Saturday, March 31, 2012

Hall of Fame, Mystery as a Hobby, Dr. Death Returns, and More From Radio Archives!

March 23, 2012
From the earliest days of broadcasting, radio audiences always loved a "really big show". In December of 1943, a musical variety series that would quickly become one of the most distinguished - and expensive - radio shows on the air debuted on the then newly formed Blue Network. Titled the Radio Hall of Fame, this hour-long Sunday evening offering presented itself as a weekly tribute to the best entertainment then available on stage, in radio, on recordings, and in motion pictures.
Sponsored by the Philco Corporation, makers of refrigerators and the largest radio manufacturer in the country, Radio Hall of Fame featured entertainers considered the best of the best then, many still remembered today, including Fred Allen, Bing Crosby, Orson Welles, and many more!
Heard today, the Radio Hall of Fame remains outstanding entertainment, reflecting the tastes of the general public during the latter years of World War II. There's never any shortage of talent on hand. And today, in a time when the once-common variety show has completely disappeared from the airwaves, it's fun to return to an era when listeners could literally expect to hear anyone or anything presented in a sixty-minute line-up.
The nine broadcasts in Radio Hall of Fame, Volume 2 have been fully and beautifully restored to the best sparkling audio quality possible. These programs are truly a piece of history as well as examples of some of the finest entertainers of the Twentieth Century and belong in any Pop Culture enthusiast's collection! Get yours today, Nine Audio CDs for $26.98!
Bob Elliott will celebrate his 89th birthday on Monday the 26th. Ray Goulding would have celebrated his 90th birthday on March 20th.
You can send Bob a Happy Birthday greeting by sending an email to
One way to tell a radio show is truly great is when it stands out above its own format, which in today's terms may be overdone and clichéd. Mystery is My Hobby, by that definition is a truly great show.
Aired originally from 1945 to 1947, this fantastic, albeit formulaic program featured Barton Drake, as played by Glenn Langan. A mystery writer by trade, Drake spends much of his time solving mysteries that seem to occur naturally all around him, plying his 'hobby' on a regular basis with his sidekick, Policeman Noah Danton. Usually the crime is committed, either while Drake and Danton are around or just prior to their arrival on the scene. Drake then, in the style of The Falcon or The Saint, works his way through the clues given and danger offered and solves the mystery, using the last few minutes to explain just how he did it to the slightly obtuse Danton.
On first listen, "Mystery is My Hobby" sounds like several other radio shows of the same format and you can definitely tell that it was one of the precursors to television shows like "Murder, She Wrote', 'Diagnosis Murder' and others. What makes this light mystery program stand out, however, are the two lead characters - Drake and Danton. There's most definitely a typical 'Lead and sidekick' relationship between them, but there's something more. The two characters interact with each other with a humor and relaxed ease that not only makes the listener grin, but serves to ingratiate and involve them in the plot. The banter between Danton and Drake engages you to the point that you're wrapped up in the mystery almost immediately and even though you have the general idea of how it's going to play out, you're fully invested and enjoy the entire episode.
Although most of the mysteries that Drake finds himself engaged in do end up in murder, another intriguing aspect of the show is that all the crimes aren't always centered on something so fatal. Blackmail, theft, and other interesting crimes pop their head up throughout this collection. Mystery is My Hobby is a good example of a well established light formulaic mystery program, but even more so it's a hoot to listen to because of the bickering between Drake and Danton. And you can enjoy ten hours of this wonderfully fun amateur detective show for only $29.98 on Audio CDs from Radio Archives!
Doctor Death is back for second clash with supernatural detective, Jimmy Holm, and his team. When a Zombi strangles a wealthy and influencial Egyptian in his New York apartment, Holm and Police Inspector Ricks knows it signals that Doctor Death is opening up a strange new front on his sworn war against modern man. Master of many forbidden sciences, servant of Satan, Death—in reality disgraced Yale psychologist Rance Mandarin—has assembled a legion of living dead and unclean elementals to do this wicked bidding. But Death wants more. Much more.
The trail of dead and undead alike leads to Egypt, land of a million mystical mysteries. There, lies the tomb of Anubis, the jackal-headed Lord of the Underworld. Thought to have been a god, in reality he was once a wizard. And in his sarcophagus rests the long-lost secret of reanimating an unstoppable new army to do Death's bidding. For Doctor Death will not rest until he has resurrected all of Egypt's entombed mummies!
Only Jimmy Holm and the strange alliance of power political leaders and Underworld kingpins known collectively as the Secret Twelve possess the will to stand against Death and his Undead things. But to win, Holm must ally himself with the mysterious Egyptian ruler known as Queen Charmion. Can she be trusted? More importantly, how do you defeat a human monster who can implant his soul in the body of any living person at will? Can anyone be trusted if they might be in reality…Doctor Death? Buy the second audiobook of one of our most popular titles for only $17.98 on Audio CDs from Radio Archives.
Audiobook Reader Profile: An Interview with Joey D'Auria
A Scientist driven mad by his own desires and evil depravity! Zombies, giants, and horrible powers of the mind at his disposal! The world on its knees! And a stalwart group of Twelve led by an intrepid Police Detective stand as the only thing between this lunatic and world domination! All of this and more is what readers of Pulps in the early 20th Century thrilled and chilled to in stories written by Harold Ward under the mysterious nom de guerre Zorro! These were the tales of Doctor Death!
Listeners today will find just as much horror and adventure in Doctor Death as they are presented as audiobooks as a part of Will Murray's Pulp Classics! Brought to chilling life by the fantastic reading provided by Joey D'Auria, the heroic adventure of Jimmy Holm and his team as well as the true horror of the mad Doctor Death keeps listeners coming back for more and leaves goosebumps at the end of every chapter.
Translating a classic Pulp Tale to a modern Audiobook is exciting enough. That challenge becomes even greater when the lead character in the story is not the dashing hero rushing into save the day, but instead the insane villain of the piece. This sort of story requires a special talent, someone who can easily move back and forth between the cruel machinations of Doctor Death and the desperate do-gooding of Jimmy Holm. Joey D'Auria is exactly the voice talent to do just that and much more.
"I have always been a huge fan of radio drama," D'Auria stated. "In fact, back in the mid 1970's in Los Angeles, my very good friend Roger Rittner and I created the Variety Arts Radio Theater, performing recreations of classic radio shows from the 30's, 40's and 50's on stage for a live audience. Our sound effects man did all our sound effects live and without recordings. We even recreated classic period radio commercials."
Even when life pushed Joey other directions, he made his way back to audio. "When I was offered the job as WGN-TV's Bozo the Clown in 1984, my family and I left L. A. for Chicago, and while there, in addition to working as Bozo the Clown, I also worked in stage productions and in TV and radio commercials. When the Bozo Show ended in 2001, my wife and I moved back to California, and in Hollywood, I returned to working in voice over and animation. One of my first jobs back in L. A. in 2002 was for the anime series Daigunder, in which I played Commissioner Spinklestarber.
In 2003," D'Auria continued, "I was in Great Britain as the principle writer and show coordinator on Star Trek the Experience For See Entertainment in Hyde Park, London. Returning to the States, I became head writer and did occasional voices for Betsy's Kindergarten Adventures on PBS. And I also supplied assorted voices for Universal/Imagine's "Curious George" (The Movie). From there I worked on War of the Worlds: Goliath for Tripod Entertainment and most recently was the voice of General Alister Azimuth for Insomniac Games Ratchet & Clank Future - A Crack in Time. Today most of my work is for video games."
Signing on as one of the voices of Will Murray's Pulp Classics, Joey brought his own knowledge and experience with Pulp to the table. "When I was a kid," he related, "a friend's father had a huge pulp collection stashed inside the family's fallout shelter in the back yard. My friend and I would spend lazy summer days sequestered down there eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and reading Amazing Stories, Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow and several other collections whose names I don't remember. However, the thing that really drew me into "The Pulps" was the fantastic artwork on the covers."
Joey sees Pulp today as just as attractive for modern readers and listeners today as it was for him as a child. When asked what appeal Pulp tales like 'Doctor Death' might have for fans today, he stated, "The same things that no doubt appealed to the audiences of the 1930's, '40's and '50's! Action, adventure, thrills! Momentary escapism into a fantastic world where anything is possible!"
That escapism is something that D'Auria definitely enjoys about his work on Doctor Death. "The Doctor Death stories are marvelous period melodrama. For starters, you have tough talking 1930's detectives and they are coming up against a world of mad scientists and occult creatures. Here the heroes are 100% patriotic, noble and forthright - even the notorious uncrowned king of the underworld Tony Caminetti steps up and puts all criminal activity in the USA on hold for the good of the country."
The cast that D'Auria has to work with in his reading of this Pulp series is definitely varied and interesting. He explained, "It's true the stories are all centered on Doctor Death and his insane schemes, but we also have a lot of wonderful characters who are integral to each Doctor Death plot. I approach my reading by not just telling the story - but by attempting to breathe life into all the assorted characters that people this world."
Joey admits, however, that even as grand as the heroes are, he finds just as much amusement in playing the lead role. "The madly deranged Doctor Death," D'Auria added, "brings to the party a delightfully unrepentant mad scientist who wants to take over the world and doesn't care how many people he has to kill to do it! Doctor Death is a wonderful villain . . . and I must confess that I really miss him when he doesn't show up in a chapter to spread his special brand of whimsical malevolence. So, I guess you could say the most fun for me in reading these stories is playing Doctor Death!"
D'Auria believes that listeners to the Will Murray Pulp Classics audiobooks will be drawn to the same aspects of the stories as fans of the original Pulp tales were, particularly the action. "The beauty of the pulps is that they don't short-change the reader on action and excitement. And it's that same action and excitement that also makes them such wonderful material for us readers. All of the other readers (many of whom are old friends of mine) are fine actors and each brings his or her own special talents to each of their stories."
Joey D'Auria definitely plans to keep going with Doctor Death as long as the dastardly doctor is a part of the Will Murray Pulp Classics line up, but he also wouldn't mind reliving some of his childhood Pulp favorites as a reader as well. "I would love to continue with the series. However, if I were to head into another direction - I guess I would have to confess to a desire for some old fashioned science fiction that harkens back to those days so long ago when I was reading stories like Captain Future, Man of Tomorrow down in my friend Peter's fallout shelter."
Will Murray's Pulp Classics is proud to present Two Volumes of Doctor Death as read by the spectacularly talented Joey D'Auria. Get '12 Must Die' for $14.98 and the latest audibook "The Gray Creatures' for $17.98! If you're looking for the best in Audiobook and Pulp entertainment and a good villain to boot, then Doctor Death as performed by Joey D'Auria and presented by Will Murray's Pulp Classics is exactly what you're after!
People are forever asking me what do I see in this Pulp stuff anyway? "It's old" they'll say or "That stuff is corny"
Maybe so, but if a crime fighting Buddhist monk is corny, then give me more of it because that's the kind of corn I love to eat. Up until now my knowledge of The Green Lama has only been limited to the prose anthologies and novels I've read. The thing that grabbed me about The Green Lama is that it's a concept I'd have bet good money on wouldn't work in the pulps but I'm switched if it doesn't. Which actually is a good thing. The Green Lama is a refreshing change of pace from guys like The Shadow and The Spider who usually leave several dump trucks full of dead bad guys at the end of their adventures. Not The Green Lama. He relies on his trusty prayer scarf and his knowledge of human anatomy to incapacitate his foes. After listening to "The Case of The Crimson Hand" and "Croesus of Murder" I wonder if Gene Roddenberry got the idea for the Vulcan nerve pinch from The Green Lama.
The Radio Archives audiobook is voiced by Michael McConnohie who is my favorite voice talent when it comes to Radio Archives audiobooks. Not to take away from the others because I honestly haven't yet listened to an audiobook of theirs I didn't like. But Mr. McConnohie's ability to do different voices never fails to amaze me. Mr. Connohie is absolutely terrific in his dramatic reading that conveys the excitement of the stories.
Once again Radio Archives filled one of my slow Sunday afternoons with a wonderful production that kept me glued to my seat. My intention was to do some household chores while listening to "The Case of The Crimson Hand" and "Croesus of Murder" but that quickly went out the window as I simply did not want to get up. Another worthy addition to any pulp fan's audio drama library. And it can be a part of yours for only $17.98 from Radio Archives!
The best of timeless Pulp now available as cutting edge Ebooks! Will Murray's Pulp Classics brings the greatest heroes, awesome action, and two fisted thrills to your E-Reader! Presenting Pulp Icons such as the Spider and Operator 5 as well as wonderfully obscure characters like Doctor Death and more, Will Murray's Pulp Classics brings you the best of yesterday's Pulp today!
Five new golden age Pulp tales exquisitely reformatted into visually stunning E-books!
In the heart of New York's Chinatown, on his imperial throne, guarded by swordsmen and gunmen and a labyrinth of death traps, sat the Arch-Criminal of all time. Master of life and death, of disease, of horrible, crawling things — the Emperor of Vermin released destruction over city and nation. The Spider, Master of Men, champion of humanity, fought with every ounce of his cunning, against the monster who personified evil incarnate — while one faithful servant gave his life in this, the Spider's most bitter, hopeless battle, and Nita herself was faced with a doom more ghastly than any criminal mind had conceived before! Another epic exploit of America's best-loved pulp-fiction character of the 1930s and 1940s: The Spider — Master of Men! As a special Bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction: “Meet the Spider” especially for this series of eBooks.
Sere, ghastly, the Severed Hand brought its grisly warning to New York. Its citizens must pay the extortioner's price or die, their living bodies slowly, agonizingly transformed into rigid mummies! The police were helpless, and only Richard Wentworth, in the Spider's weird garb, could wage battle — against the master murder-chemist who killed to corral a fortune! Another epic exploit of America's best-loved pulp-fiction character of the 1930s and 1940s: The Spider — Master of Men! As a special Bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction: “Meet the Spider” especially for this series of eBooks.
Walking cadavers! Blood-thirsty, nauseous gray creatures! In the dank tombs of Egypt where he seeks the secret of resurrection, Doctor Death strikes at his pursuers with the terrible inventions of his warped brain. This gripping account of a brave detective’s struggle against a scientific fiend is packed with thrills and horror. The maddest of the Mad Scientists — Doctor Death — starred in his own bizarre pulp magazine in early 1935. He consorted with demons, elementals, zombies, disinterred mummies, and other unclean denizens of Hell. Standing against him were the Secret Twelve, a band of the top U. S. civil and business leaders, headed by Jimmy Holm, a millionaire criminologist and occultist. One of the rare unabashedly supernatural series the pulps ever produced, Doctor Death returns in vintage pulp tales, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format.
One moment good-will bound the United States and the great Power across the sea… the next, shells screamed their death wails into Coast homes and factories. No citizen was safe from the bloody holocaust when the Yellow Empire struck without warning from the Pacific. With fiendish artifice the world was turned against us. And somewhere in this country, covertly completing the terrifying work of wholesale destruction, lurked the ruthless agent of the invading hordes. Operator 5 alone guessed the dread secret and matched his individual might against a million war-drunk terrorists — while the nation trembled on the brink of red wreckage! As a special Bonus, Will Murray has written an introduction especially for this series of Operator #5 eBooks.
From Earth, Venus and Mercury, three Musketeers of Space, accompanied by a female D'Artagnan, rocket out in a grim battle against the League of the Cold Worlds! From the blistering surface of Mercury to Pluto's frosty icefields, their fame had spread. John Thorn, Sual Av and Gunner Welk—better known as The Three Planeteers! Are they heroes, or outlaws? Could they be both? No more knew. When the tyrannical League of the Cold Worlds devises a super-weapon capable of annihilating the defenses of the democratic Alliance of Inner Planets, The Three Planeteers go undercover to choke off Dictator Haskell Trask's critical power supply of radite. But the mission brings them into the realm of the D'Artagnan of space, Lana Cain, legendary leader of the most brazen band of buccaneers ever to ply the space lanes. In the year 2952, the fate of the Solar System rests on a trio of hired ray-guns who dare the pirate-infested asteroid wilderness known as the Zone…from which few return…
When you purchase these beautifully reformatted eBooks from you receive all three formats in one ZIP file: PDF for PC or Mac computer; Mobi for Kindle and ePub for iPad/IPhone, Android, Sony eReader, and Nook. When you upgrade to a new eReader, you can transfer your eBook novels to your new device without the need to purchase anything new.
Find these legendary Pulp tales and more in Will Murray's Pulp Classics, available in the Kindle store and coming very soon to the iBook Store! The best Pulp eBooks now available for only $2.99 each from Radio Archives!
by Kendell Foster Crossen, introduction by Will Murray
Om! Ma-ni pad-me Hum! The first of its kind, the complete adventures of the Green Lama follows the adventures of Buddhist Jethro Dumont and his aides as they battle the forces of evil in the western world. Written by Kendell Foster Crossen, it's non-stop action in the vein of The Shadow! Never completely reprinted before, the series is collected in three volumes. Each volume contains an all-new introduction, focusing on a different aspect of the character's life across several forms of popular media. Volume 1 contains in introduction by Will Murray and features the first five stories. Only $34.95 in the Pulp Book Store!
by Henry Kuttner, introduction by Will Murray
Available for the first time... the complete saga of Thunder Jim Wade! Written by fantasy legend Henry Kuttner, this collection reprints all five adventures of Thunder Jim Wade from 1941. Long discounted as a Doc Savage clone, Thunder Jim Wade: The Complete Series brings to life this classic pulp hero and shows him to be much more than a knock-off! Ride along with Wade and his two stalwart companions, Dirk Marat and Red Argyle, as they battle evil across the globe! Thrill along with them as they traverse the world in The Thunderbug, Jim's multifunctional transforming vehicle! Includes an all-new introduction by pulp historian Will Murray! Now available in the Pulp Book Store for $29.95!
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows! The Shadow's underworld agents Hawkeye and Cliff Marsland take center stage in two thrilling pulp novels by Walter Gibson writing as "Maxwell Grant." First, what is the strange secret of "The Green Box" that is worth human life? The Shadow seeks the deadly secret in a masterpiece of misdirection that introduced aides Hawkeye and Tapper. Then, the Master of Darkness and his underworld operatives investigate "The Getaway Ring," a racket that helps mobsters evade capture via a modern-day "underground railway." BONUS: "The Crawling Death," a lost thriller scripted by radio Shadow Bret Morrison! This instant collector's item reprints the classic color cover paintings by George Rozen and Graves Gladney and the original interior illustrations by Tom Lovell and Edd Cartier, with historical articles by Anthony Tollin and Will Murray. Buy it today for $14.95.
TRIPLE NOVEL SPECIAL Tarzan's influence on the Man of Bronze is examined in three action-packed adventures by Lester Dent writing as "Kenneth Robeson." First, a giant "Dagger in the Sky" materializes from thin air and disappears after bizarre murders, leading Doc Savage to a South American war started by Earth's wealthiest men. Then, the Man of Bronze is asked to locate an heiress who disappeared into the Brazilian jungles years earlier. Finally, while attempting to license one of Monk's chemical inventions, Henry Jones comes into possession of "The Monkey Suit" that leads into a strange adventure, narrated in the first person. This triple-novel collector's edition showcases the original color pulp covers by Emery Clarke and Walter Swenson, the classic interior illustrations by Paul Orban and Edd Cartier and historical commentary by Will Murray, writer of nine Doc Savage novels. Priced at only $14.95.
The Pulp Era's strangest mystery man returns in two more epic adventures by Paul Ernst writing as "Kenneth Robeson." First, can Justice, Inc. prevent secrets of an ancient civilization buried for centuries in The River of Ice from destroying the modern world? Then, scientists in Paris, Berlin and Montreal exhale fire as they die, setting The Avenger on the trail of The Flame Breathers and a deadly secret that threatens to plunge the world into a fiery infernal! BONUS: a thrilling adventure of Police Commissioner James Gordon, a.k.a. The Whisperer! This classic pulp reprint showcases H. W. Scott's classic pulp covers, all the original interior illustrations by Paul Orban, and historical commentary by Will Murray for $14.95!

Pulp fiction's legendary Master of Men returns in two classic novels from the Golden Age of Pulp Fiction, written by Norvell Page under the pseudonym of Grant Stockbridge. First, in "Overlord of the Damned" (October 1935), the Boss unleashes horrible death with his demonic acid guns... with a vat of the same deadly corrosive reserved for those who talk too much! With his beloved Nita van Sloan a hostage to a terrible doom, the Spider faces the soul-tearing prospect of planting the Spider seal on his friend Stanley Kirkpatrick, Commissioner of Police! Then, in "Dictator's Death Merchants!" (July 1940), The jaws of death gape open when El Crocodilo feasts! With uncanny skill, he forestalls even the Spider's best attempts to trap him. Striking without mercy, this menace from the past rises anew by demolishing a banking institution each night, in a mad scheme to take control of nothing less than all of America's finances! This volume is available in two editions and features the original artwork from the October 1935 or the July 1940 edition of "The Spider" magazine. Both versions feature reformatted text and original interior illustrations to accompany each story. Available now for $14.95!
By Art Sippo
It is the middle of the Great Depression. In the town of Crescent City, poor but honest Tom Worth disappears. Two days later he reappears on his front porch and tells a tale of being captured by a band of tiny golden ogres dressed in loin cloths and held prisoner in a cave. These miniature cavemen were no higher than his knee. They beat him with clubs and warned that they were going to do horrible things to him and the people of Crescent City. Shortly thereafter he disappeared again.
Tom's son, Don is away at summer camp when his mother sends him the news of his father's final disappearance. Don was a hard working lad and a good student. He intended to work hard and better himself. A serious lad, Don worked odd jobs to help the family make ends meet. Any bully who tried to mess with him learned the hard way that Don was no pushover. In fact Don tried to emulate his hero, the amazing Doc Savage! He wanted to be sound in mind, body, and conscience.
Don had three good friends: B. Elmer Dexter who always had some get-rich-quick scheme, Morris 'Mental" Byron a dreamer and philosopher, and Leander 'Funny' Tucker a chubby good-natured boy and a practical joker. Together, they plan to solve the mystery of Tom Worth's disappearance. The weird aspects of this case lead Don to one logical conclusion: they must seek help from Doc Savage.
In one of his few solo adventures without his aides, Doc goes to Crescent City and almost immediately, an attempt is made on his life. He links up with Don Worth and his three friends to solve the mystery of the gold ogres.
This adventure was written specifically to inaugurate a new series of juvenile adventures starring Don Worth and his friends that would emulate the more mature stories in the Doc Savage series for younger readers. The projected series never did materialize but Lester Dent left us an example of his writing talents for a young adult audience. Every Doc savage should read this unique addition to the Doc Savage canon and you can get yours today, plus another titanic Doc Savage tale in Doc Savage Volume 20 from Radio Archives for only $12.95!

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