Grace Gibson Productions have released another batch of vintage Australian radio serials from their archives.
Left: Each episode of Strange Endings has an unexpected climax. Right: Bebe Scott starred in radio serials such as Mrs ‘Obbs and can be heard in Strange Endings. During the 1940s she helped British and Australian war orphans through her support of the NSW branch of the British Orphans Adoption Society.
Not for Publication takes us back to 1955 and demonstrates that no matter what our background or profession we all have an exciting, pathetic or even humorous story to tell. Each episode features a self-contained story narrated in the first person and the subjects covered are certainly diverse.
We hear from a taxi driver who finds himself embroiled in an armed hold-up after collecting two passengers. A woman’s jealousy costs three lives and ruins an entrepreneur’s musical comedy, a prison warder talks about the pressure and hatred in the big house, and a publican with rooms to let tells of a woman who committed suicide because she couldn’t deal with her husband’s heavy drinking. An alcoholic actress past her prime hits the roof when she’s replaced by her understudy, and a theatrical agent encounters another washed-up actress who uses blackmail to get herself back on the stage.
A stool pigeon transports us to the underworld where a big-time gangster meets his maker, and a lazy loafer is conned into getting a job by his wealthy parents.
Left: Even the most mundane of folk have a fascinating story to tell in Not for Publication. Right: In A Love To Remember we wonder if a world famous actress was murdered.
Strange Endings, a serial produced in 1948, features a mixed grill of short stories with an unexpected climax. Swindlers try to rip-off a weather-beaten old mining prospector, a woman suspects that her model husband has been playing around, and a soap flake entrepreneur longing for adventure is conned when he decides to become a pearl fisher. The cast includes Bebe Scott, Dinah Shearing and Lyndall Barbour.
The sixteenth and final volume of Yes What? aka Greenbottle is now available featuring the last twelve episodes of the rollicking schoolroom farce which were broadcast in 1940. Although 520 episodes of the programme were produced, the first 208 instalments are sadly missing from the archives, but Grace Gibson Productions have now re-issued all of the surviving programmes.
In this edition, the naughty schoolboys come to grips with geometry and they encounter a 125-year-old fiddle player who ends up getting a lash of the cane. As a special bonus feature volume 16 also includes a Yes What cast reunion which went to air in 1969, it has only survived because a fan in Adelaide had the foresight to make an off-air recording of it.
Left: The final volume of Yes What? aka Greenbottle is now available. Right: The laughs keep coming with How Green Was My Cactus.
There are more belly laughs in the latest releases of the political satire How Green Was My Cactus with susware mining, heroin trials, same-sex Genghis, the Middle East handicap, bogan economics and even a Brexit dinner.
If you prefer a great romantic melodrama then head back to 1958 with A Love To Remember. World famous actress Julie Lambert is dead and has left plenty of drama in her wake with countless people wondering what the ‘surprise’ is that she promised them in her will.
Things take an unexpected twist when the police issue an exhumation order for Julie’s body, they begin to suspect foul play in relation to her death and everyone is in the frame. We meet the solicitor who loved her, an ageing actress, an acclaimed director, a loyal wardrobe assistant, a bitter woman who has recently been released from prison and a secret daughter who will also find her life at risk. Was a lethal attack with a Christmas tree ball really what did for Julie? Tune in to find out.
All of these classic radio serials and a wealth of others can be purchased on CD or as digital downloads by listeners worldwide exclusively from the Grace Gibson Productions website. https://gracegibsonradio.com/