Radio Days

Memory Lane

Then and now. Doing my show in 1971 and my interview on WIIT January, 2018

45 years ago, when I was a student at Illinois Institute of Technology, I also had my own program on the campus radio station, WIIT. I was recently invited to reminisce about the “good ol’ days” by Sam Graham on his show “Living…With Sam Graham Lifestyle Show” on WIIT. Below is that interview.

WIIT Interview, January 5, 2018

During our discussion, I mentioned to Sam the theme I had put together for the program I hosted during my last year at WIIT. This is the theme:

Stevie B. Superstar
Sung by Andrena Campbell, Frankie Dorsey and Caroline Jones

Here are some memories from “the swingin’ 60s” put together by my  buddy and also former WIIT DJ, P.A. Porter. This is even before my time!

WIIT 60’s Memories with P. A. Porter

Stephan A. Bellinger Productions

Radio programming
written, directed and produced by Steve Bellinger

Podcasts of the actual programs below the article

All my life I have been in love with radio.  Especially radio dramas and skits.  Even now I enjoy listening to “old-time” radio programs.  

On Halloween night, 1968, I was a freshman at IIT.  WMAQ radio was playing a re-broadcast of Orson Welle’s “War of the Worlds,” in honor of it’s 30th anniversary.  I turned out the lights and listened.  Scared the heck out of me.  I wondered, how scary would it be if it were done in a modern setting?  I decided then, I would someday make a modern version myself…

In the late 70’s, I really got into audio.  So much so that I started making my own little “radio skits.”  About 1977, I recalled my dream of creating a modern-day version of “War of the Worlds,” and started to prepare myself.  In 1977 and 1978, I produced several radio plays, using professional actors, honing my skills.  This is when I wrote, directed and produced “The Ephemeral Man,” and the two comic murder mysteries, “The Case of the Alphabet Mugger,” and “Murder on the Evanston Express.”
Also, late in 1978, I began what turned out to be almost a year long project, writing the script for “Day of the Martians.”  In August, I began production.

It was a dream come true.  Professional actors (who by now and become friends) and some non-professionals lent their talents.  A dear friend even gave me permission to use some original music.  On Halloween, 1978, “Day of the Martians” premiered on a pseudo network of public radio stations,  WNUR, Northwestern University Radio covered the north side, WHPK, University of Chicago Radio covered the south side, and WUIC, University of Illinois Radio covered the west side.  Ironically, the station at Northwestern University, where some of the action of the story takes place, had a fire, and was not able to air it until a week later.

For years afterwards, “Day of the Martians” was heard by many, on small college radio stations and in front of audiences, including a full house at the Chicago Public Library Cultural Center.
So the question is, if it is such a big deal, what hasn’t anyone heard of it? In the mid-1980’s, I finally got the nerve to call National Public Radio.  I told them I had a modern version of the War of the Worlds that many people have said was better than the original. The nice lady at NPR said they could not use it, and warned me to keep it under wraps, because Steven Spielberg and just bought the copyright to War of the Worlds. So this is one of the few times you’ll get to hear this!

Day of the Martians was aired on Canadian public radio and online in 2014 thanks to “Captain Radio” Richard Summers and The Sonic Society.


Stephan A Bellinger Radio Programs

The Case of the Alphabet Mugger

Someone is murdering the residents of the building where detective Jonathan Towers lives in alphabetical order.  Can Towers stop this fiend before he gets to “T?”

Part One

Part Two

 Murder on the Evanston Express

Detective Jonathan Towers is riding the CTA Evanston Express. The train is crippled by a blizzared the lights go out and…  well, you’ll see.
With apologies to Agatha Christie.

Part One

Part Two

The Ephemeral Man

A story of life, death and life after death

Part One

Part Two

 Day of the Martians

My magnum opus

Part One

Part Two

 Halloween Short Subjects

“The Sorcerer’s Apprentice”
written by Steve Bellinger
read by Susan Cygan

“Night on Bald Mountain”
written by Steve Bellinger
read by Darrell Blobaum
featuring Jennifer Hunt as Witch Hazel and Paul Mabon as Satan