Hollywood’s greatest actors and best directors. Star level writing and production values. A world renowned Hollywood legend as the host. And a full hour weekly to showcase it all to the listening public. Sound like the perfect formula for a drama program from the Golden Age of Radio? It was and Radio Archives has it here for you, The Lux Radio Theatre Volume 3!
The Lux Radio Theatre, based in New York, premiered on the Blue Network October 14, 1934. The name derived from the show’s sponsor, Lux Soap from Lever Brothers. Although Lux began primarily as an anthology based on Broadway shows of the period, it recognized the value of Hollywood star power from the start. Stories abound of the various imaginative and cunning ways that scouts for Lux snagged top talent.
Even with creative recruitment techniques, The Lux Radio Theatre teetered on cancellation within a year of its debut, due largely to lack of available talent in New York. Even a move to CBS on July 29, 1935 didn’t change the downward spiral. Danny Denker, an executive with the ad agency handling the Lever Brothers account, advised that production values of The Lux Radio Theatre had to be opulent and top notch and that films, not Broadway shows, should be the focus, and most of all, the program had to come out of Hollywood, not New York.
Denker’s suggestions became fact on June 1, 1936 with the first Lux Radio Theatre program from Hollywood. And from the first show, opulent and top notch was the new standard for the program: budgeted at $17,000.00, more than half of that going to pay Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable, the show’s leads, and acclaimed director Cecil B. Demille as host.
As the six programs in this third volume of Lux Radio Theatre clearly show, there were many reasons that this hour long program was a top-ten network show for much of its nearly twenty year run after moving to Hollywood and remains one of the most beloved shows by OTR collectors today. The programs spotlighted in this volume are from early 1939 and are headlined by the seminal Hollywood talent of the era, including James Cagney and Maureen O’Sullivan. That combined with the sparkling audio quality of this newly restored and remastered set makes Radio Archive’s third volume of The Lux Radio Theatre an absolute must-have for OTR fans. Priced at only $17.98 for the six hour Audio CD set or $11.98 for the Digital Download version, you’ll want to add this to your personal collection today.
Radio Reviews of “The Unexpected Volume 1”
By Tommy Hancock
Even though it seems that all the audio gems that could be discovered from the Golden Age of Radio have been available for years, there are still several hidden treasures that haven’t been heard in many cases since the first time some radio station played them fifty or more years ago. Thanks to the work of Radio Archives, one such program, The Unexpected has risen from past obscurity and can be appreciated for all of its genre smashing greatness.
Produced by Hamilton-Whitney Productions for syndication in 1947, The Unexpected is a program consisting of fifteen minute long episodes, each one a self-contained tale involving some sort of situation that a protagonist found him or herself in, one usually of their own making, that led to adventure, action, or simply general chaos. Also, each show ended in exactly the same way. A resolution would be presented, seemingly the end of the episode, then the disturbingly deep voice of the announcer interrupted with “You think the story is over, don’t you? But wait! Fate takes a hand. Wait for the Unexpected!”
The Unexpected Volume 1 is just that, an unexpected treat for a variety of reasons. First, the cast pool that Hamilton-Whitney drew from consisted mostly of excellent character actors, like Barry Sullivan, Lyle Talbot, and Lurene Tuttle, many of which had experience behind the radio microphone as well. Even when there are flubs on the part of someone like Sullivan or Tuttle, it adds realism to the performance, accenting the anxiety already building for the character.
As mentioned, the scripts provided for The Unexpected are shining examples of just what a skillful writer can do with about twelve minutes of story. The pacing is frenetic, from the usually already in progress feel of the beginning all the way through the shock ending. Even though some of the outcomes may seem cliché to a modern audience, listeners will find they don’t care because they are caught up in the flow of the story. Add in the haunting melody of the theme music and the unassuming, yet unsettling tones of the announcer, and the production values of The Unexpected make this stand out well amongst other similar shows
The Unexpected is a stand out show that blends horror, mystery, adventure, and even a touch of comedy every once in a while. Stories in this volume range from adventure yarns like ‘Unknown Cargo’ to slice of life situations such as ‘Birthday Present’ and even into the realm of predestined justice with tales like ‘The Cripple.’ Each show is the audio equivalent of flipping through the yellowed pages of an old Pulp magazine, not knowing what thrills lay ahead. Excellent performances, dead on pacing, twist endings, and quality audio remastering insure that The Unexpected Volume One is one of the best series of its type! And it is available from Radio Archives for only $14.98 for the five hour CD collection or $9.98 for the Digital Download version.
31 New Digital Download sets now available
RA001 One Man’s Family, Vol 1 RA002 Mr. President, Vol 1
RA005 Little Orphan Annie RA008 The Shadow of Fu Manchu
RA009 The Kraft Music Hall starring Al Jolson RA016 Frontier Town
RA017 The Milton Berle Show RA020 Dr. Christian
RA031 The Complete Cinnamon Bear RA027 Birds Eye Open House, starring Dinah Shore
RA037 Mr. President, Vol 2 RA039 Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Vol 1
RA045 Matinee with Bob and Ray, Vol 1 RA064 One Man’s Family, Vol 2
RA068 Komedy Kingdom RA079 The Big Bands on One Night Stand, Vol 1
RA080 The Mercury Theatre on the Air RA082 The Big Bands on One Night Stand, Vol 2
RA083 MGM Theatre of the Air RA085 Mystery House
RA127 The Couple Next Door RA128 Screen Director’s Playhouse
RA131 Space Patrol, Vol 1 RA156 Imperial Leader
RA158 Date with the Duke RA160 Curtain Time, Vol 1
RA169 Luke Slaughter of Tombstone RA163 The Big Bands on One Night Stand, Vol 3
RA171 Command Performance, Vol 1 RA174 All-Star Western Theatre
RA178 Radio Hall of Fame, Vol 1
RadioArchives.com continues to bring the best of the Past to You via the technology of Today! With Digital Downloads, the amazing quality audio content that Radio Archives is known for can be yours on your phone, computer, iPod or portable device! Set at a great price with immediate delivery once you click and purchase, the audio you love from Radio Archives is available now as Digital Downloads! Click here to see all the sets available for download.
The Spider Arrives in First Audiobook
RadioArchives.com takes pulp audiobooks to a new and exciting level, with the release of Prince of the Red Looters, the first Spider audiobook, coming October 7.
Producer Roger Rittner says, “Prince of the Red Looters will be a stunning addition to RadioArchives.com‘s audiobook line. This action-packed story will have two stars of stage and film narrating and voicing the character parts. Nick Santa Maria and Robin Riker have done outstanding work in this exciting novel-length adventure of the classic pulp hero, The Spider.
“Nick has the perfect voice to narrate the fantastic adventures of The Spider. And Robin, who played Pat Savage in The Adventures of Doc Savage, has turned in a stellar performance as his companion and confidant, Nita Van Sloane, as well as other female characters.
“This new and exciting audiobook enhanced with sound effects and full music score takes you on a roller-coaster ride of danger, action, thrills, and adventure.”
In Prince of the Red Looters, The Spider faces one of his most cunning criminal enemies The Fly! The Fly’s ruthlessly efficient crime organization commits a chain of bold and deadly atrocities on New York City, while The Fly taunts The Spider in a series of ever more dangerous duels.
“The result is a listening experience that will thrill every fan of audiobooks and pulp fiction,” Roger says.
Listeners who have previewed early chapters are enthused:
* “It’s excellent. Really held my attention. I think it works wonderfully.”
Prince of the Red Looters will be available in a six-CD set at $19.98, and an MP3 Digital Download at just $14.98.
Doc Savage Audiobooks Continue to Delight Fans
RadioArchives.com‘s first two Doc Savage audiobooks, Will Murray’s Python Isle and White Eyes, continue to attract and delight Doc fans as well as those just discovering the greatest adventure hero of the 1930s.
Narrator Michael McConnohie’s extended audio-visual sampler of Python Isle, the first Doc Savage audiobook, is available for viewing on the Python Isle Liner Notes in the Audiobook category. Python Isle will soon be available at selected comic book retailers.
White Eyes narrator Richard Epcar has been talking up the second Doc Savage audiobooks at recent comic and video game conventions, and says many of his fans are enthusiastic when they learn about the adventure hero.
Python Isle and White Eyes are available in impressive CD sets, as digital downloads, and also in special Signed Director’s Editions.
New Pulp Fiction Reprints
Need a dose of Action? Want to infuse some Adventure into your every day life? Do you need a Hero? Then find all of that and more in the classic pulp novel reprints from RadioArchives.com featuring the greatest heroes, the highest adventure, and the most action from the best Pulp Fiction has to offer!
Doc Savage, Volume 51: Halloween Special
The Pulp Era’s legendary superhero follows terror trails in classic thrillers by Harold A. Davis and Lester Dent writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” First, the Man of Bronze journeys to “The Land of Fear” hidden deep within Africa to discover the deadly secret behind the “skeleton death” that dissolves human flesh to the bone. Then, a grisly vampire murder in the lobby of his own headquarters building leads Doc Savage and his beautiful cousin Patricia to the South Atlantic in pursuit of “The Fiery Menace.” This classic pulp reprint showcases the original color pulp covers by Robert G. Harris and Emery Clarke, Paul Orban’s classic interior illustrations and a behind-the-scenes article by Will Murray, writer of eight Doc Savage novels. Only $14.95 at RadioArchives.com
The Shadow, Volume 53: Vampire Triple Feature!
The Knight of Darkness investigates deadly vampire attacks in two heart-stopping chillers by Walter Gibson writing as “Maxwell Grant” and a classic radio mystery! First, the Master of Darkness must battle a giant vampire bat and enter the dangerous “Garden of Death” to discover the secret behind a deadly drug monopoly. Then, The Shadow enters haunted Haldrew Hall to unearth the bloody secret behind “The Vampire Murders” in a sequel to the legendary Victorian thriller, “Varney the Vampire.” BONUS: “Vampires Prowl by Night,” a lost thriller from the Golden Age of Radio! This instant collector’s item showcases both classic pulp covers by George Rozen, the original interior illustrations by Paul Orban and commentary by popular-culture historians Anthony Tollin and Will Murray. Available now for $14.95.
The Spider, Volume 20
The Spider returns in two thrill-packed adventures! First, in The Devil’s Candlesticks, Only the Spider can combat a mystic murder spell turning the rich into ruthless fiends has fallen over Manhattan! Then, in Revolt Of The Underworld, America’s most ruthless criminals, led by the Fox, have declared war on the Spider. Nita Van Sloan apparently murdered! Richard Wentworth framed! Can the Spider successfully clear his name and find his beloved fiancé? All this and more for $14.95 from RadioArchives.com!
Review of “Crime, Insured” from The Shadow, Volume 1
By John Olsen
“Crime, Insured” was originally published in the July 1, 1937 issue of The Shadow Magazine. A new racket has sprung up in Manhattan: crime insurance. Crime has gone ultra-modern. Bigshots have discarded old-fashioned methods and are now insuring their crimes against failure. But can they insure against intervention by that master of the night, The Shadow?
Nearly all of The Shadow’s agents appear in this story. Not only the main agents who are captured, but some of the secondary or “reserve” agents appear as well. Criminologist Slade Farrow shows up along with his assistant Tapper, whose expertise at picking a lock is second only to The Shadow. Giant African Jericho Druke is another reserve agent who appears. Doctor Rupert Sayre joins in to assist with some radio direction finding tasks.The New York Police is represented by Commissioner Ralph Weston and ace inspector Joe Cardona. Both get small parts, and don’t get to do much. Still, it’s nice to see them included here.
It’s mentioned that The Shadow is an expert at jujutsu. This isn’t the only time his martial arts abilities have been mentioned, but it’s nice to see them specifically identified.
In 1933s story “The Black Hush,” an amazing invention was detailed. A black-ray machine that could suppress all electrical activity. That machine reappears in this story, four years later. The black ray machine plays an important part in the rescue of the agents. Also, that strange code that The Shadow uses, the one that’s comprised of a silent eye-code shows up again. This time it’s Burbank who uses it to communicate with the other agents during their confinement. “Glances, with simple shifts of gaze, enabled them to spell out secret messages.”
This story is one of the pivotal ones in the saga of The Shadow. Read as The Shadow battles the boldest and most amazing racket in the history of modern crime, and nearly loses his entire organization in the bargain. Yup, this is the one. And it is available from Radio Archives in The Shadow Volume 1 for $12.95.
Will Murray’s New Doc Savage Book: The Desert Demons
by Lester Dent and Will Murray, writing as Kenneth Robeson
The Ultimate Pulp Hero is back after 20 years! Doc Savage and his mighty crew return in a brand-new series of nightmare exploits that can only be called The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage!
Ferocious blood-red Things drop down from the sky! The state of California is besieged by the Desert Demons, a phenomenon so fierce that it triggers a modern exodus! Only Doc Savage, the scientist-superman forged in the fires of scientific knowledge to battle the unknown, is equal to the challenge. From the Hollywood hills to the alligator-infested interior of Florida, the Man of Bronze wages war with cyclonic monsters that seem to possess an intelligence of their own and a murderous malevolence that smacks of the unearthly!
From ideas crafted by Pulp Legend Lester Dent, noted Pulp Author and Historian Will Murray uses his incredible storytelling skills to bring life once more to the penultimate fiction Hero of the 20th Century! Before Comic books there were pulps and before four color heroes, there was Doc Savage! And, thanks to Will Murray, Doc is most definitely Back in this first of The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage series.
The Desert Demons – Written by Will Murray! Based on concepts by Lester Dent! Cover Illustration by Joe DeVito! Get your copy today from RadioArchives.com for only $24.95!
Praise for The Desert Demons
My cover arrived today; it is fabulous! Without a doubt or hesitation it is worth every single penny! I hope fans recognize what a super bargain this volume is and support this release. From cover to cover this book remind me of times when publishers really took pride in their books; you folks obviously do and it shows! As always, I hope y’all know just how much Doc fans appreciate these new adventures! Will, you have really outdone yourself with this one; great fun! Wishing you all the very best!
The Desert Demons resurrects Doc Savage and his friends in a way Lester Dent would be proud of. Will Murray, who fleshes out this novel from some previously unpublished notes and material written by Dent in the mid-thirties, seems at times to be channeling Dent in an almost supernatural way. Certainly The Desert Demons is a novel every fan of Doc Savage will not just enjoy, but thrill to. This one, certainly did.
Gerald W. Page, editor The Years’ Best Horror Stories
This took me back to my youth, when I spent summer afternoons avidly reading musty back issues of Doc Savage Magazine. It’s all here – the fantastic other-worldly menace, Doc’s crew of five, his cousin Pat, and the pre-World War 2 world of the ’30s. What more could I ask?
Ted White, author of The Great Gold Steal
A “lost” novel of the Man of Bronze, conceived in the 1930s by the great Kenneth Robeson and written by his brilliant successor, famed adventure novelist Will Murray the real Doc Savage lives again!
Richard Kyle, editor, Argosy
Deal of the Day
Looking for the best in quality Audio, Pulps, and classic DVDs at a price you just can’t beat? Then you’re in the right place for Radio Archive’s Deal Of The Day!
Not only is one item available daily at a discount, but there are Three Deals at All Times with the Deal of the Day! No limits! No minimum amount! Simply Great Products at Unbelievable Prices!
Every Day a Different Item is available at 10% Off. If you’re into Pulp, Tuesdays and Thursdays are the days to pick up a great Pulp deal at a 10% discount!
For The Next Two Weeks Only – 4 Hours of Western Audio Adventure for 25% off!
OTR and Pulp fans alike will thrill to the six gun two fisted action of yesteryear with this fantastic 4 hour set of classic Radio Westerns. Stars such as Jeff Chandler, Guy Madison, Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry as well as classic Western characters like Wild Bill Hickok and The Cisco Kid make this Western set a must have for fans of Cowboys and Frontier Justice! And until October 6th, it’s available for $14.98, 25% percent off regular price!
September Deal Of The Month – Zorro: The Masked Avenger
Out of the old Spanish West comes Zorro! Relive the classic tales of Zorro, the defender of the common people, the masked hero of the oppressed riding right out of the old Spanish West! This 3-DVD set features three classic movie serials from Hollywood’s Golden Age plus the 1936 feature length film “The Bold Caballero”. Swashbuckling sword slinging at its best for only $14.98, 50% off regular price! for the entire month of September!
Look for the yellow ‘Deal Of The Day’ price tag in the upper right hand corner of the home page and click it for a great deal Every Single Day from RadioArchives.com!
Comments From Our Customers!
Steven Goodrich writes:
Thanks for the response. You have a great company there. Keep up the good work.
Andy Howells reviews The New Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes Volume 1 and writes:
“a new collection of rare radio plays from the 1940s recently released by Radio Archives retells some of Holmes greatest escapades from the armchair of his closest ally, Dr Watson and despite the age of the recordings have excellent sound quality. The presentation and pace of the stories is very good and in all examples have a beginning, middle and end making them very listenable and enjoyable.
Steve Sher writes:
Listened to “Suspense” on the way home tonight–lots of traffic–and was held spellbound by “Donovan’s Brain.” Just had to tell you!
Gil Wilson says of The Unexpected Volume 1:
“This collection is perfect for any fan of mystery, thrillers, suspense and old time radio. If you are just plain curious, check them out they are a lot of fun, especially because the end of each story is Unexpected.”
If you’d like to share a comment with us or if you have a question or a suggestion send an email to Service@RadioArchives.com. We’d love to hear from you!