OLD TIME RADIO - CD-ROM - 33 mp3
The year is 1932, and the nation is still suffering from the effects of the Great Depression, recovery is in sight, fueled by industry success as much as government programs. The listeners of The World Adventerer’s Club and other travelogue series in this early part of radio’s Golden Age were offered glimpses of exotic places and extraordinary events without leaving their own front room.
The renewed interest in far off lands and cultures was, at least in part, also a reflection of the political situation. Many nations during this time were expanding their influence around the globe establishing colonies and outposts. You can still hear a faint echo of this influence in the stories -- some of the episodes carry a decidedly “colonial” attitude toward the native inhabitants of these countries … who are sometimes characterized in a manner that, by today’s standards, would be offensive.
The setting for the series is a well-to-do gentleman’s club of the type that flourished in the 1890’s from Europe to the US. There’s even an all male chorus on hand, common to those establishments, which each week extols the virtues of living on the edge where adventures, discoveries, and the real threat of death are constant companions
Using the cigar-smoky, brandy in hand, parlor as a backdrop, each episode takes the form of a report being told to the other members of the club by someone who’s just returned from some adventure in a far away, mysterious place. Members in the radio audience need only sit back in their chair, close their eyes, and imagine that they, too, are basking in the camaraderie of the club – as they share their experiences.
Sadly, nothing is known about any of the regular cast members of this show. We do know that Hanley Stafford was the featured story teller in at least six of the episodes. Hanley Stafford, who was born on September 22, 1889 as Alfred John Austin, took his stage name from his birthplace of Hanley, Staffordshire in England. No stranger to US radio his was the voice of “Daddy” for “Baby Snooks” and “Dithers” in the “Blondie” radio program. He died of a heart attack just a couple weeks before his 79th birthday on September 11 1968.
The series was transcribed by a California company named Transco. Of course, one of the benefits of transcription is that all 32 of the 15-minute episodes produced are still available for us to enjoy today. A tribute to the enduring nature of this series, it should be mentioned that much later, from January 1947 to January 1948, another series borrowed it’s format for a set of 30-minute episodes under the simplified name The Adventurer’s Club.
And now, find a deep wingback chair, lean back, and prepare to enter a time when most of the world was truly unknown and any exploration revealed wonders, opportunities and dangers.
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World Adventure’s Club 01 Papua Escape
World Adventure’s Club 02 The Manchurian Limited
World Adventure’s Club 03 Pancho Villa's Treasure
World Adventure’s Club 04 The Borneo Diamond
World Adventure’s Club 05 The Frozen North
World Adventure’s Club 06 Land Of Doomed Souls
World Adventure’s Club 07 Land Of Death
World Adventure’s Club 08 Land Of Darkness
World Adventure’s Club 09 Land Of The Black Hand
World Adventure’s Club 10 India, The Mystery Land
World Adventure’s Club 11 The Tattooed Rose
World Adventure’s Club 12 Norway's Luck
World Adventure’s Club 13 TheElephant'sGraveyard
World Adventure’s Club 14 The Living Shroud
World Adventure’s Club 15 The Treasure Hunt
World Adventure’s Club 16 Hidden Fangs
World Adventure’s Club 17 The Fire Dog
World Adventure’s Club 18 The Black White Man
World Adventure’s Club 19 Grains Of Death
World Adventure’s Club 20 Hairy Wild Man
World Adventure’s Club 21 Malay Madness
World Adventure’s Club 22 The Pale Flame
World Adventure’s Club 23 Storm On The Sea
World Adventure’s Club 24 The Fawn
World Adventure’s Club 25 Kaditcha
World Adventure’s Club 26 Mukin In The Khyber
World Adventure’s Club 27 The Madonna's Tear
World Adventure’s Club 28 Dead Men Walk
World Adventure’s Club 29 Living Mummy
World Adventure’s Club 30 Mad Monk Of Ankor Wat
World Adventure’s Club 31 Vengeance
World Adventure’s Club 32 The Continental Express
World Adventure’s Club intro