Friday, October 16, 2020

List of "Lost" LONE RANGER Radio Programs (1950-1954)

Just as "Nitrate won't wait" became the rallying cry for film archivists, "Acetate won't wait" has become the mantra for collectors of old-time radio. Widely used for three decades (1930s through the 1950s), then slowly replaced with magnetic tape and other formats, radio broadcasts featuring comedy, music and drama were preserved for both commercial and historical purposes. Fans of old-time radio programs, and fans of The Lone Ranger in general, are fully aware of the 2,600+ radio broadcasts from 1938 to 1954 that were preserved thanks to this format. Over 2,000 of those radio episodes have been released commercially thanks to companies like Radio Spirits, which commercially releases CD sets periodically through the months through licensing agreements. For over almost two decades I have purchased those Lone Ranger sets from Radio Spirits and have built a large shrine in my house. 



Due to their rarity, some acetate discs can command high prices at auction but those "record prices" are often the exceptions to the rule. Brian Epstein's collection of Beatles acetates fetched between $1,000 and $10,000 per disc, and an acetate of Elvis Presley's "That's All Right" sold for $82,393. When it comes to The Lone Ranger radio program, the broadcasts were preserved on vinyl pressings for syndication purposes, not acetate discs, so they would never fetch those kind of prices. Yet, there are collectors who mistakenly believe what they have is worth thousands of dollars. The average sale price for a set of two Lone Ranger discs is about $35 on eBay, more depending on whether the recording is rare or not. And it seems no one ever bids on Lone Ranger vinyl pressings that ask for more than $60 as a starting bid. (AFRS renditions of The Lone Ranger, also on vinyl pressings, appear to go for about $5 to $10 each on eBay.)


All of which emphasizes the importance of supporting companies like Radio Spirits. Considering the price of a Radio Spirits box set (five of them pictured above) retails less than $40 each, and you receive 20 half-hour radio programs in a box set, which comes to less than $2 per recording, you can understand why people choose to purchase the CDs versus collecting the vinyl pressings. 


The following is an official list of "lost" radio programs from 1950 to 1954. This list was compiled from multiple box sets, CDs and audio cassette albums that I purchased over the past two decades -- in short, these are the only episodes I am missing in my personal collection and it appears no one has a copy of these. Without such a list, collectors would never know if what they have is truly rare or not. Lists like these were created for other programs and often resulted in a few episodes being discovered because a collector had one and never knew it was a rare or lost recording.


The episode numbers and broadcast dates are listed below. Take note: these are the episode numbers, not transcription disc numbers. To avoid confusion, please go by the broadcast date. For completists, this list will give collectors cause to seek out recordings they do not have. For those who want to know the value of extant Lone Ranger transcriptions, these are the episodes that would more than likely generate larger bids on auction. But if someone holds a "lost" show at ransom prices, consider walking away. And if someone claims to have a lost program but will not verify authenticity, also consider walking away. As shocking as this advice might sound to a few, in retrospect there are already over 2,000 radio broadcasts available to listen to.


In the process of reading all of the radio scripts for The Lone Ranger, and documenting the plot summaries (my episode guide is more than 1,000 pages and still under construction), I can easily verify a recording if someone claims to have one listed below. Verification is essential before removing an entry from the list. With unscrupulous mp3 vendors duplicating existing audio files and renaming them with fake broadcast dates and titles, I will not remove an episode from this list simply because someone claims to have it. If you send me a recording and it turns out not to be a "lost" episode on the list, as a courtesy I will provide you with the correct information so you can catalog your inventory appropriately.


The first list was posted last month for the "lost" episodes from 1938 to 1949.

 

This list will be updated as recordings are discovered and verified. Do you have any of these?


Episode #                         Broadcast Date                       

2646-1871                        January 2, 1950

2650-1875                        January 11, 1950

2651-1876                        January 13, 1950

2652-1877                        January 16, 1950

2653-1878                        January 18, 1950

2654-1879                        January 20, 1950

2663-1888                        February 10, 1950

2665-1890                        February 15, 1950

2666-1891                        February 17, 1950

2667-1892                        February 20, 1950

2668-1893                        February 22, 1950

2669-1894                        February 24, 1950

2670-1895                        February 27, 1950

2671-1896                        March 1, 1950

2707                            May 24, 1950

2708                            May 26, 1950

2709                            May 29, 1950

2716                            June 14, 1950

2718                            June 19, 1950

2722                            June 28, 1950

2723                            June 30, 1950

2724                            July 3, 1950

2726                            July 7, 1950

2728                            July 12, 1950

2729                            July 14, 1950

2730                            July 17, 1950

2732                            July 21, 1950

2734                            July 26, 1950

2735                            July 28, 1950

2736                            July 31, 1950

2737                            August 2, 1950

2739                            August 7, 1950

2770                            October 18, 1950                    

2786                            November 24, 1950

2789                            December 1, 1950

2790                            December 4, 1950

2806                            January 10, 1951

2818                            February 7, 1951

2819                            February 9, 1951

2325                            February 23, 1951                  

2826                            February 26, 1951

2829                            March 5, 1951

2832                            March 12, 1951

2833                            March 14, 1951

2834                            March 16, 1951

2835                            March 19, 1951

2836                            March 21, 1951

2837                            March 23, 1951

2838                            March 26, 1951

2839                            March 28, 1951

2840                            March 30, 1951

2843                            April 6, 1951

2844                            April 9, 1951

2845                            April 11, 1951

2846                            April 13, 1951

2848                            April 18, 1951

2849                            April 20, 1951

2851                            April 25, 1951

2852                            April 27, 1951

2854                            May 2, 1951

2855                            May 4, 1951

2856                            May 7, 1951

2857                            May 9, 1951

2859                            May 14, 1951

2862                            May 21, 1951

2863                            May 23, 1951

2864                            May 25, 1951

2877                            June 25, 1951

2884                            July 11, 1951

2885                            July 13, 1951

2887                            July 18, 1951

2888                            July 20, 1951

2889                            July 23, 1951

2890                            July 25, 1951

2891                            July 27, 1951

2892                            July 30, 1951

2893                            August 1, 1951

2894                            August 3, 1951

2896                            August 8, 1951

2905                            August 29, 1951

2906                            August 31, 1951

2907                            September 3, 1951

2908                            September 5, 1951

2909                            September 7, 1951

2911                            September 12, 1951

2913                            September 17, 1951

2914                            September 19, 1951

2917                            September 26, 1951

2921                            October 5, 1951

2924                            October 12, 1951

2928                            October 22, 1951

2929                            October 24, 1951

2930                            October 26, 1951

2931                            October 29, 1951

2935                            November 7, 1951

2937                            November 12, 1951

2938                            November 14, 1951

2939                            November 16, 1951

2941                            November 21, 1951

2945                            November 30, 1951

2946                            December 3, 1951

2947                            December 5, 1951

2949                            December 10, 1951

2950                            December 12, 1951

2951                            December 14, 1951

2952                            December 17, 1951

2953                            December 19, 1951

2955                            December 24, 1951

2956                            December 26, 1951

2958                            December 31, 1951

2972                            February 1, 1952

2974                            February 6, 1952

2986                            March 5, 1952

3028                            June 11, 1952

3029                            June 13, 1952

3030                            June 16, 1952

3031                            June 18, 1952

3032                            June 20, 1952

3033                            June 23, 1952

3035                            June 27, 1952

3036                            June 30, 1952

3037                            July 2, 1952

3038                            July 4, 1952

3039                            July 7, 1952

3041                            July 11, 1952

3042                            July 14, 1952

3043                            July 16, 1952

3044                            July 18, 1952

3045                            July 21, 1952

3046                            July 23, 1952

3047                            July 25, 1952

3048                            July 28, 1952

3049                            July 30, 1952

3050                            August 1, 1952

3051                            August 4, 1952

3052                            August 6, 1952

3053                            August 8, 1952

3054                            August 11, 1952

3055                            August 13, 1952

3056                            August 15, 1952

3057                            August 18, 1952

3058                            August 20, 1952

3059                            August 22, 1952

3060                            August 25, 1952

3061                            August 27, 1952

3062                            August 29, 1952

3063                            September 1, 1952

3064                            September 3, 1952

3112                            December 24, 1952

3315                            April 12, 1954

3317                            April 16, 1954

3349                            June 30, 1954

3368                            August 13, 1954

3373                            August 25, 1954


This list will be updated as recordings are discovered and verified. Do you have any of these?


Friday, October 2, 2020

JOHN ZACHERLE AND "BEYOND THE END"

Anyone who grew up in New York City during the late fifties would recall John Zacherle as the ghoulish host of late-night horror movies, providing dark humor between the commercial breaks much in the same manner as Raymond on radio’s Inner Sanctum Mystery. As part of the Shock Theatre package, those movies included the likes of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Peter Lorre. So it may come as no surprise that on the evenings of February 25, March 4 and March 11, 1959, Zacherle tried his hand as a ghoulish host on late-night radio with a short-lived series titled Beyond the End.


Advertised as “a three-program mystery series with a comic twist,” through an NBC press release, the program aired from 10:06 to 10:28 p.m. Certain newspapers listed the program on radio logs as “World’s Literature,” with no reference to the horror host or what specific dramatic readings were scheduled. The horror dramas consisted of Nelson Olmsted’s dramatic readings from commercial LP records released in 1956. Among the spooky dramas presented were Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Black Cat.” As for Zacherle, his gig as a radio horror host was short-lived. 

Zacherle was a celebrity guest at the Friends of Old-Time Radio convention many years ago but sadly, no one was apparently aware of the radio program and asking Zacherle myself about the program he could only remember going to the radio station to do his spiel before the microphone. Nothing memorable to recall.

Since the programs aired over NBC radio live, the closest we can come to hearing any rendition of his spook-tacular radio performance are his LP records issued from 1960 to 1963, Spook Along with ZacherlyMonster MashScary Tales Featuring John Zacherly and Zacherle’s Monster Gallery. It seems unlikely whether we will be able to verify whether or not his 1958 top-ten novelty rock and roll song, “Dinner With Drac,” was featured on any of the three broadcasts, quite possibly as the program’s theme song? 


Special Thanks to Steven Thompson, Michael Biel and David Lennick for their assistance.