"WAR OF THE WORLDS" broadcast from his MERCURY THEATER OF THE AIR episode of October 30, 1938.
"THE CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER" which aired, I believe, late every Sunday night on WCAU-AM radio.
It was probably around 1977 when my friend Ed Jacoby told me that the local PBS radio station WUHY-FM (what is now WHYY) was airing old radio shows every weeknight and I should check them out.
But before all that, in my early radio days, I had to search the school library and they actually had several old radio show LPs which I could take out. The first two I checked out were this 3 LP box set of THE SHADOW on Murray Hill records as well as a comedy compilation of radio comedians called THE GOLDEN AGE OF COMEDY (click the links in red to see my write-ups on both these seminal albums).
Here is where we get into the true aspects of radio as "the theater of the mind" and all those clichéd comments from old codgers about how radio was better than television. I'm not one of them -- I grew up with television -- but it's true that you cannot really compare the two -- they're two different beasts, actually. Listening to an old time radio show really gets your synapses firing on all cylinders. It's got less in common with television and more in common with storytelling. When you listen to a great storyteller spinning a yarn (hopefully a spooky one around a campfire, natch) your imagination is unleashed and you feel yourself conjuring up every detail as if you're in the story yourself. The same happens when you listen to one of these old radio shows -- particularly the spooky or suspenseful ones but even the radio comedies -- you experience being in those darkened catacombs alongside the Shadow
THE COMIC WEEKLY MAN"
As an extra special bonus: inside every Radiola Record was a sheet like the one pictured below which contained a card to mail for a free catalogue. Here is the paper that is still in my very first Radiola record:
I'd also like to thank the sparkling Ms. Star whose post about Jack Benny on her blog inspired me to write this little paean to the golden age of radio. As always, Ms. Star, you are an inspiration!
AND THIS WEEK ON OUR SISTER AUDIO BLOG "BATHED IN THE LIGHT FROM ANDROMEDA" YOU CAN LISTEN TO SEVERAL OF THE RADIO SHOWS MENTIONED IN THIS POST!