Listen to an old time western, hear what it was like during WWII, laugh to some great comedies, figure out crimes and mystery with a hard-boiled detective. You an do all of this with just a couple of CDs.
Superman old time radio show is an iconic show, aimed at the juvenile listener, but loved by all. Adapted from the DC comics character, it ran for 11 years, from 1940-1951. Superman was broadcast in both 15 and 30 minute formats, and was broadcast serial style, meaning that the shows were like chapters in a book. Old time radio's way of making sure you listened each week and didn't miss anything.
The old time radio version started two years after the introduction of Superman in Action Comics #1. Superman was an immediate success on old time radio, just as he had been in the comic strip. This action packed show had Superman battling evil doers both foreign and domestic. During WWII Superman battled Axis and Japanese enemies, but on the home front he also battled domestic enemies, most notably the Ku Klux Klan. There were also the career bad guys that he took on along the way also, Lex Luthor for one.
If you find one of these in your attic, your ship has come in! This is the comic that introduced Superman.
Nothing was better for producers of old time radio shows than to start a show that had a built in audience, the comic books took care of that. But the old time radio version of Superman did well on it's own. As mentioned, Superman was targeting a juvenile audience, but it was one of those great old time radio shows that everybody in the family listened to, except maybe that pesky little sister.
During it's run on old time radio, Superman aired on both the Mutual Network and ABC. It usually kept a pretty late afternoon, early evening time slot. Up until 1949 Superman was a 15 minute show, then it changed to a 30 minute version. It's estimated by most old time radio historians to have aired just over 1600 total episodes.
The story was the seller in this series. In fact the name of the actor who played Superman remained a secret until 1946. That's when Bud Collyer (Superman) did a magazine article for Time Magazine about religious and racial tolerance, and he was 'outed' and Superman. Collyer played the part of this old time radio super hero until 1948, then Michael Fitzmaurice took over the role until the series ended.
Old time radio legend Jackson Beck was the announcer, and supporting cast members included Jack Grimes and Agnes Moorehead, but again, Superman was about the story, not the actors. Speaking of stories, Superman was a serial drama, some stories were over 30 episodes long. But, sad to say for old time radio fans is that this is not the complete series. The complete 1600 plus episodes of Superman does not exist anymore. What we do have is about 1100 episodes. I mention this because it is sometimes frustrating to have missing episodes in a serial type show. However, the good thing is that there are enough episodes left to be able to piece everything together. That said, not only is this collection very large, it's also of very good audio quality, please listen to a sample and see for yourself.
The Superman old time radio series didn't end because people lost interest, or because it wasn't good anymore, it was felt that in 1951 it was time to take the series to TV. Probably a good decision because there were so many radio listeners the TV show would have a ready made audience.
If you're even looking at this page you already know most of what there is about Superman, so all you have to do now is figure out how many copies you need! Right now there is an amazing resurgence of old time radio juvenile shows. Superman, Hop Harrigan, Air Adventures of Jimmy Allen, Magic Island, etc. There's a lot of families listening together, and adults are getting hooked on these types of shows as well.
We have 1100 episodes of this classic old time radio show, available in three different formats, a set of 7 MP3 CDs, and on Regular Audio CD. We also offer it on an MP3 DVD, but please note that MP3 DVDs have limited playback capability. I would only suggest the MP3 DVD if you only want to download it onto an iPod or portable MP3 player. With each day that goes by more and more cars and home playback devices accept MP3 CD. If you order Regular Audio CD we have up to 250 available, each with either 2 or 4 different episodes on them.
We have just revised our Superman collection in Aug. of 2012 with the addition of more episodes, and the addition of some better audio quality episodes. Superman is old time radio at it's best, please enjoy responsibly!