Friday, December 26, 2014

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 26 - Five Days Off For Christmas with Night Beat

Working on sending out one blog entry each day in December to showcase great Old Time Radio for the Christmas season.  Here is a link to all the entries.  Here is day 26 - Five Days Off For Christmas with Night Beat.  So you might be can you have 26 items on a list that clearly has room for 25.  Well....seriously...I have more things to share.  I have a few more I want to get out before the new sue me!  This is a great story about ancient history...when there were these things called newspapers.  Hard to believe, right?  But it goes out to all the people who work on Christmas Eve, Christmas and other holidays.

If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great programs available throughout the month of December on his great show.  You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web. One place to find these shows is the 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive. This is a great resources for many of these wonderful radio shows!

Scenes from The Magnificent Mile & River North (Chicago, Illinois)

Inside the Tribune Tower (Chicago), April 2012

Night Beat is a pretty interesting show.  It stars Frank Lovejoy, a very popular and well known radio actor.  Night Beat was on the NBC radio network and it was sponsored by Wheaties, the "Breakfast of Champions."  Frank Lovejoy plays Randy Stone, reporter for the newspaper Chicago Star.  Randy Stone canvases the evening hours in Chicago looking for stories ranging from kidnappings, to crimes, to personal stories and other accounts of the bustling city in the wee hours of the morning.  What makes this show so great is that it is not really formulaic.  While the stories do wrap up in the 30 minute window, they are wide ranging and cover so many different types of activities in the city.  So they are not just crimes, but people struggling with bigger life issues.  The way each of them ends is clever.  It flows from the actual characters conversing to a voice over by Randy Stone, in the way that he would have finished up the column for the newspaper.  The last words spoken by Randy Stone are the same, as he calls out "Copy Boy!"

Five Days Off For Christmas (December 21, 1951)

In the Christmas episode from December 21, 1951, Randy Stone gets a rare gift.  He is given the night off by his editor.  He learned about it at their Christmas Eve party, where he was handed an envelope with a 50 cent piece and a note to visit a family on Christmas.  Thinking it was a gag, Randy tried to work out plans with someone in Decatur.  But when that did not work out, he ended up at a bar, just wanting to avoid going home.  He paid for the drink with his new found money, but the bartender, voiced by Bill Conrad, pointed out that it was counterfeit.  When a boy tried to deliver him a similar letter, that opened up a whole new adventure for Randy Stone.  He ended up spending part of Christmas Eve in the newspaper library looking at his old stories.  A Christmas story that includes a library cannot be all bad!  In the end, he is on the case, and finds something more than a good story.

Enjoy this great Christmas episode!

Here are some links to programs relating to Night Beat:
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas:

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