Tag Archives: Elliott Lewis

12 January: Compassion misplaced

Larry Thor of Broadway is My Beat. (Photo: CBS.)

Larry Thor of Broadway is My Beat. (Photo: CBS.)

There come times in life when the falsely accused show compassion to those who set them up for the accusation in the first place. But there also come times when such compassion proves only too badly misplaced, as in tonight’s installment of one of the best crime dramas old-time radio yielded in its final decade of life.


Broadway is My Beat: The Larry Moore Murder Case (CBS, 1952)

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1 January: Mr. and Mrs. Radio start a year with a bang

Cathy Lewis . . . (Photo: CBS.)

Cathy Lewis . . . (Photo: CBS.)

Network radio still has a decade to go before its corpse is laid to rest at last. Arguably, the patient is clinically dead somewhere between 1951 and 1953, when the big advertising budgets fall almost entirely toward television, but it will take the better part of a decade before the last of its life support is removed.

The irony is that some of the best old-time radio will be created, produced, and performed between 1953 and 1962, mostly because many of the medium’s best such creators stay aboard because they love it deeply enough. Two of those—husband and wife since 1943, occasional co-workers over the same period—work up one of the best, and shortest-lived, dramatic anthologies.

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8 August: The mighty Thor

Larry Thor. (Photo: CBS.)

Larry Thor. (Photo: CBS.)

Larry Thor’s resonant performance as Det. Danny Clover in Broadway is My Beat was an exception, not a rule in his long career.

Thor proved his acting chops in that role, but he was employed customarily as an actual announcer or to portray one on television and in films after Broadway is My Beat ended. This was somewhat unfair to a man who personified one of old time radio’s very few genuinely realistic police leads.

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14 January: Not-so-dizzy Miss Lizzie

Suspense: Fall River Tragedy (CBS, 1952)

Moorehead, "the first lady of Suspense." (Photo: CBS.)

Moorehead, “the first lady of Suspense.” (Photo: CBS.)

In perhaps a minor masterpiece of understatement, the TruTV network’s Website Crime Library will put it like this:

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Death of a notion; or, we’re (fifty years) late, so good night, folks: Old-time radio listening, 30 September

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar: The Tip-Off Matter (CBS, 1962)

Suspense: Devilstone (CBS, 1962)

Mandel Kramer, the final Johnny Dollar, launching old-time radio’s final first-run broadcast hour . . . (Photo: CBS)

Perhaps it depends upon whom you read and how you interpret what they say. By the time tonight’s offerings finish their first-run performances, at 7 p.m. Eastern time 30 September 1962, the absolute last in both these series and in regularly-scheduled network radio as once a nation (and much of a world) knew it, will it feel as though network radio died of swift natural causes, a long and often painful illness, protracted suicide, murder . . . or, all of the above?

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