Archive for March, 2010

Over a dozen hours of new Sinatra!

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010


/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/Sorry it’s been a little while between posts, but hope today’s offering makes up for it…I’m kinda excited about this one.
/
/
/
/Little while back we got a disc from a regular but anonymous donor that has turned out to be a huge collection of Light Up Time programs from 1949 and 1950 starring Frank Sinatra with some distaff vocalizing by Dorothy Kirsten, erstwhile opera star and partner of Nelson Eddy on Kraft Music Hall replacement shows just a year or two earlier.  Most, but not all, are of AFRS origin, and were rebroadcast at varying times in altered sequence.  The files as received, then, were labeled with dates that bore no resemblance to what we had in Otter.  This was troubling at first until I learned that Andrew Steinberg had built that log directly from a repository of the broadcast scripts.  The shows were then listened to and carefully matched one at a time to the scripts.  Result:  instead of 19 of these programs we now have 76!  By comparison, Jay Hickerson has listed 25 as circulating and Goldin lists only 18… so we think we’ve hit quite a jackpot here and that scores of these shows will be heard by most if not all of you for the first time.
/
/
/
/If you’re a knowledgeable Sinatra listener, there’s a poignancy to these recordings and certainly some history is captured herein.  By the end of the 40s, Frank’s career was in steep decline.  Mitch Miller had arrived at Columbia and filled the Sinatra repertoire with such gems as “Mama Will Bark” (thankfully not included here).  Frank was working desperately to turn things around, and the strain of overwork ultimately damaged his voice, most notably during an engagement at the Copa in the spring of 1950.  The wear and tear are evident in Frank’s last few available broadcasts from this series.  On May 2, 1950 Frank was forced to cancel not only the rest of his nightclub dates but also his participation on Light Up Time, which is kept going by Ms. Kirsten for several weeks.  Frank returned May 29 for a final week of shows, but we’ve unfortunately got none of these.  The show was not picked up for another season by Lucky Strike, and by 1952 Sinatra’s recording, radio and movie contracts were all gone.  The career didn’t stay dead and buried long… with the September ’53 release of the film “From Here to Eternity” Sinatra moved back into the fast lane and never looked back.
/
/
/
/Through the exercise of vetting each program aurally, we’ve been able to make a few corrections and additions to the Otter log… and LOTS more shows are marked as Existing.   You’ll see those revisions in the next database update, expected shortly.  Four existing Library programs were identified as mislabeled and removed and I was able to toss in a couple more from my own stash. I sincerely hope you’re as thrilled to get your hands on these as I was, and my most sincere thanks to the donor!
/
/
/
/

Issuanace Of Library Cards On Hold

Wednesday, March 17th, 2010

Due to a back-log of over one month’s requests for library cards,
/
/we are ceasing issuing new ones until the back-log is taken
/
/care of.
/
/
/
/So… please do not apply for one effective, March 16, 2010,
/
/until….  If you do apply, the system will delete it.
/
/
/
/We hope to take care of this back-log in about two weeks.
/
/
/
/Stay tuned for announcement of resumptions.

Two new series

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

/

/
/
/
/Today we’ve got two series new to the Library to announce.
/
/
/
/First up is Same Time, Same Station.  It’s a title that’s been used more than once… most recently (and for the second time!) by John and Larry Gassman for their excellent weekly program hosting the best of OTR, and which you can find here.  The incarnation you’ll find here, though, is an OTR program originating at KRLA in Pasadena, CA beginning in 1971.   The several dozen programs we have are mostly interview-based and feature the likes of Harold Peary, Judy Canova and Les Tremayne  while others survey the radio careers of Bing Crosby, Arch Oboler, Eddie Cantor and Jimmy Durante.  What information we have about it is provided by Larry Gassman:
/
/
/
/”There was an original series of Same Time Same Station which began about 1971  by KRLA in Pasadena.  The researcher was Marty Halperin of Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters.  In fact many of their people took part in making the series successful.  The series lasted roughly 3 years.  A separate series of shows began in 1979 with Woody Schultz as the host.  It had nothing to do with the prior series.  We took over the show on October 6, 1980 and it lasted until March of 2000 on KPCC Pasadena.”
/
/
/
/Some of the show dates are unknown and two are problematic, as the given 1987 dates don’t appear to make sense in terms of Larry’s chronology.  Quite a few are entirely undated.  Additional information, including applicable corrections, would be welcome.  Despite these issues, I think you’ll want to check these out if you haven’t run across them before.  
/
/
/
/The other show debuting today is True Detective Mysteries.  While a show by this title seems to have had multiple lives, all but one of the programs we’re adding today are from a 1937 run.  The program was an offshoot of a magazine by the same name, featuring  true crime stories.  There aren’t many and the sound quality’s rather poor, so if you only like crystal clarity in your listening you may wish to forgo this group.

Sears Wish List…fulfilled!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010


/
/
/
/A flurry of interest in Sears Radio Theater over the last few days in the forums and elsewhere sent the legendary Dr. Joe Webb (aka Greybelt) digging into his deep vaults (and I mean, like, Jack Benny’s vaults) and he came up with a massive haul of 72 broadcasts he had personally recorded live in 1979 and subsequently transferred to 128kb encodes.  Forty-nine of these are new to the Library and twenty-three are MAJOR upgrades.  I don’t often wander into the 1970s in my listening, but these are truly special.  Almost 20 years after the close of the Golden Age, this five-days-per week dramatic series was produced by Elliott Lewis and featured world-class writing and acting talent.  The disco music intro is perhaps regrettable, but otherwise it’s all good.  The program moved from CBS to Mutual in 1980 and was retitled Mutual Radio Theater…you’ll find a large set of those in the Library as well.  Here’s to Dr. Joe, a true Hero of OTR… many thanks, Doc!
/
/
/
/A CAUTIONARY NOTE:  These programs are uploading as I write… the full set may not be available until late Saturday or early Sunday.

Fibber’s Closet, Volume 1

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

/
/Had to call this post something besides “Miscellaneous”. 
/
/
/
/Today we’ve posted a number of 128kb upgrades and a few new files as well.  Here’s the rundown:
/
/
/
/New
/
/
/
/
/
/
Rudy Vallee – Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour 34-08-30 (254) Crossed Roads – Elsie Mae Gordon, Jeanne Aubert.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 66-10-xx Buffalo Bob.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of xx-xx-xx David Harum.mp3
/
/
/
/Upgrades
/
/Best Plays 53-05-08 (35) Of Mice and Men.mp3
/
/Big Story, The 47-10-15 The Bobby-Sox Kid from Bayonne [Dorothy Kilgallen].mp3
/
/Big Story, The 47-11-26 TCOT Unfinished Love Song [Howard Beaufait].mp3
/
/Big Story, The 48-07-21 The Lottery Racket [Keeler McCartney].mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-02-05 Man’s faith and love for his crippled second wife and son are being poisoned by his grandmother.mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-02-12 Young girl marries an older man, who turns out to be not as rich as she thought.mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-02-19 The Case Of Thomas Patterson.mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-02-26 The Case of the Three Musketeers.mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-03-05 The Case Of Young Mr Rutherford.mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-03-12 Young man falls in love with a married woman whose husband is found dead.mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-03-19 The Case Of Mrs Manning.mp3
/
/Order in the Court 53-03-26 The Case Of The Unfaithful Wife.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 65-xx-xx Lum and Abner.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 65-xx-xx Our Gal Sunday.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 66-xx-xx Ma Perkins.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 67-01-xx Gangbusters.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 67-05-09 Life Can Be Beautiful.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 68-11-20 Henry Aldrich – Ezra Stone.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 68-xx-xx Green Hornet.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 70-12-22 Young Widder Brown.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of 72-01-06 One Man’s Family.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of xx-xx-xx Amos And Andy.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of xx-xx-xx Mrs Nussbaum.mp3
/
/Whatever Became Of xx-xx-xx Nero Wolfe and Archie.mp3

March in Paris

Monday, March 1st, 2010

Yeah, yeah, I know I was supposed to wait for April.  But after what feels like week upon week of wet snow and steely skies I just couldn’t, so This Is Paris a few weeks early. 
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/This unusual 1949 variety program was recorded in Paris for later broadcast in the States. 
/
/
/
/A typical show opens with star Maurice Chevalier crooning one of his Transatlantic classics (for the first program it’s the eternal “Louise”), followed by additional tunes featuring other French recording artists, additional Chevalier treatments of popular show tunes, and there’s also generally a travelogue feature in which you’ll be taken on a tour of some corner of town or even afield to a country village or a spot on the Cote d’Azur.  On a couple of occasions, you’ll be treated to a special guest star… Eddie Cantor visits on one program, and another sports a Django Reinhardt rendition of “Night and Day”.  If you’re looking to add a little spice and novelty to your OTR collection, this short series may suit nicely.