Suspense 1: The Early Years (June 1942 - November 1943)

(4 stars; 2 reviews)

Suspense was a long-running dramatic anthology on CBS from Summer of 1942 to what many consider final day of radio's golden age on September 30, 1962. It was one of radio's most successful series, with exceptional writing and high production standards. The series started slow, but the May 1943 broadcast of the play Sorry, Wrong Number brought the show great attention. In December 1943, Suspense finally had a national sponsor, Roma Wines. Their sponsorship ended in November 1947. The series continued without a sponsor for a few months, and experimented with an hour-long format. In July 1948, a new sponsor, Auto-Lite, returned the program to its half-hour format and produced much of its finest work. In June 1954, the sponsorship ended, and Suspense continued without a national sponsor until it went off the air. Hollywood's biggest movie and music stars appeared on the series from about 1943 to 1954, often playing against type, such as comedians playing dramatic roles. The program starred singers, musicians, and others in the Hollywood scene, and they were all held to a high standard of dramatic performance supported by some of radio's most esteemed actors, directors, and production personnel. IMPORTANT NOTE: These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Since the time of Mr. Hehn's collecting in the 1960s and 1970s, many Suspense recordings have been upgraded and are now in better sound. The recordings held in this collection at the Internet Archive are only those considered to be superior to the ones in common circulation among collectors at the time of this posting. A small number of the recordings have not been in general circulation in their particular format, and some of the recordings are more complete than others in common circulation . This is not intended to be a complete compilation of the Suspense series, but to be only the best sounding Suspense recordings of the Hehn collection . The Suspense recordings are in different categories: Suspense 1: the series early years, June 1942 to November 1943 Suspense 2: the Roma Wines years, December 1943 to November 1947 Suspense 3: the "after Roma" years, December 1947 to July 1950, including the first year of Auto-Lite's sponsorship Suspense 4: the Elliott Lewis years, August 1950 to July 1954 Suspense 5: the final years, July 1954 to September 1962 Digitizing Mr. Hehn's collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table." There is a superb log and history of the Suspense series here at the Internet Archive. click here

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


"The Strange Death of Charles Umberstein"

(5 stars)

"The Strange Death of Charles Umberstein" was written by E. Jack Neuman. William Spier produced and directed. Vincent Price starred. This episode aired on November 23, 1943. In "The Strange Death of Charles Umberstein," Vincent Price stars as a spy who assumes the identity of a Nazi. Vincent PriceCharles Umberstein holds an important position in the Third Reich, but what his superiors don't suspect is that he is a spy. His mission seems to be going well, but he knows that one person has discovered him. He is being followed by someone...someone who knows. Could it be his landlady who had reason to doubt him? Could it be that one of the other spies gave him away? Who is following him and why?