The CBS Campbell Playhouse 1939 broadcast of “A Christmas Carol”
Lionel Barrymore performs the role of Scrooge for the radio broadcast.
Back before television, a holiday season tradition in America was listening to “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens as performed on radio by Lionel Barrymore and narrated by Orson Welles with the Mercury Theatre group. The music was composed and conducted by the legendary Bernard Herrmann. (Read a transcript of the broadcast here.)
Few actors ever gave more meaning to the character of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge than Lionel Barrymore who first took on the radio role in 1934.
Now, this heart-warming, historic broadcast recording can be yours on Compact Disc or Instant Digital Download!
Orson Welles narrating the story.
Originally aired live on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1939, this radio broadcast will live in the memories of those that heard it for a lifetime. If you remember listening, and want to recapture those magical days of your childhood Christmas, or have never heard it, but want to experience the magic of live radio theatre and create new memories for you and your family, order this CD! It will become a treasured part of your holiday listening enjoyment for years to come.
- The Hallmark Hall of Fame production of “A Christmas Carol,” again starring Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge. This is the 24 minute Side One of the LP record released in 1947 (see LP cover below).
- Lionel Barrymore giving a dramatic reading of “The Night Before Christmas.”
- Charles Laughton reading the Biblical Christmas Story.
MGM released this LP years later, in 1947, of the Hallmark Hall of Fame production in which Barrymore reprised his role as Scrooge, with the story narrated by Richard Hale, and original score by Samuel “Sammy” Timberg (who worked on many animated cartoons with the Fleischer Studios, such as Popeye, Betty Boop, and Superman). This record (re-released several times later) is the source of most people’s recollection of hearing Barrymore in the Scrooge story, since it was heard on the radio, and bought and played in many homes for years after Barrymore passed away in 1954. This 24-minute recording is included as a bonus on the CD!
CD comes in a convenient SlimLine case for easier shelf storage!
Buy some extra copies for your friends and family… they make a great Christmas present or stocking stuffer, and they’ll enjoy it for many years to come!
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If you wish to order through the mail, send a check or money order made out to:
and mail to:
Sheep Laughs Records
PO Box 1634
Reidsville, GA 30453
Add $3 for First Class mail, or $6 for 2-3 Day Priority Mail. Call me at 912-347-9579 with any questions. This site is current for 2018 and orders are being sent out daily!
Also: check out the BBC and CBS Radio Mystery Theater versions,
also available on CD on this site!
Article from the Canton Repository, dated December 24, 1947:
Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge in the most famous radio version of “A Christmas Carol” which he presented for the 12th straight year on Network Radio. In 1947 the program was aired on ABC Christmas Eve at 8 PM on WAKR-1590 Akron and at 9:30 on WHBC-1480 Canton. This version was recorded for playback years later as special programming into the 1990s on some stations.
Above, an article found here, a page documenting the various airings of Barrymore’s “a Christmas Carol” programs.
This is a transcript of a phone message I received, and I thought you would enjoy reading it!
Just received my order of 5 copies of the Christmas Carol CD, and I listened to one of them, and it is exactly what I have been looking for, what I have been looking for for years actually.
I literally have it memorized from listening to it to many times as a child, so I had to buy 4 copies for my children, because they grew up hearing me recite it… and also because my poor old LP! The reason we still own a record player is because of that one record which it is so destroyed we can hardly hear it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!
Wonderful quality, I just wanted the 24 minute record story, and I got all this other, so I’m thrilled with it.
You wanted feed back… I’m your happiest customer!
An email from a happy customer…
Dear Fred –
We recently purchased from your site the CD of the 1939 Campbell Playhouse Radio Broadcase of “A Christmas Carol”. We were delighted to discover Track 9 on the CD – the Hallmark Hall of Fame 1954 production with Lionel Barrymore. We used to own the record of this recording with the exact same album cover as pictured on the CD insert.
We brought our children up on this version of the Christmas Carol – over the years the record was lost, and we have never been able to find that exact recording – until now!! It’s just the right length for children to listen to, yet with all the relevant messages.
-V. Grenier, NJ