Terror On The Air! Horror Radio In America, 1931-1952

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Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Terror On The Air! Horror Radio In America, 1931-1952

Postby Monsterwax » Thu Jul 30, 2009 1:05 pm

Terror On The Air! Horror Radio In America, 1931-1952
By Richard J. Hand
Forward by David Kogan
McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers
Box 611, Jefferson, North Carolina 28640
Hard bound book of 186 pages, with some photos.

A great book for OTR Horror fans, and essential reading, along with THE WITCHES TALE. This book gives detailed overviews of many of OTR favorite horror shows, devoting separate chapters to THE WITCH'S TALE, LIGHTS OUT, THE HERMIT'S CAVE, INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES, THE MYSTERIOUS TRAVELER, and QUIET PLEASE. It does suffer a little a bit from being too academic, considering these are, after all, HORROR shows. Over analyzing WHY they are scary isn't as fun as talking about HOW scary the shows actually were (and still are, in many instances). One gets the sense the author is perhaps a little embarrassed by the fact he loves these shows too much and is trying to act more grown up and detached about what is essentially a juvenile form of entertainment by sounding more professorial. (That last sentence was written in the detached style you would find in the book!) But I'm probably being too nit-picky. The fact is I enjoyed the book a lot and my only gripe is that there were not more chapters on other shows, like HALL OF FANTASY, DIMENSION X, ESCAPE, SUSPENSE, etc -- granted, they weren't 100% horror like the other shows covered, but I just wanted the discussion to keep going, which is a good compliment to the overall book. I bet if you're an OTR horror fan, you'll enjoy it and will probably keep it for your library.

Being hard cover, it was rather pricey: Around $40 of $50, though I've seen a few used copies around $30.

Posts: 44
Joined: Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:31 pm
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: Terror On The Air! Horror Radio In America, 1931-1952

Postby Monsterwax » Sat May 22, 2010 9:55 am

Terror on the Air!
Horror Radio in America, 1931–1952
Richard J. Hand
ISBN 0-7864-2367-6

Retail Price: $45.00 (hardcover)

The macabre world of monsters, killers on the loose and revenge from beyond the grave existed not only in the movies, but also on the radio before television’s dominance in American homes. One of many distinct genres born of early broadcasting, horror radio thrilled millions. Creeping out of the speaker night after night came stories that chilled the listening public--everything from creature features to sophisticated noir suspense. So eager were Americans to be scared that nearly 80 horror programs aired every week in the late 1940s.

This first full-length study of golden age horror radio focuses on six representative programs, starting with The Witch’s Tale in 1931 and ending with The Mysterious Traveler in 1952. Each chapter provides the reader with a critically and historically informed study of one series. The book ends with a look at the demise of horror radio and its influence. Photographs are a delightful revelation, revealing the previously unseen (but much heard) work of stars like Agnes Moorehead and Orson Welles as they broadcast famous tales of terror.

About the Author:
Richard J. Hand works in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Glamorgan in Wales.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii
Radio and the Power of Imagination: A Foreword by David Kogan 1
Preface 3
Terror on the Air: An Introduction 5

1. Horror Beyond Horror: Horror Radio in the Golden Age of American Broadcasting 13
2. Hosts and Music, Sound and Silence: Narrative Techniques and Formal Strategies in Horror Radio 23
3. The Cult of the Actor: Acting and Genre in Horror Radio of the Golden Age 38
4. The Grandmother of Horror Radio: Alonzo Deen Cole and The Witch’s Tale (1931–1938) 69
5. The Ultimate in Horror: Lights Out (1934–1947), Arch Oboler and Horror 83
6. Exploring Horror Form and Genre: The Hermit’s Cave (1935–1944) 106
7. The Paradigm of Horror Radio: Himan Brown and Inner Sanctum Mysteries (1941–1952) 118
8. The Eclectic Horrors of Robert A. Arthur and David Kogan: The Mysterious Traveler (1943–1952) 131
9. The Unsettling Universe of Wyllis Cooper and Ernest Chappell: Quiet, Please (1947–1949) 145
10. Conclusion 162
Bibliography 169
Index 177

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