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Transcription Discs - Redux

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Transcription Discs - Redux
John D
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Posted 10/29/07 - 8:23 AM:

Hi all,

I was registered here a while ago but it seems for some reason my account doesn't exist anymore so I had to make a new one. Anyhow...

I know this has been asked here before but I figured I would ask again: Does anyone know what became of the actual ET's of the Quiet Please episodes now in circulation?

If I understand correctly, based on what I've read both here and elsewhere: at some point in the 1960's, Chappell made reel-to-reel copies of his personal collection of discs and gave these to Cooper's widow. Then, in the 1970's, J. David Goldin of Radio Yesteryear released copies of these shows on cassette (arrgh) taken either from the transcription discs (or, more likely, from the reel-to-reel copies which Cooper's widow had in her possession - I'm not clear on which). It's also my understanding that the majority of encodes of Quiet, Please episodes currently in circulation come from those Radio Yesteryear cassette releases.

I'm aware of the one disc listed in the library's holdings at the University of Indiana and the two allegedly held at the Museum of TV & Radio in NYC. But where could the rest of them - the actual discs - be?

monsterwax
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Posted 05/23/08 - 6:26 PM:

Gee, you posted this and nobody answered it for months... I'm not sure I know the real answer, but I can tell you the rumors I heard (and others can correct me if I'm wrong).

I used to produce a radio drama series at Stanford that played old time radio series to keep a weekly audience tuned in while we created new shows. It was called Mystery Playhouse and it was sponsored by Steve Kelez who ran an OTR tape mail order company, the name of which I can't remember at this exact moment. Anyway, my favorite show was Quite Please and I wanted to play as many of them as I could get my hands on. This was around 1985-1992. Steve only had about 12 or so episodes, including RED AND WHITE GUIDON, THING ON THE FOURBLEBOARD, SHADOW OF THE WINGS, CLARISA, LET THE LILLYS CONSIDER and a few others I'm not sure of... that's all the titles I'm pretry certain about that I can remember right this sec. He told me a similar story about Radio Yesteryear only having these dozen tapes or so (made from the reel to reel copies, I would guess). But he said there was a rumor that Chaple's widow had the actual disks under her bed, but they hadn't been transcribed (or maybe someone was trying to figure out a way to make money off them). Well, it all sounded like an old wives tale to me (no pun intended), but a few years later, almost all the other shows surfaced. I had to assume she or someone else (perhaps after her death) DID get them transcribed, and that's where the missing shows came from. Whatever the source, I was certainly delighted. They are consistantly the best of the best -- not in sound quality, but in writing (and the acting is right good as well). I think everyone would had to agree that Mr. Cooper did the best with the least-- he had no other writers that I'm aware of, a limited acting crew (but very talented ones at that), limited sound effects, and basically an organ for music. The results are stunning and STILL amaze me to this day.
MS
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quote post #3 - Permalink
Posted 02/06/09 - 6:41 PM:

Here's a verbatim excerpt of a recent post in the OTR Digest from Don Aston of a collectors' group called the West Coast Syndicate:
_____________

... We formed in 1972 and were instrumental in putting much of the OTR available today into circulation.

I found the Quiet Please episodes at the University of Florida.  A work Study student dubbed the discs.  The University would not allow any outside people to touch them.  The Work Study Student did not clean or even bother to wipe off the discs,.  He just put them on a turntable and dropped the needle.  That is the reason so much noise is on many of the early surving episodes.

Mrs. Chappell was going to let us, Randy [Eidemiller] and Me, copy the discs, but negotiations dragged on and on.  Then the discs would up in the OTR Museum in New York City.  They do not cooperate with anyone as far as I know. ...
_____________


Zorka
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quote post #4 - Permalink
Posted 02/06/09 - 8:44 PM:

monsterwax wrote:
They are consistantly the best of the best -- not in sound quality, but in writing (and the acting is right good as well). I think everyone would had to agree that Mr. Cooper did the best with the least-- he had no other writers that I'm aware of, a limited acting crew (but very talented ones at that), limited sound effects, and basically an organ for music. The results are stunning and STILL amaze me to this day.


This minimalist approach to the series was no accident. It wasn't done because Wyllis Cooper had to watch his budget; it was the way he wrote. It was, I would have to say, the genius of Cooper. His use of music, pauses, and limited sound effects are all intentional. For my money both Cooper and Orson Welles were about the only two who really understood pauses in radio as a creature until itself.
Paul
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Posted 03/20/09 - 1:36 PM:

It's absurd how the universities/museums/etc "preserving" such history go to lengths to prevent anyone from actually preserving it, and just let the originals sit there to deteriorate.
Zorka
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Posted 03/27/09 - 11:08 AM:

I wonder if the discs are still located at the Florida University. I have to presume that these were discs in the hands of the Chappell family since he retired to and died in Florida. 1972 - very possibly no one cared about those discs then as while we were in a resurgence of otr, many of those who held the discs either didn't care what they had or didn't realize it had any value to anyone.
monsterwax
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quote post #7 - Permalink
Posted 07/30/09 - 8:44 PM:

said earlier: <<It's absurd how the universities/museums/etc "preserving" such history go to lengths to prevent anyone from actually preserving it, and just let the originals sit there to deteriorate.>>

I'm not a psychiatrist, but I've seen this attitude exhibited before by collectors who have something rare and they don't want anyone else to have it, because it will make their rare item seem more common. So they won't make copies or share it at all. The museums would rather have the "only recordings" sitting in a case, and have people think, "wow", rather than have copies out on the net where everyone could actually hear them (for free, no less) and think "incredible!" So yeah, it's absurd, and a real shame. Cooper's ghost has gotta HATE it. He aired it on the radio for people to hear free, it was given to the museum for free, and they just lock it in glass (and probably charge admission) so people can LOOK at it. Tragic.
 
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