Drop Dead!

Arch Oboler
Halloween’s coming and it’s time to curl up with your favorite ghoul friends and Drop Dead!

Arch Oboler wrote and directed radio plays from the 1920’s into the 1950’s, including the series “Lights Out” which began in 1934 and ran at midnight on NBC. Oboler took it over in 1936 when the program’s originator, Wyllis Cooper, left for Hollywood to write movie scripts.

Arch Oboler also wrote and directed the most successful 3-D movie, 1952’s “Bwana Devil”, which streams on various websites.

I picked up this Arch Oboler LP, “Drop Dead!”, at the Northgate Bon Marche fifty or sixty years ago. I exhume it almost every Halloween.

Many prominent actors were used in Oboler’s radio shows. I recognized the voice of The Great Gildersleeve in one of these cuts, whether Harold Peary (Gildy #1) or Willard Waterman (#2) I don’t know. Both of them worked with Arch Oboler.

Nowadays, of course, we’re far too sophisticated to be spooked by some silly old radio show, but turn off your phones, your smart eavesdroppers and the lights. Turn on your imagination. Back you go to a more innocent time. Now … lights out, everybody!


I’M HUNGRY (2:03)


THE DARK (8:36)


THE POSSE (1:37)



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Author: Dick Ellingson

Aging awkwardly but sleeping well in a little country town. Parcel post crusher; blood'n'guts laundry serf; parking lot fender bender/bumper jumper; Lazy B flunkie with 7-word job title; P-I down crew; bobtail trucker; Sunbeam breader; retail store mangler; bothersome boiler roomie; fake real estate agent; d.j./copywriter/p.d./ripper/reader - 600 KGEZ Good Advertising, Kalispell; Community Radio 1510 KURB, Mountlake Terrace; 1540 News/MOR/92.5 Solid Gold Rock & Roll KFKF, Bellevue; 1150 Kountry KAYO America's Own Music, Seattle; 1300 KoMPaSs Radio 13 Modern Country, Seattle; 1360 KLFF Good Music & Great Memories, Glendale/Phoenix; 106.3 Koncert 106 KONC, Sun City/Phoenix; 1580 KCWW Real Country Network, Tempe/Phoenix. Four-year Volunteer P-I/Times/TNT news reader for Evergreen Radio Reading Service broadcasting from the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library, Seattle; dotcomboom day trader who came out alive; King County Metro Bus Driver; Seattle Streetcar Operator. I threw it in at 78 and frequently have bizarre dreams about radio and bus driving, my two preschool dream jobs. I'm a dedicated double dogged direct deposit double dipper. 2 dogs and 2 doles make 4 easy livin'! More articles by Dick
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3 thoughts on “Drop Dead!

  1. I think Robert O. Smith got some of the ideas for his voice characters from this album (I’m Hungry). Was that Bea Benadaret on Taking Papa Home?

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