One of the wonderful things I grew up with was radio, the amazing wireless technology of the last century. It always amazed me to think that broadcasts were flying all around me every day, and all I needed was a little transistor radio to capture them.
As a kid in Chicago, I listened to pop music on WLS, tuned in Chicago Cub baseball games on WGN, but my favorite radio activity was listening to radio drama. I can still recall the cool summer nights in bed with my little radio and earphone, listening radio dramas on my AM radio until I drifted off to sleep.
My show of choice was the CBS Radio Mystery Theatre with host E.G. Marshall. Each night this show would present a thrilling mystery with multiple actors, sound effects and music for a very engrossing experience. I loved the depth of the mysteries, the excellent writing and how a radio drama brought my imagination to life. I loved many TV shows, but they never seemed to spark my imagination like a radio drama.
Later in life I came across other radio shows from an older era on public radio -- the 30s, 40s and 50s and fell in love with these recordings of live radio drama. I enjoyed the stories and the funny old products being promoted and best of all the old-timey lingo often used in the dialogue. It was like being transported into the past, 30 minutes a time.
Then, again through public radio, I came across modern radio dramas, like Douglas Adams' Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Star Wars and Empire Strikes back and separate American and BBC renditions of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Wow, these shows were broadcast in full stereo, with entire casts and special effects personnel doing sound effects and music. These days you can hear radio dramas on CD or tape, either at the bookstore or the library.
Anyway, for some reason, I decided tonight to search the net for old radio dramas in MP3 format. I thought it might be fun to load some old shows onto my Tungsten E, and since they're mono and not super hi-fi, maybe they'd even be quite small.
So, I fired up Google and entered "Old Time Radio + MP3" and within the first few links, had found Jaweb's colelction of downloadable MP3 files of old radio shows! There are a variety of old shows in many genres ready for downloading listening to as MP3s. Titles include Sherlock Holmes, The Shadow, The Avengers, Suspense, Lux Theatre, Fibber McGee & Molly, Creaking Door and more... !!
In my brief search, I've also come across WRVO from New York state, broadcasting old time radio as MP3 streams. Then I came across the Live 365 stream of CBS Radio Mystery Theatre run by a fan named myafchak. I've also found the nice informational site Old-Time Radio with even more background and details. There must be much more old time radio info out there too. Cool!
So, if you're an old radio show fan -- or especially if you have never heard any radio drama before, check out these shows. You might be amazed at how entertaining they can be. :-)