Tag Archives: Nightbeat

18 September: A crisis and a blitz

In 1938, the Sudeten crisis comes to a boil; in 1940, the London Blitz continues apace, with a particularly understated but gripping report from CBS legend Eric Sevareid.

WORLD WAR II: A CRISIS AND A BLITZ

Special Report: Refuting Propaganda (Czech Radio, 1938)

Czechoslovakia’s English-speaking radio station denies Czech pressure against German-born citizens being restricted or under arrest, as Nazi and Hungarian propaganda broadcasts have charged. The broadcast also discusses Il Duce, Benito Mussolini of Italy, calling for a plebiscite to resolve the Sudetenland crisis—a plebiscite the embattled Czech government fears will not resolve the Sudeten crisis or questions about nationality relations within the country itself.

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I know a guy who didn’t like acting: Old-time radio listening, 25 September

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show: Keeping Regular Office Hours (NBC, 1949)

The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show: The Courtship of Elliott Lewis (NBC, 1953)

Elliott Lewis, in 1948, as his Remley is becoming a comic icon despite his discomfort with acting . . . (Photo: NBC)

Nicknamed “Mr. Radio” because of his versatility and practically daily employment as an actor, director, producer, and writer, Elliott Lewis’s heart is deeper in directing, writing, and producing, than it’s ever been in acting. “I never enjoyed acting,” he’ll say many years later. “I was able to do it, because it’s a trick, and it’s a trick that somehow I knew how to do, without any training.”

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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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