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 dramas 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.

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

As of January 2022, over 3,707[3] episodes have been produced, each 30 minutes in length. Unshackled! is produced in the same way as shows during the Golden Age of Radio: Actors record dialogue 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 of Jack O'Dell as producer/director from 1950 to 1990.

Characters and storiesEdit

Each production dramatizes the testimony of someone who converts to evangelical Christianity, sometimes through a visit to Pacific Garden Mission or through hearing Unshackled! on the radio. Episodes include the life stories of baseball-great-turned-evangelist Billy Sunday, himself 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, with rare exceptions, are derived from actual testimonies and actual events. Beginning in the 1950s, comic book versions of many Unshackled! stories were also produced.

See alsoEdit


  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.
  3. ^ "Browse All Programs".

External linksEdit