16 April: Conrad’s credo

“There were a lot of actors,” William Conrad once said retrospectively of his colleagues in network radio, “who were glib and superficial no matter what they did. But the good actors were just as good as any actors in any medium.”

And tonight he performs a guest shot that proves he could have included himself in that company. The company of the good actors, that is . . .


Night Beat: A World All His Own (NBC, 1950)

Conrad shines as a former boxing champion whom Stone (Frank Lovejoy) has befriended for years—a champ now a destitute, mentally ill shell of his former self, but just as desperate to see, once more, the society woman (Lurene Tuttle) who threw him over because of his chosen career.

Additional cast: Lawrence Dobkin, Charles Seal, Joe Forte. Music: Frank Worth. Director: Warren Lewis. Writers: Russell Hughes.


Further Channel Surfing . . .


Fibber McGee & Molly: A Big Ink Stain on the Carpet (NBC, 1940)—Jim and Marian Jordan, Bill Thompson, Isabel Randolph, Harold Peary, Harlow Wilcox. The First Couple of 79 Wistful Vista celebrate their fifth anniversary in radio with assorted memories and at least a classic mishap or two, which you just about expect from Mr. McGee . . .

Here’s Morgan: Catch as Catch Can, Fred Waring (Mutual, 1942)—Henry Morgan. Lamenting who has to leave the game before the ninth, Greater Deep in the Heart of Texas Week, and a new game in which the object is to catch a certain bandleader, among other hits and runs. You just might come to agree that, in many ways, he’ll never be able to top this kind of freewheeling battering-ram wit.

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show: Phil is Cinderella (NBC, 1950)—Phil Harris, Alice Faye, Gale Gordon, Jeanine Roos, Anne Whitfield, Elliott Lewis, Walter Tetley. Sponsor Scott invites the Harris girls to his daughter’s birthday party, he needs Phil and Alice to help with entertainment when the puppeteer he hired had to back out of the party, but he doesn’t need Remley’s tailor-made idea—tailor made to blow up in everyone’s faces, that is. Which figures, of course.

Bright Star: Patience’s Romance (NBC, 1953)—Fred MacMurray, Irene Dunne, possibly Richard Crenna. Susan thinks George may be the intended target when her housekeeper runs a lonelyhearts ad in the Morning Star—until the ad draws at least five replies. The old and already hackneyed cynic-idealist clash played with unusual class.

Father Knows Best: The Family Getaway (NBC, 1953)—Robert Young, Dorothy Lovett, Ted Donaldson, Rhoda Williams, Helen Strom. It was just an overnight business trip for Jim—at first. Evidence why some think the radio original was actually a real comedy and the television version was dour drama by comparison.


Crime Drama

Boston Blackie: The Baseball Player Murder (ZIV syndication, 1946)—Dick Kollmar, Jan Miner, Maurice Tarplin, Tony Barrett. A baseball player with no known vices is shot to death while sliding into second with a double, in a game before which he was switched in the batting order . . . and was overheard trying to reach Blackie, who also finds a murdered scoreboard operator later that day, and an ancient motive the day after. Boilerplate but effective, all things considered.



News Special: President Truman Addresses Congress (All networks, 1945)

At a time like this, words are inadequate . . . yet, in this decisive hour, when world events are moving so rapidly, our silence might be misunderstood . . . No man can possibly fill the tremendous void left by the passing of that noble soul. No words can ease the aching hearts of untold millions . . . The world knows it has lost a heroic champion of justice and freedom. Tragic fate has thrust upon us grave responsibilities. We must carry on. Our departed leader never looked backward, he looked forward, he moved forward, and that is what he would have wanted us to do. And that is what America will do.

For the first time since he has succeeded the deceased Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman addresses Congress. Among other remarks, Truman says an appropriate moment of silence in tribute to FDR might be misinterpreted by wartime enemies, urging a full forward press on the war effort. He also supports the continuing formation of the United Nations and warns the Axis powers the U.S. will continue the war effort “until no vestige of resistance remains” and nothing short of unconditional surrender is brought about.

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