Escape


(3 stars; 1 reviews)

Escape was one of the finest drama programs in the "golden age of radio." It dramatized classic stories and new performances in the classic tradition. Radio's best actors and production personnel, many of whom were regular performers on Suspense and other highly rated programs, were regulars on the program. There was a time when collectors believed that Escape was disliked by CBS management because it was often moved around in the schedule and did not have long periods of continuous broadcasts. On the contrary, Escape was one of the most reliable and flexibly scheduled programs CBS had because of its superb ensemble of actors and technicians, and CBS knew it was always available to fill in holes in the schedule. If CBS disliked the program, they would not have used it in their schedule for so many years, from 1947 to 1954. The main reason the Escape was moved around so often was its lack of a sponsor. Programs that had contractual advertising support were always slotted into the times and days of the radio schedule that provided the targeted peak listenership the advertiser wanted. While Escape had advertising sponsorship for very brief periods, it was unable to retain them for more than a few episodes. It is very clear that Escape was well-liked by the performers and the staff and that they took pride in the productions. The program had some classic broadcasts, such as Three Skeleton Key , which some remember as the "show about the rats" that took over a ship and attempt the same to a lighthouse, Leiningen Versus the Ants , which provided sound effects challenges to convey a vision a massive planting fields overrun with ants and workers and the lead characters running over them, and other programs like Shipment of Mute Fate . The program's writing was top-notch whether it was adapted from a classic story or an original drama. Some of the scripts were so good and memorable that they were performed again after Escape went off the air as episodes of Suspense. Producers and directors of the series included radio legends such as William N. Robson ( Columbia Workshop and many others) and Norman Macdonnell ( Gunsmoke ). Each episode drew from great Hollywood radio voices such as William Conrad, Paul Frees, Ben Wright, Bill Johnstone, Harry Bartell, Frank Lovejoy, Jack Kruschen, John Dehner, Peggy Webber, Joan Banks, Jeanette Nolan, Virginia Gregg, and many, many others. The Escape recordings maintained in the Hehn Memorial Collection are only those considered to be in better sound than those in current circulation among collectors. The original transcription discs were recorded multiple times over the decades as collectors believed it was worth attempting to improve prior disc transfers, or to re-process tape recordings made from them. New audio technologies and better techniques have helped preserve this beloved series in the best sound possible. Old time radio collector Keith Scott has compiled a detailed log of the Escape series. It includes broadcast dates, cast information, and much rich detail for the series' 240 broadcasts. Click here to see the PDF document on Internet Archive. * * * 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. Digitizing his 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."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.