Growing up I didn’t watch much TV; I preferred radio instead. I listened to a mix of music and talk. I almost never missed a Dodger game. When I couldn’t find anything interesting I would listen to news, specifically, KNX 1070 News Radio.
I was listening to KNX one evening when the news, weather, and sports surprisingly stopped. In its place was the sound of a creaking door, ominous music, and an authoritative voice announcing: The CBS Radio Mystery Theater.
It was an hour long drama, and at that time (the late 1970s) there was nothing else like it on radio. I was instantly sucked in. I don’t remember the show that first night, all I remember was being enthralled, so much so that I had to tell all my school chums about it the next day (I think I was in the 7th or 8th grade at that point).
Listening to the show became a regular thing with me; it was how I ended my day. I loved it. I was particularly impressed with the show’s host, E. G. Marshall, who had a voice that was strong and sinister without being ghoulish. The voice actors were different every night, but Mr. Marshall was always there, and I became a fan.
As I got older and my social life took up more of my time I listened to the show less frequently. I never forgot about it though, and decided to look it up on the Internet and see if perhaps it was still in production. It is not; according to Wikipedia the show ended in 1982. However, I was delighted to discover that every one of the original shows—all 1,399 of them—are available for free online in downloadable MP3 format at mysteryshows.com.
Now I’m listening to them again. Boy does that bass clarinet bring back memories.