Marking the eightieth anniversary of the debut of “The Shadow,” the nationally syndicated radio program “When Radio Was” will present a special four-week retrospective, which will include the first rebroadcasts of two long-lost 1938 episodes of the classic thriller series starring Orson Welles.

Beginning the week of Tuesday, June 29th and continuing through the week of Tuesday, July 20th — check your local listings for exact times and dates — four episodes of The Shadow will be aired in their entirety. The first two episodes, “The Voice of The Trumpet”, from July 3, 1938, and “Mark of The Bat” from July 24, 1938, have only recently been rediscovered and restored. Both star legendary movie actor and director Orson Welles as Lamont Cranston, also known as The Shadow, the cloaked adventurer with the power to cloud men’s minds, accompanied by Margot Stevenson as his friend and companion Margo Lane. Other episodes to be featured in the retrospective series are “Island Of The Devil,” first heard on January 8, 1939, and starring Bill Johnstone as Cranston, and “The Devil Takes a Wife,” from December 8, 1946, featuring Bret Morrison in the lead role, with Grace Matthews as Margo.

Also to be heard are rare interviews from cast and crew reminiscing about their time on the program. These interviews, featuring comments from series creator Walter Gibson, Shadow cast members Bret Morrison and Grace Matthews, writer Sidney Slon, announcer Ken Roberts, and organist Rosa Rio, were recorded in the 1970s for the Radiola Records LP set “The Story of the Shadow,” as recently reissued on compact disc by Radio Spirits.


Radio’s iconic crimefighter began his radio career in 1930 as the narrator of the Street and Smith Detective Story Hour — a sinister, sharp-voiced figure who knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men. Street and Smith introduced “The Shadow” in his own pulp magazine the following year, transforming the narrator figure into a mysterious crimefighter with hypnotic powers. This version of the character made the move to network radio in 1937, and remained a late Sunday afternoon fixture on the Mutual network until 1954. The Shadow is a trademarked and copyrighted property of Advance Magazine Publishers d.b.a. Conde Nast Publications, and is presented under license.


Nationally syndicated since 1990, “When Radio Was” presents the best of the Golden Age of Radio on nearly 200 AM and FM radio stations around the country. To find a local “When Radio Was” affiliate in your listening area, or to hear a free stream, please visit WhenRadioWas.com. “When Radio Was” is produced by Radio Spirits, the leading publisher and marketer of classic radio programs on compact disc and in digital formats. For more information, visit RadioSpirits.com.

The Waynedale News Staff
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