Episode 041

Death House Rescue









Owen Kelly



April 24, 2020


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In the previous episode Owen Kelly looked at songs available through the Free Music Archive, Jamendo and Tribe of Noise. We traversed the geography of the musical commons. In this episode we dive into the historical cultural commons.

We listen to the very first episode of The Shadow, a radio series that ran for thirteen seasons from 1937 to 1954. For the first eighteen months a young Orson Welles played The Shadow, and allegedly added to the dramatic quality of the series by looking at the script for the first time when he read it live on air.

Listening to this episode takes us back to the cultural diet of American families sitting around a radio at peak listening hour. We can hear how their Saturday evening entertainment sounded, rather than reading about it. We can only do this because the copyright on these broadcasts has expired. This episode serves as an example of the cultural histories that we will miss out on if the corporate hold over intellectual property continues to increase.

Our cultural history is under attack. The Shadow Knows!