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Old-Radio Books

bookcover Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism
Bob Edwards Bob Edwards, who hosted NPR's Morning Edition from its beginning in 1979 through April, 2004 when he was removed against audience wishes, examines the charismatic career and pioneering efforts of renowned newsman Murrow for Wiley's Turning Points series. Murrow's broadcasting innovations were indeed significant turning points.

bookcover Flashgun Casey, Crime Photographer: From the Pulps to Radio and Beyond
J. Randolph Cox, David S. Siegel. This new book offers OTR fans an inside look at one of radio's most popular detectives, Jack "Flashgun" Casey, ace photographer for the Morning Express. Usually the first newsman on the scene when a crime was committed, and most often one step ahead of the police in solving the crime, Casey's weekly adventures entertained radio audiences from 1943-1950 and again during the 1954-1955 season

bookcover I Have a Lady in the Balcony: Memoirs of a Broadcaster in Radio & Television
George Ansbro. On Friday, May 18, 1934, radio columns in New York City announced that Bert Parks of CBS would be "relinquishing his status as N.Y.'s youngest Network Staff Announcer to the newly appointed George Ansbro on the NBC Announcing Staff." Ansbro's successful audition led to a career that included work on MRS. WIGGS OF CABBAGE PATCH, OMAR THE SWINGMAKER, and DR. I.Q., the television show from which the book's title line is taken. Fifty-five years his broadcast beginning, Ansbro was hailed as a pioneer who held the honor of being the oldest network employee. Ansboro recalls a career that includes a who's who of network and Hollywood stars, and a transition from what was known as the Blue Station and its beginnings at Rockefeller Center to the massive radio and television network now known as ABC. Along with such names as Howard Cosell, Bob Hope, and Mary Pickford, Ansbro helped shape the modern entertainment world.

bookcover The Witch's Tale: Stories of Gothic Horror from the Golden Age of Radio
David S. Siegel, Alonzo Deen Cole. Scripts from and stories about the popular horror anthology series, The Witch's Tale.

Radio Crime Fighters: Over 300 Programs from the Golden Age
Jim Cox. From the early days of radio, producers, directors and scriptwriters were well aware of the listening public's fascination with subject matter that was tinged with almost any form of wrongdoing. Stories that compared right and wrong, portrayed crime and punishment, and showed the characters upholding law and order held the interest of radio audiences of every age for more than thirty years. This work covers over 300 syndicated radio mystery and adventure serials that aired through 1962. Written by a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

bookcover Radio Drama: A Comprehensive Chronicle of American Network Programs, 1932-1962
Martin Grams, Jr. This book includes more than 300 program logs (many in print for the first time) drawn from newspapers, script files in broadcast museums, records from NBC, ABC and CBS, and the personal records of directors, writers, and actors, and the broadcast dates and airtimes. Written by Martin Grams, Jr., a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

Invisible Stars: A Social History of Women in American Broadcasting
Donna L. Halper, Foreword by Donald Fishman. The early years of American broadcasting seem to be an exclusively white male preserve, but broadcast historian Donna Halper documents the countless contributions made by women in this field since its earliest days. This artful social history considers our culture's expectations of women and how those expectations changed throughout the twentieth century, how the advent of television changed the landscape of employment opportunities for women in broadcasting, and how both television and radio communicate about gender roles. Written by a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

Say Goodnight, Gracie: The Last Years of Network Radio
Jim Cox. Until the late 1940s, most Americans relied heavily upon radio for information and entertainment. But with the 1950s came television sets and radio began a decline. This work examines what could be called the final decade of AM network radio and the many factors that contributed to its decline. Written by a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

bookcover On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio
John Dunning. If you have only one Old-Time Radio reference book in your collection, this should be the one! An amazing 820-page volume, with information on thousands of programs and a massive index tying all of the information together.

Ma Perkins, Little Orphan Annie and Heigh Yo, Silver!
Charles Stumpf, Ben Ohmart. A fantastic overview into the bygone world of old time radio shows. This book offers an overview of all of radio, from early soaps to Jack Benny tothe news programs and the start of television.Written by a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

bookcover Great American Broadcast: A Celebration of Radio's Golden Age
Leonard Maltin Behind-the-mike voices tell the inside story of the wonderful years when radio brought new meaning to the term ""home entertainment." From Orson Welles to Amos 'n Andy, Burns and Allen and Superman, here is a virtual oral history crammed with fascinating detail and exclusive first-person anecdotes. Illustrated with rare photos, this is the perfect gift for all radio, Americana, and nostalgia buffs. 130 b&w photos.

Great Radio Audience Participation Shows: Seventeen Programs from the 1940s
Jim Cox. This work contains the histories of 17 radio audience participation shows on the air during the1940s. Included for each show are the premise it was based upon, the producers, host, announcer, vocalists, orchestra conductor, writers, sponsors, the ratings, and the air dates. Biographical sketches are provided for 177 figures who were connected to radio audience participation shows. A guide to network audience participation shows follows the text as an appendix. Written by a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

bookcover Adventures of Amos 'n' Andy: A Social History of an American Phenomenon
Melvin P. Ely. In 1930, 40 million Americans tuned in to Amos 'n' Andy, a radio serial created and acted by two white men, about the adventures of two southern blacks. Ely follows the history of the show, discusses the strange charm of the scripts, and the serial's impact on racial issues.

Monitor: The Last Great Radio Show
Dennis Hart. This is the inside story of network radio's greatest program -- Monitor. Born in 1955 out of inspiration and desperation, "Monitor" became a smash hit with audiences and advertisers. The NBC weekend extravaganza -- which started as a 40-hour long program -- featured big-name hosts such as Dave Garroway, Hugh Downs, Frank Blair, Frank McGee, Gene Rayburn, David Wayne, Ed McMahon, Henry Morgan, Mel Allen, Monty Hall, David Brinkley, Hal March, Barry Nelson, Jim Lowe, Joe Garagiola, Murray the K, Bill Cullen and many others. Broadcasting from mammoth NBC studios called "Radio Central," Monitor featured a continuous flow of news, sports, comedy, variety and live remotes from around the country and around the world.

Frank and Anne Hummert's Radio Factory: The Programs and Personalities of Broadcasting's Most Prolific Producers
Jim Cox. This book explores the private lives and professional dealings of broadcasting's most prolific creator-producers. There are several appendices, including a list of all broadcast series and a chronology of defining moments in the Hummerts' lives. Sample programming schedules give the reader a clear understanding of the Hummerts' dominance. Written by a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

bookcover Gunsmoke: A Complete History
Suzanne and Gabor Barabas.The series ran for nine years on radio and 20 years on television, and it's all here: 74 interviews andreminiscences by the principals, guest stars, directors, writers, and producers; an episode-by-episodeguide to about 1,000 radio and television programs, and much more!

bookcover The Big Broadcast 1920-1950
Frank Buxton & Bill Owen. A new edition of the original 1972 reference work.

The Great Radio Heroes
Jim Harmon.Radio drama lives on -- and here is a book to keep that love alive for fans old and new. First published in 1967and now considered a classic, this robust reminiscence takes you back to the heyday of radio programming,with recollections of such dramas as I Love a Mystery, Gangbusters, The Shadow, Inner Sanctum, Batmanand Robin, Superman, Tom Mix, and many more.

bookcover CBS Radio Mystery Theater: An Episode Guide & Handbook to Nine Years of Broadcasting, 1974-1982
Gordon Payton and Martin Grams, Jr. This work offers a detailed log of every MYSTERY THEATER episode ever broadcast--nine years of monsters, murderers and mayhem. Descriptive information include exact titles, aridates and rebroadcast dates, episode numbers, cast lists, writer and adapter credits, and synopses. This material comes directly from CBS press releases in order to insure complete accuracy. Also included wherever possible are information about the actors and actresses, quotes from performers and writers (many from personal interviews), anecdotes about various scripts and sound effects, and other notes of interest.

Fred Allen's Radio Comedy (Hardcover Edition)
Alan Havig. A Stephens College (Missouri) professor of history here examines Allen's (1894-1956) 20 years invaudeville, his career in radio from 1933 to 1949, and his characteristic brand of air-wave comedy.

bookcover Fred Allen's Radio Comedy (Softcover Edition)
Alan Havig

bookcover Thirteen for Corwin: A Paean of Praise for Norman Corwin
Edited by Ray Bradbury. Norman Corwin was the outstanding writer, producer and director during the golden days of radio broadcasting. His productions have won nearly every award in the field. To mark the occasion, 13 prominent journalists and writers collaborated on a privately printed series of essays dedicated to Corwin. This collection is being offered to the public here for the first time.

Golden Age of Australian Radio Drama, 1923-1960
Richard Lane. The twenty years preceding the arrival of television are usually described as the 'Golden Years' of Australian radio broadcasting. It was the time of 'Mo', the beginning of June Salter's career, and when such stars as Peter Finch, John Meillon and Queenie Ashton graced the airwaves.

bookcover Richard Durham's Destination Freedom: Scripts from Radio's Black Legacy, 1948-50
J. Fred MacDonald. This volume consists of the 15 most important "Destination Freedom" scripts, each introduced with a short history of the subject matter and consideration of the script within Richard Durham's intellectual world view.

bookcover Handbook of Old-Time Radio: A Comprehensive Guide to Golden Age Radio Listening & Collecting
Jon D. Swartz, Robert C. Reinehr.This guide to American radio programs covers the period "from 1926 (when NBC was incorporated) to 1962.It consists of three parts. The first is a brief history of networks and broadcasting. Part 2 consists ofcategory logs listing more than 4,500 programs organized by program type (e.g., comedy, soap operas, quizand audience participation, news, sports, religious and. . . armed forces and foreign broadcasting). Thethird part, 'Program Descriptive Log,' briefly describes more than 2,000 of the better-known programs,providing for each such information as the year of first and last show, performers, length of program, andstory line.

World War II on the Air: Edward R. Murrow and the Broadcasts That Riveted a Nation
Mark Bernstein, Alex Lubertozzi; CD Narrated by Dan Rather. This book and audio CD set by Bernstein (Grand Eccentrics) and Lubertozzi (Complete War of the Worlds) covers the efforts of the famous "Murrow Boys," the group of reporters hired by CBS's Edward R. Murrow to cover the events of World War II. At that time, reporters such as Eric Sevareid, Howard K. Smith, Charles Collingwood, and Richard C. Hottelet got their first major career exposure. Coverage begins in 1938 with the German annexation of Austria and carries through the surrender of France, the 1944 D-day invasion, and V-E day in 1945. Each reporter's story is chronicled in the text, with a cross reference pointing to a track on the accompanying CD that contains his actual radio broadcasts.

The Great Radio Soap Operas
Jim Cox. Jim Cox brings the washboard weepers back to life in his detailed history of The Great Radio Soap Operas. Here you'll find complete coverage of 31 shows, including themes, storylines, major characters, and information on cast, crew members, sponsors, ratings, and broadcast dates. Cox offers intriguing insights into the genre and shows us why Americans never failed to "tune in tomorrow." Written by a long-time contributor to the Internet OTR Digest Mailing Lists.

Old-Radio Audio

Titles Available from Radio Spirits
Follow this link for a list of all of the the currently-available titles published by Radio Spirits. We have decided instead of highlighting these collections, we'd give you this listing and highlight below those packages available from other publishers. Note that this list may go on for pages, but browsing through these titles will help you find many collections of interest!

bookcover Old Time Radio Novels, Vol. 4
Features dramatizations of The Maltese Falcon, The Grapes of Wrath, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Rebecca. 4 cassettes.

America before T.V.: A Day in Radio: September 21, 1939
GreaTapes. These remarkable tapes present a full day of radio, from Arthur Godfrey's "Sunrise" to the post-midnight concert of the Bob Chester Orchestra, with installments from "The Story of Myrt & Marge", periodic news bulletins, President Roosevelt speaking to Congress, words from French Premier Edouard Daladier, the Indians vs. the Senators, "Amos and Andy, Ask-It-Basket" and more. 12 cassettes.

We Interrupt This Broadcast: The Events That Stopped Our Lives. . . from the Hindenburg Explosion to the Attacks of September 11
Joe Garner, Foreword by Walter Cronkite, Narrated by Bill Kurtis. In words and images and on two audio CDs We Interrupt This Broadcast brings to life the famous and infamous moments that were announced to us with those four chilling words. From the dawn of electronic media to today, from the catastrophe of the Hindenburg to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, these are the forty-three events that stopped us in our tracks and changed our world.

Television Books

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Video - Television

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Video - Films

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Video - Biographies and Documentaries

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