The background and contents of this collection are described in this message. If anyone wants it, just send me an email at lmaupin@... and I will be happy to send it to you.I. Introduction: The unifying principle of this collection is that all episodes are from the 1930s. As you will see from the summaries, some are from my personal collection and others are from The Jim Beshires Memorial Collection. None of Jim's are repeats from the most recent distro. A wide variety of genres are represented. A few of the series are rare, and several of the episodes have special features that should make them of interest to listeners and collectors alike. These are mentioned in the summaries. Most if not all are full length, many contain commercials and a few have air checks. As you might expect, the sound quality is not perfect, but it is surprisingly good considering the age of the cassettes which have been digitized. That you can judge for yourself. Finally, I am not aware of the existence of any distro or collection of OTR shows exclusively from the 1930s. Therefore, you have the opportunity of being one of the few people in the world who will have this collection.
II. Episodes From My Collection
1. Adopted Daughter (October 4, 1939). Dunning (p.5): "Broadcast History 1939-1941. NBC. Midwest only. 15 min." Sponsored by J.C.Penney. David Goldin lists this episode as being broadcast August 4, 1939. Summary: "Little Jenny is off to the World's Fair, and she's waiting for the train with her family." Source: RadioGoldIndex.
2. The Benchley Show (January 22, 1939): "Melody&Madness." This episode is a rebroadcast that was aired on WBAI-New York on a program titled "The Golden Age of Radio.". The host mentions that there are only about 4 [episodes of the series] around, "and this is the only one I've ever come across." He adds that interior fashion designers "come in for a bit of ribbing on this program." He also notes that "commercials are purely for nostalgic purposes." The OTRR Library has one episode dated August 1, 1939 with the series name Robert Benchley and titled "Artie Shaw."
3, The Bob Hope Show (September 27, 1938): "First Pepsodent Show." "Broadcast History: September 27, 1938-June 8, 1948, 30 min. Tuesdays at 10pm" (Dunning, p.105). Vintage Radio Logs has episode, and provides information that the series was aired on NBC Red, and sponsored by Pepsodent Toothpaste.
4, Calling All Cars: "The Mae West Jewel Robbery" (1934). Dunning lists the broadcast history as "November 29, 1931-September 8, 1939. CBS. West Coast. 30 min." Sponsored by the Rio Grande Oil Company. The part of Mae is played by Martha Wentworth, who gives what is referred to as "her now-famous impersonation of the actress." Summary: This episode is a 1935 rebroadcast of an earlier program relating the theft of jewelry and cash from Mae West. More than 300,000 listeners had nominated it to be aired again. The crime was committed in 1932 by a corrupt police officer and two crooks who were his accomplices. New evidence was uncovered in 1934 by Los Angeles police, and they arrested Edgar Friedman in 1935 for his role in the robbery. He confessed, saying that he received $1,000, and was tried and convicted in February, 1935. In that year Dave Brennan, the police officer who had initiated the scheme, was arrested in Chicago but jumped bail and fled to Florida. At the time of this broadcast Los Angeles police were still trying to extradite him from there.
5. Chandu the Magician: "Robert Returns" (May 11, 1933). Dunning (p.148) lists the broadcast history as "1932-1935, transcribed syndication, originally aired on KHJ-Los Angeles, October 10, 1932, a California chain that eventually reached the Northwest." Sponsored by White King Soap. Summary: "Dorothy, Betty and Bob are on the beach. The island they are on is all that remains of Lemuria....The mask of the seven-headed serpent appears in a ghostly phonograph." Source: RadioGoldIndex.
6. Dr. Christian: "Guest of Honor" (January 10, 1939). Dunning (p.202) lists the broadcast history as "November 7, 1939-January 6, 1954. CBS. Tuesdays at 10pm, 1938-39." The sponsor is Cheesborough Manufacturing Company. Summary: The setting is Center City. News has arrived that the greatest surgeon in England is coming to pay a visit to his sister. The town leaders, including the editor of The Union, the local newspaper, decide to hold a banquet in honor of Sir Thomas Beaton, and Dr. Christian is to be toastmaster. On the night Sir Thomas arrives there is a huge snowstorm. Dr. Christian picks Sir Thomas up at the train depot while on his way to visit a woman who has a life-threatening illness. She has a tumor on her larnyx, and Sir Thomas agrees to treat her and attempt to save her life. There is a commercial for Vaseline Hair Tonic midway through the episode.
7. Flash Gordon (April 27, 1935). Dunning (p.255) gives the broadcast history as "April-October, 1935. Transcribed for Hearst Newspapers and running weekly on various stations in the West, to coincide with the comic strip publication." Description: "Flash and Dale are taken to the Planet Mongo by the mad Dr. Zarkhov. Flash defeats the 'monkey men.' The 'lion men' attack and Flash is taken prisoner." Source: RadioGoldIndex. Vintage Radio Logs has 74 episodes of this series, and the one in this collection is the earliest dated and first listed. It also notes that the series was sustained by Mutual, aired on Saturdays, and became Jungle Jim on November 2, 1935. The last two episodes, dated October 19 and October 20. 1935 were called The Adventures of Flash Gordon and Jungle Jim.
8. Fred Allen: "The Mammoth Department Store" (December 25, 1932). Dunning (p.261) lists the broadcast history as October 23, 1932-April 16, 1933. CBS. 30 Min. Sundays at 9pm." The sponsor is Linit Bath Soap. Description: "A visit to Fred's zany department store. Roy Atwell's 'malaprop' routine would later be appropriated by Doodles Weaver of Spike Jones' band." Source: RadioGodlIndex. This is the first episode listed in the Index. Vintage Radio Logs also has this episode, and describes it as a 'Christmas program.' Haendiges also adds that the show was carried by CBS as Linit Bath Oil on Sundays at 9-9:30pm."
9. Front Page Drama: "The Almost Perfect Crime" (October 8, 1933). Carried on the General Network. Introduction: "The American Theater of radio presents 'The almost Perfect Crime.' For weeks the police, being dissatisfied with the results of a coroner's jury, which had exonerated Edward Stay of the murder of Grace Foster, his beautiful co-ed sweetheart, have been seeking evidence to bring before the grand jury. As our scene opens the suspect, unaware of the net closing around him, sits thoughtfully before his radio set, enjoying the contents of a smart novel." Vintage Radio Logs has the episode, and provides the information that the series was also known as The American Weekly Program and was syndicated by The American Weekly Magazine.
10, The Green Valley Line (1934). Introduction: This series presents "the story of a back-country railroad in the early years of the 20th Century. As our last episode drew to a close we found the young superintendent, Bill Reed, face-to-face with an impossible problem." The earliest episode in the OTRR Library is dated 1939. The earliest dated summary in RadioGoldIndex is dated 1938. Vintage Radio Logs has 26 episodes, all from 1934, and states that the series was syndicated and is complete and for sale. It stars Rollon Parker and John Todd.
11. Howie Wing: A Saga of Aviation (1938). Dunning (p.334) gives the following information: the broadcast history is "October 3, 1939-June 20, 1939. CBS. 15 min. Weekdays at 6:15." Sponsored by Kellogg Cereals. Summary: The opening scene is at an airport in Austin, Texas. Howie is talking to Donna Cavendish with darkness approaching, a storm coming, and rain already falling. Both of them want to get to a hospital in San Antonio that evening, and Howie is determined to fly there in a BT-9 although, as Donna reminds him, he is still learning and doesn't have a license yet. But he considers it a life-and-death mission, and as he prepares to depart for Randolph Field Donna insists on going with him and gets into the plane. Will they make it?
12. The Jello Program: "X-mas Shopping" (December 11, 1938). This episode has an air check for KFI-Los Angeles, an NBC affiliate. Dunning (p.592) notes that "after 1936 The Fleischman's Yeast Hour became The Royal Gelatin Hour. Sponsored by Standard Brands." Summary: From Radio City, New York. At the beginning is a commercial for Jello. Then the orchestra plays "Hooray For Hollywood." Jack asks Mary if she has dated any of the boys in the band. She replies "Only the brass section." Then we hear "A Pocketful of Miracles" before Jack and Mary go shopping at a New York department store. Jack considers buying Mary an expensive French perfume, but when he learns the price is $10 per ounce decides that is too much. He then fends off a pickpocket, and a floorwalker insults him. Then another commercial for Jello pudding. Then "We'll be with you again next Sunday at the same time, broadcasting from Hollywood."
13. Jungle Jim (December 23, 1939). Dunning (p.378) gives the broadcast history as "November 2, 1935-August 5, 1954. Transcribed for the 'Hearst Comic Weekly.' dramatizing the same stories running in the Sunday comics. 15 min. Scheduling varied from market to market." Summary: Jungle Jim, Lil and Kolo are on a ship bound for an island in the South Pacific to find the notorious Peter Stone. A lovely adventuress named Lily St. John attempts unsuccessfully to romance Jim. Their host, who met Jim in Singapore and has enlisted his help in tracking down Stone, offers him a cigar, which he accepts. Kolo has been winning at fan-tan in the ship's casino. The action is sure to heat up in the next episode.
!4. Les Miserables: "The Bishop" (July 23, 1937). Dunning (p.391) lists the broadcast history as July 23-September 3, 1937. WOR-Mutual. 30 min. continuation, Fridays at 10." Set in 1814-15. Summary: "A series of seven half-hour programs produced by Mutual in July of 1837. Each program is complete in itself, each is based on [a different] portion of the book. The radio adaptation is by Orson Welles, who also directs and plays the lead. The cast includes Martin Gable, Agnes Moorehead, and others that would next year form the Mercury Theater Players." Source: RadioGoldIndex. "The Bishop" is the first of the seven episodes.
15. The Mercury Theater on the Air: "Dracula" (July 10, 1938). Dunning (p.448) gives the broadcast history as "July 11(sic), 1938-December 4, 1938. CBS. 60 min. Sundays at 9." The OTRR Library lists "Dracula" as the earliest title and date for the series. Vintage Radio Logs does also, and notes that the series was sustained by CBS. Summary: Orson Welles plays the role of both Dr. Seward and Dracula. The first scene is set in Castle Dracula, where Jonathan Harker is a guest of the Count, but also becomes a prisoner, forced to write letters home stating that he is enjoying his visit while Dracula makes plans to travel to England. The next scene shifts to England, where a derelict schooner with all hands missing comes to ground at Whitby with the captain dead and lashed to the helm. Its cargo is exclusively boxes of earth. Next Dr. Seward's fiancee, Lucy Westenra, is attacked at her home by a vampire. Dr. Van Helsing is summoned to England. Lucy soon dies from loss of blood, but shortly thereafter a woman matching her description begins to attack young children in the neighborhood of Hempstead and leaves them with bite marks on their necks and blood on their clothing. She is soon identified as Lucy. Then Jonathan Harker, having escaped from Castle Dracula, makes his way back to England and is reunited with his wife Mina. Then Harker, Mina, Dr. Seward and Van Helsing vow to hunt Dracula down and kill him. Before they can implement their plan, Mina is attacked by Dracula, who hopes to use her as a means of revenge against the others. But finally Dracula is put to flight, and his pursuers overtake him near the Borgo Pass before he can reach his castle.
16. Moving Stories of Life: "Love on Skis" (1930s). The episode opens in the Dining Room of the St. Moritz Hotel in Switzerland. Reporter Marjorie Kingston of the Paris-American Tribune has been sent to get the scoop on the rumored engagement of Prince Fredrich of Hess to Princess Juliana. The prince mistakes Marjorie for the daughter of an American acquaintance, and she takes advantage of that to spend time with him. They sleigh ride one day, ski the next, and she learns that there is no engagement. She finally has to tell him her true identity, but vows to quit her job rather than betray him by filing a story. Narrowly escaping death in an avalanche, they confess their love for each other. She files her last story, announcing their engagement. Notes: This series has some soap opera characteristics, but is more like a light romance. Marjorie orders a demitasse at a restaurant, after which the prince invites her to his table for coffee. A transcontinental telephone call costs $17.50 for 3 minutes.
17. Moving Stories of Life: "Art for Lily's Sake" (1930s). Summary: Charles Ainsley is a starving American landscape painter living in the Latin Quarter of Paris. He loves pretty Lily, but can't marry her due to poverty. Then fellow American Ebeneezer B. Beezer, who manufactures safes, offers hum $400 per month to paint landscapes on their doors. Charles suppresses his artistic scruples and accepts. It's not "art for art's sake," but, as the episode is entitled, "Art for Lily's Sake." Comment: Fun. Again, more a light romance than a soap opera, but with many of the same characteristics. Notes: A Cezanne has recently sold for $150,000. Jules, who owns a restaurant, mentions sausage and "a well roasted capon nestling in truffles" as a good meal. Charles has a breakfast of sourdough bread, "an egg or two, and a beaker of milk for old times sake."
18. National Barn Dance (February 25, 1939). Dunning (p. 498) gives the following information: "Broadcast history: September 30, 1933-September 20, 1946. NBC Blue Network until June 29, 1940." Sponsored by Alka-Seltzer. Description: "Aired at 8pm. Title: 'A Hayloft Dream Party.' Several Songs are performed. Guest Alec Templeton plays 'I'll See You in My Dreams.' He also describes WTEM, his own radio station. A good show, well written...This is the network portion of a longer local show." Source: RadioGoldIndex. Synopsis: "Broadcast by WLS-AM in Chicago starting in 1924, the National Barn Dance was one of the first country music programs." Source: OTRR Library.
19. Problems For Pamela: "Clive Proposes To Robin, Nicky Has Disappeared, and Al Rasper Has Been Murdered" (Circa 1937). Evening in Hollywood. This morning Nicky Brent, thinking Pamela had been injured, borrowed Carl Van Dorn's roadster and went looking for her down on Melrose. On their way to Van Dorn's home tonight, Robin and Clive stop at the beach and go wading. He asks her to marry him and move to London, but she says she could never leave Hollywood and that a woman like her, an ex-chorus girl with an "interesting" past, would never be accepted by his blueblood family. Later at Van Dorn's, Carl gets a call telling him the police have found his car with the murdered body of Al Rasper beside it. Did Pamela kill Al? Note: At the conclusion of this episode is an ad for Capper's Farmer Magazine, "the favorite reading of 1,350,000 farm families" that is "delivered to your rural mail box." Farm wives, like all women, loved soap operas.
20. The Shadow: "The White Legion" (March 20, 1938). Dunning (p.607) lists the broadcast history as "September 25, 1938-December 26, 1954. Mutual. 30 min. Sundays at 5:30. Sponsor Blue Coal." Summary: "The last show of the season. The Shadow breaks up a ring of municipal operatives. Orson Welles and Agnes Moorehead take a bow at the end of the program." Source: RadioGoldIndex.
21. Wayside Theater: "Madcap Princess" (December 11, 1938). Dunning (p.705) gives the broadcast history as December 3, 1928-June 7, 1954. NBC. 30 min. Mondays at 8 through May 26, 1930. Returned September 7, 1931, Mondays at 8:30." Sponsored by The Chicago Motor Club. Description: "Pleasant fairy tale of royal romance, dalliance with maidens, and 'The Black Knight..' Well done!" (Source: RadioGoldIndex). Vintage Radio Logs has 9 episodes for sale. It also provides the information that the series was aired on WBBM and stars Olan Soule and Patricia Dunlap.
22. The Witch's Tale: "Physician of the Dead" (1939). Dunning (p.724) lists the broadcast history as "May 21, 1931-June 13, 1938. WOR-New York until October 15, 1954, then Mutual. 30 min. Various days." Summary: Paris, 1793 during the Reign of Terror. The French Revolution has succeeded, and Robespierre now rules. Dr. Albert Lehan is an advocate for the abolition of capital punishment, but has supported the revolution. He risks his life to save a woman he believes to be innocent from the guillotine. They marry, but that is no guarantee of a happy ending. A serious drama. Note: The sound is faint, but almost every word except the shouting of the mob can be heard with careful listening.
III. Episodes from the Jim Beshires Memorial Collection
23. The Rudy Valley Show: "Remote from Astor Room, Opening Night from Broadway" (May 23, 1939). Dunning (p.592) gives the broadcast history as "October 24, 1929-September 28, 1939. NBC. 60 min. Thursdays at 8. Sponsor: Fleischman's Yeast."
24. Story Behind the Headlines: "Appeasement Marches On" (February 17, 1938). Description: "Produced in cooperation with The American Historical Association." Source: RadioGoldIndex. The OTRR Library has this episode, the first in the series.
25, We the People: "Dinosaur Tracks" (April 18, 1937). Dunning (p.713) lists the broadcast history as "October 4, 1936-May 16, 1937. Blue Network. 30 min. Sundays at 5." Sponsored by Calumet Baking Soda. The earliest dated program in Vintage Radio Logs is February 6, 1940. The description notes that the episode was carried on CBS, sponsored by Sanka, and featured Gabriel Heater and Milo Boulton.
26, The Edgar Bergen/Charlie McCarthy Show: "Guest: Gladys George" (July 11, 1937). Dunning (p.226) gives the broadcast history as "May 9, 1937-December 26, 1948. NBC. 60 min. until fall, 1939. Sponsor: Standard Brands until 1939."
27. The Campbell Playhouse: "Rebecca" (December 9, 1936). Dunning (p.133) lists the broadcast history as December 9. 1938-March 1, 1940," confirming this as the first episode of the series. He also states that the series was carried on "CBS. 60 min. Fridays at 9, and that the sponsor was Campbell Soups." Vintage Radio Logs also lists "Rebecca" as the first episode of the series, and notes that "in the episode, which stars Margaret Sullavan, during the show author Daphne du Maurier is interviewed from London."
28. Fleischman's Yeast Hour: "Love Nest" (September 13, 1934). Dunning (p.592: The series was "broadcast from October 24, 1929-September 28, 1939. NBC. 60 min. Thursdays at 8. The series was titled "The Fleischman's Yeast Hour 1929-36," The Royal Gelatin Hour thereafter. The sponsor was Standard Brands."
29. Frigidare Country Club: "First Song: Top Hat" (1936). The announcer opens with "Your country club is on the air. Come with us, once again, to where comfortable chairs and lounges await you, where you can relax from the rigors of your day as you listen to the brilliant music of Morton Gould and his orchestra and the famous voice of Donald Yeoman, star of stage and radio." Commercials for Frigidaire and Kelvinator,
30. Warner Brothers Academy Theater: "Special Agent" (April 24, 1938). Dunning (p.711) gives the broadcast history as "April 3-June 26, 1938, 30-minute studio transcriptions issued as a package with Gruen Watch commercials, and syndicated by the Trans America Broadcasting System."
31. "WJSV News" (September 21, 1939). This news and weather update was actually broadcast in the early hours of September 22, 1939 and leads right into the sign off. The news is entirely about the assassination of the Romanian premiere, which has just occurred. In addition to WJSV, radio stations around the world were reporting the event. Columbia's short wave listening station in New York heard 4 versions of the murder over Romania's government-controlled airwaves. London's Overseas Service of the BBC gave a version. The announcer on DJB, the Nazi short wave station in Berlin, denied German responsibility for the tragedy. Germany blamed Polish Secret Service agents, asserting that the premiere "had aroused the displeasure" of the Polish government by remaining neutral in the war. A French short wave station also reported on the incident, noting that the execution was exactly similar to that of Chancellor Dolfuss of Austria in 1934, when Adolf Hitler was preparing to annex Austria for the Reich.
32. Woman's Home Companion "Women's Fashions" (September 21, 1939).
33. The Lone Ranger: "Mysterious Wagons" (February 22, 1939). Dunning (p.40) lists the broadcast history as February 13. 1934-May 1, 1942. Mutual. 30min. 3 a week at 7:30. Sponsor: Bond Bread until August 9, 1940." Vintage Radio Logs has an episode with the same date and title, and provides information that the series was syndicated and "starred Earle Graser as The Lone Ranger until April 9, 1941, then Brace Beemer with John Todd as Tonto."