Suspense Upgrades

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/4/2018, 6:31 am

Suspense_1942-09-30_OneHundredInTheDark_wEricDressler UPGRADE-4.mp3
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The original short story can be found at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Christine Miller's interesting profile of the episode can be found at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

The play would be produced a little more than five years later as the final Roma Wines performance. At this point in September 1942, however, the Roma Wines sponsorship was more than a year away from beginning.
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/4/2018, 8:25 am

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/5/2018, 7:20 am

The summer series that brought Suspense to listeners ended on September 30, 1942 with One Hundred in the Dark. Newspapers report that CBS received many letters and calls urging them to return the series to the air.

Columbia hired noted writer John Dickson Carr for the series. Known as a "British" author because of his life there from his early 20s and the British locales used in his stories and novels, and the British writing traditions he followed in his writings, few knew he was actually from Pennsylvania.
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] is a worthwhile read.

His local paper was really proud of him. Note the high-profile local connections mentioned for his Uniontown, PA home town.
1942-10-27 Uniontown PA Evening Standard


1942-11-07 Harrisburg PA Telegraph


These newspaper clips mention the support Suspense had from its summer season listeners.
1942-11-03 Pittsburgh PA Post Gazette


1942-11-03 Tampa FL Times


The return to the air was for the October 27, 1942 Lord of the Witch Doctors. There are very few newspaper clips about the individual programs at this time. Suspense was still just another mystery show. It was a few months away from its move to Hollywood and the emphasis on Hollywood stars that would bring it more publicity. In this pre-Hollywood period, Suspense was considered basically the same as Lights Out and Inner Sanctum which were both highly successful and which Suspense  would eventually surpass. Lights Out would fade somewhat into the background as Oboler became involved in numerous, diverse, and often high profile projects. Inner Sanctum would fall into a predictable pattern of spooky stories. While Carr was a highly regarded and well-known author who brought credibility to Suspense, the plodding British style he brought would probably have played out into a similar predictable repetition then to falloff in listenership. The regular use of Carr's mystery scripts would end in June 1943, with a couple of new ones and repeats in the early Roma run and then scattered in Suspense later years. It could be that the success of Sorry, Wrong Number and presentations of other authors spurred Spier and others in charge to make full and broad use of the anthology format and de-emphasize Carr's influence in the series. The shift to more first-person and "people in trouble" scripts of a faster pace seemed to resonate with the Suspense audience in a better way. The success of Suspense led to hundreds of submissions of scripts every week (so they claim) giving Spier and others a rich supply of alternatives. Carr remained a highly successful author without his Suspense connection.

Suspense_1942-11-03_Devil_in_the_Summer_House_wMartinGable UPGRADE-3.mp3
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(link was reported as bad -- it is now fixed!)


Last edited by greybelt on 11/5/2018, 2:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/5/2018, 11:37 am

when I click on the link, it says session expired

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/5/2018, 2:10 pm

Link has been fixed!
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/5/2018, 6:52 pm

Thanks greybelt
Best regards

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/6/2018, 8:14 am

Suspense_1942-12-22_TwoSharpKnives_wStuartErwin UPGRADE-5.mp3
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/6/2018, 9:28 am

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by bojim1 on 11/7/2018, 6:22 am

Thank you for sharing this incredible collection

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/7/2018, 9:23 am

There are two copies of this program floating around -- one is possibly an aircheck that has the announcement about The Adventures of the Thin Man, and another is likely a studio copy with just the program. Then again, they could be the same copy that someone long ago deleted the announcement. That's okay, we're completists, so we keep both Smile
Suspense_1943-01-05_NothingUpMySleeve UPGRADE-5 no pre-show Thin Man announcement.mp3
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You don't see many ads for Suspense in its early years. This the earliest ad I have been able to find.
1943-01-05 Philadelphia PA Inquirer


Bojim1: Thanks so much for your kind comment! It's only an incredible collection because of the generous help and collaboration I've gotten. I never thought it could be this good. The set started with the OTRNow set in 2004 as the baseline, and was improved by the number of sets I culled through back when one of the main thrusts of OTRR was its peer-to-peer network (I miss that -- I wish it was still "a thing" but P2P has fallen out of favor in recent years). I began to realize there were lots of different versions of Suspense episodes when some AFRS versions I did not have were posted at Cobalt (three server crashes ago). Since that initial baseline set, nearly every recording has been replaced twice, with many three times, and numerous alternative versions have been added to the collection. Then it just kept snowballing into an international effort of people sharing collections, searching for discs and participating in disc purchases in auctions. I got hooked on newspapers.com in the last two years when I was doing some genealogical stuff -- and realized the many treasures located there, and as they keep adding papers to their digital archives, even more things come up. The backstory of the show is sometimes more interesting than the programs. It has been great serendipitous fun! Thanks to all for your support and encouragement! If anyone wants to join in, or wants some information about helping us in disc purchases, please private message me.
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/7/2018, 12:53 pm

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/8/2018, 3:42 am

Suspense_1943-01-19_The_Devils_Saint_wPeterLorre (last NY show) UPGRADE-8.mp3
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/8/2018, 9:29 am

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/8/2018, 11:52 am

NEED SOME HELP!
I have a new suspected re-use of a script portion but I can't fully check it out because of shortage of time.

There is a Man Behind the Gun episode that might be a re-use in Suspense episode Tarawa was Tough from May 12, 1957.

The MBtG episode may or may not exist. There is a show in circulation with the title of Prep Joe for the date February 12, 1944. This is link to a copy at otrrlibrary.org [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

That date may or may not be correct. There is a newspaper entry for this program date about the fighting at Tarawa, and not "Prep Joe." From what I can tell, Prep Joe has nothing to do with this story, and that the Tarawa episode is not circulating (though marked that way in the OTRR log).

Indianapolis News 02/11/44


Des Moines Register 02/12/44


What I'm trying to figure out is if the Prep Joe date is incorrect, and if this is the show mentioned about Tarawa, are there portions of the script that were used like Robson did for Mission of the Betta. This would be odd because Prep Joe was a repeat from early 1943 and the Battle of Tarawa did not occur until November 1943. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I recently found more information about the MBtG episode that shared some dialogue with the Mission of the Betta episode years later. Robson and one of the MBtG writers went on a submarine dive to do research for the program.

1943-03-07 Pittsburgh Press
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/9/2018, 4:45 am

Suspense_1943-03-30_The_Dead_Sleep_Lightly_wSusanHayward UPGRADE-3.mp3
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/9/2018, 9:03 am

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/9/2018, 9:40 am

The more you dig into Suspense the more you realize that Yogi Berra's research axiom is true: "Sometimes you can see a lot just by looking." But Yogi also said he didn't say all the things he said. That aside, this table shows some distinct eras of the show's history where there was a change in direction or tone by the participation of a sponsor, change in leadership, or format.

I settled on this as I was trying to figure out how to organize the collection to reflect those different periods. Comments, corrections, suggestions, greatly appreciated.


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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/10/2018, 4:49 am

By the time today's program appears, Suspense is implementing its strategy of Hollywood stars. Newspapers are picking up more of the CBS' and the show's publicity initiatives, supplemented by what the stars agents and movie studios do.
Suspense_1943-05-04_Death_Flies_Blind_wRichardDix UPGRADE-3.mp3
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1943-05-04 Long Beach CA Independent

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/10/2018, 10:26 am

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by bojim1 on 11/10/2018, 11:24 pm

Thank you sir!

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/11/2018, 2:52 am

Suspense_1943-05-18_ABC_Murders_wCLaughton&ELanchester UPGRADE-3.mp3
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1943-05-18 Long Beach CA Independent
Here we learn this episode was originally
scheduled for 1943-05-11


1943-05-18 Shreveport LA Times
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/11/2018, 9:54 am

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/12/2018, 5:52 am

Today's offerings involve Orson Welles broadcasts.

The first is one of those awful AFRTS heavily edited programs from the late 1970s/early 1980s, Marvelous Barastro. The file is a really low encode, and I only have it to fill my completist tendencies. I wasn't going to post this until later with some other recordings like it, but there is another reason for me to do it now.
Suspense_1944-04-13_MarvelousBarastro_wOrsonWelles AFRS 1980s RE-ISSUE.mp3
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The fact that the file is only 16kps only adds to the disturbing nature of the strange editing AFRTS did to Suspense performances at this time.

The original performance received strong reviews.

1944-04-08 Harrisburg PA Telegraph


1944-04-13 Belvidere IL Daily Republican


1944-04-14 NY Daily News

There's a reason I wanted to post it now, and that's to correct a rather disappointing effort in a book about Suspense that I'd prefer not to name. The author makes the claim that Welles wrote this script, an adaptation of Ben Hecht's short story The Shadow, and used the pseudonym of "Jacques Finke," and claims that other Welles performances were done the same way. Jack Finke was a real person -- RadioGoldindex has him listed with two spellings. This information is too easy to find with RGI and also IMDb where he is listed, so there is no excuse to make this kind of claim.
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These resources aren't always perfect, but they should always be your first stop to check something out that's this simple.
Finke also adapted One Hundred in the Dark for Suspense. He also did some movie studio script work, editing those of others and writing his own.
Research has lots of bumps in the road that lead you to conclude one thing and then you often have to step back and conclude something else once you learn more. The Internet makes checking these most basic things easier than ever.

BTW, in Hecht's original 1931 story, in his short story collection The Champion from Far Away, the magician's name was "Sarastro." The story became a screenplay, but was never produced. A copy of it is up for sale. [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] The background information there is interesting.

And now, today's more important post is the original two-part version of Donovan's Brain, which plays out so much better here than as a movie, and is done much better here than in the 1948 hour-long version... everyone knows how I feel about that period of Suspense history.

Suspense_1944-05-22_Donovans_Brain_Pt1_wOrsonWelles UPGRADE-2 WC Monday.mp3
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Suspense_1944-05-25_Donovans_Brain_Pt2_wOrsonWelles UPGRADE-4 EC Thursday.mp3
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These are all part of the 2x a week schedule of the early Roma Wines run.

Marvelous Barastro exists as the East (Thursday), West (Monday), AFRS, and this later AFRTS version.
Part One of Donovan's Brain exists as East and West, but no AFRS versions.
Only the East performance of Part Two exists.
Whenever I get a new set of Suspense to examine, the first shows I give the once-over are the ones in this 2x/week period. There are two AFRS versions I am still looking for: The Locked Room of 44-01-27 and The Sisters of 44-02-03, both of which are listed in RGI.
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by artatoldotr on 11/12/2018, 10:04 am

Thanks greybelt

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Re: Suspense Upgrades

Post by greybelt on 11/13/2018, 7:50 am

Suspense_1944-09-28_ManWhoCouldn'tLose_wGeneKelly AFRS#99 FROM DISC.mp3
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There are three different recordings of this episode. There is the network version; by this time the program was providing east and west production on the same day for the very first time. Usually, the recordings are of the East broadcast. I'm not sure it was regular practice to record the West ones, otherwise more of them would have shown up, but that's just a guess on my part.
This is the best sounding of the recordings, recently recorded from disc. This one has an AFRS opening that was used earlier in the series, but seems consistent with others from the period.
There is another AFRS recording with a different opening that announces Kelly and the episode title, while this one does not.
The sound on this may seem a little muddy in spots for some. If anyone wants to try their hand at some processing, contact me by private message and I can provide a FLAC of the recording.

1944-09-27 Circleville OH Herald
This program was originally scheduled for Joseph Cotten. It was postponed for a couple of weeks,
so perhaps Kelly was not available for the two separate days of performances that was being
done at the time.


I had originally thought that this was supposed to be a vehicle for Frank Sinatra because many of the reports in trade journals cited him playing "The Man." It was easy to assume that it was for this spisode since "The Man" is part of the title. As noted in a prior post, "The Man" was a play by Mel Dinelli and it became "To Find Help" on Suspense with Sinatra. Then it became a play again, but this time on Broadway for 92 performances. In 1952 it became a movie starring Ida Lupino, Beware, My Lovely. As best I can tell at this time, "The Man Who Couldn't Lose" was originally and always planned for Joseph Cotten.

Also found this on the IMDb page for Beware, My Lovely:
His radio script, "The Hand" was one of the only scripts to ever be rejected by Suspense's sponsor Auto-Lite for being objectionable. The story concerned a woman who is involved in an auto accident, and gets to the car she totaled to discover the driver's severed hand, still clutching an envelope filled thousands of dollars in cash. She takes the money, and is soon haunted by obsessive thoughts of the hand.
I had never heard about this, and it bears some investigation... can anyone give me... a hand? Smile
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Re: Suspense Upgrades

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