"The Golden Age of Radio"
(As originally broadcast on WTIC, Hartford, CT)

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Program 77 - August, 1976 - Elliott Lewis

Elliott Lewis was one of the most popular radio actors in Los Angeles, who portrayed Remley on the “Phil Harris Alice Faye” program. He was also a well-known producer and director.

"In one week I did 20 shows. I was doing the Harris show as an actor, I was producing and directing Suspense, I was producing, directing, editing, writing openings and closings, and co-starring in On Stage. I was producing and directing Broadway’s My Beat and I was producing, directing and writing the openings and closings and editing Crime Classics."

Broadway’s My Beat detailed the investigative exploits of plainclothes homicide detective Danny Clover of the N.Y.P.D. and, as an early CBS press release described him, “As a kid, Danny Clover sold papers and shined shoes along the Great White Way, and later pounded a beat as a policeman. He knows everyone along Broadway - from panhandler to operatic prima-donna - but he’s still sentimental about the street, forever a wonderland of glamour to him.” Beginning July 7, 1949, Broadway moved to the West Coast, with radio’s “renaissance man” Elliott Lewis taking over as the show’s producer-director. It was his first effort in the producer-director’s chair, and he brought an expert familiarity to the program and its locale, having himself been born in Manhattan. He insisted on having three sound effects men - David Light, Ralph Cummings, and Ross Murray - assigned to the series since, according to Lewis, “you should hear the city constantly.” Special attention must also be afforded to the program’s music score (the memorable opening/closing theme being “I’ll Take Manhattan”), which was composed and conducted by Alexander Courage (who later composed the classic theme for TV’s Star Trek).

Crime Classics was a U. S. radio docudrama which aired over CBS from June 15, 1953 to June 30, 1954. Created, produced, and directed by Elliott Lewis, the program was basically an historical true crime series, examining crimes, and especially murders, from the past. It grew out of Lewis's personal interest in famous murder cases, and took a documentary-like approach to the subject, carefully recreating the facts, personages, and feel of the time period. Comparatively little dramatic license was taken with the facts and events, but the tragedy was leavened with humor, expressed largely through the narration.

Suspense was the longest running mystery anthology series on radio. Premiering over CBS radio in June of 1942, it ran for more than 20 years, even making a brief run on television. With a lavish budget, Suspense was not only able to attract the biggest names in Hollywood, but also garnered the best directors, musical composers, and writers. One of its directors, Elliott Lewis, specialized in casting comedians, like Jack Benny, Milton Berle and Red Skelton starring in dramatic and often grisly episodes.

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Program 77 - August, 1976 - Elliott Lewis

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