Thursday, August 30, 2012

What the heck - First 40 Bergen/McCarthy files are up

I've just decided to release the Bergen/McCarthy files each day I do them or can upload them. These files are of top notch quality - or as top notch as they can be. There are currently only 40 files but I expect eventually there will be 400 to 600 (I really have no way of knowing how many.)

If nothing else, go and have a look - have a listen.

You can grab them at the Internet Archive.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Charlie's Radio Game!

This is a very large picture - click to enlarge it
Here's the advertisement for it (1938): (((HEAR)))

Making HUGE progress!

Well, I may re-think this Charlie McCarthy business. I said 2013 but I already have more than 20 files done today. What I may do is upload them 100 at a time, give you access to them and work that way. More on this later, just thought I'd let you know how it's coming. I'm guessing there will be somewhere between 400-600 files!

Working on...

I'm working on removing all the Charlie McCarthy sketches from the Chase and Sanborn shows. It's going to take a while, especially with everything I have going but eventually it will be done. I think I will somehow combine them with DUMMY, my website of Charlie McCarthy photos. Don't look for this until 2013 but I hope to have it done by then.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Digby O'Dell shows up on Fred Allen's show

John Brown was a big part of Fred Allen's show and would play all kinds of characters.

In this episode from 1949 that I found on Rand's Esoteric OTR, Brown plays Digby O'Dell "the friendly undertaker" from the Life of Riley show.  It's interesting!


Cast photos added


Norman Corwin's "An American in England"

More than a handful of these shows are available at OTRR.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Some bad news - some good news

The bad news: roughly 2/3rds of all the sound files on this blog have been lost.  They will only come back when I find the files and re-edit them.

The good news: I am on a mission seeking out sound clips to build the sound clip section up better than before.  It will take time but it should happen.

What do you think about when you're listening?

What do you think about when you're listening?

When I am listening to comedy - I can think about anything at all and I follow along without any problem.

When I listen to Groucho, I think of a certain street/location in my hometown.  It's funny, because this street and area is someplace I have never actually been.  It's just off a main street in my hometown but I envision myself there, looking at the main street.  This only happens when I listen to Groucho and I have no idea why!

When I listen to detective shows, I look straight ahead, my eye fixed on the curtain in my home.  I watch the curtain so I can concentrate and I listen closely - otherwise, the plot or details *I* need will float by me.

I can't be doing paperwork of any kind, unless that is, I am taking notes for one of the blogs.

When I listen to police shows, I am "there" with them, especially the 21st Precinct.  I know that police station well.  I know where the detectives are.  I know where the Captain's office is.  I know it all.  I see it very clearly because I actually "go" there. That's not the case with most shows, as I stay at home but 21st Precinct transports me to the station.  I'm pretty sure I am invisible to the others there.  :)

Another place I am transported to is the Riley's bungalo in The Life of Riley.  I too, walk with Chester as he encounters "Digger" - it seems to be always dark and Digger kind of pops up.  I am not scared, of course, since I know when Digger's going to pop up!

Now that I think about it, I am also at the Phil Harris-Alice Faye house.  But it's strange, as I can only see 3/4ths of the house.  It's too hard to explain but the house is not "open" to me - probably because I have never heard them talk about the rooms.  I've never been upstairs there for sure.

And have you noticed, almost all situational comedy house have upstairs and down.  One exception may be Jack Benny's home.

Which reminds me, I am only in one room in Benny's house; it's like a solarium.  I can see a pool outside and I see the home of Ronald and Benita Colman as well.

When I listen to Gunsmoke, I am in the Long Branch or out in the street or perhaps on a long, hot (or cold) journey with Matt and Chester.  Invisible, of course.

The lost art of hodge-podging

Wow, I haven't done this in ages: hodge-podging!  I remember doing a lot in the early days of the blog but I got busy doing other things.

Yes, even when I'm not busy here at this blog, I'm usually busy elsewhere.  I'm very proud of the work I (and others) have done at The Crazy World of Vic and Sade blog.  I wish others would do the same thing with other shows,

I've a feeling there will be little else done in terms of OTR websites.  The people who enjoy OTR are getting older and older and there are few "young bloods" out there who like OTR to begin with.  I feel like I am a part of the dying breed.  I feel like a lot of weight is on my shoulders to not let OTR die.  After all, how many people under 50 years old love old time radio? 

I was told by someone who knows, that I am one of a small handful.  And out of that handful, how many are trying to keep it alive?  The internet is still a growing place and there's room for everyone.  But I have a feeling we are seeing the last days of OTR on the internet.

I promise to keep plugging along doing my thing for as long as I can.  My health isn't great and -shock- I expect to die one day!  But until that day comes and as long as I am able, I'm going to keep spreading the word about OTR.
You know, there's some decent tv out there.  I enjoy watching the "picker" shows/auction shows and though I don't really care for anything else out there (other than older, classic tv) I could watch that stuff all day long.

But some of that other junk on tv - gee, how can people watch that stuff?  I think about how many people are missing the joys of the 21st Precinct, Gunsmoke, The Six Shooter, Dragnet, etc.

I often see people doing chores outside with earbuds in; I know they are probably listening to their favorite tunes.  I want to go up to them and show them what they are missing.  How much better their life would be with a little You Bet Your Life in it!  Laughter is the best medicine.  Even after hearing You Bet Your Life a million times, I still laugh at it - or rather, at Groucho Marx.

One day, no one will be listening to OTR.  There won't be anyone to converse with on the internet about it.  We'll all be driving air cars and our mp3 players will be inside of our heads.  Conversing then will be done by digital telepathy and...

I don't like the future I see.  Yeah, there are numerous possibilities for advancement but I'm perfectly happy here listening to Words at War, probably the most underrated program in radio history.  If you don't or haven't listened to it, do yourself a favor and try it.

"Groucho always picks on me"

Some juicy tidbits

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I hated Gloria... so I killed Gloria this morning

"Gloria" is dead (and gone)
I've written before how much I hate Gloria.  She is a thorn in my side and a pain in my ears.

Today, I did something drastic.  I took a digital knife and I completely removed Gloria from my files.

Okay, so you are wondering what I am talking about.  Let me clue you in:  Gloria is the maid on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in the 1945 and 1946 seasons.  She sounds like this: AUDIO

Now, this is not to say that Gloria (played by Bea Benaderet) is not funny.  The lines themselves are standard one-liner fare and as such, the lines aren't bad.  Ozzie and Harriet aren't great playing "straight men" but then, who really is?  The fact is: her voice makes me crawl up a wall.

I like Benaderet in everything else (although just the thought of her playing the part of Gloria reverberates in my head when I hear her on the numerous other shows she does and I wince considerable.  I cringe; my body quivers... but it subsides eventually and I smile and laugh at Benaderet in other shows.) 

My, she was so versatile that she was in thousands of shows.  It seems like she was in almost every situation comedy in the 1940's!  She was everywhere.  I realize that bit actors and actresses didn't make a ton of money but I wouldn't be surprised if she put away $500 a week most weeks during that time, quite a hefty sum for that kind of work.

But this morning, I finally did something that will make my listening a lot more bearable: I killed Gloria.  What I had been doing is skipping 1945-46 Ozzie and Harriet.  Finally, I sat down with my sound software and I digitally removed Gloria from every Ozzie and Harriet recording she was in.

I know you purist out there are shaking your heads or having convulsions or whatever you purists do when you hear of such. And I guess I won't tell you that I am up to 1948 in Fibber McGee and Molly in removing all the songs and intros; I did keep Harlow Wilcox's commercials.  I guess I won't tell you I am in the process of removing all the songs in Burns and Allen, Jack Benny, Amos and Andy and others.

I realize that removing a character - a real character, not a singer, ad pitchman, dead air or something else - from a radio series rivals something Hitler might do and I am prepared to handle the backlash.  It's not like I am going to take these files and upload them for you or unsuspecting others to download; they are for my personal consumption.

But I hated Gloria.  I killed Gloria.  I'm not sorry I did it.  I'd do it again.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

More Gunsmoke stuff

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More about Dunninger, the Master Mentalist

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Unanswerable OTR questions

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More about Information Please

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Damon Runyon

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Frank Lovejoy

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War of the Worlds and East Texas 1938

He knew what The Shadow knew

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The Many Characters of Fibber McGee and Molly

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NBC's five networks

Casey, Press Photographer

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Who's who on Gunsmoke

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The best Jack Benny story ever!

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King of the Cowboys

Himan Brown (1934)

Phil Harris photo 1934

Before he ever said, "Hiya Jackson!"

Joseph Cotton a radio performer at least 4 years before first film!


Kate Smith

Strange radio rumor and superstition 1935

Very early article about Jack Benny

Dick Tracy on the radio

Gossip Jan. 1, 1939

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Book Added: Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan

Added Superman versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate

Book added: Happy Trails

Added the book, Happy Trails to OTR Books.

Book added: Roy Rogers: a Biography

Added Roy Rogers: a Biography to OTR Books.

OTR Gossip 1935

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OTR gossip 1934

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