download process

*Lights Out* Old Time Radio Shows 86 MP3s

Instant Download
Price:
4.99
USD


Tradebit buyer protection fee included.
Pay with Credit Card


Instant Download from ndmuscle123, digital version

*Lights Out* Old Time Radio Shows 86 MP3s
248.52 MB ZIP File - Platform: Misc


ABOUT THE PROGRAM


In the fall of 1933, NBC writer Wyllis Cooper conceived the idea of "a midnight mystery serial to catch the attention of the listeners at the witching hour." The idea was to offer listeners a dramatic program late at night, at a time when the competition was mostly airing music. At some point, the serial concept was dropped in favor of an anthology format emphasizing crime thrillers and the supernatural. The first series of shows (each 15 minutes long) ran on a local NBC station, WENR, at midnight Wednesdays, starting in January 1934. By April, the series proved successful enough to expand to a half hour. In January 1935, the show was discontinued in order to ease Cooper's workload (he was then writing scripts for the network's prestigious Immortal Dramas program), but was brought back by huge popular demand a few weeks later. After a successful tryout in New York City, the series was picked up by NBC in April 1935 and broadcast nationally, usually late at night and always on Wednesdays. Cooper stayed on the program until June 1936, when another Chicago writer, Arch Oboler, took over. By the time Cooper left, the series had inspired about 600 fan clubs.

Cooper's run was characterized by grisly stories spiked with dark, tongue-in-cheek humor, a sort of radio Grand Guignol. A character might be buried or eaten or skinned alive, vaporized in a ladle of white-hot steel, absorbed by a giant slurping amoeba, have his arm torn off by a robot, or forced to endure torture, beating or decapitation - always with the appropriate blood-curdling acting and sound effects. Though there had been efforts at horror on radio previously (notably The Witch's Tale), there does not seem to have been anything quite as explicit or outrageous as this on a regular basis. When the series switched to the national network, a decision was made to tone down the gore and emphasize tamer fantasy and ghost stories.

Only one recording survives from Cooper's 1934-1936 run, but his less gruesome scripts were occasionally rebroadcast. An interesting example is his "Three Men," which became the series' annual Christmas show (a 1937 version circulates among collectors under titles like "Uninhabited" or "Christmas Story"); it has a plot typical of Cooper's gentler fantasies. On the first Christmas after World War I, three Allied officers meet by chance in a train compartment and find one another vaguely familiar. They fall asleep and share a dream in which they are the Three Wise Men searching for Jesus. But is it really a dream? In the best tradition of supernatural twist endings, Cooper has the officers wake to find a strange odor in their compartmentwhich turns out to be myrrh and frankincense.

In the mid-1940s, Cooper's decade-old scripts were used for three brief summertime revivals of Lights Out. The surviving recordings reveal that Cooper was experimenting with both stream of consciousness and first-person narration a few years before these techniques were popularized in American radio drama by, among others, Arch Oboler and Orson Welles. In one tale, a murderer describes how the Chicago police try to beat a confession out of him. When that doesn't work, they put him in a jail cell haunted by the ghost of a previous occupant, a smooth gangster named Skeeter Dempsey who describes his own execution and discusses the afterlife knowledgeably. In the final twist, the narrator reveals that he has taken Skeeter's advice to commit suicide and is now himself a ghost.

Another story, originally broadcast in March 1935 as "After Five O'Clock" and revived in 1945 as "Man in the Middle," allows us to follow the thoughts of a businessman as he spends a day at the office cheating on his wife with his secretary. The amusing contrast between what the protagonist thinks to himself and what he says out loud to the other characters enlivens one of Cooper's favorite plot devices, the love triangle.

One radio critic, in reviewing a March 1935 episode that used multiple first-person narrators, said: " Technique in writing and producing this script is one of pure radio license and can't even be compared to the flashback from the movies, since characters dead at the close of the tale do considerable talking of their experiences. This feat, combined with the terse, stark sock of the drama, is probably one of the most realistic pieces radio has ever presented."

Other Cooper scripts are more routine, perhaps in part because the author's attention was divided by other projects. From the summer of 1933 until August 1935, Cooper was NBC Chicago's continuity chief, supervising a staff of writers and editing their scripts. He resigned in order to devote more time to Lights Out as well as a daily aviation adventure serial, Flying Time. At various times, he also served on NBC's Program Planning Board, wrote the soap opera Betty and Bob, and commuted weekly to produce another program in Des Moines, Iowa. From early 1934 to mid 1936, Cooper produced close to 120 scripts for Lights Out. Some episode titles (all from 1935) include "The Mine of Lost Skulls," "Sepulzeda's Revenge," "Three Lights From a Match," "Play Without a Name," and "Lost in the Catacombs" (about a honeymoon couple in Rome who lose their way in the catacombs under the city). Typical plots included:

A novelist, struggling to write a locked room mystery, locks himself in his office only to be interrupted by a stranger who resembles the story's murderer.
A killer named "Nails" Malone has "a conference with his conscience" about the murders he's committed.
A scientist accidentally creates a giant amoeba that grows rapidly, eats living things (like the lab assistant's cat), and exhibits powers of mind control.

The show benefited tremendously from Chicago's considerable pool of creative talent. The city was, like New York, one of the main centers of radio production in 1930s America. Among the actors who participated regularly during the Cooper era were Sidney Ellstrom, Art Jacobson, Don Briggs, Bernardine Flynn, Betty Lou Gerson, and Betty Winkler. The sound effects technicians frequently had to perform numerous experiments to achieve the desired noises. Cooper once had them build a gallows and wasn't satisfied until one of the sound men personally dropped through the trap. The series had little music scoring save for the thirteen chime notes that opened the program (after a deep voice intoned, "Lights out, everybody!") and an ominous gong which was used to punctuate a scene and provide the transition to another.

Episode List

Money Money Money
Author and the Thing
The Sea
The Fast One
Nobody Died
Poltergeist
Cat Wife
Sakhalin
Chicken Heart
State Executioner
The Little People
Organ
Until Dead
The Meteor Man
Happy Ending
Lord Marley's Ghost
Little Old Lady
Christmas Story
The Dark
Oxychloride X
Murder Castle
Chicken Heart
Super Feature
The Dream
Valse Triste
Cat Wife (Boris Karloff)
It Happened
Spider
Devil's Due
Revolt of the Worms
Poltergeist
Mungahra
Across The Gap
Bon Voyage
Come to the Bank
Story of Mr. Maggs
Scoop
Knock at the Door
The Meteor Man
Valse Triste
Fast One
Devil Mr. Alleycat
Protective Mr. Drogen
Until Dead
We Dug It Up
Oxychloride X
They Met at Dorset
Ball Paris Macabre
The Dream
Flame
Money Money Money
Super Feature
Archer
Kill
Execution
Heavenly Jeep
Murder In The Script Department
Spider
Little Old Lady
Ugliest Man In the World
The Organ
Prelude To Murder
Nature Study
Bathysphere
Visitor From Hades
Profits Unlimited
The Little People
Murder Castle
Sakhalin
Subbasement
Immortal Gentleman
Lord Marley's Ghost
The Word
Mirage
Author and the Thing
Reunion After Death
Rocket Ship
Man in the Middle
The Day The Sun Exploded
The Coffin In Studio B
Haunted Cell
Battle of the Magicians
The Revenge of India
Ghost on the Newsreel Negative
The Signal Man
Death Robbery



(ID 275068862)

File Data:

Contact Seller:
ndmuscle123, US, Member since 05/16/2009

URL:

Embed:
Create JavaScript Mobile Tag Widgets for your homepage

Resell product:

Product video:

More Files From This User


Tradebit Reviews

Tradebit is the worlds largest marketplace for digital files, with over 2.5 million satisfied customers and millions of digital products. Online for over 12 years, Tradebit is the best place to find files like music, video tutorials, repair manuals, and more. If you're curious about how much our users love Tradebit, read reviews from real buyers!