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  Adventures by Morse, Volume 3 - 6 hours [Download] #RA563



 
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Adventures by Morse
Volume 3




"If you like high adventure, come with me. If you like the stealth of intrigue, come with me. If you like blood and thunder, come with me..."

In his prime as a creator/writer/producer, Carlton E. Morse was literally a one-man radio factory, producing scripts non-stop and literally writing every single one himself.For most radio enthusiasts, the name Carlton E. Morse brings to mind two popular and much-loved series: "I Love a Mystery," a thrilling and suspenseful adventure serial of the 1940s, and "One Man's Family," the influential family serial that ran for over three decades on network radio. But, in addition to these two acknowledged classics, Morse is also the creator and author of another series that is well worth rediscovering: a syndicated suspense serial titled "Adventures by Morse."

Born in rural Jennings, Louisiana on June 4th, 1901, Carlton E. Morse began his writing career in the 1920s, honing his skills by working as a reporter for several newspapers in California. Noticing that radio was rapidly becoming a major force in entertainment, in 1929 he landed a job with KGO, the NBC affiliate in San Francisco. There he soon proved his talent for efficient deadline-driven writing, and demonstrated to network management that he possessed the organization and firm hand needed for production work as well. Before long, Morse was given a free hand to create new programs that, though originating at KGO, would be heard throughout much of the western part of the U.S. via the NBC west coast network.

It was while working at KGO that Morse first showed a talent for writing dramatic multi-part radio serials - in particular, the thrill-packed adventure stories that were the aural equivalent of the engrossing tales that ran in the "pulp" magazines of the day. Taking a cue from the lurid full-color covers of such magazines as "Black Mask" and "Terror Tales," Morse learned early on that the best way to instantly capture the attention of listeners was to use a distinctive and alarming opening signature - the ominous chiming of a clock, a screaming police siren, the sound of a Chinese gong being struck - then quickly engross them with tales set in exotic places. Always included in the stories were mysterious and potentially threatening elements: dark, damp jungles, bizarre and profane rituals, strange languages, sacred amulets, and - in a nod to his home-base of San Francisco - thick and impenetrable fog that concealed a wide variety of unseen dangers. To this, he added the standard elements of the classic "old dark house" mystery story: sudden and unexplained deaths, ancient curses, hidden panels, piercing cries in the night, and the gathering of a diverse group of suspicious people, all of whom had stories to tell...and secrets to hide.

Though Morse wrote and produced many a limited-run mystery serial throughout the 1930s, "I Love a Mystery" proved to be his first nationwide blockbuster in that genre. ("One Man's Family," first heard on the west coast in 1932, was a ratings champion almost from the start and began to be heard nationally over the full NBC network in May of the following year.) Created by Morse in 1938 and first heard in January 1939, "Mystery" was initially broadcast over NBC's Pacific network and, thus, was heard in only a few western states. The show soon proved so popular, however, that it went coast to coast over the full network in October and aired, first over NBC and later over CBS, until December 1944. With the responsibility of almost single-handedly writing and producing two popular network shows, it might have seemed to the casual observer that Morse was headed for a breakdown -- but those who worked closely with him knew that he was made of stronger stuff.

In his prime, Carlton E. Morse was literally a one-man radio production company, generating plot after plot and literally writing each and every word of each story himself. That he could write and produce both "Mystery" and "One Man's Family" at the same time is a testament to both his work ethic and his boundless creativity. Having been raised on a farm, Morse never lost the habit of rising before dawn and working extensively on scripts even before having breakfast. In the early morning, while most people were sleeping, Morse found that his mind was clear and his time entirely his own, uninterrupted by other business matters. It was not uncommon, in fact, for Morse to type out a script or two for "Family" with his morning coffee and, after breakfast, complete another couple of chapters in an upcoming "Mystery" story -- and all this before he went to the office to contend with his various production responsibilities!

Transcription disc of Adventures by MorseTo maintain such productivity, however, Morse frequently found it necessary to recycle the plots of his adventure serials, changing character names, locations, and specific events as needed, as well as inserting bits of storyline from other tales into the one he was currently writing. In a time when radio shows were broadcast live and repeats were seldom (if ever) allowed by the networks, it made good sense to draw upon his extensive backlog -- and this proved particularly true when it came to the creation of "Adventures by Morse" in late 1944.

With the end of "I Love a Mystery," Morse decided to partially free himself from advertiser and network oversight by going into independent production. To save time, and also to allow him to continue writing and producing "One Man's Family" at the same time, he chose to draw upon some storylines he had come up with in earlier years and, coupling these with some new tales, created a new series. "Adventures by Morse," as it was titled, offered listeners four 10-part serials along with four 3-part serials for a total of 52 half-hour episodes - a full year's worth of shows, designed to be prerecorded and to air weekly on local stations nationwide on a syndicated basis. Unlike his earlier (and, in the case of "One Man's Family," still running) series, Morse produced and owned the rights to "Adventures" outright, exercising complete control over the content of the shows and renting the discs to subscribing stations on a contract basis.

Deciding that there was no point in tampering with success, the major characters in "Adventures by Morse" were remarkably similar to the detective heroes of "I Love a Mystery": no-nonsense Jack Packard and his wise-cracking sidekick Doc Long, for example, became no-nonsense Captain Bart Friday and his wise-cracking sidekick Skip Turner. The locales were similar, too: both detective teams worked out of an office in San Francisco and had adventures that took them to strange and exotic foreign lands; mystical and unexplained events took shape week to week, culminating in a slam-bang climax that tied all of the loose ends neatly together in unexpected ways. Fact is, unless you listen closely, you'd almost think that "Adventures by Morse" is simply a continuation of "I Love a Mystery" -- and, in many ways, you'd be right!

Heard today, "Adventures by Morse" is still an exciting series to hear - particularly for those who appreciate and enjoy high adventure and engrossing tales of the mysterious and the unknown. Morse's talent for grabbing your attention with such well-honed devices as scary noises in the night, sudden violence, unexpected plot twists, and "don't open that door!" suspense is truly timeless; it isn't at all surprising that modern day listeners, hearing these shows for the first time, are just as fascinated by them as listeners were when they were first aired over sixty years ago.

The four three-part serial programs in this third and concluding set of "Adventures by Morse" shows, licensed and released with the cooperation of the Morse Family Trust, have been transferred from Carlton E. Morse's own personal set of transcription recordings and fully restored for outstanding audio fidelity, making this the best sounding collection of these programs ever released to the public.


A Coffin for the Lady
starring Elliot Lewis as Captain Bart Friday and Jack Edwards as Skip Turner

A Coffin for the Lady
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

The Conversation in the Casket
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

The Deepest Grave in the World
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated


The Girl on Shipwreck Island
starring David Ellis as Captain Bart Friday and Jack Edwards as Skip Turner

The Girl on Shipwreck Island
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

The Pirate is a Fighting Man
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

There is More About Gracie Than Meets the Eye
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated


You'll Be Dead in a Week
starring Russell Thorson as Captain Bart Friday and Jack Edwards as Skip Turner

The Man with Nothing to Lose
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

$200,000 to Lose
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

Concluding Episode
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated


It's Dismal to Die
starring Russell Thorson as Captain Bart Friday and Jack Edwards as Skip Turner

It's Dismal to Die
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

Second Episode
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

Bad Medicine for the Doctor
1944-45 - 30:00 - Syndicated

This CD set released under license to Nostalgia Ventures Inc
©&(p) 1990, 2004 Morselco, Inc. All Rights Reserved



Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 | Total Reviews: 1 Write a review

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
Fantastic! September 27, 2012
Reviewer: Barney McCasland from Lubbock, TX United States  
I listened to some of the Adventures by Morse (from other sources) in the past. I enjoyed them then, but I enjoyed them even more now. The stories are still entertaining, and the Radio Archives restored sound quality is fantastic!

Adventures by Morse is well worth a listen, whether you're new to old time radio, or a longtime fan! I can only hope that someday it'll be possible for Carlton E. Morse's complete, 13-episode series I Love Adventure and all remaining episodes of I Love a Mystery, especially the serials The Thing That Cries in the Night and Bury Your Dead Arizona, to be made available as digital downloads as well...

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