Monday, 12 November 2012


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

The B side features two SUPERMAN radio broadcasts from 1947,
the first being markedly inferior in audio quality to the second, as well as
to the earlier episodes on side A, which hail from 1945 & '46 respectively.
Also, the adoption of the SAMMY TIMBURG theme from the '40s MAX
FLEISCHER Superman cartoons lends an immensely juvenile air to the
later programmes which doesn't do them any favours in the slightest.  I'd
guess that digitally restored, superior-sounding versions of these episodes
have been issued since the album's release in '84 (I know that the earliest
episodes from 1940 have been), but, to be honest, I doubt it will 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 Supes took flight:
"Up, up and awaaayyy!!"  One of the more interesting aspects of the
album is a selection of extracts from interviews with CLAYTON 'BUD' 
COLLYER, the radio & cartoon voice of Superman and CLARK KENT.
Certainly worth having in my collection, and maybe I'll give it another
   listen in another 27 and 3-quarter years.  (Won't be long now.)  


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.