Don Ramlow and Old-Time Radio

Don Ramlow

Don Ramlow hard at work directing a radio drama on stage.

Donald Ramlow has been involved with cultural arts since he was a young man, influenced in no little part by his grandparents, Donald Barringer, a musician ( who traveled throughout the US and Canada as “Don Barringer and his Wolverines) and his grandmother Helen (Mundy) Barringer who was briefly a silent film actress. Helen Mundy starred in the critically acclaimed 1927 silent film Stark Love, which was added to the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2009.

Don developed a love of radio theatre during the 1970s and within a few years was attending conventions throughout the country dedicated to classic radio. Don began directing radio re-creations in the early 1980s and has directed/produced and occasionally written scripts for over 320 radio productions. Mary Ramlow began assisting Don behind the scenes beginning in 1985, and in 2000, she began actively working with the re-creations, handling recorded and physical side effects. Mary and Don’s love of the radio theater art form has given them the privilege of working with and meeting hundreds of people who worked in the world of film, stage, television and radio.

Some of their personal highlights have been working with Academy Award winner Kim Hunter and Emmy winner William Windom in a re-creation, in addition to Parley Baer, Willard Waterman, Ezra Stone, Lon Clark, Bob Hastings, Peg Lynch and Will Hutchins, to name just a few. They have worked with re-creations at the Friends of Old-Time Radio Convention in Newark, New Jersey, the Memphis Film Festival in Tennessee, the SPERDVAC Convention in Los Angeles, California, The Cincinnati Old-Time Radio and Nostalgia Convention in Ohio, and the Radio Enthusiasts of Puget Sound Convention, in Seattle, Washington.

 

Annual attendees are familiar with Don and the radio re-creations he directs, including the amateur talent and the performance at the dinner banquet. Keeping in line with the convention policy, Don has offered re-creations of “lost” radio broadcasts of the 1930s and 1940s, rather than re-creations of radio broadcasts that presently exist in recorded form. Attendees can be assured that the dramas presented every year at MANC are fresh and new. Past re-creations included a 1948 Sam Spade caper, a 1943 horror thriller from Inner Sanctum Mystery and a fascinating 1934 Lone Ranger radio broadcast depicting the brutal shooting of Mexicans at the hands of the Masked Man, to seek vengeance against two young ladies who were wronged.

This year’s re-creations include a “lost” Tarzan radio broadcast from 1952 and a re-creation of a script written circa May 1942 that was never broadcast!