Thursday, December 1, 2016

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas - Day 1: The Shadow's Christmas Carol

This is the third year I have showcased different Old Time Radio programs for Christmas.  I will once again try to get these out every day (though I will probably miss some here and there and repeat some of my favorites).  Here is a link to all the previous OTR Christmas entries.  If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#148).  He does a great job of showcasing great holiday themed episodes, especially as we get close to Christmas.

Christmas Tree Decorating - November 2016
A dog for Christmas - A great idea for sure!
There are so many iconic voices and names from Old Time Radio.  But maybe few have as much recognition as the Mutual Network's The Shadow.

"Who knows what evil lurks in the minds of men....the Shadow knows!"

The Shadow tells the story of Lamont Cranston, a 'man about town' who learned the powers of clouding men's minds while in Asia.  Lamont turns into The Shadow when he needs to solve a crime and correct wrongs done by others in the name of greed and evil.  The only one who knows that Lamont is also The Shadow is his companion, Margo Lane.  The Shadow was the creation of writer Walter B. Gibson in 1931 and was serialized in magazines and pulp novels in the 1930s.  It was adapted to radio early in the Golden Age of Radio and counted among those who voiced the lead character were Orson Welles, Bill Johnstone,  Bret Morrison, John Archer, and Steve Courtleigh.  It seems that the characters and plot lines from both pulp and radio helped change both formats as The Shadow remained a prominent element of popular culture into the 1950s.

On Christmas Eve 1939, the Mutual Network broadcast "The Stockings Were Hung" as the holiday episode in the spirit of Dickens' Christmas Carol.   Bill Johnstone stars as Lamont Cranston and Marjorie Anderson as Margo Lane in this episode.  It starts when Lamont and Margo head off to see their favorite newsboy Spike Grover to buy a paper and give him a Christmas gift.  When they realize he is not there, they find out that his father is missing and that Spike and his sister are all alone.  Spike's dad was accused of ruining and stealing from the family business and a partner is on the verge of taking it over.  While the evidence might suggest that Spike's dad was guilty, only the Shadow can tell what is really going on.  The race is on to ensure that the Grovers have the Christmas they deserve - and a puppy to boot!  Also featured in this Peter Wright script are: Keenan Wynn, Kingsley Colton, Joan Tetzel, John McIntire, Kenny Delmar, Paul Huber, and Alan Kent.

The Stockings Were Hung (The Shadow - December 24, 1939)

The Shadow (Old Time Radio Links)

Another 25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2016) & Other Links

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2015) & Other Links

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)

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