Lost Episodes

Starter of this subject: daniel bacca
Last post in this subject: 10/7/2000
Messages in this subject: 7

daniel bacca 10/7/2000
7 replies
I often think of what a shame it is to perhaps never experience some of the great radio work from shows such as `I love a mystery` or `The witches tale`. Anyone know if any recreations from the original scripts have been attempted? In the right hands I think it might be done quite successfully.
Jim Stokes 10/8/2000
5 replies
Much as I love OTR, those broadcasts were from another time and another place. Save for the few of us that love OTR, I doubt that successful, mainstream radio programming of the old days -- the half hour and hour-long daily entertainment type radio shows will ever happen again. Thus OTR has become and will remain a hobby or a novelty for those interested.

The exception is IMAGINATION THEATRE, the radio series that comes out of Seattle, WA, which a 50,000 watt station here in Minneapolis broadcasts once a week. However, it's broadcast at a time when night owls would listen, at around midnight. Then there is the WHEN RADIO WAS series that runs Monday through Friday here. But alas, at 10 p.m., when most people are wasting their time watching what is called "TV News" -- two words that don't go together!

So, keep collecting the old radio shows, broadcast at a time when imagination and creativity ruled the airwaves! :)

Jim Stokes

J.Cooper 10/9/2000
4 replies
I understand those two Sattelite broadcasting "stations" that will be available soon to especially listen to in automobiles will offer some 50 different channels with all kinds of programs..including original"live" theatre productions like the old radio programs. Three of the big auto makers will have these receiving units along with the regular AM-FM and cassette and disc that passengers can tune to in their new autos.. And available units for the public radio sets will allow those Not in the cars...listeners to hear...it is pure only entertainment, and NO commercials... with such service costing about $9.99 a month to subscribe. But,it sure won't be like we knew it! They wont spend any more then possible on production..and there will be no "name stars".
Jim Stokes 10/9/2000
3 replies
I hear you! National Public Radio tried some radio drama. Didn't have the OTR "punch" to it. Languid delivery by actors. Music cues and sound effects were amateurish. Nobody knows how to mix sound nowadays. And digital lacks any "balls" the old radio shows had. There IS something in the way sound was processed back in the good old days of radio. Here is my sum-up of the differences.

*Analog sound has more punch. More drama.

* The old RCA velocity and senior velocity mics, and the

good old RCA 77. And also the Western Electric 639.

These were great studio mics, expecially the RCA mics.

The closer the actor was to the mic, the more RICH bass

response due to the ribbon mic proximity effct. ]

* Back to the analog sound, compared to digital sound.

Digital has no character to it. Sound effect companies

have found that producers go back to their old analog

libraries for sfx, expecially gun shots. Sure, gun shots

have a lot of punch if analog recorded. And if you have

ever fired a gun, you know it doesn't sound at all like

recorded analog! Reality is more like "pop" than "BANG."

* As i said, none of the current sound people know how to

mix sound for radio. I have heard NPR's stuff. Levels

way to high on the music and sfx, drowning out the actors


* The use of wimpy MIDI and other synthesized music, like

they use on IMAGINATION THEATER. Although, the program

has the feel of OTR radio scripts and somebody knows

what will work as a story on radio, their synth music

takes away. Sure, it's a cheap way to go. But if they

looked around at stock library music, there are TONS of

very good buyout libraries with great music cues.

* So use some good REAL MUSIC cues!

* Name actors is THEE way to go. But they won't work for

a pittance, unless they love the biz.

Jim Stokes :)

J.Cooper 10/9/2000
2 replies
Just a follow-up note..A local friend and myself hit the clubs and organizations and high-schools with a yearly "OTR-Live-Program" we do 20-25 minutes from an OTR program script...we do it as a "live" show with "commercials".. and the audience is the "studio-audience",we ask them to laugh and re-act,etc.... and everyone loves us--or rather IT! And we go back each year with ANOTHER script-show.Yeah, Jim.. I agree with everything you noted. Some of the OTR cons now are putting on OTR productions and offering cash prize for the best "original" script that is handed in... to be put on at the year's convention.I suggested there be a room going all day where fans can come-in and sit and watch and listen to...other fan-volunteers producing a half-hour show.. perhaps even the the same script, but different fans having fun,something many have always wanted to do...different groups of fans doing the acting all day running, sign up could be before the event,or even hours before.....and it must be recorded-"transcribed".....the main thing...RECORDED..,& for a couple dollars a copy that each could take home. However Jim...,OTR will NEVER be like it was.That was a magic time that will Never return. Like that saying "you can't go home again.."you may go back to visit,but things just will NOT ever be the same! Sooo, as all of us OTR fans and collectors know.."Hold on to those precious OTR tapes that each of us have!"
Jim Stokes 10/9/2000
1 replies
Kudos to you J Cooper for keeping the dream alive! Heck, what do I know? There is such a thing as magic -- the magic in the mind. If people want radio drama to come back. It will! I gotta hand it to you. You ARE spreading the word! It may catch on!

A few more things that were "then" and not now about radio shows in general. The frequency response of a network quality phone line topped off at 5 kHz. The phone company specs were something like 100 Hz to 5 kHz. And AM broadcast stations, even into the 70's when I was a radio tech were that same frequency response doing proof of performance! FCC now requires AM broadcasters to have a cut-off filter in their transmitter to sharply attenuation high frequencies over 9 kHz. So, goodby AM stereo! Ha!

But the funny thing IS, that 100 to 5,000 cycles per second (I'm an old guy! I recall when kHz was CPS. Ha!) was just perfect for radio dramas. Something intimate and very powerful about that limited audio range! Add that to the mics of that day, and you had a very powerful combination of elements that more by accident than design, worked to make the shows SOUND great.

And audio signal processing was a lot different. Peak limiters or as they called them "clippers" were heavily in use all the way down the line -- from the network through the vast array of telephone amplifiers and clippers to the transmitter all the way across the country. And funny thing was, it wasn't annoying.

Much the same kind of processing went into the rock radio craze than killed network radio shows as much as TV did. When you hear a rock song on the radio today that was popular as heck in the 50's, it was due to heavy compression and peak limiing. We can thank the Gates "Level Devil" for the success of 45 rpm rock and roll music's success. "Gosh, you guys sound different on stage, in person," was all too familiar a comment by avid fans. Add that to the little trick of using the old Rek-O-Kut variable speed turntables set two to five rpm faster to add to the excitement.

Whew! You got me going, J Cooper!


Robert Flood 10/10/2000
0 replies
Just a few thoughts: At least to me RADIO, old time and new time, still has magic... Some radio providers still know this...

For examples the BCC's Radio Worldservice produces both hour long dramas and a half-hour weekly radio soap titled "Westway". www.bbcworldservice.co.uk/westway

National Public Radio produces "This American Life" a lively docudrama mix that expands the middle area between the ears. NPR also has "What Do Ya Know?" a "Groucho Marx" type of updated weekly game show as well as "Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me", an updated news quiz show.

And there are a multitude of smaller independent radio theater groups that are keeping the art and magic of radio alive for the next millennium.

Rest assured though technology is coming that will allow those of us who love the style of old time radio to experience it with new time radio show offerrings. Radio is a viable medium and there are those of us who will gladly pay fees to access the best of radio's entertainment old and new.

Brian Christopher Misiaszek 10/13/2000
0 replies
Hi there!

Regarding the matter of recreating "lost episodes", several have been done for Carlton E. Morse's infamous "I Love a Mystery" radio serial.

In 1996, Jim Harmon, in collaboration with the Morse Family Trust, produced a recreation of the "lost" 20 episode ILAM story, "The Fear that Creeps Like a Cat."

Back in 1989, Bud Carey's "Old Radio Theatre" on KALW recreated the "lost" middle episodes for "Temple of Vampires", and broadcast the entirety of this now complete 20 episode serialized "blood and thunder" production.

Earlier this year, I understand that REPS also did a recreation for "Temple of Vampires" (I am uncertain if just selected segments of this story, or the entire performance was recreated).

I also understand that at this fall's annual SPERDVAC convention, folks are trying to put together another, as yet named, entire 15 episode "lost" "I Love A Mystery" recreation. Lets hope it happens!


Web Master, for the unofficial "I Love A Mystery" web site