Sunday, January 16, 2011


Here are just some of the Old Time Radio based TV series we offer for order at BOOKSTEVE RARITIES. The problem with translating OTR to TV (or film for that matter) was that people knew what McGee's closet looked like or Amos's taxi or Duffy's Tavern and no matter how well they thought they'd done it up for TV it could never look like the hundreds of thousands of individual visions listeners had created in their own heads. Still, some fun and fascinating attempts came of it and here are some of the best of what remains in existence. Look for the BOOKSTEVE RARITIES link at right to order and help fund our family of blogs.


Fifteen DVD box set contains almost all 78 episodes of the TV series, the motion picture CHECK AND DOUBLE CHECK, two vintage cartoons with Amos n' Andy from the 1930s, and an independent documentary about the history of the TV series with exclusive interviews with cast and crew! $50.00


Swaying palms, beautiful women, and high adventure in this short-run television series based on the radio program of the same name that starred Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. Here, Dane Clark plays Slate Shannon and Joan Marshall as his girlfriend Sailor Duval. The episodes took place in Trinidad, but what made this 1959-60 TV series different from the others was the calypso music which not only served as background, but sometimes tied the story together through bits of narrative. Titles include: "The Search," "Back from the Dead," "Feathered Capes," "Matador," "The Gambling Lady," "Fast trip to Venezuela," "The Missing Tourist," and "An Old Flame's Flame." $10.00

DUFFY'S TAVERN: The Television Series

In the fall of 1954, Duffy's Tavern, the long running radio show, was beginning to show its face on television. Even though only 26 episodes were filmed and broadcast, the creator and star of the series, Ed Gardner, reprised his role of Archie the barkeep in this fly-infested dive that was supposed to attract the upper class - but attracted trouble in comedic situations. Broadcast from May 4, 1954 to October 26, 1954, this DVD offers four television episodes, uncut and unedited. This DVD features: "Grand Opening" (premiere episode), "Marriage Plans", "The Counterfeiters" and "Political Campaign."

FIBBER McGEE AND MOLLY : The Television Series

Based on the popular radio show of the same name, this short-lived television series was pretty faithful to it's mother with Bob Sweeney as Fibber, and Cathy Lewis as Molly. Even Hal Peary plays Mayor LaTrivia. Broadcast from 1959-1960, this classic TV series is very hard to find but we offer eight classic episodes on this 2-disc box set! Titles include: "McGee Buys a Trailor," "The Lease Renewal," "Fred Nitney Visits," "The Courtship," "The Big Dance," "Good Neighbors," "2,500 Shares of Stock" and "Nitney's Inventions."


Ten classic TV episodes on two DVDs. Willard Watterman reprises his radio role for these classic episodes. Practice What You Preach, Gildy Goes Diving, The New Cook, The Expectant Father, Bard of Summerville, Gildy Goes Broke, The Whistling Bandit, Marjorie's Boyfriend, One Too Many Secretaries and Dancing Lessons. $10.00

THE LIFE OF RILEY: The Jackie Gleason Years

Before William Bendix, there was Jackie Gleason as Chester A. Riley. A short-run television comedy featuring adaptations of the radio scripts of the same name, this program was successful enough for the network to renew the series for a second season. But since they wanted Bendix and he was unavailable at the time, Jackie Gleason played the role. This six DVD set features all 26 episodes Gleason ever did as Riley before Bendix took over the role. $30.00

#1 "Tonsils" (October 4, 1949)#2 "Babs and Simon Step Out" (October 11, 1949)

#3 "Egbert's Chemistry Set" (October 18, 1949)#4 "The French Professor" (Oct. 25, 1949)

#5 "Nervous Breakdown" (November 1, 1949)#6 "Assistant Manager" (November 8, 1949)

#7 "Riley's Birthday Gift" (November 15, 1949)

#8 "Riley, Gillis and Vanderhooper" (November 22, 1949)

#9 "Junior Falls for His Teacher" (November 29, 1949)#10 "Night School" (December 6, 1949)

#11 "Prom Dress" (December 13, 1949)#12 "Junior's Birthday Party" (December 20, 1949)

#13 "The Boarder" (December 27, 1949)#14 "Peg's Birthday" (January 3, 1950)

#15 "Junior Drops Out" (January 10, 1950)#16 "Riley's Firstborn" (January 17, 1950)

#17 "Insurance" (January 24, 1960)#18 "The Gambler" (January 31, 1950)

#19 "Acting Lessons" (February 7, 1950)#20 "Valentine's Day" (February 14, 1950)

#21 "Home Sweet Home" (February 21, 1950)#22 "South American Job" (February 28, 1950)

#23 "Riley's Quarrel" (March 7, 1960)#24 "Junior and the Bully" (March 14, 1950)

#25 "The Banned Book" (March 21, 1950)#26 "Five Dollar Bill" (March 28, 1950)

THE LIFE OF RILEY: The William Bendix Years

After the short-run Jackie Gleason series expired, William Bendix came to television in the role of Chester A. Riley, reprising the same he did on the long-running radio program and 1948 motion-picture of the same name. This four-disc set contains a TON of television episodes in chronological order. $25.00

#2 "Riley's Business Venture" (April 3, 1953)#3 "Riley Steps Out" (April 10, 1953)

#4 "Riley the Executive" (April 27, 1953)#6 "Riley's Operation" (May 8, 1953)

#12 "Riley's Stomache Ache" (September 18, 1953)#20 "Burning Ambition" (Nov. 20, 1953)

#22 "Riley's Separation" (December 4, 1953)#24 "Riley, the Worrier" (Dec. 18, 1953)

#25 "Riley's Second Honeymoon" (December 25, 1953)#26 "Junior’s Boxing" (January 1, 1954)

#27 "Riley Balances the Budget" (January 8, 1954)#29 "Junior's Double Date" (Jan. 22, 1954)

#33 "The Boss's Niece" (February 19, 1954)#49 "Junior's Secret" (September 17, 1954)

#52 "Destination Brooklyn" (October 8, 1954)#53 "The Watch Dog" (October 15, 1954)

#60 "Riley's Wild Oats" (December 3, 1954)#66 "Come Back Junior" (Jan. 14, 1955)

#67 "Riley Buys a Wrestler" (January 21, 1955)#73 "Chicken Ranch" (March 11, 1955)

#90 "Love Comes to Waldo Binney" (October 7, 1955)#99 "Repeat Performance" (Dec. 9, 1955)

#105 "Babs' Wedding" (January 20, 1956)#107 "Junior Quits School" (Feb. 3, 1956)

#110 "The Train Trip" (February 24, 1956)#132 "Juvenile Delinquent" (Nov. 2, 1956)

#133 "Riley's Lonely Night" (November 9, 1956)#135 "Riley Hires a Nurse" (Nov. 23, 1956)

#136 "Blessed Event" (November 30, 1956)#138 "Honeybee's Mother" (Dec. 14, 1956)

#139 "World' Greatest Grandson" (December 21, 1956)#140 "Double Date" (Dec. 28, 1956)

#141 "Riley Wins a Trip" (January 4, 1957)#142 "Aloha Riley" (Jan. 11, 1957)

#143 "Change in Command" (January 18, 1957)#144 "Strolling the Park" (January 25, 1957)

#145 "Deep in the Heart" (February 1, 1957)#146 "Candid Camera" (February 8, 1957)

#148 "All-American Brain" (February 22, 1957)#149 "Getting Riley's Goat" (Mar. 1, 1957)

#150 "A Young Man's Fancy" (March 8, 1957)#151 "Babs' Dream House" (Mar. 15, 1957)

SUSPENSE (Volume 1)

30 episodes of the classic TV series from 1949-54 and telecast “live” from soundstages. This four-disc box set contains a few highlights such as Boris Karloff in a 1949 production of. $25.00

SUSPENSE (Volume 2)

Another 30 episodes of the classic TV series from 1949-54 and telecast “live” from soundstages. This four-disc box set contains a few highlights such as Bela Lugosi in "A Cask of Amontillado". $25.00

SUSPENSE (Volume 3)

Another 30 episodes of the classic TV series from 1949-54 and telecast “live” from soundstages. This four-disc box set contains a few highlights such as Boris Karloff in the 1949 production of “The Yellow Scarf” and the unaired 1958 TV pilot starring Keenan Wynn. $25.00

1 comment:

  1. Fibber McGee and Gumby. You've got to love the Art Clokey titles.