Saturday, January 11, 2014


I listened to Ray Bradbury's old tale, "Mars is Heaven" on an episode of radio's "Escape" series.  Reminds me of the current books by people who say they went there (heaven) and came back to write about it.   According to news stories, it might not be terribly long before we will be shelling out big bucks to visit the red planet and find out for ourselves.
"Escape" especially interests me as one of the very few old radio dramas that has the music played on a pipe organ.  Being a Hammond Freak, in my head I hear organist Ivan Ditmars playing the same great dramatic stuff on a Hammond and it seems more satisfying.  You can say the Hammond was invented for corn and schmaltz, gospel or jazz.  But it also did a magnificent job of musically punctuating radio drama.  There's nothing quite like it.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

Old radio well preserved

I keep getting surprised at the number of shows from radio's golden age that are available for listening today, considering the primitive recording methods they had at that time.  Shows were recorded on big, 16 inch platters called electrical transcriptions.  They could be worn, damaged or just destroyed because  they took up a lot of storage space. I find a new internet site almost daily that offers hundreds of  old radio shows, cleaned up and sounding like new. You can buy whole collections on CDs but there are so many free ones that I feel no need to buy anything. What a treasure from the days when radio was the major home entertainment medium.