Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Dimension-X, X Minus 1 - Complete Runs of Both Series

X Minus 1 and its antecedent, Dimension X, broadcasted the best science fiction radio dramas in the United States. From 1954 through 1958 some of the best science fiction short stories, like the Veldt by Ray Bradbury, came to life first in these dramas.

Many great writers wrote radio-plays or allowed their works to be adopted for the show (see parial list below). Science Fiction was in its infancy on television, and America lagged behind Britain, who had Quartermass and Avengers around this time. It wasn't until The Twilight Zone in the early sixties that a serious science fiction drama came to US television.

The mid fifties were the waning days of radio drama, as soap operas and situation comedies made an easier, and cheaper, transition to televison.

I've provided a link to to get the files or listen to the streams, as the files are too large to upload to free transfer services.

Here is a list of some of the more famous epidoses of X Minus 1:

The Colony and The Defenders by Philip K Dick

Universe by Robert Heinlein

Mars is Heaven by Ray Bradbury, and the Veldt from Illustrated Man is performed as a radio drama.

Adaptation of Nightfall by Isaac Asimov

The Reluctant Heroes by Frank M. Robinson


Friday, March 16, 2007

WJSV Complete Broadcast Day On September 21, 1939

I once spent a Sunday listening to almost all of this. The key feature of the broadcast is President Roosevelt's Address to Congress. Britain and France had declared war on Germany, and Roosevelt is asking for the repeal of the Neutrality Act.

The inital hours of the broadcast are filled with Arthur Godfrey, who fills the time with small talk, birthday announcements, commercials, delivered with what sounds like a bad cold. Then in what would have been the late morning, a number of soap operas begin. These end at 1:30pm with the beginning of the news broadcasts that fill up the afternoon, before and after the address to Congress. Then there is a Washington Senators baseball game, followed with news, plays and music programs for the remainder of the evening.

WJSV was the CBS station located in Washington DC and decided to record the entire day's broadcast for the National Archive. The most interesting segments are the news broadcasts surrounding President Roosevelt's speech. Compare these to the rapid banter on cable news. It seems too simplistic to say the times were slower, people more thoughtful. What comes to my mind is that in 1939, people required much less amusement.

This is 19 hours of audio on one CD, in the form of MP3 files.

Here is the itinerary of the broadcast:

6:30 Sundial with Arthur Godfrey (music)
8:30 Certified Magic Carpet (quiz show)
8:45 Bachelor's Children (soap)
9:00 Pretty Kitty Kelly (soap)
9:15 The Story of Myrt & Marge (soap)
9:30 Hilltop House (soap)
9:45 Stepmother (soap)
10:00 Mary Lee Taylor (soap)
10:15 Brenda Curtis (soap, featuring Agnes Moorehead)
10:30 Big Sister (soap)
10:45 Aunt Jenny's True Life Stories (soap that Bob & Ray loved to parody)
11:00 Jean Abbey (news for women)
11:15 When a Girl Marries (soap)
11:30 The Romance of Helen Trent (soap)
11:45 Our Gal Sunday (soap)
12:00 The Goldbergs (comedy)
12:15 Life Can Be Beautiful (soap)
12:30 Road of Life (soap)
12:45 This Day Is Ours (soap)
1:00 Sunshine Report (news)
1:15 The Life & Love of Dr. Susan (soap)
1:30 Your Family and Mine (soap)
1:45 News
2:00 President Roosevelt's Address to Congress (speech)
2:40 Premier Edouard Daladier
3:00 Address Commentary (news)
3:15 The Career of Alice Blair (soap)
3:30 News (news)
3:42 Rhythm & Romance
3:45 Scattergood Baines
4:00 Baseball: Cleveland Indians at Washington Senators (sports)
5:15 The World Dances (music)
5:30 News (news)
5:45 Sports News (news)
6:00 Amos and Andy (comedy)
6:15 The Parker Family (comedy)
6:30 Joe E. Brown (comedy)
7:00 Ask-It Basket (quiz)
7:30 Strange as it Seems (true stories)
8:00 Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour (variety)
9:00 The Columbia Workshop - "Now It's Summer" (drama)
9:30 Americans at Work (true stories)
10:00 News (news)
10:15 Music (music)
10:30 Albert Warner (news)
11:30 Teddy Powell Band (music)
12:00 Louis Prima Orchestra (music)
12:30 Bob Chester Orchestra (music

Download Link: WJSV Complete Broadcast Day On September 21, 1939

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