Sunday, February 05, 2006


Thanks to Norm Partridge, I'm again going to lose myself in the wonderful world of old-time radio. Norm was nice enough to tell me about this site that sells CP3 CDs inexpensively, not, you understand, that I had any idea what CP3 was of course. So Carol picked me up the approriate player and as soon as the CDs arrive, I'll do what I did when I was drying out years ago, spend a lot of time listening to the shows of my very early years,

I bought a lot of Bob and Ray, the Great Gildersleeve, a variety of detective shows and a mighy heavy load of Jack Benny. Just before he died, Charles Beaumont wrote a fine vivid piece about the radio shows of his own boyhood. He insisted that because radio used the listener's imagination instead of his eyes, it was a richer experience. I agree. Jack Benny's vault, his ancient car, the mote protecting his much as I love the TV show (Benny's expressions are a lot of the fun) there was no way it could create the outre parts of his imaginary house. I always likened his house to the Carl Barks artwork of Scrooge McDuck's manse. No way a set designer could even come close to this.

The arrow-swift through line of radio narrative is another reason I like radio. The other day I listened to three episdoes of the Shadows done by Orson Welles. You'd think the speed of the storytelling would work against the brooding mood but it only enhances it. There's no time to doubt any of the spectacular if unlikely drama filling your mind.

Now if I can just figure out how to use that new CP3 player Carol got me...


Blogger Bill said...

I love those old shows. Judy and I listen in the car now that we have XM Radio installed. Benny and Glidy and all the rest are on, along with plenty of others.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Gormania said...

Have you ever seen any of the Gildersleeve movies? Al Collins turned me on to them fifteen years ago or so. I have three or four of them but there are several more. I remember a note I got from Vin Packer/Marijane Meeker thanking me for saying in the Autumn Dead that when I got to heaven I sure hoped it was like Mayberry. Buy Gildy's small town would do just about as well. What a great character he is.

8:52 PM  
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Blogger Elizabeth Foxwell said...

I regularly broadcast old-time mystery radio shows as part of my weekly radio show "It's a Mystery" (Mondays at 11A ET, These are usually tied to an author's birthday; today's, for example, is part 2 of "Strangers on a Train" with Ray Milland and Ruth Roman (in honor of Patricia Highsmith's recent birthday). And speaking of Bob & Ray, last week I played a snippet of "The Adventures of Sherlock Sage," which was their fairly insane version of Sherlock Holmes. I've also played Stan Freberg's famous send-up of "Dragnet" ("St. George and the Dragonet") and a bit called "Sam Shovel, Private Eye."

Coming up in March..."Sorry, Wrong Number," in honor of Lucille Fletcher's birthday.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

I saw a couple of the Gildersleeve movies, many years ago. Recently I saw one on AMC. Loved it. I'm also a big fan of Fibber McGee and Molly, and I love the shows when Fibber and Gildy go at each other.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Harry said...

BOB AND RAY! I haven't thought of them in forty years. Wow...

8:05 AM  

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