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Genreradio drama
Running time30 minutes
Country of originUnited States
Language(s)English, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Korean, Persian, Japanese, Albanian, Greek, Macedonian, Turkish and Portuguese
AnnouncerTimothy Gregory
Directed byTimothy Gregory
Recording studioChicago, Illinois
Original releaseSeptember 23, 1950 (1950-09-23) – present

Unshackled! is a radio drama series produced by Pacific Garden Mission, in Chicago, Illinois, that first aired on September 23, 1950.[1] It is one of the longest-running radio drama in history and one of a very few still in production in the United States. The show is aired over 6,500 times around the world, each week, on over 1,550 radio outlets and is translated and re-dramatized into eight languages[2] on six continents.

As of January 2020, over 3,600 episodes have been produced, each 30 minutes in length. Unshackled! is produced in the same way that shows during the Golden Age of Radio were produced. Shows are transcribed (recorded) live before a studio audience. An organist provides live incidental music and a sound-effects person provides sounds in real time as the show progresses. The show has retained a consistent and distinctive quality throughout its years of production, established by the 40-year tenure, from 1950 to 1990, of Jack O'Dell as producer/director.

Characters and stories[edit]

Each episode dramatizes the testimony of someone who converts to Christianity, sometimes involving a visit to Pacific Garden Mission, or through hearing Unshackled! on the radio. Radio episodes include the life stories of baseball-great-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday, who is a Pacific Garden Mission convert, and Dominic Mance, an international banker who became a homeless vagabond nearly overnight. Past cast and crew range from current actors to Golden Age of Radio personalities such as Bob O'Donnell, Jack Bivans, Stan Dale and Russ Reed.

The scripts are derived from actual testimonies and actual events.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Owens, John (6 April 2015). "Radio docudrama 'Unshackled' still rings true after 65 years". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2017-04-30.
  2. ^ "Unshackled!". Retrieved 2010-12-12. In addition to the English broadcast, it is translated and re-dramatized in Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Korean, Persian, Japanese, Albanian, Greek, Macedonian, Turkish and Portuguese.

External links[edit]