While approaching my finished remediation project, I wanted to give some background about why I decided to model mine after a 1950s radio broadcast. Coming into this year, I don’t know if I had ever listened to, let alone even heard of, Pat Novak, Johnny Dollar, the Bickersons, or any of the other characters that were on American radio stations from the 1930s to the late 1960s, but for some reason, after taking my English 290 class, titled American Sounds: 1930-1962, I’ve suddenly found a very different, unique interest of mine.
The point of the class is to familiarize everyone with the radio genres and the formats of the shows themselves, and while at times, some of the shows have been extremely dated, cheesy, or just plain hard to listen to, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the class and the various shows that we’ve listened to. Part of the assignment was to write our own script in the style of one of the Golden Age radio shows, and after plugging away for 29 pages of dialogue, sound effects, and stage directions, it became something I started to enjoy. When trying to think of a unique, but effective way to approach my project then, after having only recently finished my script for my English 290 class, I decided that recording my own 15 minute show in the style of one of the shows from the 1950s would be a great chance to give a different genre another shot.
I drew the most inspiration for the show from the show the “Tales of the Texas Rangers,” which in many ways set the precedent for modern day crime shows, taking facts and situations that actually happened and adapting them for these shows. Since the story I was talking about, the anti-communist, subversive group from the 1950s and 60s called the Minutemen had plenty of FBI paperwork detailing just what they had been up to, I figured “Tales of the Texas Rangers” provided a great example of how to put together a show that used factual events and was able to put together an entertaining story. I wanted to make sure that my piece’s argument (to show why individuals joined such a group as the Minutemen or looked to join one) was also present in the show, and these shows in the 1950s almost always had some kind of moral that was presented throughout the story, so it seemed like a great chance to do a little bit more with a slowly growing interest I was developing.
While people made say having an interest in shows that are almost 60 years old or older is a little different, these shows have a ton to offer, both as entertainment, but also the stories behind the shows themselves are fascinating. When coupled with the prominence that these shows had in their heyday, it goes to show just how impactful some of these shows really were, and that there was a reason they were so popular among so many people. Plus, if we’re still offering a class on the scripts and shows that were being written from the 30s-60s, there must have been some pretty damn good writers on these shows as well, so hopefully I can learn a thing or two from them as well.
Incase there is any interest in them, the site we get the recordings from is linked below: