Named for our most common phone prefix, The 268 features performers from the Beausejour area. This half hour show airs on CKBJ-FM, 93.9 at 11 am Sunday morning, and 8pm Wednesday evening. If you know a local artist that isn’t being played on Town Radio Beausejour, be sure to have them send in their music and be featured on The 268.
The Old Time Radio Show is brought to you by Town Radio Beausejour and Sobering Funeral Chapel.
Let’s go back in time together. We’re thrilled to feature shows from a bygone era, when radio was king. Tune in on Sunday to Thursday at 9 pm for drama, comedy, science fiction, suspense and more.
Here are some of the shows we’ve played on the Old Time Radio show:
Suspense – One of the premier drama programs of the Golden Age of Radio, was subtitled “radio’s outstanding theater of thrills,” and focused on suspense thriller-type scripts, usually featuring leading Hollywood actors of the era. Suspense went through several major phases, characterized by different hosts, sponsors and director/producers. Formula plot devices were followed for all but a handful of episodes: the protagonist was usually a normal person suddenly dropped into a threatening or bizarre situation; solutions were “withheld until the last possible second”; and evildoers were punished in the end.
Dragnet starring Jack Webb – Dragnet was created and produced by Jack Webb, who starred as the terse Sergeant Joe Friday. Webb had starred in a few mostly short-lived radio programs, but Dragnet would make him one of the major media personalities of his era.
Webb frequently visited police headquarters, drove on night patrols with Sgt. Wynn and his partner Officer Vance Brasher, and attended Police Academy courses to learn authentic jargon and other details that could be featured in a radio program. When he proposed Dragnet to NBC officials, they were not especially impressed; radio was aswarm with private investigators and crime dramas, such as Webb’s earlier Pat Novak for Hire. That program didn’t last long, but Webb had received high marks for his role as the titular private investigator, and NBC agreed to a limited run for Dragnet.
Dragnet debuted inauspiciously. The first several months were bumpy, as Webb and company worked out the program’s format and eventually became comfortable with their characters (Friday was originally portrayed as more brash and forceful than his later usually relaxed demeanor). Gradually, Friday’s deadpan, fast-talking persona emerged, described by John Dunning as “a cop’s cop, tough but not hard, conservative but caring.” (Dunning, 210) Friday’s first partner was Sergeant Ben Romero, portrayed by Barton Yarborough, a longtime radio actor. Raymond Burr was on board to play Captain Ed Backstrand. When Dragnet hit its stride, it became one of radio’s top-rated shows.
Mercury Theatre On The Air/Campbells Playhouse – Featured Orson Welles, and an acclaimed drama company including John Housman, Agnes Moorehead, Bernard Herrmann, and George Coulouris.
The early dramas in the series were praised by critics, but ratings were low. A single broadcast changed the program’s ratings: The October 30, 1938 adaptation of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds.
Possibly thousands of listeners thought Martians were in fact invading the earth, due to the faux-news quality of most of the broadcast. Significant publicity was generated, and The Mercury Theatre on the Air quickly became one of radio’s top-rated shows.
The War of the Worlds notoriety had a welcome side effect of netting the show the sponsorship of Campbell’s Soup, guaranteeing its survival for a period, and beginning on December 9, 1938, the show was retitled The Campbell Playhouse. The company moved to Hollywood for their second season, and continued briefly after Welles’ final performance in March 1940. Welles revived the Mercury Theatre title for a short series in the summer of 1946.
Welles used the banner “Mercury Productions” on many of his films, and several of the actors from his Mercury Theatre Company appeared in them, notably in Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons and Macbeth.
Fibber McGee & Molly – A real life couple who got their start in Vaudeville, they were a natural comedy act on radio. Their show ran for about 20 years on radio, and many of those episodes have been preserved.
Fibber McGee and Molly was a popular and beloved radio show during the era of classic, old-time radio. It was one of the longest-running comedies in the history of classic radio in the United States. The series premiered in 1935 and remained popular until its demise in 1959, long after radio had ceased to be the dominant form of entertainment in American popular culture.
Dimension X/X Minus One – All 50 original episodes of Dimension X have been preserved. A later show was created with many of the same actors and scripts with the name X Minus One. This show dramatized previously published stories featuring notable authors like Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Kurt Vonnegut and many more.