DCFSNM Hosts New Chatroom for the Retro Radio Podcast

DCFSNM (Disability Coalition from Southern New Mexico), is a site dedicated to supporting those with disabilities. They have also been a long time supporter of the Retro Radio Podcast, and without their help, there would be no podcast. A new chat server has been set up using the Teamtalk chat client, and a special room has been set up just for Retro Radio. Check it out, and help get the word out about it. I’ve been trying to sit in the Retro-OTR room as much as possible, so stop in and don’t leave me to sit there all alone.

Instructions to Chat in the Room

TeamTalk is a program that you run on your Windows PC. A Mac version is available, but it does not work well with VoiceOver, and so is not recommended that you use it if you are blind or visually impaired. To get started, follow these steps:

Download and Install

  1. Download the software from bearware.dk
  2. When you’re installing the above program, you’ll come to a screen where you can choose which components you want. Choose the classic version. It is very accessible for those who are blind, and using screen readers.
  3. Tab to the list of components and arrow down until you find the “Teamtalk 4 classic” option.
  4. Press space, then enter.

Server and Host Setup

Once the setup process is complete, and you are in the Teamtalk application (start it up if it is not running already), you will need to do a one time set up of ouur chat server.

  1. From within Teamtalk, press f3. Tab until you get to the “host properties” group, and simply erase any information that may be already in the edit fields. For the “entry name”, type anything you want that will tell you what this server is. For example, “DCFSNM Chat” would be a good name to use. Or even Retro-OTR Chat.
  2. For “host address”, type dcfsnm.org.
  3. Note: because of the way the brilliant webmaster set this up, you could alternately enter the host as: retro-otr.com

4. Leave “password” blank, set both port fields to 10333 (they should be already),
You can skip everything else. Only admins to the chat server need to put login information in here.

5. To log directly into the Retro Radio room, be sure to put this in the field for the Channel: /Retro-OTR

6. Press enter on “Add/update” and you should be all set.

Getting Logged On

From now on, you’ll find the server settings you just installed in the list of other public servers that come preinstalled in Teamtalk. By the way, if you want to hide the list of those servers, put a tick in the checkbox just next to the list. You’ll only see the server you set up, and the official public server of Teamtalk.

1. Press F3 to open the list of hosts.

2. Select the DCFSNM, or Retro-OTR Chat host that you just made, tab to the Connect button, and hit it. Hint: you can just hit the Enter key on ytour keyboard once you select the host in the list.

  1. Once you are logged on, you can see any other users who are online, and join any of the available rooms. Note that some may be password-protected, depending on the operator who made the room.

Helpful Tips

Sound Check

To make sure your microphone and speakers are working, go to the preferences (F4), then do a Ctrl+tab until you get to the “Sound System” page. You will have a selection box for possible microphone options, and one for possible speakers attached to your computer.

If the selections look OK, tab to the Test Selected button, and click it. If you don’t hear the ambient sounds of the room you’re in, or your own voice as you speak, try another selection until you do.

When you’re done, tab to the OK button and hit it to save your settings.

Note: If you use speakers, rather than headphones, you will get loud feedback. Try moving yo9ur speakers away from your mike, or switch to a headset.

Joining or Leaving a Room

1. To join this or any room, just arrow to it and press control-j.

  1. To leave a room, arrow to it and press control-l).

Note: In the Server Properties screen mentioned above, there’s a field for a chat channel. If you include the /, then enter the exact room name including uppercase letters and any spaces, You can go right to that room when you log in. Just don’t make a typo, or you will create a room with a similar name, with you as the sole participant. Don’t worry, just arrow to the room you want, and join the chat there. Your room will go away once you leave it, but you’ll want to fix that Channel Field in your host properties.

You can also right click, hit the applications key, or shift-f10, on a room and choose the option you want from the pop up menu.

Room Features

While in any room, you will see 2 edit fields, and three slider controls after the list of channels.

  1. The first edit field is a read only field for system and user messages.
  2. The second lets you chat by typing text and pressing enter.
  3. The first slider changes your microphone’s sensitivity (gain).
  4. The second changes the volume of the room in general as you hear it.
  5. The third one has to do withthe automatic voice activation on your mike, when in full duplex mode. Try ajusting at your own risk. The default is set at 10%, so try that if you need to reset it.

Voice or Video Chat

The server is not configured for video chat. It still might be done on a peer to peer basis though. Explore it on your own.

The default configuration is for full duplex, that means both your speakers and your mike is live, as though you were on a telephone call. You do not need to press a button to key the mike. You can choose to change this if you want to. Just remember to key your mike when you talk.

Using a key to activate your mike will have the affect of muting your mike, until you press a key to talk. This might be handy if you are in a noisy environment.

Chat Rooms, or Channels

The terms Room, or Channel are interchangeable. Users have the ability to create their own room and administer it. Passwords may be set, unruly users might be kicked out or banned. When a room is no longer needed, or when a user logs out of the server, it will be deleted. Only admins can create a room that stays on the server.

There are many configurations to customize your chat room, and online experience. Please take the time to browse the menu system to see how you might record your session, share files, mute people in the room, or make other adjustments. There are too many tweaks to tell about to customize your experience than I can include here.

Jaws Script

If you are using the Jaws for Windows screen reader, there are now Jaws scripts available for use with TeamTalk. The link will take you to a website where you can download these free scripts. We do not offer support for the scripts, though; please refer to the above link for help instead.

That’s it! We hope to see you at the next chat event, and please feel free to leave a comment or reply if you have any questions.


Jack Benny – The Early Years.

This is from information gleaned from several online sources, primarily from Wikkipedia, and the International JackBenny Fan club, but also from a few other sources.

Benny’s father was Myer Kubelski, who in 1889, immigrated to New York from Lithuania. He settled in Waukegan, Illinois and was a Jewish saloon keeper, tailor, haberdasher and dry good store proprietor. Four years after his immigration,Myer married Emma (Sachs) Wagner in 1893. She also was an immigrant from Lithuania.

A story surrounding Jack Benny’s birth concerns a superstition of his mother. She believed that it carried more status, or was good luck, to be born in a bigger city. So she and Meyer temporarily moved. They lived in Chicago for about a year so their first child could be endowed with all the prestige, luck and what ever other good fortune a big city could bring. And so we have the story of why the birth certificate of Benjamin Kubelski reads: Mercy Hospital, Cook County Chicago, Illinois.

The family did move back to Waukegan and their young son had a normal life. The family didn’t have much in the way of wealth, but as a wedding gift, Emma had recieved a piano from her mother. Young Benjamin began showing some musical aptitude by playing simple tunes on that piano. It inspired Benjamin’s parents to present him with a half sized violin for his 6th birthday, which was a popular instrument for young Jewish children to learn to play. It was his parents hopes that he would be a great classical violinist.

His first lessons were taken twice per week from Professor Harlow, who charged 50 cents per lesson. As it turned out, he loved the instrument. He enjoyed playing the violin and was showing promising ability. However, he hated to practice. It is said that He would play for his grandmother. She would sit in a row of chairs that represented a crowd of fans, as her young grandson put on shows for imaginary audiences.

Later that same year, on September 12, 1900 Benny’s sister, Florence was born.

Benny’s violin ability increased and by 1902 was taking weekly lessons at the Chicago Musical College. His new instructor was Dr. Hugo Kortschalk.

As a young schoolboy, life was filled with assorted routines. For Benjamin that meant spending afternoons practicing. From 4pm to 6pm he was forced to sit by the front parlor window at his family home at 224 South Genesee Street. Through that parlor window he could see Lake Michigan, and all the activity that took place on the water’s edge. The boats at the dock, people coming and going and all the distractions to make a young boy’s imagination wander. Practicing the violin just seemed to not be as important.

As time marched on, school, and grades took on less of an interest. By the time Benjamin was 14 years old and entered the ninth grade at Waukegan’s Central High School, his musical ability was accomplished enough to get him a job. He worked in the orchestra pit at the Barrison Theater, the local vaudeville house, which was just a few blocks from his home. Sources also claim that he played in local dance bands as well as in his high school orchestra.

Benjamin was a dreamer and a poor student. He managed to flunk out of every subject that year. Depending on the source, and possibly a combination of them, the truth may be found, one story says that he simply dropped out of school voluntarily. While another story claims that He was expelled from high school, allegedly for hanging out at vaudeville theaters instead of attending class. The reality might well be a combination of things, poor grades, lack of interest and possibly expulsion on academic grounds, due to those bad grades, or poor attendance. Over the next three years, from1908 to 1911, Benjamin most likely both helped out at his father’s store as well as played music when he could get hired on in a band.

Though he was the dutiful son, and tryed his best at the family business, his lack of interest must have been apparent.

Richard Rogue – Pros, Cons, and Annoyances

I’ve been listening to a lot of Rogue’s Gallery lately. He’s the typical hardboiled detective with plenty of wisecracks regardless of whether he’s dealing with the bad guys, the ladies, or the cops. In fact, he’s almost too generic in his ways.

When the police investigators let justice fall through the cracks, he’s all too ready to rub their noses in it when he hands the bad guys over in a neat package. He’s also handy with the ladies, but when he gets snubbed, it’s because either it’s convenient for comic affect, or the lady is involved in the crime. He turns his nose up at petty investigations, until his client can lure him into something interesting and juicy. Of course, he faces off with the bad guys and hard cases, managing to outwit them and make narrow escapes from death at their hands. However, he’s not immune to a few thumps on the head where he wakens safe and ready to go back on the attack.

Oh wait… I just described almost every radio detective out on the market. What is it that makes Richard Rogue identifiable?

It has to be that while he gets knocked out, he has an inner voice. The extremely annoying Igor. I don’t think the character serves any other purpose other than to taunt Rogue in his screaching voice, and that cackling laugh during those times when Rogue is unconscious. I know that I could do without his presence, but if it weren’t for Igor, Rogue just wouldn’t have anything going to set him apart from any of the other detectives. Sad.

Despite the lack of identity, the writing, acting, and the stories themselves are good ones. As with any program, it has it’s finger on the pulse of pop culture of the times, and I get a kick out of the cutting edge sophistication as folks saw it back then. An interesting history lesson of a different kind.

Who’s on First – Name a Better Skit

It’s probably the most recognized routine from the era. It’s the word play on words with double meanings. Costello is focused on interpreting the words in their strict usage in grammar, while Bud has changed their meanings as pronouns or phrases to be proper nouns as the names of the players. Though it ought to be an obvious miscommunication between the two, neither can remove his thought process outside his own definition of that word.

They had a similar routine using the old U-Drive company, later to become known as the Hertz Rental Car company. A name change that didn’t help out their act so much.

A lot more of their comedy centered on relationships from dating, to marriage, to divorce. Animals and kids were frequent themes, as when Bud and Lou went to the circus, or on a lion hunt.

Memorable moments on the radio include such things asJack Benny’s responce to getting robbed and confronted with the line, “Your money or your life!”

Catch phrases and signature lines like:
* Taint funny McGee,
* If I dood it I’ll get a whipping
*That ain’t the way I heared it
*Gildersleeves laugh,
* Jimmy Durant’s nose
* Fibber McGee’s closet
* Abner Peabody getting confused over Lum’s common figures of speech. (Old Eddards sayings)
* Fibber and Molly getting Mayor Latrivia flustered over his use of a harmless figure of speech.

Those character trademarks make for a flexible platform to set up any number of situations, using the same routine, but with any variety of variables to make the routine a little different every time. The same, but a little different, and when we begin to recognize the set up, we wait to see what new creation the characters will come up with this time.

We can always count on Crosby and Hope bickering like an old married couple. For that matter, the Bickersons bickering like an old married couple. Jack Benny created his stingy, insecure, childish, bossy persona over years to be a routine in itself that can be plugged into any setting to put his comic flavor in it.

Plenty of comedy formulas to be sure, but when it comes down to a complete comedy routine, that has stood the test of time, I think the “Who’s on First” routine is hard to beat. It’s one that can be easy to ad lib, the structure of the humor is there, and it’s always funny.

PS: This article is in response to a discussion on <a href=”http://otrcommunity.com”>OTR Community.</a> Visit the site, sign up, and get talking about OTR with other fans. Pop in to see how the rest of this conversation is going.

Flying with Captain Midnight

Some time ago I ran a short serial of the Carlton E Morse series, I Love a Mystery. It has come to an end. Though I stretched it out over several weeks, it originally ran on a daily basis, and only lasted for about two weeks. There are more in that series besides the Million Dollar Curse, and if I can find more, I’ll bring it back. The characters of Doc Long, Reggie York, and Jack Packard made it into several of the Carlton E Morse shows. Actress, Mercedes Cambridge was a regular in the show as well, but she played different characters.

To take over the slot, I found this show, Captain Midnight. I don’t have the full run, but I do have several. I’ll have to check to see how many exist, and if I can get them. It’s a little corny, and designed for the kiddie set. Captain Midnight is the fearless, brave airplane pilot who faces dangers in the air from enemies. When he isn’t in the air there’s plenty of sneaky doings with his ground crew on the ground. They fight off foreign spies, face kidnapping, sabateurs, and always manage to come out on top.

Still, Captain Midnight is a fun show and worthy to follow along with the adventure as it continues from week to week. Though I’ve posted about all I can find, I somehow manage to keep turning up a few more. I’ll keep them coming for as long as I can manage.

Detectives, Where Are the Detectives?

The Detective and Mystery genres are among the tops in the favorite shows of old time radio fans. Somehow, I just haven’t managed to keep up on podcasting all that many.

I love a good mystery, but I sometimes get turned off on those that show up in the broadcast format. The main problem is not that the stories are canned, or hoakie, or there’s a lack in the writing or acting. It’s just that the short, 30 minute format just doesn’t give a good mystery the time it needs to develop. Then it ends up with that hoakie, cookie cutter feeling.

With television, show producers did well to shift the police, drama, and detective shows to a full hour. Comedies can get away with a shorter format, since even with a sit-com, it’s mostly short one liner style humor. The story is incidental to the jokes.

To tell a good story, I’d rather have a show span into a part 2, or 3, or longer to get the story told well, than to clip it, and rush it, just so it fits in the short time frame.

I don’t know why the mini serial concept has never been used more. It worked so well for kid shows like Superman. Soaps use it all the time. Sometimes the Dragnet radio show had a story that lapsed into a second part. I really love the later episodes of Johnny Dollar that spanned the whole week. A short show every day to tell a bigger story. In the big scheme of things though it just hasn’t been done much.

With my little bit of ranting over with, I promise to locate more detective shows, and put them in the lineup. I’m open to hear what detectives are your favorites. I’m getting close to the end of my run of the Box 13 shows, but I’ll probably start it over again from the beginning, and start with the first shows to the last again. I do have more of the Johnny Dollar series which will be appearing one of these days. I’ve found some collections of Michael Shane, and of Richard Diamond, but I haven’t had the chance to listen to them yet. Same for Philip Marlowe.

Any requests are welcome. Use this space in the forum to talk about who your favorites are. I have a few more ideas to put more shows into this area, but a lot of it depends on the demands on my time. Tell me what you like, and I’ll make that a priority.



Hi Keith,

The detective programmes you mention are all very good – some of my favourties. Others you might consider sometime are:

Nero Wolfe (both the US and Canadian series)

Pat Novak for Hire (Jack Webb)

Jeff Regan (also Jack Webb)

Candy Matson (a female detective based in San Francisco)

Inspector Dover (one of the British/BBC, though not sure when this series was broadcast, do don’t know if it technically qualifies as OTR, but very good)

Father Baldi (BBC and also with the same caveats as Inspector Dover)

Inspector Thorne (another British detective that was broadcast on NBC sometime in the 1950s)

Inspector Steine (yet another British detective, though I’ve only heard one six-part programme)

Rogues Gallery (with Dick Powell who also stars in Richard Diamond)

Sam Spade (one of my favourites)

That Hammer Guy (Based on Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer)

The Fat Man

The Saint (Vincent Price)

Walk Softly Peter Troy (I think this was South African)

Night Beat (with Frank Lovejoy as Randy Stone)

And so many more

All the best – Ric


Good shows Rick. I’m familiar with most of them. Not so much the BBC series you mentioned, but I’ll see what I can find on them.

I do have a Candy Matson channel where all of her known shows are listed. I originally tried to put them in sequential order, but I think they may have gotten slightly jumbled. Just have a look in the Channel selection box, and dook under the Detective channel for Candy Matson. Once on that page, you can catch all the shows in your favorite podcatcher by grabbing the address from your browser’s address bar, and add “/feed” to the end of it. (the “/” may already be in the address). Since all the episodes are already there, there won’t be anything new added, unless I take an episode down to run it again.

Thanks for the tips on those other detective shows.


A follow up note:

With the web site move, my Channel selectionds don’t quite work the same. Check out the Resources page, or the side bar for the list of Channels. Individual series still have their own feed to subscribe to, but at the moment I haven’t put out links to do that. It’s all in an effort to streamline the site a little.

I’m still having trouble locating the BBC shows you mentioned, but I have a lot more of most of the others. I mainly like to post old time radio from the era of the 1930’s to the 1950’s, but there is actually a lot of good stuff from the later years, and I’ve posted some of it. I ran the CBS Radio Mystery Theater earlier in the year, and plan to do more. A while back Iaran a series from the BBC that was a Marx Brothers Remake from the 1990’s. The original Marx Brothers series, of course, ran in the 1930’s, and almost none of it is still around other than the scripts that the BBC team used for their shows.

I’ll try to do more of the later things, as long as they aren’t copyrighted, or I can get permission.

Daily Dose of Adventure

After some searching for some programs to round things out, a daily schedule of adventure shows are now on the podcast. Based on the original Superman to carry the load on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, there are two others to fill up the week. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century has been put on Tuesdays, and Flash Gordon will cover the Thursday slot. Both of these are short in time, only 15 minutes, and short in the shows that are available. Still, I have enough to run for several weeks.

I found at least one show that seems to be a duplicate, with two dates for it. I’ll try not to run it twice, but I may forget. There are also an occasional gap in the run of Flash Gordon, and Buck Rogers. The original run of Flash Gordon in the comic books actually had Flash and Dale returning to earth, but the radio series has them getting married… or is that the other way around? Whichever way it goes, the radio series ends up with a transition to another comic serial, Congo Kurt. If I can find any of those, and I just might be able to, I may transition into that series as well. No garantees.

At any rate, as the shorter run shows come to the end of my resources, I’ll have things to swap in their place. It will be an interesting thing to see how it plays out. I’ve had a request for the Green Hornet series. At the moment, I have only a couple of those, so by the time the need arises, it will give me time to track down a season or two of the Grand Nephew of the Lone Ranger (that means Green Hornet for those of you who are less informed).

I’m always open for requests, so hop on the forum and reply to the post, or drop Keith a line in the usual ways. Either use the contact page to send an email, or by commenting on the show notes. All that’s required to comment is to register, and all that requires is submitting your name and email address. It’s such a small price to pay to prove to me that you’re a human, and not a spammer.

Note: Since posting this originally on my old forum, several things have changed, and come about. Check out my Adventure channnel to see how things have all worked out through the months.

A Glimpse at Russel Miller

At a request from Jimbo Mason, here’s a brief look at the replacement kid on Vic and Sade. In the real world, Bill Idelsen went into the Navy for World War 2. A replacement boy was needed to keep equilibrium in the Gook home.

With that all said, here’s a paragraph I wrote for Jimbo, and I’m sure that he’ll put it to good use on his own site, The Crazy World of Vic and Sade.

In my journey to listen to all the Vic and Sade episodes I found out that Bill Idelsen would leave the show for a tour of duty in the Navy. I anticipated the replacement character, Russell, with hopes that he would be everything Rush was. Put simply, Russell is no Rush, but that doesn’t make him any lesser, just different. I liked the fact that the actor who played him was closer in age to the perennially 14 year old Rush. The thing that rubbed me a little the wrong way is that he could be more demanding when he didn’t get attention, which was annoying to me. Over all though, during the time Russell took over as th e boy in the Gook home, I got attached to his character, and was sad to see they didn’t keep him around after Rush returned.

Thhanks for giving me the topic Jim.

A Jack Benny Moment

One night, Jack Benny was walking home when, all of a sudden, a thief jumped on him.

Jack and the thief were beginning to wrestle. They rolled about on the
ground and Jack put up a tremendous fight. However, the thief managed
to get the better of him and pinned Jack to the ground.

When the thief went through Jack’s pockets all he could find on him
was 25 cents. He was so surprised at this he asked why Jack had
bothered to fight so hard for 25 cents.

“Was that all you wanted?” Jack replied, “I thought you were after the
five hundred dollars I’ve got in my shoe!”

Christmas Greetings from Vic and Sade

In the Vic and Sade series, a recurring feature is the host of townsfolk who try to sell Christmas cards to poor old, money concious Sade Gook.

In the show, the topic will come up as quickly in June as it does in the Christmas season. I guess it’s never a bad time to start pitching those cards, and make a little spending money. The thing with that Christmas card company is the wierd, horrible, yet funny greetings in them. Here’s a collected list of them.

  • Give me a kiss, and make me feel fine. Merry Christmas 1939!
  • Wash off that dirty neck of yours, and wipe away that sneer. I’m wishing you and your family a prosperous New Year.
  • Give me a kiss o girl of mine, this is Christmas 1939.
  • Give me a kiss for Christmas time joy, Santa is coming with candy and toys.
  • Give me a kiss to remember you my dear, and don’t forget December 25th is full of holiday cheer.
  • Give me a kiss and then go away, I’m listening for bells on Santa Claus’s sleigh.
  • Give me a kiss before I get mad,
  • Give me a hug o girl of mine, this is Christmas 1939.
  • Give me a kiss while its snowing and sleeting, and accept this heartfelt wish of holiday greeting.
  • Give me a kiss for Christmas time sake. If I don’t recieve presents, I’ll jump in the lake.
  • Give me a kiss, or I’ll telephone the police. May the blessings of Christmas never cease.
  • Merry Christmas you big old ox. What’s Santa Claus gonna put in your socks?
  • If I had a face like yours, I’d go jump in the lake. Your Your brotherr’s a half wit, your uncle’s a fake.
  • You’re not very pretty, and your not very smart. But I hope you enjoy the holiday season, and that comes from the heart.
  • Slap me in the face with a wreath of holly. Give me a kiss, and let’s be jolly.
  • The holiday season is full of fun. If you eat any more pudding, you’ll weigh a ton.
  • Santa Claus’s reindeer have come over the hill. I think I’ll roast a turkey, and eat my fill.
  • I look like a baboon, and I got no sense. When are you gonna pay me the two dollars you owe me for rent?
  • During the Yuletide season, we eat lots of food and cranberry sauce, and take chances at getting fat. Get off my foot you son of a gun, or i’ll hit you on the head with this baseball bat.

This represents a partial list, and is transcribed from a couple audio clips found on the Crazy World of Vic and Sade. As Jimbo adds more, or I find them on my own, this list could grow.

Keith H