Tag Archives: Frank Lovejoy

27 February: The beat didn’t last long enough

Frank Lovejoy. (Photo: NBC.)

Frank Lovejoy. (Photo: NBC.)

Enough of the better radio crime dramas had short lives as it was. Night Beat—in which versatile veteran Frank Lovejoy played a newspaper reporter instead of one of the usual gang of overboiled private detectives or police officers—had a shorter life than most and deserved better than most.

Randy Stone wasn’t even a hard newsman, never mind crime reporter. As he himself says in Night Beat‘s audition episode, he’s what a later generation would call the soft news type, looking for the stories “that grab your heart and shake it until it hollers ‘uncle’.” His particular forte is uncovering stories about those who’ve suffered the hardest knocks of life and caring about every individual about whom he writes.

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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)

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Loud, proud, and liberated: Old-time radio listening, 18 September

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show: Phil Returns from Vacation (Season premiere; NBC, 1949)

Keeping hands off their writers until rehearsal run-through and air time worked wonders with Phil Harris and Alice Faye . . .

The writing,” John Dunning (in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio) wrote of The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show, “was razor sharp; the scripts by Ray Singer and Dick Chevillat were so raucous that four-to-five minute cuts were often necessary to allow for audience laughter. The principle of contagious laughter was maximised in the overhead placement of audience microphones, making it one of the loudest shows on the air. Some of the brilliance went out of the scripts when Singer and Chevillat departed . . .”

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