Suspense Upgrades

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by otrhead on 7/12/2018, 11:38 am

Thanks Greybelt.

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/13/2018, 8:01 am

Suspense_1956-12-23_BackForChristmas_wHerbertMarshall (AFRTS Christmas Library C-57).mp3
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Newspaper clippings note this as the fourth performance of this script. An Escape broadcast is in the count.

43-12-23 Suspense, Peter Lorre
47-12-24 Escape, Paul Frees
48-12-23 Suspense, with the title “Holiday Story,” Herbert Marshall
56-12-23 Suspense, Herbert Marshall

1956-12-22 Davenport IA Daily Times
The plot description is botched:
he knows perfectly well where the missus is.


1956-12-23 Eugene OR Guard

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 7/13/2018, 10:44 am

Thanks greybelt

Have a great weekend

Best regards

Art
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/14/2018, 5:36 am

Many of you follow the OTRR Facebook page and may remember that there were a bunch of reels offered that originated from the collection of a deceased OTR collector on the west coast. Many of these reels were donated to OTRR and I have been transferring the reel recordings where at least one show on the reel was Suspense. Most of the recordings from forty years ago are not as good as what we have today, but there have been some surprises in different versions; a handful of recordings have been superb and are upgrades. That is mainly what this next batch of programs are.

I'm posting two today that are different versions -- they are not upgrades of what we have. One of the shows had an erased spot where I pasted in the missing segment. The sound difference is noticeable but it is brief, and I have noted the patch in the file name. These are probably missing East or West coast versions but we really have no idea which is which as I could not detect any clues from listening to the recordings.

Suspense_1944-10-05_Dateline_Lisbon_wJohnHodiak DELAYED NETWORK ID AT END.mp3
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Suspense_1945-06-21_StoryOfIvy PATCH FROM 5s TO 20s - RUSHED NETWORK ID CLOSE – LQ.mp3
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All of the better items in the reels will be released by OTRR at some point soon. These reels are a window into what OTR collecting was like in the 1970s. This was a very good and pretty well connected collector, but finding tape hiss and hum and other problems would be marked as "LQ" today, but at that time many of these programs were considered of VG or E quality.

We don't have many more Suspense posts left to do. At some point next week there will be a brief break in the posts and then I'll finally get to Whistler and Johnny Dollar. Still have some organizing to do of those.

As for Suspense, the recordings over these many months were from access to numerous collections close to the disc sources or from collectors whose collections were highly respected many years ago. I knew of many of them, some deceased, but whose recordings were shared with enough people that they survived through to this digital era. This is a much, much better time to be collecting OTR from a sound and technology perspective.
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 7/14/2018, 10:24 am

Thanks again greybelt

Best regards

Art
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by otrhead on 7/14/2018, 6:55 pm

Thanks Greybelt. Let me know if you need some help cleaning up the tapes.

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/15/2018, 7:32 am

A quick note re: The Story of Ivy, a version of which was posted yesterday. The May 3, 1945 Suspense episode is Fear Paints a Picture, but I found newspaper clippings with Turner cast for Story of Ivy for that very date, as well as Fear. There was obviously a change in plans. Ivy was done on June 21, 1945 with Ann Richards. Either Story of Ivy was not a good fit for Turner or it wasn't ready.

Today's post stars Joe Kearns, first known to me as the next door neighbor Mr. Wilson on Dennis the Menace. Only by immersing myself into Suspense as I have done (and so happy so many have been along for the ride) have I realized how critical he was, week-to-week, in the Spier era of the program, announcing, as a supporting player, doubling or tripling supporting characters, and starring in it. His last Suspense appearance was in 1957.
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Suspense_1945-08-16_Short_Order_wJosephKearns UPGRADE-3.mp3
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 7/15/2018, 8:48 am

Thanks greybelt

Best regards

Art
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/16/2018, 7:32 am

One of my favorite episodes...

Suspense_1955-10-25_ToNoneADeadlyDrug_wHarryBartell UPGRADE-2.mp3
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1955-10-22 Tampa FL Times



1955-10-25 Boston MA Globe
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 7/16/2018, 8:54 am

Thanks greybelt

Best regards

Art
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by bojim1 on 7/16/2018, 11:27 am

BIG thanks as always

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/17/2018, 7:10 am

NOTE: I will be traveling the next few days and will not be posting. Part of my trip is pleasantly OTR-related, and I'll supply details upon my return. I will post again over the weekend.

Suspense_1956-02-21_HollywoodHostages_wEveMcVey&TomBrown UPGRADE-2.mp3
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1955-11-08 Kokomo IN Tribune
This was the original announced date for this offering.
They broadcast Report on the X915 with Stacey Harris instead.


1955-11-08 Akron OH Beacon Journal
The working title may have been different.


On November 8, 1955, one newspaper didn't announce an episode at all,
and instead used a very generic item.
1955-11-08 Mason City IA Globe-Gazette

This happened often, as I have learned in the newspaper searches I've been doing, because there still was significant publishing lag time without the electronic communications we often take for granted today. That lag time was the time it took for the network to mail the announcements and for the papers to receive them, and then get them into their editorial and production workflows.

The show is finally broadcast
1956-02-21 Kokomo IN Tribune - Hollywood Hostages


1956-02-21 Miami FL News

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 7/17/2018, 7:59 am

Thanks greybelt

Best regards

Art
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by Harlow Wilcox on 7/17/2018, 6:43 pm

Thank you greybelt! Very Happy
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/20/2018, 11:21 am

Last evening I had the opportunity to interview Larry and John Gassman who have been very proactive in OTR fandom in the Los Angeles area, have their weekly program "Same Time, Same Station" and are on the Friday night show with Walden Hughes on the YesterdayUSA stream. Here's the discussion; about 45 minutes. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I know there are quite a few blind and visually impaired OTR fans and collectors, so they may have special interest in this discussion. They got to know many of the Hollywood radio professionals and some of those comments are quite good. Enjoy! (Their weekly program can be found at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Some other special posts soon!
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/21/2018, 12:59 am

Today I interviewed Jerry Haendiges in a far-ranging discussion about when he saw his first transcription disc in the 1960s, the founding of SPERDVAC, the various transcriptions he has worked on, what people should do if they find transcriptions, the best series to listen to (he tried to be non-committal but I was relentless), file formats, radio actors, and much more. We had such a good time we recorded one hour and 22 minutes after it was edited. If you're a new collector, or a veteran, there's lots of topics in here that we think you'll find of interest. Enjoy! [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
This is a 64kps mp3; if anyone wants the FLAC or a 128kps mp3, send me a note.
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/21/2018, 3:31 pm

Suspense_1956-08-29_Holdup_wJosephKearns UPGRADE-2.mp3
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1956-08-29 Detroit MI Free Press


1956-08-29 Miami FL News

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/22/2018, 6:01 am

Suspense_1956-10-16_ProphecyOfBerthaAbbott_wRCrenna&SEdwards UPGRADE-4.mp3
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1956-10-16 Kokomo IN Tribune

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/22/2018, 3:43 pm

I am posting early as I have very short trip. Enjoy!

Suspense_1956-10-23_TheDoll_wPattyMcCormack_15thYear (1st tape, 1st Robson) UPGRADE-4.mp3
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This is an important moment for Suspense from a production and technology standpoint. First, it is the beginning of the William N. Robson era that will last until the show returns to New York. Just prior to Robson, show productions were bouncing around a bit, the last being Antony Ellis, one of the most gifted of radio’s practitioners. Robson did do some directing for Suspense, filling in on the hour-long “The Lodger” in February 1948 after Spier suddenly left the show in the mess around Robert Montgomery’s role as producer. Tony Leader would start the fixing process the following week, and stay on for the first Auto-Lite year. Robson wrote “The Treasure Chest of Don Jose” under the pseudonym “Christopher Anthony” as noted a few posts back, and also “Nobody Ever Quits” which would be performed additional times as “Night on Red Mountain.” Now, Suspense is Robson’s game until the end of August 1959. He contributed scripts for the New York series, and directed the 1960-02-14 Sorry, Wrong Number performance. That performance is curious because it has a Hollywood cast. It makes me wonder if it had already been recorded before the move to New York or if the episode storyline was done in Hollywood (since Agnes Moorehead was critical to the role) and the final production announcements and other editing were done in New York. This is worth investigating (at least to me it is), but it seems to be the case. There is a very good chance it is just the seventh broadcast in NY version wrappers. Perhaps someone can listen side-by-side (or as I learned from living in New England for many years, "side-by-each"!).

This is the first episode where recording tape was used for the full show production. This is good... and it’s bad, perhaps. It’s great that Suspense is keeping up with the times. If you read some recording history, it’s Bing Crosby who played a big role in the adoption of the technology. This is a nice article about the how it all happened. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The downside is that while recording tape offered great benefits to networks and production, it reduced the natural preservation of radio recordings. If a station wanted to record a disc of Suspense for later broadcast, the disc would likely be stored somewhere by someone. If it was taped, it was likely that the tape was erased and re-used. This is why the overall sound quality of recordings in Suspense are lower around this point of the series compared to prior years – we had to get lucky that there were people recording at home. There often was, and one of them may have been Pat Rispole [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] of the Albany, New York area as well as collector John Furman. The AFRTS role in preserving Suspense was critical at this time, as it seems that no one knows where any of the original Suspense production tapes are or if they exist any more. So we rely on incidental recordings of actors, advertisers, stations, and especially fans for whatever exists in network recordings. AFRTS was still sending out LP records of Suspense through the 1970s, so those are much better as an archive medium.

Also special about this recording is that Patty McCormack is likely the youngest actor to appear on Suspense. She was popular at the time because of her role in the movie “The Bad Seed.” This movie was a pioneer in the “evil kid” genre, which has been done much better since its release, but it was quite shocking at the time.

Patty McCormack on Wikipedia [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
2014 interview [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

IMDb for “The Bad Seed” [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Lots of famous (to us nostalgia folks) people in here. Nancy Kelly starred on Suspense six times. William Hopper (Paul Drake on Perry Mason) and folks we remember from 1960s comedies, such as Frank Cady (Sam Drucker on Petticoat Junction and Green Acres, publisher of the Hooterville World Guardian and proprietor of the general store), and others. There are interesting uncredited appearances by Frances Bavier (Aunt Bea!), Kathy Garver (Cissy on Family Affair, whom I met at the final FOTR convention in 2011, and is a fan of us fans, and a delight to talk to), and someone us OTR folks would know for certain, Natalie Masters (Candy Matson) plays a nurse. The movie seems to be worth watching even if it is just an opportunity to play “who’s that guy” or “who’s that lady.” (BTW there’s a great little documentary “That Guy... Who Was in That Thing” from 2012 about all these very successful supporting actors in TV and movies. Look for it!)

Note that this episode has no close. I have never found a complete recording, and it is unlikely that one exists unless an AFRS version surfaces.

1956-10-21 Shreveport LA Times


1956-10-23 Amarillo TX Globe-Times


1956-10-23 Los Angeles CA Times



Last edited by greybelt on 7/22/2018, 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 7/22/2018, 4:00 pm

Thanks greybelt for the episodes and all the extra information as well as all the interviews.

Best regards

Art
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by emruf7 on 7/22/2018, 5:34 pm

I thought it was common knowledge that the 1960 broadcast of "Wrong Number" was merely a repeat of the recording of the '57 episode. I can't remember where I first read this, possibly in Grams' book. Stewart Wright confirms it here:

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Or see Martin Grams' comment at the bottom of this page:

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/22/2018, 7:11 pm

I was not aware that this was common knowledge. Ya learn something new every day around here Smile

I guess I would say it was a repeat if ALL of aspects of the broadcast were the same. But the the 1960s one has different announcing and other aspects standardized to the NY format.

The other factor is that the press releases that CBS sent, as picked up by the newspapers, refer to this as the eighth performance and not the eighth broadcast, and strongly imply if not clearly state that this was a new performance. Liar liar pants on fire, those stinkin' PR people.

1960-02-14 Akron OH Beacon Journal


1960-02-14 Los Angeles CA Times
The comment about the original title is correct, but it was
changed to SWN in time for the original broadcast.


Perhaps we can say that the PR folks did not let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Martin's note in that blog comment about the time it was first on TV was obviously incorrect, and he is well aware of that now. We posted that here somewhere on the old thread that is still up. It starred Mildred Natwick and there are pictures online to show the set and the cameras. It got very negative reviews.

At this very moment, I'm in the 7th performance in the NY wrapper frame of mind for 1960. In some ways, we shouldn't even count it as an eighth performance.

How many performances did Moorehead really do?

5/23/43 performed once; this is the "flawed" performance and it has been proven that there was not a west coast performance despite the romantic notion that there was (and an innocently faked recording that floated around the hobby for decades)
8/21/43 performed once
2/24/44 Roma Thursday east coast
2/28/44 Roma Monday west coast
9/6/45 it is likely there were two performances, one for the east and one for the west a few hours later
11/18/48 ditto
9/15/52 likely performed once as transcribed playback for time zones was more common
10/20/57 ditto -- Suspense was pre-recording everything at this time
2/14/60 no new performance

Discounting the 1960 broadcast because it did not require her to appear, it looks like Ms Moorehead went before the Suspense microphone ten different times, sometimes on the same day, to deliver this very exhausting performance.

For the completists out there... she also performed for the Decca Records version, and for Philco Radio Hall of Fame. So add two... I don't know if PRHoF had separate E and W performances.
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/24/2018, 10:41 am

I had some correspondence with Suspense researchers Keith Scott and Don Ramlow. Did you know that SWN had other working titles? According to Keith, Spier was the one who came up with "Sorry, Wrong Number" as he felt that Fletcher always had problems coming up with titles. We know the title announced the prior week was "She Overheard Death Speaking." Working titles from Fletcher started with "I'm So Nervous," which Spier changed to "If At First You Don't Succeed" and then "...Overheard..." and finally the best title of them all.
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 7/24/2018, 12:05 pm

Suspense_1957-03-03_Present_Tense_wVincentPrice UPGRADE-3.mp3
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1957-03-03 Shreveport LA Times


1957-03-10 Honolulu HI Advertiser
Hawaii was still having delayed broadcasts because of the lack of inexpensive communications,
which would change as more underwater cables were installed, and of course, the beginning
of the satellite age. By this time, I suspect they were getting tapes from the mainland to
play on air, likely delivered by air mail. Hawaii was not yet a state in 1957!

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 7/25/2018, 8:24 am

Thanks greybelt

Best regards

Art
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