I decided to not call this weekly feature "Audiophile Friday" because I note that folks doing searches for "Audiophile" are coming in...and that's a whole different thing altogether. My Oldtime Radio celebrations are just plain "stuff to listen to and have fun".
As I mentioned last week, I have been a rabid fan of the "Vic & Sade" radio show for some time now. I think I first discovered it on usenet newsgroups and found it to be a wonderful unknown surprise and have been grabbing as many shows as I could ever since. I've downloaded them from newsgroups, bought OTR CD's of shows and so on...but I recently found a very dedicated web site to the show which I find invaluable.
Vic and Sade dot net.
When I first came across this gem, there was diddly on the interwebs about this wonderful product of the mind of Paul Rhymer. Zip. Bupkis!
The great folks behind this website and it's sister sites however have amassed just about EVERYTHING there is to know about this show...
Including downloads of what looks like, every existing episode.
You see, that's the sad part about this classic show. It aired from 1932 to 1944, Monday-Friday (and originally on Saturday as well). There were an estimated 3500 episodes of pure gold that spewed from Rhymers typewriter and from the actors. If there was ever the definition of the phrase "Treasure Trove" THAT was IT!
But the brain trust at Proctor & Gamble (the shows sponsor) at one time decided they needed some extra space around the house, and all those 3500 transcription discs of Vic & Sade were just collecting dust. So they were burned.
I'll give you a minute to digest that.
They needed more room to house executives so they could produce draw out spreadsheets and more efficiently bottle/can/package more Ivory Soap and cans of Crisco so these discs of pure creativity had to be burned.
Did I mention they burned them???
I thought so.
A great number of Rhymers scripts are housed away in Wisconsin somewhere and that lessens the sting, but they interpretations of this small group of actors is mostly lost.
Except for about 260 episodes. And they seem to all be housed at the website mentioned above.
That means only about 3240 of the shows are lost.
You see...they were BURNED!
Enough sad talk about the glories denied us by short sighted guys in suits, lets enjoy some "Vic & Sade".
In part of this blogs endeavors to take some bandwidth away from all things Lohan/Hilton/TMZ, I'd like to stream every dang existing "Vic & Sade" here. Not to overly analyze the goings on in the Gook house or pick apart Rhymers art and wit, but because I was going to do this anyway and the blog is about what's in my head now isn't it?
Please listen along with me...even if you're not sure of the humor from the git go, trust me, it'll sneak up behind you and smack you on the behind before you know it.
This show is a lesson in the sublime. It is about the minutea of everyday life and the comedy that comes when we make it the grandiose in our own lives.
As I said, the show premiered in 1932, but it seems the earliest recordings available are from 1937. Some of the audio is rough (the third show featured today is an example) but well worth forging through. Remember, the original discs were burned, and all of these shows only exist to us because of home recordings or station checks from the day...and in the age before digital...age was not their friend.
Our first show comes from May 28, 1937 and features a different side of Vic. An intelligent-beyond-his-station man who usually finds the humor in any situation and states it in a uniquely over-dramatic-verbose way, there is one thing for which he holds in high regard and above ridicule. The man LOVES pomp and circumstance. Formal rituals are his creed. From the ceremonies and practices of his lodge to his passion for parades of any kind. Here we see his concern for how the town will ever get their "Decoration Day" Parade off the ground if he's not there to supervise.
A true study in personalities, and told in a deliciously dry and hilarious way.
This next show for today comes from June 4, 1937. This time Sade is the poor put upon. She's been invited on a road trip from their sleep little unnamed town to Dwight, Ill. (I shall tell you a horror story about Dwight one day when I regale you all with the tale of my trip down Route 66)
Sade is so lost in her world of being a housewife and mother, simple geography is like Latin to her.
Sheer genius the was Rhymer was able to write the character of my Mother, 30 years before I ever met her.
This next episode is the hardest to listen to because of noise, but is well worth the effort. Another examples of Sades disinterest with the doings of the outside world. Her world has everything she loves and holds important in it...who could be bothers with Congress and the Supreme Court and so on?
Miss ya Mom. I still have your memory and Sade to mirror you.
For those who want more OTR excitement, for those who are still letting "Vic & Sade" grow on you and for those who just have 29 minutes to kill...here's an episode of "The Blue Beetle" radio show!
No, not the young upstart Jaime Reyes, nor the now nostalgic Ted Kord, but the original blue Beetle, Dan Garret!
Fitting that he should have been given his own radio show spin-off from his comic book adventures in "Mystery-Men Comics" since the name was basically a rip off of radio's own "The Green Hornet" and his radio show is pretty hard hitting. Take a listen to this origin story and first radio adventure ever as Dan Garret goes after a "dope" ring.
High adventure fun stuff from the 1940's!
Talk to you soon.