Blog: Writing about all things pulplish

Going on hiatus

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, October 6, 2017 in Old Time Radio (OTR), Pulp, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Going on hiatus

This blog, That’s Pulp!, is going on an extended vacation. I can’t tell you when I’ll return… I don’t know.

To all you pulp fans who have visited here over the past two years, I want to thank you for your interest, your support, and your kind comments. And to Bill Lampkin, who owns and operates ThePulp.Net, I want to extend my sincere gratitude for allowing me the opportunity to address you weekly. A nicer and more helpful guy I’ve never met.

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Advertising The Shadow

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, September 15, 2017 in Mail-away premiums, Movies, Old Time Radio (OTR), Pulp, Serials, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Advertising The Shadow
Ad found in a 1938 issue of Doc Savage Magazine.

Ad found in a 1938 issue of Doc Savage Magazine.

Ads and promotions for The Shadow appeared in many forms. Below you will see examples of some of them. Most are advertisements intended to entice radio listeners to tune in each Sunday afternoon for another exciting episode of The Shadow program. There are also a few advertisements for the pulp magazines and movies shown.

Ink blotters were probably the most commonly found types of advertising material for The Shadow. Although nobody uses ink blotters any more, back in the old radio era ball-point pens were not yet being mass produced and most people wrote with fountain pens and regularly used ink blotters. They were cheap to produce and became a popular advertising medium for all sorts of products and businesses.

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The Shadow on television

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, August 25, 2017 in Movies, Old Time Radio (OTR), Old TV Shows, Pulp, Serials, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

The Shadow on television

The version of The Shadow that radio listeners heard beginning in 1937 was designed specifically for the medium of radio. And it was a perfect fit. A crime fighter with the power to become invisible required no special effects other than what the individual mind could conjure.

That version of The Shadow did not translate well to the screen, either large or small. There were a series of motion-picture shorts that featured an early radio version of The Shadow… where The Shadow was an unseen narrator of the stories. Four feature-length motion pictures were produced between 1937 and 1946, but they used a more pulp version of The Shadow. A 1940 movie serial used the same approach. It wasn’t until 1994 and the motion picture The Shadow, starring Alec Baldwin, that radio’s version of The Shadow appeared in movie theaters… and disappeared, using his power to cloud men’s minds.

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‘Lost’ Shadow radio shows — found!

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, July 14, 2017 in Old Time Radio (OTR), Pulp, The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

‘Lost’ Shadow radio shows — found!
New CD set of The Shadow!

New CD set of The Shadow!

The Shadow, my favorite pulp hero, first appeared on radio on the CBS weekly Detective Story Magazine. That was 1930, and at that point, he was just the host/announcer, like the 1940s Whistler program. The Shadow appeared in the pulps in 1931 with the first of his 325 magazine stories, “The Living Shadow.” But the radio version of The Shadow that we all remember so well — that of Lamont Cranston and his power to cloud men’s minds so that they could not see him — didn’t appear until fall 1937 when Orson Welles portrayed the crime fighter. And for the next 17 years, The Shadow radio adventures could be heard at 5:30 p.m. Sundays on the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Today we still remember The Shadow, in large part, because of the recordings of those radio shows which have survived. Yet out of over 600 broadcasts between 1937 and 1954, just a little over 200 recordings survived for fans to enjoy today. Sadly, 400-some adventures of The Shadow can’t be heard by listeners. It is a matter of celebration, then, when new recordings are discovered. Well, break out the fireworks, folks. It’s time to celebrate. Eleven new adventures of The Shadow have been uncovered and are available right now!

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‘The Shadow’: Blue Coal goes to war

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, March 24, 2017 in Old Time Radio (OTR), The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

‘The Shadow’: Blue Coal goes to war
Blue Coal ink blotter

Blue Coal ink blotter

When war was declared by the U.S. Congress after the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the entire nation was quick to rally to support the cause, including The Shadow radio broadcasts. During the war years, The Shadow‘s adventures included skirmishes with Axis spies and saboteurs, mixed in with the usual blood-and-thunder fare.

But it wasn’t just the plots of the stories that reflected the war. No, the sponsor, Blue Coal, did its part as well. Below are pages of some scripts that illustrate how Blue Coal supported the war effort on the Shadow radio program.

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Murder Marked Merry Christmas, Part 3

Posted by at 10:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016 in Old Time Radio (OTR), The Shadow
Estimated reading time: 13 minutes

And for this week, the final part of a “lost” Shadow mystery. Happy Holidays!

Murder Marked Merry Christmas

(Broadcast Dec. 26, 1948)

A Shadow adventure in 3 parts.

A Shadow adventure in 3 parts.

What has gone before:

Ski instructor Alex Trenton was the first to perish when his anonymous Christmas gift exploded. Lamont Cranston, a guest at the Snow Cap Lodge, vowed to investigate the murder in the absence of the police.

Eliza Grinnell and her husband Louis are also guests. She was having a secret affair with the dead man. Her husband, Louis, is ignorant of the affair… she believes. Nat Welsh, a private detective, has arrived and is also looking into the death. Welsh had been hired by Grinnell to follow his wife.

Lamont Cranston, Margo Lane and Nat Welsh are in the upper hallway, outside Eliza Grinnell’s room, when she is killed by a second mysterious Christmas gift. This time, it contained poison gas. Grinnell is confronted, but protests his innocence in the death of his wife.

Later, Hiram Diggs, the lodge proprietor, is visited by the invisible Shadow, who learns vital clues to the murder. Investigator Welsh tries to make a secret deal with Grinnell, but fails.

Cranston, Margo and Welsh return to his room to discover a new Christmas gift waiting for him — Welsh. And inside, a glass figure of a candle… with a pistol hidden inside, ready to go off! Welsh is furious.

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