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The Jack Benny Show, last broadcast over a half century ago, voted best radio series of all-time in recent RUSC.COM survey
NEW YORK, Dec. 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Over one-thousand and eight hundred nominations were made, in what is believed to be the largest survey of its kind. The nominations covered everything from old-style detective radio shows through to classic comedy, drama, big band broadcasts and science fiction.
The radio show that received the most nominations, by a healthy margin, was "The Jack Benny Program."
"It wasn't a surprise to see Jack Benny being voted the top series," says Ned Norris of RUSC.COM, a site specializing in old time radio shows. "His popularity seems to have lived on through successive generations. It seems good entertainment will survive even with the radical changes in broadcasting and technology that we've seen over the last few decades."
The top ten radio shows of all-time accounted for roughly fifty percent of the voting, but there were nominations for over one-hundred and ninety different radio shows, which goes to show the enduring popularity of radio, and particularly classic radio shows from the 1930s, '40s and '50s.
In second place in the poll was the classic western "Gunsmoke," which starred William Conrad as Marshal Matt Dillon. In third place was "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar," a series about an insurance investigator that fits neatly into the hard-boiled detective genre that was so popular in the golden days of radio.
Other classic shows appearing in the all-time top ten included The Shadow, Fibber McGee & Molly, Suspense, Dragnet, Great Gildersleeve, X Minus One, and Amos & Andy.
"There were quite a few surprises," says Ned Norris of RUSC.
"Some of the series you expected to see were conspicuous by their absence, such as Sherlock Holmes, Lux Radio Theater, and some of the big names of the day such as Phil Harris & Alice Faye, Burns & Allen, and even Bob Hope."
It is remarkable that after over half a century these old radio shows are still finding an audience in these days of the Internet, social media, and smart phones. What is it about radio shows that are fifty, sixty or even seventy years old that attracts listeners to this day?
Old time radio has seen a huge resurgence in popularity over the last decade. A whole new generation are embracing these classic shows, listening on their computers at work, downloading them onto their smart phones, and even listening whilst working out at the gym or jogging through the park.
So, the next time you see a young man or woman walking down the street, or sat on the subway with headphones tucked into their ears, it might not be Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber they're listening to. It might just be Jack Benny, a pulp-fiction style detective show, a classic science fiction episode, or a quiz show from the 1940s.
For a complete list of the survey results visit:
RUSC has been the leading website for old-time radio shows fans since 1999. The site provides access to over 25,000 classic radio shows in both downloadable and streaming format along with editorial on the shows and stars, crosswords and quizzes, and other radio and nostalgia related content. The site is visited by people of all ages ranging from science-fiction loving teenagers looking for an audio-alternative to Dr. Who through to veterans in their 80s and 90s who want to listen to war broadcasts from the late 1930s and 1940s, or to the shows they grew up listening to as children.
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