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Your humber webmaster -- 4 years prior to assembling and experimenting with his first Crystal Radio set.What sets you apart?Why do you ask for Donations?Where are you located?What kind of Web Site is this?Who are you?

Who Are We? And what's our interest in The Golden Age of Radio?

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We're two semi-retired, disabled veterans who also happen to enjoy a 35-year interest in The Golden Age of Radio, Radio history, Nostalgia and the social changes surrounding the enduring legacy of the period of the 1930s through the 1960s. We very much miss what we became as a nation during the era that spanned the Golden Age of Radio.

Throughout the Golden Age of Radio--as a Nation--we believed in each other and trusted our institutions. At the same time, we questioned each other -- and our institutions -- when appropriate, and we demanded accountable news media and politicians -- accountable to all American citizens, as well as to every other nation on our increasingly fragile planet.

As to what we believe about vintage Radio and the people who love it enough to collect--and preserve--its recordings:

  • We believe that the vast majority of vintage Radio collectors are people of integrity.
  • We see no place in vintage Radio preservation for intentionally misrepresenting Golden Age Radio history for personal profit.
  • We believe that the vast majority of vintage Radio collectors and listeners value factual Radio history.
  • We believe that scrupulous integrity is the only way to present vintage Radio history by way of honoring the tens of thousands of gifted, innovative, and talented artists, technicians, writers and businessmen that created it .
  • We believe that actually listening to--as opposed to accumulating--vintage Radio is the only way to recapture the integrity, civility and honesty we enjoyed as a nation throughout the Golden Age of Radio.

It’s become regrettably obvious that we’ve lost so very much of that -- through lack of intellectual curiousity as a society, and through an apathy that’s been shamefully encouraged by the media empires we’ve allowed to proliferate. We've too often permitted our government to become less and less accountable to all of America’s diverse citizenry. Throughout the first nine years of the 21st Century, our government became even less accountable to the very nations we fought for and died for through three World Wars during this tumultuous era: World War I, World War II and the 'policing actions' that followed with the Cold War.

As we continued to collect--and actually listen to--recordings from the Golden Age of Radio over the past three decades, it became increasingly obvious that each passing year brought an even greater departure from those Golden Age values, democractic ideals, national identity, and national pride we encouraged, demanded and enjoyed throughout the Golden Age of Radio.

How can we retrieve these values once again for our children and grandchildren? We can start to listen once again. We can learn to listen intently once again. The roadmap for a return to all we once were as a Nation is contained within virtually every one of the approximately 600,000 unique radio recordings known to be preserved from The Golden Age of Radio.

We challenge every visitor to these pages to simply listen to Golden Age Radio and hear what we’ve lost. That’s the enduring message of Golden Age Radio and that’s the enduring message of this site and it’s pages. It’s all there for the listening. Simply listen, compare what we independently believed then to what we’re being fear-mongered to believe now, and use what your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents used throughout the Golden Age of Radio to keep both society and our extraordinary nation on track. Close your eyes, listen, and use what they had no other choice but to use -- their ears and the brain between them.

Here's some examples of what we're attempting to remind every visitor to this website and its resources:

If you lived as a child in the 40's, 50's, 60's or 70's how did you survive?

Looking back, it's hard to believe that we've lived as long as we have...

  • As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the back of an open pickup truck on a warm day was always a special treat.
  • Our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paint. We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors, or cabinets, and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets. (Not to mention hitchhiking to town as a young kid!)
  • We drank water from the garden hose and not from a $3 bottle.
  • We would spend hours building go-karts out of scraps and junk, then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times we learned to solve the problem.
  • We would leave home in the morning and play all day--as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. No one was able to reach us all day. No cell phones or pagers.
  • Our teachers encouraged us to play dodge-ball and sometimes the ball would really sting. We got cut and broke bones and chipped teeth, and there were no lawsuits from those accidents. They were accidents. No one was to blame, but us. Remember accidents?
  • We had fights and punched each other and got black and blue and learned to get over it.
  • We ate cupcakes, bread and butter, and drank sugared soda but we were never overweight... because we were always outside playing.
  • We shared one grape soda with four friends, from the same bottle and no one died from this.
  • We did not have Playstations, Nintendo, WII, X-Boxes, video games of any kind, 250 channels on cable, video tape or DVD movies, surround-sound, personal cell phones, personal computers, Internet chat rooms ... we had pals for entertainment. We went outside and found them.
  • We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door, or rang the bell or just walked in and talked to them. Imagine such a thing! Without asking a parent! By ourselves! Out there in the cold cruel world! How did we ever do it?
  • ''Problems' were just that--problems! They weren't 'issues'. An 'issue' was a topic of concern. A 'problem' was when something had gone wrong with an 'issue'.
  • We made up games with sticks and tennis balls, ate bugs and worms, swallowed our gum, got our tongues stuck to a metal objects in the winter on a dare, and though we were told it would almost surely happen, we didn't put out very many eyes with spitwads, nor did the worms or gum stay inside us forever.
  • Little League and cheerleading had tryouts and not everyone made it. Those who didn't, learned to deal with disappointment..... they didn't arm themselves and go on a shooting spree.
  • Some students weren't as smart as others so they failed a grade occasionally and were held back to repeat the same grade..... Tests were not adjusted for any reason.
  • Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected. There was no one to hide behind. The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke a law was unheard-of. Parents almost always sided with the law.

If none of the above situations hold any meaning for you, you have our sincere condolences. The children of the 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's produced some of the best risk-takers, problem-solvers, innovators, and inventors in American History. The past 50 years have seen an explosion of social, political, and technological innovation and philosophy. We've experienced freedom, failure, success, conflict, and new responsibility, and we learned how to deal with all of it.

If you're one of them . . . .


Take our challenge -- whatever your persuasion or affiliation. Your politics, ideology or religion don’t matter in the least. No one, irrespective of affiliation, can listen to Golden Age Radio without quickly realizing both what we’ve lost and how far we’ve lost our way as the Greatest Nation on Earth.

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Well commercial it's not . We hope it never needs to be. And yes, that conviction has come at a dear price compared to our competitors. This site is the result of a passion for preservation that’s evolved into an avocation. We hope it shows. This site -- and it’s growing collection of features -- showcase the Golden Age of Radio Era and as much as we can assemble and present of the history, culture, advertising, and social events that surrounded it.

If we can keep making the site pay it's own way -- through your continuing donations, through our meticulously organized FTP Site, our program articles and logs, historical content, and our streaming audio jukebox, we can assure you that you'll see no commercial banners or other such web-clutter on this site. We'd be more inclined to simply give it up before we'd give in to the brand of commercialism one sees reflected on the pages of 100% of this site’s emulators. We continue to rely solely on the good will of you, our site’s visitors and subscribers to help support the site.

This is not an old time radio site. A Vintage Radio site, yes. A Golden Age Radio site, absolutely. A retrospective and nostalgia site, to be sure. Important distinctions. We accord this era's rich legacy the respect it deserves -- and demands. The writers, performers, technicians, producers, and directors that created these recordings earned -- and deserve -- better than old time radio or even worse, commercial otr. This wonderful legacy of recordings and ephemera isn't 'old time' in the least--it's timeless:

  • A timeless reminder of what we once were--and can be again.
  • A timeless legacy of innovation and selfless National patriotism.
  • A timeless contribution to our rich American heritage of excellence.
  • A timeless memorial to the greatest entertainers of the 20th Century.
  • A timeless cultural tribute to what the rest of the civilized world once regarded as the greatest nation in the world--and may yet again once we earn it back.

There's nothing whatsoever 'old time' about The Golden Age of Radio and its legacy. Golden Age Radio is timeless. Anyone who's actually listened to the recordings preserved from the era would know that. That's the core distinction. The primary distinction between Golden Age Radio preservation and 'commercial otr' is quite simple. Golden Age Radio preservation is an 'altruistic preservation' avocation--'commercial otr' is an exploitative pursuit. Exploiters simply acquire to acquire--and to exploit their acquisitions without ever honoring or enjoying them. Preservationists savor every new find, thoroughly enjoying each new discovery from The Golden Age of Radio.

We hope this explains why you don’t see otr-this or old time radio-that all over this site. It's with the deepest disappointment--and financial price--that we've been forced to witness the interest in -- and preservation of -- Golden Age Radio or Vintage Radio recordings devolve into a baseball-card collecting activity or a level of exploitative commercialism that demeans the memory of this timeless era of mass communication. While many erstwhile 'otr sites' posture about honoring the creators of vintage Radio, for far too many of them it's simply pandering.

Golden Age Radio recordings have become simply commodities within the 'commercial otr' community. We regret that -- for the sake of both the genuine Golden Age Radio preservation community, and out of reverence for the memory of those who fostered and contributed to the extraordinary enduring legacy of scripts, talent, performances, innovation, creativity, and recordings from the Golden Age of Radio.

We're losing more and more of these wonderful performers, technicians, artists, and radio visionaries with each passing year now. The time is rapidly approaching when all we'll have left to remember and honor any of them will be the recordings, photos, transcriptions, and ephemera of the era. We hope we can convey the need to continue to preserve the works of this era -- and persuade even more true Golden Age of Radio or Vintage Radio enthusiasts to continue to do the same with their own collections.

We set out to raise the bar for Golden Age Radio sites. We'd hoped to elevate interest in, discourse in, and stewardship of The Golden Age of Radio to the level it deserves. To that end, our entry to the Internet 9 years ago has been gratifyingly successful. Many of our competitors -- and imitators -- have begun to rise to the challenge. Our innovations over our eight years online have been copied and subsumed by literally tens of thousands of 'me-too' sites:

  • Our 'jukebox' of twenty-four new monthly links to digitized recordings on the site.
  • Our authentic .mp3 cover art.
  • Our authentic, recomposited newspaper and magazine spot ads from the era, meticulously recreated and renovated from their mostly fax, microfiche, and photocopy renditions from newspaper archives.
  • Our novel Definitive Collection of Vintage Radio articles and logs, with thoroughly researched references from actual newspaper and magazine listings of the era backing as many broadcast references as we can find.
  • Our debunks of widely circulating 'otr lore' [read misinformation] that has accumulated over the past thirty-five years of Vintage Radio exploitation.
  • Our biographies and radiographies of many of the lesser known, or overlooked, performers, sponsors, producers and directors of the era.
  • Our systematic isolation of--and appreciation for--the AFRS and AFRTS exemplars of vintage Radio programs in circulation, repeatedly emphasizing the AFRS' unparalleled contribution to the preservation of vintage Radio performances of the era.
  • Our published findings regarding the numerous, systematic scams regarding circulating recordings, identifying the aberrations and--when possible--their source(s).
  • Our own original contributions to vintage recording preservation--some 9,700+ original, first-generation digitized transfers [thus far] of electrical transcriptions, reel-to-reel tapes, and contemporaneous cassette-recordings from the era, using five fully-restored E.T. turntables and reel-to-reel tape recorders from the era.
  • Our delivery of over 29,000 unique digital recordings over the years to over a three quarters of a million downloaders and listeners--free of charge and free of mind-numbing and distracting banner ads and commercial pitches.
  • Our in-depth reporting and spotlights of many of the more important commercial sponsors of the era.

You've seen these features copycatted on thousands of our competitors' commericalized 'otr' sites over the years. But make no mistake about our available resources. We've worked very hard to make this site look professional, but the site is owned by only three people, and is created, operated, and maintained by only two people. To the extent of our extremely limited resources, we want this site to continue to grow to be so compelling, so useful, and so indispensible as a Golden Age Radio tribute, history, reference, and preservation site, that our visitors bookmark it and return to it week after week to help them in their pursuit of their own vintage Radio interests -- collecting, radio history, the sociology of the era, or simply pure online escapism over a lunch break.

One of our greatest satisfactions thus far comes from the fact that the overwhelming number of visitors to our pages are educational institutions ranging from K-12 to grad school--the world over.

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Our professional and personal interests are based in California, Florida, and New Hampshire. The site's FTP Server is physically located in Los Angeles, California at present. Contrary to the practice of most of our competitor’s, we have nothing to hide at The Digital Deli Online. All of the site’s information can readily be yielded from a simple whois command anywhere on the Internet.

Why even bring this up? Simple. If you can’t determine the identity of a website’s owners, why patronize--or trust--them? It’s a simple matter of principle -- one of the many principles we used to demand of all of our information providers throughout the Golden Age of Radio.

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This is far easier to answer as we begin our ninth year of operation. And it's far easier to quantify now than it was when we started the site. High-speed T3 access to the FTP Archive and web site operational costs are expensive, time-consuming monthly propositions. We expend the following approximate amounts on the site every year:
  • T3 bandwidth, security software, and hosting: $3,700 annually (and yes, that's the reason we're cited as among the top 3% fastest vintage Radio sites on the Internet.)
  • Equipment costs, including server and drive upgrades, and storage: $3,100
  • Media costs, including backup media: $ 780
  • Insurance, research archive subscriptions, coast-to-coast travel for maintenance, and incidentals: $ 2,300

And of course, beyond the out of pocket expenses, the two sole contributors to the website and digital recording archive spend an average of ten hours a day, seven days a week:

  • Developing new articles and logs (over 600 now and growing).
  • Researching broadcast runs.
  • Creating the tens of thousands of original graphics for the site.
  • Responding to requests from educational and independent research efforts.
  • Processing an average of 8,000 circulating recordings a month as we continue to vet and upgrade our growing repository of over 330,000 vintage and Radio Revival recordings.

And yet, throughout going on nine years of operation, we've relied exclusively on donations from site visitors to meet our expenses. And in nine years of operation, we have yet to show year-end surplus. Most months of the year we pay the difference in the site's upkeep out of pocket. So no, this site--and its vast resources--is not 'free.' Not for us, anyway. For you, the visitor it is--and always will be. So is it then too much to ask for the occasional donation from the site's hundreds of thousands of visitors? We're convinced it's not. How many of the site's thousands of visitors actually make a donation? About fifteen to twenty-five a month. 15,000 visitors a month and as many as twenty-five donations a month. Is that disheartening? Sure, on some level it is.

We know the time and trouble we save tens of thousands of our visitors. We do the work they don't have the time or resources to do themselves. But how does one quantify that benefit? Is it worth a couple bucks to you to save you five to twenty hours of your own time researching a favored vintage Radio program? We kinda think it is. Is that reflected in our monthly donations? Sadly, no. Could you help change that? Most certainly.

We live in a society that's grown all too cavalier -- yet another consequence of how far we’ve diverged from the values and expectations throughout the Golden Age of Radio. The Web Site and FTP Site aren’t smoke and mirrors operations. The only way we can make up the costs of this site -- and make it pay its own way -- is to request donations for it’s maintenance and further growth. You don't see flashing pop-up banners and in your face ads here. This is a free site to browse and enjoy at your leisure while listening to some wonderful Golden Age Radio shows while you poke around.

As jaded as many self-described otr collectors have become, we get all manner of demands for more and more free Golden Age Recording downloads through our comment line.

It seems we’ve been hoist by our own petard. We were one of the very first sites on the Internet to provide upwards of 650 megabytes of monthly streaming Golden Age Radio downloads throughout the site--that figure is now over a gigabyte and a half. Our imitators and competitors have learned that this is a very successful means of driving traffic to a site. And to capitalize on that concept they throw thousands of banner ads and pop-ups in your face to make you pay dearly for the download. Unfortunately our resources are not as unlimited as those of our exclusively commercial imitators and competitors.

So yes, we’ve created a monster of our own making, with otr trawlers returning week after week to our pages--and others'--for nothing more than the new Golden Age Radio episodes we offer each month. Make no mistake. 'otr trawlers' are not our target audience. We have no interest whatsoever in pandering to--or contributing to--the worst of the otr community. We expect our site visitors to actually navigate to, listen to, read, and enjoy our new and updated features each month so as to learn even more about this amazing era and it's proponents. Is that a lot to ask? We don't believe so.

We continue to showcase as many as 700 of these Golden Age Radio recordings each and every month. But you have to actually visit our pages and features to retrieve them. An outrageous imposition, we know, but that’s the reality of it. If we were charging $29.95 a month to download our recordings I suppose we’d understand their demands. That’s simply not the case. No one pays one red cent for any of the shows we stream from the website. We don't think it's too much to ask to suggest that those visitors returning to our pages for no other reason than to download the new recordings each month, actually navigate to the pages and features on which the recordings are located. If that strikes them as too much to ask, then our simple response is "Oops!" Is a simple mouse click too much to demand? We don't believe it is.

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We maintain the largest private Golden Age Radio collection publicly available anywhere in the world. We've assembled an extensive array of tools for ensuring the highest quality and accuracy of our archives. We meticulously update marginal recordings, graphics, inaccurate log entries and materials with the very best that we can obtain, updating both the collection and the site weekly. We accurately tag and archive the collection in a database of our own design, so as to be able to update the material with the latest, most accurate historical information available.

What truly sets our archive apart?

  • We don't gratuitously upsample--or downsample--our recordings to make the resultant digital recordings far larger--or far smaller--than the circulating source recordings.
  • We don't gratuitously stereo-ize our recordings to make the download size larger.
  • We don't mix and match our AFRS and AFRTS exemplars with commercially broadcast recordings. We deeply value our AFRS and AFRTS-denatured recordings for what they truly represent: the earliest, systematic, government-financed attempt to preserve the broadcasts from The Golden Age of Radio. We don't view these invaluable exemplars as 'stem-cell' recordings to 'fill-in' a commercially broadcast canon.
  • We continually upgrade our FTP archive with the finest circulating exemplar recordings we can obtain.
  • The principal reason we don't offer 'OTR CDs or DVDs' is because we feel--justifiably so--that distributing alleged 'complete sets' or 'certified sets' of circulating vintage Radio recordings is a disingenuous practice. We know full well--as do all genuine collectors--that 90% of the circulating exemplar sets of vintage Radio canons are constantly evolving. Better, more complete exemplars are constantly surfacing. Revised historical information is constantly evolving and expanding--especially as regards dates and broadcast order.
  • We indicate, whenever possible, incomplete exemplars among our holdings--and only when we've determined that the circulating, incomplete exemplar is the only available exemplar of that recording, for historical purposes.

In addition to the 330,000 recordings themselves, you'll find tens of thousands of bits of historical and nostalgic ephemera in almost every major show folder on our FTP Archive site -- or right here on the 5,000 pages of our website. We restore or rehabilitate every single graphic that we use for either the web site or FTP archive -- or post in the collection for supporting material. We crawl all available resources on a weekly basis. As more and more of these restored, cleaned or enhanced recordings and ephemera make their way into circulation, we continually create an even better resource pool of high quality graphics, reference materials, or techniques -- so that everyone eventually benefits.

We’ve also personally encoded, remastered, or cleaned over 1200 gigabytes of the existing 6-terabyte collection. And as always, we welcome any and all contributions of remastered or newly encoded upgrades to our existing archives.

Perhaps most importantly, we care -- about our quality and about our vistors. We're proud of the thousands of manhours we've devoted to this effort. The almost 1,000,000 visitors to the site since its inception would seem to reflect the degree to which we have cared about this treasured Radio legacy.

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Click here for a Tribute to Art The Doorman

Dedications and Acknowledgements

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