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Country Western Music Detective Radio Dragnet Escape Fibber McGee and Molly Gunsmoke Have Gun Will Travel Horror Show Inner Sanctum Mysteries Old Time Radio Radio Detective Suspense X Minus One Yours Truly Johnny Dollar

Recommended Series For First Time OTR Listeners

There are so many facets to the world of Old Time Radio, it is hard to know where to start enjoying it. The truth is there is so much to enjoy in OTR, it is easy to imagine that almost anything you pick out will delight you.

But that still leaves you with the difficult job of choosing! Lets look at a few of the options: Most OTR fans get started by choosing a genre of shows they enjoy. There are Adventure programs for action fans, for those who enjoy a good puzzle there are a number of great Detective and Mystery shows. If your day isn’t complete without a few good laughs there are several comedy programs, ranging from sketch driven variety programs to character rich situation comedies.

The great thing about enjoying OTR today is that there are so many ways and places you can enjoy it. For many of us there is nothing that makes a commute enjoyable than following an exciting adventure serial program. At the end of the day it helps to remove the stress of the work day by trying to solve a mystery along with a hard boiled detective during the drive home. Time spent working in front of the computer goes a lot better listening to the songs and jokes of a variety show. With a good set of noise-reducing earbud speakers attached to our pocket MP3 player or cellphone, some of us are even known to enjoy listening to the cowboys in Western programs while mowing the lawn!

Many purveyors of Old Time Radio try to sell their programs on the nostalgia appeal. Sadly, most of the people who are nostalgic for these shows are no longer with us. Most of the series and shows are very enjoyable in their own right, but we feel that knowing a little bit about the actors and the programs make them even more enjoyable. Hopefully they will whet your appetite to know more about these great shows.

Some of our favorite genres and and shows include:

Mystery and Horror:

These are the late-night shows that make you want to pull the bedsheets up over your eyes! Most will agree that the most blood-curdling ghost story is even more frightening on radio!

Mystery In The Air features one of the creepiest voices and personalities ever to grace the screen, Peter Lorre.

The Whistler is a collection crime stories where the justice always comes to the villain, but not a way that he or the listeners would expect!

Suspense will keep you on the edge of your seat with nearly a thousand episodes of “Radio’s Outstanding Theater of Thrills!”

Lights Out! was one of the original late night thrillers with stories written by two of radio’s greatest talents, Wyllis Cooper and Arch Oboler.

Inner Sanctum Mysteries is like having Halloween every week with creepy stories, dark jokes, and creepy thrills.

Weird Circle brings us a collection of classic ghost stories.

Adventure:

These shows will take our imaginations to the far corners of the world.

Escape! features some of the greatest stars Hollywood, Broadway and radio in some great original and adapted stories.

Cloak and Dagger is based on true stories of the Operatives of the OSS, predecessor of the CIA.

The Adventures of Superman. Much of the legend of the original comic book hero was actually developed on the radio.

 

Comedy:

There can never be enough things for us to laugh at, and Radio brings us some of the best!

You Bet Your Life, developed as a sort of game show, the program was really a chance for Groucho Marx to simply be Groucho!

Fibber McGee and Molly is nothing but good-hearted fun featuring a well meaning schemer who seems to have never held a steady job and his long suffering but happy wife along with his friends and neighbors.

The Jack Benny Program is a collection of music and skits built around a character who was everything that the real Jack Benny wasn’t, vain, cantankerous, and cheap!

Crime and Detective:

Whether we are following the wits and bravery of hard working policemen and brave private eye, or pitting our wits against one of the great detective, everyone enjoys Crime and Detective stories.

Dragnet starring Jack Webb is a series of exciting stories based on true cases of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Tales of the Texas Rangers brings us more true crime stories from the Oldest and Most Well known law enforcement agency in North America.

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar is the story of an investigator for insurance companies with an “action-packed expense account”.

The Adventures of Nero Wolfe is a humorous collection of the cases of a rather eccentric but incredibly intelligent crime solver whose effectiveness isn’t hampered by his girth.

Drama:

More serious stories, but still greatly entertaining, our dramas include tales from literature, great movies, and even “serial dramas”.

Academy Award Theater, adaptations of Hollywood’s best movies, all Oscar Winners.

Dr Christian was one of the great wash-tub-weepers that kept house wives entertained with their continuing stories and weekly cliffhangers.

Lux Radio Theater brought the stories of the best movies to the radio, featuring a full orchestra, and usually the film’s original stars performing before a live audience.

 

Science Fiction:

Sometimes condemned as “kid stuff”, several radio programs treated Sci Fi as serious literature.

Dimension X and X Minus One had stories from the pages of great SciFi magazines and the best and most influential SciFi writers.

Space Patrol was meant for kids, but the space-opera was based on the best scientific knowledge of the time.

 

 

Westerns:

Some of these are kid shows, and others are serious adult drama, while others are treasures of great country music!

Gunsmoke and Have Gun, Will Travel were serious drama that never allowed the gritty reality of the rough and tumble West get in the way.

The Six Shooter featured the acting talent of the great James Stewart and some of the best written stories of any radio genre.

Melody Ranch featured the music of one of the screens great singing Cowboys, as well as a story or two of genuine ranch life.

 

Categories
Country Western Music

Country Music and Patriotism Created a Party

Cecil Daniels hosted “Country Style USA” and did it make the country hoot and holler with excitement over the radio airwaves. The show did one and it did it very well. It played the top country music of the day, and the guest stars that performed were Nashville proud. if you pulled on your boots and plunked your 10 gallon head covering on when the radio started playing the “Country Style USA” program, you could not help but galavant around your living room as if you had just gotten of your caloose.

But why? Why was this program,and others like it, such a game changer with the multitudes that preferred it over other radio programs of its day? One word…patriotism! People had gotten out of a couple of major world conflicts and people wanted to remember the greatness of this country. People found the simplicity of “Country Style USA”, Red Foley and Roy Rogers comforting and rewarding. Much of the music of the day was either heady and sophisticated or hard to understand. But country music paid attention to the greatness of this country. It made people remember what God meant and what family meant and how it all added up to “red,white and blue”.

“It’s time for Country Style USA…

stay all night, stay a little longer,

dance all night, dance a little longer,

pull off your coat and go a little longer,

don’t see why you don’t stay a little longer.”

Patriotism, Country Style USA and the radio added up to a party and America was ready to kick up its heels. Hank Snow might make the romantics get into the mood with “Hello Love” and Gene Autry brought the holiday cheer with “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”. But whatever the theme and whatever the season, country music made people aware of how fortunate they were living in this land and celebrating that fact was always a good thing.

Country music is timeless and it resonates to the memories of so many. Radio allowed the memories to be stirred and to be thrilled. It encouraged people  to want to “stay a lil longer”.

Categories
Carter Sisters Country Western Music Western

Carter Sisters: Country Western Radio Broadcasts

The Carter Sisters performed traditional songs, many of which came from the original Carter family, and mixed this with popular and gospelThe Carter Sisters first record was with Victor RCA Records released in February 1949. In the 1950s, the group recorded many singles, among them were “Little Orphan Girl,” “Wildwood Flower,” “Time’s a Wastin,” and “You are My Flower.” In 1952, the group transferred to Columbia Records. Four albums were released by the label for the Carter Sisters from 1965 to 1982.

The Carter Sisters,  Helen (1927-1998), June (1929- 2003), Anita (1933-1999 ), daughters of Maybelle Carter and  Ezra Carter, are the second generation Carter Family. They are the nieces of Ezra’s brother AP Carter and his wife Sara who is also Maybelle’s cousin.  Alvin Pleasant Delaney A.P. Carter, Sara Dougherty Carter, and Maybelle Addington Carter were the members of the original Carter Family who hailed from the Appalachia region. Early in the 1900s the Carter family was already performing in their area. Sara, AP, and Maybelle were considered the first family of country music. Their first recording in 1927, via the talent search of  Ralph Peer from the Victor Talking Machine Company, contributed to the birth of country music. They became very popular and the Carter Sisters were heard on radio shows and also performed in many different venues. When their group disbanded in 1943, their children and the next Carter generations carried on the tradition of making beautiful music. The Carter Sisters claimed the name Carter Family in 1960 after AP Carter died. They recorded with Columbia as the (second generation) Carter Family and released “Travelin’ Minstrel Band” in 1972, and “Three Generations” in 1974. In 1978, Mother Maybelle died and the Carter Sisters performed only in a few occasions after that.

Enjoy this broadcast from Old Time Radio’s collection of Carter Sisters Radio Shows:

http://www.otrcat.net/otr6/Carter-Sisters-01-Cimmaron-Audition-OTRCAT.com.mp3