Welcome to OTRCAT.com: Old Time Radio Catalog

Recommended Series for First Time Listeners

With so many different genres available, it's hard to pick favorites. OTRCAT recommends following entertaining and popular series below (and each show has a full episode you can listen to online):

little blue radio ADVENTURE, MYSTERY and HORROR:

  • Mystery in the Air is a great collection of shows starring Peter Lorre who always gives a ranting and unusual performance in entertaining plots and is also available on the Peter Lorre Collection.
  • Escape is an all-star classic scary series of shows starring top-name talent of the period.
  • The Whistler is a vast and interesting group of stories that always has a plot twist at the last moment.
  • Suspense is a large collection and has some great performances by top Hollywood talent of the time. "Sorry Wrong Number" starring Agnes Moorehead and "Three Skeleton Key" starring Vincent Price are two of many excellent episodes.
  • Lights Out is one of the finest series of terror and horror brought to you by Arch Oboler.
  • Inner Sanctum Mysteries is a excellent series or horror accompanied by chilling sound effects and organ vamping.
  • Mysterious Traveler is an all-time favorite, full of riveting suspense stories with great twist endings and the best sci-fi stories outside of the shows geared specifically to science fiction.
  • Weird Circle is another excellent series of tales of horror and intrigue.

little wooden radioCOMEDY:

little radio CRIME & DETECTIVE:

  • Dragnet, starring Jack Webb, is a thoroughly entertaining series based on true-crime stories solved by the Los Angeles Police Department. Webb's deadpan delivery is great and the plots are all entertaining.
  • Tales of the Texas Rangers is another good series of true-crime stories by "the oldest and well-known law-enforcing agency in North America." It has some brutal plots and often ends with the electrocution date of the caught criminals.
  • Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar is another great series about special private insurance investigator, Johnny Dollar, who investigates the murders and wrong-doings regarding insurance claims. The best episodes are star Bob Bailey which are both unusually humorous and entertaining.
  • The Adventures of Nero Wolfe from the 1950s are a great collection of a humor-mystery-crime stories. The protagonist waddled about and solved the most baffling murders from the comfort of his own home, without ever visiting the scene.

little blue radio DRAMA:

  • Academy Award Theater - ""Hollywood's finest, the great picture plays, the great actors and actresses,
    techniques and skills..."
  • CBS Radio Workshop - "radio's distinguished series to man's imagination" was an experimental old time radio show and varied in its genre.
  • Lux Radio - was a one-of-a-kind OTR show. Imagine the greatest Hollywood stars doing one-hour versions of their biggest motion pictures, complete with full orchestra, live on stage with a studio audience.
  • Screen Directors Playhouse - stars top-name stars in some great hollywood productions.

little black radio SCIENCE FICTION:

little wooden radio WESTERNS:

<< Return to Old Time Radio Fun or see Full list of available shows


I was a first-time listener in early 2018. I purchased the Andrew Sisters, Martin and Lewis, Danny Kaye, Perry Como, John Wayne, and a few others. Since then I have purchased and enjoyed Big Band, Comedy, Drama, Movies, Radio Series, and the personalities like Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and many others. I was born right after most of the radio programs were going off the air (1959) but I have enjoyed watching the old movies, shows, and listening to all the music. I was glad that I found this website. If I was to recommend something to a first-time listener, I would ask what genre they like the most then have them look through what radio programs are available and I would bet they would be hooked on the rest. Thank you so much and you have a customer for life. Merry Christmas and God Bless.


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