My take on

My take on

“Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear…”

Before television brought the series we loved into our homes, there was Old Time Radio (OTR).

Just like people waited for the next episode of Friends or Lost, people tuned into their favorite series.

I think there may be a resurgence of interest in OTR…there is a lot of audio entertainment being consumed on iPods, but also on things like the Kindle.

That’s where I’ve listened recently…I find it’s a great option on plane trip to have a few episodes available.

Since people also have MP3 players in cars, that’s another way to listen to it…could be great to keep the kids quiet.  🙂

Some shows are only fifteen minutes long, which I think is also good.

Oh, when I say kids, though, you need to be a little careful…some of the shows are really quite scary!  You won’t hear “bad language” much, and sexual content is really not an issue.  But pure, creepy suspense?  Yep, that can be there.

There can also be an issue with stereotypes…what was “acceptable” in mainstream popular culture in the 1930s may be jarring now.

So, why this site?

First, the shows are free.  🙂  Quite simply, people didn’t tend to renew the copyrights on radio shows, so a lot of them have fallen into the public domain (which means it is legal for anybody to reproduce them, distribute them…even sell them).

Second, I like the selection.  It may not be every show you ever knew, but it is a lot of the well-known ones (and just as cool to me, lesser known ones as well).

Third, there is the question of navigation and use…easy enough.

The categories are:

  • Comedies
  • Dramas
  • Mysteries
  • Variety
  • Westerns
  • SciFi/Superheroes
  • Music
  • Misc

Here are a few examples of specific shows:

  • Blue Beetle
  • Captain Midnight
  • Danny Kaye Show
  • Ellery Queen
  • Gene Autry
  • Hopalong Cassidy
  • Philip Marlowe
  • Quiz Kids
  • The Whistler
  • X-1

That’s just a sample.  If you know the line, “I am the Whistler, and I know many things…for I walk by night,” you’ll recognize many of these shows.

There are also big name shows from TV, the movies, and comics: Tarzan, Archie Andrews…even Batman (but you’ll probably be disappointed in that last one…the Caped Crusader just bookends the stories…and gives away his secret identity to his kid fans!).

One feature I like is the Complete Broadcast Day, which is like going back in time to listen to it the way it was.

One negative for the site?  No search box…you have to dig around, like flipping through the bins in an old vinyl record store.

When you find a show you like, right-click on it and choose “Save target as…” When you save it, it’ll be in MP3 format, which will play on a lot of devices.  If you do have a Kindle, put it in the Audible folder.  Alternatively, you can just listen on line by clicking on the show link.

Oh, and there aren’t really descriptions of the shows.  🙂

Hmmm…so there are some flaws in this site, certainly, but you can get hours and hours of free entertainment. 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the The Measured Circle blog.


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