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Let's Pretend

It was simple concept, but it made for a revolutionary format in children’s radio. If the stories were for children, kids should be reading them. That was the concept for Nila Mack’s Let’s Pretend, and the show aired for two decades. Update: 17 additional recordings

67 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 29 hours, 3 min)
available in the following formats:

2 MP3 CDs
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30 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from August 23, 1947:

"Mell A Lot"



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  • Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2018 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

    Lets PretendOutstanding Children's Theater (1929 - 54)

    "Heel-looo, Pretenders! Helllloooo, Uncle Bill!"

    Uncle Bill PretendsLet's Pretend started radio life as The Adventures of Helen and Mary in 1934 when it was transformed by Nila Mack into the show that would last for two decades until 1954. Mack believed that, if the stories were for children, then children should tell the story.

    Nila Mack used a core of regular children's actor's including Sybil Trent, Arthur Anderson, Jack Grimes, Miriam Wolfe, Gwen Davies and Michael O'Day. Anderson went on to write a book about his time on the show called Let's Pretend and the Golden Age of Radio. Mack died in 1953 and the show lasted one more year under the direction of Jean Hight.

    The Peabody award-winning show was broadcast with an audience full of children beginning with Uncle Bill Adams' salutation, "Hello Pretenders!" followed by the response "Hello, Uncle Bill!". After some back and forth with the kids, the show would launch into an adaptation of a classic children's stories and fairy tales like Rumpelstiltskin, Sleeping Beauty, Thumbelina and many, many more.

    For other great Children's show see also: Howdy Doody Time, Minnesota School of the Air, Cinnamon Bear, Wormwood Forest, and Children's Collection.

    Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2018 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.


  • Show Rating

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    COMMENTS

    Hard to believe it's been almost 3 years since we have been in touch. I hope you are well. I am pleased to see that you still are in business. The quality of your OTRadio shows is superb. I am going to order a few programs, including Let's Pretend for my wife. She heard it and loves the series.

    Joe Verified Purchase

    What a wonderful website. I can spend hours 'looking' through all the titles. I'm enjoying "Let's Pretend" on my iPod .... I grew up (in the 40s) listening to that program every Saturday morning...before I got out of bed! Thanks for a great site.

    Judy Verified Purchase

    I was listening the other night to a beloved Saturday morning series called "Let's Pretend". It was directed nearly all of its 20 year run by Nila Mack. It originated in March 34 till October 54. There was a series of children's programs in that time slot until Nila Mack originated Let's Pretend. Their long time sponsor was Cream of Wheat and their cast stayed remarkably the same almost throughout the run, and it was on for the entire run for CBS. Mention the program to any child of the 40s and their eyes will light up.

    Walter Verified Purchase

    Think we must have discussed this before, I totally LOVE LOVE LOVE let's pretend. Not so fond of the cream of wheat years, firstly because the 'games' have a rather staged feel, and second because I know it led to cuts in the actual stories. I would just about kill for more stories from before the sponsorship, when Gwen was more-or-less in charge, with 'Mr. Carnova?' on a watching brief haha. Our own Jerry Hendages, (apologies Jerry if spelling is wrong), has supplied me with a few I have not seen elsewhere, but my apetite still remains insatiable haha. One of my favourites is The Elves and the Shoemaker. I love how Nila Mac expanded the story, and what she did with the elves. The Enchanted Frog is a pretty good one too, that's post cream of weat I think. I'm sorry to say I never really took to 'uncle Bill', guess I thought he was a bit... affected, to use a modern word I actually hate haha. Gwen has to be my favourite pretender, but Miriam Wolfe had remarkable voice talent. Betty Jane Tyler is totally cute. Somehow the male pretenders don't stick in my mind so much, except for Arthur Anderson. The amazing thing is that I rarely know until the end who is playing who. They were an amazingly talented group of young people, and the stories are what I call 'straight across', they're not dumbed down or condescending like so much produced for children today, nor do they have any agenda but to entertain. It's a gem that, in my opinion, should be up there with the likes of Fibber MacGee, Gildersleve and Jack Benny, but is sadly not so well known among fans. Of course this is because its target audience was young children, and because far fewer episodes survive. Just yesterday I saw a collection on archive.org, sadly not very well organised, that seems to have some I don't have. This will be more thoroughly investigated later. So remember boys and girls, every Saturday at 11:30, Gwen, Arthur, Jack, Sybil and the whole gang will be waiting...

    Dan Verified Purchase

    Didn't they have a Saturday show with the same cast called "No School Today"?

    Joe Verified Purchase

    When I was a kid, I had a friend called Tommy O'Grady. He liked Smilin Ed McConnel's program and I liked "Let's Pretend", and they were on at the same time. We would interrupt our play and retire to our prospective houses when they came on and then reappear back outside when they were over.

    Walt Verified Purchase

    Aah Smilin' Ed. I quite liked that too, but I think LP was far superior.

    Dan Verified Purchase

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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.



    67 recordings on 2 MP3 CDs for just $10.00
    total playtime 29 hours, 3 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


    Volume 1 - 34 shows - total playtime 14 hours 5 minutes
    MP3 CD
    Volume 1: 5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. Lp 410419 Juniper Tree.mp3
    2. Lp 420822 Why Sea Is Salty.mp3
    3. Lp 420829 Little Mermaid.mp3
    4. Lp 420905 Elves And Shoemaker.mp3
    5. Lp 420912 Water Of Life.mp3
    6. Lp 421219 Prince Gigi And Magic Ring.mp3
    7. Lp 421226 House Of World.mp3
    8. Lp 430123 Golden Touch.mp3
    9. Lp 430320 Princess Moonbeam.mp3
    10. Lp 440305 Frog Prince.mp3
    11. Lp 460727 Yellow Dwarf.mp3
    12. Lp 460803 692 Goose Girl.mp3
    13. Lp 460810 Faithful John.mp3
    14. Lp 461026 Jack And Beanstalk.mp3
    15. Lp 461102 705 Puss In Boots.mp3
    16. Lp 470607 Six Swans.mp3
    17. Lp 470621 Bluebeard.mp3
    18. Lp 470628 Thumbelina.mp3
    19. Lp 470705 Brother And Sister.mp3
    20. Lp 470712 Brave Little Tailor.mp3
    21. Lp 470719 Rapunzel.mp3
    22. Lp 470726 Chinese Nightingale.mp3
    23. Lp 470816 Youth Who Learned to Shiver Shake.mp3
    24. Lp 470823 Melilot.mp3
    25. Lp 470830 Aladdin And Wonderful Lamp.mp3
    26. Lp 470906 Twelve Months.mp3
    27. Lp 470913 Donkey Table And Stick.mp3
    28. Lp 470920 Enchanted Frog.mp3
    29. Lp 470927 Cinderella.mp3
    30. Lp 490403 Princess And Pea.mp3
    31. Lp 490416 Snowdrop And Seven Dwarves.mp3
    32. Lp 490709 Tinderbox.mp3
    33. Lp 520816 White Cat.mp3
    34. Lp 521129 One Eye Two Eyes Three Eyes.mp3
    Volume 2 - 33 shows - total playtime 14 hours 58 minutes
    MP3 CD
    Volume 2: 5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. Lp 521213 Snow Queen.mp3
    2. Lp 521220 Twas Night Before Christmas.mp3
    3. Lp 521227 Husband Who Was To Mind House.mp3
    4. Lp 530207 Two Dancing Princesses.mp3
    5. Lp 530611 Cinderella.mp3
    6. Lp 531128 Ceres And Proserpina..mp3
    7. Lp 531212 Snow Queen.mp3
    8. Lp 531219 Night Before Christmas.mp3
    9. Lp 540109 Robin Hood.mp3
    10. Lp 540410 Magic Cuckoo.mp3
    11. Lp 540605 Beauty And Beast.mp3
    12. Lp 540612 1097 Tinder Box.mp3
    13. Lp 540619 Andine.mp3
    14. Lp 541002 King Arthurs Son.mp3
    15. Lp 541009 Hansel And Gretel.mp3
    16. Lp 541023 Jorinda And Joringal.mp3
    17. Lp Alice In Wonderland.mp3
    18. Lp Bremen Town Musicians.mp3
    19. Lp Dick Wittington And His Cat.mp3
    20. Lp Douban Physician.mp3
    21. Lp Emperors New Clothes.mp3
    22. Lp Gingerbread Man.mp3
    23. Lp Gullivers Travels.mp3
    24. Lp Jason And Golden Fleece.mp3
    25. Lp King Midas And Golden Touch.mp3
    26. Lp King Thrushbeard.mp3
    27. Lp Magic Carpet.mp3
    28. Lp Man On Corn.mp3
    29. Lp Pinocchio.mp3
    30. Lp Sleeping Beauty .mp3
    31. Lp Tubby Tuba.mp3
    32. Lp Ugly Duckling.mp3
    33. Lp Uncle Bill Interview.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    67 recordings on 2 MP3 Collection Downloads for just $10.00
    total playtime 29 hours, 3 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


    Volume 1 - 34 shows - total playtime 14 hours 5 minutes
    Instant Download
    Volume 1: $5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. Lp 410419 Juniper Tree.mp3
    2. Lp 420822 Why Sea Is Salty.mp3
    3. Lp 420829 Little Mermaid.mp3
    4. Lp 420905 Elves And Shoemaker.mp3
    5. Lp 420912 Water Of Life.mp3
    6. Lp 421219 Prince Gigi And Magic Ring.mp3
    7. Lp 421226 House Of World.mp3
    8. Lp 430123 Golden Touch.mp3
    9. Lp 430320 Princess Moonbeam.mp3
    10. Lp 440305 Frog Prince.mp3
    11. Lp 460727 Yellow Dwarf.mp3
    12. Lp 460803 692 Goose Girl.mp3
    13. Lp 460810 Faithful John.mp3
    14. Lp 461026 Jack And Beanstalk.mp3
    15. Lp 461102 705 Puss In Boots.mp3
    16. Lp 470607 Six Swans.mp3
    17. Lp 470621 Bluebeard.mp3
    18. Lp 470628 Thumbelina.mp3
    19. Lp 470705 Brother And Sister.mp3
    20. Lp 470712 Brave Little Tailor.mp3
    21. Lp 470719 Rapunzel.mp3
    22. Lp 470726 Chinese Nightingale.mp3
    23. Lp 470816 Youth Who Learned to Shiver Shake.mp3
    24. Lp 470823 Melilot.mp3
    25. Lp 470830 Aladdin And Wonderful Lamp.mp3
    26. Lp 470906 Twelve Months.mp3
    27. Lp 470913 Donkey Table And Stick.mp3
    28. Lp 470920 Enchanted Frog.mp3
    29. Lp 470927 Cinderella.mp3
    30. Lp 490403 Princess And Pea.mp3
    31. Lp 490416 Snowdrop And Seven Dwarves.mp3
    32. Lp 490709 Tinderbox.mp3
    33. Lp 520816 White Cat.mp3
    34. Lp 521129 One Eye Two Eyes Three Eyes.mp3
    Volume 2 - 33 shows - total playtime 14 hours 58 minutes
    Instant Download
    Volume 2: $5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. Lp 521213 Snow Queen.mp3
    2. Lp 521220 Twas Night Before Christmas.mp3
    3. Lp 521227 Husband Who Was To Mind House.mp3
    4. Lp 530207 Two Dancing Princesses.mp3
    5. Lp 530611 Cinderella.mp3
    6. Lp 531128 Ceres And Proserpina..mp3
    7. Lp 531212 Snow Queen.mp3
    8. Lp 531219 Night Before Christmas.mp3
    9. Lp 540109 Robin Hood.mp3
    10. Lp 540410 Magic Cuckoo.mp3
    11. Lp 540605 Beauty And Beast.mp3
    12. Lp 540612 1097 Tinder Box.mp3
    13. Lp 540619 Andine.mp3
    14. Lp 541002 King Arthurs Son.mp3
    15. Lp 541009 Hansel And Gretel.mp3
    16. Lp 541023 Jorinda And Joringal.mp3
    17. Lp Alice In Wonderland.mp3
    18. Lp Bremen Town Musicians.mp3
    19. Lp Dick Wittington And His Cat.mp3
    20. Lp Douban Physician.mp3
    21. Lp Emperors New Clothes.mp3
    22. Lp Gingerbread Man.mp3
    23. Lp Gullivers Travels.mp3
    24. Lp Jason And Golden Fleece.mp3
    25. Lp King Midas And Golden Touch.mp3
    26. Lp King Thrushbeard.mp3
    27. Lp Magic Carpet.mp3
    28. Lp Man On Corn.mp3
    29. Lp Pinocchio.mp3
    30. Lp Sleeping Beauty .mp3
    31. Lp Tubby Tuba.mp3
    32. Lp Ugly Duckling.mp3
    33. Lp Uncle Bill Interview.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



    67 recordings on 30 Audio CDs
    total playtime 27 hours, 52 min

    Lets Pretend Disc A001

    1. Lp Bremen Town Musicians
    2. Lp Dick Wittington And His Cat
    3. Lp Douban Physician

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A002

    1. Lp Emperors New Clothes
    2. Lp Gingerbread Man

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    Lets Pretend Disc A003

    1. Lp Gullivers Travels

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    Lets Pretend Disc A004

    1. Lp Jason And Golden Fleece
    2. Lp King Midas And Golden Touch

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    Lets Pretend Disc A005

    1. Lp King Thrushbeard
    2. Lp Magic Carpet

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    Lets Pretend Disc A006

    1. Lp Man On Corn

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    Lets Pretend Disc A007

    1. Lp Pinocchio

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    Lets Pretend Disc A008

    1. Lp Sleeping Beauty
    2. Lp Tubby Tuba
    3. Lp Ugly Duckling
    4. Lp Uncle Bill Interview

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    Lets Pretend Disc A009

    1. Lp 410419 Juniper Tree
    2. Lp 420822 Why Sea Is Salty

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    Lets Pretend Disc A010

    1. Lp 420829 Little Mermaid
    2. Lp 420905 Elves And Shoemaker

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A011

    1. Lp 420912 Water Of Life
    2. Lp 421219 Prince Gigi And Magic Ring

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A012

    1. Lp 421226 House Of World
    2. Lp 430123 Golden Touch

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A013

    1. Lp 430320 Princess Moonbeam
    2. Lp 440305 Frog Prince

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A014

    1. Lp 460727 Yellow Dwarf
    2. Lp 460803 692 Goose Girl
    3. Lp 460810 Faithful John

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    Lets Pretend Disc A015

    1. Lp 461026 Jack And Beanstalk
    2. Lp 461102 705 Puss In Boots

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    Lets Pretend Disc A016

    1. Lp 470607 Six Swans
    2. Lp 470621 Bluebeard
    3. Lp 470628 Thumbelina

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    Lets Pretend Disc A017

    1. Lp 470705 Brother And Sister
    2. Lp 470712 Brave Little Tailor
    3. Lp 470719 Rapunzel

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    Lets Pretend Disc A018

    1. Lp 470726 Chinese Nightingale
    2. Lp 470816 Youth Who Learned to Shiver Shake
    3. Lp 470823 Melilot

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A019

    1. Lp 470830 Aladdin And Wonderful Lamp
    2. Lp 470906 Twelve Months
    3. Lp 470913 Donkey Table And Stick

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A020

    1. Lp 470920 Enchanted Frog
    2. Lp 470927 Cinderella

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A021

    1. Lp 490403 Princess And Pea
    2. Lp 490416 Snowdrop And Seven Dwarves

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A022

    1. Lp 490709 Tinderbox
    2. Lp 520816 White Cat

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A023

    1. Lp 521129 One Eye Two Eyes Three Eyes
    2. Lp 521213 Snow Queen
    3. Lp 521220 Twas Night Before Christmas

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A024

    1. Lp 521227 Husband Who Was To Mind House
    2. Lp 530207 Two Dancing Princesses

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A025

    1. Lp 530611 Cinderella
    2. Lp 531128 Ceres And Proserpina.

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A026

    1. Lp 531212 Snow Queen
    2. Lp 531219 Night Before Christmas

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A027

    1. Lp 540109 Robin Hood
    2. Lp 540410 Magic Cuckoo

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A028

    1. Lp 540605 Beauty And Beast
    2. Lp 540612 1097 Tinder Box

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A029

    1. Lp 540619 Andine
    2. Lp 541002 King Arthurs Son

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Lets Pretend Disc A030

    1. Lp 541009 Hansel And Gretel
    2. Lp 541023 Jorinda And Joringal

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
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