Saturday, July 02, 2016

Radio Greats: A Tooth for Paul Revere (Escape)

"Tired of the everyday grind? Ever dream of a life of romantic adventure? Want to get away from it all? We offer you... Escape!"

Escape is probably second only to Suspense as the great anthology show of the Golden Age of Radio. It lasted seven years and had 230 episodes, generally of excellent quality, often adapting the great short stories of the early and mid-twentieth century.

"A Tooth for Paul Revere" adapts a tale by Stephen Vincent Benet. It's a Fourth of July episode, having aired on 4 July 1948. But it takes a charmingly indirect route. It's troubled times in the American colonies and there is revolution in the air, but Lige Butterwick, a Massachusetts farmer, is not particularly concerned about that because he has a very bad toothache. It will need to be pulled, but will leave a nasty gap. He hears tell of a silversmith who is a bit of a wizard when it comes to making artificial teeth: Paul Revere. With the resolve of a stubborn country boy determined not to let the city folk stand in his way, he sets out to find Paul Revere. In so doing he ends up opening a whole box of trouble he would never have imagined before....

You can listen to "A Tooth for Paul Revere" online at Escape and Suspense!.

You can also read the Stephen Vincent Benet story on which it is based, at Internet Archive.

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