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  • gilwilson 11:32 AM on January 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: classic radio, , golden age of radio, old time radio   

    Classic Radio’s Greatest Comedy Shows, Vol. 1 12 Half-Hour Original Radio Broadcasts By: Hollywood 360 

    Classic Radio’s Greatest Comedy Shows, Vol. 121509838
    12 Half-Hour Original Radio Broadcasts
    By: Hollywood 360
    Length: 5 hrs and 50 mins
    Original Recordings
    Release date: 07-22-14
    Publisher: Black Eye Entertainment / Blackstone Audio

    I have always loved old radio programs. When I was a kid I would take my little transistor radio to bed and tune the AM dial around until I heard a station out of Tennessee that would play radio dramas every Friday and Saturday night. Most of the time they were horror or suspense stories which is what would keep my pre-teen attention. Little did I know, that it was also what would plant the seed that lead to a 30+ (so far) career in radio broadcasting.

    I’m not sure when radio dramas stopped being a thing, I really wish they would bring them back. The theater of the mind from radio is why I do what I do. When I write commercials my first focus is to create a audibly visual landscape. But that being said the days of the true radio performances happened in the golden age of radio, approx 1920 – 1950. The entertainment ranged from suspense, drama (especially soap operas), comedy, and variety shows and would keep people entertained for hours. Alas, those days are pretty much over. But thanks to Hollywood 360 / Black Eye Entertainment / Blackstone Audio we can now enjoy those golden age programs.

    This particular collection contains nearly 6 hours of some classic comedy programming. So you can re-live those thrilling days of yesteryear. The best part is that they are still somewhat relevant and still very funny.

    Publisher’s Summary

    This collection contains twelve of the greatest comedy shows ever broadcast during the golden age of radio. You’ll hear Ozzie and Harriet Nelson in The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll as Amos ‘n’ Andy, Robert Young in Father Knows Best, Jim and Marian Jordan as Fibber McGee and Molly, William Bendix as Chester A. Riley in The Life of Riley, Lucille Ball in My Favorite Husband, Eve Arden as English teacher Connie Brooks in Our Miss Brooks, plus many others, including The Fred Allen Show, The Aldrich Family,The Great Gildersleeve, Life with Luigi, and Lum & Abner.

    Relive twelve of the best classic radio comedy shows from yesterday and hear the legendary stars who made them great in this incredible collection.

    Contents include:

    • The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet, “Housekeeping,” starring Ozzie Nelson and Harriet Hilliard
    • The Aldrich Family, “Henry Forgets to Mail a Letter,” starring Ezra Stone
    • The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show, “Andy Gets a Job as Charles Boyer’s Valet,” starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, with special guest Charles Boyer
    • Father Knows Best, “The Elusive Card Game,” starring Robert Young
    • Fibber McGee & Molly, “Jewelry Store Robbery,” starring Jimand Marian Jordan
    • The Fred Allen Show, “The Chicken Surplus,” starring Fred Allen, with special guest Orson Welles
    • The Great Gildersleeve, “Gildersleeve vs. Golf,” starring Willard Waterman
    • The Life of Riley, “Staying Out Late,” starring William Bendix
    • Life with Luigi, “The Traffic Light,” starring J. Carrol Naish
    • The Lum & Abner Show, “Baby Cedric the Mind Reader,” starring Chester Lauck and Norris Goff
    • My Favorite Husband, “Trying to Cash the Prize Check,” starring Lucille Ball and Richard Denning
    • Our Miss Brooks, “Trying to Sell a Trailer,” starring Eve Arden

    ©2014 Hollywood 360 Radio (P)2014 Blackstone Audio

  • gilwilson 9:42 PM on April 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: audiobok review, , , , , , , old time radio, , , ,   

    “The Toughest Ranger” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Toughest Ranger”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multi-cast performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx. 2 hours

    Wanna get roped into a fun story from the golden age of stories?  Read on and I’ll tell you about a fun collection of stories that will be released this coming June from Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press.

    Galaxy Press and the audio book equivalent Galaxy Audio have been releasing the stories from the Golden Age, other wise known as the days of pulp fiction, since 2008.   During the early to mid 20th century in America there were all sorts of cheaply printed magazines that specialized in everything from sci-fi, mysteries, crime-stories to westerns.  The magazines were printed on cheap paper that was so cheap that the pulp was clearly seen and felt, thus the name Pulp Fiction.  Many writers used these magazines as outlets to release some of the greatest stories ever written.  During this time L. Ron Hubbard was prolific at putting out the stories and he would write in every genre of fiction that was printed in these magazines.  Galaxy Press has been re-releasing these stories creating a newer version of the pulps.  These books contain stories written by Hubbard in these magazines and picking up these books you can escape back in time and enjoy some fun short stories from the master storyteller.

    Galaxy Audio is the audiobook side of Galaxy Press and they release the books in audio form that still create that feel of the pulps.  The audiobooks sound like an old-time radio drama from those same days.  With the over the top Hubbard characters, the actors bring to life the written word with some great vocal acting.  The music is created for each genre and really push the emotions and excitement of the stories.  One other thing, being like an old-time radio drama they have sound effects that not only perfectly match the events and ambiance of the story settings but keep the story in your head so you can still create your own theatrical performance.

    This time around I listened to another group of stories from the Western genre.  This is a genre that I never had even thought of reading, let alone listen to in audiobook form.  I was just never a Western fan.   With the excellent productions I had heard from Galaxy Audio in the Sci-Fi stories from L. Ron Hubbard, I ventured into some of the Fantasy, Mystery and Adventure stories and finally broke down and gave the Westerns a chance.  I was not at all surprised at the production being just as superb but I was surprised that I now look forward to listening to another Hubbard Western story.  The two aspects that sold me are the excellent vocal skills of all the actors and the realistic but subtle sound effects, even the rattlesnakes sound like they can strike if you get to close to the speakers.

    This book, which once again will be released in June of 2012, contains 3 stories from the Western Pulp Fiction magazines.

    “The Toughest Ranger,” originally published in the June, 1938 issue of “Western Story Magazine,” tells the story of a  scared, exhausted, and half-starved young Petey McGuire, a saddle tramp on the run from one beating to another, crying sensitively when a lame horse has to be shot.  He finally gets angry or maybe hungry enough to become the toughest Ranger.  Petey finds his way to the headquarters of the Arizona Rangers looking for a job.  Needing food for himself and his horse, Petey creates a new ornery personality; he claims to be the toughest man around from Kansas City to Nawlins (New Orleans for you city folk), a man so tough he’d give a rattler nightmares. But when the chief Ranger, Captain Shannon, calls Petey’s bluff and sends him after the most dangerous desperado in the state, Petey must discover what it really means to be Ranger-tough.

    The second story, “The Ranch That No One Would Buy,” originally published in the October, 1939 issue of “Western Yarns,” tells the tale of when a fearful young man comes to town to buy a ranch for a friend and is challenged to a gun fight for cheating by the local bully.  The outcome of the six-gun showdown seems sadly predictable.   But this is an L. Ron Hubbard book and one of the things he’s best at is throwing twists and turns into a story, and the ending may surprise you a bit.

    “Silent Pards,” originally published in the November, 1938 issue of “Western Story Magazine” is a fun tale that tells of an old prospector, Old Cherokee, who gets his gold stolen from him twice, but when of  rattlesnakes have Old Cherokee marked for their hungry fangs, they overlook his two silent partners, his dog, Hardtack, and Joe the mule.  This one was the best story to close out this collection, in that it was just plain fun, and you knew the bad guys were gonna get what’s due.

    So venture off into some fun stories from the days of Pulp fiction and escape.

  • gilwilson 8:57 PM on December 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , old time radio, , , , ,   

    “Orders is Orders” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “Orders is Orders”

    by L. Ron Hubbard

    Multi-cast performance

    Produced by Galaxy Audio (2008)

    approx 2.5 hours

    Galaxy Audio is getting ready to release some new collections of audiobooks from L. Ron Hubbard’s Pulp Fiction writings of the mid-20th Century and before I get to them I realized there was one release I’ve missed.  You see, since 2008 Galaxy Press and Galaxy Audio have been gathering all of the stories Hubbard wrote during the hey day of pulp fiction and have been releasing the New York Times bestselling author’s writings in their own new pulp magazine forms.  The paperbacks have the feel of the old pulps (but are a little more sturdy), and the audio book forms, well let’s just say, Galaxy Audio has created the new format of Audio Pulps.  The audiobook releases are all around 2 hours in length and while some may contain one story there are some that have 2 or 3 short stories.  This one is only one story but, as are all of them, it is a fun and exciting adventure story.

    The way Galaxy Audio has created this Audio Pulp format is by casting multiple talented people to play the parts in the story and then incorporating excellent sound effects and perfect music between chapters.  The final products sound like old time radio with over the top acting for the over the top characters created by Hubbard.  The voice work alone makes these recordings fun to hear.

    As for the stories, well I will have to say there is a bit of a pulp fiction formula to them, but Hubbard uses that formula perfectly.  I had originally thought this was just a Hubbard gimmick, but following the success of Galaxy Audio/Galaxy Press re-releasing the old pulp-fiction stories other publishers have begun releasing other stories from the pulp-fiction days, and it seems that the formula is a pulp-fiction formula and Hubbard just seemed to master it.  That formula? Well, you gotta have a hero, a sidekick (preferably with some strange quirk) a dame and an impossible mission or crime to solve, then throw in some pretty enemies that are impossible to overcome and have the good guys win.  It works and let me tell you, it is extremely fun.

    This story, “Orders Is Orders” was originally published in the December, 1937 issue of “Argosy weekly” and tells the story of just such formulaic characters. Two marines, Gunnery Sergeant James Mitchell and Private First Class “Tuffy” Spivits,   and a girl, a fan dancer trying to escape the war-torn area,  dodge bullets on a 200-mile trek through embattled China to bring serum and gold to the American consulate, an isolated island of safety in a sea of dead and dying.

    Japan and China are battling it out and caught in the middle, in the Chinese city of Shunkien, is the American Consulate.  The American refugees cannot escape due to the war being waged and the Asiatic form of cholera is threatening unless they can get the serum on time.   Sgt, Mitchell is just the man to do it, but he has one weakness, liquor, if he can stay away from it he can stay clear headed enough to get the job done.  One of the many things that make Mitchell the perfect candidate is that he was raised in the area.  Mitchell’s father is a missionary and he was raised there until a falling out caused him to leave abruptly, he’s been on his own ever-since.

    Mitchell and Spivets come to the aid of a fan dancer who is trying to escape, but they end up taking her the wrong way when they commandeer her car in order to make the mission succeed.  Along the way they come to where Mitchell’s father has set up is mission and find it nearly in ruins due to the war.  Since their last car broke down they have to commandeer one and reluctantly Mitchell’s father joins in.  With constant battles going on they strange landing party fight all odds to get to Shunkien on time without getting the U.S. involved in this war.

    It may be the old Pulp-Fiction formula, but L. Ron Hubbard could write the action that keeps you hooked until the very end.

  • gilwilson 9:21 PM on September 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: golde age of radio, , , old time radio, otr, , radio archives, , radioarchives.com, , the unexpected,   

    “The Unexpected: Volume 1” released by Radioarchives.com 

    “The Unexpected: Volume 1”
    released by Radioarchives.com
    Multi-cast Old time Radio Shows
    Approx 5 hours

    Being a 25+ year veteran of Radio Broadcasting I may be a little biased here, but I love old time radio, or as is commonly referred to as “otr.”  OTR has that classic theatre of the mind feel that is nearly forgotten.  Today’s radio is ruled by top 40 pop songs or talk radio and these lack the creativity that the early years of radio represented.  The stories were told on the air and the audience created the images in their mind.  Today I try to keep this up with every commercial I write or produce, when you feed off the audience’s imagination, you have an unlimited supply of material.

    Radio great, Stan Freeburg, once drained Lake Michigan and filled with hot cocoa, whip cream and had U.S. Air Force jets top it all off with a giant cherry.  He then said, I’d like to see you do that on television.  Sure now with CGI we could do it, but it would take hours and I could do that in a radio studio in just a few minutes, so still a win for radio.   The old time radio shows used to be the main source of entertainment and had to keep the audience coming back each week.  This was usually done through simple great entertainment, and sometimes cliffhangers that the listener had to come back next week to find out what happens next.

    Radioarchives.com has recently released a this series of “The Unexpected” radio programs
    that were originally aired in 1947.  Each time the audience would keep coming back with some great stories that would not end with the expected.  With this release you don’t have to wait a week for the next mystery.  Volume one contains 20 of the 15 minute episodes that have been restored from the original transcriptions from what were probably acetate pressings.  Radioarchives.com have restored these recordings to perfection, the sound quality is superb and equal to any modern audio production.

    Every episode begins with: “Who knows what drama may happen tomorrow…or an hour from now…or in just a moment? Who knows what destiny has in store for the lady down the street, the fellow at the next desk, or you yourself? Who knows?”  Each story is then presented  with superb acting from actors of radio/screen and stage of the time.  Some of the actors that rang familiar with me were; Barry Sullivan, Lyle Talbot, Marsha Hunt, & Jackie Cooper.  The story genres range from Mystery & Suspense, to Drama, and there’s even a bit of comedy thrown in.  And just when you get to the end of the story, a voice comes in and says, “You think the story is over, don’t you? But wait! Fate takes a hand. Wait…for the Unexpected!”  then the story continues with an ending that is unexpected.  Great title and great gimmick to be different in the golden age of radio.  For today’s listener this is a treat of nostalgia and original storytelling at it’s best.

    Some examples of  the stories include; a man convinced that an old prospecter has struck silver in a ghost town, a woman who embezzles money from her company to buy a fur coat, a boxer who throws a fight to make some quick cash, a woman whose horoscope warns her she will kill a man and many more, but they never end as you’d expect.

    At this point I feel I need to point out or re-emphasize that these are restored directly from the original transcriptions.  The shows were originally meant to be sent out to radio stations and the radio stations would insert commercials in the allowed sections.  This is a good and bad feature.   Good in that you don’t get the commercials, unless you are a fan of the old time commercials.   The bad is that you get a minute or two of dramatic organ music in the place where the commercials would have gone.  At first I loved the old dramatic organ that helped push the story, but after a while I found myself fast forwarding through the  commercial insert areas, glad to have had that luxury.

    This collection is perfect for any fan of mystery, thrillers, suspense and old time radio.  If you are just plain curious, check them out they are a lot of fun, especially because the end of each story is Unexpected.

    Just to help out here are the titles and the lead actors of each episode  in Volume 1:

    #100 Mercy Killing
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #101 Birthday Present
    starring Marsha Hunt

    #102 Solid Citizen
    starring Tom Neal

    #103 Finale
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #104 Cargo Unknown
    starring Lyle Talbot

    #105 Find the Man
    starring Binnie Barnes

    #106 Revenge
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #107 The Cripple
    starring Marjorie Riordan

    #108 Fool’s Silver
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #109 Horoscope
    starring Marjorie Riordan

    #110 Eavesdropper
    starring Barry Sullivan

    #111 Legacy
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #112 Museum
    starring Jackie Cooper

    #113 Understudy
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #114 King Champion
    starring Jack Holt

    #115 The Mink Coat
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #116 Easy Money
    starring Steve Cochran

    #117 Free Passage
    starring Lurene Tuttle

    #118 Re-Match
    starring Jackie Cooper

    #119 Sweet Sixteen
    starring Lurene Tuttle

  • gilwilson 8:36 PM on February 15, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , hurricane, , old time radio, , ,   

    “Hurricane” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast Performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours

    It’s time to go on another far flung adventure with a classic story from the Golden Age of stories by L. Ron Hubbard.  Once again I listened to another audiobook release from Galaxy Audio, where they are re-releasing Hubbard’s pulp-fiction stories from the mid-20th century.  This time around we have a far flung adventure that is full of excitement and trills.  This story was originally published in “Five Novels Monthly” in June of 1936 and is a timeless adventure.

    Captain Spar was wrongly accused of a crime and sent to Devil’s Island penal colony.  He was framed by a man called The Saint, when Spar escapes from the island prison he vows to seek revenge on the man who sent him there.    Spar arrives on Martinique to exact that revenge but gets tricked by a man named Chaktar.   Spar is sent to deliver a package but soon learns he was set up and must either kill the two men sent after him or be killed.  Chaktar finds Spar over the bodies and makes a deal that Spar assist him in framing the son of the local millionaire.  Spar then tells that the son, in a drunken stupor is the one responsible for killing the men, and being an well known drunkard the son doesn’t recall either way.  Fearing prison the  father sends his son off and since Spar is the only mariner on the island gets trapped into taking the son and some of the family to New York.

    On the voyage to the states a hurricane begins to blow and in order to seek shelter Spar is forced by one of the island’s Counts to anchor off an island called Hurricane Hill.  Here the count has a cabin where they can safely shelter from the storm.  It turns out that the cabin is a castle on the island where screams of torture can be heard and the count is not who he says he is.  Spar must now rescue the family and escape Hurricane Hill.

    Once again Hubbard has written an exciting adventure that is part high-seas and part island drama.  It’s stories like this one that makes me glad these audiobooks are only about two hours in length, I don’t think my body could handle any more adrenaline pumping into my system than what these two hours pumped in.

    As usual the excitement is made even more thrilling through the superb production Galaxy Audio puts behind these audiobooks.  Excellent voice acting, sound effects that keep the story thrilling, and incidental music that makes you feel as though you are in an old time radio drama.  I highly recommend checking out these audiobooks they are just too fun.

  • gilwilson 8:47 PM on February 3, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , old time radio, , , , the iron duke,   

    “The Iron Duke” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Iron Duke”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast Performance
    Produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx. 2 hours

    Once again it’s time to head out on a far flung adventure thanks to the old pulp fiction stories of L. Ron Hubbard.  Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press have been re-releasing all the stories from the Golden Age of Stories when the pulps were a great source of fiction.  Many great authors wrote stories that were published in the mid-20th century in magazines that featured short stories pertaining to different genres of fiction.  L. Ron Hubbard wrote in many of the genres provided by the pulps, such as Westerns, Air & Sea Adventures, Science-fiction and Fantasy.  This time around it’s a far flung adventure to the fictional Balkan kingdom of Aldoria.

    Originally published  July, 1940, this story is set around the time of World War II, is about a renegade who is wanted by nearly every government in Europe.  Blackie Lee is not only a wanted man but he’s a doppleganger for the leader of Aldoria.  Blackie learns of this “kinship” and devises a plan to escape the officials who want him jailed and attempts to take over the country pretending to be the Duke of Aldoria.  In the process, he is captured by some rebels who promise not to kill him and give him 12 million francs if he allows for free elections in Aldoria.  Blackie now sees a double out.  He can pose as the Duke, promise free elections, lose and become ousted and live happily on the money in France.

    In the process of trying to convince the officials the real Duke is the fake, Blackie is found out only because of a scar the Duke has and Blackie does not.  He is then jailed.  Thinking the twin feature of Blackie a bonus the officials of Aldoria decide to use him as a body double so the real Duke cannot be assassinated.  The Duke of Aldoria is a drunken womanizer who has no love for his citizenry, the people know this and a revolt is just waiting to happen.

    While Blackie is in jail someone mysteriously sends him books, fine wine and food and doctors to ensure his good health.  He later finds out it is a Countess of Aldoria and works her into another scheme to help him escape.  Blackie’s first showing is for the dedication of a bridge.  The parade to the bridge is rife with revolution, someone throws a cheap wine bottle at the carriage, making fun of the drunken Duke, in which Blackie orders the guards not to kill the man, but instead shares the wine with the man.  An assassination attempt is made in which a grenade is thrown at Blackie, heroically he catches the grenade and throws it back.  At the dedication hecklers in the audience, placed by the rebels who made the bargain for the elections, begin asking about elections.  Blackie then announces that free elections will be held in a month.

    Blackie must now campaign for the Duke, at this point he makes a wager with the Countess that if he wins she must marry him.  Can he persuade a country that is already teetering on revolt to elect him as their leader?  Hubbard has written an adventure which provides a fun look at mistaken identity, entertains with a tale of intrigue and throws in some humor and romance that will leave you guessing what will happen next until the very end.

    As with all the Galaxy Audio productions this audiobook delivers the story that will remind you of the golden age of radio when dramas were told with excellent voice actors, great sound effects and a musical score that will transport you back in time on an adventure not to be forgotten.

  • gilwilson 10:19 PM on November 16, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , old time radio, , , , , , the falcon killer   

    “The Falcon Killer” by L. Ron Hubbard 

    “The Falcon Killer”
    by L. Ron Hubbard
    Multicast performance
    produced by Galaxy Audio
    Approx 2 hours.

    I’m really loving the vast array of genre’s from L. Ron Hubbard’s pulp fiction days.  More to the point I’m loving the production work of the Galaxy Audio releases of these stories from the various genres.  During the mid-20th century Hubbard wrote numerous stories for the numerous pulp fiction magazines that were published during the time.  What got me hooked were the science-fiction and fantasy stories, which are my favorite genres of any literature.  After listening to all the Stories from the Golden Age in the sci-fi/fantasy genres I was highly impressed by the production of each audiobook.

    Galaxy Audio, part of Galaxy Press, is releasing all the old Hubbard stories to create these 2 hour audio pulps, that bring to mind the old radio dramas from around that same time.  Each one of these audiobooks is a flash back to when stories were fun.  Galaxy Audio has a great team of voice actors for the books and the sound effects and music are superb.  Just picking out any book will get you hooked.

    This time around I listened to one of Hubbard’s Tales from the Orient, “The Falcon Killer,” which was originally published in April, 1939.  This story takes place in War-torn China in the early part of the 20th century.  This is the story of an ace free-lance fighter pilot, nicknamed “The Falcon Killer (Tzun Kai),” who is actually Bill Gaylord, raised in Peking by his American parents. Gaylord lost both of them as a child during the violent Boxer uprising and then saw his foster family slaughtered in wartime. With a past that’s hardened his soul and given him nerves of steel, Gaylord has used his resolve to down more Japanese aircraft than can be counted. Gaylord has a tattoo of a half dragon which has some meaning that only the Chinese know.  This tattoo provides the great twist at the end of the story that makes this a true Hubbard pulp-fiction.

    Events pit Gaylord against a Japanese spy who has caused untold trouble for the Chinese. Gaylord must somehow find and defeat him or risk losing an ancient Chinese kingdom to the land of the rising sun.

    Just before the local ruler can sell out his people Gaylord is discovered to be within the town and is called join the ruler for dinner.  Gaylord discovers his dinner has been poisoned, but will it be too late before the Japanese move in and take over, creating one more province under the rising sun banner?

    This story has some great aerial battles, escapes and intrigue that will keep you wondering whether the Falcon Killer will live to see another day.

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