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Old-Time Radio's 60 All-Time Favorites Audio, Cassette – April 1, 2001
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The pictures radio provides are so vivid! Comedy and crime predominate here; many reliables--"Jack Benny," "Gunsmoke," "The Shadow," the incomparable "X Minus One," etc.--are present. (Otherwise, we detect no rhyme nor reason to the selection.) Radio Spirits has done a superb job of restoration and packaging, which includes an informative booklet. Although one wishes that every selection began at the top of a side, the publishers could have not packed so much material on so few cassettes had they done so; the inconvenience is well worth it. Some of the old radio programs revived on these cassettes are pretty obscure. Neither are they all of great quality. However, they are, to this reviewer, equally fascinating and delightful. For even when the performances and scripting plummet to the level of today's TV junk, the medium itself elevates them. Y.R. © AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Abbott and Costello: Lou wants to become a sailor (1/25/45)
Black Museum: Raincoat (5/5/50)
Bob Hope Show: Bob's last radio show (4/21/55)
Bold Venture: The Chinese Statue (4/2/51)
Boston Blackie: The Phonograph Murder (4/15/47)
Burns and Allen: Making George sick (3/23/43)
Casey, Crime Photographer: Death in Lovers' Lane (7/31/47)
Cisco Kid: The Claim Jumpers (1/26/54)
Damon Runyon Theatre: The Lemon Drop Kid (9/26/50)
Dangerous Assignment: When a Friend Is Not a Friend (12/30/50)
Date with Judy: Joseph Cotton's date with Judy (2/6/45)
Dimension X: The Outer Limit (4/8/50)
Dragnet: The Big Kid (11/10/53)
Duffy's Tavern: w/ Marie "The Body" MacDonald (4/12/46)
Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show: Guest: Martha Raye (4/11/43)
Falcon: The Case of the Big Talker (4/29/51)
Fat Man: The Nightmare Murders (1/17/51)
Fibber McGee and Molly: Fibber bakes Molly a birthday cake (5/20/41)
First Nighter Program: Refresher Course (4/27/52)
Fred Allen Show Guest: Carmen Miranda (3/10/46)
Frontier Gentleman: Charlie Meeker (2/9/58)
Great Gildersleeve: Family prepares for Easter (4/16/57)
Green Hornet: State's Witness (2/16/49)
Gunsmoke: Billy the Kid (1st show) (4/26/52)
Halls of Ivy: Audition show (6/23/49)
Have Gun, Will Travel: Brother Lost (11/8/59)
Inner Sanctum Mysteries: Death Wears a Lonely Smile (4/4/49)
Jack Benny Program: Trouble with the sound engineer (9/26/54)
Jeff Regan, Investigator: The Guy from Gower Gulch (11/13/48)
Life of Riley: Cissie's marriage (2/13/44)
Life with Luigi: Luigi tries to get rid of his cough (3/24/50)
Lights Out: Come to the Bank (11/17/42)
Lone Ranger: Jim Farrell's Son (4/5/44)
Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons: The Mother's Plea Murder Case (4/23/52)
My Favorite Husband: George attends a teenage dance (11/20/48)
My Friend Irma: Dinner date (4/19/48)
Mystery Playhouse: Lady in the Morgue (5/15/45)
Nero Wolfe: The Case of the Bashful Body (12/29/50)
Nick Carter, Master Detective: Murder in the Crypt or Nick Carter and the Jackal God (8/2/43)
Nightbeat: Am I My Brother's Keeper? (3/13/50)
Our Miss Brooks: Budgeting problems (7/3/55)
Ozzie and Harriet: The antique vase (8/12/45)
Pat Novak, For Hire: Fleet Lady (3/6/49)
Phil Harris, Alice Faye Show: Concert stage (1/1/50)
Philip Marlowe: The Panama Hat (10/10/48)
Red Skelton Show: Satires law enforcement (10/7/41)
Richard Diamond, Private Detective: Lynn Knight Wants Protection (8/6/49)
Sam Spade, Detective: The Bow Window Caper (11/9/47)
Screen Director's Playhouse: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (7/1/49)
Screen Guild Players: Pardon My Past (5/5/47)
Sergeant Preson of the Yukon: The Queen's Parlor (2/19/53)
Shadow: The Silent Avenger (3/13/38)
Six Shooter: The Shooting of Wyatt King (5/20/54)
Suspense: Vial of Death (5/18/53)
Tales of the Texas Rangers: Alibi (9/7/52)
True Detective Mysteries: Murder in the Horror House (8/19/37)
Whistler: Death Comes with a Lunch Kit (10/23/44)
X-Minus One: The Reluctant Heroes (12/19/56)
Your Hit Parade: w/ Frank Sinatra (12/18/43)
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar: The James Clayton Matter (12/5/52)
Available on 20 tapes with three shows each or on 30 CDs with two shows each, this collection includes several examples of just about every kind of radio show that kept us glued to that box when our imaginations supplied what the video tube was all too soon to give us--to our detriment.
Without trying to list all 60 shows, here are some of those included in this set. For comedy we have Abbott & Costello, Ozzie & Harriet, Bob Hope, "A Date With Judy," "The Great Gildersleeve" ( a serious Easter episode), "Life With Luigi," "Our Miss Brooks," Fred Allen, Red Skelton, and Phil Harris and Alice Faye. It is interesting to note that the most popular of them all, "Amos 'n' Andy," is not included, although separate collections of that hysterically funny show are available.
You like hard-boiled detectives? Try Philip Marlowe, Nero Wolfe, Sam Spade, Boston Blackie, Richard Diamond, the Falcon, and Nick Carter. A little less hard-boiled are Casey, Crime Photographer, and Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons. For mystery with a spooky atmosphere, there are "The Whistler," "Suspense," "Lights Out," and "The Black Museum."
Westerns are your meat? Then ride along with "The Six Shooter," "Have Gun, Will Travel," "Gunsmoke," and "Tales of the Texas Rangers." A little farther north you can hear "Sergeant Preston of the Yukon" getting his man across the snowy terrain.
From the comic strips and the pulps come The Shadow, The Lone Ranger, and The Green Hornet. Science Fiction, their close relative, is represented by "Dimension X" and "X-Minus One," while dramatizations of then-current films ("Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House") afford interesting comparisons as 90 to 120-minute stories have to be condensed into 25 minutes of radio time.
Straight drama is abundant: "Bold Venture" (with Bogart and Bacall, no less), "The First Nighter," "Damon Runyon Theatre," and so on. And the only show that does not fit into any of the above is the fabulous "Your Hit Parade," this one from 1943 with a certain up-comer by the name of Frank Sinatra to croon out the latest hits, including "Speak Low" and "My Ideal."
Adding extra spice to all of the above are the guest stars: Carmen Miranda, Joseph Cotten, Peter Lorrie, Cary Grant, among others. Then, of course, there are the stars themselves: Even Arden, Lucille Ball and Richard Denning, Marie Wilson, J. Carrol Nash, Joel McCrea--and I leave it to you to match those names with the shows in which they starred!
Another bit of fun comes from the commercials--especially those that tell you how good cigarettes are for you--many of which, especially on the comedy shows, were integrated into the scripts. Of course, there will be several references to wartime shortages, rationing stamps, and other items that will need footnotes for younger listeners. All of which, by the way, suggests wonderful lessons a good Social Studies teacher could develop from judicious use of these tapes or CDs.
As always, the book supplied by Radio Spirits is practically worth the price of the set alone. In 64 pages, it gives you a good deal of information about each show and has an illustration for almost all of them.
Needless to say, when I "discovered" this and other old-time radio show collections, I was ecstatic! And this collection will not disappoint. From comedies to thrillers, cowboy westerns to gumshoe detectives, sci-fi chillers to murder mysteries, this collection has it all.
I bought this set as a gift for my parents, who did grow up with these old shows. I'm sure they will love this set and listen to it over and over again, recalling fond memories.