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Escape, Volume 2 - 10 hours [Download] #RA645
10 hours - Digital Download
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"...designed to free you from the four walls of today for a half-hour of high adventure..."
For nearly twenty years, "Suspense" - "radio's outstanding theater of thrills" -- was the jewel in the crown of CBS dramatic anthology shows. It featured the biggest stars, the best scripts, and the crème de la crème of producers and directors; a prestige program that was not only hugely popular but often critically acclaimed. With a pedigree like that, clearly no other radio program could come close to matching its quality.
Except that one show did...and with a limited budget, few glamorous stars, and so much schizophrenic scheduling that, during its seven-year run, it was shifted around into no less than eighteen different time slots. Radio enthusiasts often think of it as the sister show to "Suspense" -- but, given the secondary status it was granted in its own time, it would be more apt to describe it as its "step-sister."
We offer you...
"Escape" never received the lavish attention afforded to "Suspense" but, from July 7, 1947 to September 25, 1954, it managed to transcend its mostly network-sustained origins and provide top-quality entertainment. Occasionally a celebrity would appear in a leading role - Victor Mature, Edmond O'Brien, Vincent Price - but for the most part "Escape" relied on the tried-and-true veterans of "Radio Row," outstanding performers like Elliott Lewis, Jeanette Nolan, Jack Webb, Lillian Buyeff, Hans Conried, Vivi Janiss, Harry Bartell and Georgia Ellis, to name just a few. Distinguished veterans like William N. Robson and Norman Macdonnell oversaw the production and direction, and exceptional scripts were provided by the likes of Les Crutchfield, John Dunkel, Gil Doud, E. Jack Neumann and Kathleen Hite. Week in and week out, "Escape" demonstrated that it was truly an outstanding and memorable show...even if it was lacking that "Hollywood gloss" that attracted big-money sponsorship.
While stories of mystery and crime were the bailiwick of "Suspense," "Escape" concentrated more on tales of high adventure -- war, westerns, supernatural horror and science-fiction. Esteemed authors like Rudyard Kipling, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Arthur Conan Doyle, H.G. Wells, and Joseph Conrad provided much of the source material for the program, setting "Escape" apart from most of the other dramatic anthologies on the air at the time.
Many of the shows dramatized on "Escape" have established permanent residence in the recesses of this author's memory: "Zero Hour," an eerie science-fiction tale about the end of the world; "Evening Primrose," in which a misfit removes himself from the rest of society by hiding out in a department store...and discovers to his horror the strange creatures that roam there after hours; "Poison," a sweat-inducing allegory on prejudice that develops when a man awakens to learn that a deadly snake has joined him in his bunk. "A Shipment of Mute Fate" was another of Escape's all-time classics - an African bushmaster gets loose on a passenger ship, much to the dismay of both travelers and crew - and ditto "Leinengen vs. the Ants," in which a stubborn plantation owner must fight off an army of African ants. Perhaps the best remembered tale aired on "Escape" is "Three Skeleton Key," in which a group of lighthouse keepers find themselves besieged by ravenous rats. (Fans rarely remember the title to this one and simply refer to it as "the one with the rats". Enough said.)
"Escape" featured one of radio's most memorable openings, with either William Conrad or Paul Frees intoning: "Tired of the everyday grind? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you...ESCAPE!" The orchestra would then strike up Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" and, within seconds, the listener would be transported to a Caribbean jungle or to an icy glacier, effectively putting them in the shoes of that episode's protagonist.
Of the more than 200 episodes originally broadcast, there are but a mere handful of "Escape" programs that are missing today -- wonderful news for the novice listener, as hours and hours of great and rewarding radio drama await.
This second Radio Archives collection offers twenty full-length CBS broadcasts, just as originally heard between January and July of 1948.
Leiningen Versus the Ants (East Coast Version - 1st broadcast)
Wednesday, January 14, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Papa Benjamin (East Coast Version)
Wednesday, January 21, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Three Good Witnesses (East Coast Version)
Wednesday, January 28, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
The Vanishing Lady (East Coast Version)
Sunday, February 1, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Snake Doctor (East Coast Version)
Sunday, February 8, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Ancient Sorceries (East Coast Version)
Sunday, February 15, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
How Love Came To Professor Guildea (East Coast Version)
Sunday, February 22, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
The Grove of Ashtaroff (East Coast Version)
Sunday, February 29, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
The Log of the Evening Star (East Coast Version)
Sunday, March 14, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
A Shipment of Mute Fate
Sunday, March 28, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Sunday, April 4, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Sunday, April 11, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
The Drums of the Fore and Aft
Sunday, April 18, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
John Jock Todd
Sunday, May 2, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
The Time Machine
Sunday, May 9, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Sunday, May 16, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Sunday, June 6, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
A Tooth for Paul Revere
Sunday, July 4, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Sunday, July 11, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
Sunday, July 18, 1948 - 30:00 - CBS, sustaining
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