GK: Our sound effects man Fred Newman got into radio sound effects because he was able to do primates and make them sound almost human, so he played Bombo in Little Liza of the Amazon (JUNGLE BIRDS, PRIMATES)

TR (ANNC) And now Boston Brand Shredded Soybeans presents LITTLE LIZA OF THE AMAZON (JUNGLE SFX)


Shredded soybeans are nutritious--
And they're also lots of fun.
Take a tip from Liza, it will make you wiser,
Shredded soybeans are No. 1.

ER: Gosh, Bombo. The sun went down AGAIN. Just as we're coming to the quicksand. (PRIMATE) I can't see anything at all. Except I hear crocodiles. (CROCS) And I feel those vampire bats flying around my head. (BAT WINGS PASSING) What's that noise? It's coming out of the sky, Bombo. (PRIMATE) ? They sound too big to be birds. (SHRILL BIRD CRIES) Oh boy, it's those darned pesky carnivorous vultures. SHOO! BEAT IT!!! (PRIMATE, SHOTGUN BLAST) Way to go, Bombo. (CHORD

GK: LITTLE LIZA OF THE AMAZON was a terrific show for sound effects men because they got to do wild animals (CHIMPS, WILD BIRDS), but also more subtle noises like writing in a journal (SCRIBBLING), people brushing their teeth (BRUSHING)-water dripping (DRIPPING), and a bike with a horn on the front (BIKE, BELL). But unfortunately television was coming in and ratings were falling and management was scared, and they wanted explosions.

SS (FLEXNER): Listen up, Newman. We have been indulging your little dinky squeaks and honks and -- (HONKS, SQUEAKS) -- yes, those-- we've been tolerating those long enough. What the audience wants is to hear bombs going off. Sudden combustion. Car crashes. Hear me? (HORN HONKS, PLEADING) You heard me. Get in there and be explosive.


TR (ANNC): Once again it's time for BOZO THE EXPLOSIVE (EXPLOSION) brought to you by Shreveport Shredded Cornflakes -- they're shot from guns.

GK (SINGS): Shredded cornflakes every morning
For the best that you can be.
Protein you can use, go on light your fuse
Shredded corn for energy.

TR (ANNC): Yes, racing along the winding coastal highway (SFX CORNERING AND REVVING, GOING THROUGH GEARS) with the thousand-foot sheer drop to the surf below (SURF), Mr. Bozo pulls a key from a grenade and throws it over his shoulder just for the sheer heck of it. (EXPLOSION) Bingo-an explosion. Skillfully avoiding the major avalanche (FALLING BOULDERS)-Mr. Bozo watches as giant boulders fly through the air and hit the oil refinery below (BIG EXPLOSIONS)

GK: Radio was forced to be more and more lurid.


SS (BREATHY): Hi. You looking for something...in particular?

FN: Gosh. You're buck naked, Miss Benson.

SS (BREATHY): Call me Becky.

FN: But I only came in the library to study for algebra.

SS (BREATHY): It was just so hot, I had to take my clothes off. I can put them back on if you like.

FN: Gosh. I don't know what to say.

SS (BREATHY): Then don't say anything. Come here. A librarian has needs too. Hold me. (STING)

GK: Fred got to do ceiling fans (SFX) and saxophones (SAX) and steam baths (SFX) and naked people sitting down on marble ledges in steam baths (SFX) and martini shakers (SFX) and bedsprings (SFX) but soon management intervened--

SS (FLEXNER): Becky Benson has been cancelled, Newman. And replaced with a new show.


TR (ANNC): And now...strange lights in the distance. Small blue-green men with two fingers on each hand. It's: Angry Aliens from Outer Space... brought to you by Bailey's Shredded Barley...

Shredded barley is the cereal
Even space men will agree
Have a bowl a day it's the only way.
Keep your colon light and free.



TR (TEEN): Uh oh. We're out of gas. (ALIENS)

SS (TEEN): Oh no. You planned on this, didn't you?


TR (TEEN): Didn't plan those powerful laser beams! Or those men with green hands--(LASER, SPACESHIP DOOR CLOSE, ROCKET PULSATIONS)


GK: Fred was good at space alien sounds and he became expert in alien linguistics and invented several different languages -- Ursalese (SFX) and Fornax (SFX) and Burbage (SFX) and each with its own grammar (GIBBERISH OF CONJUGATION) but management wasn't interested --


GK: Fred urged the broadcast industry toward doing wholesome family shows so he could do sounds like mixers (SFX) and chickens (SFX) and toilets flushing (SFX), and he tried to tell management that but unfortunately -- doing sound effects had changed Fred's voice (FN SPEECH IN SLOW-MO) and he was no longer intelligible, and anyway management wanted something else --

SS (FLEXNER): Blow it up. Understand? I want more bombs. More detonations.

GK: So'radio went down that path. You had a chopper (SFX) coming in low over the surf (SURF) and it sent out radio signals (SFX) that guided Navy dolphins (DOLPHINS) who flipped a switch on the belt around their bellies (DOLPHINS) and fired rockets (SFX) at the enemy oil refinery and blew it up (SFX).
Of course all of this was discouraging to Fred, who was frustrated that he never got to do lawn sprinklers (SFX)-- he could do rotary sprinklers (SFX or lateral ones (SFX) or big irrigation systems (SFX) or planes flying low and dropping water from the sky (SFX) or a guy standing with his thumb over a hose spraying the roses (SFX) --

SS (FLEXNER): The audience is not interested in plant-watering. They want drama. (CHORDS)

TR (ANNC): When the forces of crime and cruelty rear their heads, and the God-fearing citizens of Littleville are terrorized by creatures from another world--(CRIES OF ALARM), local officers of the law have but one choice--

SS: Calling...Dick Dixon...(MUSIC)

TR: DICK DIXON, ALIEN CRIME FIGHTER...no matter how wily or powerful his enemies, DICK DIXON only knows one way of fighting them...with maximum force! (DIVE BOMBER, BOMBS DROPPING, EXPLOSIONS)... brought to you by Flanagan's Shredded Flax.


Shredded flax is just fantastic,
Gives you roughage to the max.
Take a tip from Dick, nothing's quite as quick
As a bowl of shredded flax.


SS: Help! Help! They're eating my house. (ALIENS GIBBER, CRASH AROUND) They just came out of the sky with their deadly laser beams and now-- Oh-- hi--

TR (BRAVE): Step back-- I'll handle this. (GUNFIRE, ALIEN ALARM AND ANGER) And if that don't convince you, I got something bigger (BAZOOKA, ALIENS SCURRY OFF)

SS: Look behind you! (DISTANT DOLPHINS) Dolphins parachuting in from the sky! With laser-guided missiles on their snouts.

TR: Friendly dolphins. Fire away, my mammal friends! (LASER MISSILES, BIG EXPLOSION)

SS: They're gone. Oh, thank you, Dick Dixon. My hero.

TR: Look out. Over there. (ALIEN, EXPLOSION) Got him. (EXPLOSION) And just to make good and sure. (EXPLOSIONS)

GK: He did so many explosions that at the end of the day, the microphone was glistening with saliva, and finally, in frustration, Fred Newman got out of radio and made his living in the field of investment banking. (PHONE RING)

FN: Newman, Newman, and Newman. This is Fred. (VOICE AT OTHER END) Yes, of course, Mr. Rockefeller. (VOICE AT OTHER END) Lunch at one-thirty? (VOICE AT OTHER END) Today? The Four Seasons? (VOICE AT OTHER END) Excellent. See you there. (VOICE AT OTHER END) This weekend? Polo? (VOICE) I'd love to. (VOICE) I'll see you at the Estate. (VOICE) Bye bye.

GK: And it was only when our show went on the air, that Fred Newman came out of retirement and came back to radio. Because here on our show he could do fax machines (SFX) and copiers (SFX) and hair dryers (SFX) and four-speed bikes (SFX) and espresso machines (SFX) and marmots (SFX) and grommets (SFX), the sounds of everyday life. Though ever so often, when he needs a little extra cash, he will go back to one of those shows for a guest appearance and blow something up. (SFX)