Devil’s Due is a straightforward tale of the devil getting his due and yet the descriptions of the evil deeds and the aftermath of the devil’s visit left an impression on me and this is one of my favorite Lights Out episodes.
The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe
Molle Mystery Theater’s version with an opening by Peter Lorre
The Weird Circle’s version takes a different approach to the story.
CBS Radio Mystery Theater’s version really goes off the rails and I don’t even know what to think. It doesn’t seem like the story written by Edgar Allen Poe.
The short story “The Bottle Imp” by Robert Louis Stevenson is one or my favorite short stories and it has been adapted several times into very good radio dramas. There’s another site with a lot of links to old time radio shows called Tangent Online. They have a pretty good bio of Robert Louis Stevenson. He led an interesting and diverse life!
Here are the links to the shows. Enjoy!
- CBS Radio Mystery Theater’s adaptation in episode 143 that aired originally on September 3, 1974 is excellent as are almost all of the episodes from this long running show.
- Another adaptation by a show called Molle Mystery Theater in an episode that originally aired on December 12, 1944. The sound quality is a bit rough on this one.
- A show that adapted several well known short stories, called Favorite Story adapted The Bottle Imp in an episode that aired originally on August 21, 1948.
- The Witch’s Tale produced a version as well. The opening of this show with Old Nancy, the Witch of Salem is great. This dramatization called “The Wonderful Bottle” was originally released on March 3, 1932.
The Old Time Radio Downloads site has a lot of great old time radio shows available for listening and downloading. Almost all of the old time radio shows are in the public domain so feel free to download them and start your own collection!
According to Wikipedia “The Black Mass was a horror-fantasy radio drama produced by Erik Bauersfeld, a leading American radio dramatist of the post-television era. The series aired on KPFA (Berkeley) and KPFK (Los Angeles) from 1963 to 1967, on an irregular schedule.
Bauersfeld was the Director of Drama and Literature at KPFA from 1966 to 1991.”
The series features excellent sound design and voice acting. The official website for The Black Mass has a great story describing the length Erik Bauersfeld and John Whiting went to when editing and mastering each episode. It was a very manual process. Seems like a nearly impossible task now given how easy audio editing is nowadays.
“The happiest moments of all were between about 2 and 4 a.m., when we retired to Eric's apartment in the Berkeley hills and quietly drank our way into oblivion on Erik's excellent Tanquerey-based gimlets, knowing in our hearts that we had produced yet another masterpiece.” - John Whiting
I love this part. This totally captures that fever pitch feeling of creativiting something that you’re passionate about.
All the episodes are great. The episode entitled “All Hallows” adapted from Walter De La Mare’s short story is my favorite. It has a strangely soothing quality to it. The gentle sound of the rolling waves, the music, the description of the countryside surrounding the haunted church all paint an audio picture worth revisiting many times over.
Listen to The Black Mass - All Hallows in archive.org
I love old time radio.
I think I first discovered the magic of radio drama in my early teens. One of the local AM radio stations would air repeat episodes from some of the most popular shows made during the golden age of radio. Later in my teens my family would go to a live taping of a current radio production here in Seattle. Harry Nile is still being produced. I think it’s the longest running production of a radio drama ever. Listening to the show on the radio was special and seeing it recorded live was truly magic. All the foley work, the acting, the way the show came together seamlessly, even though I knew they practiced and rehearsed the heck out of it before recording. And many radio stations still broadcast old time radio. Heck, even Sirius XM has a channel devoted to old time radio shows.
And then I sort of lost interest through my 20’s and 30’, mainly because it was really hard and/or expensive to find episodes.
Enter the internet and archive.org in particular.
There’s a figurative ocean of old time radio available now, for free.
So I’ve spend way too many hours listening to episodes and in particular the horror, fantasy, weird, sci-fi and crime genres.
And I have my favorites. So I’ll be posting my favorite episodes here so I can remember them and find them again in the future. And to share with anyone else that’s interested.