QP in Sioux City and other stuff

Comments on QP in Sioux City and other stuff

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Posted May 02, 2007 - 10:12 PM:

1. A long illustrated essay that discusses, among other things, QP's "Camera Obscura":


The first mention of the episode is about halfway down the page.

2. Two articles that mention a recent performance of QP in Iowa:

[April 2, 2007 WIT'S UP -- "Published for staff, students, and friends of Western Iowa Tech Community College"]


The new black box theater at Western Iowa Tech Community College (WIT) will premiere April 26 with a dinner-theater event, An Evening of Radio Mystery Theatre.

A lasagna dinner will be served at 6 p.m. The performance follows at 7:30 p.m.

Three classic radio mysteries of the golden age of radio from the late 1940s and early 1950s will comprise the evening’s program. “The Hitchhiker,” one of Lucille Fletcher’s best known scripts, opens the evening, followed by “Sorry, Wrong Number,” another Fletcher classic. The program ends with Wyllis Cooper’s “Quiet, Please!” which was the final episode of a very successful radio suspense series of the same name that was broadcast between 1947 and 1949.

The program will be performed by Western Iowa Tech students and faculty and local actors.

Punctuating the three radio mysteries will be authentic radio commercial jingles from the golden age of radio performed by members of the WIT choir. Sound effects will be reproduced digitally and acoustically. The audience will be able to see a sound effects table on stage containing hand-operated devices.

An Evening of Radio Mystery Theatre is a one-night engagement with limited seating. Tickets for the show are $5 or $15 for dinner and show. Dinner will be served in Room B138, Corporate College Building. The performance will be in Room D210 in the Applied Technology Building.

Tickets may be purchased by cash or check at the WIT bookstore or at Permanent Solutions, 1957 S. St. Aubin Street. Tickets must be purchased in person by April 19 or until sold out. For ticket information, call WIT bookstore at 712-274-8733, extension 1218.

On April 25, the day before An Evening of Radio Mystery Theatre, a multimedia lecture and discussion on radio suspense dramas of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s will take place in the Large Lecture Hall from 7 to 9 p.m. Ralph Swain, WIT humanities chair, and Larry Fuller, KSCJ-AM radio’s nostalgia radio co-host, will focus on the careers of radio mystery writers Lucille Fletcher and Wyllis Cooper. Early radio memorabilia from the era will be on display. Admission to this lecture is free.

[April 20, 2007 Sioux City Journal]

Radio theater premiers at college
By Joanne Fox Journal staff writer

The old 44- x 48-foot machine shop on the Western Iowa Tech campus has been transformed into a performing arts area that will premiere its first performance next week.

"An Evening of Radio Mystery Theatre" will be presented in the new black box theater, featuring WIT faculty, students and community members. The event will present three classic radio pieces by a dozen performers.

A radio presentation, with the actors in front of live microphones reading from scripts, was chosen over a more traditional play or musical, explained Ralph Swain, WIT department chairman for humanities.

"The reason we went with the radio approach was the success of last year's 'War of the Worlds' event at the Orpheum Theatre that WIT spearheaded," he said. "People told us how they would love to see more of that type of presentation."

Swain co-produced that event and WIT instructor Paul Guggenheimer directed the Oct. 28 show.

"I had the idea years ago to do such a show and when I mentioned it to Ralph, he not only supported the idea but was able to secure a Humanities Iowa grant for it," Guggenheimer recalled. "People just went nuts for it after it was presented, and even people who heard it broadcast later on the radio wanted more."

With that success in hand and no one else doing live radio theater, Swain and Guggenheimer decided to reprise their producer and director roles and went forth to put together another show. They believed so strongly in the format, that the two of them, with Tom Jones and Russ Gifford, recently formed the Great Plains Radio Theatre Project.

The newly-established Iowa nonprofit corporation was organized exclusively for literacy and educational purposes to help foster, encourage and promote an understanding of the history of early radio entertainment broadcasting. The group is in the process of constructing a Web site at www.greatplainsradio.org.

The three presentations for the WIT black box premier are "The Hitchhiker" and "Sorry, Wrong Number!" both by Lucille Fletcher and "Quiet, Please!" by Wyllis Cooper.

"A lot of people are in for the nostalgia of these radio productions, but there's a lot of powerful theater in each of these scripts," Guggenheimer insisted. "Fletcher and Cooper were both prolific writers who continued with their careers in Hollywood after the heyday of radio."

Fletcher's "The Hitchhiker" starred a young Orson Welles in a Twilight Zone approach to a man on a cross-country trip who repeatedly runs into an individual thumbing for a ride.

"Sorry, Wrong Number!" may ring bells with movie buffs. Although Agnes Moorehead read for the radio show, Barbara Stanwyck took over the part in the 1948 movie and earned an Academy Award nomination.

Airing from 1947 to 1949, "Quiet, Please!" was a series presented by the Mutual Broadcasting System until it moved to ABC Radio. This installment is the final episode, a science fiction look about people on another planet wondering how to best coexist with others in the universe.

In addition to Swain, Guggenheimer and Jones, the cast for the evening includes Andrea Conrad, Hedda Dekker, Eddie Dunn, Lenny Koupal, Kelly Meyers, Kathy Pfautsch, Dorene Titus, Nolley Vereen and Lindsay Washburn. Brian Ross serves as the sound effects technician.

WIT had provided drama and acting classes over the years for students, but never offered performances for the community. Last year's who-done-it, "Murder, She Met," was the first attempt at bringing in an audience for a theatrical event in a large classroom.

"An Evening of Radio Mystery Theatre" will be presented at 7:30 p.m., April 26, at the black box theater, Room D210 on the campus of Western Iowa Tech Community College.

A dinner precedes the event at 6 p.m. in Room B138 on WIT campus. Dinner tickets are $15 each which includes the show. Show-only tickets are $5 each. Seating is limited and there are no reservations. Tickets are available at the WIT bookstore or Permanent Solutions, 1957 S. St. Aubin. For more information, call 274-8733, ext. 1274.

3. An article that mentions "Beezer's Cellar":

[November 3, 2005 San Francisco Chronicle]

A belt of bourbon stands up to the herbs in a drink named after a 6-toed cat
by Gary Regan

"Saw Bill Eichinger last night, Professor. He gave me this cocktail recipe to give to you."

Doc, our cocktailian bartender's friend and regular customer, hands The Professor a slip of paper.

"And just how is 'Chili Bill'?"

"Ornery as ever, Professor. Still has that heart of gold though, and this is a great drink if you're into whiskey."

Eichinger, sometimes known as "Chili Bill," is a bartender at Finnegan's Wake in San Francisco's Cole Valley, and he is presumed to be the subject of a posting on the Web about the bar that notes, "The bartender is crusty but lovable (just don't be stupid and interrupt him while he's working or order some stupid girly drink)." The Professor loves crusty bartenders.

"Hmm ... the Beezer Cocktail, huh? Bourbon, B & B and peach bitters. Interesting," says The Professor.

"He says to use high-octane bourbon, though. Muttered something about the whiskey standing up to the sweetness of the liqueur."

"And why Beezer?"

"Named for a polydactyl cat that just passed away, apparently. Six toes on every paw and as cantankerous as Bill himself, they say."

B & B, a mixture of brandy plus Benedictine, the complex herbal liqueur, should be used judiciously in cocktails lest it dominate the drink, and although there's a full half-ounce of B & B in the Beezer Cocktail, Eichinger combats its intensity by using a high-proof bourbon, another good way of taming liqueurs such as this one.

Most bottlings of Wild Turkey are issued at 50.5 percent alcohol by volume, so it makes a good candidate for this drink. Other bourbons that are viable in the Beezer Cocktail include Baker's (53.5 percent), Booker's (barrel-proof, usually around 62.5 percent), Fighting Cock (50.5 percent), George T. Stagg, Fall, 2005 (70.95 percent), Knob Creek (50 percent), Old Fitzgerald Bottled-in-Bond (50 percent), Old Forester 100 (50 percent), Old Rip Van Winkle 10-year-old (53.5), and W.L. Weller Centennial (50 percent).

The Professor is assembling the cocktail when Alfred and David, two old-time radio aficionados who frequent the bar, walk through the door.

"Whatcha making, Professor?" asks Alfred.

"Beezer Cocktail. New drink from Chili Bill Eichinger."

"Hope it's straight from Beezer's Cellar," says David.

"Beezer's Cellar?"

"It was an episode of 'Quiet, Please,' this great radio series back in the '40s." David quotes Wyllis Cooper, creator of the series: "The characters in tonight's 'Quiet, Please' are neither living nor dead."

The Professor smiles and places the Beezer Cocktail in front of Alfred and David. They each take a sip.

"Nice drink, Professor. Hats off to Chili Bill. You could call it Six Fingers of Redeye instead of the Beezer," says David.

The Professor is puzzled. The radio freaks weren't in the bar when Doc mentioned the polydactyl cat.

"What makes you say that?" he asks.

"Beezer's Cellar. It was about the ghost of a six-fingered man."

The Professor shakes his head and walks over to Doc.

"Would you mind popping out to get me a lottery ticket, Doc? We can split it if you like. I gotta hunch."

"Sure, Professor. What numbers do you want to play?"

"All numbers with sixes."

Beezer Cocktail

Adapted from a recipe by William "Chili Bill" Eichinger, bartender at Finnegan's Wake in San Francisco.


2 ounces bourbon (high-proof recommended)

1/2 ounce B & B liqueur

2 dashes Fee Brother's peach bitters (see Note)

1 maraschino cherry, for garnish (optional)


Fill a mixing glass two-thirds full with ice and add all of the ingredients. Stir for approximately 30 seconds, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Add the garnish.

Note: Available from Fee Brothers in Rochester, New York; (800) 961-3337 or www.feebrothers.com

Gary Regan is the author of "The Joy of Mixology: The Consummate Guide to the Bartender's Craft" and other books.
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Posted May 31, 2007 - 2:36 PM:

1. There is currently available for download a 37MB zipped folder that includes some images of Chappell and Cooper as well as the following sound files:

a. Two QP episodes that were offered as samples from otrcat.com -- "Not Repsonsible After Thirty Years" (with slightly improved volume) and "The Thing on the Fourble Board" (with good sound and a brief otrcat commercial at the end instead of Peter Lorre).

b. A modern version of Arch Oboler's 1937-38 "Lights Out" script about an ever-growing chicken heart as performed by the Gotham Radio Players in 1999.

c. A modern version of Wyllis Cooper's 1935 "Lights Out" script about an ever-growing amoeba as performed by The Middlebury Radio Theater of Thrills & Suspense in 2006. This version is described by one participant as "proof of what no rehearsing can get you."

d. "Without End," one of the episodes of "The Hermit's Cave" that has similarities with some QP scripts.

e. A 1940 appearance by Ernest Chappell on NBC's "Behind the Mike." Graham MacNamee introduces Chappell who recounts an anecdote from his days at Syracuse's WFBL:

f. A 1941 appearance by Wyllis Cooper on NBC's satirical "The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street." Jack McCarthy introduces Cooper who delivers a humorous monologue.

To download:

Go to http://www.megaupload.com/?d=CYDEYMSM

Type the three letter code into the little window and click "Download."

Wait 45 seconds, then click "Click here to download."

The file should download to your computer.

2. By the way, The Middlebury Radio Theater of Thrills & Suspense also did a version of QP's "Inquest." A 21MB mp3 file can be downloaded from this link:


3. Here is a February 2007 news release from Fairfield University's Office of Media Relations which reports that two Cooper scripts are to be performed (QP's "Camera Obscura" and the lost Lights Out episode about the killer amoeba):

"Live Radio Drama" with horror and sci-fi coming to Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts

February 28, 2007

Fairfield University's "Live Radio Drama" series celebrates Imagination with the third and final program of the season, "Vintage Horror and Sci-Fi." The popular old-time radio shows, at home in the Wien Experimental Theatre at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts, "broadcasts" on Friday and Saturday, March 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., and on Saturday, March 10 at a 3 p.m. matinee.

As the director of this season's "Live Radio Drama," New Haven's Daniel Smith pored through available scripts and designed the evening's program from the following gems that include a collection of unique, obscure and strange horror and science-fiction shows.

The "broadcast" begins with three short episodes of "Lights Out," a program known for gory sound effects sprinkled throughout the shows. Episode #1 is "Sub-Basement," a story that leads the audience into the subterranean loading docks and toward the unseen terrors beneath a city. Two more episodes follow; "A Day at the Dentist's," and "Slurp Goes the Amoeba." There is top-notch writing in "Zero Hour," an original and disconcerting radio play by the great Ray Bradbury. Next up, is a brief episode of the popular old series, "The Mysterious Traveler," and completing the evening is "Camera Obscura," the surprising and creepy story told by a killer that has a lot in common with Edgar Allan Poe's character in the "Tell-Tale Heart."

The often-shocking and cringe-inducing sound effects are invented and performed by the ever-creative Ted Powell of Stratford with help from the multi-talentedSmith, when he is not performing the atmospherically eerie music live on the organ or acting in the radio show.

The characters inhabiting the bustling world of a 1940s - early 1950s radio station, are portrayed by Rob Rocke and John Watson of New Haven, Joe Mango of Beacon Falls, Josiah Rowe of Cheshire, Geoffrey Gilbert of Stratford and Brianne Bresky of Easton. During those hectic early days of radio, the under-rehearsed actors frequently traveled between different stations throughout the day and arrived in the studio barely in time to pull shows together - with the help of over-worked technicians - for the live broadcast.

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Posted Jun 22, 2007 - 10:09 PM:

Here's an interesting mp3 file. Our man Ernest Chappell narrates most of this May 23, 1944 episode of "Words at War" about the U.S. government's Lend Lease policy:


The file is called "Lend Lease - Weapon for Victory" and is downloadable from this "Words at War" page:


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Avatar Paul
Posted Jul 04, 2007 - 10:41 PM:

I'm pretty sure I uploaded those episodes from my OTRCat CD, so it's odd if they have better quality.

The Inquest adaptation is speed-talking with practically no pauses, embodying everything Wyllis Cooper disliked and sought to correct. 'Course I respect the effort, better than I could do, but I wish they'd played it differently and kept some quiet in Quiet Please.

Edited by Paul on Jul 04, 2007 - 10:51 PM
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