Happy New Year! Now that it's 2016..... I've decided for next couple of weeks to focus on rare shows! These are shows that may have been a radio for years but there are only a few recorded episodes or things that just didn't catch on or unique genres that aren't considered the most popular OTR shows.
One of the saddest parts of early radio was almost the entire days shows were preformed Live and taping these live broadcast wasn't regular practice; unless the sponsor insisted on it like the Johnson's Wax Company recording almost all of the Fibber McGee and Molly broadcast. The recording process was difficult an half hour show would be recorded on to very large disc, much like records but not the vinyl LP's, these were very heavy and didn't hold much time on them. Then they needed to be stored and stationed didn't have the space or the staff to manage.
What we do have available are mostly AFRS (Armed Forces Radio Service) show which were recorded to play later or sent overseas for the Military personal and recorded shows by fans or collectors. These have been edited and sound quality enhanced when possible.
For my first selection I pick a fun but short lived series starring Mickey Rooney called Shorty Bell. In the late 1930's Mickey Rooney was one of the biggest stars on the Big Screen, starring in the Andy Hardy series, a collection of movies with Judy Garland and a few classic drama like Boys Town with Spencer Tracy and nominated for a Oscar for Babes in Arms. He was drafted into WW2 and after his career slumped, no longer a teenager and not real leading man type, Mickey tried radio in 1948 on CBS. The show didn't last long but was a fun attempt. Here is the audition show were Mickey plays Shorty a crackerjack newspaper reporter.