Re: Remembering Joe Hehn (1931-2020) -- details about enjoying his collection today

Joe Webb

Thank you to all -- it's been an honor to work on this collection.

If you have OTR friends who are not members of this page, please give them this link:
It has background about the collection and Joe, and links to all of the recordings, scripts, etc.

In answer to Walden's question:
Many programs fell out of circulation or were not put into circulation. I have some examples.
Somehow Joe ended up with a good number of discs of Road of Life and Land of the Lost... they just never got transferred!
Many of the early collectors in his time never really traded... or lost interest... or passed away... so their collections were never digitized.

And then there's the Suspense situation that I can use as an example. As everyone knows, I am collecting every possible version of Suspense whether they are network, east coast network, west coast network, AFRS, AFRTS, airchecks, home recordings, etc. It's been a fascinating year or so as we go through old collections because we are finding AFRS programs and airchecks that fell out of circulation because network recordings became available. Then when 1980s collectors started to make "sets" of Suspense, they only took one recording... and may not have known that there were east and west and other versions. So only one version of the program stayed in circulation. And those were the collections that became digitized. With the Hehn collection and the Falk collection, both of which OTRR acquired, we now have around 60% of the east and west broadcasts in some form from the Roma era. I thought maybe 10 of them existed -- not 10 percent -- 10!!!

And then there's the question of what's in good sound. Many of these early collectors traded 1200' reels at 7.5ips. That meant at most there was 2 hours on a tape if they had a quarter track machine, and 1 hour if they had a half track machine. So much of Joe's collection was half track. And he did his best to trade with others who had transcription discs. Jump ahead 30 years and those collectors are long gone, but the hobby is digitizing copies of copies of copies of copies that had buildups of hiss, tape noise, and electrical noise in the background. We've had a few situations of finding really crisp copies of programs that we thought were always in bad sound. If a program was in bad sound, they often fell out of circulation.

We're finding curious things here and there... it's been quite an adventure. And OTRR picked up another vintage reel collection just recently that is likely to hold more treasures.

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