Happy Holidays from OTRCAT.com! Holiday Time is the most wonderful time of the year and old time radio shows help listeners celebrate with music, laughter, and even suspense!
Each Radio show celebrated Christmas with their special twist. One of the most memorable productions was Orson Welles Campbell's Playhouse version of "A Christmas Carol" starring Lionel Barrymore. On Lux Radio Theater, Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed reprised their roles in a reproduction of "It's a Wonderful Life."
Mystery and detective shows also got into the Christmas Spirit. Dragnet also had a special Christmas program with a moral at the ending called "A Rifle for Christmas." In Suspense, a child and nanny are left alone wondering if the parents will return home for Christmas after news of a plane crash.
In the comedy realm, Jack Benny Christmas shows usually revolved around penny-pinching Jack trying to avoid spending money. Gracie Allen is up to her old tricks as she tries to get George to guess what she wants for Christmas.
"A Christmas Carol " from December 24, 1939
Lionel Barrymore reprises his role as Ebenezer Scrooge in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol. A wonderful Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, is the story of a very grumpy and cold hearted Ebenezer Scrooge who wants nothing to do with Christmas and croaks "Baw-humbug" at any sign of Christmas cheer. Orson Welles beautifully narrates this classic tale of redemption and brotherly love.
"Paddy O Cinnamon" from mid-1930s
The Cinnamon Bear is Christmas classic radio at its best. The fifteen-minute episodes were first broadcast from the end of November right up 'till Christmas, and can still be enjoyed that way by the entire family. This episode is the first of The Cinnamon Bear series. The story begins with twins Jimmy and Judy (Barbara Wong) writing a letter to Santa Claus. Their mother asks for help trimming the Christmas tree, but uh-oh the Silver Star is missing and the twins look in the attic for the missing star. In the attic they meet a special Irish teddy bear with a green ribbon around his neck…
"It's A Wonderful Life " from March 10, 1947
Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed reprised their roles on Lux Radio from the film "It's A Wonderful Life." Victor Moore stars as Clarence the angel. The story follows George Bailey as he considers ending his life. Clarence shows George that not only would he be missed in the world but It's a Wonderful Life. This is truly an inspiring story and a popular holiday favorite.
"Trimming a Tree" from Dec 24, 1944
Mary comes over to help Jack trim his Christmas Tree. When she plug in the lights, Jack gets a shock and he tries his hand at being a electrician by wrapping the cord with "enough tape." Meanwhile a police office stops by to talk to Jack Benny about disturbing the peace at the department store. Jack almost gets arrested for loosing his cool with an old man that kept asking him "What should I buy my wife for Christmas?" and for breathing on someone's Christmas carnation.
"Leroy Wants a Motor Scooter " from Dec 18, 1946
Geee-heee—ho-ho-ho! Leroy finds a cat outside and wants to keep it. Uncle Mort refuses saying "I wouldn't mind kittens if they didn't grow up to be cats." Santa's going to have a hard time paying for gifts this year, good thing Leroy only wants one thing, just one thing "a motor scooter!" Perfect Marjorie says, "I don't care what I get Unckie, anything you decide I'll be grateful for."
"Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas" from December 21, 1950
"You're a Detective Sergeant. You're assigned to homicide detail. A small boy is reported missing from his home. His age? Nine years. Foul play is suspected. Your job…find him." Joe Friday and his partner Ben Romero work to solve one of the most heartbreaking cases in Dragnet's history. It's a Christmas chronicle, Dragnet-style, and there's a bonus moral twist at the end for all parents wanting to buy their kids a gun for Christmas.
Broadcast from November 29, 1938
The Christmas on the Moon series follows Jonathan Thomas and he gets the help of his teddy bear and the Man on the Moon to rescue Santa Claus from kidnappers. The series played one episode a day in 1938 between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This episode is the first of the Christmas on the Moon series.
"The Night Before Christmas" from December 21, 1953
"The Night before Christmas" is a strange Suspense version of the holiday classic poem "Twas the Night before Christmas." This is a Christmas story about a little girl whose parents are missing on Christmas Eve in a possible plane crash from Paris. The family's housekeeper tries to protect the little girl from hearing the terrible news on Christmas Day. Despite this episode's morbid theme, it is well written and a good hearted story with a surprise ending.
Broadcast from December 21, 1944
Christmas favorite Bing Crosby sings opens with "Adeste Fideles" first in latin and then "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" with the Kraft Choral Club, which was Bing's opening Christmas standard every year. The Kraft Choral Club is 70 co-workers of the Kraft offices and factory in Chicago. In 1944, we were in WWII and in the audience there is 100 young ladies from the Navy W.A.V.E.S. and we are reminded that Kraft Cheese only takes two ration points.
Bing Crosby Adeste Fideles/Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Bing Crosby Jingle Bells
Eugenie Baird sings I Dream of You
Bing Crosby I Can Make Believe
The Charioteers sing a very fun A Slip of the Lip Might Sink a Ship (WWII Propaganda song "Don't Talk to Much, Don't Know too much…")
Bing Crosby What A Difference a Day Makes
Kraft Choral Club A Beautiful Savior
Kraft Choral Club God is Ever Beside Me
Bing Crosby Silent Night
"Gracie's Last Minute Christmas Gift" from December 18, 1947
Gracie is up to her old tricks again and she won't tell George what she wants from Christmas. She writes out a list of clues to get George to guess what she wants but he's clueless. George is forced to pay Gracie a 50 cents for each wrong guess that he makes, eventually he sends Gracie to the psychiatrist. Hans Conried and Gale Gordon also star in this episode.
"Markheim" from 1945
A tale of Chrismas murder: the nephew of a wealthy uncle follows his inner voices to commit murder in attempt to cover the trail his reckless investments.
|Christmas At War
Take a magical sleigh ride back into World War II Christmas celebrations with this incredible collection of radio shows from every genre.
One of the best loved Christmas stories if all time, Charles Dickens' classic The Christmas Carol is alive and well from all various old time radio shows.
The miracle of Christmas will lift your spirits in these touching old time radio dramas. Also included in this collection are Lux Radio Theater versions of your favorite classic Christmas movies.
|Christmas Movies on the Radio
This collection includes your favorite Christmas Classics films adapted to old time radio with the original casts such as James Stewart and Donna Reed in It's a Wonderful Life!
|Voices of Christmas Yesteryear
Includes vintage recording of Christmas music many from wax cylinder recording. All of them are delightful and will make a splendid addition to your Holiday Soundtrack.
|Bob Hope Christmas
Bob Hope lived to be 100 years old and he celebrated 100 Christmases; many of those Christmases were celebrated with US troops.
|Christmas with George Burns & Gracie Allen
Everyone's favorite old time radio comedy duo know how to bring all the laughs for their annual Christmas Special.
This collection will have you giggling jingle bells and spiting your egg nog laughing hohoho!
|Christmas Variety Shows
Big song numbers and plenty of knee slapping comedy to bring old time radio Christmas cheer home.
|Christmas with Duffy's Tavern
Radio's favorite lug, Archie leads the Christmas fun Duffy's Tavern with an annual holiday party.
|Command Performance Christmas
The biggest names in entertainment brought the troops some Christmas Cheer during the holidays.
Join the resident at 79 Wistful Vista for this jolly collection of Fibber McGee and Molly Christmas shows
|Gildersleeve Christmas and New Years
Join Gildersleeve, Marjorie, Leroy and Birdie for Christmas and New Year's laughs and cheer! And there are a few holiday headaches and funny dilemmas.
|Jack Benny Christmas
The 'original old blue eyes' highlighted the best comedy and music for the holidays.
|Life of Riley Christmas
Blue-collar Riley does the best he can to make a Happy Family Christmas.
|Vic and Sade Christmas
Featuring everyday Christmas stories about "Radio's Home Folks", the family who lives in "the small house halfway up the next block."
Santa's ridin' in dem doggies with a sack full of old time radio goodies set in the wild west. Ho Ho Yeeha!
Crime doesn't stop for Christmas, luckily the gumshoes are here with holiday gumdrops.
|Christmas in Suspense
Did you ever have the feeling there was a severed limb in your Christmas stocking Listen to the best Christmas shows from Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills!
Who says the Mysteries of the Season shouldn't make your hair stand on end.
Crime still happens during the Holidays and Joe Friday, Johnny Dollar, Texas Ranger Jayce Pearson, Richard Diamond, and Paladin will make sure that the grinches don't steal Christmas, St Nick, furs, or a statue of Baby Jesus.
Whistling you a Merry Christmas tale sure to send a shiver even up Frosty the Snowman's spine.
|Jump Jump and the Ice Queen
Enjoy this Christmas Serial done in the Spirit of The Cinnamon Bear and Jonathon Thomas and His Christmas on the Moon.
|Christmas Day Programs of the Twentieth Century
During the Golden Age radio shows were broadcast live, many shows and their stars made a Christmas Day broadcast a chance to give a special gift to their listeners.
|Homefront Christmas Collection
While the nation was working together to defeat the forces of Fascism and defend Freedom, there was still time to remember how important Christmas was for everyone.
|Christmas Time News Reports in Old Time Radio
For most of the world the winter Holiday Season is the most joyous time of the year, but real-life marches on.During the Golden Age radio shows were broadcast live, many shows and their stars made a Christmas Day broadcast a chance to give a special gift to their listeners.
Fruitcakes in Old Time Radio