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Radio Archives Newsletter October 1st, 2010

Charles Rector's Weblog; Oct. 27, 2010; By Charles Rector
Type: Preview



October 1, 2010

October Brings Exciting New Releases from RadioArchives.com!

* The Adventures of Doc Savage - The Legendary Radio Series
* Our Latest Old Time Radio Release: Fibber McGee and Molly, The Lost Episodes, Volume 10
* Your Treasure Chest Bonus: Get Fibber for Just 99 Cents!
* New in Pulp Fiction: The Shadow Volume 41, The Avenger Volume 4, and Doc Savage Volume 40
* Also New in Old Time Radio: Philo Vance, Volume 3
* New on DVD: Two Classic Serials from Hollywood's Golden Age
* Letters, We Get Letters


The Adventures of Doc Savage - The Legendary Radio Series
Restored and Remastered to Digital Stereo!


Radio Archives is proud to present "The Adventures of Doc Savage", the definitive version of the audio series that most Doc Savage and pulp fiction fans consider the finest audio version of the legendary Man of Bronze and his Fabulous Five!

First heard over National Public Radio and produced by Roger Rittner's Variety Arts Radio Theatre, this brand new eight-CD collection presents two complete classic Doc Savage stories, fully dramatized and starring some of the best professional voice talents in the country. Based on the original novels by Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson, these timeless tales of adventure were adapted for audio by Rittner and well-known pulp historian and author Will Murray. Produced in full range stereo, each episode includes impressive sound effects and a full musical score.

This new compact disc collection - the first commercial release of this impressive thirteen-episode series - features two exciting multi-part adventures. First is the seven-part "Fear Cay", an action-packed adventure in which Doc, his five aides, and cousin Pat Savage pursue the Fountain of Youth Gang to a remote Caribbean island full of booby traps and intrigue - including a mysterious force that can turn a man into a skeleton in a matter of seconds! Then, Doc and his team are enmeshed in the atmospheric six-part lost-city thriller, "The Thousand-Headed Man", where they seek a lost expedition in the jungles of Indochina and an ancient treasure guarded by the fantastic Thousand Headed Man.

This collection has been completely remixed, remastered from the original recordings, and is presented in enhanced digital stereo. Also included is a brand new documentary, "The Sound of Bronze: Making 'The Adventures of Doc Savage'", featuring interviews, anecdotes from the cast and crew, and never before revealed details of how the series was conceived and created. The set, released in cooperation with Conde Nast, also features cover art by Doc Savage Bantam artist Bob Larkin and two bonus radio shows featuring two of the top detectives from 1940s, Philip Marlowe and Michael Shayne. And, on our website, you'll find extensive liner notes written exclusively for RadioArchives.com by pulp historian and author Will Murray, writer of seven "Doc Savage" novels.

Priced at just $24.98, this exciting CD set, full of action, suspense, and mystery, is sure to occupy a special place in the personal library of any Doc Savage, pulp fiction, or old-time radio fan. It's the perfect birthday or early Christmas gift for anyone who loves high adventure - and it's now available from RadioArchives.com!


Our Latest Old Time Radio Release: Fibber McGee and Molly, The Lost Episodes, Volume 10

In the early 1950s, when network radio was quickly yielding to television, Jim and Marion Jordan faced a crossroads. "Fibber McGee and Molly", their Tuesday night series, had been a top ten ratings grabber for over a decade but, with the mass desertion of sponsors into the new visual medium, there was a strong possibility that the show was going to draw to a close. The Jordan's were not overly concerned about this; being in their 50's, neither were particularly opposed to an early retirement - but NBC, which had bought the series lock, stock, and cluttered closet from Jim, Marion, and writer Don Quinn a few years earlier, felt there was still life in the franchise. So, in the fall of 1953, "The Fibber McGee and Molly Show" was revamped into a fifteen minute daily series, prerecorded and aired twice daily at the lunch and dinner hours. Some changes were necessary, but the overall effect was, in many ways, the rebirth of a series that had grown slightly predictable with age.

For three years - 1953 through 1956 - Fibber and Molly continued to generate mirth and hilarity from their famous address at 79 Wistful Vista, complete with regular visits from Bill Thompson (as both the Old Timer and Wallace Wimple) and Arthur Q. Bryan (as Doc Gamble) along with a host of the most talented voices in radio. Ratings were respectable, the Jordan's enjoyed the flexibility of prerecording, and rather than being prematurely put out to pasture, Fibber and Molly enjoyed another few years of comedy bliss.

For many years, radio enthusiasts didn't have the luxury of listening to Fibber & Molly's daily adventures; aside from a few scattered episodes preserved in edited form by the Armed Forces Radio Service, only a handful of network broadcasts were known to exist. However, a few years ago, Radio Archives was fortunately to locate practically the entire run of "The Fibber McGee and Molly Show" on NBC's original master disks - the very same 16" platters the network used to record and air the series - and, recently, we've been releasing them sequentially in a series of very popular multi-CD sets. The fidelity of these programs is astounding - you'd think they were recorded yesterday, rather than 50 plus years ago - but the most important thing is the programs themselves, which are just as funny, just as endearing, and just as delightful as when they were first heard.

If you love the McGee's - and what radio show aficionado doesn't? - you owe it to yourself to purchase "Fibber McGee and Molly, The Lost Episodes, Volume 10", the newest 6-CD old time radio collection from RadioArchives.com, priced at only $17.98.

But wait - did we say $17.98? As the Old Timer would say, "That ain't the way I heered it!"

Your Treasure Chest Bonus: Get Fibber McGee for Just 99 Cents!

Normally, "Fibber McGee and Molly, The Lost Episodes, Volume 10" sells for $17.98 - but, thanks to the Radio Archives Treasure Chest, you can bring McGee's hilarious misadventures into your home for just 99 Cents!

How can you take advantage of this great deal? Simple! Just add "Fibber McGee" to your shopping cart, and then add $24.00 or more worth of additional merchandise to your cart as well. Before checking out, be sure to enter the coupon code BONUS to get the new Fibber McGee set for just 99 Cents. If you prefer, you can always place your order by phone toll-free by calling 800-886-0551.

This special Fibber McGee Bonus Offer may expire at any time! Another great Treasure Chest deal will take its place, but this new six-CD set will once again be priced at $17.98. Don't miss out - visit RadioArchives.com and place your order right away!

New in Pulp Fiction: The Shadow Volume 41, The Avenger Volume 4, and Doc Savage Volume 40 

In addition to the just released "Adventures of Doc Savage" compact disc collection, Radio Archives also has brand new issues of Doc Savage, The Avenger, and The Shadow's classic pulp adventures! Complete with full color covers painted by some of t
he premier illustrators of the day, evocative interior line drawings, and chock full of extras, each collectible issue contains two full-length novels from the "golden age" of pulp fiction.

"The weed of crime bears bitter fruit. Crime does not pay. The Shadow knows!" In "The Shadow, Volume 41"($14.95), the Knight of Darkness battles outlaw corporations in two thrilling pulp novels by Walter Gibson, writing as Maxwell Grant. First, The Shadow seeks to decode the secret plots of Crime, Incorporated and its murderous masterminds to unravel a "Chain of Death". Then, when a rogue insurance company offers death policies, Henry Arnaud takes out a "Death's Premium" on the life of Lamont Cranston. This instant collector's item showcases the original pulp covers by George Rozen and Graves Gladney, the classic interior illustrations by legendary artists Tom Lovell and Edd Cartier, and commentary by popular-culture historian Will Murray.

The Pulp Era's mos
t unusual mystery man returns in "The Avenger Volume 4" ($14.95), featuring two epic adventures by Paul Ernst, writing as Kenneth Robeson. First, a famous museum becomes a killing site when an ancient Egyptian curse is revived by a strange ritual involving "The Blood Ring". Then, an unholy partnership between organized crime and big business produces a deadly trail of murder. Only The Avenger and Justice, Inc. can challenge the "Stockholders in Death". BONUS: a lost Avenger radio script from the Golden Age of Radio! This classic pulp reprint showcases H. W. Scott's classic pulp covers, all the original interior illustrations by Paul Orban, and historical commentary by Will Murray.

In "Doc Savage, Vo
lume 40" ($14.95), you'll thrill to the original pulp exploits of DC Comics' newest superstar as the Man of Bronze battles America's enemies in three World War II thrillers by Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson. First, in "Mystery on Happy Bones", Doc Savage's investigation of a kidnapped Army major unearths a Nazi plot. Then, in "Jiu San", the Man of Bronze is accused of treason after he breaks dangerous Japanese prisoners out of a POW camp. Finally, in "The Lost Giant", Doc disguises himself as a bandleader to search for an Allied government leader who has mysteriously disappeared. This extra-length pulp reprint features the original color pulp covers by Emery Clarke and Modest Stein, Paul Orban's classic interior illustrations, and historical commentary by Will Murray, writer of seven Doc Savage novels.

Radio Archives offers the largest stock of pulp reprint classics available anywhere - including each and every current and back issue of Doc Savage, The Spider, The Shadow, The Whisperer, and The Avenger. Whether you're a long-time fan of the pulp heroes or you're discovering them for the very first time, make RadioArchives.com your source for the very best in pulp fiction classics!


Also New in Old Time Radio: Philo Vance, Volume 3


Intelligent, worldly, and erudite, Philo Vance was the epitome of the armchair detective. Suave and sophisticated, he was a man of many talents who readily lend them to the police and to the District Attorney's office whenever they were needed to solve a baffling mystery. In the original books, written by Willard Huntington Wright under the name of S. S. Van Dine, Vance suffered from more than just a slight hint of upper class arrogance - but, thanks to movie versions of his exploits starring such smooth actors as William Powell and Basil Rathbone, by the time he hit radio in the mid-1940s, he had warmed up to become the Sherlock Holmes of his generation. And, thanks to a radio characterization by the legendary announcer and actor Jackson Beck, he enjoyed considerable success in the post-war years of broadcasting.

The cases of Philo Vance make for perfect radio entertainment - particularly for listeners who enjoy the chance to act as armchair detectives themselves. There are no passages of purple prose, no internal dialogues or questions of societal morality, just straight-ahead whodunits that a listener - then and now - can really sink his or her teeth into and, if they're observant, solve before Vance points out the criminal in the last moments of each show.

The adventures of Philo Vance have always been popular with RadioArchives.com customers - particularly commuters who use them as a refreshing relief from lengthier audio books; thanks to their 25-minute running time, a driver can enjoy one mystery on the way to work and another on the way back home. And now, thanks to Radio Archives' talented team of restoration technicians, we're pleased to offer "Philo Vance, Volume 3" ($17.98), a brand new six-CD set containing an even dozen of the detective's most challenging cases. Starring Jackson Beck in the title role, with Joan Alexander as Ellen Deering, Vance's girl Friday, and Maurice Tarplin ("The Mysterious Traveler" himself) as District Attorney Markham, these captivating tales of murder and mayhem will capture your imagination and likely inspire you to become an amateur criminologist yourself!

New on DVD: Two Classic Serials from Hollywood's Golden Age

If you were a kid in the 1940s, there's a very good chance that, if you had a dime or quarter to spare, you spent almost every Saturday afternoon at the movies. In those days, the time spent at the local Bijou was quite a bargain: for the price of a ticket, you usually got two features - generally westerns - as well as coming attractions, cartoons, a short subject or two, and of course the thing you really came to see: that week's thrilling chapter of the latest action adventure cliffhanger.

Serials, as cliffhangers were officially known, were bread and butter for such movie studios as Republic, Columbia, and Universal Pictures and they churned them out by the hundreds between the 1930s and the 1950s. Running anywhere from twelve to fifteen chapters, divided into twenty minute segments, these little classics brought all of the excitement of the pulps, the comic strips, the comic books, and even radio shows to the silver screen and virtually guaranteed that any kid with change to spare would be spending it, week after week, to find out what happened after the previous week's thrilling climax. Would Hop Harrigan escape from the runaway car before it plunged off the cliff? Would Flash Gordon escape Ming the Merciless' death chamber before it filled up with poison gas? How could the Three Mesquiteers ever survive when the rustlers blew up the bridge just as they were crossing it?

The budgets for the serials were never generous, meaning that the producers and directors spent the majority of their money on the sorts of things the customers wanted to see: harrowing fist fights, dangerous high-speed car chases,
sparking and sputtering electronic gadgetry, and special effects featuring impressive explosions. For two decades, serial production meant that no Hollywood stuntman or stuntwoman worth their salt would ever remain unemployed for long and that no character actor willing to don anything from a nasty mustache to a full-scale villain costume would ever go hungry. And even today, in these supposedly more sophisticated times, a well made serial can still be very entertaining to a modern audience - particularly since, thanks to DVDs, you're no longer required to wait until Saturday to find out what happens next!

RadioArchives.com is pleased to announce that we've added two more serials to our collection of DVD favorites - and both are prime examples of cliffhangers at their very best:

In "Gang Busters" ($11.96), with the city in the grip of the worst crime wave in history, the outnumbered and outgunned police must rely instead on cleverness and bravery to defeat "The League of Murdered Men". These underworld villains have declared open war on the government, killing and burning anything that stands in their way. A tip from beautiful reporter Vicki Logan (Irene Hervey) puts detective Bill Bannister (Kent Taylor) on the track of gang leader Professor Mortis (Ralph Morgan). Calling himself "the Voice of Death," Mortis has found a way to bring dead criminals back to life to fill the ranks of his ruthless army. As fires rage and buildings crumble, Bannister and his assistant Tim Nolan (Robert Armstrong) fight their way through countless obstacles and brutal criminals in order to bring the crime lord to justice and restore order to the city.

Based on the long-running radio series created by Phillips H. Lord, this 13-episode serial, first released in 1942 and now available in a two-DVD set, profited from Universal Studios' high budgets and state-of-the-art production facilities, both of which allowed veteran serial director Ray Taylor to fill the story with thrilling car chases, plane crashes, and rampant destruction. Robert Armstrong brings the same reckless energy to the role of Nolan that made him so memorable as Carl Denham in "King Kong" while Ralph Morgan, brother to Frank Morgan of "The Wizard of Oz", is suitably evil as the villainous Professor Mortis.

In "The Green Archer" ($5.98), the ghost of the legendary Green Archer prowls the corridors of Garr Castle. Ace detective Spike Holland has been hired to investigate the disappearance of the beautiful Elaine. His search leads him to Garr Castle and a confrontation with the sinister Abel Bellamy, who has turned the gothic fortress into the headquarters for his gang of crooks. As Holland tries to free Elaine from Bellamy's dungeons, the Green Archer draws his deadly bow to foil the gang's treacherous plans.

Victory Jory and Iris Meredith star in this action-packed and suspenseful serial from Columbia Pictures, first released in 1940 and based (very loosely) on books written by the famous author Edgar Wallace. Castles, dungeons, and medieval treasures set the scene in a cliffhanger that has become something of a cult classic over the years - thanks primarily to a impressive performance by Victor Jory and subtle tongue-in-cheek direction by comedy specialist James W. Horne, who earlier worked extensively with Laurel & Hardy. Also featured in the production are James Craven, Robert Fiske, Dorothy Fay, Forrest Taylor, Jack Ingram, Joseph W. Girard, Fred Kelsey, and Kit Guard.

Add these exciting titles to your collection today and you'll have hours and hours of exciting thrill-packed fun to enjoy during the brisk autumn evenings to come!


Letters, We Get Letters

Hardly a day goes by that our mailbox doesn't contain letters and e-mails from our customers regarding the quality of our products and our top notch customer service. Here's a small batch of comments we've received over the past few months, with thanks to the nice folks who took the time to write to us:

Kermyt Anderson purchases "The Adventures of Frank Merriwell" and writes:
Thanks 
so much!! All three sets arrived on Saturday, which is quite amazing given that I placed the orders on Thursday! Keep up the great work!

Michael Parks listens to "Box Thirteen" and writes:
The sound quality on those episodes is stunning -- an astronomical improvement over the crackle filled copies found elsewhere.

Wesley Tom receives "The Cisco Kid, Volume 1" and writes:
The sound quality on the CDs is just superb. I recall listening to the Cisco Kid on KFRC (Mutual) in San Francisco during the early 50s at 8 PM, sponsored by Roman Meal Bread. During the summers, I lived with relatives just outside of Sacramento and would listen to the show on KMYC in Marysville. The show was on at 9 PM on this station. It would be fun to hear the program from San Francisco first on KFRC and then tune in for another run on KMYC later on.

Joan Young writes:
My daughter gave me the "Mr. President" collection as a gift. Edward Arnold's voice is the magnificent sound I remember from my childhood. I like to not look at the name of the president when I play the CD to guess who it is.

It's nice to know that we're pleasing our customers - but it's even nicer that so many of them are willing to take the time to let us know their thoughts about what we have to offer. If you like what you receive from us - or if you have a problem or a concern - feel free to send us an e-mail at Service@RadioArchives.com. We're always happy to hear from you!

October greetings from your friends at RadioArchives.com, offering the very best in old time radio, classic DVDs, and pulp fiction favorites!

We always welcome your questions, suggestions, or comments! Send an e-mail toService@RadioArchives.com or call us at 800-886-0551.

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