Lionel Barrymore performs the role of Scrooge for the radio broadcast.

The CBS Campbell Playhouse 1939 broadcast of "A Christmas Carol"

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!

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.

Orson Welles narrating the story.

Extra Bonus Tracks:

  • 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 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!

Order using your credit card:
The Campbell Playhouse "A Christmas Carol" CD
$10.00 plus shipping.

Immediate shipping via First Class mail or Priority!

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If you wish to order through the mail, send a check or money order made out to:
Fred Passmore

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 2016 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!

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!

-N. Black 

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

"Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home!"
-Charles Dickens, excerpt from The Pickwick Papers, Chapter 28.

Marley's Ghost
The First of the Three Spirits
The Second of the Three Spirits
The Last of the Spirits
The End of It
A Christmas Dinner
A Christmas Present
1939 Radio Broadcast
Other Radio Broadcasts

Related Links:

Extra items and pages that are part of this site:

Christmas Essays by Dickens

"Now, the tree is decorated with bright merriment, and song, and dance, and cheerfulness. And they are welcome. Innocent and welcome be they ever held, beneath the branches of the Christmas Tree, which cast no gloomy shadow!"
-Charles Dickens

So writes Charles Dickens concerning a tradition that even in his day was precious. Enjoy his story, "The Christmas Tree," as he recollects the joy it brought to his youth!

"Who can be insensible to the outpourings of good feeling, and the honest interchange of affectionate attachment, which abound at this season of the year? A Christmas family-party! We know nothing in nature more delightful! There seems a magic in the very name of Christmas."
-Charles Dickens

The family seated around the Christmas dinner table is a treasured time that becomes forever etched in our hearts. Enjoy Dicken's story, "A Christmas Dinner," as he relates the joys it brings.

"Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!"
-Charles Dickens

In his short story, "What Christmas Is As We Grow Older," Dickens encourages us to not forget the past joys and loves we have known, in order to shut out the pain of loss. Rather, we defeat the loss by celebrating the memories of times and people once close to us.

"My dear children, I am very anxious that you should know something about the History of Jesus Christ. For everybody ought to know about Him." -Charles Dickens

Dickens never forgot the Source of the holiday cheer he spread with his writings, or the meaning of the silent night in Bethlehem so long ago. In this excerpt from his private story written for his children, "The Life of Our Lord," Dickens explains simply in his own words "The Christmas Story."

Radio and Film Versions

Information about the
1951 version with Alastair Sim, with photos, comparisons to the novel and excerpts from the soundtrack.

Information about the
1939 radio version produced by Orson Welles and starring Lionel Barrymore.

Information about the
BBC radio version starring Michael Gough.Also the 1975 CBS Radio Mystery Theater version starring E.G. Marshall!

Information about
Disney's "A Christmas Carol" short animated feature

Information about "Scrooge," the
1970 musical version starring Albert Finney

Information about the
Muppet's Christmas Carol

Information about the Disney
2009 version starring Jim Carrey.

Information about Rich Little's one-man version of
"A Christmas Carol."


Information about the
1971 Chuck Jones animated film featuring Alastair Sim as the voice of Scrooge!


Information about Patrick Stewart's one-man performance of the book, as well as his 1999 movie adaptation.


Complete scan of "A Christmas Carol"
comic book adaptation from the 70's by Marvel Comics!

Enjoy scenes from the story in these
antique illustrations!

Classics Illustrated "A Christmas Carol"
cover #1.

Classics Illustrated "A Christmas Carol"
cover #2.

Pendulum's Illustrated Stories "A Christmas Carol"

A Dean Morrissey
painting of Scrooge outside his London business. The print can be bought here.

Montage of
scenes from the novel by artist Jeffrey Bedrick made for a puzzle, which can be bought here.

Introduction /Marley's Ghost / The First of the Three Spirits / The Second of the Three Spirits
The Last of the Spirits / The End of It / A Christmas Dinner /A Christmas Present /1939 Radio Broadcast