The NBC Short Stories were very high quality productions. Authors ranger from Shelley to Bradbury to Edgar Allen Poe. In this episode, The Fall Of The House Of Usher, as like many of Poe’s stories, does not use the typical, first person point of view where the protagonist tells a personal account of a crime that he or she has committed. Instead, the narrator is a character of whom we know very little, who acts like a participant/observer. It is easy for the reader to become “the friend” in Poe’s story as both the narrator and the reader invite “madness” as they are drawn into the underworld of the mind where fantasy becomes reality. Twice near the end of the story, Roderick calls the narrator “Madman!” However, the narrator escapes, to watch both the tenants and the house of Usher disappear into the tarn, an underworld which is their true home.
Monitor P1 (I forgot where I leeched this. Enjoy.)
The Sounds of NBC Monitor
So what did NBC Radio’s weekend-long Monitor sound like? Like nothing ever heard before, or since, on network radio.
Each weekend the program featured a kaleidoscope of news, music, comedy, sports, variety, remotes, live interviews and taped snippets.
During its nearly 20-year run, Monitor was on the air for 20,000 hours.
Below is a sampling of what you might have heard on a typical weekend on the Monitor Beacon.
New for Fall 2013
NBC Radio and JFK’s assassination 50 years ago (55 now)
Hello, again, Monitor fans!
We are departing from our usual quarterly practice of introducing newly-found Monitor audio to present — for the first time anywhere, we believe — NBC Radio’s magnificent four-hour documentary on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, which aired on Sunday night, Nov. 24, 1963 — a half-century ago.
JFK was gunned down in Dallas on Friday afternoon, Nov. 22. Shortly afterward, every radio and TV network in the U.S. began what would be nearly continuous coverage that would conclude the following Monday afternoon, after JFK’s burial at Arlington.
On that fateful Friday afternoon, Monitor staff members were putting the finishing touches on the upcoming weekend’s broadcast. They immediately threw everything out and began producing moment-by moment coverage of the momentous events that had started unfolding.
Monitor did not air that weekend — pre-empted by NBC Radio’s continuous JFK coverage. On Sunday night, Monitor producer Bud Drake and writer Charles Garment headed up the team that somehow — under the incredible strain of unbelievable events and deadline pressure — produced what you’ll hear below — a four-hour look at those events and at Kennedy’s life and legacy.
Bear in mind that the broadcast team had no electronic “magic” to rely on — no digital audio archives that could be called up instantaneously from any computer — no historical background material that was available at the touch of a keyboard. They had to produce all four hours by looking up paper archives, finding and then editing old tapes or discs — and somehow putting it all together into a coherent form.
I believe it was one of NBC Radio’s finest achievements. And you can hear it, below — for the first time, we think, since it aired on that Sunday night in November 50 years ago, recorded off WMAQ Radio, the NBC owned-and-operated station in Chicago.
And — on a completely unrelated note — if you haven’t already, check out this link at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMIj1bW-0aA.
Scott Marinoff discovered it. Amazing. A band playing the Monitor theme at a festival last year — the theme that Buddy Rich first recorded back in the 1960’s.
Monitor had quite an impact on American pop culture, didn’t it?