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Radio Archives Newsletter
May 17, 2024
1 new Phantom Detective Audiobook, 2 new eBooks, and 4 featured products from Radio Archives this week!
All new and featured products are discounted the first week.
Old Time Radio
Featured: previously released
Volume 1

Family life in the post-war years changed considerably from that which was common in the depression-ridden 1930s. For the first time, thanks to the G. I. Bill of Rights, everyday people could afford to get an education and a decent job or career - with returning veterans by the thousands taking advantage of the opportunity to establish themselves a far more solid foundation than they had known in the previous decade. Thus, gradually, America developed a new economic base with a new and ever-increasing standard of living. This new middle-class lifestyle, coupled with the baby boom that ran throughout the 1950s, changed the country from a rural/urban mix into a rural/urban/suburban culture -- with housing developments, highways, shopping centers, and all of the other hallmarks of this new society becoming the norm.

As always, radio reflected the culture of its audience -- and never more so than with the rise of the situation comedy in the late 1940s. There had always been versions of this type of program, of course; it can be argued that the first sit-com of all was "Amos 'n' Andy," the continuing saga of two rural black men trying to become successful in the fast-paced and treacherous world of urban Chicago. Some sit-coms of the early 1930s actually began life as comic strips, with shows like "The Gumps," "Gasoline Alley," "Skippy," and "Joe Palooka" attracting large audiences thanks to the familiarity listeners had with their newspaper counterparts. In the later part of the decade, "Blondie" joined this line-up and, coupled with well-produced family shows like "The Aldrich Family" and "The Great Gildersleeve," the genre was well established by the end of World War II.

The brainchild of actor Robert Young and writer Ed James, "Father Knows Best" began as an audition disc in December of 1948. In its initial incarnation, the series was not much different than similar situation comedies of the period -- shows like "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" and "The Life of Riley," the concepts of which were basically that "daddy is a well-meaning dumbbell, but we still love him." (In fact, the original title of the series was "Father Knows Best?" -- with a definite question mark at the end of the phrase.) However, by the time the show was bought by General Foods for its Maxwell House Coffee brand and first aired over NBC on August 25, 1949, most of the clichés had been removed. What was left was a solid, well-written portrayal of typical Midwestern family life -- with a surprising emphasis on well-shaded characters, rather than outlandish situations, to bring out the humorous side of suburban life.

As portrayed by Robert Young, the title character of Jim Anderson is a successful insurance salesman living in Springfield with his wife Margaret (June Whitley) and their three children: Betty (Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson), and Kathy (Norma Jean Nilsson). Jim is ambitious, likeable, and a good provider for his family -- though he often grows exasperated by the turmoil of his everyday home life. The plots generally begin quite simply - Jim surprises Margaret with tickets to a show, for instance - then quickly become complicated as the plans, schemes, commitments, and miscommunications of their children and their friends and neighbors get in the way. As with all sit-coms, the complications are never all that serious and are, of course, all resolved by the end of the show -- but, thanks to excellent writing and the outstanding acting talents of the principals, these hilarious slices of everyday life rise above the norm to make "Father Knows Best" one of the highlight series of late-era network radio entertainment.

Heard today, "Father Knows Best" still retains its ability to hilariously reflect the interpersonal relationships of a typical American family. Though life is certainly more complicated and diverse today than it was in the 1940s and 1950s, listeners can still easily recognize a bit of themselves and their children in the characters, their quirks, and their foibles. After all, though times change, people don't; raising good kids today is no easier or less complicated than it was in 1950, as you'll discover when you listen to these delightful episodes.

The twenty shows in this collection all date from 1950-51, the formative years of the series, and have been digitally restored, resulting in ten full hours of excellent sounding family-friendly radio entertainment from one of the best and most enduring situation comedies of all time. 
10 hours - MP3 regular price $19.99
Discounted for the next week - $9.99
Featured: previously released
Volume 88
Radio Preservation has always been at the core of Radio Archives. This exciting series is derived from our massive collection of thirty thousand radio shows from 16" transcription discs.
This 20 hour collection includes shows from the classic days of Radio. You'll find rare and obscure as well as mainstream radio shows from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s in the Radio Archives Treasures sets.
These shows have all been restored with state-of-the-art CEDAR technology - the audio processing system used by major recording companies to restore older recordings. We expect the shows to be the best sounding copies available anywhere. Radio Archives Treasures are restored to sparkling digital quality.
Volume 88 includes shows from these series.
One Man's Family, Twenty Questions, Biographies in Sound, Life With Luigi, The Kraft Music Hall, Hear It Now, You Bet Your Life, Lightning Jim, Unit 99, Forecast, The College Quiz Bowl, Philco Radio Time, The C. P. MacGregor Show, The Checkerboard Fun Fest, and Suspense.
20 hours - MP3 regular price $39.99
Discounted for the next week - $19.99
The Yacht Club Murders
by Robert Wallace
Read by Milton Bagby

Forged in war, The Phantom Detective wages a one-man battle on crime! Solving impossible mysteries and delivering his own justice, he is the underworld’s masked nightmare!


Millions are at stake in this tense mystery of greed, intrigue and vengeance as brutal crime and sinister tragedy stalk hand and hand in the wake of the Bat’s duplicity! Follow Richard Curtis Van Loan as he takes the trail of a Napoleon of Crime who defies justice.


Even though he was indeed a one-man army against crime, The Phantom Detective did not live in the world alone, nor could he completely carry on his crusade by himself. The crimefighter’s identity was known to one man. A friend of his father’s and a man influential in Richard Curtis Van Loan’s raising, Frank Havens was not only the powerful publisher of The Clarion, the city’s newspaper. He was also the only person who knew the Phantom Detective’s identity and he had also suggested Van Loan take on a case to solve that had the police baffled. Havens’ suggestion not only led his young charge to solve the case, but also to become The Phantom Detective!


The connection with Havens would also provide The Phantom Detective with a love interest and, in some stories, somewhat of a partner. Muriel Havens, Frank’s daughter, proved to be a capable ally and much more than a damsel in distress. Another character that Havens provides the connection for is tough guy and sometimes hardboiled Clarion reporter Steve Huston, who proved himself a hero as well in several stories.


By 1939, comic books had begun influencing Pulp magazine heroes to a degree and in the case of The Phantom Detective, this meant he acquired a sidekick, a teenaged boy named Chip Dorlan. Another ally that appeared several times was Jerry Lannigan, once Van Loan’s personal mechanic and pilot.


The Yacht Club Murders was originally published in the January 1939 issue of The Phantom Detective Magazine and is read with pulse pounding intensity by award winning voice actor Milton Bagby.

5 hours - MP3 regular price $9.99
Featured: previously released
Slaves of the Laughing Death
by Norvell W. Page writing as Grant Stockbridge
Read by Nick Santa Maria
Out of the dim recesses of the past came Munro, Man of a Thousand Faces, to corner America’s gold with a sinister agency for devouring flesh... and with a mysterious power to control mass emotions at will! Only one man was equipped to fight him — Richard Wentworth, alias The Spider. But The Spider was being stalked by three rich fearless adventurers whose one aim was to destroy him as ruthlessly as in the past they had trapped and killed beasts in the jungle!
One thing that sets the Spider apart from other hero characters is magnitude; the villains commit acts of destruction on a grand scale, sinking whole ocean liners, toppling entire buildings, wiping out entire towns with germ warfare. The evil masterminds are in truth more terrorists than criminals, their villainy often more for its own sake than any concrete plan for profit.
The Spider did not speak lightly of evil. He was too gentle, too tender a lover, to blot the glamorous night with useless vaporings. He was too courageous to take fright from vague notions. But through years of ceaseless struggle and hourly danger—not alone from the Underworld but also from the police who considered his brand-marked executions of criminals only murder—he had developed an uncanny feeling like the sixth sense of bats. Flying in the dark, scarcely seeing, the convoluted facial feelers of a bat received, apparently, an impact of air waves which forewarned the animal of obstacles in its path. So something—thought waves?—warned the Spider of danger.
This thrilling Spider audiobook features acclaimed voice talent Nick Santa Maria, who has made the Spider his own! Slaves of the Laughing Death originally published in The Spider magazine, March, 1940.
5 hours - MP3 regular price $9.99
Discounted for the next week - $4.99
New eBook
The Phantom Detective eBook
#71 January 1939
Total Pulp Experience. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine.
The Phantom Detective! The name alone conjures up action and adventure. From the same publisher that brought you The Black Bat, Captain Danger, The Crimson Mask and The Green Ghost came one of pulpdom's best-known detectives. Scourge of the underworld, The Phantom, as he was called, aided the Law with his sweetheart Muriel Havens. His first adventure was published in February 1933 and they continued for 170 thrilling exploits until the Summer 1953 issue. The Phantom Detective returns in these vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format.
Regular price $3.99
New eBook
Total Pulp Experience. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine.
Death strikes in the night! Murder inside a locked room! For thrills, chills and action galore, readers of the 1930s, 1940s and into the 1950s clamored for a pulp magazine by the name of Thrilling Detective. Thrilling Detective magazine was one of the earliest pulp answers to America's insatiable appetite for mystery and detective tales. It was the first of Ned Pines's long line of pulp magazines, starting in 1931 and running for an amazing 213 issues before closing down in the Summer of 1953. Thrilling Publications was responsible for other long-running pulps such as Startling Stories, The Lone Eagle, Black Book Detective and Thrilling Wonder Stories. Famous pulp characters The Phantom Detective, Captain Future, the Black Bat and Captain Danger, all appeared in other Thrilling publicaions.
Each Thrilling Detective magazine started off with a book-length mystery novel, and then was followed up by a half-dozen or so shorter stories of thrills and danger. Appearing solely in Thrilling Detective were recurring characters like Doctor Coffin, The Green Ghost, Craig Kennedy, Raffles, G-Man Jones, Mike Shayne, Race Williams and Mr. Death. Some of America's most foremost writers took up their pens to write for the magazine. Names like Arthur J. Burks, Wayne Rogers, H.M. Appel, George Allan Moffatt, Norman A. Daniels, Johnston McCulley, George Fielding Eliot, L. Ron Hubbard, Paul Ernst, Emile C. Tepperman, Edmond Hamilton, Laurence Donovan, Ralph Oppenheim, Robert Sidney Bowen, Henry Kuttner, Murray Leinster, Fredric Brown, Brett Halliday, Carroll John Daly, Louis L'Amour and Bruce Elliott. Thrilling Detective returns in these vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format.
Regular price $3.99
Featured eBook
Total Pulp Experience. These exciting pulp adventures have been beautifully reformatted for easy reading as an eBook and features every story, every editorial, and every column of the original pulp magazine. As a special bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction especially for this series of eBooks.
Another epic exploit of America’s best-loved pulp-fiction character of the 1930s and 1940s: The Spider — Master of Men! Richard Wentworth — the dread Spider, nemesis of the Underworld, lone wolf anti-crime crusader who always fights in that grim no-man’s land between Law and lawless — returns in vintage pulp tales of the Spider, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format.

Radio Archives Pulp Classics line of eBooks are of the highest quality and feature the great Pulp Fiction stories of the 1930s-1950s. All eBooks produced by Radio Archives are available in ePub and Mobi formats for the ultimate in compatibility. If you have a Kindle, the Mobi version is what you want. New Kindle's use ePub. If you have an iPad/iPhone, Android, or Nook, then the ePub version is what you want.

 Bargain Basement

The Bargain Basement is where you find all the discounted Audio CDs including everything featured in this newsletter.

Comments From Our Customers!
Larry Thomas writes:
Father Knows Best, Volume 1 I plan to continue ordering your great shows, since they are such a truly wonderful way to enjoy a relaxing evening with some old radio 'friends'. A pat on the back to all of you for your great work. It's appreciated.
Ivan G Shreve Jr writes:
Dragnet. Jack Webb's seminal police procedural is still the yardstick by which all cop shows are measured. Those folks who look upon the 1960s TV version as an exercise in high camp need to familiarize themselves with the original, which remains one of radio's finest dramatic shows.

If you'd like to share a comment with us or if you have a question or a suggestion send an email to [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!

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We offer Audio CDs of all of our Old Time Radio sets and Pulp Audiobooks. To order click here for the Audio CD Order Form or by voicemail at 800-886-0551. All discounted Audio CDs are in the Bargain Basement.

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The Radio Archives Newsletter is emailed every Friday morning. The products in this newsletter are just a small fraction of what you'll find waiting for you at RadioArchives.com. Whether it's the sparkling audio fidelity of our classic radio collections, or the excitement of our pulp audiobooks and pulp eBooks, you'll find 2,300 intriguing products at RadioArchives.com.
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