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Remembering 1962

John Glenn became the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, the world on the brink of a nuclear war with the Cuban Missile Crisis, and CBS broadcast the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar on September 30.

19 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 8 hours, 12 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
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8 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from September 30, 1962:

"Final Broadcast of Johnny Dollar"



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About this Old Time Radio Show

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

It would be the second year of the Kennedy presidency, the second year of "Camelot", and the year in which the world would learn that achieving and defending Camelot comes only with a combination of resolve and flexibility.

Military resolve and flexibility were reflected in the formation of the first two Navy SEAL teams, one on each coast on January 1. A point which was missed by most observers in President Kennedy's May 5, 1961, address to Congress (where he called for the goal of putting a Man on the Moon) was the President's announcement that he would increase spending for US Special Operations and expanding "unconventional warfare" capabilities. The SEAL's background went back to the amphibious operations of WWII when commandos were tasked with going ashore ahead of the main invasion force to disrupt shore defenses and survey beach approaches. Small unit combat tactics are the hallmark of the SEALs ("Sea, Air, and Land warriors"). Kennedy's  background as a WWII Patrol/Torpedo Boat commander gave him a natural appreciation so-called "unconventional Warfare".

A sign that 1962 would be a time of significant change may have come from the heavens with a "Grand Conjunction" on February 4-5. The Earth, the Sun and the new moon all aligned to form a solar eclipse, along with an alignment of the "naked eye" visible planets which were all within a sixteen-degree span of the ecliptic plane. Another reason to gaze skyward came with further successes of NASA's Project Mercury, highlighted by John Glenn becoming the first American astronaut to orbit the earth in Friendship 7 on February 20. Astronaut Deke Slayton had been scheduled to make the next flight but was diagnosed with a cardiac arrhythmia. Slayton's place would be taken by Scott Carpenter in Aurora 7 on May 24. America finally began to "catch up with" the Soviet's in the "Space Race" when Wally Schirra made the longest American space flight to date, six orbits in just over nine hours.

First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy brought the world into the White House via a televised tour on CBS TV, further cementing the relationship between everyday Americans and "Camelot". The first Kmart discount store opened in Garden City, Michigan, on March 1, and the American diet would change forever on March 21 when Glen Bell founds Taco Bell in Downey, California.

The National Basketball Association, which was struggling to build a fan-base, got a major shot-in-the-arm when Wilt Chamberlain, then in his third professional season, scored 100 points in a 169-147 victory for the Philadelphia Warriors over the New York Knicks on March 2. The game was played in Hershey, Pennsylvania, in an attempt to gain fans, no members of the New York press were in attendance, and no known video of the game exists. In a happy accident which would warm the hearts of OTR fans, a Warrior fan attending the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Jim Trelease, wired the radio in his dorm room to the radiator as an antenna and used a reel-to-reel tape deck borrowed from his girlfriend to tape the game's fourth quarter to listen to later.

Space NeedleThe year 1962 is a less than happy year for radio drama, as CBS broadcast the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar on September 30, acknowledge as the end of the Golden Age of Radio. The fabulous freelance insurance investigator with an "action-packed expense account" Johnny Dollar had been part of the CBS Radio lineup since 1949. "Radio's outstanding Theater of Thrills" audition program was directed by Alfred Hitchcock in 1940 and regularly broadcast since 1942. Both programs are considered high points in the art of Radio Drama.

The future and bringing the benefits of the Space Race to Earth were on the minds of everyone attending the Century 21 Exposition which opened in Seattle, Washington, on April 21. The Seattle World's Fair would be one of the few during the period to turn a profit. The Soviet Union had been invited to participate in the Fair when fair organizers made a visit to Moscow in 1960, but politely declined. The fairgrounds were dominated by the Space Needle, at the time the tallest structure West of the Mississippi and 605 feet. Built in less than a year, the roof of the Needle's revolving restaurant was painted Galaxy Gold, the saucer Re-Entry Red, the legs were Astronaut White and the body of the structure Orbital Olive. President Kennedy had been expected to speak at the Exposition's closing on October 21, but was forced to bow out due to what was reported at the time as a "heavy cold".

U2 SpyplaneKennedy's "heavy cold" was, in fact, the Cuban Missile Crisis. The damage to the President's reputation from previous year's Bay of Pigs fiasco had been minimized when Kennedy assumed public responsibility for the episode. The incident had raised the standing of Fidel Castro and helped to improve his relations with the Soviet Union. Premier Nikita Khrushchev agreed to Castro's request to place nuclear missiles in Cuba because the US had placed similar devices in Italy and Turkey targeting the USSR. Construction of the Cuban missile launch facilities began during the summer and was confirmed by a U-2 spy plane on a mission over the island on October 14 came back with images of what were identified as SS-4 medium-range ballistic missiles. The administration considered a number of responses, from ignoring the threat to a full-scale invasion of Cuba with the goal of neutralizing the missiles and deposing Castro. Kennedy, who was also struggling to resolve the Berlin Crisis, met with Soviet Foreign minister Andrei Gromyko on October 18. Gromyko insisted that the missiles were defensive in nature, and Kennedy chose not to reveal his intelligence of the extent of the missile build-up.

Cuban Missile CrisisAlthough the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the National Security Council encouraged the President to authorize an invasion, Kennedy chose to impose a naval "quarantine" of the island. Soviet ships approaching Cuba were to be stopped, boarded, and searched by the US Navy. Vessels carrying a legitimate cargo would be allowed to proceed but those carrying offensive weapons would be turned away. The President addressed the Nation on October 22, stating, "It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union."

Bay of Pigs Invasion 1961Khrushchev claimed that US "piracy" would lead to open war, and historians agree that the episode was the point when the Cold War came closest to heating up into a full nuclear conflict. On October 24-25, vessels were allowed through the blockade after it was determined that they carried no offensive material, and secret negotiations began. Khrushchev agreed to dismantle the missiles in Cuba if the US would agree to remove its nearly obsolete Jupiter missiles from Turkey. Kennedy embraced the offer but kept the quarantine in effect until there was evidence that the missiles in Cuba were being dismantled. On November 2, the President announced that the missiles were, in fact, being removed, and the blockade ended on November 20.

On Christmas Eve, Cuba released the last 1,113 prisoners captured during the Bay of Pigs in exchange for $53 million worth of food.

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.



    19 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $5.00
    total playtime 8 hours, 12 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      19 shows - total playtime 8 hours 12 minutes
      1. News 620220 NBC John Glenn Special.mp3
      2. News 621024 NBC 1200 1230 News Cuban Missile Crisis.mp3
      3. News 621025 NBC Cuban Missile Crisis.mp3
      4. News 621202 KHJ Walter O Keefes Almanac Gloria Swanson.mp3
      5. Susp 620121 909 2462.mp3
      6. Susp 620225 914 Date Night.mp3
      7. Susp 620401 919 You Died Last Night.mp3
      8. Susp 620429 923 Blackbeards Ace.mp3
      9. Susp 620603 928 Standin For Murder.mp3
      10. Susp 620617 930 Lunatic Hour.mp3
      11. Susp 620902 941 Death Of Alexander Jordan.mp3
      12. Susp 620909 942 Strange Day In May.mp3
      13. Susp 620930 945 Devilstone.mp3
      14. Wilt Chamberlain 100 Point Game 1962 Radio 4th Qtr.mp3
      15. YTJD 620701 798 Vociferous Dolphin.mp3
      16. YTJD 620715 800 Weather Or Not.mp3
      17. YTJD 620729 802 Four Is A Crowd.mp3
      18. YTJD 620923 810 Deadly Crystal.mp3
      19. YTJD 620930 811 Tip Off.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    19 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $5.00
    total playtime 8 hours, 12 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      19 shows - total playtime 8 hours 12 minutes
      1. News 620220 NBC John Glenn Special.mp3
      2. News 621024 NBC 1200 1230 News Cuban Missile Crisis.mp3
      3. News 621025 NBC Cuban Missile Crisis.mp3
      4. News 621202 KHJ Walter O Keefes Almanac Gloria Swanson.mp3
      5. Susp 620121 909 2462.mp3
      6. Susp 620225 914 Date Night.mp3
      7. Susp 620401 919 You Died Last Night.mp3
      8. Susp 620429 923 Blackbeards Ace.mp3
      9. Susp 620603 928 Standin For Murder.mp3
      10. Susp 620617 930 Lunatic Hour.mp3
      11. Susp 620902 941 Death Of Alexander Jordan.mp3
      12. Susp 620909 942 Strange Day In May.mp3
      13. Susp 620930 945 Devilstone.mp3
      14. Wilt Chamberlain 100 Point Game 1962 Radio 4th Qtr.mp3
      15. YTJD 620701 798 Vociferous Dolphin.mp3
      16. YTJD 620715 800 Weather Or Not.mp3
      17. YTJD 620729 802 Four Is A Crowd.mp3
      18. YTJD 620923 810 Deadly Crystal.mp3
      19. YTJD 620930 811 Tip Off.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



    19 recordings on 8 Audio CDs
    total playtime 6 hours, 54 min

    1962 Disc A001

    1. Wilt Chamberlain 100 Point Game 1962 Radio 4th Qtr
    2. Susp 620121 909 2462
    3. News 620220 NBC John Glenn Special

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1962 Disc A002

    1. Susp 620225 914 Date Night
    2. Susp 620401 919 You Died Last Night

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1962 Disc A003

    1. Susp 620429 923 Blackbeards Ace
    2. Susp 620603 928 Standin For Murder

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1962 Disc A004

    1. Susp 620617 930 Lunatic Hour
    2. YTJD 620701 798 Vociferous Dolphin
    3. YTJD 620715 800 Weather Or Not

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1962 Disc A005

    1. YTJD 620729 802 Four Is A Crowd
    2. Susp 620902 941 Death Of Alexander Jordan

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1962 Disc A006

    1. Susp 620909 942 Strange Day In May
    2. YTJD 620923 810 Deadly Crystal

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1962 Disc A007

    1. Susp 620930 945 Devilstone
    2. YTJD 620930 811 Tip Off

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    1962 Disc A008

    1. News 621024 NBC 1200 1230 News Cuban Missile Crisis
    2. News 621025 NBC Cuban Missile Crisis

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

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