Missing Cosmonauts & Papov’s Radio Day

Mysteries of Radio from Russia with Love. Do you know who invented radio? Thomas Edison? Nope, not even close. Marconi? maybe. Tesla? getting warmer. What about Alexander Popov?

There is a debate about it, but in Russia and Eastern Europe, Popov is considered the inventor of radio. Today marks the occasion of an important public demonstration of radio as a lightening detector.  Find out more in the podcast or look for the links below!

And what about the missing Russian Cosmonauts? Well this podcast treats you to  a radio drama all about the conspiracy of missing cosmonauts and the Italian brothers who may have discovered a dark secret. We know you’ll enjoy it!

Doctored Photo of Soviet Cosmonauts

Further Exploration:
Judica-Cordiglia brothers, Radio Day, Turin (Torino), Alexander Popov, Doctored Cosmonaut Photos

The War of the Worlds Effect : RadioLab

Oct 30, 1938, Orson Welles famously performed a 60-minute radio adaptation of H.G. Wells’ alien invasion story, The War of the Worlds. Here we have a documentary about the phenomenon by RadioLab.

The Infamous “War of the Worlds” program was part of a series called The Mercury Theater featured an hour of radio drama aired on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). It scared the daylights out of the American public.

The show was performed without any commercial breaks. It also contained a series of fictional news bulletins. Many listeners casually tuned in after the initial announcements that the program was a radio play.

Welles performing,The Mercury Theater on the Air, 1938

The public was already on edge because of the looming war overseas. Many folks actually believed that the earth was under attack by extraterrestrial beings from the Planet Mars.

The news made the front page of the New York Times. There was an immediate backlash. An enraged public demanded an explanation. Public hearings were held to get to the bottom of the resulting scandal.

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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.

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

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.

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