Now before you start bridling at the mention of Old Time Religion, I am not referring to that (although maybe we could use a little more of that these days). Actually, I am referring to Old Time Radio. And boy, let me tell you, if you haven’t had a chance to listen yet, you are in for a treat.
Some married couples have a “song.” When I first met my wife, it was at a mutual friend’s house where we had gathered to watch Casablanca. So that became our movie. We’re in the multimedia age, dude. Not just songs anymore. Anyway, the two greatest things about this movie are 1.) the acting/actors and 2.) the script. Dialog is just not written as well any more. I mean come on, as great a movie as Star Wars was, didn’t you groan to hear some of the dialog?
My friend gerry (he prefers lower case), had been listening to OTR for a while, mostly in the Detective genre and he mentioned Box 13, a show starring Alan Ladd (father of Cheryl Ladd). So I gave it a go. Was I surprised! The writing and voice acting was on parr with that of Casablanca, I kid you not. I loved it! There were 52 half hour episodes and I just finished listening to them. They were great! Complete with hard-boiled protagonist, ditzy secretary and more. Although he wasn’t credited, Orson Wells was in several episodes as well as other recognized voices I can’t put names to. Watchers of the old Twilight Zone might recognize them.
So where can one find these pearls? If you go over to Archive.org, you can find a vast number of radio shows in all sorts of categories for free. But you may have to dig around for them a bit. Here is a head start on two shows I have been listening to:
But if you’re lazy, hop over to OTRCat.com and browse through their offerings. They have a beautiful site packed with all sorts of info on shows and you can purchase audio discs crammed with them. It’s inexpensive and saves you the time of downloading and organizing them yourself. Plus they have daily freebies, specials and promotions.
Here are a few additional sites to peruse:
Now of course, as with anything else, not every show is a gem. But you’ll be surprise how much better written and acted most of these shows are as compared to what we watch today. And they were on radio.
Here’s listening to you, kid.