RADIO ARCHIVES LATEST AND GREATEST!
Welcome to Another Weekly Newsletter from RadioArchives.com!
* New in Old Time Radio: The Jimmy Durante Show, Volume 2
* New in Pulp Fiction: The Spider Volume 19, The Shadow Volume 48, and Doc Savage Volume 47
* The Best Deals are in the Radio Archives Treasure Chest
* Also New in Old Time Radio: The Adventures of Archie Andrews
* Coming Soon: Pulp Audiobooks from RadioArchives.com
Nicknamed “Schnozzola” for his oversized nose, Jimmy Durante first came to prominence as a teenager, playing New York’s restaurant and nightclub circuit as Ragtime Jimmy. Bitten by the show-biz bug, he dropped out of school in the eighth grade and soon teamed up with fellow entertainers Lou Clayton and Eddie Jackson to form a musical comedy trio that wowed nightclub audiences with its boisterous unpredictability, Durante’s aggressive interaction with the musicians, and his penchant for destroying pianos in mock frustration. Clayton, Jackson, and Durante quickly gained a reputation as one of the most hilarious acts in town – and, by the mid-1920s, the team was being featured in vaudeville, culminating in a lengthy run at New York’s Palace Theater. In 1929, Broadway called them for a featured spot in “Show Girl” and, by the time Cole Porter’s “The New Yorkers” opened in 1930, Durante was a star.
Jimmy continued his Broadway success in a string of popular shows and revues throughout the 1930s, but it was his role in “Jumbo” that brought him the most acclaim, playing the brash owner of a circus in an extravaganza that brought all of the delights of the Big Top to New York’s massive Hippodrome Theater. But he didn’t limit himself solely to the Great White Way; thanks to appearances in a series of films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and a guest star spot on Rudy Vallee’s Fleischmann Hour, by 1933, Durante had taken over for Eddie Cantor as the host of radio’s “Chase and Sanborn Hour”. On the air, Durante’s broad delivery, overwhelming personality, and penchant for mangling his words only increased his popularity with laugh-hungry Depression-era audiences and his next radio series – “Jumbo”, based partially on the Broadway show – kept him a welcome visitor in American homes.
For a time, aside from an occasional radio guest appearance, Durante devoted himself solely to the stage and nightclubs. But, in 1943, Hollywood beckoned once again with the offer of comedic roles in a series of motion pictures. For this opportunity, Durante relocated to Hollywood, where he was also signed to headline a CBS series titled “The Camel Caravan”. The new series found the Schnozz co-starred with a fresh voiced young comedian named Garry Moore in what initially seemed to be an odd and highly unlikely pairing. As so often happens, however, the mismatched duo instantly clicked as a team, ratings went through the roof, and Durante’s patented brand of language mangling and outraged interaction with the orchestra introduced him to radio audiences all over again. Durante and Moore enjoyed four successful seasons together until Moore decided to pursue a solo career at the end of the 1946/47 season.
With Moore’s departure, in the fall of 1947, Jimmy Durante signed a contract to host a new series on NBC for the Rexall Drug Company, costarring vocalist Peggy Lee and character actor Victor Moore. Loud, boisterous, and wildly entertaining, “The Jimmy Durante Show” proved just as popular as its predecessor – so much so, in fact, that the following season found Durante back on CBS and back with Camel Cigarettes for another two years before the Schnozz finally moved full-time to television in the early 1950s.
The ten shows in this second compact disc collection, priced at just $14.98, showcase Jimmy Durante at his bigger-than-life best, complete with the fractured English, gravel voiced musical numbers, and warmhearted buffoonery that made him a show business legend. As an added bonus, this set includes two shows broadcast while Jimmy was in the hospital recovering from surgery – and it’s a mark of his reputation among show people that the personalities filling in for him include the Wizard of Oz himself, Frank Morgan, as well as the World’s Greatest Entertainer, Al Jolson. Taken directly from original master recordings and fully restored for sparkling audio fidelity, this second volume of “The Jimmy Durante Show” offers an additional selection of shows that are just as fresh, alive, and vibrant as they were when they were first aired over sixty years ago. If you love a good belly laugh, you’ll want to stop by RadioArchives.com and pick up your copy right away.
Pulp fiction’s legendary Master of Men returns in “The Spider Volume 19”, featuring two classic novels written by Norvell Page under the pseudonym of Grant Stockbridge. First, in “Slaves of the Dragon”, white slavery is stripping America of its wives, sisters and sweethearts. Richard Wentworth, valiant champion of human rights, knows that an Oriental master criminal is captaining the slavery syndicate and has guessed the unspeakable purpose behind these wholesale abductions. Can the Spider outwit his most formidable foe and save America’s doomed womanhood? Then, in “The Spider and his Hobo Army”, murder and destruction has stupefied the nation. The zero hour has come and the vast and insidious Order of the Double Cross is ready to blast America from the face of the earth. Can The Spider crush the minions of the Double Cross, with only a handful of ragged hobos to aid him? This beautifully reformatted double-novel version of these two pulp classics, priced at just $14.95, features the original cover art and interior illustrations that accompany each story.
Finally, in “Doc Savage Volume 47”, pulp fiction’s legendary Man of Bronze returns in three action-packed thrillers by Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson. First, when a man claiming to have found the secret of eternal life is murdered, Doc Savage journeys to Mexico searching for an answer in the remote “Weird Valley”. Then, only the Man of Bronze can provide a beautiful con artist with an antidote for murder in “Let’s Kill Ames”. Finally, a lost city of Incas battles over the strange power of “The Green Master”. This classic pulp reprint, priced at just $14.95, features the original color pulp covers by George Rozen, Modest Stein, and Walter Swenson, plus Paul Orban’s classic interior illustrations and historical commentary by Will Murray.
If you’ve been collecting these beautifully reformatted issues as they are released, you’ll want to place your order for these new books right away. And if you’ve never read a pulp novel – well, you’re in for a real treat! Be sure to stop by RadioArchives.com today and check out our pulp fiction section, where you’ll find more of the exciting and engrossing tales of Doc Savage, The Shadow, The Spider, the Whisperer, and The Avenger.
If you’re a regular visitor to our website at RadioArchives.com, we don’t have to tell you about our Treasure Chest Bonus Deals. They’re right there on our home page, with new ones posted all the time, and they give you the chance to add something very special to each and every one of your orders with us.
But if you’ve never heard about our Treasure Chest, well, it’s high time that you did! You see, when you submit an order for $35.00 or more at RadioArchives.com, you get the chance to add a Treasure Chest Bonus Deal to your order. On the weekends following their release, you’ll find our newest compact disc collection there – and it will be priced at just 99 Cents! During the week, you’ll find other great deals, including pulp fiction reprints, books, DVD sets, and other CD collections containing hours of great sounding radio entertainment. But no matter what day you happen to stop by, you’ll find a great deal waiting for you on the home page of RadioArchives.com.
This week, for example, you’ll want to circle the dates on your calendar to remember to take advantage of these great deals:
* Today through Monday May 23rd, you can get our newest CD set – “The Jimmy Durante Show, Volume 2”, a $14.98 value – for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more.
* On Tuesday May 24th, the Man of Bronze and his Fabulous Five are featured in “Doc Savage Volume 16”,featuring two exciting adventures from pulp fiction’s Golden Age. First, in “The Secret in the Sky”, Doc journeys to Oklahoma to investigate the murder of a Nobel Prize-winning scientist. Then, in “The Giggling Ghosts,” a toxic outbreak of uncontrollable hilarity is causing New Jersey residents to literally laugh themselves to death. This beautifully reformatted double-novel reprint, chock full of special features, is normally priced at $12.95 – but you can enjoy these two exciting adventures for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more.
* On Wednesday May 25th, you’ll laugh along with one of radio’s most hilarious and innovative comedy teams in “Matinee with Bob and Ray, Volume 1”, an hilarious ten-CD set featuring 20 rare broadcasts from Bob Elliott and Ray Goulding’s earliest days at radio station WHDH in Boston, Massachusetts. This ten-hour collection of improvisational entertainment, transferred from the original one-of-kind transcriptions and fully restored for impressive audio fidelity, normally sells for $29.98 – but it can be yours for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more.
*In the 1930s, nobody combined high style, romantic comedy, and drama better than Carole Lombard. A talented comedic actress with the face of an angel, Lombard illuminated the silver screen with her sparkling wit and dazzling beauty. Now you have the chance to enjoy six of her most hilarious and heartwarming films in “Carole Lombard – The Glamour Collection”, featuring such top name costars as Clark Gable, Bing Crosby, Fred MacMurray, William Powell, John Barrymore, and Ralph Bellamy. This set, offering two double-sided DVDs, normally sells for $26.98 – but on Thursday, May 26th, it can be yours for Just $3.99 when you place an order of $35.00 or more.
We’re sorry but, at these low prices, multiple orders cannot be combined into single shipments. Each separate order must be placed on the days on which the specials are offered and no early or late orders will be accepted.
Make it a habit to visit RadioArchives.com often and see what’s waiting for you in the Treasure Chest. It’s great way to stretch your entertainment budget and add to your personal library of radio, pulp, and movie favorites.
New in Old Time Radio: The Adventures of Archie Andrews When we look back at American family life in the late 1930s, many of us view it not through the eyes of reality but, instead, thru the rose colored glasses of popular culture. If you were young yourself at that time, you have a more realistic memory of those years – but, if you’re a baby boomer and beyond, you’re more likely to imagine a typical American home, circa 1940, as being in Carvel where a teenager named Andy Hardy lives: clean, pleasant, prosperous, and where every challenge, crisis, or misadventure is resolved in time for a happy ending – complete with the occasional musical number.
It’s not surprising that we have this rosy vision of the past; after all, every entertainment medium did its best to create and sustain this image. Hollywood gave us a seemingly endless series of Andy Hardy movies, the Broadway stage gave us “What a Life!” which introduced the perpetually teenaged Henry Aldrich, and radio quickly turned Henry and his friend Homer into comedy characters that would endure for over a decade. As the 1940s progressed, the trend continued: perky teenager Corliss Archer came to radio in 1943, as did “A Date with Judy” – both sit-coms featuring a typical teenage girl dealing with her boyfriends, her often baffled parents, and the overwhelming dramas of high school social life. But it wasn’t the stage, screen, or radio that would bring us our most enduring and innocent image of teenaged life; it was, instead, the comics.
In December of 1941, just two weeks after Pearl Harbor, Pep Comics introduced a new character that continues to entertain readers to this very day – and his name is Archie Andrews. From the beginning, Archie was the epitome of the American teenager of the 1940s: dressed in a polka dot bow tie with a letterman’s sweater that proclaimed his loyalty to Riverdale High, he drove a souped-up jalopy, hung out with the perpetually lazy Jughead Jones, and spent most of his time in a lovesick haze. Aside from occasional crushes on movie goddesses, Archie divided his affection between two teenaged beauties: Betty Cooper, a bright and down-to-earth blonde, and Veronica Lodge, a wealthy brunette who loved to toy with Archie’s affections. Hitting just the right mix of familiarity, slapstick comedy, and small-town warmth, Archie and his pals were an instant hit with teen readers – and, in less than a year, the characters had made their way from comic books to a daily newspaper comic strip and to radio.
In its first incarnation, “The Adventures of Archie Andrews” was a daily fifteen-minute radio series, aired over the Blue Network. Ratings were respectable and, after a brief move to a half-hour weekly slot, the five-a-week format returned on Mutual in 1944. But the series really hit its stride in June of 1945, when a largely new cast was introduced and it premiered over NBC in a Saturday morning slot that it would happily occupy for eight years. For the majority of the Saturday morning run, Archie was played by Bob Hastings, a talented young actor who had already made his reputation playing juveniles on dramatic programs. Woman-hating food-loving Jughead was played by Harlan Stone, perky Betty was played by Rosemary Rice, and the honey-voiced Veronica was played by Gloria Mann. If you were looking for subtlety or teenaged angst, you were never going to find it on “The Adventures of Archie Andrews”; in typical sit-com fashion, the plots usually revolved around some simple misunderstanding that quickly turned into bedlam. Aimed straight at a pre-teen audience, the programs were designed to be nothing more than loud, goofy, and fun – and, from the reactions of the studio audience that attended each live broadcast, the show was clearly adored by its listeners.
Priced at just $20.98, “The Adventures of Archie Andrews” offers fourteen original NBC broadcasts, taken from the original network master recordings and fully restored for sparkling audio fidelity. If you’ve enjoyed the other comedy collections released by RadioArchives.com – and especially if Archie and his pals were a big part of your youth – this is a collection you simply won’t want to miss.
Coming Soon: Pulp Audiobooks from Radio Archives
For decades, the novels of Doc Savage, The Spider, and other classic heroes have occupied a special place in the hearts of readers everywhere. Now, by special arrangement with the authors, owners, and publishers of these thrill-packed adventures, Radio Archives.com will soon be offering full length unabridged audiobook adaptations of these timeless tales.
The first series of audiobooks, scheduled for release in the late Spring of 2011, will be the Doc Savage novels written by renowned writer Will Murray – starting with his classic adventure story, “Python Isle”. Future series will include the exploits of The Spider, the Master of Men, and Secret Agent “X”, as well as other well-known crimefighters from pulp fiction’s Golden Age. These new audio productions will feature the talents of some of the top voice actors in the country and will be produced and directed by Roger Rittner, who created the “Adventures of Doc Savage” full-cast radio series, now available from RadioArchives.com.
For more information on these exciting new releases, click here: Audiobooks from RadioArchives.com
Be watching for updates on our website and also special features in our weekly newsletters as we begin the “Countdown to Adventure” with pulp audiobooks, coming to you soon from RadioArchives.com!