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Remembering 1954

Americans in 1954 are beginning to turn away from the bluster and cruelty of McCarthyism and embracing Rock and Roll music.

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60 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 24 hours, 28 min)
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27 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from March 01, 1954:

"Edward Murrow Spars McCarthy"



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About this Old Time Radio Show

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

During the spring and summer of 1954, the Korean War was over and the Army was for the most part back home, "the Big Green Machine" found itself under the withering gaze of arch Communist hunter, Senator Joseph McCarthy. Rather than find itself another institutional victim of the witch hunt, the Army did what it does best, fight. Most of the people still considered Communists and Communism a danger to the nation and the American way of life, but more and more they were turning away from the bluster of McCarthyism and finding themselves under a spell cast by a former truck driver from Tupelo, Mississippi.

As the year progressed we will saw increasingly disturbing reminders that we entered the Atomic Age, a hopeful sign for the future of nuclear power occured on January 21 when First Lady Mamie Eisenhower smashes a champagne bottle in Groton, Connecticut, and the USS Nautilus slid into the Thames River. 

Although the boat was technically a weapon of war, the prototype of its power plant was providing cheap electrical power in Idaho. Deadlier manifestations of the atomic age was be seen beginning in March with Operation Castle, a series of test detonations at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific. The first shot, "Castle Bravo", was a 15-megaton blast, more than two and a half times the expected yield. The huge amount of fallout from the test was said to have been the inspiration for Ishirō Honda's iconic film Godzilla (1954).

Blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe tied the knot with baseball great Joe DiMaggio in January, but youthful rebellion is beginning to invade the national mood. Kids were flocking to theaters to see Marlon Brando in The Wild One (1953) and in April Bill Haley and His Comets record "Rock Around the Clock" for Decca. It wasn't the first Rock and Roll record, but its driving beat and catchy lyrics helped it become an anthem of playful rebellion. A few months previously, a youngster named Elvis Aaron Presley walked into the offices of Sun Records in Memphis, wanting to cut a disk of a gospel song as a present for his mother. When studio owner Sam Phillips heard the recording, he asked Presley to come back. At a session which lasted well into the night in July, Presley and his backup musicians began fooling around with an old blues tune called "That's All Right Mama". Hearing the upbeat tempo that they were using, Phillips insisted that they start over again so he could record it. "That's All Right" (with "Blue Moon of Kentucky" on the B-Side) was released on July 19 and immediately started to get airplay in the Memphis area. Local disc jockeys took to the record because it had a strong rhythm and blues feel but was sung by a white artist.

Joseph McCarthyOn March 9, the CBS TV News Department program See It Now starring Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly broadcast a story titled "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy".  The program criticized the Senator's methods wherein suspicion and accusation were often accepted as guilt. The report served as a reminder that, "the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly." On January 30, McCarthy subpoenaed an Army dentist who had refused to list his political affiliations on a loyalty form. When the dentist appeared before the committee he invoked his fifth amendment rights and McCarthy demanded that he is court-martialed, which the army refused.

The Army accused the Senator of pressuring for favorable treatment for a former McCarthy aide who was then serving as a private after a fruitless investigation of the Signal Corps Laboratory at Ft Monmouth. The Senate finally decided to investigate the conflicting charges and the hearings were given "gavel to gavel" coverage on television. When the Senator accused an attorney on the staff of the Army counsel's firm of belonging to the National Lawyers' Guild, a group identified with Communist affiliations, the Army's lawyer Joseph Welch turned on McCarthy, saying, "Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyer's Guild ... Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator; you've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" On December 2, the Senate voted to censure McCarthy, although he was not expelled from office his influence and effectiveness as a politician was gone.

French soldiers leaving Vietnam 1954In South East Asia, the Battle of Dien Bien Phu was fought between French Colonial forces and the Communist Viet Minh from mid-March until May, resulting in the defeat of France in its colony of Indo-China. More than a month before the battle, President Eisenhower increased a military aid package for Vietnam from $400 million to almost double but warned his nation against becoming involved in the conflict. After the Geneva Peace Conference, Vietnam was divided into the Communist North and a Western-supported Republic in the South, although both sides claimed to be the legitimate government of all Vietnam.

The last new episode of The Lone Ranger is broadcast on the radio on September 3, although recorded repeats will broadcast for several years.

The runs of Quiz Kids, Dr. Christian, Broadway is My Beat, and Escape on CBS, The Six Shooter, and Rocky Fortune on NBC, Mutual's Bulldog Drummond, and ABC's The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet all came to an end.

  • First lady Mamie Eisenhower launched the USS Nautilus on January 21, and the historic first nuclear powered submarine is commissioned on September 30. The Castle Bravo thermonuclear device, a hydrogen bomb was detonated in the atmosphere above Bikini Atoll on March 1, with a yoeld of 15 megatons, two an a half times what was expected,caused such a large cloud of fallout that an international clamor arose to ban atmospheric testing. The first Godzilla picture debuted in Tokyo on November 4.
  • Texas Instruments announced production of the first consumer transistor radio, the Regency TR-1, on October 18, previously transistor technology had only been applied in military and industrial applications.
  • In the Brown v. Board of Education case, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that school segregation is unconstitutional.
  • Baseball hero Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe on January 14.
  • RCA's first color TV with a 12 inch screen was made on March 25, selling for $1,000.
  • 1954 Cover of first Sports Illustrated MagazineBill Haley and His Comets recorded "Rock Around The Clock" in April, marking the start of the Rock and Roll craze. Sun Records released "That's All Right", Elvis Presley's first single on July 19.
  • On August 16, the first issue of Sports Illustrated hit the news stands. The first Burger King restaraunt opened its doors in Miami on December 4.
  • The Pledge of Allegiance to the United States was modifed on June 14 with the addition of the words "under God".
  • CBS TV's See It Now program starring Edward R. Murrow and Fred Friendly broadcasts a story titled "A Report on Senator Joseph McCarthy" on March 9. On April 22, Senate Hearings opened to investigate McCarthy's accusations that the Army is "soft" on Communism. Special counsel for the Army, Joseph Welch, lashed out at the Senator during the hearings on June 9, asking "Have you, at long last, no decency?" McCarthy is formally censured by the Senate on December 2, one of the few members of that body to ever by so disciplined.
  • $400 million is budgeted for military aid to French Indo-China. On February 10, President Eisenhower authorized another $385 million, but warned against full-scale intervention (American military advisors had been on the ground since 1950). Viet Mihn artillery engaged fortificationns manned by elements of the French Far Easern Expeditionary Force on March 13, beginning the Battle of Dien Bien Phu. On April 7, President Eisenhower explained the importance of Indo-China/Vietnam in his "domino theory" speech. The French concede defeat at Dien Bien Phu on May 7. In accordance with the Geneva Accords,Vietnam is partitioned at 17th Parallel between the Communist North and the Western-backed South.
  • 1954 PlymouthThe Belvedere becamePlymouth's top-of-the-line offering with convertible, two-door station wagon, four-door sedan, and two-door "Sports Coupe" models. The Toyota FJ Series Land Cruiser was introduced and will become one of the first widely exported Japanese vehicles. The Subaru 1500 was introduced in Japan, but the Subaru brand will not enter the American market until 1968.
  • On Jan 1, the Rose Bowl and the Cotton Bowl were the first sproting events to be televised in Color.

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.



    60 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 24 hours, 28 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      60 shows - total playtime 24 hours 28 minutes
      1. aa540411 Vacation At Lake Chipawawa.mp3
      2. aa540913 with Jack Benny and Liberace (runs fast).mp3
      3. Americana 540115 017 Getting From Here To There.mp3
      4. Anthology 540704 18 Special July 4 th Edition.mp3
      5. Bergen McCarthy 540117 Liberace.mp3
      6. Bergen McCarthy 540228 657 W June Allyson Dick Powell.mp3
      7. Bing Crosby 541124 1st Song Mandy.mp3
      8. Bing Crosby 541125 1st Song I Never Knew.mp3
      9. Bob Hope 541209 612 Jane Wyman.mp3
      10. Bob Hope 541223 614 Bob Shops For Delores Christmas Present.mp3
      11. Cisco Kid 540225 168 Marshal Of Buzzards Roost.mp3
      12. Dinah Shore 541013 Chevrolet Mr.sandman.mp3
      13. Dragnet 540302 e237 Big TV.mp3
      14. Dragnet 540323 Big Mustache.mp3
      15. Dragnet 540907 e264 Big Trunk.mp3
      16. Escape 540701 216 Dark Wall.mp3
      17. Escape 540807 221 Price Of Head Hans Conreid.mp3
      18. FMM 540215 0836 Whats In the Attic.mp3
      19. FMM 540217 0838 House Finally Rented.mp3
      20. Ft 540210 357 Its Not Money.mp3
      21. Ft 540707 377 Last Smash.mp3
      22. Ft 541013 391 Ufo.mp3
      23. GG 540113 532 Gildy In Doghouse With Irene.mp3
      24. GG 540120 533 Leroy Going Steady.mp3
      25. Grand Ole Opry 540000 Ernest Tubb, Stringbean Martha Carson.mp3
      26. Grand Ole Opry 540327.mp3
      27. Guest Star 540606 0376 Dipsy Doodle.mp3
      28. Guns 540920 ep127 F. U..mp3
      29. Guns 541225 ep141 Kitty Lost.mp3
      30. Jack Benny 540516 2536 Jack Takes Date To Underground.mp3
      31. Jack Benny 540523 2537 Jacks Trip To Las Vegas.mp3
      32. Lets Pretend 540109 Robin Hood.mp3
      33. Lets Pretend 540605 Beauty Beast.mp3
      34. LR 540901 2595 Iou.mp3
      35. lux540104 863 Day Earth Stood Still.mp3
      36. News 5403xx CBS Edward Murrow Cmntry Senator McCarthy.mp3
      37. News 5403xx CBS News Edward R Murrow Spars Senator McCarthy.mp3
      38. News 540505 CBS Army McCarthy Hearings Update.mp3
      39. News 540531 Eisenhower Mans Right Knowledge And Its Free Use.mp3
      40. News 540604 KFWB News.mp3
      41. News 540810 CBS Lets Talk Abt You Vinc Peale Gen Doolittle.mp3
      42. News 540929 NBC The Catch Jack Brickhouse.mp3
      43. News 54xxxx SYN Phil Rizzutos Sports Caravan Bill Stern.mp3
      44. News 54xxxx SYN Phil Rizzutos Sports Caravan Mel Allen.mp3
      45. News 54xxxx SYN Red Cross Appeal Guest Bob Hope.mp3
      46. News 54xxxx UN Radio Happened Franchot Tone Lowell Thomas.mp3
      47. Our Miss Brooks 541017 259 Photo Feud.mp3
      48. Our Miss Brooks 541024 260 Stretch is in Love Again.mp3
      49. PAF 541026 Could You Buy A Hamburger.mp3
      50. Six Shooter 540422 30 Johnny Springer.mp3
      51. Six Shooter 540624 Myra Barker.mp3
      52. Sp 540327 078 Zero Ray.mp3
      53. Susp 540118 The Face is Familiar.mp3
      54. Susp 540803 563 Goodnight Mrs Russell.mp3
      55. Susp 541118 572 Blind Date.mp3
      56. You Bet Your Life 540217 Clock.mp3
      57. You Bet Your Life 540324 Floor.mp3
      58. YTJD 540126 201 Beauregard AFRTS.mp3
      59. YTJD 540202 202 Paul Gorrell AFRTS.mp3
      60. YTJD 540209 203 Harpooned Angler AFRTS.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    60 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 24 hours, 28 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      60 shows - total playtime 24 hours 28 minutes
      1. aa540411 Vacation At Lake Chipawawa.mp3
      2. aa540913 with Jack Benny and Liberace (runs fast).mp3
      3. Americana 540115 017 Getting From Here To There.mp3
      4. Anthology 540704 18 Special July 4 th Edition.mp3
      5. Bergen McCarthy 540117 Liberace.mp3
      6. Bergen McCarthy 540228 657 W June Allyson Dick Powell.mp3
      7. Bing Crosby 541124 1st Song Mandy.mp3
      8. Bing Crosby 541125 1st Song I Never Knew.mp3
      9. Bob Hope 541209 612 Jane Wyman.mp3
      10. Bob Hope 541223 614 Bob Shops For Delores Christmas Present.mp3
      11. Cisco Kid 540225 168 Marshal Of Buzzards Roost.mp3
      12. Dinah Shore 541013 Chevrolet Mr.sandman.mp3
      13. Dragnet 540302 e237 Big TV.mp3
      14. Dragnet 540323 Big Mustache.mp3
      15. Dragnet 540907 e264 Big Trunk.mp3
      16. Escape 540701 216 Dark Wall.mp3
      17. Escape 540807 221 Price Of Head Hans Conreid.mp3
      18. FMM 540215 0836 Whats In the Attic.mp3
      19. FMM 540217 0838 House Finally Rented.mp3
      20. Ft 540210 357 Its Not Money.mp3
      21. Ft 540707 377 Last Smash.mp3
      22. Ft 541013 391 Ufo.mp3
      23. GG 540113 532 Gildy In Doghouse With Irene.mp3
      24. GG 540120 533 Leroy Going Steady.mp3
      25. Grand Ole Opry 540000 Ernest Tubb, Stringbean Martha Carson.mp3
      26. Grand Ole Opry 540327.mp3
      27. Guest Star 540606 0376 Dipsy Doodle.mp3
      28. Guns 540920 ep127 F. U..mp3
      29. Guns 541225 ep141 Kitty Lost.mp3
      30. Jack Benny 540516 2536 Jack Takes Date To Underground.mp3
      31. Jack Benny 540523 2537 Jacks Trip To Las Vegas.mp3
      32. Lets Pretend 540109 Robin Hood.mp3
      33. Lets Pretend 540605 Beauty Beast.mp3
      34. LR 540901 2595 Iou.mp3
      35. lux540104 863 Day Earth Stood Still.mp3
      36. News 5403xx CBS Edward Murrow Cmntry Senator McCarthy.mp3
      37. News 5403xx CBS News Edward R Murrow Spars Senator McCarthy.mp3
      38. News 540505 CBS Army McCarthy Hearings Update.mp3
      39. News 540531 Eisenhower Mans Right Knowledge And Its Free Use.mp3
      40. News 540604 KFWB News.mp3
      41. News 540810 CBS Lets Talk Abt You Vinc Peale Gen Doolittle.mp3
      42. News 540929 NBC The Catch Jack Brickhouse.mp3
      43. News 54xxxx SYN Phil Rizzutos Sports Caravan Bill Stern.mp3
      44. News 54xxxx SYN Phil Rizzutos Sports Caravan Mel Allen.mp3
      45. News 54xxxx SYN Red Cross Appeal Guest Bob Hope.mp3
      46. News 54xxxx UN Radio Happened Franchot Tone Lowell Thomas.mp3
      47. Our Miss Brooks 541017 259 Photo Feud.mp3
      48. Our Miss Brooks 541024 260 Stretch is in Love Again.mp3
      49. PAF 541026 Could You Buy A Hamburger.mp3
      50. Six Shooter 540422 30 Johnny Springer.mp3
      51. Six Shooter 540624 Myra Barker.mp3
      52. Sp 540327 078 Zero Ray.mp3
      53. Susp 540118 The Face is Familiar.mp3
      54. Susp 540803 563 Goodnight Mrs Russell.mp3
      55. Susp 541118 572 Blind Date.mp3
      56. You Bet Your Life 540217 Clock.mp3
      57. You Bet Your Life 540324 Floor.mp3
      58. YTJD 540126 201 Beauregard AFRTS.mp3
      59. YTJD 540202 202 Paul Gorrell AFRTS.mp3
      60. YTJD 540209 203 Harpooned Angler AFRTS.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



    60 recordings on 27 Audio CDs
    total playtime 24 hours, 28 min

    1954 Disc A001

    1. News 5403xx CBS Edward Murrow Cmntry Senator McCarthy
    2. News 5403xx CBS News Edward R Murrow Spars Senator McCarthy
    3. News 54xxxx SYN Phil Rizzutos Sports Caravan Bill Stern
    4. News 54xxxx SYN Phil Rizzutos Sports Caravan Mel Allen
    5. News 54xxxx SYN Red Cross Appeal Guest Bob Hope

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A002

    1. News 54xxxx UN Radio Happened Franchot Tone Lowell Thomas
    2. Grand Ole Opry 540000 Ernest Tubb, Stringbean Martha Carson

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A003

    1. lux540104 863 Day Earth Stood Still

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    1954 Disc A004

    1. Lets Pretend 540109 Robin Hood
    2. GG 540113 532 Gildy In Doghouse With Irene

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A005

    1. Americana 540115 017 Getting From Here To There
    2. Bergen McCarthy 540117 Liberace

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    1954 Disc A006

    1. Susp 540118 The Face is Familiar
    2. GG 540120 533 Leroy Going Steady

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    1954 Disc A007

    1. YTJD 540126 201 Beauregard AFRTS
    2. YTJD 540202 202 Paul Gorrell AFRTS

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A008

    1. YTJD 540209 203 Harpooned Angler AFRTS
    2. Ft 540210 357 Its Not Money

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A009

    1. FMM 540215 0836 Whats In the Attic
    2. FMM 540217 0838 House Finally Rented
    3. You Bet Your Life 540217 Clock

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A010

    1. Cisco Kid 540225 168 Marshal Of Buzzards Roost
    2. Bergen McCarthy 540228 657 W June Allyson Dick Powell

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A011

    1. Dragnet 540302 e237 Big TV
    2. Dragnet 540323 Big Mustache

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A012

    1. You Bet Your Life 540324 Floor
    2. Grand Ole Opry 540327

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A013

    1. Sp 540327 078 Zero Ray
    2. aa540411 Vacation At Lake Chipawawa

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    1954 Disc A014

    1. Six Shooter 540422 30 Johnny Springer
    2. News 540505 CBS Army McCarthy Hearings Update

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A015

    1. Jack Benny 540516 2536 Jack Takes Date To Underground
    2. Jack Benny 540523 2537 Jacks Trip To Las Vegas

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A016

    1. News 540531 Eisenhower Mans Right Knowledge And Its Free Use
    2. News 540604 KFWB News

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A017

    1. Lets Pretend 540605 Beauty Beast
    2. Guest Star 540606 0376 Dipsy Doodle

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A018

    1. Six Shooter 540624 Myra Barker
    2. Escape 540701 216 Dark Wall

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A019

    1. Anthology 540704 18 Special July 4 th Edition
    2. Ft 540707 377 Last Smash

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A020

    1. Susp 540803 563 Goodnight Mrs Russell
    2. Escape 540807 221 Price Of Head Hans Conreid

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A021

    1. News 540810 CBS Lets Talk Abt You Vinc Peale Gen Doolittle
    2. LR 540901 2595 Iou
    3. Dragnet 540907 e264 Big Trunk

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A022

    1. aa540913 with Jack Benny and Liberace (runs fast)
    2. Guns 540920 ep127 F. U.
    3. News 540929 NBC The Catch Jack Brickhouse
    4. Dinah Shore 541013 Chevrolet Mr.sandman

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A023

    1. Ft 541013 391 Ufo
    2. Our Miss Brooks 541017 259 Photo Feud

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A024

    1. Our Miss Brooks 541024 260 Stretch is in Love Again
    2. PAF 541026 Could You Buy A Hamburger

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A025

    1. Susp 541118 572 Blind Date
    2. Bing Crosby 541124 1st Song Mandy
    3. Bing Crosby 541125 1st Song I Never Knew

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A026

    1. Bob Hope 541209 612 Jane Wyman
    2. Bob Hope 541223 614 Bob Shops For Delores Christmas Present

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1954 Disc A027

    1. Guns 541225 ep141 Kitty Lost

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