We all know how many fans there are of old movies, but you may not know that there are also many fans of old-time radio. There are CDs collecting episodes of classic radio shows, and on Amazon.com you can download episodes of Lights Out! and other shows.
Harry Heuser has just come out with a book entitled Immaterial Culture: Literature, Drama, and the American Radio Play 1929 - 1954. As the publisher, Peter Land puts it, "Immaterial Culture engages with texts that are now largely unread and dismissed as trivial or dubious: the vast body of plays – thrillers, narrative poetry, comedy sketches, documentaries and adaptations of literature and drama – that aired on American network radio during the medium’s so-called golden age."
Lest one think the book might be dry reading, take a gander at the chapter titles:
The “time between commercials”: Radio Culture and Criticism 1
“Barbarians ready! Flash the orchestra!”: Stage and Studio 15
“Yeah, hit’s jist like a library”: Broadcasting and Print 53
“Rise up and speak, you voices!”: Medium and Zeitgeist 93
“It’s going to hurt, but think of this”: Service and Self-Effacement 133
“Until I know the thing I want to know”: Puzzles and Propaganda 173
“If I’m alone one more second, I’ll go mad”: Dialogue and Interiority 209
“This is Norman Corwin”: Voice and Vocabulary 255
“Hawkers of feces? Costermongers of shit?”: Exits and Recantations 299
You can read more about the book here and order a copy -- print or ebook -- here or from Amazon.