An OTR Thanksgiving

As we’ve stated in this space before, we have nothing whatsoever to do with, purveyors of audio collections of old-time radio programs. We don’t benefit in any way from offering plugs for them.

But we enjoy listening to old radio programs and we like it that, when major holidays roll around, the good folks at OTRCat make it a practice to offer a round-up of timely broadcasts for the streaming (or, if you prefer, the downloading), absolutely free.

This week, as you might guess, they’ve got a line-up of shows with a Thanksgiving theme, and the range of genres and decades is impressive. You can catch everything from comedies (Burns and Allen, Jack Benny) to westerns (Gunsmoke—and from 1958, if you can believe it. It’s easy to forget radio drams were still airing that late), musical programs (Command Performance, featuring Dinah Shore) and even hardboiled detective shows (The Adventures of Sam Spade).

Speaking of The Adventures of Sam Spade, we’re sharing that one below, just to whet your appetite, so to speak—but we strongly recommend you head over to to see the entire line-up. And why not consider making a purchase of one of their entertaining collections of OTR programs while you’re at it? They couldn’t be more affordable, and they make great holiday gifts for those vintage-minded individuals on your gift list.

The Adventures of Sam Spade: “The Terrified Turkey Caper” (11/24/1950; 28:20)

Goodbye to another glorious gal

If you’ve ever seen Ed Wood Jr.‘s Glen or Glenda (1953), you’ll understand how cool it was that we once got to pose for a picture with Dolores Fuller while wearing an angora sweater (we were wearing the sweater, that is—not Ms. Fuller).

Fuller, who died yesterday at the age of 88, led an interesting life well worth celebrating. Not only did was she once an “item” with the man some consider the most inept (but hardly the least interesting) movie director of all time, but she co-wrote songs for several Elvis Presley movies, among them “Do the Clam.”

Allow us to repeat that, so that it properly sinks in: Dolores Fuller was once Ed Wood’s paramour, appearing in two of his most (in)famous directorial efforts, the aforementioned Glen or Glenda and Jail Bait (1954) (not to mention her smaller role in Wood’s Bride of the Monster (1955), and she co-wrote “Do the Clam.”

Fuller also studied acting with Stella Adler in New York City, was a child extra in Frank Capra‘s It Happened One Night, a model on TV’s Queen for a Day and Dinah Shore‘s stand-in on Shore’s early-’50s television show.

Fuller also started a record company and served as a talent manager, even playing an instrumental role in Johnny Rivers‘ early recording career.

She even penned a memoir in 2008, A Fuller Life: Hollywood, Ed Wood, and Me.

Fuller was truly a glorious gal, one to whom we’re sad to be saying goodbye. Rest in peace, Ms. Fuller; here’s hoping you are, even as we write this, joyfully doing the Clam in a far, far better place.

An OTR Christmas, Day 2

Today’s broadcast from Christmases Past is an episode of Command Performance, a program produced by the War Department for the enjoyment of our men and women serving overseas. The service men and women requested which stars and songs they’d like to have featured, and the producers of the show did their best to accommodate them.

This program, which originally aired on Christmas Eve, 1942, features Bob Hope as emcee and a variety of guests, including, among others, Ethel Waters, Bing Crosby, and Dinah Shore, all performing popular hits of the day.

It’s a lot of fun, and we hope you’ll enjoy it.

Command Performance, starring Bob Hope—Christmas Eve, 1942 (1:00:11)