Monday, May 9, 2011

Favorite Radio Story Programs From My Childhood

During my childhood years in the 1960s and 70s, Mom and Dad had Christian radio stations playing during just about all our waking hours. Us children looked forward to hearing the many Christian radio stories and dramas that were aired throughout the week. Below I am highlighting a few of the old time radio story programs we enjoyed.

Big John and Sparky

Big John and Sparky was aired on Saturday mornings. Big John was a mild mannered dad that loved and cared for Sparky who is a puppet. Adventures followed Big John and Sparky as they met up with a variety of characters. Big John voiced most of the characters and planned the sound effects and music. Sparky's voice was created by speeding up the tape to create his high pitch. Occasionally they did some music together, too. Below is The Little Red Caboose. More programming can be heard on Internet Archive - Old Time Radio.

Ranger Bill

Ranger Bill, Warrior of the Woodland, struggling against extreme odds, traveling dangerous trails, fighting the many enemies of nature. This is the job of the guardian of the forest, Ranger Bill. Pouring rain, freezing cold, blistering heat, snows, floods, bears, rattlesnakes, mountain lions. Yes, all this in exchange for the satisfaction and pride of a job well done.

Ranger Bill, Warrior of the Woodland, struggling against extreme odds, traveling dangerous trails, showing rare courage in the face of disaster, in the air, on horseback, or in a screaming squad car. Ranger Bill, his mind alert, a ready smile, unswerving, loyal to his mission. All this in exchange for the satisfaction and pride of a job well done.

One of the above two opening lines were used at the beginning of each episode. This was a Saturday afternoon program that I listened too as a child. Naturally, this radio drama series drew me with my love of nature and adventure. A number of Christian radio stations still carry repeats of this radio drama series. These stories can also be purchased on CDs from Moody Audio.

Sailor Sam

I loved following the adventures of Sailor Sam on both land and sea as a kid. Since I grew up on a farm, I had farm chores to do; but when this story came on, I was allowed to come into the house to listen to the program and then when it was over I went out and finished my chores. Unfortunately, I could not locate any sound file for this program to embed here. But there is a Sailor Sam blog that describes many of the episodes in this series. These also can be purchased at Moody Audio.


  1. I LOVE it!

    These are wonderful, and thank you so much for sharing them here!

  2. fond memories, very nostalgic.

  3. Oh my, Tim. Thinking back to these radio programs...I'm guessing we all have memories of something. I don't remember listening to any Christian programs, which is weird, since I lived in a preacher's home. But I do remember listening to baseball during the summer every Saturday when Mom was washing and setting my hair. The rest of the time I was outside playing!

  4. Blogger ate all my comments yesterday, Tim, which I hate. But I love this post, bringing up memories from my childhood. Interestingly, coming from a preacher's home, I do NOT remember listening to any Christian radio programs. But I DO remember listening to baseball games while Mom washed and set my hair on Saturday afternoons! :)

  5. A terrific post even though I never heard any of these radio programs. My childhood in the 50s was spent in front of the television. My only radio memory is my father's radio playing "Pack Up Your Troubles," as he got dressed to go to work.

  6. When I was a kid I rather used to read : we had neither television nor radio in Ivory Coast. Still now, I am not a television person but I like to listen many radio programs, but I must not if I want to dio my work...

  7. Thanks, lisa. Glad you enjoyed my sharing of early childhood radio programs.

    Thanks, ginnie. It's neat to hear of your memories, too. But I can't imagine my childhood without children's stories on the radio. They were a highlight of our days.

    Thanks, ted roth. We grew up without a TV. Dad didn't get a TV until probably in his 70s. At one point I was told that If I ever got a TV, I would be given a two week notice to move out of the house. Strange how time changes things.

    Thanks, cergie. We don't watch TV either except for when the Olympics come around and a rare news event that we want to be informed about.

  8. Thanks, leovi. I didn't mean to miss responding to your comment. And, yes, I am living in a nostalgic period right now.

  9. Oh my, you are crawling back into the "dark ages" for me.
    My Goodness, I haven't thought about Big John and Sparky in years. It was my favorite program. I listened to it faithfully. Don't know that I ever saw a picture of them though, just my imagination listening on the radio.

    1. Thanks, photowannabe. They were fun programs. I found the pictures via a Google search.