Stuff You Should Know

From Times Square to Columbus Circle


It’s been a few weeks since I rooted around in the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear prize closet for some swag to give away so I thought I’d set aside today to kick off another contest.  This week’s prize: an 8-CD Radio Spirits collection of Broadway’s My Beat (The Loneliest Mile), the 1949-54 detective drama starring Larry Thor, Charles Calvert, and Jack Kruschen.

Actor-announcer Larry Thor, who played “Danny Clover” on radio’s Broadway’s My Beat

Throughout a large portion of its run, Broadway was one of several programs directed and produced by actor Elliott Lewis—a.k.a. “Mr. Radio.”  Veteran writers Morton Fine and David Friedkin handled the scripting on the show, and the excellent “sound patterns” were executed by David Light, Ralph Cummings, and Ross Murray.  The program’s musical score (which featured the memorable theme I’ll Take Manhattan) was under the purview of Alexander Courage, who later achieved TV immortality by composing the theme for Star Trek.

At a time when the hard-hitting “police procedural” was mushrooming in popularity with radio audiences (shows like The Line-Up and Twenty-First Precinct followed in its wake) it’s interesting to note that while we often give Dragnet a large amount of credit for the “just-the-facts-ma’am” style of cop drama Broadway’s My Beat beat that seminal series to the airwaves by a few months (Broadway premiered in February of 1949…Dragnet in June).  Both shows make for enjoyable listening but take opposite approaches to the material: Dragnet is clipped and no-nonsense, Broadway a little more flowery and purplish in its prose.  I bow to no one in my love for Jack Webb’s creation and yet when I was assigned to do liner notes for that Radio Spirits Broadway collection last year I was just as entertained by a series that is by its very definition outstanding radio drama.

Behold: the rules of TDOY’s The Loneliest Mile giveaway…

beat11) Send an e-mail with “Loneliest Mile” in the subject header to igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com.  You have until 11:59pm EST on March 30, 2019 (next Saturday) to enter.  You don’t have to provide me with full snail-mail details (I understand perfectly people’s privacy concerns…even though the cynic in me would argue there’s no such thing as privacy anymore) but if you’re a winnah, I’ll have to pester you for the “deets,” as the young kids say. 

2) You will need to be a resident of either the U.S. or Canada to participate.  (I apologize in advance to the large number of folks this leaves out but there’s a wolf constantly at my door and my shouts of “Away with you, Mr. Lupus!” don’t seem to be doing the trick.) 

3) As a rule, I ask that if you’ve been a previous winner in a TDOY giveaway, wait thirty days before entering another contest so that someone without your phenomenal streak of good fortune gets a chance to win some swag.  (This time it applies, since I hosted a giveaway in the last week in February.) 

4) I will choose a winner (via the Random Number Generator at the morning of March 31 and inform the lucky person via e-mail.  They will even be congratulated on the blog, whereupon their employer will give them some major stink-eye for even wanting to be associated with the blog. 

Yes, I have officially retired the “There is no number five” joke…but it’s found a new home at In the Balcony, where there’s a big backyard for it to run and play.  In the meantime: you’ve got a contest to enter…so what are you waiting for?  And remember: Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is the phrase that pays! 

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