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Tales of Tragedy in Old Time Radio

The catharsis of a well-written tragedy gives us more than "a good cry", it can help us to process the setbacks in our own lives.

73 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 32 hours, 48 min)
available in the following formats:

2 MP3 CDs
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37 Audio CDs


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Play a sample episode from October 25, 1958:

"Gunsmoke: Tragedian"



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

    It is tragic whenever something sad, lamentable, disastrous, or misfortunate happens to someone, especially someone we know or care about. However, it takes more than a little sadness or misfortune to create a great literary tragedy, and in Old Time Radio we get to enjoy some of the very best.

    Tragedy DramaThe symbol of actors and theater is the twin masks of Comedy and Tragedy, and just about every drama ever created falls into one or the other of these forms. Everyone knows the difference between Comedy and Tragedy, but what makes a story one or the other can be difficult to place your finger on. The simple difference is that one makes you laugh and the other makes you cry, and some beginning Shakespearean scholars will tell you that a comedy is just a story where nobody dies!

    Crafting a great tragedy (or comedy for that matter) means being in tune with important concepts of the human condition. The ancient Greeks explored the differences between tragedy and comedy and left us some useful guidelines. Aristotle taught that comedies were about ordinary people who you would recognize on the street and that their conditions went from bad to good in the course of the story. Tragedy, however, moves from a good or happy situation to a bad one, and to evoke the greatest sense of sadness from the audience, the characters are decidedly above average, heroes, gods, or royals. This fall from grace results from a tragic flaw rather than dumb luck, but it is usually something that the tragic character has no control over. In other words, their fate is in the hands of the gods, and although sad, what they get is what they deserve.

    Crying

    If the Greeks had a favorite fatal flaw for their tragic heroes, it was probably hubris or excessive pride. Humility is not a feature we often see in these larger-than-life heroes, but even a little would do a great deal to soften their eventual fall. Those who are afflicted with hubris do not see that what they are doing could possibly be wrong, in fact, it almost has to be right because they are the ones doing it. The Weird Circle presents a chilling tale of hubris in "The Vendetta" where the Italian tradition of an eye for an eye costs one man his daughter. "The Fall River Tragedy" on Suspense looks at ax murder from Lizzie Borden's perspective. The hubris of royal privilege is explored in "Rendezvous at Mayerling" on Theatre of Romance and The Matinee Theater.

    A well crafted literary tragedy will provide the audience with a huge catharsis or release of emotion. The theory is that despite the hero's tragic flaw, the audience will have enough emotional investment in his situation that when the fall comes they will feel it with him. Catharsis is said to have a healing or purifying effect, as though experiencing the tragedy on stage will help us to better deal with the minor tragedies in our everyday lives. Columbia Workshop presents three cathartic tragedies in this collection, "The Trojan Women", "Portrait of Jenny", and Lucille Fletcher's "Some One Else". We hear of a vaudevillian's tragic talent in "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" on The Philip Morris Playhouse. Crime Classics gives us "The General's Daughter, The Czar's Lieutenant and The Linen Closet", a very Russian take on the tragic form, while Gunsmoke tells of "The Tragedian", a broken-down Shakespearean actor who wanders through Dodge City.

    Literary tragedies may be cathartic and healthy, but do they soften the impact of real-life tragedies? OTR provides plenty of these so that we can make observations. The heartbreaking tale of death in the coal mines is presented on Silver Theatre. A deadly race to the South Pole is presented by Suspense in "The Diary of Captain Scott", but the saddest tragedy of all may be the entire premise of Mutual's I Want a Divorce.

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


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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.



    73 recordings on 2 MP3 CDs for just $10.00
    total playtime 32 hours, 48 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


    Volume 1 - 37 shows - total playtime 17 hours 5 minutes
    MP3 CD
    Volume 1: 5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. American School Of Air 361124 Romeo And Juliet.mp3
    2. Anthology 540905 26 Dr Faustus.mp3
    3. Anthology 541128 38 Poetry From Dance.mp3
    4. Campbell Playhouse 391022 33 Liliam.mp3
    5. Cavalcade Of America 410407 Ode To Nightingale.mp3
    6. Cavalcade Of America 411027 Captain Paul.mp3
    7. Cavalcade Of America 430531 Mr Lincolns Wife.mp3
    8. Cavalcade Of America 520304 Romance At Fort Crawford.mp3
    9. Claudia 471121 040 An Available Apartment.mp3
    10. Columbia Workshop 370530 041 Discovery.mp3
    11. Columbia Workshop 401208 057 Trojan Women.mp3
    12. Columbia Workshop 410216 066 Crop Of Beans.mp3
    13. Columbia Workshop 420208 012 Portrait Of Jennie.mp3
    14. Columbia Workshop 420720 034 Someone Else.mp3
    15. Crime Classics 540407 Generals Daughter.mp3
    16. Dangerously Yours 440917 Shadow Of Raven.mp3
    17. Escape 530201 Study In Wax.mp3
    18. Favorite Story 480409 029 Mayerling.mp3
    19. Favorite Story 480410 030 Mister Shakespeare.mp3
    20. Front Page Drama 400210 0355 Mister Smith Disappears.mp3
    21. Front Page Drama 400302 0358 Curse Of Covinga Pass.mp3
    22. Front Page Drama 400615 0373 One Mans Mother.mp3
    23. Front Page Drama 410621 0426 Queen Is Dead.mp3
    24. Ft 510627 226 Days Of Grace.mp3
    25. Grantland Rice Story 550000 Ep 32 Jim Thorpe.mp3
    26. Gunsmoke 550528 Cow Doctor.mp3
    27. Gunsmoke 581026 Tragedian.mp3
    28. Have Gun Will Travel 591011 047 Stopover In Tombstone.mp3
    29. I Want Divorce 410404 June And Perry.mp3
    30. John Steele Adventurer 500117 Joeys Girl.mp3
    31. Jungle Jim 390812 198 Kolu Found.mp3
    32. Let George Do It 491024 Rose Petal Staircase.mp3
    33. Lone Ranger 380425 0818 Toll In Cattle.mp3
    34. Lone Ranger 380905 0875 Forgotten Laws.mp3
    35. Lux Radio Theater 420216 339 Blossoms In Dust.mp3
    36. Lux Radio Theater 530209 With Song In My Heart.mp3
    37. Matinee Theater 450311 Rendevous At Mayerling.mp3
    Volume 2 - 36 shows - total playtime 15 hours 42 minutes
    MP3 CD
    Volume 2: 5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. Mgm Theater Of Air 500210 018 Third Finger Left Hand.mp3
    2. Murder Clinic 420818 05 Holloway Flat Tragedy.mp3
    3. Murder Clinic 421006 12 Tragedy At Marsden Manor.mp3
    4. Nbc University Theater 481010 011 An American Tragedy.mp3
    5. Nbc University Theater Of Air 480820 004 Noon Wine 6444.mp3
    6. Nona From Nowhere 500210 25 Thelma Tries To Delay Vernon.mp3
    7. On Stage 530115 03 Poetic Tragedy.mp3
    8. On Stage 540303 54 Dreamer.mp3
    9. Our Miss Brooks 550403 283 An American Tragedy.mp3
    10. Perry Mason 481105 1345 Episode 1345.mp3
    11. Perry Mason 490817 1548 Bill Barker.mp3
    12. Perry Mason 491103 1604 Honeymoon Murder Case Part 1.mp3
    13. Perry Mason 510126 1925 Case Of Deadly Double Part 1.mp3
    14. Perry Mason 520414 2240 Tragg Knows Perry Planned Escape.mp3
    15. Perry Mason 520418 2244 Perrys Office Building Is Sealed.mp3
    16. Perry Mason 540510 2781 Asks Lt Tragg For Help At Funeral.mp3
    17. Philip Morris Playhouse 530819 Night Has Thousand Eyes.mp3
    18. Saint 501203 148martin Hickerson Private Eye.mp3
    19. Screen Guild Theater 440410 191 Farewell To Arms.mp3
    20. Screen Guild Theater 441030 218 Anna Karenina.mp3
    21. Screen Guild Theater 441218 224 Age Of Innocence.mp3
    22. Screen Guild Theater 450806 257 Little Foxes.mp3
    23. Sherlock Holmes 480229 Case Of King Phillips Golden Salver.mp3
    24. Sherlock Holmes Misc 590523 002 Sign Of Fourhurndall Pt2.mp3
    25. Silver Theater 381023 017 Up From Darkness Part 1.mp3
    26. Suspense 501207 After Movies.mp3
    27. Suspense 520114 Fall River Tragedy.mp3
    28. Suspense 521208 Jokers Wild.mp3
    29. Suspense 560228 Diary Of Captain Scott.mp3
    30. Taos 400522 0044 Buffalo Hills Pt 05.mp3
    31. Theater Of Romance 440718 Stage Door.mp3
    32. Theater Of Romance 441205 Rondevous With Mayerling.mp3
    33. Upper Room 470000 4 Slings And Arrows Of Outrageous Fortune.mp3
    34. Weird Circle 430912 Vendetta.mp3
    35. Weird Circle 440528 Dream Woman.mp3
    36. Whistler 490417 358 Sleep My Pretty One.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    73 recordings on 2 MP3 Collection Downloads for just $10.00
    total playtime 32 hours, 48 min
    Add MP3 CD Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


    Volume 1 - 37 shows - total playtime 17 hours 5 minutes
    Instant Download
    Volume 1: $5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. American School Of Air 361124 Romeo And Juliet.mp3
    2. Anthology 540905 26 Dr Faustus.mp3
    3. Anthology 541128 38 Poetry From Dance.mp3
    4. Campbell Playhouse 391022 33 Liliam.mp3
    5. Cavalcade Of America 410407 Ode To Nightingale.mp3
    6. Cavalcade Of America 411027 Captain Paul.mp3
    7. Cavalcade Of America 430531 Mr Lincolns Wife.mp3
    8. Cavalcade Of America 520304 Romance At Fort Crawford.mp3
    9. Claudia 471121 040 An Available Apartment.mp3
    10. Columbia Workshop 370530 041 Discovery.mp3
    11. Columbia Workshop 401208 057 Trojan Women.mp3
    12. Columbia Workshop 410216 066 Crop Of Beans.mp3
    13. Columbia Workshop 420208 012 Portrait Of Jennie.mp3
    14. Columbia Workshop 420720 034 Someone Else.mp3
    15. Crime Classics 540407 Generals Daughter.mp3
    16. Dangerously Yours 440917 Shadow Of Raven.mp3
    17. Escape 530201 Study In Wax.mp3
    18. Favorite Story 480409 029 Mayerling.mp3
    19. Favorite Story 480410 030 Mister Shakespeare.mp3
    20. Front Page Drama 400210 0355 Mister Smith Disappears.mp3
    21. Front Page Drama 400302 0358 Curse Of Covinga Pass.mp3
    22. Front Page Drama 400615 0373 One Mans Mother.mp3
    23. Front Page Drama 410621 0426 Queen Is Dead.mp3
    24. Ft 510627 226 Days Of Grace.mp3
    25. Grantland Rice Story 550000 Ep 32 Jim Thorpe.mp3
    26. Gunsmoke 550528 Cow Doctor.mp3
    27. Gunsmoke 581026 Tragedian.mp3
    28. Have Gun Will Travel 591011 047 Stopover In Tombstone.mp3
    29. I Want Divorce 410404 June And Perry.mp3
    30. John Steele Adventurer 500117 Joeys Girl.mp3
    31. Jungle Jim 390812 198 Kolu Found.mp3
    32. Let George Do It 491024 Rose Petal Staircase.mp3
    33. Lone Ranger 380425 0818 Toll In Cattle.mp3
    34. Lone Ranger 380905 0875 Forgotten Laws.mp3
    35. Lux Radio Theater 420216 339 Blossoms In Dust.mp3
    36. Lux Radio Theater 530209 With Song In My Heart.mp3
    37. Matinee Theater 450311 Rendevous At Mayerling.mp3
    Volume 2 - 36 shows - total playtime 15 hours 42 minutes
    Instant Download
    Volume 2: $5.00
    Add To Cart
    1. Mgm Theater Of Air 500210 018 Third Finger Left Hand.mp3
    2. Murder Clinic 420818 05 Holloway Flat Tragedy.mp3
    3. Murder Clinic 421006 12 Tragedy At Marsden Manor.mp3
    4. Nbc University Theater 481010 011 An American Tragedy.mp3
    5. Nbc University Theater Of Air 480820 004 Noon Wine 6444.mp3
    6. Nona From Nowhere 500210 25 Thelma Tries To Delay Vernon.mp3
    7. On Stage 530115 03 Poetic Tragedy.mp3
    8. On Stage 540303 54 Dreamer.mp3
    9. Our Miss Brooks 550403 283 An American Tragedy.mp3
    10. Perry Mason 481105 1345 Episode 1345.mp3
    11. Perry Mason 490817 1548 Bill Barker.mp3
    12. Perry Mason 491103 1604 Honeymoon Murder Case Part 1.mp3
    13. Perry Mason 510126 1925 Case Of Deadly Double Part 1.mp3
    14. Perry Mason 520414 2240 Tragg Knows Perry Planned Escape.mp3
    15. Perry Mason 520418 2244 Perrys Office Building Is Sealed.mp3
    16. Perry Mason 540510 2781 Asks Lt Tragg For Help At Funeral.mp3
    17. Philip Morris Playhouse 530819 Night Has Thousand Eyes.mp3
    18. Saint 501203 148martin Hickerson Private Eye.mp3
    19. Screen Guild Theater 440410 191 Farewell To Arms.mp3
    20. Screen Guild Theater 441030 218 Anna Karenina.mp3
    21. Screen Guild Theater 441218 224 Age Of Innocence.mp3
    22. Screen Guild Theater 450806 257 Little Foxes.mp3
    23. Sherlock Holmes 480229 Case Of King Phillips Golden Salver.mp3
    24. Sherlock Holmes Misc 590523 002 Sign Of Fourhurndall Pt2.mp3
    25. Silver Theater 381023 017 Up From Darkness Part 1.mp3
    26. Suspense 501207 After Movies.mp3
    27. Suspense 520114 Fall River Tragedy.mp3
    28. Suspense 521208 Jokers Wild.mp3
    29. Suspense 560228 Diary Of Captain Scott.mp3
    30. Taos 400522 0044 Buffalo Hills Pt 05.mp3
    31. Theater Of Romance 440718 Stage Door.mp3
    32. Theater Of Romance 441205 Rondevous With Mayerling.mp3
    33. Upper Room 470000 4 Slings And Arrows Of Outrageous Fortune.mp3
    34. Weird Circle 430912 Vendetta.mp3
    35. Weird Circle 440528 Dream Woman.mp3
    36. Whistler 490417 358 Sleep My Pretty One.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



    73 recordings on 37 Audio CDs
    total playtime 32 hours, 48 min

    Tales of Tragedy Disc A001

    1. American School Of Air 361124 Romeo And Juliet
    2. Columbia Workshop 370530 041 Discovery

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A002

    1. Lone Ranger 380425 0818 Toll In Cattle
    2. Lone Ranger 380905 0875 Forgotten Laws

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A003

    1. Silver Theater 381023 017 Up From Darkness Part 1
    2. Jungle Jim 390812 198 Kolu Found

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A004

    1. Campbell Playhouse 391022 33 Liliam

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A005

    1. Front Page Drama 400210 0355 Mister Smith Disappears
    2. Front Page Drama 400302 0358 Curse Of Covinga Pass
    3. Taos 400522 0044 Buffalo Hills Pt 05
    4. Front Page Drama 400615 0373 One Mans Mother

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A006

    1. Columbia Workshop 401208 057 Trojan Women
    2. Columbia Workshop 410216 066 Crop Of Beans

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A007

    1. I Want Divorce 410404 June And Perry
    2. Cavalcade Of America 410407 Ode To Nightingale

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A008

    1. Front Page Drama 410621 0426 Queen Is Dead
    2. Cavalcade Of America 411027 Captain Paul
    3. Columbia Workshop 420208 012 Portrait Of Jennie

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A009

    1. Lux Radio Theater 420216 339 Blossoms In Dust

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A010

    1. Columbia Workshop 420720 034 Someone Else
    2. Murder Clinic 420818 05 Holloway Flat Tragedy

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A011

    1. Murder Clinic 421006 12 Tragedy At Marsden Manor
    2. Cavalcade Of America 430531 Mr Lincolns Wife

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A012

    1. Weird Circle 430912 Vendetta
    2. Screen Guild Theater 440410 191 Farewell To Arms

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A013

    1. Weird Circle 440528 Dream Woman
    2. Theater Of Romance 440718 Stage Door

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A014

    1. Dangerously Yours 440917 Shadow Of Raven
    2. Screen Guild Theater 441030 218 Anna Karenina

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A015

    1. Theater Of Romance 441205 Rondevous With Mayerling
    2. Screen Guild Theater 441218 224 Age Of Innocence

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A016

    1. Matinee Theater 450311 Rendevous At Mayerling
    2. Screen Guild Theater 450806 257 Little Foxes

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A017

    1. Upper Room 470000 4 Slings And Arrows Of Outrageous Fortune
    2. Claudia 471121 040 An Available Apartment
    3. Sherlock Holmes 480229 Case Of King Phillips Golden Salver

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A018

    1. Favorite Story 480409 029 Mayerling
    2. Favorite Story 480410 030 Mister Shakespeare

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A019

    1. Nbc University Theater Of Air 480820 004 Noon Wine 6444

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A020

    1. Nbc University Theater 481010 011 An American Tragedy
    2. Perry Mason 481105 1345 Episode 1345

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A021

    1. Whistler 490417 358 Sleep My Pretty One
    2. Perry Mason 490817 1548 Bill Barker

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A022

    1. Let George Do It 491024 Rose Petal Staircase
    2. Perry Mason 491103 1604 Honeymoon Murder Case Part 1

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A023

    1. John Steele Adventurer 500117 Joeys Girl

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A024

    1. Mgm Theater Of Air 500210 018 Third Finger Left Hand

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A025

    1. Nona From Nowhere 500210 25 Thelma Tries To Delay Vernon
    2. Saint 501203 148martin Hickerson Private Eye

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A026

    1. Suspense 501207 After Movies
    2. Perry Mason 510126 1925 Case Of Deadly Double Part 1

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A027

    1. Ft 510627 226 Days Of Grace
    2. Suspense 520114 Fall River Tragedy

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A028

    1. Cavalcade Of America 520304 Romance At Fort Crawford
    2. Perry Mason 520414 2240 Tragg Knows Perry Planned Escape
    3. Perry Mason 520418 2244 Perrys Office Building Is Sealed

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A029

    1. Suspense 521208 Jokers Wild
    2. On Stage 530115 03 Poetic Tragedy

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A030

    1. Escape 530201 Study In Wax

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A031

    1. Lux Radio Theater 530209 With Song In My Heart

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A032

    1. Philip Morris Playhouse 530819 Night Has Thousand Eyes
    2. On Stage 540303 54 Dreamer

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A033

    1. Crime Classics 540407 Generals Daughter
    2. Perry Mason 540510 2781 Asks Lt Tragg For Help At Funeral
    3. Anthology 540905 26 Dr Faustus

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Tales of Tragedy Disc A034

    1. Anthology 541128 38 Poetry From Dance
    2. Grantland Rice Story 550000 Ep 32 Jim Thorpe
    3. Our Miss Brooks 550403 283 An American Tragedy

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A035

    1. Gunsmoke 550528 Cow Doctor
    2. Suspense 560228 Diary Of Captain Scott

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A036

    1. Gunsmoke 581026 Tragedian
    2. Sherlock Holmes Misc 590523 002 Sign Of Fourhurndall Pt2

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    Tales of Tragedy Disc A037

    1. Have Gun Will Travel 591011 047 Stopover In Tombstone

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