Monday, 12 November 2012


Image copyright DC COMICS

I bought this LP album around February or March of 1985
from a record store in Portsmouth shopping centre.  An astounding
27 and 3-quarter years ago, so I've now had it for more than half my
life.  I find this absolutely mind-staggering, because it seems like just
a few years back, and it's been played only a handful of times since
then.  In fact, most spins occurred only recently when I dug it
out to transfer to CD and it took several tries to get right.

The B side features two SUPERMAN radio broadcasts from
1947, the first being markedly inferior in audio quality to the sec-
ond, as well as to both episodes on side A, which hail from '45 '46
respectively.  Also, the use of SAMMY TIMBURG's theme from the
'40s MAX FLEISCHER Superman cartoons bestows an immensely
juvenile air to the later shows and does them no favours.  I'd guess that
digitally restored, superior-sound versions of the episodes have been
issued since the album's release in '84 (the earliest episodes from
1940 have been), but, to be frank, I doubt it'll make them any
more enjoyable from a purely historical point of view.

Interestingly, a lot of what eventually became Superman lore
first occurred on radio.  KRYPTONITE, JIMMY OLSEN, the
BATMAN/SUPERMAN team-up, and the famous call to action as
the Man of Steel took flight:  "Up, up and awaaayyy!!"  Of in-
terest are the interview extracts with CLAYTON 'BUD' COLLYER,
the radio & cartoon voice of Superman/CLARK KENT.  Certainly
worth having, and maybe I'll listen to it again in another 27 and
  3-quarter years.  (Which will doubtless fly by in no time.)  


Dougie said...

1985- all Italian knitwear and Live Aid- seems immensely far away to me, more distant than 1975. In the spring, I left home to move to Glasgow for the first time. Renting a room in Kent Road, I lived on sausage and chips in the Equi Cafe.

Despite 50s-style haircuts and final exams, however, it seems impossibly long ago. I didn't like the 80s much- the 90s were better.

Kid said...

It's the usual paradox for me, I'm afraid. On one hand it seems like only last week; on the other, it feels like centuries ago.

Anonymous said...

AFAIK, the radio show was the first time Superman and Batman worked together as a team. When Batman guest starred in Superman #76 in the early 1950's, the foreword on the splash page said that the two had never met before. Maybe DC did not accept the radio show as canon, or maybe they just forgot. Actually, in the 1940's, Superman and Batman appeared together twice in All Star Comics (as honorary Justice Society members), and regularly on World's Finest covers (but not in the stories themselves). Between the radio series, All-Star Comics, and World's Finest Comics, there must be at least four different versions of the characters' first meeting. And that is not counting any post-Crisis reboots.

Kid said...

I'd have to assume that it didn't accept the radio show as canon because the show's origin of Superman is slightly different from the one in the comics. Regarding the two early 'first' meetings, I think they later reconciled them in some way - along the lines of one being when they first met and the other being when they first discovered each other's identities. I'd have to dig out my reprints of them to check, but it was something like that.

Anonymous said...

You are right. World's Finest #179 reprinted Superman #76 and WF #94 (which retold the team's origin in a flashback), IIRC. The introduction to the Superman story was edited, changing "have never met" to "don't know each other's secret identities."

Kid said...

Someone was obviously asleep at the wheel when those srories were first printed, eh? Otherwise the discrepancy would have been caught before publication.

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