Revisiting Radio Dramas

While working or driving, I enjoy listening to stories. It may be an audiobook. But there’s a large variety of radio dramas not to be overlooked. Below are some of my favorites.

One of my favorite fantasies, The Lord of the Rings, was dramatized for radio in 1979. The Mind’s Eye has produced over twenty quality adaptations of story greats such as Alice in Wonderland and Homer’s The Odyssey. And like these other tales, J.R.R. Tolkien’s work is sure to please your attentive ear.

For much of Daphne du Maurier’s work, a supernatural element weaves through each story. You may have heard of Rebecca or The Birds. But have you read The House on the Strand? Allow Ian Richardson’s narration to transport you back in time…

Suspense, a CBS Golden Age radio drama airing from 1942 through 1962, broadcast about 945 episodes. The earliest episodes were hosted by The Man in Black, a shadowy figure who seemed to delight in the bizarre or threatening situations a main character was suddenly dropped into.

Gregory Peck stars in this 1946 story, “The Lonely Road.”  You’ll have to listen to find out what happens when a mysterious younger woman bewitches a married man into…well, just listen.

HBO produced a terribly enjoyable horror anthology Tales from the Crypt. You’ll be treated to entertaining performances by Patricia Arquette, Dan Aykroyd, Demi Moore, Jeffrey Tambor, and other recognized actors and actresses who, you might say, bring the show to life.

But you may not have listened to a radio show streamed online under the same name in 2000. Eight stories were recorded–not a very long run. Don’t let that stop you dead in your tracks. You’ll find more goodies buried within these horror-ible dramas. The first episode, “Tight Grip,” is narrated by Tim Curry, who will chill you as he unwinds some tragic events for your listening dis-pleasure. Welcome back, kiddies!

I hit a radio drama jackpot when I discovered Suspense on YouTube. Blue Hours Productions is doing a marvelous job of reviving one the greatest American radio dramas of all time–maybe the best American radio drama of all time. Beside a YouTube series, a new show is broadcast every other week from over 200 radio stations on five continents. Fantastic production quality, superb voice acting, and intriguing stories make Suspense a winner.

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