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Saturday, June 19, 2004
Listening to Old Time Radio
Started picking up this hobby of listening to Old Time Radio, OTR for short, a few weeks before I left Singapore. Initially, it was for the WOW factor, in that it is so amazing that:there are people that collected these shows, converted them to MP3s, and willingly share them with others. The generosity of these collectors made it possible for others to join in the joyful experience of having a window to the past.

As I started to listen more and more of these shows, I slowly begin to appreciate what these shows actually means.

It is a historical and cultural record of what had happened in the past. They give the new generation of Internet OTR listeners an opportunity to peek into the moralities, the political and community attitude towards issues, and commercials! "C-A-M,-E-L,-S!" is a common phrase in the beloved Abbott & Costello shows, of which the Camel Cigarettes were regularly being promoted. These commercials were also tied in with the WW2 era, in which acts of bravery by individual soldiers were rewarded with "100,000 sticks of Camel cigarettes".

It might also allow others to have a keepsake of their families. In one of the mailing list that I'm on, one person was trying to look for a game show episode that his mother was on and won in the 1950s. Imagine what joy the person will have when he finds that elusive episode.

One favorite series that I like is the Radio City Playhouse shows. It was really radio drama at its very best. Each episode had a different storyline, and most were memorable stories. One of the shows that I particularly remembered is Episode 2, Ground Floor Window, which had a boy with cerebral palsy living his life as an onlooker before someone else, a childhood bully, realize what it really meant to be an onlooker. That episode hooked me right up, and since then, none of the shows disappoint me at all.

Another series is the CBS Radio Mysteries Theatre, which had 1400 shows through the years. I've collected the whole set on DVD-Rs, and it should be a joyful few years before I complete the set!
posted by Jonathan at 11:48 AM | Permalink |