Saturday, December 08, 2018

COLONIAL RADIO LOSES A MAGNIFICENT VOICE




I am deeply saddened to tell you that my dear friend, one of my very best friends, Sam Donato, passed away Nov. 30th after a courageous battle with cancer. Why courageous? Because in all that time, he never once complained; he would talk of the great life he had, crack jokes, and displayed optimism that was off the charts. I am certain he had his moments – but he never showed that side to his friends.
Sam joined CRT in 2002, and I believe his first recordings with us were in THE NEW DIBBLE SHOW, which we started taping in January of 2003. Sam played the daffy Mayor Otis Keating, and played it to the hilt in 55 episodes.
From there he went into POWDER RIVER as Sheriff Clem Wilkins, and YANKEE CLIPPER as Angus Reed.
He moved to Florida in 2004, and continued to record with us via his home recording set-up (which matched the quality of our mics perfectly for a seamless edit). He appeared in all of our various series, JARREM LEE, BURGLARS’ CLUB, TOM SWIFT, VINCENT PRICE PRESENTS, ANDY SMITHSON, and his own series, THE ADVENTURES OF SGT. BILLY & CORP. SAM with BOOMTOWN alumni, Bill O’Brien.
While his character of Sheriff Wilkins was written out of the show after his move to Florida, Sam came back in season 3 playing an outlaw against TV star Rex Trailer (BOOMTOWN) in the two-parter RETURN OF THE LEGEND. Sam was featured on Rex’s BOOMTOWN TV show for many years, and each Christmas would climb out of Rex’s helicopter as Santa Claus to the delight of thousands of viewers. I was one of them.
Sam excelled as Santa, portraying him in a stage show at the Nickelodeon theme park in FL, as well as at Walt Disney World, and with CRT in DIBBLE’S CHRISTMAS SPECIAL, and also in JIMMY AND THE STAR ANGEL. 
He was the announcer of POWDER RIVER from Season 5 thru Season 11, part 1.
For many years he was a member of one of Boston’s top bands, THE CLASS OF 66. Sam was an excellent guitarist. 
On stage he starred as Tevya in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, Doolittle in MY FAIR LADY, Pellinore in CAMELOT, Mr. Lundee in BRIGADOON, and a host of others. He also appeared as the Sheriff in the movie "Adventure Scouts."
I’m going to miss Sam. He would come to a recording session if I had a tiny part that was not worth the drive – but he was here. He never came to a session in a bad mood. He was always upbeat and happy – even at this last session when it was obvious he was in discomfort and needed to do his lines sitting down – he never complained and while he struggled at times with some of the lines, he turned in a wonderful performance. I know the entire cast that night was impressed by this.
You couldn’t help but respect his professionalism. He showed up, had a lot of laughs, and got the job done. He did the same thing two weeks later when we had the music recording session for "Sgt. Billy and Corp. Sam."
That was his last time with us.
More than the actor, I’m going to miss him as a friend. Did we hang out much? Not really. We had dinner or lunch at Kitty’s a couple of times, and that was about it. But we spoke on the phone a lot. Whether I called him or he called me, on the other end of the line there would be a booming “MEEE-STA ROB-BINS!” or a “HELLLL-OOOO” that always sounded like something great was going on – just full of upbeat happiness that instantly put things on a happy track.
He still answered the phone that way for our last conversation. After the initial greeting, I could hear the weakness in his voice… but we talked about old TV shows, radio, more old TV shows… a few lines were about his illness – but then back to fun things… old shows and the memories that go with them.
Through his work with Colonial, Sam appeared in 159 productions as an actor, and in 109 productions as an announcer.
It’s quite a legacy. And in the years to come, new listeners will discover his great talent, because Sheriff Wilkins will always be in the saddle on an adventure with Britt MacMasters.
Mayor Keating will always be arguing and pulling fast ones on Dibble.
Ben will always be helping little Toby Tyler learn the ways of the circus.
Sgt. Garcia will always be fencing with Zorro.
And Corp. Sam will always be in search of that missing payroll box with his pal of fifty years, Sgt. Billy.
You see, as long as there are people listening… his adventure is really just beginning.
JR

Star Trek's WALTER KOENIG and SAM DONATO at the recording session for CRT's 
BUCK ALICE AND THE ACTOR ROBOT. Aug. 2008. 

POWDER RIVER RECORDING SESSION Sept. 22, 2012. Top Row L-R Derek Aalerud, Diane Capen, Sam Donato, Cynthia Pape, Diane Lind. Bottom Row L-R: Joseph Zamparelli, James McLean, Lincoln Clark, Marcia Friedman.


new release - THE ADVENTURES OF SGT. BILLY AND CORP. SAM vol 2

Download Six new episodes starring Sgt. Billy and Corp. Sam! Lots of laughs in the old west.

iTUNES

AUDIBLE

AMAZON


Tuesday, May 29, 2018

NEW RELEASE - NOW AVAILABLE

HAVE YOU PLAYED NOGGLE STONES YET? Roll the stones with Bugbear and Tugmire for an exciting 4 hour adventure in the new CRT epic production of NOGGLE STONES.


DOWNLOAD IT TODAY!


AUDIBLE

AMAZON

iTUNES
Here's a fun interview with Sgt. Billy (Bill O'Brien) on WGN Morning News in Chicago. Watch for all new episodes of THE ADVENTURES OF SGT. BILLY AND CORP. SAM coming this summer from CRT!

INTERVIEW

Thursday, April 26, 2018

OUR NEXT RELEASE

OUR NEXT RELEASE will be out in the next couple of weeks - a fantasy adventure for the entire family based on Wil Radcliffe's popular book series.

While searching for the lost ruins of an ancient temple, the mad goblin scholar, Bugbear, and his gambler cousin, Tudmire, come into possession of a most peculiar scroll. It is through this scroll that the mystical world of Annwfn and the world of 19th Century humanity are suddenly and inadvertently thrust together. Allying thems...elves with the awkward human stage magician, Martin Manchester, and the fierce warrior woman, Maga, Bugbear and Tudmire must rally the frightened folk of the small town of Willow Prairie against the gathering evil... an evil that has been awakened by the scroll... an evil that hungers for revenge! It is only when Bugbear and Manchester come to realize the wisdom held in an ancient rhyme that they are able to summon the courage to face their hidden foe... "White, gray, and black stones Scattered `cross the board. Now you must unite them To become the Noggle Lord!" 
 
J.T. TURNER and TOM BERRY lead the Colonial Radio Players in this epic production directed by Jerry Robbins, produced by M.J. Cogburn, with music by Jeffrey Gage.



Cover Art by Iman Jordan

Friday, April 20, 2018

Sometimes you just need to respond -

I HATE responding to critics, and I rarely do; but sometimes I need ...to speak up for myself. A recent POWDER RIVER Season 1 review on Audible (and mind you, it wasn't a terrible review by any means) said "I think they actually copied some stories from old days. I can not believe that someone today would write a story were a boy tells a girl in a wheelchair, that she can walk. He just meets the girl and he knows she can walk.
 
" Dear Jim - I can assure you I did not copy anything from the old days. In fact - those who know me well can tell you that I don't listen to old time radio shows, with the exception of an occassional Jack Benny show. I have yet to hear a complete episode of GUNSMOKE. I don't listen to ANY audio outside of CRT, because lets face it, when you work on audio 20 hours a day, the last thing you want to to is listen to someone elses in your time off. THAT SAID - season 1 of Powder River is not the best in the series as the episodes were all over the place... but in the episode you are citing; I was writing how I thought a kid would think in 1874 -- before the age of 24hr news and phones with the world at your fingertips. A time when living in the west meant isolation and little contact with cities thousands of miles to the east. 
 
 Chad doesn't understand why she can't walk - he just thinks that if she wants to, she can. He's never encountered someone like this before. In the end she's not dancing a jig and skipping down the yellow brick road... she still needs assistance and can only take a few steps...and who knows if that could have or could not have happened. I read stories where it did. Today someone in her position may be able to walk in time with with therapy. In the 1870s they put you in a wheel chair and that was that. I'm not arguing with your review - just defending myself -- . you said that I probably copied old time scripts. I can assure you, was not the case.
 
As for the Mark Twain episode having no plot - it doesn't have much of one thats for sure - but in defense of the story, we had to remove about 7 minutes for CD, which left some plot holes and it hurt the story... which I admit, was not the best. Cheers - JR

Monday, April 09, 2018

SHERIFF DAWES ON THE BIG SCREEN! Joseph Zamparelli appears as "Officer Huck Look" in the new motion picture CHAPPAQUIDDICK, now in theaters everywhere. CRT listeners know Joseph from his 11 years on POWDER RIVER as Sheriff Dawes, and in TICONDEROGA as Capt. Campbell.





Sheriff Dawes gives up his horse for a squad car! Here is Joseph Zamparelli as Officer Huck Look filming CHAPPAQUIDDICK. The movie is now playing nationwide.






 

THE FANS SPEAK --

-- AND THE REVIEWS ARE IN - POWDER RIVER SEASON 12!

“ Fantastic series ”
Extremely well produced and performed series and this one gets back to its roots. Marvellous. (Tom in Australia)
**...
“ Awesome."
Listened to it three times already and can't wait for volume 2. Powder River is awesome as is Ticonderoga (Pat)
**
“ just keeps getting better! cant wait for volume 2 ”
I've been hooked on this story since the xm days and love how the characters and community have grown, best series ever! (Jason)
**
“ This is another example of and AMAZING production! ”
I have loved this production from the time I first heard Powder River in 2004. when I listen to the shows I actually become a character in the back ground watching it like a TV show. Its really hard to explain the connection I have with the show. I also feel privileged that in 2009 I was able to meet with Jerry Robbins and Joseph Zamparelli, and ate dinner and drinks with them and have a tour of downtown Boston. I hope one day to get to meet more of the cast! keep up the AMAZING job CRT!
(Ralph)
**
“ One of the best!!! ”
This Powder River was one of the best! My family has waited months for its release and we were NOT disappointed!!! (Sonya)
**
“ Outstanding! ”
Well worth the wait! Thanks Uncle Jerry! KEEP THE POWDER RIVER SEASONS GOING! Thank you (Robert)
**
“ LOVE LOVE LOVE!! ”
Have been waiting for awhile for the new season to come out and I can honestly say it was worth the wait! Can’t wait till the second volume comes out! Very family friendly show! My three year old daughter loves listening to power river too (Anonymous User).





Thursday, April 05, 2018

NEW RELEASE - POWDER RIVER Season 12 Vol. 1

                                                               NOW AVAILABLE!




AUDIBLE

AMAZON

iTUNES

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

ON THE AIR THURS.

Remember - CRT is on the air each and every Sunday night on AM 880 KIXI in Seattle - and you can hear it all over the world via internet streaming.

The Sunday night show is repeated on THURSDAYS too!

This week, THUR. MAR. 29 - A double dose of JERRY AND THE PIRATES with the episides "When Lovely Agatha Came to Town," and "Cranker's Big Date." Broadcasting out of Seattle, listen online at 8pm Pacific, 11pm Eastern

LISTEN LIVE Jerry and the Pirates 8pm Pacific 11pm Easter MAR 29


BEEP BEEP

THIS SUMMER -- HE'S BAAAACK!