I hope that you all enjoy this special post as much as I have enjoyed putting it together. Up till this point, I have yet to share any old time radio broadcasts, which I only recently discovered myself. These radio broadcasts were originally downloaded from http://archive.org, but the audio files were not tagged, and the two Oboler albums were found on other blogs, although I'm unable to remember where they were obtained now. I have spent several hours collecting, tagging, and renaming all of the audio files included. I have also taken the time to manually type out the text from the back cover of the "Arch Oboler - Lights Out LP" (which was almost illegible due to the poor quality of the album cover image), convert the official wikipedia page to a .pdf file, and track down a few images of the hosts and actors involved.
NBC writer Wyllis Cooper, who would later write the script for Boris Karloff's Son of Frankenstein, conceived the idea for Lights Out in 1933. Cooper was a respected radio writer of the time, and he worked on a number of other shows in addition to Lights Out. The first episode of Lights Out would air in January of 1934 on a local NBC satation, WENR on Wednesdays at midnight. The first episodes clocked in at 15 minutes in length, but as the series grew in popularity, it was eventually lengthened to 30 minute episodes. In January of 1935 the show was discontinued in order to ease the workload of Cooper, who was working on other shows at the time in addition to Lights Out. However the show was brought back only a few weeks later due to overwhelming popular demand. In April of 1934 NBC made the move to broadcast Lights Out to a national audience. Cooper would continue to host the show until June of '36 when Arch Oboler took over, who's name would eventually become synonymous with Lights Out. Oboler would act as host until 1938, when he left to work on other projects. A variety of people took over the show's writing/producing duties until the show was eventually cancelled in 1939. Oboler would return once again to host the show from 1942 to 1943. There would be three other short lived revivals of the show during 1945,1946, and 1947. These later revival episodes primarily featured reworked scripts written by Cooper during his 1934-1936 stint.
This is not a complete collection of every episode of Lights Out to ever air, but rather a collection of every episode that is available at this time. None of the recordings from the Wyllis Cooper era from 1936-1939 exist, although some of his stories were later rewritten and broadcast by Oboler, and others during the later revival years. I have also included two Arch Oboler LPs. The first, "Drop Dead!", was originally released in 1962. I have been unable to attain much information about the second, which is simply titled "Lights Out". Both of them featured tales that were originally Lights Out broadcasts, but the quality of these recordings is much better than the original broadcasts.
As I mentioned before, it was only recently that I discovered old time radio broadcasts, but there are a few horror/supernatural radio shows from the era that I would like to share before Halloween. I have decided to feature Lights Out first, as it was the premiere horror radio show of the era. There are dozens of other horror radio shows that I would like to share before Halloween, but at the moment it doesn't look like I'm going to have time to, unless I cut out some of the other albums that I had planned on uploading. I'll make my best effort to post at least two or three of the better broadcasts over the next couple of weeks, and perhaps I'll even share some "leftovers" after Halloween is over. Please keep in mind that these shows were broadcast in the 1930's and 40's, and although some of the broadcasts certainly have a creepy quality to them, the majority of them bear more of a similarity to episodes of The Twilight Zone rather than horror by today's standards. Don't let this stop you from downloading and listening to these though. You would certainly be missing out on many good tales of horror and the supernatural, as well as an important piece of history from a bygone era.
There is an wealth of information about the Lights Out series, but rather than make this already lengthy post any longer than it has to be, I'm simply going to link to the wikipedia page, which can provide much more information about the show than I can. As I mentioned before, I have converted the official wiki page into a pdf file and included it with each of the shares below. Here is the Lights Out wikipedia page for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lights_Out_(radio_show)
Now, without further ado,
lights out everybody....
Lights Out Radio Show
Download: Lights Out - 1936-1939 (81MB)
Download: Lights Out - 1942-1943 (134MB)
Download: Lights Out - 1945 (12MB)
Download: Lights Out - 1946-1947 (23MB)
Arch Oboler - Drop Dead!
1. An Introduction to Horror
2. I'm Huntry
3. Taking Papa Home
4. The Dark
5. A Day at the Dentists's
6. The Posse
7. Chicken Heart
8. The Laughing Man
Download: Arch Oboler - Drop Dead! An Exercise In Horror
Download Size: 56MB
Arch Oboler - Lights Out LP
1. Oxychloride X
2. Rocket From Manhattan
Download: Arch Oboler - Lights Out LP
Download Size: 45MB