elcome to the Digital Meltd0wn Music Blog. The aim of this blog is to introduce the readers to music that is out of print, commercially unavailable, released under a creative commons license, or with approval by the featured artist. The majority of the music posted here would be considered underground. Don't let that fool you into thinking that the music featured here might be any less enjoyable than that of the mainstream artists you hear on the radio, as this couldn't be further from the truth. Please keep in mind that the majority of the artists that appear on this blog, along with their respective record labels, are not wealthy and need your support. If you enjoy the material that you find here, please support the artists/labels by purchasing their material afterwards. If you are an artist/label that would prefer to have your material removed from this blog, simply leave me a comment, and I would be more than happy to promptly remove the offending post. In addition to running this blog, I also work on a few other projects during my spare time. You can find links to those, as well as a few other important links associated with Digital Meltd0wn in the menu bar above.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Lights Out Radio Show - 1936-1947

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!

Track List:
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

Track List:
1. Oxychloride X
2. Rocket From Manhattan

Download: Arch Oboler - Lights Out LP
Download Size: 45MB


Widgett Walls said...

Thanks for this post. These shows were great. Has one of my favorite taglines ever: "It is later than you think."

Anonymous said...

reading through your marvellous blog, I came across these 2 albums by arch oboler.....haing never heard of him I was intrigued to find out more.....they sound great....thank you very much for the opportunity to listen to them.

j said...

have i told you lately how much i love this blog? i have linked you, and will be coming back daily! Also, might i recommend the radio program Dimension X, also available via Archive.org, for some vintage SF fun! Keep up the great work!

Zer0_II said...

@J: I'm glad that you are enjoying the blog. Thank you very much for linking to me. I have heard of Dimension X, but haven't had the pleasure of listening to it yet. Perhaps I'll devote a post dedicated to it this coming Halloween, or even sooner. Thank you once again. Take care.


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M.Moreno said...

I luv ya for this. Just watched a doc on tv horror hosts called American Scary, they played a snippet of the show in terms of radio shows pre-dating the tv horror host in an influential manner. wanted to hear these shows. thanks! Especially for your hand work on Oboler's back cover!