Monday, December 8, 2014

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 8 - Arch Oboler's Christmas 1918

Working on sending out one blog entry each day in December to showcase great Old Time Radio for the Christmas season.  Here is a link to all the entries.  Here is day #8 - Christmas Story from Lights Out on December 22, 1937.  Lights Out is a great series that features the work of one of the greats of Radio - Arch Oboler.  So this should have been yesterday's entry - since Arch Oboler was born in Chicago on December 7, 1909.  Oh we celebrate a day late!  And with a great Christmas entry.

If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great programs available throughout the month of December on his great show.  You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web. One place to find these shows is the 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive. This is a great resources for many of these wonderful radio shows!

My Antique Radio

My Detrola Radio, from 1937 when this episode first aired

Nativity Scene at Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church (Saline, Michigan)

A Nativity Scene in my town of Saline, Michigan - Taken Monday December 23, 2013

One of the great visionaries of old time radio was Arch Oboler. He had so many fantastic stories in his Lights Out series that remains one of the best loved and appreciated series on the radio. The series was created by another visionary, Wyllis Cooper, who handed the show over to Oboler in 1936.  And while this series focused on the supernatural, it provided many great morality tales, including Profits Unlimited - which will be something I write about later.

One of the scripts that I love is A Christmas Story. It is also called "Uninhabited" or "Three Men". I need to dig a bit more and see if this is an Arch Oboler or a Wyllis Cooper script.  The recording I am sharing was originally broadcast on December 22, 1937 and told the story of three officers who shared a train car in the days following the end of World War I. It was Christmas Eve 1918 and the three officers were heading for a long needed rest. The three solders were very different, one from France, one from Australia and one from America. These three officers dozed off, and simultaneously dreamed about being the three Magi, looking for the baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Bethlehem nearly two thousand years earlier. I love the story because it is a beautiful telling of the three Magi.  It also has a nice message about race relations from the perspective of 1937.

 Here is the episode:

Here are some links to programs relating to Arch Obler & Lights Out:
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas:

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