Listen to 149 Vintage Halloween Radio Shows from the Golden Age of Radio
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Listen to 149 Vintage Halloween Radio Shows from the Golden Age of Radio

As Halloween radio broadcasts go on, it will be hard to replace in American cultural memory an adaptation of HG Wells’ World War which aired in 1938. Of course, not every Halloween special could be directed by a young Orson Welles, but that’s no reason to ignore the countless other Halloween broadcasts from Radio’s Golden Age. This year you can tune in with the Youtube playlist above, which collects 149 episodes of the scariest season of favorite shows like Lum and Abner, Aldrich . family, Fibber McGee and Molly, Our Miss Brooks, The Great Gildersleeve, Jack Benny Program, Shadowand much more.

Whether comedy, drama, or any other genre besides, old radio programs tend to take the theme of every holiday that comes to a head, and Halloween — with its costume parties, the ever-present threat of jokes, and door-to-door demands — offers writers and performers alike. they occasion once a year for unusual levels of damage.

For a show that’s usually lighthearted, it’s also an opportunity to go at least a little dark; for shows like Tension, whose long and often harrowing journey began with Alfred Hitchcock’s production, almost every week was Halloween until the end of radio’s Golden Age. (This playlist features broadcasts from August 1961 that are still entertaining as of October 2022.)

If you just want a live soundtrack of classic American airwaves for next Monday night (or the previous weekend’s party), tune in to the newly uploaded vintage Halloween playlist just above. Its fifteen songs include seasonally matching tunes from Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller, Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis Jr., and Sarah Vaughan (not to mention the opener, the non-exact “Monster Mash” number from Bobby Pickett), with vintage ads and other broadcast ephemeras in between. That was just as true in radio’s heyday in the late nineteen-twenties to early sixties as it is today: Halloween is a time to blur the lines between light and dark, myth and reality, the common and the weird — and to make more out of some. cliché jokes when you do.

Related content:

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Hear 14 Hours of HP Lovecraft’s Weird Story on Halloween: “The Call of Cthulhu,” “The Dunwich Horror” & More

Listen to 90+ Episodes of TensionIconic Golden Age Radio Show Launched by Alfred Hitchcock

What Frightens Us, and How Did It Turn Out in Movies? Pretty Halloween Pop Culture Podcast (#66)

Listen to Orson Welles’ Iconic War of the Worlds (1938)

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcaststs about the city, language and culture. The project includes a Substack newsletter Books about the City, book The Stateless City: Stroll through 21st Century Los Angeles and video series City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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