If you guys are going to do this, you should get going while there are still some first-persons
alive and some key second-persons like David Goldin. Also, whomever runs this should make sure to
talk with Art Shifrin, who has quite a lot of knowledge on this topic. Also Mr. Ellis down in the DC
area, who has a huge collection of high-quality OTR already digitized. It's also very much worth
re-reading the Erik Barnouw trilogy of books because of the numerous and accurate references and
other documentation throughout.
There is also a huge collection of low-quality but sometimes very interesting OTR tapes -- yep they
are the dreaded 4-tracks on 1/4" at 3.75IPS type -- at a university in Memphis, it may be University
of Memphis or Memphis State University. The librarian there is very nice and helpful about making CD
dubs, but she is not an OTR person.
My own interest in OTR is mostly focused on "news and actuarial," ie very little interest in
"nostalgia" drama or comedy especially the well-worn mainstream stuff. I also have some interest in
music recordings, but only those of good fidelity. David Goldin used to have some very interesting
news broadcasts available from his custom tape service, but I never had enough money to buy all of
them. I should add, one exception to my general disinterest in the drama stuff is "Mercury Theatre
On THe Air" and "Campbell's Radio Theatre" with Orson Wells (sp?). I'm still on a quest to get all
the Mercury Theatre shows in really good fidelity. I know some just don't exist in good fidelity
Another possible source of radio-transcription audio that I bet hasn't been tapped is the archives
of long-standing corporations and advertising agencies. This would be especially true for the
drama/comedy stuff, which was sometimes produced by ad agencies specifically for corporate sponsors.
For instance Duke University has been given tremendous amounts of vintage video advertising
material. Is there any audio material in the lot? If so, is it documented? What about GM's corporate
archives? Coke? Pepsi?
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Thom" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 9:48 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Advice on otr discography
> In the paper I gave at ARSC, I included a call for a Radio Research
> Interest Group for ARSC, one of whose aims would be to give input into
> standards related to metadata of broadcasting works and their exemplars
> (based in part of principles of the National Recording Preservation Plan's
> goals of better cataloging practices for sound recordings and the
> recommendation under 4.3 "A Coordinated National Collections Policy" for "a
> subcommittee to develop strategies and tools to collect and preserve radio
> broadcast content").
> Your proposed discography would be very useful as it would list commercial
> publications of radio programs on disc, and would link them to their
> original works and series. I hope you will consider publishing it to the
> web as well as in book form (Scarecrow Press does this), and that you would
> allow other parties to license your data for re-use in broader databases
> (such as national discographies [NRPP Recommendation 3.1]).
> Thom Pease
> Library of Congress
> (not speaking for them).
> On Wed, May 21, 2014 at 8:00 AM, Randy A. Riddle <[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>> I'm considering putting together a discography of old time radio broadcasts
>> released on lp. I'd like some advice from folks in ARSC, particularly if
>> you're in a library, archives or if you're a researcher on whether this
>> would be a useful endeavor.
>> Some background ….
>> In the 70s and 80s, as part of the "nostalgia boom", several small labels
>> popped up releasing old time radio broadcasts on lps. Some were widely
>> distributed through mail order and retail outlets, such as releases from
>> Goldin's Radiola, Mark 56, Nostalgia Lane and Murray Hill. Many others
>> were put out by otr enthusiasts in limited runs.
>> Although many otr broadcasts are floating around at archive.org and other
>> sites, these lps do contain better quality or more complete versions of
>> broadcasts and some that have never made it to digital.
>> The lps often have no information on the disc or cover about the particular
>> episode of a program. If the particular broadcast can be identified, it
>> might have been done from a tape dub floating around or original
>> transcriptions and might be altered or incomplete.
>> The discography would describe in detail the contents of each lp, noting
>> the sound quality or any problems with the material. In addition, it would
>> cross-reference different releases of the same broadcasts.
>> I've managed to gather a fairly large collection of these lps, but would
>> probably need to fill out some gaps in my collection, so this would take
>> some time to pull together.
>> I'm at a point where I've been informally putting together notes on these
>> discs for my own research, wondering if a discography like this would be
>> more broadly useful and the kind of interest there might be in it.
>> I've considered three different outlets for the discography. I could put
>> it together as a website, an ebook I might sell through Amazon, or try to
>> submit it to a publisher like Macfarland.
>> I don't want to reformat all the information at a later time - a blog,
>> ebook or publisher manuscript - would be assembled differently. My
>> question, if you think this would be useful, would be what you think the
>> best outlet might be so I can figure out the best format to put together
>> the information.
>> The scope of the discography would be complete broadcasts or significant
>> broadcast excerpts on lp discs and wouldn't include the many compilations
>> of songs drawn from different broadcasts that are probably highlighted in
>> artist or genre discographies. However, it would include discs that might
>> contain a complete broadcast or band remote, for example. It would also
>> include some lps issued before the 70s, such as lp releases of the CBC
>> McCarthy-era drama "The Investigator" or Columbia issues of episodes of
>> "You Are There".
>> Randy A. Riddle
>> [log in to unmask]