Kick Back With Old Time Radio Shows

2009 bombards people with screens; whether you’re picking up your phone, checking your mail, watching the news, going to a movie, or reading this blog, you likely encounter upwards of three screens everyday. So it’s good to take a break from modern technology, even if that means visiting Internet Archive to do so. Yes, it’s a Web site, but it also holds a plethora of entertainment from bygone years, including a large collection of old time radio shows.

Choose a radio show, hit play, and gently close your laptop or spin away from your desktop. Imagine that you’re pre-television and pre-internet, grab some coffee or tea, and enjoy the lost art of the radio show.

There are plenty to search through, but here are a few standouts:

  • A Case For Dr. Morelle: 12 episodes of the BBC classic from the 1950s about a criminologist psychologist. CSI fans, listen up.
  • Red Skelton: A timeless comedian from the 1930s and ’40s, this broadcast includes interesting Rollies Cigarette ads claiming that “medical science offers you proof positive no other cigarette is safer to smoke.”
  • Charlie Chan: A radio show documenting detective Charlie Chan, a Chinese-American who has the “wisdom of the east, science of the west.”
  • The Voyage of the Scarlet Queen: Deemed the Star Trek of old time radio, this radio show logs the adventures of the master and first mate of a ship traveling around the South Pacific.
  • WKBW Halloween Show: A much more contemporary show from 1973. This broadcast is from Halloween night, celebrating the 8th annual radio show broadcasting horror stories. This show kicks off the horror marathon with War of the Worlds.
  • –Cara Binder

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    44 Responses to Kick Back With Old Time Radio Shows

    1. BellonaTimes says:

      Thanks to, I’ve become so much of an OTR junkie that I’ve now got 11 GB of it on my computer. I burn it to CDs and listen to it away from my pc. I even started an OTR blog, Theater Mined. Great to be able to have classic entertainment without needing a viewing screen.

      My favorite shows include The Halls of Ivy, Jack Benny Program, The Big Show, Suspense, X Minus One, Bright Star, and Lux Theater. There’s a Ford Theater production of Carmen Jones from 1948 that I loved so much I played it twice in one week. There’s the Dinah Shore show that has everybody from Groucho Marx to Lily Pons as guests.

      I need to check out Voyage of the Scarlet Queen, sounds cool.

    2. drflavio309 says:

      I too am hooked on otr… my fav’s are yours truly Johnny dollar and phillip marlowe…. i listen to them every night, I am missing about 7 shows in the johnny dolllar series other than that I have them all, way more than the avg. listener, it has given me hours of great entertainment…..
      I blog on word press too but on NASCAR top of the box.. check it out some time..

      the dr.

    3. radiofan says:

      i also love the otr. questions where can i find the really old radio id weaf new york? i want it for my collection
      my favorites are
      little orphan annie wish more existed.
      aldrich family
      you bet your life
      burns and allen.
      any shows from 1920s i want to hear.
      so many more shows i keep hearing more i like,

    4. Howard Salat says:

      Is it possible somehow to find the WBAI radio shows -“Its Your World & You Can Have It”? Also the riotis British routine about lifting some heavy material from the road to the roof by means of pulleys & of course the Faith Healer spoof.
      please respond.
      Thank you,
      Old Listener (Howard Salat).

    5. Nicole says:

      Hey for all those otr fans (if you haven’t heard of this already) AM 1710 Antioch plays a mix of shows 24/7. I believe the site is for the schedule. It has such a great variety of shows and in between music. I also have several links to sites that you can listen to shows for free or purchase cd’s too.

      • Joe says:

        Thanks a lot for those excellent leads, Nicole. I would also appreciate seeing those links you referred to. God love you. Joe

    6. Tom Mullan says:

      Do you mean “The Bricklayers Lament” by Gerard Hoffnung. I have it on my PC. But don’t know how to get it to you.

    7. Sara Long says:

      I hope you’ll take a few minutes to explore some of the and well-used respected websites devoted to OTR and its fans and collectors. Just Google “OTR” and you’ll find them. One of the best ways to find out about shows — about their histories, actors, dates of running, and how many episodes are still available, etc. is in the wonderful book calledc “On the Air” by John Dunning. You may find it in many libraries or order it thru one of the online book stores. And my all time favorite website for information on shows is here:
      Jerry Haendiges has so much information and is really nice about answering questions about OTR. Keep on collecting AND learn about the genre. It’ll keep you happy for a long time to come!

    8. david dubois says:

      i’m a truck driver and rely on otr on xm radio to maintain my sanity, (whats left of it). i also download many of my favorites from internet archive. i may have gone overboard though. i have about 12 gig of lights out, innersanctum, cbs mystery theatre, dimension x, and x minus one. i’ve downloaded some shows that are apparently obscure, such as black mass and tales from the morgue.

      • The Bridge says:

        Wow, another “Black Mass” fan, so very hard to find, and so well done. I only have one, wich a fellow collector of OTR sent me many moons ago. It’s the one where the character swallows part of the frog.

    9. Doug Bowman says:

      I have become addicted to these old programs and find them nostalgic and compelling. I particularly like CBS Mystery Radio Theater, Nero Wolfe, Theater Five, and the Henry Morgan show

    10. Frank Mallone says:

      Not to be pedantic, but Red Skelton would have been sponsered by *Raleigh* Cigarettes, as in Sir Walter Raleigh and Releigh, NC.

    11. P. Powell says:

      I’m trying to find a show I heard about 15 years ago that was originally broadcast in the 30s or 40s called the “The 48 [or 36, maybe] Hours of Christmas”. Do you know of such a broadcast and how I might get a copy? Thanks!

    12. Sharon Shurley says:

      I discovered OTR about 4 years ago, and I really love it. I am retired now, and I listen to the old radio programs every afternoon. My absolute favorite is The Jack Benny Program, but I also like Phil Harris and Alice Fay, A Day in the Life of Dennis Day, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, Dragnet and Jeff Regan. I can’t explain it, but I find the old radio programs relaxing and soothing, regardless of the content. We always had TV when I was growing up, so I missed out on all the great radio programs. I grew up thinking radio was just for music. lol!

    13. Clint Benny says:

      I also love OTR, but there is one show I have been unable to locate: Last Man Out. Does anyone know where I could get this?

    14. steve dills says:

      I just love all of the OTR available through this Archive. I have become especially enamored of old-(30 years plus) MLB games. I haven’t found nearly as many NFL or NBA orABA games for that matter — anybody got any good tips for locating old football or basketball game audio? thanks!

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    16. Brian Cole says: has wonderful old programs. also has a good selection of detective & mystery programs.

    17. Tad says:

      Thank you all for a lovely listening experience. I absolutely adore these old time radio shows. Ta to every submitter. Tad.

    18. Phil Smith says:

      Thanks to all who contributed to the OTR and thanks to the artists, long gone. Amazingly their talents are still bringing tears, laughter and wonder to the senses without the need of a cathode tube or plasma screen. In fact I would guess most people would enjoy their own images that their brain conjures up on the spot whilst listening to such shows. If you have not tried listening to a show go for it you may surprise yourself how much you enjoy it!

      Thanks again to all……………..

    19. James Morgan says:

      Never saw such a difficult website.
      Finnally gave up looking for O T R shows
      Your system is a nightmare !

    20. bmb says:

      looking for “Mr. Keene tracer of lost persons”

      and a series done [ i think] by British actor, Herbert Marshall “Bull Dog Drummond”

      kids program: “jack, Doc & Reggie” they solved mysterious happenings, they were young but not little boy or girl voices .

      also any Lux Radio Dramas : dramatized movies, stories ande books. Tujhe Academy Awards used to be broadcast in that time spot.

      Saturday program,s: [1] nila mack’s Fairy tale Threater.
      [2] a drama show which always began in Grand Central station, after 125th st, “… the train dived with a roar into the tunnel which burrows beneath the glitter and swank of Park Ave to enter Grand Central Station, the cross roads of a million private lives daily…”

      • walterf says:

        Reply to BMB

        You will find the complete set of Mr Keene at and both Mr Keene and a number of Bulldog Drummond on Internet

    21. Sara says:

      I think you need to remove the link on the KickBack with old radio shows where you are recommending ” The Paul Temple show” since the content is being contested and is NOT available thru this website.

    22. jr says:

      help? hello. there is a sci-fi show about a man who is visited by an alien (i think). The alien warns him not to (Alien word)…and is cut off before he can explain what the alien word means. Finally, at the end of the show we figure it out – the man is not supposed sneeze.
      Can you tell me the name of this show? Thanks for any help.
      please e-mail me @:


    23. Jim Dolan says:

      I have a suggestion for OTR fans. Check out the Alltime Oldies Radio Theater Channel @ Good selection of programming with good sound.

    24. just got my library card , love old time radio, guess its obvious Im old , lol , thanx guys for all your great shows you post , Im in greater Roswell New Mexico april 28th 2010

    25. For bmb who mentioned a “kids program: “jack, Doc & Reggie” they solved mysterious happenings, they were young but not little boy or girl voices “, that was “I Love A Mystery”, not a kids show, but one of the finest radio serials ever produced. There are a number of episodes out there. Btw, Tony Randall was the voice of Reggie.

    26. Jim Loeffler says:

      Cannot figure out how to transfer programs from my computer to my mp3 player …..I have tried overdrive but no luck ……..Can you help me on this?

    27. media says:

      Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
      Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive.
      Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin’ alive.

    28. Mike Newton says:

      I used to use the Internet Archives for old time radio programs a lot more before I found other sites. I also use John Dunning’s Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio with a calendar grid pasted in the front. By matching the broadcast date of a particular program with the calendar, I can find the original day of the week the program was heard.

    29. Kapuska says:

      I think you need to remove the link on the KickBack with old radio shows where you are recommending ” The Paul Temple show” since the content is being contested and is NOT available thru this website.

    30. erotik klip says:

      The Paul Temple show” since the content is being contested and is NOT available thru this website.

    31. remove the link on the KickBack with old radio shows where you are recommending ” The Paul Temple show” since the content is being contested and is NOT available thru this website.

    32. “Charlie Chan” talk about wisdom of east, science of west.I think it must be full of difference between east an west.To create a radio show like that need what great courage.

    33. danindenver says:

      I can see James Morgan’s POV.
      I’m having trouble trying to simply browse the collection and I get the feeling that someone doesn’t want me to.

      Also, I followed Jeff’s link to oldtimeradio and found HaveGunWillTravel. Looks great, but my W2K comp is a bit slow, so I tried to duplicate the address over on my Linux mcn and got a different page!

      The URL doesn’t work, but the breadcrumbs at the top of one page say:
      Audio Archive > Old Time Radio > Have Gun Will Travel

      The other page says:
      Audio Archive > Community Audio > Have Gun Will Travel

      Is there an overall theme to this that I’m not seeing?

    34. ROB says:

      Really enjoy this whole site old radio and tv Thank u for it being here at 55 brings back a lot to me…

    35. Beautiful
      Thanks to his subject
      Greetings to all

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