Besides posting book reviews, once in a while I will be posting articles on the subject of pulps. I hope we can generate more interest for the Blog. If you would like to share an article on the pulps, you can send me a message in the Comments of a post.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Radio Archives

November 21, 2014
15th Anniversary Celebration!
Radio Archives is celebrating 15 years of creating great products and we're commemorating this anniversary with a number of superior offers and once a year discounts till January 1st!
The Bargain Basement has a wide selection of Old Time Radio - Audiobooks - Pulps - Books - Cassettes and lots more at great prices. More than 50 discounted items, supplies limited.
A good story is a good story, whether it was written two weeks ago, two decades ago, or even two centuries ago. And nowhere is that truer than in The Weird Circle, a half-hour anthology series that was first aired back in 1943. 

The stories offered by The Weird Circle were generally adapted from popular fiction - popular fiction of the 19th century, that is. And since the focus was on horror and suspense, the macabre, atmospheric, and often ironic tales of such writers as Edgar Allan Poe and Honore de Balzac were a staple of its success. Also included were such familiar chestnuts as "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens' "The Queer Client", Charlotte Bronte's novel "Jane Eyre" (also a particular favorite of Orson Welles and his Mercury Theater company), and "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Louis Stevenson. Stories of this vintage, rooted in the Victorian attitudes and morality of the 1800s, generally made for good radio drama; they were, after all, classics, familiar to anyone with a public school education. The primarily first-person narrative of most of the stories chosen made them relatively easy to convert into script form: introduce a narrator, establish the scene, and then carry on with the plot. And, of course, since they were out of copyright, there were no literary rights to be paid -- a sizeable cost savings for any producer looking to budget a weekly series, then or now. 

The Weird Circle was produced in New York City by the National Broadcasting Company, under the auspices of its Radio-Recording Division. Though best known for live programs over its Red and Blue Networks, NBC produced and recorded a great many shows for syndication to local stations, including such diverse dramatic programs as Playhouse of FavoritesFive Minute Mysteries, Destiny Trails, and Betty and Bob (a five-a-week daily "soap opera" featuring Arlene Francis), as well as quarter-hour musical programs starring performers ranging from Carson Robison and his Buckaroos to Ferde Grofe and his Orchestra. The quality of these syndicated shows was, for the most part, consistent with NBC's regular prime-time fare and, a result, were often aired by local stations as either special features or programmed between other shows on the network at the time. 

Compared with other syndicated thriller/mystery series produced at the same time, it's clear that the producers of The Weird Circle aimed a little higher than the norm. The budgets for the series, though no more generous than any similar series produced for the syndication market, benefitted greatly from the technical staff and state-of-the-art facilities which NBC maintained at their Rockefeller Center headquarters. The series featured no stars but, instead, drew upon the adept, adaptable, and professional performers who regularly appeared in supporting roles on live network broadcasts - actors like Audrey Totter, Lawson Zerbe, Chester Stratton, Walter Vaughn, Eleanor Audley, and Arnold Moss, to name just a few. And, rather than relying on contracted writers to grind out inexpensive "pulp" stories in a contemporary vein, this series relied instead upon tried and true material from well-known and well-read authors, giving The Weird Circle a definite touch of class.

In this fourth Radio Archives collection, you'll hear eighteen additional broadcasts from The Weird Circle, just as originally aired in 1944 and 1945. As an extra bonus, we've uncovered the transcription disc containing the original openings and closings of the shows, allowing you to hear these programs in their original as-broadcast format for the first time in decades. If you're familiar with some or all of the stories offered in this series, Radio Archives is sure you'll enjoy revisiting your favorites in a different form. If you've read only a few of these stories - or, better still, if you've never read any of them - we promise that you're in for a real treat. 

So, bell keeper! Toll the bell, so that all may know that we are gathered again in...the Weird Circle!
8 hours - $11.99 Download / $23.98 Audio CDs
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Twins Judy and Jimmy Barton crawled into their attic one December day and found a passageway to a place called Maybeland. They looked in all the dusty corners for any sign of the silver star that always sat atop their Christmas tree. Their search crossed the path of little Paddy O'Cinnamon, "The Cinnamon Bear," who had shoe-button eyes and a ferocious growl. He showed them a small hole through which the Crazy Quilt dragon had absconded with their star and invited Judy and Jimmy to pursue the rascal. Paddy would function as a guide and they'd chase the dragon throughout Maybeland. Paddy magically "de-grew" the twins so they'd fit through the attic tunnel, fired up a miniature airplane powered by soda pop, and flew the Barton kids into a startling and wondrous adventure.
So begins "The Cinnamon Bear," a delightful, one-of-a-kind children's series produced in 1937 by TRANSCO, the Transcription Company of America. Intended to be heard between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the series features twenty-six fifteen-minute cliffhanger installments. The program immediately hooks children because suspenseful fun is always present as each episode concludes with yet another obstacle for Paddy and the twins to overcome. The dragon eventually joins up with the trio but remains unpredictable and mischievous. Named "Crazy Quilt," he succumbs time and time again to his obsession with the shiny silver star.

"The Cinnamon Bear" is, arguably, the best holiday series ever developed for radio. Containing all of the elements of a classic children's fantasy, combined with radio's unique ability to create vivid mental images in the minds of its listeners, it continues to delight both young and old. And now, for the first time, you can hear and enjoy "The Complete Cinnamon Bear" -- including all twenty-six original and unedited shows, the original 1937 promotional recording, and all of the songs from the series as transferred from an original set of 78 RPM recordings. Each of the programs has been digitally transferred directly from a set of original 16" broadcast transcriptions and painstakingly restored for outstanding audio fidelity - truly the best-sounding version of the series that has ever been released. It's yet another triumph for Paddy and his band of travelers as, after well over seventy years, they once again carry on their magical search for the silver star.
7 hours - $10.49 Download / $20.98 Audio CDs
Transcription Disk Auction
Radio Archives has bought, sold and borrowed 30,000 transcription disks in the last 15 years that have been safely transferred to RAW wavfiles for future Restoration. This is our Preservation mission. 6,000 of these disks have been restored and are available to purchase on this website. We still own close to 10,000 transcription disks. Long time customers will remember that we used to run a transcription disk auction. After we bought Nostalgia Ventures from our good friend Dennis Levin, five years ago, we no longer had time to run the auction and sold the auction business to Marc Friend, a long time supporter of the Archives mission.
We have made arrangements with Marc to sell our transcription disks through his Broadway Record auction. The two week auction started November 15th and ends November 30th. To receive an email copy of the disk auction that lists 445 auction lots, all from Radio Archives, send an email to Marc at broadwayrecords@gmail.com
We are biased but there are some real gems being auctioned including a large lot of Transco disks, test pressings of Adventures by Morse and a group of Bing Crosby disks in excellent condition.
Special 50% discount Offer
"Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar", billed as the adventures of "America's action packed insurance investigator", debuted on CBS radio on February 11, 1949, featuring Charles Russell in the title role. It was typical radio fare for the time - basically just another slam-bang half-hour detective series - and, though consistently well written and acted, the series was never really unique or substantial enough to capture a large and enthusiastic audience.
In the fall of 1955, however, some surprising things happened to "Johnny Dollar". In a stroke of casting genius, long-time radio veteran Bob Bailey, fresh from the Mutual network detective series "Let George Do It," took over the title role. Director Jack Johnstone and writers John Dawson, Robert Ryf, and Les Crutchfield joined the production team. And, at the same time, CBS began experimenting with some of its longest-running radio series by offering them as quarter hour, five-a-week "strip" shows, running Monday through Friday. The result was a shot in the arm for "Johnny Dollar" - and a surprisingly fresh beginning for a show in a medium that was rapidly turning away from drama. It was obvious that actor Bob Bailey was born to play the role, bringing to his portrayal a realistic depth and likeability that had been lacking in earlier versions of the show. The newly expanded format gave the writers a chance to craft characters and develop the depth of the stories without the need to wrap up every loose end after 24 brief minutes of dialogue. And the subtle cliffhanging nature of the stories made radio's dwindling listening audience want to tune in day after day - something that, by 1955, was seldom happening with any shows outside the realm of the daily soap operas.
For long-time fans of "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar," these five-part adventures constitute the absolute pinnacle of the series' run -- and, in this third collection, Radio Archives is pleased to bring you another ten full weeks of these engrossing programs in excellent digital sound.
Specially priced until November 27th. 10 hours - $7.49 Download / $14.99 Audio CDs
Special 50% discount Offer
A precedent-shattering radio landmark that became a national institution -- its influence is with us yet. And now Radio Archives is proud to take you back to the very beginning, with an exciting collection of broadcasts from the very first season of Jack Webb's police procedural classic "Dragnet." 

When "Dragnet" premiered in 1949 it was a breath of fresh air. No wisecracks, no impossibly exaggerated characterizations, just a dedicated law enforcement officer, determined to do his job as completely and as thoroughly as possible. Joe Friday is one of radio's great Everyman figures -- just another workaday guy in a cheap suit, trudging thru his daily routine -- but in Webb's hands, the characterization takes on a fascinating edge of realism. The deliberately-low-key direction and the stylized flat-voiced delivery of the supporting cast adds to this downbeat, it's-really-happening style, giving "Dragnet" a feeling and a mood unlike that of any other radio program of its era. 

Programs included in this collection are from first six months' of the program's run, beginning with the second broadcast of the series. Although Walter Schumann's famous theme music doesn't appear until Episode 3, the essential feel of the series is there from the very beginning of the run: the quiet byplay between Friday and his partner Ben Romero (expertly played by radio veteran Barton Yarborough), the meticulous documentation of the unfolding case, and the careful pacing of each episode as it builds slowly but steadily to a climax. The supporting players are drawn from the ranks of top radio talent, including such performers as Frank Lovejoy, Parley Baer, Hans Conried, and Raymond Burr, and the production values -- layering sound upon sound -- are of astonishing proficiency.
Specially priced until November 27th. 10 hours - $7.49 Download / $14.99 Audio CDs
Robert Weinberg Presents
by Jay Bonansinga
Read by Nick Santa Maria. Liner Notes by Robert Weinberg
He’s John Fitzgerald, an underground comic artist, a minor cult figure, and he’s on his way home for Christmas. A late addition was his six-year-old son Jake, pushed on him at the last minute by his ex-wife, Sarah. Despite all of his protests, John really didn’t mind. He loved his son and the week-long break would give him some time to counter all the religious fervor his “holy, holy, holy” ex has been pouring into Jake’s mind. Once upon a time, John and Sarah had been a married pair of wild, sexually liberated atheists who believed in nothing other than having a good time. Then Jake had been born, and Sarah turned to religion. And turned and turned and turned. Leaving John hooked on heroin and all alone - except for visiting rights. And this Christmas weekend surprise.
There was only one minor glitch in the plan. John had just delivered some art for an underground comic and the editor had been less than impressed. Thinking back, John remembered a similar assignment from years ago that had been censored so badly it had never been published. Which made it perfect for this X-rated rag. All he had to do was pick up the originals which he had wisely stored away in his self-storage locker up near the airport and bring them to the editor on the Monday following. Easy enough. Or so it seemed.
At six, Jake was filled with the incredible curiosity of a child. He found the massive self-storage center where John’s unit was located fascinating. The huge elevator that took them to the right floor was amazing. He thought the long halls with their multitude of locked doors incredible. And he thought that John’s room-sized space was the neatest place on Earth. That was, until he accidentally stumbled into the inside door control and locked him and John into the self-storage unit with no way to get out. Trapped in an underground chamber, with no one on the premises, and no food or drink. Caught like bugs in a jar with the lid closed tight. Doomed. And then, things started getting really bad….
Jay Bonansinga studied Creative Writing at Michigan State University. He has written numerous bestselling horror and thrillers novels including the immenseiy successful, The Walking Dead series which has been on the New York Times bestsellers list. About his work, The Chicago Tribune raved, “His twisting narratives make the work of his contemporaries look tame.” Ready by Nick Santa Maria.
7 hours - $13.99 Download / $27.98 Audio CDs
Will Murray's Pulp Classics #7
by Paul Chadwick writing as Brant House
Read by Dave Mallow. Liner Notes by Will Murray
Introducing Secret Agent X, Man of Mystery and Destiny!
At the end of the Depression year of 1933, tiny Magazine Publishers could see which way the pulp winds were blowing. Street & Smith had broken new ground when they launched The Shadow Magazine in 1931. Doc Savage came two years later. As did The Phantom Detective.
In the Fall of ’33 Popular Publications released both The Spider and G-8 and His Battle Aces. The public was obviously hungry for heroes. And editor Rose Wyn decided that her outfit had to offer one too!
With top writer Paul Chadwick, she brainstormed Secret Agent "X", uncanny composite of Doc and The Shadow, with a dash of the Phantom thrown in. The first issue appeared at the end of 1933 with a February 1934 cover date.
A nameless mystery man with a wartime past in the Intelligence service, declared dead by the Department of Justice, and backed by a shadowy group of powerful philanthropists, Secret Agent X took on the toughest assignments of the dirty thirties. Operating out of the half-haunted Montgomery Mansion, X was also known as the Man of a Thousand Faces. A past master of disguise, he infiltrated the Underworld to crush crime in all of its hideous manifestations.
For Secret Agent "X", Rose Wyn decided to pit him against villains who were maestros of unbridled horror. Melodrama was the rule of the day. But Secret Agent "X" plunged into maelstroms of raw bloodlust undreamed of by The Shadow and Doc Savage. His foes were truly depraved. Terrorists. Torturers. Extortionists. Kidnappers. Stranglers. Fiends. Arsonists. These were the types of torn-from-the-tabloids master criminals X hunted. It was grim fare. Before long, The Spider started going up against foes as a maniacal as the ones X vanquished every month. But the Man of a Thousand Faces first blazed that terrible trail.
No one knew who Secret Agent "X" really was. Not his readers. Not his editors. Not even his writer, conceivably. To this day in the 21st Century, his true identity is still a deep mystery. That’s keeping a secret!
Specially priced until November 27th. 5 hours - $4.99 Download / $9.99 Audio CDs
Flash! New Secret Agent "X" audiobooks starting in January.

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Join Will Murray, Robert Weinberg, Radio Archives, the Authors and Voice Actors discussing all the new audiobooks. Take a look and leave a comment.
New Will Murray's Pulp Classics eBooks
The best of timeless Pulp now available as cutting edge eBooks! Will Murray's Pulp Classics brings the greatest heroes, awesome action, and two fisted thrills to your eReader! Presenting Pulp Icons such as the Spider and G-8 and His Battle Aces as well as wonderfully obscure characters like the Octopus and Captain Satan. Will Murray's Pulp Classics brings you the best of yesterday's Pulp today!
Across exhausted America, trekked Operator 5’s giant caravan of mercy — fighting to rebuild a new, strong nation out of the desolate wreckage left behind by the horrors of the Purple Invasion! Step by step, the ravaged country was being reclaimed, while Jimmy Christopher and his gallant patriots desperately battled the new foe that had sprung up — a Dictator of Doom who had sworn to turn Civilization’s defenders into abject slaves, and carve a vassal-state from freedom’s smoking ruins! Jimmy Christopher, clean-cut, square-jawed and clear-eyed, was the star of the most audacious pulp magazines ever conceived — Operator #5. Savage would-be conquerors, creepy cults, weird weather-controllers and famine-creating menaces to our mid-western breadbasket... these were but a few of the fiendish horrors that Jimmy Christopher was forced to confront. Operator #5 and the Purple Invasion series returns in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds #22 September 1934 Purple Tornado
This is the third issue in the Dusty Ayres series. Thick, deadly, that curtain of purple gas stretched along our border from Maine to the Great Lakes. What did it hide? What gigantic war scheme was the enemy preparing behind it? The Fate of America depended upon knowing these answers in time — and grimly Ayres vowed to find out, flying a one-man patrol against the greatest military coup ever planned! Captain Dusty Ayres, ace pilot for the U.S. Air Defense flies in the Silver Flash, an advanced craft of his own design. With his two pals Curly Brooks and Biff Bolton, they battle some of the most diabolical mad scientists and their weirdest inventions. These exciting stories took over the Battle Birds magazine from June 1934 through the July/August issue of 1935, changing the magazine name to Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds. And now Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds is back, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.

Follow the quest of Curtis Newton, wizardman of science, as he scours the worlds of tomorrow in the hunt for the greatest interplanetary outlaw of all time! A creeping menace invades the galaxy in a sweep of interplanetary conquest— and Captain Future meets his most powerful enemy... the Space Emperor!Captain Future… the Ace of Space! Born and raised on the moon, Curt Newton survived the murder of his scientist parents to become the protector of the galaxy known as Captain Future. With his Futuremen, Grag the giant robot, Otho, the shape-shifting android and Simon Wright, the Living Brain, he patrols the solar system in the fastest space ship ever constructed, the Comet, pursuing human monsters and alien threats to Earth and her neighbor planets.
Written by science fiction legend Edmond Hamilton, the exploits of Captain Future, Wizard of Science, originally appeared in the pages of Captain Future magazine and Startling Stories back in the days before NASA’s manned space program. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and feature the original full color cover. Will Murray's Pulp Classics line of eBooks are of the highest quality and feature the great Pulp Fiction stories of the 1930s-1950s. $1.49.
All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub, Mobi, and PDF formats for the ultimate in compatibility. When you upgrade to a new eReader, you can transfer your eBooks to your new device without the need to purchase anything new.
Doc Savage Double Novel ReprintsBooks by Will MurrayLost Radio Scripts bookDoc Savage Audiobooks
by Will Murray and Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson, cover illustration by Joe DeVito
When William Harper Littlejohn unearths a shadowy figure transfixed in ice, the renowned archeologist understands that he has made the most momentous discovery of his brilliant career. For inscribed over the frozen form is this chilling warning:
Who is this monster? Why does his name strike terror into the hearts of brave men? Can even Doc Savage control him once he breaks free of his icy tomb?
From the Gobi Desert to war-torn Free China, the Man of Bronze and his fighting crew battle a threat so terrifying that it could change the course of human history…. Softcover $24.95

by Will Murray and Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson, cover illustration by Joe DeVito
When the ruler of the Balkan state of Merida vanishes from his locked limousine, official Washington is baffled. The President of the United States summons the one man who can solve the mystery—Doc Savage!
No sooner does the Man of Bronze reach the nation’s capitol than an even more bizarre phenomenon manifests. A long-dead monarch, King Fausto the First, returns from the grave to plunge his royal sword into the vitals of anyone suspected of knowing the whereabouts of the vanished modern ruler!
From Washington to Manhattan, Doc and his fighting brain trust race to unravel one royal riddle while battling the untouchable phantom potentate known as The Whistling Wraith! Newly Revised! Softcover $24.95
The pulp era’s greatest superman returns in two thrill-packed novels by William G. Bogart and Lester Dent writing as “Kenneth Robeson.” First, Monk Mayfair’s inheritance of a vast Canadian estate leads the Man of Bronze and his Iron Men to Canada where they are captured by the master criminal called Lucky Napoleon in “Bequest of Evil”! Then, in a rare solo adventure, Doc Savage is summoned to investigate the bizarre enigma of “The Thing That Pursued.” This deluxe pulp reprint showcases the classic pulp cover by Emery Clarke, the original interior illustrations by Paul Orban and historical commentary by Will Murray, author of fifteen Doc Savage novels. Double Novel Reprint $14.95
The Shadow
The Shadow Double Novel Reprints
“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow demonstrates that “crime does not pay” in two macabre mysteries by Walter B. Gibson writing as “Maxwell Grant.” First, discovery of the theft of“Treasures of Death” brings fatal consequences, but The Shadow knows that this is only the prelude to a greater supercrime! Then, the greatest crooks in the world pass through “The Yellow Door,” until the Man in Black teams with G-Man Vic Marquette to uncover the deadly secrets of the sinister portal! This instant collector’s item showcases both classic color pulp covers by George Rozen and the original interior illustrations by Tom Lovell with original commentary by popular culture historian Will Murray. Double Novel Reprint $14.95
The Spider
The Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider Double Novel ReprintsThe Spider AudiobooksThe Spider Girasol ReplicasThe Spider eBooks
Highly Recommended
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Comments From Our Customers!
Alec Wayne writes:
I ordered 'The Weird Circle' expecting a pretty typical low-budget series, but I was surprised to hear such a high quality anthology show! Thanks, as always, for introducing me to new series and exceeding my expectations.
Andrew Wood writes:
I am a HUGE fan of Transco! Their productions are in a class of their own and I love the stock actors. It's amazing how well these TRANSCO series have been preserved. And how complete they all are! Keep it up! I for one am in awe of your work. The restoration you have done will take these historic shows far far into the future and you will be remembered for a very long time.
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!

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