BW – EP93: Radio And The New York City Subway (1941 – 1975)

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In Breaking Walls episode 93 we ride the rails with some of the most famous stars in radio history.

During radio’s golden age, there were three main production hubs: New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. With so much daily content to produce, radio’s greatest minds developed programs and episodes centered around every recognizable theme, like the New York city subway.

While this episode will take place in or around New York’s public transportation system, we’ll focus just as much on the relationships forged by radio’s legends on both coasts.

• Mercedes McCambridge, Himan Brown, and Grand Central Station
• How Bill Spier influenced the careers of his wife June Havoc and his protégé Elliott Lewis
• From Suspense to Broadway is My Beat, Elliott Lewis shines
• Jack Benny stars on Suspense
• Cathy Lewis: Mrs Radio
• Mandel Kramer, Jan Miner, and Subway Soaps from New York
• Byron Kane and Subways Are For Sleeping
• William N. Robson, Shirley Mitchell, Virginia Gregg and Jack Kruschen on radio in the 1950s
• Bob and Ray head down into the Subway
• Himan Brown brings dramatic radio back to life in the 1970s
• Next Stop: The Soda Shop
The WallBreakers:

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The reading material used in today’s episode was:
• On The Air – By John Dunning
• The CBS Radio Mystery Theater Handbook – by Gordon Payton & Martin Grams Jr.
• Network Radio Ratings, 1932-53 – by Jim Ramsburg
• The Museum of Broadcast Communications Encyclopedia of Radio – by Christopher H. Sterling

as well as articles from:
• Broadcasting Magazine – November 3rd, 1947
• And Billboard Magazine – May 1st, 1948

On the interview front:
• Himan Brown, June Havoc, Mandel Kramer, Elliott Lewis, E.G. Marshall, Jan Miner, William Spier and William N. Robson were with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC’s The Golden Age of Radio. These interview can be heard at

• Ralph Bell, Himan Brown, Lawrence Dobkin, Betty Lou Gerson and Byron Kane, were with SPERDVAC. For more information, please go to

• Himan Brown, Virginia Gregg, Elliott Lewis, Mercedees McCambridge, Shirley Mitchell and Alan Reed were interviewed by Chuck Schaden. Hear their full chats and many others from Chuck’s over thirty-nine year career and

• Ellott Lewis was with John Dunning on May 23rd, 1982.

• Jack Kruschen, Shirley Mitchell, and George Walsh were with Jim Bohannon on September 12, 1987.

• And Morton Fine was with Dan Haefele on August 9th, 1988.
Selected music featured in today’s episode was:
• It’s been a Long, Long Time – by Keely Smith
• Smoke Gets in Your Eyes – by the Mallet Men
• The Big Heist and Salute to Charlie Christian – by Barney Kessel
• Atlantis and Roller Coaster – by Les Baxter
• I’ll Take Manhattan – by Blossom Dearie
• And Fly Me To the Moon – by Julie London
Special thanks to our Sponsors:
• The Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society –

• The Fireside Mystery Theater –
I’d also like to thank Walden Hughes and John and Larry Gassman of SPERDVAC. Listen to their shows on the Yesterday USA radio network.

A Special Thank you to:
Ryan Kramer
Barry Nadler
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy
Terry Wallace

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