Thursday, January 4, 2018

Your World Adventure Awaits On Old Time Radio: Visit to the Frozen North from World Adventurer's Club (1932)

It is cold today in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Very cold.  Then again, it snowed yesterday in Charleston, South Carolina - so things are bad all over.  So with that - I was thinking that we would take an adventure somewhere where it is cold...very cold.  This is the second entry in my series of Old Time Radio programs that feature adventure - especially world travel. 

206/365/3493 (January 3, 2018) - Squirrels in Ann Arbor on a Cold and Snowy Winter's Day at the University of Michigan (January 3, 2018)

Cold Squirrel at the University of Michigan - January 3rd, 2018

We have jumped into the Netflix series The Crown that chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II (and it is great).  During the second season, Prince Phillip is on a world travels and his personal secretary shares letters of their adventures with a club where they are read aloud.  That conjures up nicely what I think these types of clubs might have been like - both real and imagined.  So during the height of the Great Depression, a radio program was devised to take the listener far from their world and into one of pure adventure.  In 1932, a series of transcribed (or recorded) programs from a company called Transco were created under the name the World Adventurer's Club.  These brief 15 minute programs enabled the listener to visit far off lands and live through thrilling adventures of bravery and heroism.  No doubt they were enhanced on radio as the were likely in real life.

From the Digital Deli article, they have some nice things to say about the genre and time:

Sitting atop the pecking order of world adventurers, the various Adventurers Clubs, Explorers Clubs, and Geographic Societies of England, Germany, France, the Orient, and America presided over their respective nations' most intrepid and herioc adventurers. Most of the organized clubs went to great lengths to compete for the first reports of these world adventurers within days or weeks of completing their independent trimphs of derring-do. Indeed, several of those clubs funded some of the more challenging adventures--and adventurers--of the era. Fiction novels were famous for citing the underwriting of one or more Adventurers Clubs as the framework behind novels such as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around The World in Eighty Days, and Journey to The Center of The Earth.
The organized adventurers' clubs, in addition to underwriting adventures of their own, provided venues throughout the world for vetting--and exploiting--the more important accomplishments and discoveries of their era.
The stories all tend to start the same way.  First with a musical opening (sometimes with a male chorus contributing a song), and then an opening.  This is how the opening for today's episode started:

And now we take you in fancy to one of the most famous institutions of its kind...the World Adventurer's Club.   
Here we meet men who have braved every danger the world has to offer.  Men who have battled the polar seas and the tropical jungle.  It is the custom of this club to hold a series of informal meetings in which one member is called upon to tell the most thrilling experience of his career.  And now, the World Adventurer's Club extends a cordial invitation to you to draw up your chair and hear a story of the Royal road to adventure. 
The story featured today is appropriate for the weather.  The president of the club selects Captain Alexander Hale to share his story about adventure in the Arctic Circle. Hale was on a relief mission near the North Pole in search for another explorer who was given up for lost in a previous expedition.  The difficulty was compounded when they found themselves in the middle of a storm.  And if things could not get worse, there were polar bears - 20 of them.  But in the process of fleeing the bears, they discovered the ship of the ill-fated Morton expedition.  Such was the life of the adventurer.

These short programs are enjoyable and a perfect match for this series.  I hope you all stay warm and enjoy this particular adventure.

World Adventurer's Club Program #5 - The Frozen North

Here are some links to World Adventurer's Club:
Your World Adventure Awaits On Old Time Radio

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