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Dec 23, 2011

Added (2) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"Cinderella - If the Shoe Fits" - CBS Radio Workshop (1956)

Miss Lurene Tuttle and Mr. Vincent Price have a litte disagreement about the relative merits of Romanticism vs. Realism, which results in each of them re-telling the classic story of Cinderella in their own style. "Loved Vincent Price's version of this story! According to Mr. Price, the traditional version depicts Cinderella as a helpless, smudge-faced juvenile, who sits around all day whining and waiting for somebody to rescue her, while in his version, Cindy really makes things happen. (8/10) --- zM"

"S-O-S" - The Mysterious Traveler (1950)

A trio of criminals attempt to steal a shipment of uncut diamonds on a liner, but run into a bit of trouble. "Awesome ending - you won't see it coming. I won't give it away, except to say that this show exemplifies the possibilities the audio medium has to offer. --- Jeff Dickson"

Dec 19, 2011

Added (1) new show to the Listening Booth:

"A Christmas Carol" - The Campbell Playhouse (1938)

Originally broadcast December 23, 1938. With Orson Welles (narrator), Hiram Sherman (Bob Cratchit), Ray Collins (the man who asked for alms), Frank Readick (ghost of Christmas yet to come), Eustace Wyatt (ghost of Christmas present), Arthur Anderson (ghost of Christmas past), Al Shirley (Marley's ghost), Alice Froth (charwoman), Brenda Forbes (Mrs. Cratchit), Joseph Cotten (nephew Fred), Anna Stafford (Belle), Kingsley Colton (Tiny Tim), George Spelvin (Mr. Fezzwig).

Dec 16, 2011

Expanded (30) more plotlines for various Quiet, Please episodes to include actors and a snippet from each.

Dec 09, 2011

Added (2) new shows and (1) new song to the Listening Booth:

"Skulking Permit" - X Minus One (1956)

A small colony, cut off from Earth for generations, must prove they are a model of Earth culture when a ship arrives to effect their 'reclamation'. They strive to provide archetypes of Earth society, including a town criminal... "Here's an episode I listen to all the time. I grew up in a very small town in the middle of Texas - cut off from the "real" world. So much of this episode reminds me of that place, that I have to laugh. Every town needs a criminal! --- C. Phillips"

"Present Tense" - Escape (1950)

A condemned murderer on his way to death row for killing his wife is granted a reprieve by fate when the train he is on derails and he escapes to find the man who framed him. Stars Vincent Price.

"Auld Lang Syne" - Frank C. Stanley (1910)

An old cylinder recording from 1910... or maybe 1909. I downloaded this as part of a "public domain" folder from the Internet Archive, but it seems possible that it is part of the Cylinder Preservation and Digitazation Project at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Frank Stanley was a bass-baritone... which means that his voice comes through quite clearly on early cylinder recordings... even though the background music sounds quiet and a little bit tinny. If you're trying to figure out what a "right gude-willy waught" is, you might try the Wikipedia article.

Nov 30, 2011

Expanded (10) more plotlines for various Quiet, Please episodes to include actors and a snippet from each.
Updated the Famous Authors page to include H.P. Lovecraft.

Nov 23, 2011

Added (3) new shows to the Listening Booth:

"A Very Old Man" - CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974)

An old man living with his daughter and son-in-law seems to have an ability to heal with his touch, to the frustration of his daughter's husband, a medical doctor with no faith in faith healers. The old man takes no credit, however - he attributes his talent to a second daughter, dead for many, many years... "Thoroughly enjoyed this story, but I'm not sure I can say why. Maybe I just like stories about lovable old men. Maybe I just like stories about a faith healer who vigorously denies he is any such thing. He's just a very old man who has nothing to do with any 'cures', so why's everybody making such a fuss? (9/10) --- zM"

"A Day at the Dentist's" - Fear on 4 (1988)

A man with a detached filling pays an emergency visit to a dentist whom he hasn't seen in 10 years. He is terrified of dentists, you see, but this particular dentist has a very successful technique for relaxing his patients and enticing them into his chair. Based on an idea by Arch Oboler. "This is one of those tales of dread the BBC are so good at. Story starts off nice and easy with a little irony that might make you smile and then builds in some tension. Very shortly, however, you suspect you're hearing only one-half of a conversation... as if everything being said had a double meaning. You grasp wildly for possible explanations, discarding each as improbable, but you keep probing one explanation that seems particularly worrisome... the way you might probe a sore tooth. And when you finally realize what's happening, you sit there with your mouth open and your brain stuck in a groove, saying, 'No... no... no...' (9/10) --- zM"

"Carmilla" - Columbia Workshop (1940) - By Request

An unusual teenaged girl has an unhappy effect on her adoptive household. "Solidly adapted by Lucille (The Hitch-Hiker) Fletcher, Sheridan Le Fanu's horror tale is claustrophobic and moody, but doesn't quite come to a boil. Jeanette Nolan is a sexy, provocative bad girl in the title role. The memorable score consists entirely of a single eerie piano piece. --- Anonymous"

Nov 17, 2011

Added (10) new reviews and (3) new plotlines for various Lights Out episodes, courtesy of Anonymous.
Also, expanded (10) plotlines for various Quiet, Please episodes to include actors and a snippet from each.

Nov 11, 2011

Added (2) new shows to The Listening Booth:

"To Find Help" - Suspense (1949)

An old woman hires a seemingly meek young man to clean her house. "Nothing supernatural here; just a gripping, straightforward thriller. Apart from the final scenes, this is very closely based on a short story, "The Man," by Mel Dinelli. The well-directed, evenly-paced 1949 version with Ethel Barrymore and Gene Kelly easily surpasses the sloppy, rushed 1945 one with Agnes Moorehead and Frank Sinatra - mainly because the actors give better, more believable performances under Anton M. Leader, possibly the series' best director. --- Anonymous"

"Call Me Joe" - Sci-Fi Radio (1990)

On a moon of Jupiter, scientist Edward Anglesey - a paraplegic - combines ESP with a thought projector to link with the mind of a genetically engineered pseudo-Jovian, as part of a project to colonize the surface of the gas giant. But is the project endangered by Anglesey's jealously guarded attachment to the Jovian, through whom he finds the empowerment to transcend his disabilities? Based on the classic story by Poul Anderson. "Wow, this one was pretty cool. I hadn't seen, heard, or read anything like this one which is why I probably liked it. It was definitely an interesting idea and had a really cool ending. I liked how they used dialogue between the men to explain what was going on. Definitely a good listen. It was also kind of funny to hear the many borrowed sound effects. I believe I heard one from Star Trek and one from V the mini series. --- Barry Howell"

Nov 4, 2011

I've significantly updated the page for Exploring Tomorrow. Around 25 of these shows are available for download here and there, but it is hard to find them. Most shows have multiple names, and many shows are incorrectly identified. So, if you find a new show and download it, you may find you already have it! Very discouraging. So, I updated the list of alternate titles to reflect, as best I can, the alternate names used by collectors for each show, and my best guess at the "real" name. Where possible I have used the announced title... or the name of the published story in Amazing Science Fiction... or, if neither of those are available, my own best guess based on the plot of the story.

I have also expanded the plot summaries and added the First Lines of each John Campbell intro. To make it easier to identify the episodes that you do have, I have added in Index to First Lines at the bottom of the Exploring Tomorrow page. To the best of my knowledge there were at least 37 distinct episodes... and possibly as many as 104. Sadly few remain.

It's a great series. Check out the recommendations from Jeff and myself!

Oct 31, 2011

Fresh for Halloween. We've added a new page to the Plot Archive! Fear on 4 is a work in progress. Jeff Dickson did the banner art, and I'm working my way through the 47 episodes in the series. Well, six series actually. A couple of these episodes are listed under BBC, but I decided Fear on 4 is sooooo good it warranted its own page. I'll be posting "A Day at the Dentist's" in the Listening Booth in about 6 weeks.

Oct 28, 2011

Added (3) new shows to The Listening Booth:

"The Dead Hand" - Murder at Midnight (1946)

A pianist loses his hand (not to mention his mind) in an auto accident, and contrives to kill to obtain a new hand which can then be grafted onto his arm. The only problem is that his chosen victim had a penchant for theft and violence... "Losing a hand, finding a detached hand that lives and moves by itself, receiving a severed hand in the mail... are all common themes in Horror. And so is not being able to control your hands—truly a horrifying predicament. But with the theme having been explored so many times before, it is hard to find an original "hands" story. Above average acting in this one turns a rather predictable plot into something worth listening to. (7/10) --- zM"

"The Hole in Empty Space" - Space Patrol (1952)

A 'cycloplex' (read 'black hole') wanders into the Solar System, threatening ships, space colonies, and even whole planets. Corry and Happy must find a way to destroy it before it swallows everything in its path. "A nice little story: light-hearted, quick moving, slightly silly. Just what you would expect from "High Adventure in the wild, vast reaches of Space"! The pacing, inflection and tone of this series remind me a lot of Challenge of the Yukon, except without the cool dog. The commercial for the Buzz Corey Space-a-Phone set is classic. "You can use it to talk to someone a stright 50' away... the magic phone you can carry anywhere..." Yep. Trading in my iPhone right now. (6/10) --- zM"

"The Dark" - Lights Out (1937) - By Request

A doctor and a cop are called to a house, which has a closet with a void of darkness. A new kind of evil lurks in that darkness, a force which turns you inside out! This version of the story does not star Boris Karloff. "It's a very brief show, but when I first heard it, I was I think about 7 years old, and it scared the crap out of me. The sound effects were extremely realistic (I found out later it was really nothing more than a wet rubber glove), and I couldn't fall asleep the rest of the night. I heard it much much later when I rediscovered OTR, and it was almost as hard hitting, but I could see how corny it was with the wisdom of age. Still a great episode. --- R. Riddle"

Oct 23, 2011

New Banner Art for the BBC, Dimension X, and Sci-Fi Radio pages... courtesy of the very talented Jeff Dickson!

Oct 22, 2011

Updated the search engine database. The database now contains information for Dimension X, The Hermit's Cave, Mindwebs, and X Minus One. (4 series, 370 episodes, 294 cast members, and 174 writers/authors.) It will be a few months before the next update.

Oct 21, 2011

Added (17) new reviews for various Mindwebs episodes courtesy of zM.

Oct 18, 2011

Norman Corwin, legendary radio poet, dies at 101. There is now a full obituary over at the L.A. Times.

Oct 17, 2011

A listener writes: "Many years ago in a literature class I read a short story about a man who is brought on to a spaceship and told that they need him to propel their ship... that he was one-of-a-kind of human that can push. I thought that this was The Pusher by John Varley, but not at all. I seem to remember that the last line in the story was, 'And he pushed'. I hope you can help."

Doesn't ring a bell with me, but if anybody has any ideas, please email me and I'll be happy to pass them along to the listener...

Oct 15, 2011

Added (2) new shows to The Listening Booth:

"Wasted on the Young" - Mindwebs (1979)

A future social system in which the young, up until age 30, are allowed to live at society's expense, charging any extravagance they desire to the state, after which they must repay that luxury with years of service. Story by John Brunner. "A cautionary tale with a very satisfying ending. (8/10) --- zM"

"The Gods of the Mountain" - Columbia Workshop (1936)

Seven beggars attempt to pass themselves off as gods. "An almost too-faithful adaptation of Lord Dunsany's weird 1911 play. With a seemingly all-male cast and little or no use made of character names, it's sometimes hard to follow all the details. But the chilling climax is aided greatly by Bernard Herrmann's percussion effects. --- Anonymous"

"The Gods of the Mountain" is provided by kind permission of the folks over at the Digital Deli. The two people who run the deli serve an amazing selection of original research which is provided on their pages free of charge. Take a look around! They stream many shows, but they also ask for a modest donation-fee for the privilege of downloading those shows in mp3 format. (This helps defray a tiny portion of their web-hosting costs).

Oct 8, 2011

Added (6) new reviews and (6) new plotlines for various The Columbia Workshop episodes and (4) new reviews and (4) new plotlines for various Suspense episodes, all courtesy of Anonymous.

Oct 1, 2011

Added (3) new shows to The Listening Booth:

"The Light of a Thousand Suns" - BBC Radio (1974)

Cerebus is the first of a new breed of nuclear attack submarines which operates under the principle of Negative Acknowledgment Attack - every 4 hours it must surface and receive a signal from a polar-orbit sattelite - if it does not receive a signal for twelve consecutive hours the captain and his crew are under strict orders to launch the submarine's payload. Story by James Follett. "An interesting look into how the military mind often differs from the civilian and how, at a fundamental level, all military actions are really the decisions of individual men who must decide to obey orders or not. (7/10) --- zM"

"A Pail of Air" - X Minus One (1956)

In a future where the Earth has moved away from the Sun and lost its atmosphere, a lone family of survivors struggle to survive in the ruins of a dead city. Story by Fritz Leiber. "This is the episode that turned me on to X Minus One and still one of my favorites. The story moves along nicely, slowly building suspense. I can remember being a little scared when I first heard it at about midnight in the mid 1980's. I love the father's low-tech solution for creating the family's "nest". --- C. Phillips"

"The Man Who Stole the Bible" - Suspense (1956) - By Request

A New Orleans hotel guest snatches a bible from his room and finds himself the target of some very desperate and dangerous people. Story by John and Gwen Bagni. Two versions were produced for Escape and one version for Suspense. "A mildly intriguing story with good acting that doesn't quite live up to the promise of the title. The script for all three episodes is nearly identical. Rick Valent stars in Episode 109 and has the edge over Sam Pierce (Escape, episdode 151) and John Lund (Suspense, 675). (6/10) --- zM"

Sep 21, 2011

Added (2) new reviews and (2) new plotlines for various Lux Radio Theatre episodes and (9) new reviews and (5) new plotlines for various Suspense episodes, all courtesy of Anonymous.

Sep 18, 2011

Expanded the intro to The Hermit's Cave based on new information from The Digital Deli and revised over a dozen plotlines.
Also, added (2) new plotlines and (10) new reviews for various Hermit's Cave episodes, courtesy of zM.

Sep 16, 2011

Added (2) new shows to The Listening Booth:

"Casting the Runes" - Escape (1947)

Edward Dunning, Britain's leading authority on Medieval life, writes a scathing review of a crackpot occultist's paper on ancient curses. In turn, he is given 3 months to live. He is not laughing now. Story by Montague R. James. "A suspenseful little story on curses with good imagery, fine acting, and a little foreshadowing courtesy of Coleridge. (7/10) --- zM"

"The man walks on
And turns no more his head,
Because he knows a frightful fiend
Doth close behind him tread."
- Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"Mr. Randall's Discovery" - The Hermit's Cave (194x) - (Poor audio quality)

As rebroadcast overseas on The Mystery Playhouse during WWII with host Peter Lorre. A banker pursues a nice, relaxing, science-oriented hobby at home... down in the basement... away from his wife and son... and inadvertently creates a microbial life-form, which begins to grow and grow and grow... "I thought the first 10 minutes of this show were absolutely hilarious - not that they were intended that way! The familial interactions among the boy, the mom, and the pop - with his get-away-from-the-family, down-in-the-basement hobby - were spot on. The way pop's personality deteriorates as his experiment wears on is well played. And there's some nice hysterical screaming in the second half. (7/10) --- zM"

Sep 5, 2011

Added the very tiniest, preliminary, beginning, elementary foray into a searchable database for this website... This is a much bigger project than I expected - I will likely be working on this for years to come. In the meantime, I've added episodes, actors, dates, and writers/authors for (2) series: Dimension X and Mind Webs. If you have any requests for customize queries or suggestions, feel free to email me and I'll see what I can do. It's early days, yet. And... er... did I mention it was rather primitive?

Sep 2, 2011

Added (2) new shows and (1) new song to The Listening Booth:

Mirror for Murder - CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974)

The wife of an important politician feels increasingly irrelevant as her husband cancels engagements with her in order to further his own career. What's more, she's feels insubstantial and invisible, as she slowly loses her reflection. "A humorous, light-hearted look at organized crime, murder, undercover police work and espionage as a woman struggles to find meaning in her life. (9/10) --- zM"

Death of a Doll - Inner Sanctum (1948)

"This is the story of Willie Harper and the devil, and how Willie, on his first assignment for "The Morning Blade", finds himself at two in the morning, sweating nervously, in the murky shadows of a river front street in the lower city. Willie has a gun in his pocket and a doll that belongs to a dead girl tucked under his arm. A block away leaning against the one street light, impassive, grotesque, apelike... is the devil... waiting for Willie." from the intro.

Magnetic Rag - Scott Joplin (1916)

Joplin was born in 1867 and died in 1917. This is Joplin playing his Magnetic Rag. The tune was 'recorded' on a piano roll in 1916 and then played back (and electronically recorded) many years later, in 1960.

Aug 27, 2011

Brand New CD Artwork! Created by Jeff Dickson and donated to help keep this site active and interesting! (2) new covers for Escape, (1) new cover for X Minus One, (1) new cover for BBC Sci-Fi, and (1) new cover for an espionage series: The Man Called X, which aired on CBS and NBC from 1944 to 1952.

Aug 21, 2011

Added (1) new review for the Mind Webs episode Allegory, by William T. (Bill) Powers, courtesy of zM. Added the text of an interesting Olga Coal commercial (pdf) to the Listening Booth.

Aug 19, 2011

Added (2) new shows added to The Listening Booth:

Pavane - Quiet, Please! (1949)

Re-broadcast of 'The Girl with the Flaxen Hair'. An American who has lived for more than six months in post-war France explains why he is not happy to be returning home to his wife. Features piano music of Ravel: "Pavane pour une infante défunte". "Not scary. Not suspenseful. But the music and dialog... and the voice of that little, little girl... wrap around your head and pull you in until you are a part of Andrew's life and you find yourself falling in love and wishing that little girl could be your very own daughter. (7/10) --- zM"

Strange Identity - The Radio City Playhouse (1948)

Jan Miner stars as a war widow who spots her thought-to-be-dead husband on a passing bus and begins an exhaustive search to find out where he has been and why he has been avoiding her. Story by Harry W. Junkin. "Radio drama often builds plot at the expense of character development, but this story manages both. A good script, accompanied by strong acting from Jan Miner, leaves no doubt in our minds about the fierce, undying love the main character feels toward her husband... and her willingness to do anything to be reunited with him forever. (8/10) --- zM"

Aug 05, 2011

Added (2) new shows added to The Listening Booth:

The Haunted Crossroads - The Witch's Tale (1937)

Old Nancy is 122 years old today. A barren stretch of lands where two crossroads meet in Old Massachusetts State is the setting for several unexplained murders. Original script from 1932 by Alonzo Deen Cole. This recording might be from the 1937 version or, more likely, from an Australian remake around 1940. "A good example of early radio horror. A simple plot, over-acted, with lots of murder and blood... but not too scary by today's standards. Adequate script; good sound quality. (5/10) --- zM"

Treasure Island - Mercury Theatre on the Air (1938)

The classic adventure tale by Robert Louis Stevenson, starring Orson Welles and Arthur Anderson. Pirates, tropical islands, a treasure map, a teenage boy, and a one-legged seaman with a parrot on his shoulder. Stevenson began writing this tale "on a chill September morning, by the cheek of a brisk fire, and rain drumming on the window"... after being asked by his step-son to, please, write something "interesting". "A rollicking good yarn with solid acting. The sound quality of the recording makes some of the dialog hard to understand, but it is well worth the effort. (8/10) --- zM"

Jul 21, 2011

Added (2) new shows added to The Listening Booth:

The House in Cypress Canyon - Suspense (1946)

A couple move into what seems an ideal house, except for one sealed closet from which strange animalistic sounds emanate, and blood runs out from under the door. Soon the closet begins to exert an uncanny influence on the wife. Stars Robert Taylor. "I started to listen to this one several years ago but stopped because the sound quality was poor and the story, frankly, wasn't very scary. But I recently downloaded a different version - with excellent sound quality - and I have to say the sound quality makes a huge difference. The creaking doors... the unearthly howls... the exacting descriptions... are all much, much, scarier! Raised the hairs on my arms. (9/10) --- zM"

The Cold Equations - Exploring Tomorrow (1958)

Classic story of a space pilot on an emergency medical run who finds himself carrying a stowaway. However, his shuttle does not have enough fuel to allow for the extra weight. "Of all the radio versions of this famous story, I'd have to pick this one as my choice for the best of them. The acting and pacing was just a notch higher than the others. --- Jeff Dickson" "This story is just over 17 minutes long, but when you subtract the commercial and the announcer yakking at you, you have fewer than 13 minutes left. I found that extremely annoying. But after listening to a few other versions, I have to agree with Jeff - the acting and pacing are just right. This really is a very simple and moving story, best told economy and precision. (9/10) --- zM"

Jul 17, 2011

Added (5) new reviews and (5) new plot lines for various Lights Out and Suspense episodes, courtesy of Anonymous.

Jul 16, 2011

Added (19) new reviews and (10) new plot lines for various Lights Out, Radio City Playhouse, and Columbia Playhouse episodes, courtesy of Anonymous.

Jul 07, 2011

Added (2) new shows added to The Listening Booth: Time and Time Again; Dimension X (1951) - Dark, Dark Destiny; The Mysterious Traveler (1947)

Time and Time Again - A soldier dying on a battlefield of the future suddenly finds himself transported back to his own childhood. Story by H. Beam Piper. Another version of this story also appeared on X Minus One. "I recommend the Dimension X version of this story. The scripts for X Minus One and Dimension X are nearly identical. X Minus One has better sound quality, better delivery by the narrator and better incidental sound effects, but seems rushed. The Dimension X version is 1:30 longer (less advertising) and that goes a long way toward making the dialog seem more natural. Plus the actor playing the 13-year old boy seems more like a young boy in that version. They both have the same good ending, but the Dimension X version seems a little stronger. (8/10) --- zM"

Dark, Dark Destiny - A man's wife faces a lifetime of invalidism unless she risks a very delicate operation. But how do you raise the necessary cash when you don't have a steady income, your mortgage is underwater, and all your credit lines are already tapped out? "This show does not have any Sci Fi, Horror, or Adventure elements. It is a fairly simple story about how ill fortune can escalate when poor choices are made. Nevertheless, the tale is well told, with solid acting and a strong ending. (7/10) --- zM"

Jul 04, 2011

Added a new song to The Listening Booth: Joe Hill - Paul Robeson (1936)

Paul Robeson was an African-American concert singer with a very distinctive bass-baritone voice who was popular in the 1930s. Despite also being an actor, athlete, lawyer and social activist, many people have never heard of him. This is due, no doubt, to his being black-listed from performing on stage, screen, radio and television during the McCarthy era for his political beliefs. This song is a tribute to Joe Hill (a Swedish-American labor activist, songwriter, and member of the Industrial Workers of the World), based on a poem written by Alfred Hayes in 1930.

Jun 26, 2011

Added (4) new reviews and (2) new plot lines for various Dimension X, Hall of Fantasy, and Mysterious Traveler episodes, courtesy of zM.

June 23, 2011

Added (2) new shows added to The Listening Booth: Night of the Wolf; BBC Radio (1983) - Markheim; Hall of Fantasy (1947)

Night of the Wolf - Stories of human/wolf transformation have been around for at least 2,000 years - stretching from King Lycaon of Arcadia to Remus Lupin. So, how do you retell a story that's been told hundreds of times and make it fresh and exciting? It's not that easy. If you have been raised on werewolf stories, this effort might seem to drag as background details (like silver bullets and half-eaten corpses) are revealed, but if you are new to the whole werewolf scene you'll be thankful for each gory detail. This version has a surprisingly strong religious theme which seems to fit rather well. Fine acting by Vincent Price (but a little overdone in spots). (7/10). --- zM

Markheim - "They said that Markheim's first great crime was that he had committed murder. That's hardly true, for no man can kill his fellow until he first twists the knife in his own heart?" So begins this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale. However, the adaptation is not as true to the original as I'd hoped. The original tale is about the internal struggle between good and evil and raises questions about free will versus predestination. It is a pychological tale similar, in some ways, to Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Many minor changes have been made in this adaptation... and they all tend to muddy the plot and weaken the characterization. Still, this is a good tale, strongly performed. (7/10) --- zM

June 09, 2011

Added (2) new shows added to The Listening Booth: I Warn You Three Times; CBS Radio Mystery Theater (1974) - Light of Other Days; Mind Webs (1979)

I Warn You Three Times - A woman claims that her husband stepped out of their car at a stop light and disappeared. Did he jump or was he pushed - (so to speak)? This fairly predictable story might rate a 6/10 except for a few plot twists and some very fine acting by Joan Lorring. Joan's performance as the innocent and devoted, loving housewife is completely believable and contrasts nicely with the ill fate of those around her. (9/10) --- zM

Light of Other Days - A couple driving through the country notice a sign and stop at a farm advertising "slow glass" for sale. This Hugo-nominated short story from 1966 was written by Bob Shaw and introduces the concept of "slow glass" - which I won't spoil for you. As usual, Michael Hanson manages to project the anger, frustration, bitterness, and longing of the characters he portrays even while mixing it with wonder and heart-breaking love. A powerful ending provides much to think about. (9/10) --- zM

Jun 07, 2011

Added (23) new reviews and (9) plot lines for various Quiet, Please! episodes, courtesy of Anonymous, and (9) reviews for various Nightfall episodes courtesy of Sean Daly. Many thanks to both of you!

Jun 06, 2011

Added (3) new reviews and (1) plot line for CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Quiet, Please!, and Mind Webs, courtesy of zM.

Jun 03, 2011

Added a new song to The Listening Booth: It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing) - The Boswell Sisters (1932)

The Boswell Sisters were a close-harmony singing group quite popular in the early 30s, who later inspired other performers, including The Andrews Sisters, The King Sisters, and Ella Fitzgerald. According to Wikipedia, "They were among the very few performers who were allowed to make changes to current popular tunes as during this era... publishers and record companies pressured performers not to alter current popular song arrangements." "Melodies were rearranged and slowed down, major keys were changed to minor keys (sometimes in mid-song) and rhythmic changes were par for the course."

May 27, 2011

Two new shows added to The Listening Booth: The Fall of the City; Columbia Workshop (1937) - The Brooklyn Brain; 2000 Plus (1950)

An odd pair of shows. The Fall on the City is a thinking-man's radio production. Written by Archibald MacLeish (three-time Pulitzer prize winner) and starring Orson Welles - it is full of oratory and asks tough questions like: What is Freedom and what is it worth? And, more importantly, freedom from what? Reminds me of a Greek play. The dialog is, at times, rushed and difficult to understand. I had to listen to the entire show several times to catch most of the dialog. The first time through, I rated this a 6 out of 10. The last time I gave it an 8. I'm also posting a copy of the script that I found at The Generic Radio Workshop to help you figure out what's going on... but try to listen first.

The Brooklyn Brain is a light-hearted look at romance and "culture"... A thick-headed dimwit hopes that being the subject of a science experiment will help him win the woman of his dreams.

May 26, 2011

Udated the series description for Columbia Workshop. Also added (6) plotlines and (7) reviews for various Columbia Workshop episodes and (1) plotline and (2) reviews for various Escape episodes, courtesy of Anonymous. Thanks again!

May 25, 2011

Created a Facebook "Page." I will be duplicating these posts on FB. If you are active on Facebook and "Like" the page, then you will be notified every time I update this site. OTR Plot Spot on Facebook.

May 22, 2011

Added a new feature to the Listening Booth where I will showcase some early musical recordings. Music is just as much a part of Old Time Radio as is Mystery, Drama, Comedy, Horror, and Sci Fi. Unfortunately, while most Old Time Radio shows are in the public domain, most music is not. So I am going to restrict myself to music recorded before 1939 --- 78s... 45s... maybe some old cylinder recordings. This week: Side by Side by Lee Morse (1927).

May 15, 2011

(4) new plotslines and (7) new reviews for various Lights Out episodes, courtesy of Anonymous. Thanks!

May 13, 2011

Two new shows added to The Listening Booth: A Gun for Dinosaur; X Minus One (1957) - The Thing on the Fourble Board; Quiet, Please! (1947)

May 11, 2011

(63) new plotlines for various Mind Webs episodes, courtesy of zM.

May 1, 2011

Greetings. After 10 years, and many thousands of hours, Jeff is retiring as webmaster from this site.

Jeff and I share a love of Old Time Radio - there is something truly magical about sitting in a darkened room, with your eyes closed, and letting words paint pictures in your mind. But if you are new to Old Time Radio, where do you start? Well, Jeff created this site partly to help others answer that question. Here you will find plot summaries of over 1,500 episodes from nearly 50 different radio series... in addition to CD cover art that Jeff has created... and covers from old pulp magazines... and reviews from other contributors.

It seemed a shame to let all this hard work just disappear. So, Jeff has graciously allowed me to take over this site so I can continue to provide this content to others... in the hope that this old art form won't be lost forever. --- current webmaster, Rick Hurdle