The series was funded by KCRW and NPR for broadcast in the USA. Our Public Radio sponsors wanted a collection of bizarre and fantasy tales selected from our early Black Mass programs with an up-dated format: a host wanders through old archives and selects stories and productions that can be exhumed from radio’s past. Thirteen such programs were selected and with Sound Designer James McKee a new opening was produced. The series had to fit into a thirty minute format, which meant that the original productions had to be edited down to the 30 minute time spots required by the NPR and other non commercial networks. We have now re-emerged from the commercialized format restrictions put upon us and our permanent archives will restore the portions edited out. Thus our series may be regarded as Redux… similar to the way it is said of films for which Directors have shared a final hand.
All the programs were taken from the original 1960s Black Mass series, produced by John Whiting with Erik Bauersfeld. However with the passage of time and the enthusiasms of experience we couldn’t resist a chance for betterment, a re-production of three short plays with their original casts: A Predicament by Edgar Allen Poe, with sound design assistance by Clay Grillo; Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart, sound design by James McKee, and the very brief but indigestible Lobster Salad by Lord Dunsany. Erik performed with some added vigor and inner dread. Lobster Salad was an entirely new performance with sound design and original music composed by Ken Heller.