Saturday, April 15, 2017


“I am the Whistler and I know many things for I walk by night.  I know many strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows.  Yes I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak.”

With the lights off every Sunday night on KXLY CBS I would get creeped out listening to my Sears Roebuck little radio in bed.  Signal Oil Co. was the sponsor and the intro theme was whistled by Dorothy Roberts, according to “The Big Broadcast 1920-50.”  Yes the Whistler could give you nightmares so don’t tell Mom.  I should have been sleeping but who could sleep with the Whistler on.

Old time radio was the drug of choice for kids and Spokane, in fly over land, was spared television’s introduction until 1953.  So at an age when I could appreciate radio drama I was into it with CBS, MBS, NBC and ABC.

Sunday afternoon was big with the Mutual Mysteries:  The Shadow and Nick Carter, not to be missed. With “Inner Sanctum” and “Gangbusters” there was no reason to leave the radio.

I actually participated in a radio play reading when I toured the BBC on Regent St. in London in 1998.  The Brits in the tour insisted on doing a western which was a strange choice, I thought.

1 comment:

Mike Barer said...

Great historical piece. In my childhood, radio networks had already been reduced to news providers for the most part. We started out with 3 radio stations in Walla Walla. KUJ had CBS. KTEL had ABC, and K-HIT, the day timer had no network affiliation. Walla Walla, briefly, had a TV station, which shut down after only a year.