As on its predecessor, the 2004 Innova release Completely in the Dark, Judson delivers most of the voices, including his trademark old hags, young punks, creepy thugs, and hapless thieves. These simple morality tales are highlighted by spooky noises provided by needle drops from the classic Elektra Sound Effects Library. Judson's erstwhile sidekick, the avuncular Sandor Weisberger, serves as announcer and occasional leading man.
In addition to seven Judson dramas released on CD for the first time, Dark Dark Dark Tales offers a new radio drama, The Nasty Roomer, written by charter "Fountainhead" Don Brockway specially for Judson and Sandor's reunion appearance on WFMU radio in 1995. In a one-take, live sight-reading, the old friends acted their parts with élan and recaptured the atmosphere of their vintage recordings.
Innova 222, CD, 2008
Produced by Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon
Cover portrait by Drew Friedman
Innova Records is proud to present the first-ever collection of Judson Fountain radio dramas on CD. And, like Judson's originals, this is a limited edition release, as part of Innova's heralded "Short-Run" series.
Judson's work was characterized by cliché scripting, egregious ethnic accents, and inept editing — all seasoned with copious needle-drops of creaking doors and howling wolves from the timeless Elektra Sound Effects Library. But this extreme amateurishness and unwavering sincerity synergize to great advantage in Fountain's theatricals. There is charm in the clumsiness, and befuddled amusement in the often-abrupt plot twists.
Innova 200, CD, 2004
Produced by Irwin Chusid and Barbara Economon
DARK DARK DARK TALES
by Aquarius Records
Holy cow!!! A whole second collection of radio dramas from the amazing Judson Fountain and his faithful sidekick and loyal announcer Sandor Weisberger. The aQ faithful will no doubt remember Completely In The Dark, a mind blowing compilation of funny, goofy, clever, way over the top dramas, performed by the two men, each taking on various characters, voicing men and women, even monsters, stealing the various incidental sounds and background noises from old sound effects records. Totally lo-fi and DIY and so so so genius. Not sure we could describe Judson and his oeuvre any better than we did in that first review, so for those who missed that first Judson Fountain collection (if you did, you NEED that one too!) or just need a refresher, here it is:
Judson Fountain was born in 1952 and was obsessed with radio dramas since he was old enough to talk. In fact as soon as he was able to talk he began doing impressions of cackling hags, wicked witches and all sorts of animals. All of which would come to play a big part in these radio dramas right here. Recorded between the ages of 17 and 22, these dramas are only a drop in the bucket of the hundreds of radio plays Judson wrote and performed. All of them primitive and simple, but amazingly creative and entertaining, and all featuring Judson's unique vocalizations along with his partner/foil Sandor Weisberger. But there's no way to describe them, you just have to hear them. Judson has a crazy East Coast accent, and he talks like a hyper schoolboy who thinks faster than he can get the words out. Using crude sound effects and sometimes painfully deliberate plot exposition, these dramas all rely on Judson and Sandor's crazy array of voices, from Irish Brogue, to old 'foreign' man, to various witches and demonic women, all with distinctly hysterical and completely bizarre cackles. The plots are all very simple, good vs. Evil, haunted houses and witches and demons and stuff. But they are all done so sort-of- professionally and so earnestly that they're just completely irresistible. Judson is just so cute. And so is Sandor who introduces each drama (which he pronounces drahmmer) and also reads the credits afterwards.
Sold yet, you should be, as every single one of these drahmmers, as well as the ones collected on the first compilation are a total hoot. The scary ones are only barely frightening, instead, they're fun and funny and kitschy, there's always a moral, the bad guys usually get their comeuppance, the good guys prevail, or if they don't it's because they foolishly failed to heed repeated warnings and sage advice. All of these radio plays are from the early seventies, and are GENIUS!!! But there is a bonus track as well, a radio play called "The Nasty Roomer!" written in the style of Judson Fountain, by one of Judson's biggest fans, and performed by Judson and Sandor, reunited in 1995 and broadcast live on WFMU! The crazy thing is, the two of them sound exactly the same, and sound like they're having a blast, often slipping into giggles, performing the play after only having seen it for the first time a few minutes earlier. So fantastic and fun and joyous and still so goofy and silly and practically perfect.
Unlike the first collection, this one is an actual cd (not a cd-r) and comes with a huge booklet packed with photos, and the transcript of an interview that took place at the same time as the performance of "The Nasty Roomer!", and there's even a mention of a possible volume THREE! Bring it on!!!