Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Radio: "Listen to them. Children of the night."

Certainly, the most famous Halloween-centric broadcast of the legendary Orson Welles (shown here in dapper and shockingly young form) is the much mythologized War of the Worlds show that, if one believes, was responsible for widespread panic throughout the Tri-state area.

But Welles's alien invasion radio play isn't the only show in The Mercury Theater archives of interest to the spookshow junkie with a taste for the retro. Over at the fine music and horror blog Psychobabble you can listen to The Mercury Theater's production of Bram Stoker's classic vampire novel: Dracula

When The Mercury Theater (full title: The Mercury Theater on the Air) debuted in 1939, Dracula was their first broadcast. Welles himself provided the voices of the eponymous vampire and Doctor Seward. Theater regular Agnes Moorehead plays Mina and the great Bernard Herrmann provides the score. But why stay here reading my blah blah blah? Click on over and enjoy!

3 comments:

Todd said...

Mercury Theatre was awesome. The calibre of players is unrivaled: Welles, Agnes Moorhead ("Endora" in Bewitched), Joseph Cotton, Hans Conried (of Rocky & Bullwinkle), Ray Collins (Lt. Tragg from Perry mason) ...

They did tremendous numbers of radio plays of the classics like Count of Monte Cristo, Les Mis, Treasure Island, Heart of Darkness, and so on. Many of them stayed together and created movies as well like The Third Man.

http://www.mercurytheatre.info/ has a lot of the recordings. Unfortunately, most are in RA format (does anyone use that any more?) but some are in MP3.

You can also get most of them at archive.org:

http://www.archive.org/details/OrsonWelles-MercuryTheater-1938Recordings

Many were repeated on the Campbell Playhouse:

http://www.archive.org/details/otr_campbellplayhouse

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