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RUSC Christmas Radio Station
Sleep No More

Sleep No More

Some names such as Orson Welles, Norman Corwin and Carlton E. Morse have been immortalized in radio's pantheon of all-star celebrities, but there are a great many other names that have passed into obscurity. For every name that lives on in our memories there are thousands more that have been forgotten or who rarely get a mention.

One such name, in my humble opinion, is Nelson Olmsted. Many people reading this newsletter are likely to remember him for his numerous film and TV appearances (The FBI, Batman, Kraft Suspense Theater, Dr. Kildare, The Twilight Zone, Ben Casey, Maverick, Sea Hunt, Studio One, Goodyear Television Playhouse, Kraft Television Theatre, The Philco Television Playhouse, and The Wild, Wild West), but few will recall the excellent work he did on radio before moving to TV and film.

Nelson Olmsted was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the same year as the Great War irrupted in Europe. His family moved when Nelson was a child and he spent his formative years growing up in Texas.

In his early twenties he started his radio career and it wasn't long before his expressive voice was in demand. Today, audiobook publishers would have been signing him up on a long term and very lucrative contract because he had that rare talent of being able to turn the reading of a story into a one-man dramatization.

Between the years of 1939 and 1957 Nelson Olmsted appear on numerous radio shows. In some of them, such as X Minus 1 and Dimension X, he took on straight acting roles, but he was more famous for his wonderful story reading skills. Shows such as Stories By Olmsted and World's Greatest Stories he narrated in his own inimitable style some of the best stories ever written. However, my favorite has got to be Sleep No More in which he does a wonderful job of sending shivers down the listeners spine with his readings of spooky ghost stories.

When I first heard these shows I was a little dubious. I've always preferred the kind of dramatizations that make old time radio so popular to the more one-dimensional narrations by a single reader that you find on today's audiobooks, but Nelson manages to bring the stories to life and to draw the listener into his world through his carefully modulated tones.

Broadcast: 21st November 1956
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jul 01 2003
Broadcast: 28th November 1956
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jan 23 2004
Broadcast: 5th December 1956
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jan 16 2004
Broadcast: 12th December 1956
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jan 26 2006
Broadcast: 19th December 1956
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jan 12 2006
Broadcast: 26th December 1956
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jan 19 2006
Broadcast: 9th January 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jan 09 2004
Broadcast: 30th January 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Jan 30 2004
Broadcast: 6th February 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Feb 06 2004
Broadcast: 27th February 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Feb 27 2004
Broadcast: 6th March 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Mar 27 2008
Broadcast: 13th March 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Mar 25 2008
Broadcast: 20th March 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Mar 29 2008
Broadcast: 3rd April 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Apr 03 2008
Broadcast: 10th April 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Apr 10 2008
Broadcast: 17th April 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Apr 17 2008
Broadcast: 24th April 1957
Starring: Nelson Olmsted
Added: Apr 24 2008