Friday, February 4, 2011

Old tubes, part eleven

Oh it's cold out there tonight.

Last night was even colder. In these parts, some are saying it was the coldest night we've felt in a decade. Eight to ten below. With wind... brrrr!

As I was listening to the howling wind beyond the old shuttered windows, trying my best to not think about the Grither (dear God I said his name!), I began to hear a sputtering, humming racket from the old Hallowe'enith radio. And lo! New programs for our vintage listening pleasure!

First, the legendary CBS Mercury Theatre on the Air brings us their retelling of Dracula, first broadcast in July of 1938 (mere months before their infamous, historic War of the Worlds drama). Why Dracula? Well, the most famous film version, the 1931 Bela Lugosi original, was released as a Valentine's treat, billed as 'the strangest love story ever told' -- and with the young, beautiful Agnes Moorehead as Mina swooning under the spell of Welles as The Count, I think it still charms as much as horrifies. Fine for Feb-BOO-ary.

Then, a weird little scribble from the pen of the twisted Arch Oboler. Originally broadcast in late February of 1943, Lights Out - The Ball (Paris Macabre) tells the odd tale of two young American men on the prowl in romantic Paris, looking for love at a masquerade ball, and a rather unexpected turn of horrific events.

Yes, in Paris as much as anywhere, romance can lead to utter horror; and from Transylvania to Whitby, some horrors can seem quite romantic.

It might be ironic , or just poetic.

In any case, I hope you can find the hour and a half  to enjoy them both at your leisure. You're not really going anywhere soon anyway, are you? I mean, the wind and biting cold will be waiting for you no matter when you depart.

Have another round, stoke the fire, and just listen.


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