RADIO ARCHIVES KEEPS POUNDING OUT CLASSIC AUDIO PULP!
May 27, 2011
It’s the Latest Newsletter from RadioArchives.com!
* New in Old Time Radio: Joe Palooka
* New in Pulp Fiction: Doc Savage Volume 48 and The Shadow Volume 49
* A Pirate’s Booty in Our Treasure Chest
* Also New in Old Time Radio: The Jimmy Durante Show, Volume 2
* Letters, We Get Letters…
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New in Old Time Radio: Joe PalookaDuring radio’s heyday, it was common to adapt stories and characters from the comic strips into shows for radio listeners to enjoy. In some cases, the results were extraordinarily successful; Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie, sponsored by Ovaltine, became a radio legend, while both Jungle Jim and Flash Gordon enjoyed weekly success. But, surprisingly, some of the biggest names in the comics failed to click with listeners – and, in 1945, one of those big names was that of the popular prizefighter of the funny papers, Joe Palooka.
Created by cartoonist Ham Fisher, Joe Palooka had made his newspaper debut in 1930. Since that time, his popularity had grown to the point that his exploits were being carried in 900 newspapers throughout the country – helped, no doubt, by the fact that the pugilist had spent the war years serving in the United States Army. One of the earliest characters to enlist, Joe joined the military in 1940 and spent the next five years fighting the Axis forces in both his daily and Sunday comic strips. Not surprisingly, he was a big hit with GI’s, his adventures printed in both Stars and Stripes and Yank, two newspapers printed exclusively for military personnel.
Realizing that the war had brought fame and respect to the character far beyond his expectations, in 1945, Ham Fisher decided that it was time to bring Joe Palooka back to radio in a new series of peacetime adventures. To bring his comic strip to life, Fisher first contacted Harold Conrad, a former Broadway columnist who had lately turned to press agentry and free-lance writing. There was no question that Conrad had knowledge of the boxing world and Fisher felt that his fascination with the eccentrics and rogues that populated the sport would infuse the radio version with an authentic ringside flavor. Conrad agreed to write a couple of radio scripts for a syndicated series to be produced by Graphic Radio Productions, Inc. Two audition shows were quickly produced by the NBC Radio-Recording Division in their Chicago Merchandise Mart studios, but the series failed to sell.
Undaunted by this, Ham Fisher then took the concept to John Boler, the President of the North Central Broadcasting System, which supplied programming to a number of midsized radio stations. Boler, in conjunction with Fisher’s partners, agreed to produce a five-a-week radio series to be recorded in the studios of the L. S. Toogood Recording Company in Chicago. Recording began in the fall of 1945 and, over the next few months, a total of 130 fifteen-minute episodes were produced – 26 weeks worth of daily shows. As it turned out, however, 1946 was not a good year for North Central Broadcasting; in the summer, the company filed for bankruptcy and, by the end of the year, it was no more. With all of the financial complications, “Joe Palooka” failed to get the publicity and salesmanship that it deserved and, unfortunately, the series never aired outside of a few small local markets.
Though disappointed by the way things turned out, Ham Fisher remained enthusiastic about Joe Palooka’s potential for broadcasting – but radio, it seemed, was not to be his medium. Fisher turned his attention to television and, by 1953, “The Story of Joe Palooka” made its video bow in a syndicated series produced by Guild Films. The radio series, having been heard by very few people, fell into obscurity and has been almost completely forgotten by radio historians – but luckily, a few months ago, Radio Archives acquired twenty episodes of the series, as well as the 1945 audition recordings made by NBC. The result is a brand new five-hour collection containing twenty episodes of “Joe Palooka”, as well as the two NBC auditions. For fans of comic strips, as well as those who grew up with Joe Palooka in the movies and on television, it’s a rare chance to hear this iconic American hero on the air in his own radio series.
For over fifty years, Joe Palooka, his colorful manager Knobby Walsh, his girlfriend Ann Howe, and the many other characters that populated the comic strip brought enjoyment to millions of devoted readers. In this five CD set, priced at just $14.98, you’ll enjoy five full hours of his radio adventures, made available here for the very first time since 1945. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the history of an American icon who entertained and inspired American youth – and it’s now available from RadioArchives.com.New in Pulp Fiction: Doc Savage Volume 48 and The Shadow Volume 49Back in the 1930s, it was common to find teenagers and grown men alike gathering around their neighborhood newsstand, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the latest adventures of their favorite pulp heroes. Nowadays, however, it’s far easier for fans of Doc Savage and The Shadow to get the latest tales of these two timeless adventure favorites: just stop by RadioArchives.com and you’ll find two brand new and just released reprints featuring the Man of Bronze and the Knight of Darkness waiting for you!
In “Doc Savage Volume 48”, priced at just $14.95, you’ll thrill to the classic adventures of the Man of Bronze in two original novels by Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson. First, what is the bizarre connection between the appearance of “Red Snow” and the disappearance of a United States senator? Our national security may depend on Doc Savage’s discovery of the sinister secret! Then, in “Death Had Yellow Eyes”, Monk Mayfair is abducted while the Man of Bronze is framed for bank robbery and murder. This classic pulp reprint is available in two editions: one features the original color pulp covers by Walter M. Baumhofer and Modest Stein, while the alternate edition features an impressive painting by Bantam artist James Bama. Both feature Paul Orban’s classic interior illustrations and historical commentary by Will Murray, writer of seven Doc Savage novels which are soon to be released as audiobooks by RadioArchives.com. (For more information on these exciting new releases, click here: Audiobooks from RadioArchives.com)
Next, the radio origins of the Knight of Darkness are showcased in “The Shadow Volume 49”, priced at just $14.95 and featuring two classic pulp novels by Walter Gibson, writing as Maxwell Grant. First, the Dark Avenger teams with Secret Service agent Vic Marquette to investigate a far-reaching counterfeiting ring in “The Shadow Laughs!”, the landmark novel that introduced the real Lamont Cranston. Then, how can The Shadow prove that an innocent man is not a murderer when several witnesses have identified the young man as the “Voice of Death”? This instant collector’s item features the original color pulp covers by Jerome Rozen and Graves Gladney, classic interior illustrations by Tom Lovell and Edd Cartier, and commentary by popular-culture historians Will Murray and Anthony Tollin.
Both of these collectable publications are now available at RadioArchives.com – and, to get one or both, you’ll pay just $3.00 flat rate shipping, delivered anywhere in the United States. If you just can’t get enough of these two exciting heroes – as well as The Spider, The Avenger, and The Whisperer – stop by RadioArchives.com and place your order right away.A Pirate’s Booty in Our Treasure Chest
If you keep up with the movie business, you know that pirates have once again returned to the silver screen in another big-budget blockbuster. Hoisting the Jolly Roger and setting sail for adventure on the high seas, these bloodthirsty characters have been a part of film history since the days when Douglas Fairbanks drew his sword and slid down the mainsail in “The Black Pirate”.
One of the motivations of any good buccaneer has always been the pursuit of buried treasure – legendary mother lodes of gold doubloons, jewels, and untold riches, hidden away and just waiting to be plundered. But if you’re a regular Radio Archives customer, you know that you don’t need to find a hidden map or sail the seven seas to uncover that treasure chest; you’ll find one waiting for you every time you visit our home page at RadioArchives.com. Just see the booty that’s coming your way this week:
* Today through Monday May 30th, you can get our newest CD set – “Joe Palooka”, a $14.98 value – for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more.
* On Tuesday May 31st, pulp fiction’s legendary super-sleuth returns in “The Shadow Volume 5”, featuring two classic stories by Walter Gibson. In “The Black Falcon”, Lamont Cranston is abducted by a kidnapper who unearths secrets from The Shadow’s mysterious past. Then, the Knight of Darkness must defeat a Dragon of Fire before the city becomes a blazing inferno in an action-packed thriller titled “The Salamanders”. This instant collector’s item also features the original pulp covers by George Rozen, interior illustrations by Tom Lovell, and “The Island of Ancient Death,” a bonus Shadow story adapted from the Mutual Broadcasting System radio program by scriptwriter Gibson Scott Fox. This beautifully reformatted double-novel reprint 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 June 1st, lovers of both pulp and radio adventure will thrill to “Adventures by Morse, Volume 1”, a ten-CD collection featuring two bloodcurdling multi-part tales from the pen of radio’s renaissance man, Carlton E. Morse: “The City of the Dead” and “The Cobra King Strikes Back”. Transferred from the original one-of-kind test pressings and fully restored for sparkling audio fidelity, this exciting set offers the finest sounding and most complete versions of these two suspenseful tales ever made available. This timeless compact disc collection normally sells for $29.98 – but, for one day only, it can be yours for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more. But wait! There’s more pulpy excitement to come!
* In the 1930s, writer George Harmon Coxe introduced a new character to the pages of “Black Mask Magazine”: a hardboiled newspaper photojournalist named Casey. Instantly popular with readers, in 1943, CBS brought his pulp exploits to radio in “Casey, Crime Photographer”, a series of lighthearted mystery tales that combined solid plots, eccentric characters, and the off-center dialogue that could only come from a series set in The Blue Note Bar. Adapted for radio by Alonzo Deen Cole (“The Witch’s Tale”), the series is a true radio classic – and on Thursday June 2nd, you can get “Casey, Crime Photographer, Volume 1”, a 10-CD set featuring twenty original broadcasts, for Just 99 Cents when you submit an order of $35.00 or more. This collection normally sells for $29.98.
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.
So don’t wait until you’ve seen the latest pirate movie. Stop by RadioArchives.com today and stake your own claim to the Treasure Chest that’s waiting for you. It’s a simple and affordable way to add something special to each and every one of your orders with us – and you’ll never even have to leave port to get it!
Letters…We Get Letters…
Listen to this Newsletter!
The releases we’ve described in this newsletter are just a small fraction of what you’ll find waiting for you at RadioArchives.com. Whether it’s pulp fiction classics, colorful and exciting books from Moonstone, timeless movies and televisi on shows on DVD, or the over 150 compact disc collections containing thousands of sparkling and fully restored classic radio shows, we hope you’ll make RadioArchives.com your source for the best in entertainment.
We’d love to hear from you! Send an e-mail to Service@RadioArchives.com or call us toll free at 800-886-0551 with your comments, questions, or suggestions.
Bill Downs listens to “The Lives of Harry Lime” and writes:
The quality of the recordings is outstanding. Orson Welles is Harry Lime as he was created to be. Thanks again for preserving an important part of our history.
Tom Kokenge writes:
I find the audio version of your newsletter and it’s production values to be of the same high caliber as the newsletter and the website. Frankly you don’t get any better than your website so, trust me, that is high praise indeed. You have a great voice for radio, as the saying goes, and it sounds like you are really enjoying yourself as you do them. The hard work to write and produce the newsletter really shows in the finished product.
Gary Kalin reads his copy of “Doc Savage Volume 7” and writes:
“The Lost Oasis” is one of my favorite Doc Savage novels, with “The Sargasso Ogre” a close second. “The Lost Oasis” has everything that make this a first class story: zeppelins, vampire bats, diamond mines, and poor souls in trouble. Mr. Dent had a true talent for writing about flying and airships. Where “Oasis” left off, “The Sargasso Ogre” picks up as Doc and his crew make their way back to New York. “Ogre” is interesting that Doc goes up against a bad guy just about as strong as he is. If you have never read a Doc Savage, this would be a good book and two stories to start with.
We appreciate both your thoughts and your letters. If you’d like to see your comments and reviews in our newsletter, just send an e-mail to Service@RadioArchives.com. We’ll be happy to hear from you.