Thursday, August 08, 2013

Radio Show Revival

This week’s posts -- about Richard Nixon, then the one noting the 2,000th post milestone -- have had me spending time looking back into history, generally speaking, as well as the history of the blog.

When perusing some of the old posts from years ago I was reminded yet again of my excursion into poker podcasting which ultimately saw me producing 20 episodes of something called The Hard-Boiled Poker Radio Show. It’s been a good while since the last one. Indeed, over on the HBPRS website I’ve had a post promising a “Season Two” up for a long time now and still haven’t delivered.

But for various reasons I’m starting to think it might be fun to revive the podcast, and even have a plan for Episode 21 which I might try to pull together in the next few days.

Those who heard the show before will remember how it was primarily based around presenting programs from the so-called “Golden Age of Radio” that began way back in the 1920s and lasted into the 1950s until television came along. Each episode of the HBPRS would feature at least one of those old shows, picked because it featured poker and/or gambling in some fashion.

There’s a pretty good variety represented in those 20 episodes with lots of mysteries, some comedies, a few westerns, and other types of old shows. In fact, if I’m remembering correctly I don’t think I even repeated any specific radio show along the way. Thus if you went through and listened to all of the HBPRS episodes you’d get a wide exposure to old time radio and its stars, generally speaking.

The podcast also often featured poker-themed songs and some other examples of cultural productions in which poker figured in some fashion. I had guests occasionally contributing to the show as well, especially early on, although for the most part it was just me introducing and discussing the various segments.

Like I say, I have an idea for a new episode and some enthusiasm to get the show up and running once again, perhaps to aim for producing at least a few more episodes of it and see where it goes. So as a further means to motivate myself I thought I’d post about this idea to revive the show here today, and ask for suggestions, too.

I think I’d like to keep old time radio as part of the format going forward, although I’m open to incorporating other things, too, in order to keep the show interesting and also not be limited to a certain kind of show -- one of the reasons, really, why I “pod-faded” (as they say) and let the show fall into this extended hiatus.

It would be fun, for instance, to feature segments that present and perhaps build on some of the topics I’ve written about in the past and for various outlets under the heading of “poker and pop culture.”

For example, long ago I wrote a lengthy piece for PokerNews about poker’s prominence on Star Trek: The Next Generation, going through pretty much all of the episodes in which poker came up (and there were a lot of them). I’ve had a number of ST:TNG fans who play poker mention that piece to me over the years, and it could be fun to do an episode talking about the show and perhaps including some clips along the way.

I can also definitely imagine venturing into other kinds of segments, such as one sharing some of this material about Nixon and his poker playing that I have been gathering of late.

One other reason why I found it hard to keep doing the show was the fact that I was flying solo, and thus there wasn’t anyone else to motivate me to keep making the shows. I’m thinking if I do revive it I’d like to have more involvement from others, if possible, perhaps as guests coming on to talk about various topics or to contribute in other ways.

For example, with this ST:TNG idea, I could have a devotee of that show come on to comment further on those poker-themed episodes while also maybe giving more context for them that I can as someone who didn’t necessarily follow the entire series as closely as some. Same for other topics in which others have a particular interest.

Anyhow, like I say I am posting this as both a way to motivate myself to get going again and to ask for suggestions as well. And if you have an idea and perhaps want to contribute in some fashion to the HBPRS revival, too, by all means let me know either with a comment or by dropping me a note at shortstackedshamus at gmail dot com.

Incidentally, if anyone who never heard the show before is curious, all 20 of the episodes are still there and downloadable. You can get to them through the HBPRS website and they are on iTunes, too. (The sound quality on some of the early ones is a little sketchy, so you might start with one of the later ones where the audio is definitely improved.)

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