Monday morning sneaks up on us yet again, ruining an otherwise lovely late summer weekend. For myself, I was almost relieved to see Monday morning. This weekend was a roller coaster swinging between fabulous and “oh dear God, just shoot me now” (which is how I ended up missing Fun Friday; completely forgot about it in a storm of karmic poo; sorry) I ended the weekend by pulling an all night writing session; I didn’t plan it that way, it just kind of happened. But I got some terrific work done, and I’m still chugging along, to the point where I was a little reluctant to pull away long enough to get blog post up. But I couldn’t disappoint you, Dear Readers, not two posting days in a row.
I just love serendipity; it’s like a surprise present from the universe. Nobody sent me this next link, and I didn’t go looking for it. On my web browser is a little app wherein I can do instant searches on any number of engines, just with a couple clicks. This morning I was doing a search for Lester Dent. I was planning a Google search, as I was looking for a bibliography of his work. But, me being the absent minded hillbilly that I am, I forgot to flip the app over to Google Search, and therefore it went with its original setting, YouTube Search. And oh, dear what a cool thing it found.
Anybody who has the least interest in the Golden Age pulps knows who Doc Savage is. If you’re new, Doc Savage is a pulp quasi-super hero created by Street and Smith Publications in 1933, and written under the house name Kenneth Robeson; the vast majority of stories were written by Lester Dent. Doc appeared in magazine short stories, freestanding novels, radio, comic books, and movies.
The radio show, which is the one we’re concerned with, ran from 1934-35, in 1943, and were written by Lester Dent himself. In 1985, National Public Radio did their own run of shows, dramatizing two of the most popular novels, Fear Cay and The Thousand Headed Man.
So what I stumbled across on YouTube is a live performance of an original , previously unrecorded Doc Savage radio play. Seems there were two pilot episodes written for the 1934 rado show, but only one was produced at the time. At the 2013 InConJunction convention, the WCRS Radio Players did a live performance of the unproduced series pilot. I went searching, but I can’t find that this particular play was ever produced anywhere else, ever. So this is a unique find! Here, watch and listen for yourself.
Fair warning: if you’ve never watched a live performance of a radio show, it’s weirdly underwhelming. X number of people (three in this instance) standing around microphones and reading off scripts. Sometimes the same person will play two, three, four or more characters, simply changing his voice to change characters. The more interesting visual thing on a stage show of this type are the foley artists, the guys who produce all the sound effects; they’re always doing something interesting to look at. For this particular recording, they have pre-recorded sound effects, which is less fun. I have my Hillbilly Ridge Runners out searching for a sample of what I’m talking about, specifically a show I saw years and years ago. It was an onstage radio performance of “From the Earth to the Moon,” by Jules Verne, and starring Leonard Nimoy. Fascinating stuff, seriously.
Okay, that’s what I’ve got for you today. I gotta get back to writing. Next week, we resume Fiction Mondays with a new short story. And I have a treat for you pulpy space opera fans out there! It should also be a treat for my audio drama listeners as well. I’ll be back here Wednesday for the next installment from the deepest jungles of Appalachia. In the meantime, don’t forget to share, tweet, comment, and send along your suggestions for Fun Fridays!