20 September: Bookish Myrna Loy

While many Hollywood stars and starlets thought nothing of turning to radio work to make ends meet between pictures, Myrna Loy didn’t take the same attitude. Once she achieved her stardom she rarely had to look back, and she tended for the most part to restrict her radio work to adaptations of her films.

But she did make the occasional exception. And tonight she makes arguably the best such exception of the radio side of her career.


Suspense: The Library Book (Mystery/thriller; CBS, 1945)

Myrna Loy, who knew how to work a radio mystery. (Photo: CBS.)

Myrna Loy, who knew how to work a radio mystery. (Photo: CBS.)

Public librarian Prudence (Myrna Loy) is furious when she discovers a missing page in her library’s only copy of Gone with the Wind . . . until she learns the missing page was used for a ransom note in a kidnapping police refuse to believe.

Considering that her first big break came in a gangster film, you’d expect Loy to handle any kind of crime drama or mystery with deftness. And tonight you get what you expect and then some.

Additional cast: Conrad Binyon, Cathy Lewis, Wally Maher. Announcer: Truman Bradley. Music: Bernard Herrmann. Director: William Spier. Writer: William Spier, based on the story “The Book That Squealed” by Cornell Woolrich.


Special Report: Hitler’s Danzig Address (NBC, 1939)

A soap opera break-in (The O’Neills) reports Hitler’s expected arrival in the Polish city whose annexation der Fuehrer demanded the previous spring. The Third Reich invaded Poland at the beginning of this month, launching what becomes World War II after Britain and France—having guaranteed Poland’s territorial integrity after the betrayals of the Munich Pact—declared war on Germany in return. An excerpt from Hitler’s rant is included in this recording, though no translation is available . . . or, perhaps, needed. Announcer: Unidentified.


CBS European News: Driving Back the Blitzers (CBS, 1940)

On an unusually quiet day, Eric Sevareid leads off with one round of German raiders driven back during the London Blitz, apparently, though reports out of Dover indicate another invasion wave is iminent; British troops at Dover are confident of being able to beat the wave back. Sevareid also notes scattered, very occasional incendiary bombs striking around his particular location the day before, not to mention the crash of a German aircraft atop a London home adjacent to a hospital.


Also: Talks between Ribbentrop and the Italian foreign minister; a North African counterattack; Japanese demands for Indochinese bases having little real significance in the Sino-Japanese war.


Additional correspondents: William L. Shirer (Berlin); Albert Warner (Washington). Anchor: George Bryan.


Further Channel Surfing . . .

Mayor of the Town: Amy Lou Goes to War (NBC, 1942)
The Whistler: Fog (CBS, 1942)
Richard Diamond, Private Detective: The Bald Head Case (Crime drama; NBC, 1950)
The Jack Benny Program: Return to Paradise (Comedy; CBS, 1953)

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