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Program Information
Night Transmissions Low Fi
Weekly Program
 Gary Clinton  Contact Contributor
Lux Radio Theater, It happened Tomorrow (07/03/44).
Mindwebs, A Saucer Of Loneliness (02/25/79).
Suspense, Riabouchinska (11/13/47)

Segment One And Two:

Lux Radio Theater, It Happened Tomorrow.

An anthology series on NBC ‘s Blue Network from 1934 through 1935 and then CBS from 1935 to 1955. The Lux Radio Theater is high on the list of genuine radio classics.

The program began as adaptations of Broadway stage productions (soon adding films) into hour long radio productions, These shows were recorded live before audiences in, first, New York and then Hollywood.

Produced and hosted by film legend Cecil B. DeMille Lux Radio Theater managed to feature many of the actors from the original productions. Usually paying $5,000. Remember this is when $5000 was real money… still is for that matter.

Many of the greatest names in film appeared in the series; most in the roles they made famous on the screen or stage. These included: Abbott and Costello, Lauren Bacall, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert, GaryCooper, Bing Crosby, Ava Gardner, Clark Gable, Bob Hope, John Wayne, and Orson Welles.

It Happened Tomorrow is a 1944 fantasy film starring Dick Powell, Linda Darnell and Jack Oakie, featuring Edgar Kennedy, Sig Ruman and directed by René Clair.

The radio play aired on Lux on July 3, 1944 with Don Ameche and Anne Baxter. It was also featured in another adaptation as the September 25, 1944 episode of The Screen Guild Theater with Dick Powell and Linda Darnell reprising their original roles. A third go at the story aired on the October 9, 1946 episode of Academy Award Theater, starring Eddie Bracken and Ann Blyth.



Segment Three:

Mindwebs, A Saucer Of Loneliness.

“A Saucer of Loneliness”, is a short story by Theodore Sturgeon that has been adapted for radio and television several times ( X Minus One, Future Tense, The Twilight Zone, Mindwebs). For my money this is the best adaptation. This is, I am sure due to its manner of presentation on Mindwebs,a program of science fiction that ran on WHA radio inMadison Wisconsin from 1976 to 1984. The programs are actually more like audio books than audio drama, or really, maybe just someplace in between. The producers of the show took some of the very best science fiction short stories and gave them a dramatic reading with multiple performers taking the parts of various characters. These performances are rounded off with the addition of good, atmospheric background music and excellent, realistic sound effects.

In my humble opinion this show despite its limitations is about as good as it gets.



Segment Four:

Suspense, Riabouchinska.

I wonder who it was that created the first ventriloquism dummy. I ask because it is on its surface just a little insane. A grown man carrying on both sides of the conversation between himself and a small wooden doll with a great deal of effort going into creating the illusion that the doll is really talking though everyone already knows it is not. Perhaps that feeling of insanity is why so many stories about ventriloquists are about them being insane.

“And so died Riabouchinska” is a story by Ray Bradbury. First published in The Saint Detective Magazine (June-July, 1953). It is about a ventriloquist and a police officer investigating a murder.

The problem is that the only one who admits to knowing anything about Riabouchinska is the dummy.

Oh, You may have noticed that I said the show aired on 11/13/47 and the story was published in 1953. Well, that’s what the entire Internet tells me.

I know this would be a neat trick.

I know one of these dates is wrong. If I ever come across better information I will edit this. In the meantime a little ambiguity is good for the soul.

Suspense is one of the classics of old time radio. Some fans have special favorites in the thriller/chiller/macabre genre, but most agree that Suspense is right at the top.

The guiding light of this show was William Spier, whose formula of human drama set in interesting situations attracted the best of Hollywood and radio actors. Orson Welles was in many episodes. Cary Grant said, “If I ever do any more radio work, I want to do it on Suspense, where I get a good chance to act.”

Spier’s method with actors was to keep them under-rehearsed, and there-by a bit uneasy. He got great performances, and the show gained great popularity.

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Lux Radio Theater, It happened Tomorrow (07/03/44). Mindwebs, A Saucer Of Loneliness (02/25/79). Suspense, Riabouchinska (11/13/47
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