He turned me on the old radio shows about 20 years ago.
     
  17. Historyteach24

    Historyteach24 Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,446
    Location:
    Huntington, WV
    I was given a satellite radio from Christmas about 10 years ago and I immediately was hooked to Radio classics, now I use youtube, the National archives and other sources to listen whenever I want.
     
  18. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    129
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    My Grandmother had inherited a very old aging Inn in upstate NY full of old furniture. In the dining room on a sideboard was a big late '40's Crosley radio. I was fascinated by it's ornate wood case as a kid in the '70's and it made me curious about the history of radio. By the time I was about 12 or 13 I had acquired a late '40's GE table radio. At that time, around 1980, you would still occasionally catch a broadcast of an old radio show in the evenings. I remember hearing an Amos and Andy show and not only did I find it hilarious, but I felt like H.G. Wells going back time! Hearing the sounds of an old radio sitcom coming from the speaker was a total high for me. Very soon more radios (many more!) would come into the collection and I'd compile a collection of my favorite shows too. Nowadays I just stream them from the Internet to my AM transmitter to my old sets and it enjoy just as much now as ever. With literally thousands of shows available (thankfully!) the supply of "new" old material is endless. My favorite shows are Suspense, The Inner Sanctum, The Whistler, The Lux Radio Theater, Fibber McGee and Molly, Amos and Andy, Burns and Allen, Duffy's Tavern, Jack Benny, just to name a few. This also sparked an interest in early television just as much and I have a collection of early sets and programming too. The early television programming doesn't hold a candle to the great old radio shows though!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  19. Hektor

    Hektor New in Town

    Messages:
    10
     
  20. Hektor

    Hektor New in Town

    Messages:
    10
    I began collection OTR back in the mid 1970s by purchasing reel tapes from Gary Dudash in Babylon, NY ("AM Treasures") I never stopped but I eventually dropped the reel tapes and went to mp3 dubs. I listen to it every day, and Internet Archives is a great place to lurk.
     

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