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Remembering 1956

By the mid-1950s the standard of living was increasing and rock n roll grew in popularity, UnAmerican Activities Committee searched the entertainment industry for Communist Sympathizers.

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46 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 23 hours, 33 min)
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About this Old Time Radio Show

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

1956 radioAmericans in 1956 were treated to an ever-increasing standard of living. Parents may have begun to fear for the younger generation as Rock and Roll music began to sweep the nation, but news from overseas held subtle and not so subtle reminders that the world was becoming a dangerous place to be. Technology continued its march, generally making the world a better place for everyone.

Sun Records released Carl Perkins' seminal hit "Blue Suede Shoes" on January 1, and the song quickly rose on the Country and the Rhythm and Blues charts, topping a million records by April. Perkins told that the song was inspired by a story told by Johnny Cash while Perkins, Cash , and Elvis Presley were touring with the Louisiana Hayride program, as well as an incident at a dance Perkins played in December 1955. At the dance, he heard a gentleman raise his voice to his date to be more careful, relating later, "Good gracious, a pretty little thing like that and all he can think about is his blue suede shoes". On March 17, Perkins performed his hit on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee, and the same night his friend Elvis Presley covered the song on CBS-TV's Stage Show. Presley's contract with Sun Records had been sold to RCA back in November, and his new label insisted that he put "Blue Suede Shoes" on his new album with "Heartbreak Hotel". Elvis reluctantly agreed on the condition that RCA would not release his version as a single while his friend Perkins' record was still popular.

Johnny Cash

In other Rock and Roll News, Buddy Holly begins recording for Decca and Roy Orbison signs with Sun Records in late January. Alan Freed's Rock and Roll Dance Party begins broadcasting on CBS Radio on March 24. Elvis formally takes Colonel Tom Parker as his manager and signs a three-picture deal with Paramount. At the beginning of May, "Blue Suede Shoes", "Heartbreak Hotel", Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally", the Platter's "Magic Touch", and Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" are all in the Top Ten charts for both pop and R&B, Perkins' and Presley's songs also top the Country charts. Dick Clark hosts American Bandstand for the first time on July 9, and Nat King Cole becomes the first black artist to a national TV variety program on November 5. A month later, Perkins, Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis hold an impromptu jam session at the Sun Records Studio, the recording will be released as "The Million Dollar Quartet".

The Soviet Union participates in their first Olympic Winter Games, the VII Winter Games in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, from January 26 to February 5, and leads the medal count in a Festival little marred by politics. The same could not be said for the Summer Games in Melbourne, Australia, from November 22 to December 8, the first time the Games are held in the Southern Hemisphere. With the Soviet participation in those games, Netherlands, Cambodia, Spain, and Switzerland chose to withdraw to protest the crushing on the Hungarian revolution. Egypt, Iraq, and Lebanon withdrew in response to the Suez Crisis, and the People's Republic of China chose not to participate because the Republic of China (Taiwan) was allowed to send a team.

President Eisenhower signs the National Interstate and Defense Highway Acts on June 29. The Defense designation signifies the importance of seamless internal military transport in time of crisis, the fact that funding was partially redirected from the Defense budget for the project, and that most US Air Force bases were to be served by the system. Gamel Abdel Nasser, having recently assumed office as the second President of Egypt, called for the nationalization of the Suez Canal. On July 26, Nasser announced the seizure of the British and French-owned Suez Canal Company and deployed troops to enforce nationalization of the Canal. He also closed the Canal to Israeli shipping.

Raymond BurrThe ensuing Suez crisis would become a test of Eisenhower's statesmanship and leadership in the International arena, as well as a swansong for the colonial might of France and Great Britain. America had been engaged in negotiations with several Arab nations, hoping to bring stability to the Middle East while mitigating Soviet influence in the region. The European powers saw freedom of navigation through the canal as vital given the importance of Middle East oil to their economies, not to mention the fact that the canal was built by the French during the previous century and the canal zone and operations had been administered and protected by the British for nearly 100 years. To the surprise of American diplomats, the Arab world saw Zionism as a greater danger than Communism. Nasser was expert at playing the interests of the two Superpowers off one another, gaining American economic support for the Aswan Dam while purchasing huge amounts of arms from the Soviets.

British, French, and Israeli representatives met secretly in October to formulate a response. On October 29, Israeli forces invade Sinai and push the Egyptians nearly to the Canal, days later British and French airstrikes on Egypt support the Israelis. The Tripartite forces nearly succeeded militarily, but the United Nations sent a Peacekeeping Force to ensure the safety of navigation through the canal and Eisenhower brought diplomatic pressure on the French and British to stand down. British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden was forced to step down in the aftermath of the Suez Crisis.

Closer to home, on February 23, Marilyn Monroe officially changes her name from Norma Jean Mortensen. Now owning her own production company, the press begins to see her as a savvy business woman, and after her divorce from Joe DiMaggio was finalized in October 1955, she became more public with her relationship with playwright Arthur Miller. Monroe and Miller are married on June 29, 1956, a little more than a week after he had been called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee to answer allegations of Communist Sympathies and to "name names" (which he refused to do and was found in contempt of Congress).

Guiding LightThe Guiding Light had been broadcast on both radio and TV for the past four years with the actors recording their parts twice a day for each medium, but the radio broadcast comes to an end on June 30. With a 19-year run on radio and another 5 years on TV, Guiding Light is the fifth longest-running program in broadcast history. CBS Radio Workshop premiered in January as a revival of the popular Columbia Workshop, and CBS takes advantage of the growing popularity of Westerns by debuting Fort Laramie starring Raymond Burr.

  • Cal Perkins' hit Blue Suede Shoe is released on January
  • Elvis Presley's Heart Break Hotel hits the charts in February and will be his first million-selling record. Ed Sullivan signs Elvis for three appearances on his show for an unprecedented $50,000. Legend states that Elvis was only shown from the waist up. Members of the KKK rush the stage at a Nat King Cole concert in Alabama in April.
  • President Eisenhower signs the National Interstate and Defense Highway Acts on June 29. The Defense designation signifies the importance of seamless internal military tranport in time of crisis, the fact that funding was partially redirected from the Defense budget for the project, and that most US Air Force bases were to be served by the system.
  • Arthur Miller and Marilyn MonroePlaywright Arthur Miller is called before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee on June 21. On the 29th, he marries Marilyn Monroe.
  • In late July, Egypt nationalizes the Suez Canal and freezes the assets of the British and French controlled Suez Canal Company. The Canal is closed to Israeli shipping. Israel invades Egyptian Sinai on October 29. Britain and France jointly call for a cease-fire, but land paratroopers on the banks of the Suez Canal on November 5. Political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union, and the United Nation will eventually force the invaders to withdraw. the episode is seen as the end of Great Britain's status as an international power.
  • The Soviet Union sees the nationwide revolt against the government of the Hungarian Peoples Republic as the first threat to its rule since Soviet troops drove the Nazis from the territory at the end of WWII. The Hungarian Uprising began with a student protest and resulted in a government formed by the Hungarian Working People's Party, which declared intentions to withdraw from the Warsaw Pact. The Soviet Politburo decided the revolt must be crushed, and 2,500 Hungarians were kills and 200,000 became refugees.
  • 1956 IBM Hard Drive 3MBThirty-two nations participate in the VII Olympic Winter Games in Cortina d'Amperzzo, Italy. In their first Winter Olympic appearance, the Soviet Team leads the medal count. The Summer Olympics in Melbourne are the first held in the Southern Hemisphere, but the Games are marred by boycotts due to the Suez Crisis and the Soviet response to the Hungarian Revolution.
  • A team at IBM invents the Hard Disk Drive data storage. The device occupies 68 cubic feet, weighs 2,000 pounds, and will hold 3.75 megabytes of data. A device of similar design in 2017 is less than two cubic inches, weighs just over two ounces, and holds up to 10 terabytes of data.
  • 1959 Lincoln Continental Mark IIFord's Lincoln division launches the Continental Mark II as the most luxurious and elegant American car available, surpassing even Cadillac or anything from Europe. Plymouth introduces the full-sized Fury with a 303 cubic inch V8 and twin four-barrel carburetors. American Motors Corporation declare that "a new era in motoring has begun" with the launch of the intermediate-sized Rambler Six (considered a "compact car" at the time). Volvo announces the Amazon line which it will import to the US market.
  • Movie star Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 18.
  • Fort Laramie debuts on CBS, but The Guiding Light ends its 19 year run on radio, continuing on television until 2009. America's Town Meeting of the Air closes after being on the Blue Network and ABC Radio since 1935. Gene Autry's Melody Ranch goes off the air.

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.



    46 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 23 hours, 33 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      46 shows - total playtime 23 hours 33 minutes
      1. American Adventure 560112 Johnwilliamsrunawayjustice.mp3
      2. Bell Telephone Hour 561119 Renata Tibaldi.mp3
      3. Bergen McCarthy 560108 Effie Klinker Festival.mp3
      4. Bergen McCarthy 560129 Las Vegas.mp3
      5. Biography In Sound 560515 49 Recolections At 30.mp3
      6. Breakfast Club 56xxxx Dick Has Strep Throat.mp3
      7. Camel Rock Roll Dance Party 560421.mp3
      8. Camel Rock Roll Dance Party 560428.mp3
      9. CBSRW 560127 01 Brave New World 1o2.mp3
      10. CBSRW 560203 02 Brave New World 2o2.mp3
      11. Cisco Kid 560710 418 Killer Quits.mp3
      12. Conelrad Drill 560720.mp3
      13. Dragnet 560522 e353 Big False Move.mp3
      14. FMM 560104 1325 The Electric Bill.mp3
      15. FMM 560105 1326 Ruined Fur Coat.mp3
      16. GG 560000 Doye Odells Dude Ranch Afrts 498.mp3
      17. GG 560000 Judge Returns From Europe Afrts 544.mp3
      18. Grand Ole Opry 560317.mp3
      19. Grand Ole Opry 560324.mp3
      20. Guest Star 560812 0490 Cimarron.mp3
      21. Guns 560610 ep218 Daddyo.mp3
      22. Guns 561202 ep243 Speak To Me Fair.mp3
      23. Jack Benny 561200 Jack Benny Christmas Special.mp3
      24. Melody Ranch 560513 Last Show.mp3
      25. News 560126 CBC Foreign Correspondents Recall Best Stories.mp3
      26. News 560129 CBC Ernest Alvia Smokey Smith VC.mp3
      27. News 560309 CBS Radio Workshop Report on ESP.mp3
      28. News 560710 NBC All Star Game.mp3
      29. News 560823 Dwight D Eisenhower Acceptance Speech.mp3
      30. News 561017 ABC FCDA Tomorrow Orson Welles.mp3
      31. News 561115 WCCO Nighttime News Cedric Adams.mp3
      32. News 561210 CBC Matthew Halton Remembered By Colleagues.mp3
      33. News 56xxxx BBC UN Radio Charter Saucer Olivier Corwin.mp3
      34. News 56xxxx UN Radio A Friendly Warning Alistair Cooke.mp3
      35. Our Miss Brooks 560506 340 New Girl in Town.mp3
      36. Our Miss Brooks 560603 344 The Dinner Party.mp3
      37. PAF 560124 Mental Telepathy.mp3
      38. Susp 560529 652 Flame.mp3
      39. Susp 560619 655 Sleeping Draught.mp3
      40. Susp 561009 668 Digger.mp3
      41. Tomorrow 561017 Orson Welles.mp3
      42. X 1 560522 052 The Defenders.mp3
      43. X 1 560619 056 Project Trojan.mp3
      44. YTJD 561111 513 Big Scoop.mp3
      45. YTJD 561125 515 Royal Street.mp3
      46. YTJD 561216 517 Rasmusson.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    46 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 23 hours, 33 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      46 shows - total playtime 23 hours 33 minutes
      1. American Adventure 560112 Johnwilliamsrunawayjustice.mp3
      2. Bell Telephone Hour 561119 Renata Tibaldi.mp3
      3. Bergen McCarthy 560108 Effie Klinker Festival.mp3
      4. Bergen McCarthy 560129 Las Vegas.mp3
      5. Biography In Sound 560515 49 Recolections At 30.mp3
      6. Breakfast Club 56xxxx Dick Has Strep Throat.mp3
      7. Camel Rock Roll Dance Party 560421.mp3
      8. Camel Rock Roll Dance Party 560428.mp3
      9. CBSRW 560127 01 Brave New World 1o2.mp3
      10. CBSRW 560203 02 Brave New World 2o2.mp3
      11. Cisco Kid 560710 418 Killer Quits.mp3
      12. Conelrad Drill 560720.mp3
      13. Dragnet 560522 e353 Big False Move.mp3
      14. FMM 560104 1325 The Electric Bill.mp3
      15. FMM 560105 1326 Ruined Fur Coat.mp3
      16. GG 560000 Doye Odells Dude Ranch Afrts 498.mp3
      17. GG 560000 Judge Returns From Europe Afrts 544.mp3
      18. Grand Ole Opry 560317.mp3
      19. Grand Ole Opry 560324.mp3
      20. Guest Star 560812 0490 Cimarron.mp3
      21. Guns 560610 ep218 Daddyo.mp3
      22. Guns 561202 ep243 Speak To Me Fair.mp3
      23. Jack Benny 561200 Jack Benny Christmas Special.mp3
      24. Melody Ranch 560513 Last Show.mp3
      25. News 560126 CBC Foreign Correspondents Recall Best Stories.mp3
      26. News 560129 CBC Ernest Alvia Smokey Smith VC.mp3
      27. News 560309 CBS Radio Workshop Report on ESP.mp3
      28. News 560710 NBC All Star Game.mp3
      29. News 560823 Dwight D Eisenhower Acceptance Speech.mp3
      30. News 561017 ABC FCDA Tomorrow Orson Welles.mp3
      31. News 561115 WCCO Nighttime News Cedric Adams.mp3
      32. News 561210 CBC Matthew Halton Remembered By Colleagues.mp3
      33. News 56xxxx BBC UN Radio Charter Saucer Olivier Corwin.mp3
      34. News 56xxxx UN Radio A Friendly Warning Alistair Cooke.mp3
      35. Our Miss Brooks 560506 340 New Girl in Town.mp3
      36. Our Miss Brooks 560603 344 The Dinner Party.mp3
      37. PAF 560124 Mental Telepathy.mp3
      38. Susp 560529 652 Flame.mp3
      39. Susp 560619 655 Sleeping Draught.mp3
      40. Susp 561009 668 Digger.mp3
      41. Tomorrow 561017 Orson Welles.mp3
      42. X 1 560522 052 The Defenders.mp3
      43. X 1 560619 056 Project Trojan.mp3
      44. YTJD 561111 513 Big Scoop.mp3
      45. YTJD 561125 515 Royal Street.mp3
      46. YTJD 561216 517 Rasmusson.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



    46 recordings on 22 Audio CDs
    total playtime 20 hours, 56 min

    1956 Disc A001

    1. Breakfast Club 56xxxx Dick Has Strep Throat
    2. News 56xxxx BBC UN Radio Charter Saucer Olivier Corwin

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    1956 Disc A002

    1. News 56xxxx UN Radio A Friendly Warning Alistair Cooke
    2. GG 560000 Doye Odells Dude Ranch Afrts 498

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    1956 Disc A003

    1. GG 560000 Judge Returns From Europe Afrts 544
    2. FMM 560104 1325 The Electric Bill
    3. FMM 560105 1326 Ruined Fur Coat

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    1956 Disc A004

    1. Bergen McCarthy 560108 Effie Klinker Festival

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    1956 Disc A005

    1. American Adventure 560112 Johnwilliamsrunawayjustice
    2. PAF 560124 Mental Telepathy
    3. News 560126 CBC Foreign Correspondents Recall Best Stories

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    1956 Disc A006

    1. CBSRW 560127 01 Brave New World 1o2
    2. Bergen McCarthy 560129 Las Vegas
    3. News 560129 CBC Ernest Alvia Smokey Smith VC

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    1956 Disc A007

    1. CBSRW 560203 02 Brave New World 2o2
    2. News 560309 CBS Radio Workshop Report on ESP

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    1956 Disc A008

    1. Grand Ole Opry 560317
    2. Grand Ole Opry 560324

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    1956 Disc A009

    1. Camel Rock Roll Dance Party 560421
    2. Camel Rock Roll Dance Party 560428

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    1956 Disc A010

    1. Our Miss Brooks 560506 340 New Girl in Town
    2. Melody Ranch 560513 Last Show

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    1956 Disc A011

    1. Biography In Sound 560515 49 Recolections At 30

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    1956 Disc A012

    1. Dragnet 560522 e353 Big False Move
    2. X 1 560522 052 The Defenders

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    1956 Disc A013

    1. Susp 560529 652 Flame
    2. Our Miss Brooks 560603 344 The Dinner Party

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    1956 Disc A014

    1. Guns 560610 ep218 Daddyo
    2. Susp 560619 655 Sleeping Draught

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    1956 Disc A015

    1. X 1 560619 056 Project Trojan
    2. Cisco Kid 560710 418 Killer Quits
    3. Conelrad Drill 560720
    4. Guest Star 560812 0490 Cimarron

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    1956 Disc A016

    1. News 560823 Dwight D Eisenhower Acceptance Speech
    2. Susp 561009 668 Digger

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    1956 Disc A017

    1. News 561017 ABC FCDA Tomorrow Orson Welles

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    1956 Disc A018

    1. Tomorrow 561017 Orson Welles

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    1956 Disc A019

    1. YTJD 561111 513 Big Scoop
    2. News 561115 WCCO Nighttime News Cedric Adams
    3. Bell Telephone Hour 561119 Renata Tibaldi

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    1956 Disc A020

    1. YTJD 561125 515 Royal Street

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    1956 Disc A021

    1. Jack Benny 561200 Jack Benny Christmas Special
    2. Guns 561202 ep243 Speak To Me Fair

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    1956 Disc A022

    1. News 561210 CBC Matthew Halton Remembered By Colleagues
    2. YTJD 561216 517 Rasmusson

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