Abbott, Costello, Fibber, Philco and Sinatra: Do You Do Old Time Radio?

Posted by on May 1, 2008

I almost didn’t post this planned topic today, what with the NSA stuff over on TEMPEST that Wired has (found out via /.)…I really wanted to do a post on that, considering my previous stuff with the ENORMOZ VENONA escapade as well as the No Whiskey, No Tires, No Gas posts….but OTR won out.


So, what is Old Time Radio exactly?  Well, it’s hard to define in a short blog entry, but to put it topically, it’s the radio shows that aired in the Golden Age of Radio or the 1930’s-1940’s.  With tons of shows like Dragnet, Gunsmoke, Fibber McGee and Molly, as well as Abbott & Costello, there are hours of history as well as fun that can be heard, mostly for free!


Many of the celebrities and personalities of the Hollywood in the Fifties and Sixties got their start in radio.  Although Bob is seen above entertaining the troops in Korea, his radio appearances with the Old Groaner have become legendary stuff and his shows are quite funny!  I have yet to mention Jim Jordan, and a host of other stars you can listen to on your Ipod or musical device.  Have you ever listened to “Who’s On First?” It’s still great after all these years!


We can also never forget the classic War of the Worlds Broadcast! If you’ve never listened, it’s very informative and just try to picture yourself hearing that on the radio!  In this age of visuals, we may laugh at the reaction, but wouldn’t we act the same way?  Hard to say isn’t it?  Take a look at the letter above for some official reactions to the show.

I’ve assembled some links to get you started in OTR.  You can go to Google, but I would start at only because many shows are available for listening.

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!


Who’s On First (OTR audio clip) Abbott & Costello ( (mp3 format)

Who’s On First (video-YouTube)

American Memory Project: Recorded Sound Section

Behind Your Radio Dial (

The Generic Radio Workshop: Abbott & Costello Scripts (PDF link)

Fibber McGee and Molly (Wikipedia)

Old Time Radio (!!!!!) (Wikipedia-tons of links<—!!!!) (radio program by subjects)



(2) Library of Congress Prints & Photos Division

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