The Library of Congress is an amazing institution and works hard to preserve just about everything, but even they need to prioritize.
To that end, they have registries of films and other media that they take extra care to preserve. Every year, about 25 works are added to these registries due to their cultural significance.
This year, the National Recording Registry added 25 songs and assorted audio works. Their selection is always eclectic, but two items caught our eye in their recent announcement.
One was a hard-hitting episode from the first year of Gunsmoke called “The Cabin.” Written by John Meston, it involves Marshall Dillon taking refuge in the titular cabin during a blizzard, only to encounter two very bad men. We won’t go into any more detail than that for people who haven’t heard it, but rest assured, this was a great example of how Gunsmoke wasn’t going to be about a fanciful, happy-go-lucky West.
We’re excited to originate on broadcast radio, but of course when we started JAT (before the time distortion), we were thinking of doing distribution solely as a podcast… so it’s nice to see that people like this radio drama stuff, even if they’re thinking of a lot of examples of the non-fiction variety.
One of our absolute favorite things about audio theater is finding and creating sound effects (actually, this can count for film production too). That’s one of the reasons we’re trying to incorporate plenty of sound effects into our live production of War of the Worldsthis coming Memorial Day weekend.
You can always use more sound effects and the Beeb has long been an excellent source of all sorts of delightful sounds. Our artistic director fondly remembers listening through a multi-LP set of sound effects whilst doing the sound design for a stage production many moons ago. Apparently, he was unsuccessful at slipping in a “drilling into skull” sound effect for a production of “Grease,” but Auntie Beeb had the sound ready for him just in case.
For fans, they may think of how he was the first to be cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, some of his many cartoon voices, or perhaps more recently, his times on the Radio Adventures of Doctor Floyd. Finally, also via a Mark Evanier post:
His anecdote of communal storytelling reminded us of one of reasons we have two anthology series in development (Through the Looking Glass and Through a Glass, Darkly). Both aim to have that immediacy you get from storytellers and, in the latter case, give you a good scare from time to time.
We’ll have more details about both series later this Summer.