The Theater Five Project
- Publication date
Project purpose: To bring greater awareness and appreciation of this 1964-1965 ABC Radio series. Its recognition has been hampered by extremely poor sound of most all of its recordings and incomplete documentation of its development and production. Since the start of this T5 project in mid-2021, more than 100 recordings of the 256 surviving episodes have been replaced with very good and excellent recordings, and others have been processed to allow for easier listening until they can be replaced with better ones. A detailed log of the series is in process, and the series history and behind-the-scenes decisions and actions are being documented.
Goal: Introduce T5 to a new audience and encourage a fresh consideration of its role in radio history.
NOTE: Recordings are being added as they are being edited and processed, about 7 per week until all 256 of the surviving recordings have been posted. The project will be completed before the end of 2022.
For background on each of the episodes, follow the project at https://theaterfive.blogspot.com/ starting on February 14, 2022.
This project is intended to upgrade and replace the prior set developed by the Old Time Radio Researchers https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Theater_Five_Singles
Many of the recordings in that original OTRR set suffer from hum, hiss, tape noise, and many other issues. A reason why T5 has not been appreciated is that so few good recordings of the series are available. This project is an attempt to ameliorate this situation.
There are many replacement recordings, however, that are free of those issues and have been encoded from much better source recordings. Some are copies of network feeds from the 1960s, and others from home aircheck tape recordings from the 1960s and 1970s close to the original off-the-air that have never been encoded as original sources. These superior files tend to be toward the end of the series. Every effort is being made to create the best possible collection of this series in lossless FLAC format. Archive.org automatically creates 128kps mp3 files from the FLAC files for those listeners who prefer the convenience of recordings in that format for car audio players and other portable devices.
If you are aware of better recordings of any of these episodes, please contact the Project and we would be very pleased to upgrade this collection. We are also looking for airchecks with station IDs and AFRTS recordings to add to the recordings already in the collection so as to have as complete a range of recordings of this series as possible.
Project cast members: This is a special project related to the "Knights of the Turning Table" and those collectors who have been involved in the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection and similar endeavors. Special thanks to all those radio program collectors who have passed before us and recorded T5 off the air when it was originally broadcast, and all of those radio station pack-rats who saved tape recordings from network feeds of those days (or forgot to throw them out). There are many classic radio recording collectors in ad hoc crowd-sourcing groups who are in process of transferring the tape collections that these pioneer hobbyists assembled in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Special appreciation: Sound artist Ed Blainey (1916-1979) and Director Warren Somerville (1918-2011) for their role in the series and for offering insights and documents, and making introductions to others involved in the series, especially announcer Fred Foy (1921-2010). He may still be best known for the his legendary and stirring Lone Ranger opening, but perhaps radio fans will also give a nod to his signature announcing for T5 (especially for saying "Alexander Vlas Datzenko" every episode as smoothly as anyone can say "Jim Smith").
- 2022-02-06 18:10:46
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