Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Rise of Gossip On Old Time Radio

It is absolutely crazy when you think of how famous some of these gossip columnists are and how their names are still recognizable today. Usually people who talk about others and spread rumors are shunned in society.

Walter Winchell

walter winchell
Walter Winchell

Walter Winchell was probably the first famous gossip columnists. He became very popular for writing the first syndicated newspaper column, which was called, On Broadway. He had many connections in the government, as well as, in the entertainment industry. He would find out embarrassing or exciting information about well-known people and expose them in his column. He became very powerful and feared and he often used this information to attack the people he didn't like.

In the 1930's, he had his own radio show and became very famous when he covered the Lindburgh kidnapping. Because he backed Senator McCarthy in his anti-communism campaign, he also lost favor with the American public as McCarthyism was exposed. He died a lonely man at the age of 74 and supposedly, the only one to attend his funeral was his daughter.

Louella Parsons 

louella parsons
Louella Parsons

Louella Parsons was the very first movie columnist in America. Her columns were syndicated to over 400 newspapers throughout the world and read by over 20 million people. 

She began her literary career as a writer for the Dixon Star in 1902. She wrote about the goings on of the Dixon area social elite. In 1914, Parsons began a gossip column dealing with the actors in the new media of films and movies for the Chicago Record Herald. In 1923, she join the New York American, which was owned by William Randolph Hearst. She remained the "Queen of Hollywood" untile Hedda Hopper arrived. She helped Hedda get her start and the two soon became rivals and feuded for years.

Hedda Hopper 

hedda hopper
Hedda Hopper
Hedda Hopper came into the world as Elda Furry in the small town of Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. When she was a young girl, she ran away from home and landed in New York City on a chorus line on Broadway. She was not successful in this venture and ended up in the theater company of DeWolf Hopper. The two eventually married with Elda being his fifth wife. The previous four wives all had names similar to Elda, which were, Ella, Ida, Edna and Nella. She was tired of her husband calling her the wrong name so she paid 10 dollars to have a numerologist choose a new name for her and that name was Hedda.

Hedda appeared in many movies from 1915 to the mid 1930's, playing small roles, usually as a beautiful and distinguished society woman. As her movie career was coming to a close, she was looking for ways to earn a living and began writing a gossip column in the Los Angeles Times, entitled, Hedda Hopper's Hollywood. Because she had many connections in Hollywood, she had the juiciest gossip and she was very sadistic in her naming of names. She became quite famous for her large, often flamboyant hats; so much so that a song was even written about her in the film Breakfast in Hollywood, which was written by Spike Jones.

She began her career in radio with the old time radio show, The Hedda Hopper Show in 1939. Although she changed networks a few times, she had some form of radio show up until 1951.

Jimmie Fidler

jimmie fidler
Jimmie Fidler

Jimmie Fidler was even more feared by the studios that both Hedda Harper and Louella Parsons. A bad box-office review by Fidler meant lost dollars for the film. He started out as a Hollywood publicist and later wrote a syndicated gossip column called Jimmie Fidler in Hollywood, which was printed in 187 newspapers. 

In 1933, he began a 15 minute radio show on NBC, called Hollywood on the Air. By 1950, his show was broadcast on 486 radio stations and heard by over 40 million people.

Ed Sullivan

ed sullivan
Ed Sullivan
Ed Sullivan is most famous for the variety show that turned on teenagers to Elvis Presley and The Beatles. However, he began his career as a sportswriter for the newspaper, The New York Evening Graphic. When Walter Winchell left the newspaper, Ed Sullivan took over Winchell's role as theatre columnist.

He soon became a starmaker in the entertainment business and became one of Walter Winchell's biggest rivals. He soon began doing radio broadcasts of show business news until 1948, when he began the Ed Sullivan Show on CBS. The Ed Sullivan Show was one of the longest running shows on American television, spanning 23 years.

Tex and Jinx 

tex and jinx
Tex and Jinx
Tex and Jinx were a duo made up of Eugenia Lincoln "Jinx" Falkenburg, one fo the very first of the "supermodels," and journalist and publicist, Tex McCrary, who were married to each other. This couple was the first to come up with the popular, talk-show format. The interviewed a series of celebrities during the 1940's and 50's, discussing the important topics and news of the day.

The couple had their first radio show, which was aired in the mornings, five days a week on the New York station, WEAF. Hi, Jinx was the name of the show and as its popularity grew, McCrary taught Falkenburg how to interview.

As you know, people still love getting the dirt on famous people. It may be because the public holds these celebrities to a higher standard or it could be jealousy, which makes people happy to see that even the rich and famous have problems. As long as there have been celebrities, there have been others who have ridden on their coattails, either for good or bad, as their claim to fame.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Gunsmoke-An Old Time Radio Classic

This was an old time radio show classic and is considered one of the best radio shows of any kind. The radio version was created in 1952, by writer John Meston and director Norman MacDonnell. The chairman of CBS, William S Paley was a huge fan of the radio serial, The Adventures of Philip Marlowe. He asked Hubell Robinson to come up with a Western series that could be, "Philip Marlowe of the Old West."

Robinson then instructed Harry Ackerman, who had originally come up with the Philip Marlowe series, and was also CBS vice president of the West Coast, to work on this show. An audition script was written by Ackerman and two of his script writers, David Friedkin and Mort Fine, called,"Mark Dillon Goes to Gouge Eye." Two auditions were tested, with the first one being more like a hard-core detective series and Marshall Dillon was played by Michael Rye. The second audition was more of a Western with the script lightened up a bit and Marshall Dillon was played by Howard Culver. The latter was preferred by CBS and Ackerman continued working on the show.

Because Culver was working on another Western at the time, his contract stated that he was not allowed to work on another Western series. Ackerman put the project on the shelf and forgot about it. Meston and MacDonnell discovered the script while they were in the process of creating a Western series that was geared towards adults. They did not want to create such juvenile fare as, The Cisco Kid or The Lone Ranger. This show became known as, "Gunsmoke."

There were many people who auditioned for the role of Marshall Dillon and William Conrad was one of the last people to audition. Because of William Conrad's powerful voice, he was very busy in the medium of radio. MacDonnell was not quite sure whether Conrad was the right fit for the character, however, he quickly changed his mind after hearing Conrad read a couple lines. His portrayal of Dylan as a lonely man, who became tough because of his hard life, was perfect for the kind of adult series this was going to be.

Dodge City, Kansas
The Town Gunsmoke was Based On

The show actually evolved as the actors who portrayed the characters settled into their roles. Each actor in the radio series brought a bit of themselves into the character, allowing the writers to expand upon each character and draw the listener into the story even more. Meston hated how many Western fiction writers trivialized the brutality of the true Old West. He wanted to create a show that exposed the brutality and the violence of the old West.

Sound engineers Ray Kemper, and Tom Hanley, 
along with producer/director Norman Macdonnell.
In the early years of Gunsmoke, good did not always prevail over evil and sometimes, Marshall Dillon lost. There was no other show on the radio that exposed such controversial content, such as, Indian scalpings, opium addicts and violent crimes. Another thing that made Gunsmoke better than many other old time radio shows was the superb sound effects.

The radio version ran until 1961. The TV series started in 1955 and ran all the way until  March of 1975. William Conrad was not even considered for the TV series because of his weight. Meston continued to write the television scripts and many of the TV episodes use the exact scenes and dialogues from the radio shows. In the television series of Gunsmoke, some of the character's personalities had to be lightened up a bit. By the end of the television series and, Miss Kitty was no longer seen as a prostitute, but instead, just a kind and bighearted businesswoman

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Rise And Fall Of The Soap Opera On Old Time Radio

As radios became more prevalent in homes during the 1930's, businesses realized the potential to gain new customers using this medium for advertising. The networks realized that the man of the house would be working, the children at school and the housewife was in the home, listening to the radio, as she did her housework. The advertisers realized that the housewife could be a huge marketing force, therefore, these daytime radio shows and advertisements were produced with her in mind.

National Photo Company Collection,
 Prints and Photographs Division.
The first soap opera was created in 1930 and it was, Clara, Lu, and Em. It got its start as a sorority sketch that was written by three friends, Helen King (Em), Isobel Carothers (Lu), and Louise Starkey (Clara). Many of their friends told them that they should take the show to radio. WGN took on the show and the girls did the first few shows without getting paid. It wasn't long before Colgate-Palmolive became interested and started sponsoring the show. It was broadcast in the evening and then, moved to daytime radio in 1932.

The soap opera was most often defined by the sponsors, which mostly consisted of household products. These were geared towards the housewife. Soap operas are very often, associated with women and have a reputation of gaudiness. However, the listener needed a good deal of knowledge to follow some of these complex storylines.

Courtesy of Chuck Schaden Radio Collection
A soap opera consists of a series that has a storyline that continues on a day-to-day basis and there are usually a few storylines going at one time. A woman, Anne Schumacher, who was working for advertising executive, Edward Frank Hummert (Frank), recognized that women staying at home were the main decision makers of which household products to buy and that writing stories for the housewife, who could listen to these stories during the day, was an untapped market. Schumacher and her husband, John Ashenhurst came up with the serial, Just Plain Bill, who was a barber who married above his station, which was a success. They then produced, Ma Perkins and Backstage Wife.

Schumacher and Ashenhurst divorced and it was about the same time that Hummert's wife died. This left both Anne and Frank single and they soon began a relationship that led to marriage in 1935. The formula for most soap operas was perfected by this husband and wife team. They began a production company called, Air Features Inc., which churned out other daytime serials, such as, Stella Dallas, John's Other Wife and Young Widder Brown.

Irna Phillips
Another woman by the name of Irna Phillips created the Guiding Light in 1937. This was one of the longest running soap operas of all time and made the successful transition to television. Irna Phillips created the techniques that many take for granted in soap operas today, such as, cliffhangers and the organ music that bridges scenes.

Radio soap operas became a part of American culture, but in 1960, many of the radio soap operas were cancelled, as television became the new medium for the American public. Soap operas made the transition to daytime television and were successful for many more years.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Interesting Findings

While on my search for old time radio shows, I sometimes come across an interesting find. I search the public domain records for lost recordings of radio shows and events. Naturally, I am bound to find things that have to do with the radio world, but are not old time radio shows.

As I find new things, I will put the links in this article. You can check these things out and let me know if you find these things as interesting as I do. It takes a lot of time to search the public domain and to copy these files. Please leave your comments and let me know if you enjoy these findings.

The first link is for a magazine that was published in 1926, called Talking Machine World.  After World War I ended in 1918, radio stations were given back to civilians. The phonograph and radio were becoming a more common fixture in most homes and many Americans owned one.

You can check out the advertising methods that were used back in this time and see the latest innovations in the radio and phonograph business. Go to and check out pages from this magazine that were published throughout the year 1926.

old time radio magazine
Talking Machine World Magazine from 1926

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Space Race

Space Race On Old Time Radio
There are some great recordings that were captured as the United States made its way into outer space. In the late 1950's, the Soviet Union and the United States were competing in the "Space Race." The Soviet Union beat the United States into space two times. The first time was when they successfully launched the first satellite into space, which was Sputnik 1 and then again in 1961, when Yuri Gagarin was launched into space.

You can listen in on the Mercury Redstone 3 countdown, liftoff and mission. CBS made a radio report later in the week, describing the event. You can check out a few of the other Mercury missions, as well.

There are also, recordings of the most memorable moments of the United State's entry into outer space. You can hear John F. Kennedy's reaction to the delays that were encountered during Mercury-Atlas 6 flight, before take-off, when astronaut John Glenn successfully orbited the Earth.

On January 27, 1967, the crew of Apollo 1 were conducting a launch simulation when an electrical fire broke out in the capsule. Astronauts Gus Grissom, Roger Chaffee and Ed White were trapped and killed in the fire. The Apollo capsule was redesigned and other safety protocols were put into place.

You will also be able to listen in to the historic Apollo 11 flight, which put the first man on the moon. Relive these historical moments of the United States and all of the human race.

Check out:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Old Time Radio And Science Fiction

Old time radio and science fiction pretty much go hand in hand. Science fiction was becoming quite popular in the 1920's, as the industrial revolution was taking over the world.

Flash Gordon Comic Strip
Many of the first radio shows dealing with science fiction were aimed at teens and young people, in order to peak their desires to become involved with science.

Some of these early sci-fi radio shows were Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon. The greatest old time radio show of all time is the sci-fi classic, War of the Worlds. A variety of science fiction authors wrote stories for old time radio shows, such as, Tales of Tomorrow and X-Minus One. Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, and Isaac Asimov were just a few of the well-known authors who helped with the stories for radio shows.

Adult science fiction was not attempted until the 1950's and although Robert Heinlein wrote the first science fiction show that aimed at adults, Beyond Tomorrow, it was canceled after only three shows. The first successful adult oriented sci-fi series is the radio show, 2000 Plus. It was not written by famous science fiction authors and the adventures were based upon space travel, technology and science.

science fiction
The peak of science fiction on the radio was during the 1950's. The world was moving quickly toward space travel and the atomic age was beginning, as technology was growing out of control. The Cold War was starting and communism and the Soviet Union were feared.

As 1960 was approaching, science fiction starting losing some of its excitement as space travel, television and computer started to become a reality. Science fiction leaped onto the television set and continued to evolve.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Greatest Old Time Radio Show Of All Time

old time radio star orson welles
Orson Welles in 1937 (age 21),
photographed by 
Carl Van Vechten
Orson Welles is one of the best known old time radio stars because of the radio show that he did on October 30, 1938, entitled, War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells. Orson Welles had a radio show, which was called, "Mercury Theatre on the Air." The show was on at the same time as the "Chase and Sanborn Hour," which starred Edgar Bergen and his sidekick puppet, Charlie McCarthy. This show was the most popular radio show at the time and Orson Welles was trying to come up with ways to get listeners to tune into his show instead.

Orson Welles decided to do an radio adaption of "War of the Worlds" and hired a writer to re-write the story a bit, in order to update it and make it more exciting. The show started with an announcement presenting Orson Welles and introducing the story line. Welles then went on the air and began the introduction of the story. A weather report chimed in as Welles was finishing his introduction and then, the music of Ramon Raquello was said to be being broadcast from the Hotel Park Plaza in New York. In reality, this was all being done at the studio, although the audience believed that these broadcasts were, indeed, from different locations.

A special bulletin came over the air announcing that there was an explosion on Mars. There were other special news bulletins coming in that an alien craft had landed and the aliens were attacking in New Jersey and that people were dead. There was an fake announcement by the Secretary of the Interior, calling Americans to arms. 

old time radio show headline
New York Times Headline
Although Orson Welles announced several times throughout the broadcast that this was only a story, many people did not hear those announcements because they had turned the dial from listening to the Chase and Sanborn Show during the commercial break. People panicked and called the police and radio stations, loading up their vehicles, trying to escape the cities.

It was not until a few hours later that people discovered that Martians had not invaded the United States. Many people were upset and outraged, even suing Welles. Because the public was so used to believing everything that was broadcast over the radio, they believed this story. 

Orson Welles was a great actor, director, producer and writer. He co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in the movie, Citizen Kane, which many film critics have named the best movie of all times. The radio broadcast of War of the Worlds is the most famous broadcast in radio history. His many accomplishments as a writer, director and actor have been overshadowed by the broadcast of this old time radio show classic.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sound Effects For Old Time Radio And More

old time radio sound effectsWe have all watched movies and cartoons and heard what we thought were high winds blowing, doors being opened and people walking. The way those sounds were made, however, had nothing to do with the real events. Instead, there was someone turning the handle of wind machine or maybe, someone in a studio with a microphone aimed at their feet, as they stepped on a layer of stones.

If you ever got to see Monty Python's Holy Grail, then you remember the guys walking through the countryside, clapping coconut shells together to get the sound of running horses. You can put cornstarch in a bag and squeeze it to get the sound of walking on snow. The sky is the limit and you can use almost anything to get certain sounds.

If you were behind the scenes and at the studio of any big movie production or even, at any of those old radio shows, you would probably be amazed at the things that were used to get certain sound effects.

A sheet of styrene plastic can be used to make the sound of rolling thunder. Five gallon buckets are great for filling with water and then use an x-shaped cross on the end of stick to swish through the water for the sound of swimming or oars. A gravel box is used to make the sound of walking. It is just a small rectangular wooden box, filled with gravel. You can cover part of the box with plywood to make other walking sounds, as well.

old time radio sounds.
There were all kinds of crazy contraptions that were used to make sound effects, when radio shows first started and if you walked into a radio station studio, there were tables lined up with junk, making it look like a yard sale table. Anything that could produce a sound that could be used in those old time radio shows was utilized, as long as it didn't take up too much room in the studio.

If you want to make your own sound effects and experiment, there are a ton of resources online. Here are just a few to get you started.

You could just take a recorder and record actual events, such as, a lightening storm or a crowded barroom, but it is so much more fun to come up with your own creations. You can even buy sampled sound effects these days. Without good dialogue, good music and good sound effects, many of those old time radio shows could never have been successful.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

An Old Time Radio Video Recording Of The Studio

Some of the tools used to create the sound effects that were used in many of the old time radio shows were very innovative and creative. Check out this video. It shows first what you should be seeing in your mind as you listen to the radio show. The second part of the video, shows what is really happening in the recording studio. This is a very interesting and rare video.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Old Time Radio

old time radio lover
Old Time Radio, sometimes known as OTR, is very popular with many people in this new, modern era. Many people enjoy listening to broadcasts from the golden age of radio and going back in time. In that era, this kind of technology was absolutely fascinating and so many people were awe-struck. Imagine hearing the President of the United States in your very own living room! With the advances in technology today, that seems so minor, but for people back in the early 1900's, this was like magic.

Many of the classic television shows of the 1950's, were actually radio shows to begin with. Shows like, The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, Dragnet, Amos and Andy, and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, were all radio shows to start. Many of these primetime radio shows were live and would actually be done twice, for each coast. Because these shows were not recorded, many early radio broadcasts have been forever lost. After World War II, when technology advanced, many shows became pre-recorded.

Believe it or not, there are still some old-time radio shows that are still in production, such as, the Grand Ole Opry and CBS World New Roundup. Many people long for those simpler times and enjoy listening to these old radio shows. There were many genres of radio shows, for instance, soap operas, talent shows, mystery and suspense, musical, and even, science fiction, as in the infamous radio broadcast by Orson Welles of War of the Worlds, by H.G. Wells.

The Golden Age of Radio, ended in the early 1960's, with the rise in popularity of the television. Radio broadcasts consist today of music, sports or talk shows. There are a few comedy shows, but radio drama shows are long gone. There are many online collections of old time radio shows and this site will begin compiling and putting them here for everyone's listening pleasure. Stay tuned.

Copyright Notice: We do not own the copyrights to any of the shows available on this site. We believe that any copyrights have expired, and that many of the shows are in the public domain because they were never copyrighted. We do not sell the recordings or charge for access to our site. We are trying to bring the exciting world of Old Time Radio to a whole new generation of listeners using the new technology of the Internet. We are not trying to deprive the original creators of any money due to them, and we will remove any recording from our site that is shown to violate a copyright. For more information about copyrights for Old Time Radio shows, click here.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Copyright Notice

Copyright Notice:
We do not own the copyrights to any of the shows available on this site. We believe that the copyrights have expired, or that the shows are in the public domain because they were never copyrighted. We do not sell the recordings or charge for access to our site. We are trying to bring the exciting world of Old Time Radio to a whole new generation of listeners using the new technology of the Internet. We are not trying to deprive the original creators of any money due to them, and we will remove any recording from our site that is shown to violate a copyright.
Below is some basic info on the copyrights for Old Time Radio Lover. I am not a lawyer, and the information contained in this page is not meant to be legal advice. It is just intented to give you an overview of the various copyright issues involved:

Length of copyrights:
General otr copyright info: (search for Old Radio)
OTR Sites:
The following are some arguements showing Old Time Radio Shows are not covered by any copyrights:
From the site at:
“we have checked with the Library of Congress regarding the status of old time radio recordings made prior to 1978, and have been informed by their staff that all such recordings are generally in the public domain, as sound recordings were not allowed under the previous copyright law and that such recordings have not been granted copyright status under the new laws (since to change their status and move them out of the Public Domain would be a violation of Ex-Post-Facto). Once a piece is placed into the public domain for any reason, it remains there legally unless someone brings a case to the Supreme Court to decide otherwise.”
From the site at:
Library of Congress statements that the original recordings presented here are within the Public Domain, since they were NOT qualified for copyright protection when presented, nor was any attempt to place them under such copyright protection was made when the window of opportunity for such existed in 1978-1979 when the copyright law regarding such recordings changed. (Such had to be submitted to the Congressional Record for reinstatement at that time, and NO US Broadcasts from the 1929 thru 1950 period was filed for at that time in the Congressional Record – only a few foreign language audio recordings were so filed for in that period, none of which are here in our Library Collection.
Many people feel that the old time radio trademarks are abandonded since they were never enforced and are virtually worthless:
Any lawsuit for copyright infringement needs to be brought about by the real parties in interest (the actual copyright holder or assignee), not somebody else on their behelf. Without a federally registered copyright (which automatically would carry a presumption of validity), the burden of proof is on the person bringing the lawsuit to prove that they own a valid copyright for the work.
Registration Issues: Although failure to register a copyright does not affect its validity, a copyright must be registered before an infringement action can be filed under current federal copyright law. Registration must be made within three months after publication or before the occurrence of an infringement in order for statutory damages and attorney’s fees to be available to the plaintiff. Otherwise only actual damages may be awarded (17 USC §§ 411, 412).
Radio shows created before January 1, 1978 are protected by the Copyright Act of 1909 rather than the Copyright Act of 1976 ( ) because according to case law any copyright determinations must be made according the copyright law as it existed before that date.
Assuming the old time radio shows were in the pbulic domain from from the Copyright Act of 1909, the update of 1976 could not suddenly place them under copyright because they were already in the public domain, and the status of a public domain work is not allowed to ever be reversed.
Steve Dhuey from University of Toledo College of Law wrote in to add the following thoughts on the topic:
Your page on copyrights seems to address only one type of copyright, federal statutory copyright. There is indeed good reason to believe that the old time radio recordings themselves are not under *federal* statutory copyright.
However, there are at least two other major types of copyright: state statutory copyright, and common law copyright. Neither of those types of copyright are addressed on that page:
* Under common law copyright, an unpublished work remained under copyright to its owner/creator in perpetuity.
* State statutory copyright, like federal statutory copyright, usually sets a limited term on a copyright.
U.S. Copyright Office Circular #56, “Copyright Registration for Sound Recordings,” says:
“Sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, were generally protected by common law or in some cases by statutes enacted in certain states but were not protected by federal copyright law. In 1971 Congress amended the copyright code to provide copyright protection for sound recordings fixed and first published with the statutory copyright notice on or after February 15, 1972. The 1976 Copyright Act, effective January 1, 1978, provides federal copyright protection for unpublished and published sound recordings fixed on or after February 15, 1972. Any rights or remedies under state law for sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, are not annulled or limited by the 1976 Copyright Act until February 15, 2047.”
Thus, sound recordings made before Feb. 15, 1972, are not protected by federal copyright, but they may still be protected by state copyright, or by common law copyright.
That addresses the issue of the sound recordings themslves. But there is another issue: the copyright of the scripts used on old time radio shows. These scripts were almost all written as works for hire, with the copyrights belonging to the network or the sponsor. The copyrights of these scripts are separate from the copyright of the sound recordings; one can be in the public domain while the other is still under copyright.
Almost all radio scripts would be legally considered unpublished works (broadcast or performance does not constitute publication), because very few old time radio broadcasts have been published by the copyright owners. If the scripts were unpublished, and not registered for copyright as unpublished works, they were under common law copyright, i.e., in perpetuity. The Copyright Act of 1976, effective 1978, changed that. It abolished common law copyright in the U.S. (except for sound recordings) and said that all unpublished, unregistered works existing as of Jan. 1, 1978, had a federal statutory copyright, lasting 120 years from the date of creation.
Thus, even though the *recordings* of the old time radio broadcasts are not under federal statutory copyright, the *scripts* underlying most of those broadcasts are under federal statutory copyright for 120 years from creation.
There is a third layer of copyright involved, if the script is based on another literary work, for example, a short story, play, or motion picture screenplay. Even if the sound recording had no copyright, and the radio script had no copyright, the copyright of the underlying literary property may be in effect and enforceable.
In summary, the copyright situation is more complex than the simple question of whether the old time radio recordings are under federal statutory copyright. There are also issues of common law copyright and state statutory copyright, and the underlying literary copyrights of the scripts.