Ring In the New Year, OTR-style!

A vintage clock that says Happy New YearThe hours remaining in 2014 are dwindling down, and the way we figure it, odds are pretty good that you’re looking to kill a little time right about now.

You’re either stuck at the office on New Year’s Eve, but with precious little to actually do. Or you’re at home, idle in the hours before tonight’s festivities begin.

Either way, you could surely use a pleasing distraction.

As we’ve stated in this space before, we have nothing whatsoever to do with OTRCat, 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.

Today, as you might guess, they’ve got a line-up of a half-dozen shows with a New Year theme, and the range of genres and decades is impressive. You can catch everything from comedies (Fibber McGee and Molly, Jack Benny) to mystery-horror (The Whistler) and even westerns (Gunsmoke).

Speaking of The Whistler, we’re sharing that one below, just to whet your appetite—but we strongly recommend you head over to OTRCat.com 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, just to show your appreciation for their seasonal generosity?

The Whistler: “The First Year” (12/31/1947; 29:01)

Have an OTR Christmas!

The hours till Christmas are dwindling down, and the way we figure it, odds are pretty good that you’re looking to kill a little time right about now.

You’re either stuck at the office on Christmas Eve, but with precious little to actually do. Or you’ve already headed home for the holidays but found the first wave of small talk has subsided and you’re left with not too much to say to your various and sundry relatives.

Or heaven forbid, you’re stuck in a flight delay at the airport, in which case you could surely use a pleasing distraction.

As we’ve stated in this space before, we have nothing whatsoever to do with OTRCat.com, 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 a dozen shows with a Christmas theme, and the range of genres and decades is impressive. You can catch everything from comedies (Burns and Allen, Jack Benny) to mystery-horror (Lights Out, The Weird Circle), musical variety programs (Kraft Music Hall featuring Bing Crosby), and even cop shows (Dragnet).

Speaking of Dragnet, we’re sharing that one below, just to whet your appetite—but we strongly recommend you head over to OTRCat.com 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.

Dragnet: “Twenty-two Rifle for Christmas” (12/21/1950; 28:44)

An OTR Thanksgiving

As we’ve stated in this space before, we have nothing whatsoever to do with OTRCat.com, 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 OTRCat.com 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)

Cladrite Classics: Jack Benny Slept Here

We were mulling over the other day some of the posts we thought particularly fun that went live in the weeks and months before Cladrite Radio had accumulated much of a readership. Would it be problematic, we wondered, to revisit some of those posts, under the heading of Cladrite Classics?

No, we decided, it would not. Hence the following revisited offering, which first saw the light of day on May 13, 2010:

Though we’re committed New Yorkers, we wouldn’t mind a bit spending a few weeks—perhaps even a few months—a year in Los Angeles. We even find ourselves daydreaming about the City of Angels quite often.

And yet, we came around slowly on L.A. Our first couple of visits were enjoyable enough, but we didn’t find the city particularly engaging. After a trio of week-long sojourns there over the past decade or so, though, we’ve been won over.

We view the city through a movie buff’s eye, primarily, and so spend our time motoring about checking out movie stars’ homes, vintage movie palaces, and locations that were used in the filming of some of our favorite classic pictures (though we’re also happy just puttering through the various old neighborhoods south of the Hollywood hills—we love the residential architecture in old L.A.).

We didn’t snap the photos shared below; we bought them at a flea market some years back. They’re snapshots taken around Hollywood and its environs back in the day. How old they are, exactly, we’re not sure—we’re inclined to think they’re from the late 1930s, but we’re open to guesses from you, gentle readers. (For larger views, just click the images.)


Fred Astaire’s home

Jack Benny’s home

Claudette Colbert’s home

Sam Goldwyn’s home

Norma Shearer’s home

Robert Taylor’s home

Mary Pickford and Douglas
Fairbanks’ Pickfair

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre