On this blog we take a look at the origins of Quiet Please one of old time radios best kept secrets. You might be asking yourself this, “If we know about it how could be a secret?” That is an amazing story on its own.
What was Quiet Please?
Quiet, please! was an old-time radio fantasy and horror program created by Wyllis Cooper and Earnest Chappel. It was first broadcast in 1947 by the Mutual Broadcasting System and its last episode ran on June 25, 1949, on ABC. A total of 106 shows were broadcast, with few repeats. The bad news was only 12 shows survived. At least, that was everyone thought. A fan of the program heard a rumor in 1980 that Chappel’s widow found a box of discs under her bed. He went to the widow and they turned out to be original transcriptions of the show. Since then a total of 89 episodes have been recovered. The only downside is that the sound quality fluctuates a lot. During the golden age of radio, stations would reuse these discs and over time the quality would become rough. In some cases, you can even hear remnants of old recordings on them. Even so, it was an amazing discovery for OTR horror.
What About the Creators of Quiet Please?
The writer and director was Wyllis Cooper. He was the same genius who created the super-series Lights Out years before. He left that show to Arch Olober, who went on to become famous with the series. Copper got lost for a time, until in 1947 he returned to his radio roots to produce Quiet Please.
Earnest Chappel was the host and main character for Quiet Please productions. The cast was usually just one or two other people. The sound effects were minimal and the music was just an organ or piano. However, the results were stunning. Chappel would tell his tales in first person, usually in flashback. He was the perfect choice for the weekly lead. There was nothing special about his voice, he didn’t exaggerate or project like many other actors of the time did. In fact, that’s one of the notable differences about this series. Nobody sounds like they are acting at all. They sound like regular people caught up in very unusual or terrifying situations. Cooper insisted on this and he proved what could be done on a small budget.
Cooper and Chappel did what they did without big bucks or big name actors. Instead, all they had was the imagination of one person and the acting talent the other. Cooper and Chappell created works of astonishing originality and the shows were well written.
This Week’s Podcast:
On the podcast this week we premier a new series to the show called, Five Minute Mysteries. Also, it wouldn’t be right to talk about Quiet Please and not have one of their amazing programs. Also, we have a strange connection to talk about. Please tune in and find out all about it. You can listen to this podcast this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.
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June 16,2016 – (RAS249)
June 23,2016 – The Horror Express (RAS250)
June 30,2016 – (RAS251)