How the Sound Effects on 1930s Radio Shows Were Made: An Inside Look

“Jam” Handy (1886–1983) was known for two things: 1.) participating in the 1904 and 1924 Olympics (quite a feat if you think about the gap in time), and 2.) making thousands of educational training films for American corporations, schools and the US armed forces. A guru of cinematic advertising, he shot films for General Motors, DuPont, Chevrolet, Coca-Cola and U.S. Steel, from the 1930s through the 1960s.

Above you can watch Back of the Mike, a film shot for Chevrolet in 1938. Like other films in this genre, this piece of cinematic advertising offers us an entertaining, if not educational, look at how old-time radio shows created their sound effects–all while helping market a product, the Chevrolet that helps the good guys win in the end. If the film makes you want to buy a Chevy, we can’t help you there. But if Back of the Mike gives you a hankering to listen to old time radio plays, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a few good items listed for you in the Relateds below.

Would you like to support the mission of Open Culture? Please consider making a donation to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your contributions will help us continue providing the best free cultural and educational materials to learners everywhere.

Also consider following Open Culture on Facebook and Twitter and sharing intelligent media with your friends. Or sign up for our daily email and get a daily dose of Open Culture in your inbox. 

via VA Viper

Related Content:

Stream 61 Hours of Orson Welles’ Classic 1930s Radio Plays: War of the Worlds, Heart of Darkness & More

Dimension X: The 1950s SciFi Radio Show That Dramatized Stories by Asimov, Bradbury, Vonnegut & More

Free: Listen to 298 Episodes of the Vintage Crime Radio Series, Dragnet

The Original 1940s Superman Cartoon and the Original Radio Show

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Support Open Culture

We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s mission, please consider making a donation. We accept Paypal, Venmo, Patreon, even Crypto! To donate, click here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.