World Theater Day (Radio Dramas)

Radio theater is theater of the mind.

You have to construct symbols in your mind as you eavesdrop on the story from your safe remote location on the receiving side of the transmission.

Let’s open the time capsule to the 30s and 40s and explore the classic Radio Drama from the period.

In honor of World Theater Day, we have collected two extremely rare programs.

These two classic suspense thrillers survived only as air-check tapes. Alex Velocity, your host, will talk about how these programs were obtained during the podcast, so tune in! But first, dim the lights and find a quiet corner alone.

We’ve made an attempt to sonically improve them to make them easier to listen to, without taking away from the characteristic sound of old time radio which was done with primitive monophonic equipment.

Program 1 – The Halls of Fantasy – “The Jewels of Kali”
Ancient Hindu legend predicts certain death to anyone who defiles the lost temple of Kali. Do you think there is anything to those old stories? And if they are true, exactly who or what carries out the curse?

Program 2 – The Haunting Hour – “The Hands of Mister Smith”
Its a creepy tail of uncontrollable urges to do unspeakable things with your hands. Enter the mind of a confused criminal.

Further Exploration:
World Theater Day, The Halls of Fantasy, The Haunting Hour, YesterdayUSA, Dr Mabuse

Alice in Podcastland !?

alice-carving

Wood Carving 1800s

Remember Alice in Wonderland? Ever wondered what it would be like as a musical, and not for kids either?

Alice in Podcastland is post-modern experimental piece of radio theater.

This program’s got both great story telling and great tracks in classical, rock, electronica and pop. It’s a musical adventure re-imagined for adults. We were inspired by A Prairie Home Companion, The Golden Age of Radio, Negativland and The Electrifying Mojo.

The spoken parts came from a children’s cassette tape that was in really bad shape. I received the cassette as a child. It was included as part of a “bubblegum kit”, featuring German cartoon characters “Fixi and Foxi“, which are currently popular in Germany on cellphones. My grandmother found this package at a confectionary in Dearborn Michigan.

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The children’s program was recorded in Europe at some point in the 70s or 80s. The English speaking voice talents spoke German as a first language. The surface noise was great and the tape had experienced a great amount of wear. At times the bird noises get a little too loud, but that was how the original cassette was mixed.

There were very few sound effects on the original recording. We replaced most fo therm and added a ton more, and in the style of Tom Keith. Because Alice went on an adventure, we will not be posting the playlist for this podcast. You must listen and let it take you on a unique pop music adventure. Enjoy!

Happy Birthday Mel Blanc, RIP

Melvin Jerome “Mel” Blanc was an American voice actor and comedian and one of the most influential people in the voice-acting industry. At the time of his death, it was estimated that 20 million people heard his voice every day.

Blanc is best remembered for his work with Warner Bros. during the “Golden Age of American animation” as the voice of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, Marvin the Martian, Pepé Le Pew, Speedy Gonzales, the Tasmanian Devil, and many of the other characters from the Looney Tunes cartoons.

He later worked for Hanna-Barbera’s television cartoons, most notably as the voice of Barney Rubble in The Flintstones and Mr. Spacely in The Jetsons. Having earned the nickname “The Man of a Thousand Voices,”

Presented here is an episode of the Mel Blanc Show, as aired on May 27 1947, just three days before his birthday. In this episode we meet a new character, The French Interior Designer who sounds a lot like Pepe Le’Pew. Also we hear characters that sound much like Porky Pig and Bugs Bunny. Often Mel voices two or more sides of the conversation and with perfect timing. The actual story line is of no consequence. It’s fun just listening to Mel voice his lines.

These programs were performed live using primitive technology by today’s standards. Somehow these old radio shows still hold up in the age of Audio/Video on demand.