Concerning runtimes..

Comments on Concerning runtimes..


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Avatar Endof80
Posted Aug 04, 2014 - 3:21 AM:

At the Digital Deli website ( the author states the following..
"Many of you may be wondering why several of the circulating Quiet, Please! episodes are only 21-23 minutes in length. That's almost certainly because they're actually AFRS transcriptions that some otr seller has clipped to remove any reference to the actual AFRS source. There are approximately ten such altered AFRS exemplars in current circulation. Unfortunately, due to that butchery, no intact AFRS-denatured exemplars are in current circulation."

While I had not noted any episodes with runtimes as short as 21-23 minutes (maybe it was so at the time of writing) I still found his comment found this interesting, but I initially tend to disagree with what he proposes.
I am assuming that the runtimes are not a truncations from the originals, because they all apparently fall into groups:
June 47, thru October 8, 1947 - Avg. runtime: 29:30
October 1947 thru January 1948 - Avg. runtime: 24:30
February 1948 thru June 1948 - Avg. runtime: 29:30
July 1 to September 13, 1948 - Avg. runtime: 24:30
September 19 thru June 1949 - Avg. runtime: 29:30
There was one oddball with a runtime of 27:30, but I forget which one.
Anyone have their own insights concerning the varying runtimes?

Edited by Endof80 on Aug 04, 2014 - 3:23 AM
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Posted Aug 04, 2014 - 10:05 PM:

I'm pretty sure you're right about this. They're not truncated AFRS recordings.

The Digital Deli site sometimes turns up valuable stuff from old newspapers, but too often the commentary is either hilariously wrongheaded or just plain incorrect. The QP page, for example, has some odd errors, like the title of the series listed as "Quiet! Please" -- with a misplaced exclamation mark. This AFRS comment seems to be a byproduct of the Deli's fanatic disapproval of "commercial OTR" collectors, a fanaticism that sometimes leads to wrong conclusions like this (and sometimes to comical rants that are the very embodiment of Sayre's Law). On the other hand, fanatics make good researchers and the Deli occasionally digs up stuff that's not generally available elsewhere.

I believe the five-minute-long show that filled out the half hour during the Mutual run from October '47 to January '48 was called "Billy Rose Pitching Horseshoes," a radio version of a syndicated column by New York show-biz figure Billy Rose. The July-September '48 run featured five minutes of news.

Here's a surprisingly recent essay about the Rose column by one of its ghostwriters:

I believe the 27-minute episode might be "Where Do You Get Your Ideas?" That one runs short because it's missing the closing announcements.
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