Old Time Radio For The World

My old time radio podcasts get listeners not only throughout the United States, but around the world. I see countries such as Canada, Australia, the UK, and South Africa in the stats report, countries whose citizens know what great radio drama sounds like. 

Of course, there are other countries where English isn’t even spoken and these shows are download. One of the biggest downloading countries is China. Both my Superman and Dragnet podcasts are big in China. I’ve often attributed to this to China opening up and curiosity about the West and its culture.In addition, some downloads may come from Hong Kong, which has a very large bilingual population, having spent several decades under British Rule.

Today, my imagination kicked in and came up with another reason to download Old Time Radio from non-English speaking countries-as a way to help learn conversational English. English, is the International language of commerce and is learned by many in China. However, with local dialects predominating in many regions of the country, it must be a challenge for some people to maintain  their knowledge learned in school. I know my one semester of Russian has pretty much gone down the memory hole. If a language is not part of your life, it’s quickly forgotten.

Jack Webb’s policemen are consumate professionals. They provide excellent examples of smooth, crisp, conversation. Thus listening to Dragnet is a great way to stay immersed in the language.

However, one thing began to worry me on the new show.  Pat Novak. I imagined a man travelling from China to the U.S. for a trip and talking to modern Americans in the parlance of the most hard boiled detective of the 1940s.  As fair warning, foreign guests: we don’t talk like that anymore. In fact, I don’t think we ever did.

Whether listeners from other nations are wanting to brush up on their English, learn about American culture, or just enjoy a great drama, thank you for listening. I never cease to be amazed that podcasts uploaded in Boise, Idaho are listened to the world over.

Somebody’s Got an Anniversary Coming Up

September 2010 will be special. It’s the anniversary of a beloved detective.  In September of 1910, G.K. Chesterton wrote a short story that appeared in the Story Teller. The story featured an unassuming priest who had a knack for solving crimes. And so was born, Father Brown.

Father Brown made more than 50 appearances in short stories, which were complied into five seperate books. Father Brown has been in movies, and with a greater staying power than his contempories. 

For a detective franchise to turn 100 is an extraordinary thing. The only other detective I know of who has been around longer has been Brown’s fictional countryman Sherlock Holmes.

You can rest assured that next year, we will celebrate the first appearance of Father Brown. Ideally, it’d be in September, but there are two episodes of the Old Time Radio Adventures of Father Brown that starred Karl Swenson and we will work these episodes in to our programming sometime next year.

Father Brown was the first of many clerical detectives. This site has a ponderous list of clergy detectives, most of which would get into some interesting theological discussions with the good padre. However, they all owe their very existence to the first clergyman of detective fiction.

Watching this video clip of Father Brown, his influence as the unassuming albeit brilliant detective is clear. Lieutenant Columbo owes quite a bit to Father Brown.

EP0000:Screen Guild Theater: Call Northside 777

Jimmy Stewart plays a cynical reporter turned crusader who seeks to clear a man wrongly convicted of murdering a police officer. This episode was based on the 1949 Edgar Award Winning Movie of the same name.

Original Air Date: October 7, 1948

Click here to download, click here to add this podcast to your Itunes, click here to subscribe to this podcast on Zune, click here to subscribe to this feed using any other feed reader. Vote for this show on Podcast Alley.

The movie can be purchased here.

Pat Novak for Hire-Fan Video

There’s quite a bit to commend this performance. It’s not exactly Webb, but the guy’s got the right style. I was just surprised to find it out there.  Nicely done.

Why I Like the Thrilling Detectives Radio Page

Because real fans write in and there’s stuff like this over there regarding the opening to the Philip Marlowe radio show:

“And it had the best hard-boiled opening lines of any radio detectives series,” according to faithful contributor and OTR fan Stewart Wright. “It has to be heard to be fully appreciated…

“Get this and get it straight! Crime is a sucker’s road and those who travel it wind up in the gutter, the prison or the grave. There’s no other way, but they never learn.”

I once used it as the voice mail message on my work phone and people called just to hear it. When I got back, I had lots of blank messages.”.

Heh.