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Director William N Robson Explains How War SFX Were Achieved On Radio During the 1940s

In January of 1976 famed radio producer/director William N. Robson sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran to discuss his career for WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio. Robson was a huge part of the evolution of audio sound effects. During World War II he was in charge of the production of a very popular program called "The Man Behind The Gun." Part of his job was to try to get the most realistic sound effects possible. In this clip he explains how they were achieved.


ABC's The Clock: Nicky— Debut Episode Directed by William Spier 03/04/1948

In late January of 1948, Suspense's famed producer/director William Spier left the broadcast. Suspense was taken over by Bill Robson for two broadcasts before Anton M. Leader took over as full-time producer/director as of February 21st, 1948. Two weeks later, on March 4th, 1948, ABC's production of their macabre mystery series, The Clock was moved to Hollywood and turned over to Bill Spier. This debut stars Elliott and Cathy Lewis as Nicky and Louise Caine, with supporting roles played by...


Arch Oboler Explains Why He Punched Lou Merrill During a Rehearsal

Noted radio writer, producer, and director Arch Oboler sat with Chuck Schaden on August 5th, 1976 and explained why he once broke his hand on Lou Merrill's face moments before their show was to go on the air. Arch Oboler will be prominently featured on Breaking Walls Episode 84: The Simple Art of Macabre, which will be available everywhere you get your podcasts and at beginning on October 1st, 2018. Chuck's full interview and many others can be found at


Radio Actor John Dehner Tells a Funny Story About Forgetting He Was Supposed To Be On The Air

In August of 1982, SPERDVAC (The Society To Preserve and Encourage Radio Drama, Variety, and Comedy) was hosting a panel discussion with some of the most famous west-coast radio character actors of the 1940s-50s. During the talk, John Dehner told a funny story about forgetting he was supposed to be at work while voicing characters on The Whistler.


Announcer Ken Roberts on How He Became The Shadow's Announcer

In the early 1980s, radio announcer Ken Roberts sat down for a documentary on the Shadow. Here he recounts how he came to be the announcer for the program in the early 1930s.


Arch Oboler on Giving Of Yourself When Listening To Radio

In August of 1976, Chuck Schaden sat down with famed radio writer, producer, and director Arch Oboler for a conversation about Oboler's career. In this clip, he explains why radio is so powerful a medium. He'll be prominently featured in Breaking Walls Episode 84: The Simple Art of Macabre, available beginning October 1, 2018 everywhere you get a podcast and at Chuck Schaden's interviews can be found at


CBS, Alfred Hitchcock and The Story Behind The Birth Of Suspense

*For the full story about CBS' Forecast, tune into Breaking Walls EP80* At 9:30PM on July 22, 1940, CBS' experimental pilot series, Forecast, broadcast an adaptation of the the english novel, The Lodger about a Whitechapel, London family that takes in a border they soon suspect to be Jack The Ripper. they teamed director Alfred Hitchcock with star Herbert Marshall and called the pilot, Suspense. Co-starring in the episode with Herbert Marshall was Edmund Gwenn, Noreen Gammill, Joseph Kearns,...


Vincent Price On How He Broke Into Radio Acting

Vincent Price explains how he became a radio actor even though he wasn't part of any radio stock company. Price worked in radio drama either in the United States, or in another country for the rest of his life.


Inner Sanctum Host Raymond Edward Johnson on the Power of the Radio Mystery

In December of 1972, Raymond Edward Johnson, famous as the host of Inner Sanctum Mysteries, sat down with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran to talk about his recollections of radio. In this clip he mentions why the mystery show was so much more powerful on radio than television.


E.G. Marshall on How Doing Different Dialects Helped You Get Voice Acting Work

In March of 1974 E.G. Marshall was a guest of Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran on WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio. In this clip he talks about the importance of being able to speak with as many dialects as possible as a radio actor. There were even actors who were specialists.


Hans Conried Explains The Dangers of An Actor Doing Free Work—Even When Desperate

In August of 1971, radio and television character actor Hans Conried spoke with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's Golden Age of Radio. In this clip he talks about the dangers of doing spec work as a young, hungry actor or actress. Hans Conried will be featured in the upcoming Breaking Walls Episode 84: The Simple Art of Macabre, which will be available beginning October 1st, 2018 by searching for Breaking Walls everywhere you get a podcast, and at


Orson Welles Explains Why He Hired an Ambulance To Take Him To Radio Gigs

In 1976 Orson Welles was a guest of Johnny Carson's on The Tonight Show. In this clip the two share radio stories and Orson Welles talks about why he hired an ambulance to take him around New York city during the Golden Age of Radio.


Vincent Price on How to Get Started in The Acting Business Through Radio Drama

In November of 1972, Vincent Price was a guest on WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio, with hosts Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran. Price lauded radio's power as a medium and spoke happily of his past and (then) present radio drama work. He also provided good insight on how to get started in acting while going to college.


Elliott Lewis on the Importance of Understanding All Aspects of the Creative Process

On July 14th, 1979, radio writer/producer/actor/director Elliott Lewis was a guest of SPERDVAC in California. In this clip, he speaks about the importance of understanding the entire creative process and why it's important for a radio creator to do a little of everything.


The Story Behind RCA/NBC's Development of TV in the 1920s-1930s

As 1933 ended, the business of RCA was improving and its deficit narrowing, although the economy continued to languish despite the New Deal legislation passed at President Roosevelt’s behest. Unlike film and theater, radio provided diversion and escapism for the american audience at no additional cost. It also provided lifelines to the real world through the fireside chats that President Roosevelt often broadcast. Sales were stimulated by RCA’s introduction of a new line of portable radios,...


The Story Behind The CBS Talent Raids Of 1948-49

By 1948, CBS Chairman WIlliam S. Paley understood that programmers alone could not develop programs that would enable CBS to surpass NBC. Stars were celebrities, and they were the stuff high ratings were made of. NBC had most of the top stars. At the same time, NBC executive management’s relationship with their top stars was at times, frosty. Like with Fred Allen, who was consistently battling with NBC over airtime, freedom of speech, and continued to get cut off for running long. One summer...


BW - EP83: Sarnoff & Paley: Tainted Friendships, Tall Tales, Talent Raids, And TV (1934 - 1952)

In Breaking Walls Episode 83, we focus the radio industry of the 1930s and 40s—especially on the career of David Sarnoff, as RCA’s network, NBC begins to lose its grip on the top spot in the broadcasting industry while they introduce Television. We’ll also focus on the introduction of new talent to the industry, and the CBS talent raids of 1948-1949. Highlights: • David Sarnoff announces the birth of TV at The 1939 World’s Fair • Edwin Howard Armstrong Invents FM • Television Experiments in...


Director William N. Robson On When The Golden Age of Radio Truly Was

Prolific radio producer and director William N. Robson, who directed shows such as The Columbia Workshop, Escape, The Man Behind the Gun, and Suspense was interviewed by Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC's The Golden Age of Radio in the 1970s. In this clip he explains how he'd define the "Golden Age of Radio" and why. He also talks of the production of Archibald MacLeish's "The Fall of the City"—The First verse play ever written for radio—For the Columbia Workshop in 1937. Robson's work...


Famed Horror Playwright and Director Arch Oboler On How He Got on NBC

Prolific American playwright, screenwriter, novelist, producer, and director Arch Oboler was a guest of SPERDVAC'S on October 8th, 1977. In this clip he explains how he first got on NBC radio in the 1930s. Why is this such an important clip? You'll find out this coming Friday evening, when Breaking Walls Episode 83: Sarnoff & Paley: Tainted Friendships, Tall Tales, Talent Raids, and TV (1934 - 1952), available everywhere you get your podcasts by searching for Breaking Walls and at...


Himan Brown On The Origin of Inner Sanctum Mysteries

In December of 1973, Himan Brown was a guest of Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran's on their WTIC Hartford, CT-based "Golden Age of Radio" Program. In this clip Mr. Brown explains the origin of the famed Inner Sanctum Mysteries and the creaking door sound effect.