EP0299: Sherlock Holmes: The Baconian Cipher

Basil Rathbone

Sherlock Holmes is having a friendly argument with a visiting French detective over which country has the most ingenous criminals when the agony column leads the two Detectives and Dr. Watson into the English countryside to rescue a man in distress and finds himself asked to investigate who wrote Shakespeare’s plays.

Original Air Date: May 27, 1946

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EP0298: Let George Do It: Serenade to the Southern Star

Bob Bailey

George is hired to go on a cruise ship under false pretenses, and finds himself left at port, with someone having already boarded the ship.

Original Air Date: June 13, 1949

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EP0297: Nero Wolfe: Case of The Dear Dead Lady

Sidney Greenstreet

Nero Wolfe is retained by the leader of a religious cult to save the life of the woman he loves. The woman is killed and now Wolfe’s client and two other men are accusing each other.

Original Air Date: November 3, 1950

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EP0296: Thin Man: The Case of the All-American Menace

Claudia Morgan

A young woman comes to Nick Charles to ask her help to kill a man and get away with it. Nick and Nora then get notice that the potential victim “is dead.”

Original Air Date: December 1, 1944

Quote of the show: “I do wish people would get bumped off before we go to sleep.”-Nora

(Picture: Courtesy of Digital Deli.)

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These Radio Shows Are Brought to You By Anonymous

The pure amount of old time radio available to the general public online is mind-blowing. Several sites boast of upwards of 100,000 separate programs.  With my podcasts, I bring listeners shows that I’ve discovered searching online.  However, every episode we play is here as the result of a lot of other people’s efforts.

Radio Preserved:

Most radio programs were not thought by the producer to have some intrinsic value after their first airing with the exception of syndicated programs. However, many episodes were preserved. Some were saved on transcription discs and others from recorded reel-to-reel tapes.

The details of this process can be quite involved. It’ll suffice to say that a working knowledge of how to actually play these discs is extremely rare. Equipment can be expensive with spare parts hard to come by.

In addition, before these tapes and transcription discs can reach us, someone has to carefully digitalize them and then make them available on the Internet. So, free old time radio comes to us with a lot of expense and effort from many folks who end up remaining anonymous for the most part.

The notable exception to this is the Old Time Radio Researcher’s certified sets include credits for folks who work on compiling their sets. There are also a couple interesting weblogs and podcasts that give us a peak into the world of radio preservation.

Rand’s Esoteric OTR gives us a great look into the world of digitalizing old radio. a wide variety of programs. Occasionally, the blog will feature a previously uncirculated episode of Suspense, but often times features weird, wonderful, and forgotten programs. Rand serves as a sort of cultural archaeologist. With each episode, he posts a picture of the Transcription he digitalized and sometimes a story of how he found it.

Grandpa’s IPOD is a unique website. Lisa inherited her grandfather’s collection of 250 transcriptions and is in the process of digitalizing them with some assistance from her audio engineer/husband.  

We can mulitply the efforts on these blogs by several thousand and we have an idea of what it takes to get the transcriptions digitalized.  And without these efforts, as well as a lot of trading and sharing, so much radio would not be available for