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Columbia Presents Shakespeare

Revered as some of the best writing in the history of the English language, these radio adaptations of William Shakespeare include well known actors such as Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Tallulah Bankhead, Orson Welles, John Barrymore and many others.

5 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 4 hours, 58 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
5 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from July 26, 1937:

"Julius Casear"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer

About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Orson Welles SHakespeare
By the time radio became an important and popular nation wide medium, there were still plenty of high-brow critics who derided the networks for the “less than uplifting” content that filled the airwaves. Although the standards of content were much higher in the early days of radio than they would be when the television age opened in the late 40's and early 50's.

Hans ConriedThe Columbia System, the so called “Tiffany network”, was noted for their almost highbrow programing standards. Examples include the Columbia Workshop, Columbia Presents Corwin, not to mention Orson Welles' Mercury Theater of the Air. However, a high point of high-brow programing may have been Columbia Presents Shakespeare, a summer replacement series in July and August of 1937.

The plays of William Shakespeare aka “Immortal Bard” are revered as some of the best writing in the history of the English language. Although Shakespeare created them for production on the stage, the language of the plays adapt very well to the radio.

William Shakespeare's plays themselves required a little more adaptation than the language, however, because their length did not fit the one hour format. There was some leeway because the summer replacement series was sustained by the network and did not need to be allow time for commercials.

The plays were broadcast from CBS's Hollywood studios, and attracted some of the movie colony's best talent, including Edward G. Robinson, Humphrey Bogart, Tallulah Bankhead, Orson Welles, Miss Frieda Inescourt, Hans Conried, John Barrymore and many others.

The last play in the series, Twelfth Night, broadcast on is a particularly interesting selection. Not only is it one of the William Shakespeare's greatest comedies (most of the selections were comedies) but the production stars Miss Bankhead and Orson Welles.

The August 30 broadcast came a little more than a year before The War of the Worlds 1938 broadcast and just a couple of months before The Mercury Theater Company gained notoriety for producing Caesar, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar placed in Fascist Italy.

This collection is also part of the updated Shakespeare on the Radio compilation.  See also: Streamlined Shakespeare.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    5 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 4 hours, 58 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      5 shows - total playtime 4 hours 58 minutes
      1. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370719 2 Much Ado Nothing.mp3
      2. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370726 3 Julius Caesar.mp3
      3. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370802 4 Taming Of The Shrew.mp3
      4. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370823 7 Henry Iv.mp3
      5. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370830 8 Twelfth Night.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    5 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 4 hours, 58 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      5 shows - total playtime 4 hours 58 minutes
      1. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370719 2 Much Ado Nothing.mp3
      2. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370726 3 Julius Caesar.mp3
      3. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370802 4 Taming Of The Shrew.mp3
      4. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370823 7 Henry Iv.mp3
      5. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370830 8 Twelfth Night.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    5 recordings on 5 Audio CDs
    total playtime 4 hours, 58 min

    Columbia Presents Shakespeare Disc A001

    1. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370719 2 Much Ado Nothing

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Columbia Presents Shakespeare Disc A002

    1. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370726 3 Julius Caesar

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Columbia Presents Shakespeare Disc A003

    1. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370802 4 Taming Of The Shrew

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Columbia Presents Shakespeare Disc A004

    1. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370823 7 Henry Iv

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Columbia Presents Shakespeare Disc A005

    1. Columbia Presents Shakespeare 370830 8 Twelfth Night

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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