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n 1985 Bantam Books decided to start an audio books division and early on they came to Louis to discuss including his material in the new project. In those early days Bantam did not want to produce long unabridged tapes and Louis did not want his work cut to fit their three hour format so the discussion turned to short stories. Louis was still retisent, this time because he was afraid that his old pulp stories did not have enough to offer when lent dramatic weight by a reader. Together they came up with the unique idea of producing them like an old time radio drama and thus created what is now the longest running series of drama for distribution on cassette.

The following is how a typical Louis L’Amour short story is turned into an audio drama: A story is selected and a writer chosen to adapt the story into the “radio drama” medium. This is a process very much like writing a movie script. A particular aspect of the story is chosen as the focus of the script. Anything that does not support that theme usually goes by the wayside. Scenes are developed from ideas or situations in the story and the sketchy “short hand” dialogue you find in most novels or short stories is expanded into fully fleshed scenes. There is often a lot of rewriting and in the rewriting there is a lot of discovering what the story was really about.

Scenes from the script are then used to audition a group of actors to play the various parts. The actors breifly rehearse then, a day or two later, the show is recorded. Sound effects are created using various tricks from the early days of radio, like using coconut shells on cereal, kitty litter, and rocks to simulate the sound of horses hooves, and blowing gently into an unprotected microphone for the sound of a hot, blustery, breeze (as opposed to cold whistling wind). Music is added. The scenes are edited and then the elements (dialogue, sound effects, and music) are mixed together to give you the final “radio drama” style program.

As of today most of the Louis L’Amour audio books are in the audio drama or “radio drama” format. However, there are a group of stories from the collection “Yondering” that have been read in a solo performance by actor Richard Crenna and which feature in depth, biographical, interviews with Louis, himself. There is also "Trap of Gold and Hattan's Castle" and "Showdown Trail" read by Richard Crenna and "The Trail to Peach Meadow Canyon", read by Robert Stack.

More reciently, full length, un-abridged recordings have been done of the Sackett Series and others will become available on an on-going basis.

Click HERE for details and a station listing!

And now you can hear many of these exciting Audio Dramas on your local radio station. Specially edited versions of our extremely popular Audio Dramas have been picked up by national radio syndicator Transmedia. Now The Louis L'Amour Theater shows can be heard on over 150 stations from coast to coast, in Canada and globally via World Space Satellite as a part of IMAGINATION THEATER. Click HERE to find out more!