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This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.

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Old Time Radio is New Again!
by Jack French, © 2005
(From Radio Recall, June 2005)

A talented group of people from California recently created what may be the first feature-length audio series, digitally mastered in stereo but true to the origins of the Golden Age of Radio. This five hour series, The Adventures of Captain Hudson , was released in October 2004 and has been impressing OTR fans ever since with its great story, skilled cast, superb sound effects, and a fully orchestrated musical score.

The idea was born about ten years ago, the inspiration of two men, Tim Knofler, a writer, and Ron Grigsby, a producer and composer. They wanted to recapture to glory of the radio drama with an adventure series set in Southwester U.S. in the midst of the Great Depression. Their hero, whom they named “Captain Hudson,” would be a combination of Captain Midnight and your favorite guy from I Love a Mystery.

Hudson, a former racing pilot, runs a one-plane cargo business, assisted by his best pal, Mac Decker, and a salty dame, Flaps, who is their mechanic. During what is supposed to be a routine cargo flight, the three companions fly straight into mystery and danger involving a merciless gang who is dealing with underwater treasure and plates stolen from the National Mint.

Knofler and Grigsby who now run Audio Cinema Entertainment, Inc. in Mission Viejo, CA are distributing The Adventures of Captain Hudson: The Lost Mines of Paradise , which comprises a total of about five hours in two formats, both binaural stereo. It is available on your choice of four CDs or four cassettes and each of the sets runs $25 (includes postage).

The large cast in this radio series is headed up by Ron Smith as “Captain Hudson,” Steve Troth as “Mac Decker,” and Mary Rahmes (whose voice will remind you of Rhea Perlman) as “Flaps.” All do an excellent job, and their supporting cast is almost as strong.

The strongest parts of the whole production are the the sound effects, which are sensational, and the music, which is exceptional. Plus the stereo effect on some of the scenes is very compelling; many of the scenes, heard with "surround-sound" almost transport the listener into their favorite movie theater.

The first few episodes start off slowly, since this grand adventure is being told in flashback. However, by the 3rd or 4th episode, most listeners have forgotten the entire story was being retold in a mountain cabin. So in the closing minutes, we find out that everything we've heard, has been told in one overnight interview. But the final "ending" keeps the story open and still running, which should make the listeners anxious for the next adventure.

The whole project is a commendable one, from concept to finished product and it has the flavor and texture of an adventure show from the Golden Age. This audio package is available from Audio Cinema Entertainment, 28715 Los Alisos Blvd., # 7-424, Mission Viego, CA 92692 or order at their website: www.captainhudson.com

(Thanks also to the Captain Hudson web site for the artwork used in this article.)