Radio Tales

Radio Tales

Radio Tales is a American drama anthology radio series produced by Generations Productions LLC [ [ "Generations Productions LLC"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] . Premiering on National Public Radio on October 29, 1996 [National Public Radio: "NPR Marketing Monthly Edition". NPR Marketing, 1996] , the series has been described by NPR as “music drama programs packed with discovery, mystery and intrigue wrapped in original cinematic music and elaborate sound design” [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition". NPR Marketing, 2001] . The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio, including such titles as War of the Worlds, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Beowulf, Gulliver’s Travels, and Arabian Nights.

The series was conceived and created by producer Winnie Waldron, who also served as on-air host and principal script editor for the series [ [ "Winifred Phillips Official Site: Biography"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] . Composer Winifred Phillips created over fifty hours of music for the series, and also performed as featured actress [ [ "NPR Playhouse - January - March, 2001"] Accessed March 21, 2008.] . Waldron and Phillips are co-founders of Generations Productions LLC, and co-producers of the Radio Tales series. In addition to their work on this series, Waldron and Phillips are also known for their subsequent work as producers and creators of music for the videogame industry, most notably for the Speed Racer videogame in 2008 [ [ "Game Credits for Speed Racer: The Videogame"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] , the Shrek the Third videogame in 2007 [ [ "Game Credits for Shrek the Third"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] , The Da Vinci Code videogame in 2006 [ [ "Game Credits for The Da Vinci Code"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] , and the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory [ [ "Game Credits for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] and God of War [ [ "Game Credits for God of War"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] videogames in 2005.

The Radio Tales series has won numerous awards, including an International Radio Festivals WorldMedal [ [ "2004 Winners, Radio Programming and Promotion, New York Festivals"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 22, 2008.] for its production of Fortress of Doom (an adaptation of Lord Dunsany’s classic short story The Fortress Unvanquishable Save For Sacnoth) and four Gracie Allen Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television, including a Best Actress in a National Network Drama award for Winifred Phillips’ performance in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s The Yellow Wallpaper.


Waldron and Phillips’ first venture into the field of radio drama came in 1992, when they collaborated on a limited-run anthology series of original dramas entitled Tales from the Other Side [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition, Summer 1992". NPR Marketing, 1992] . The series consisted of 10 half-hour programs. Programs from the series were chosen by Noah Andre Trudeau, then cultural program director for National Public Radio, to be featured as a part of NPR Playhouse in the summer of 1992 [ [ "NPR Playhouse - January - March, 2001"] Accessed May 20, 2008.] . The entire series was subsequently broadcast on WBAI-FM in NYC in 1994 [Science Fiction Chronicle: "Newsnotes & Events". Science Fiction Chronicle, Pg. 12, 1994] , where it earned comparisons to the "Twilight Zone" and the "Outer Limits". [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition, Fall 1998". NPR Marketing, 1998]

In 1996, Waldron and Phillips produced the pilot program for a new series of dramatic radio adaptations of classic stories and novels from around the world. The series was produced for NPR Playhouse initially under the name “Generations Radio Theater Presents”. The pilot program was an adaptation of the classic Edgar Allan Poe horror story, Masque of the Red Death, and was described by NPR as "elegantly macabre". [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition, Fall 1997". NPR Marketing pg. 7, 1997] National Public Radio Playhouse aired the pilot program on October 29th, 1996.

The “Generations Radio Theater Presents” series aired on National Public Radio affiliate stations from 1996 until 2002. During its broadcast run on National Public Radio, the Radio Tales series was underwritten by the National Endowment for the Arts. [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition, Fall 1998". NPR Marketing, Vol. IV, No. III] In 2002, the series moved to XM Satellite Radio’s Sonic Theater channel [ [ "Sonic Theater"] Accessed May 22, 2008.] . Retitled "Radio Tales", the series made its XM Satellite Radio premiere on Thanksgiving Day with the holiday program, O. Henry's Thanksgiving. Radio Tales airs regularly on the Sonic Theater channel of XM Satellite Radio.

Programs in the series

* The Time Machine
* Beowulf
* War of the Worlds
* Moon Voyager
* Masque of the Red Death
* Edgar Allan Poe's Predicament
* O. Henry's Thanksgiving
* O. Henry's Last Leaf
* The Lost World
* The Gift of the Magi
* A Matter of Prejudice
* Gulliver's Travels
* 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
* Lord of the Celts
* Celtic Hero
* Fifth Dimension
* Ice Maiden
* The Mummy
* Sleepy Hollow
* The Invisible Man
* The Phantom of the Opera
* Chicago 2065
* Apocalypse
* Frankenstein
* The Fall of the House of Usher
* The Boarded Window
* Owl Creek Bridge
* Chopin's Locket
* A New England Nun
* Asteroid
* Time Warp
* The Pit and the Pendulum
* Revolt of Mother
* Laughin' in Meetin'
* Journey to the Center of the Earth
* The Yellow Wallpaper
* Hop-Frog
* The Furnished Room
* Edith Wharton's Journey
* The Island of Dr. Moreau
* The Hunchback of Notre-Dame
* Dracula's Guest
* The Lone Indian
* Stephen Crane's Dark Brown Dog
* Mrs. Manstey's View
* Feet of Clay
* Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
* Jason and the Argonauts
* The Canterville Ghost
* Edgar Allan Poe's Valdemar
* Silence, A Fable
* Watchers
* Otherworld
* Charles Dickens' Ghost Story
* The Birthmark
* The Ghost of Wuthering Heights
* The Tell-Tale Heart
* The German Student
* Planet Trek
* Fortress of Doom

Critical Reception

The Radio Tales series has received generally positive reviews for its programs. AudioFile Magazine described the series as delivering “vivid, intriguing new radio drama” [Robin F. Whitten (Editor/Publisher): "AudioFile Magazine Vol. 7 No. 5, Feb / March 1999". AudioFile pg. 8, 1999] . In its review of The Mummy” (the series’ adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel, The Jewel of Seven Stars), Billboard Magazine described Phillips’ on-air performance as “a cultured voice that’s appropriate to Stoker’s formal language but is able to convey the appropriate tone of horror,” adding that “subtle and mysterious music adds to the atmosphere” [Trudi Miller Rosenblum: "Reviews & Previews". Billboard Magazine Sept. 25, 1999, pg. 25] . In its review of the series’ adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist horror story, The Yellow Wallpaper, Publishers Weekly wrote, “Sensational... (Phillips') charged narration is augmented with sound effects and a musical score.” [Publishers Weekly: "Audio Reviews". Publishers Weekly pg. 29, Jan 6 1997] In reviewing the series’ production of Washington Irving’s Sleepy Hollow, Billboard Magazine wrote, “This telling of Washington Irving’s classic yarn is a real treat”, also describing the music as adding “an effectively spooky touch to the production.” [Trudi Mill Rosenblum: "Reviews & Previews". Billboard Magazine, pg. 24, Nov. 14, 1998] AudioFile Magazine described the series’ production of Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death as “A magnificent demonstration of the very best the medium has to offer.” [Robin F. Whitten (Editor/Publisher): "AudioFile Magazine Vol. 8 No. 4, Dec. 1999 / January 2000". AudioFile pg. 51, 1999] The series was selected as a "Featured Artist Spotlight" by, which described the programs as "an art form in and of themselves," adding that the programs feature "richly textured music and sound-scapes commensurate with the changing moods and atmospheres of the text," and that "(Phillips') experience in acting shines through in her apt delivery." [ [ " - Artist Spotlight"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed October 1, 2008.]


* American Women in Radio and Television GRACIE AWARD 2004 [ [ "AWRT Press Release"] Accessed March 21, 2008.]
* The New York Festivals WORLDMEDAL 2004 [ [ "2004 Winners, Radio Programming and Promotion, New York Festivals"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 22, 2008.]
* American Women in Radio and Television GRACIE AWARD 2003 [ [ "NPR Productions Win Gracie Allen Awards"] Accessed March 21, 2008.]
* American Women in Radio and Television GRACIE AWARD 2001 [ [ "2001 Gracie Allen Award Winners"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 21, 2008.]
* American Women in Radio and Television GRACIE AWARD 1998, Outstanding Achievement by an Actress [Hear Here: "Tales by American Masters". AudioFile Magazine, pg. 8, Feb/March 1999, Vol. 7, No. 5.]
* The International Radio Festivals WORLD'S BEST WORK AWARD, Best Sound Series 2001 [ [ "New York Festivals"] Accessed October 1, 2008.]
* The Audio Publishers Association AUDIE AWARD HONORS [ [ "Audio Publishers Association, APA"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed October 1, 2008.]
* The NFCB GOLDEN REEL AWARD HONORS [ [ "NFCB Announces 2001 Golden Reel Award Winners"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 22, 2008.]

Audiocassette releases

* "The American Classic Collection" (DH Audio) [ [ " American Classic Collection: Durkin-Hayes Audio: Books"] Accessed May 23, 2008.]
* "The Birthmark" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) [ [ "The Wives of the Dead Media Adaptations"] Accessed May 23, 2008.]
* "The Fall of the House of Usher" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) ISBN 0-88646-952-0, Published 1997
* "The Gift of the Magi" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) [ [ " The Gift of the Magi (Hles By American Masters Series): O. Henry, Winifred Phillips: Books"] Accessed May 23, 2008.]
* "Hop-Frog" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) [ [ " Tales By American Masters: Hop Frog - Generations Radio Theater Presents (NPR): Edgar Allan Poe, Winifred Phillips: Books"] Accessed May 24, 2008.]
* "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) [ [ " The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Generations Radio Theater Presents: Washington Irving, Winifred Phillips: Books"] Accessed May 24, 2008.]
* "The Masque of the Red Death" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) [ [ " The Masque of the Red Death - Generations Radio Theater Presents (NPR): Edgar Allan Poe, Winifred Phillips: Books"] Accessed May 24, 2008.]
* "The Tell-Tale Heart" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) ISBN 0-88646-953-8, Published 1997
* "The Yellow Wallpaper" (Durkin Hayes Publishing Ltd) [ [ "PaperBackSw
] Accessed May 24, 2008.


In 2005, the Radio Tales series launched an online partnership with for the distribution of its radio programs via internet download. The Audioville web site launched in Summer 2005, and was a finalist in the 2005 BIMA Consumer Website of the Year Awards. The site posts a banner image on its home page, showing the Radio Tales logo and linking to an area of the site devoted to the Radio Tales series. [ [ "audioVille | Stor>>Fiction | Radio Tales | Download Audio Books, Podcasts and more in MP3. Comedy, Fiction, sport, news, science, drama."] Accessed May 24, 2008.]


External Links

* [ The Official Radio Tales Web Site]

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