First it was text and graphics, then audio and now video. But, without enthusiasts - who for love or other reasons - become stewards of this content, it would be an Internet of lesser stature - which brings us to OTRCAT.com. Thanks to technology, thousands of streaming recordings are available free of charge to visitors and younger generations can now enjoy classic entertainment on demand.
Old Time Radio - audio programming from Radio's Golden Age - is archived and offered at this website. OTRCAT.com (Old Time Radio Catalog) began in the late 1990s as an Old Time Radio trading and radio history website. It has since expanded to offer thousands of old time radio recordings including dramas, comedies, science fiction, westerns as well as numerous historic speeches and recordings.
I recently posed a few questions to OTRCAT.com's webmaster, Jon.
Corey: Why do you run OTRCat.com?
Jon: When I first began to collect old time radio shows, building a collection was expensive and took up a lot of space with cassettes, open reels, and transcription disks. With the advent of MP3, the hobby blossomed and the shows became readily available for fans and avid collectors alike.
OTRCAT.com has encoded [digitally recorded] thousands of recordings as well as assembled shows from longtime collectors, and have made these old time radio collections available for a low affordable price. OTRCAT.com website visitors can find information on the history of hundreds of radio show while listening to streaming recordings of the series.
Corey: What do you think a listener can get out of Old Time Radio broadcasts that they can't find today on the radio?
Jon: The writing, direction, music composition, and acting is first rate in these classic recordings. Many of the shows used the top writers, well known directors, and the best actors of the time period. Big name actors such as Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Lucille Ball, Al Jolson, Cary Grant, Bing Crosby, Vincent Price, Roy Rogers, Judy Garland, and many more made regular appearance on old time radio shows. Duo acts such as George Burns and Gracie Allen, Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello, and others had their own radio shows.
Recordings from the golden age of radio provide a window into the days of yesteryear; many of the shows have the original vintage commercials and events of the time.