IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN! THE NEW STORIES OF OLD-TIME RADIO, VOL. 1 (paperback)
2. Tom Mix - "Tom Mix And The Mystery Of The Bodiless Horseman" by Jim Harmon
3. Candy Matson YUkon 2-8209 - "The Japanese Sandman" by Jack French
5. The Green Lama - "The Case Of The Bashful Spider" by Bob Martin
6. Sgt. Preston of the Yukon - "A Call From the Storm" by Jim Nixon
7. Quiet Please - "The Cradle Of Peace" by Martin Grams Jr.
8. The Halls of Ivy - "A Matter of Ethics" by Carol Tiffany
9. Captain Midnight - "The Vanishing Ruby" by Stephen A. Kallis Jr.
10. The Bickersons - "You've Got Me, John" by Ben Ohmart
11. Ma Perkins - "The Letter From John" by John Leasure
12. The Black Museum - "The Ticket Stub" by Michael Leannah
13. Honest Harold - "Attack Of The Crawling Things From Outer Space" by Justin Felix
14. Dimension X - "Willoughby Goes and Gets It" by Joe Bevilacqua & Robert J. Cirasa
15. Lum & Abner - "A Pine Ridge Christmas Carol" by Donnie Pitchford
16. Frontier Gentleman - "One Card Draw" by Michael Giorgio
17. Pat Novak, For Hire - "A Poole of Blood" by Stephen Jansen
18. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar - "The Paddy Rose Matter" by Patrick W. Picciarelli
19. Rogue's Gallery - "The Case of the Missing Bandleader" by Bryan Powell
"The enthusiasm of the writers and their respect for the period is infectious."
- Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
"A terrific bunch of writers, all with the ability to make these shows sound as fresh as they were in their heyday."
- Classic Images
OTR Book Review by Rodney Bowcock, Jr.
SPERDVAC's Radiogram January 2003
New book gives fans new tales of favorite OTR heroes
We all know about the wave of excitement that comes across everyone in the
hobby when unheard episodes of our favorite shows are found and released. Imagine
what would happen if I was to tell you that I've found an uncirculated episode of Yours
Truly, Johnny Dollar. Or how about an uncirculated The Halls of Ivy? You'd be pretty
excited, wouldn't you? I would be too. Now, imagine how excited you'd be if I told you
that not only were these episodes uncirculated, but they were never aired!
Unfortunately, I can't do that. I can, however, come close. Ben Ohmart, co-writer
of the popular Great Gildersleeve book, has edited a collection of new short stories
based on some of our favorite radio programs.
There's a good assortment of shows that we're very familiar with, like The Black
Museum, Dimension X, and Lum & Abner. There are also a few shows we may not know
as well, like The Clyde Beatty Radio Show, and The Green Lama. You'll be pleased to
see that the authors of these stories are people who know the shows better than almost
anyone else. Reading the list of contributing authors is like a partial who's who list of
OTR scholars, Jack French, Stephen Kallis Jr., Martin Grams Jr.; they're all here,
spinning fictional tales this time around, instead of their usual positions of informing and
documenting. Fan fiction? Yes, and it works incredibly well. There's no doubt about it,
these OTR fans have the gift of writing well-crafted, engrossing tales.
There are twenty short stories to be found in this book, and honestly, I can say
that all of them are quite good, and they all impressively capture the flavor of the original
programs. That's no easy task when you're writing short story fiction based around
characters that were designed for use in an aural medium. Ohmart set few stipulations
before the authors, but one of them was that the programs written about must've
originated on radio. Therefore, we see no stories of The Thin Man, The Shadow, or
Have Gun Will Travel. While that did knock out quite a few great shows, we still get
plenty of good reading.
Ben told me that he hopes this book will be successful enough to warrant future
volumes. In the foreword he says that he already has almost enough material for a
second collection, and I certainly hope he gets his wish, so we can read more of these
Pick up It's That Time Again from BearManor Press
(www.bearmanormedia.com) or P O Box 750, Boalsburg, PA 16827, get cozy in a
comfortable chair with a favorite beverage, and as you read, if you listen closely, you
just may hear some familiar voices.
Dennis W Crow for Radio Recall (February 2003)
Ben Ohmart compiled and edited the twenty stories in BearManor Media's new release,
IT'S THAT TIME AGAIN! THE NEW STORIES OF OLD-TIME RADIO. His own story in
the collection, "You've Got Me, John," features John and Blanche Bickerson, old radio's
most famous feuding couple. Like all the other tales in this wonderful anthology, one can
actually "hear" voices. John's snoring and his wife's constant nagging --- both emerge
just as they do on their radio show, except they are showcased in a new genre, the short
story instead of a radio play.
The cleverness and worth of this unique approach immediately becomes apparent.
Clair Schulz's "One Principal Too Many, One Principal Too Meanie," captures the
essence of the Osgood Conklin which we know from "Our Miss Brooks." This first story
in the collection features Conklin in all his pompous glory, striving for a promotion
whatever the toll on his colleagues. We actually hear Gale Gordon fussing and fuming
as the radio show comes to life. Schulz's tale has a predictable feel; it sets the tone for
what's to follow.
From Ma Perkins to Candy Matson, from Sergeant Preston to Pat Novak, we see our
radio heroes fighting battles with different villains, yet remaining on the familiar ground
of the radio show from which they originated. In Stephen Jansen's "A Poole of Blood,"
who else would it be but the sardonic Pat Novak, when he says, "I woke up to a vague
silhouette outlined in foul morning sunlight, corrupted from streaming through my filthy
office window." In an uncomplicated but clever tale, Novak once again is in over his
head as he deals with a truly vicious client. By contrast, "Patsy" could certainly take a
lesson from the poised, self confident, and glamorous "Goddess of Detection," Candy
Matson. Her wise-cracking one-liners go straight to the jugular, but Jack A. French in
"The Japanese Sandman" writes about Candy with style and respect. The local color in
this inventive mystery is especially good. San Francisco literally surrounds the reader.
Some stories reflect the unusual, consistent with their companion radio series. In
Michael Leannah's extraordinary, "The Ticket Stub," the Black Museum once again
provides the backdrop for mayhem. Leannah's plot involves a chilling murder weapon (in
more ways than one). In Christopher Conlon's "Concerto in Death Major," a pianist's
delusion is not what it seems. Conlon has adroitly woven into his tale spooky elements
so typical of an "Inner Sanctum Mystery," ---a raging fire, a gravedigger, several
murders, and a lonely mountain road. They are all there, and "Mary" too!
"Willoughby Goes and Gets It," an engaging "Dimension X" story by Joe Bevilacqua
and Robert J. Cirasa, gives new meaning to the word "shuttling." The conversation of
the unconventional boarders sparkles with wit and intelligence. Martin Grams, Jr.'s "The
Cradle of Peace," focuses on cloning. It contains powerful, thought-provoking dialogue.
The poignant ending would be worthy of any "Quiet Please" episode.
Humor and romance play a large part in several of the stories. In Carol Tiffany's little
gem, "A Matter of Ethics," William Todhunter Hall's passionate love for Victoria and his
gentle, understanding nature overcome
any problem that presents itself, including the near loss of a large donation to Ivy
College's building fund. In Justin Felix's "Attack of the Crawling Things from Outer
Space," Harold Hemp discovers the best way to forget a bad day! This splendid comic
adventure stems from Hal Peary's second series, "Honest Harold," which lasted only
one season. Felix's writing really brings it to life and demonstrates how stories in this
anthology can enhance their radio counterparts.
It would be impossible to comment on each of the stories in this collection, but the
reviewer found the whole group to be compelling, absorbing, skillfully plotted, and often
surprising. They were perfect matches for the radio shows which inspired them. The
short biographies of the authors suggest a mix between experienced professionals, with
lengthy credits, and first-time fiction writers, but all the works demonstrate a seasoned,
polished construction making it difficult to select a favorite, or "best of show." The tales
in this wondrous volume deserve a wide audience.
Return With Us Now – OTR newsletter:
On The OTR Bookshelf. . .
"It's That Time again - The New Stories of Old Time Radio"
A book review by Dick Williamson
Like most OTR enthusiasts I have a fairly large collection of books related to this passion of my heart. Some are biographies, some anthologies, some with OTR scripts, but none approach the uniqueness and enjoyability of "It's That Time again - The New Stories of Old Time Radio." The book features 20 newly written stories that read like OTR sounded. The writers include an impressive array of folks with theater, academic, and OTR enthusiast credentials who have contributed to a 200-plus page volume brilliantly edited by Ben Ohmart. The stories include new (no doubt unauthorized) episodes of such favorites as the Bickersons, Captain Midnight, The Green Llama, Inner Sanctum Mysteries, Ma Perkins, Quiet Please, Tom Mix, The Black Museum, Dimension X, The Halls of Ivy, Lum and Abner, Our Miss Brooks, Rogue's Gallery, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and many others. Let me give you a quick glimpse at four of the stories to whet your appetite. In Michael Leannah's "Black Museum" story, "The Ticket Stub", one can hear, and actually feel, the distinctive voice and presence of Orson Welles, as he says, "As the curator of the Black Museum, I have been well acquainted with the ins and outs, the why and wherefore, of murder. And it is my belief that when one is employed in the duty of crime detection or in the study of crime, it is only natural to venture into the realm of crime. To test the waters, so to speak, I, your host tonight, was the murderer of Albert Trumble." Michael Giorgio captured the essence and persona of J. B. Kendall in his "Frontier Gentleman" episode entitled "One Card Draw." The story revolves around two wealthy residents of Poker, Wyoming, who are vying for the hand of Melody Rose LaBeaux, the newest employee at Juicy Lucy's. Kendall arrives in town, as we have heard him do so often, with a descriptive monologue "The first person I met upon leaving the stage in Poker, Wyoming Territory was as dirty and dusty and withered as the town . . ." In his "Our Miss Brooks" episode, Clair Schulz recreates all the mayhem, the conflict between Connie and Mr. Conklin, the wishful romance between Connie and Mr. Boynton, and the comedic interventions of Mrs. Davis and Walter Denton in a delightful tale he calls, "One Principal Too Many, One Principal Too Meanie." In the story Mr. Conklin and Mr. Boynton temporarily change places. Let Connie Brooks tell you in her own way, "If someone had told me that Madison's beloved (by his wife and daughter...sometimes) but autocratic principal, Osgood Conklin, was going to be replaced, I would have been pleasantly surprised. Surprised? I would have helped him move his chair out of his office while he was still in it." Finally, Carol Tiffany's love for "The Halls of Ivy" is evident in her carefully crafted tale, "A Matter of Ethics." Ivy College is to receive a large gift from a wealthy alumnus, but it appears that some strings may be attached. Victoria becomes innocently involved and, acting simply in her own good sense, jeopardizes the gift. The head of Ivy's Board of governors, Mr. Wellman, is outraged. You'll have to read the story to see how it comes out, but listen to Ronald Coleman's wise summary. He says to Victoria, "The greater issue, and the one you instinctively implemented, is the principle of 'in loco parentis' which holds that the institution, the school, acts 'in place of the parent.' Tonight, my love, you merely acted as any prudent parent would to protect the young people under your charge from possible exploitation." "Victoria's eyes shone. 'Thank you for being you, Toddy. I love you.' 'And I never cease being thankful that you have chosen to spend your life with me, Vicky,' replied her husband."
This fascinating volume is available from BearManor Media, PO Box 750, Boalsburg, PA 16827. 232 pages soft cover, $15.00 plus $2.00 postage, or online at
Hello Again radio newsletter
This is a book that has long been awaited: it is a collection of “NEW” stories of OTR shows written by fans, many of which you will recognize from conventions, books they have written and the OTR digest. Some of the programs used in writing “NEW” stories are: Our Miss Brooks; Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar; captain Midnight; Inner Sanctum. As you read the stories, you will HEAR many familiar characters. I recommend it. [Jay Hickerson]
Ted Key, cartoonist & creator of Hazel
It's That Time Again is a treasure! It took me back to that wondrous world of old time radio. Wonderful stories peopled by dear old friends. I hope it becomes a smash hit.