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It's Your Life

Pioneering the use of magnetic tape in radio production, It's Your Life brought compelling Public Health Stories to the Air.

Its Your Life

30 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 13 hours, 58 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
16 Audio CDs


Choose your CD format
or order disks individually: Add to Cart
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Play a sample episode from May 07, 1949:

"Alcoholism"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer
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Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2022 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Magnetic Tape Machine 1949
Commercial Broadcasting is all about attracting listeners. Profit for the broadcaster depended upon attracting sponsors, and more listeners meant more ears hearing the sponsor's message. However, as part of the licensing agreement with the Federal Communications Commission, broadcasters are expected to act, at least part of the time, "in the public interest".

Public Interest programming is often relegated to "graveyard" timeslots and produced as inexpensively as possible. This makes sense from the perspective of a commercial broadcaster but does not always have to be the rule.

Johnson and Johnson sponsored It's Your Life on WMAQ Chicago in 1949 was a notable exception. Created in cooperation with the Chicago Industrial Health Organization, the program turned to an innovative production technique to present heart-warming and relevant stories. That technique was the use of magnetic tape recording.

Presented as a health-related documentary series, the use of magnetic tape afforded producer Ben Park to explore some interesting storytelling techniques with It's Your Life. Because the majority of radio content was broadcast live, shows had to be tightly scripted to work over network air. By using live, unscripted interviews and sound clips recorded on magnetic tape, Park and his writers could present stories with unprecedented realism.

The field of public health provides more than its share of compelling stories. Heartstrings were understandably tugged by tales of cancer scares, childhood deafness and disability, the state of emergency care, tuberculosis, mental health treatment, veteran's issues, and many other topics.

Park would send his field reporters to record various people and procedures. The tapes would be used as story elements to illustrate the episode's message, and because the material was already "in the can" the taped content could be edited to the best effect.

Magnetic tape technology was developed in Germany between the World Wars. It would be a direct replacement for the gramophone technology which had been used for electronic transcription. Gramophone recording allowed sound waves to carve a groove into a rotating disk. The impressions in the cut groove allowed for the sound to be reproduced with incredible clarity. The disk itself was prohibitively fragile and the process was cumbersome. Tape was not as long-lasting as a well-cared-for disk, but recordings were quick and simple to make.

Although the radio version of It's Your Life was a showcase for new technology, the show was doomed by technological progress. After 27 radio episodes, producer Ben Park was enticed to apply his talents to a television public health program.

See also:  Vox Pop

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2022 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:

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  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    30 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00. Total playtime 13 hours, 58 min
    30 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 13 hours, 58 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    1. 30 shows - total playtime 13 hours 58 minutes
    2. Its Your Life 490406 Breast Tumor.mp3
    3. Its Your Life 490407 Visit To An Army Hospital.mp3
    4. Its Your Life 490408 An Amputee Uses His New Arm.mp3
    5. Its Your Life 490424 Mental Illness Shock Treatment.mp3
    6. Its Your Life 490501 One Of Our Children Was Crippled.mp3
    7. Its Your Life 490508 Alcoholism.mp3
    8. Its Your Life 490515 Blue Baby Operation.mp3
    9. Its Your Life 490529 No Such Thing As Deaf And Dumb.mp3
    10. Its Your Life 490605 Tuberculosis Today.mp3
    11. Its Your Life 490619 Ambulance Entrance.mp3
    12. Its Your Life 490626 Time Of Your Life Old Age.mp3
    13. Its Your Life 490703 Fourth Of July Weekend Part 1.mp3
    14. Its Your Life 490710 Syphillis. Cause For Alarm.mp3
    15. Its Your Life 490717 Mans Story.mp3
    16. Its Your Life 490724 Not Birds Bees But People Sex Education.mp3
    17. Its Your Life 490731 Sex Education.mp3
    18. Its Your Life 490807 Immediate Dentures.mp3
    19. Its Your Life 490812 Mooseheart In Child City.mp3
    20. Its Your Life 490814 Cesarean Birth.mp3
    21. Its Your Life 490821 Epilepsy.mp3
    22. Its Your Life 490828 House You Live In.mp3
    23. Its Your Life 490904 In Woods They Walk. Summer Camps.mp3
    24. Its Your Life 490911 Emergency Calls Red Cross Disaster.mp3
    25. Its Your Life 490918 Letter To George Delinquent Boy.mp3
    26. Its Your Life 490925 Report From Manteno Mental Illness.mp3
    27. Its Your Life 491002 Patients In Mental Hospitals.mp3
    28. Its Your Life 491009 Birth And Cancer.mp3
    29. Its Your Life Drunk Driver.mp3
    30. Its Your Life Juvenile Deliquency.mp3
    31. Its Your Life Shock Treatment.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    30 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00. Total playtime 13 hours, 58 min
    30 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 13 hours, 58 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    1. 30 shows - total playtime 13 hours 58 minutes
    2. Its Your Life 490406 Breast Tumor.mp3
    3. Its Your Life 490407 Visit To An Army Hospital.mp3
    4. Its Your Life 490408 An Amputee Uses His New Arm.mp3
    5. Its Your Life 490424 Mental Illness Shock Treatment.mp3
    6. Its Your Life 490501 One Of Our Children Was Crippled.mp3
    7. Its Your Life 490508 Alcoholism.mp3
    8. Its Your Life 490515 Blue Baby Operation.mp3
    9. Its Your Life 490529 No Such Thing As Deaf And Dumb.mp3
    10. Its Your Life 490605 Tuberculosis Today.mp3
    11. Its Your Life 490619 Ambulance Entrance.mp3
    12. Its Your Life 490626 Time Of Your Life Old Age.mp3
    13. Its Your Life 490703 Fourth Of July Weekend Part 1.mp3
    14. Its Your Life 490710 Syphillis. Cause For Alarm.mp3
    15. Its Your Life 490717 Mans Story.mp3
    16. Its Your Life 490724 Not Birds Bees But People Sex Education.mp3
    17. Its Your Life 490731 Sex Education.mp3
    18. Its Your Life 490807 Immediate Dentures.mp3
    19. Its Your Life 490812 Mooseheart In Child City.mp3
    20. Its Your Life 490814 Cesarean Birth.mp3
    21. Its Your Life 490821 Epilepsy.mp3
    22. Its Your Life 490828 House You Live In.mp3
    23. Its Your Life 490904 In Woods They Walk. Summer Camps.mp3
    24. Its Your Life 490911 Emergency Calls Red Cross Disaster.mp3
    25. Its Your Life 490918 Letter To George Delinquent Boy.mp3
    26. Its Your Life 490925 Report From Manteno Mental Illness.mp3
    27. Its Your Life 491002 Patients In Mental Hospitals.mp3
    28. Its Your Life 491009 Birth And Cancer.mp3
    29. Its Your Life Drunk Driver.mp3
    30. Its Your Life Juvenile Deliquency.mp3
    31. Its Your Life Shock Treatment.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



    30 recordings on 16 Audio CDs. Total playtime 13 hours, 58 min
    30 recordings on 16 Audio CDs
    total playtime 13 hours, 58 min

    Its Your Life Disc A001

    1. Its Your Life Drunk Driver
    2. Its Your Life Juvenile Deliquency

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A002

    1. Its Your Life Shock Treatment

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A003

    1. Its Your Life 490406 Breast Tumor
    2. Its Your Life 490407 Visit To An Army Hospital

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A004

    1. Its Your Life 490408 An Amputee Uses His New Arm
    2. Its Your Life 490424 Mental Illness Shock Treatment

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A005

    1. Its Your Life 490501 One Of Our Children Was Crippled
    2. Its Your Life 490508 Alcoholism

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A006

    1. Its Your Life 490515 Blue Baby Operation
    2. Its Your Life 490529 No Such Thing As Deaf And Dumb

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A007

    1. Its Your Life 490605 Tuberculosis Today
    2. Its Your Life 490619 Ambulance Entrance

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A008

    1. Its Your Life 490626 Time Of Your Life Old Age
    2. Its Your Life 490703 Fourth Of July Weekend Part 1

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A009

    1. Its Your Life 490710 Syphillis. Cause For Alarm
    2. Its Your Life 490717 Mans Story

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A010

    1. Its Your Life 490724 Not Birds Bees But People Sex Education
    2. Its Your Life 490731 Sex Education

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A011

    1. Its Your Life 490807 Immediate Dentures
    2. Its Your Life 490812 Mooseheart In Child City

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A012

    1. Its Your Life 490814 Cesarean Birth
    2. Its Your Life 490821 Epilepsy

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A013

    1. Its Your Life 490828 House You Live In
    2. Its Your Life 490904 In Woods They Walk. Summer Camps

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A014

    1. Its Your Life 490911 Emergency Calls Red Cross Disaster
    2. Its Your Life 490918 Letter To George Delinquent Boy

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A015

    1. Its Your Life 490925 Report From Manteno Mental Illness
    2. Its Your Life 491002 Patients In Mental Hospitals

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Its Your Life Disc A016

    1. Its Your Life 491009 Birth And Cancer

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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