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Original Now Hear This header art

The Now Hear This Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Now Hear This

Cutaway Illustration of a World War II Destroyer
Cutaway Illustration of a World War II Destroyer (click for larger image)


Crew Abandoning the USS Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea -- official Navy photo 80-G-7398 (Click for larger image)
Crew Abandoning the USS Lexington during the Battle of the Coral Sea -- official Navy photo 80-G-7398 (Click for larger image)


USS Toledo and USS Juneau, moored at Yokosuka, Japan following Korean War operations -- Official photo 80-G-424598 (Click for larger image)
USS Toledo and USS Juneau, moored at Yokosuka, Japan following Korean War operations -- Official photo 80-G-424598 (Click for larger image). The Korean War's 'Unification Plan' referred to both the unification of North and South Korea as well as the Defense strategy of unifying the efforts of all service branches in prosecuting the Korean War. Note the difference in armament between the heavy cruiser (left) and the light cruister (right)


Cutaway illustration of World War II submarine (Click for larger image)
Cutaway illustration of World War II submarine (Click for larger image)


Cutaway illustration of Martin modified PBM from World War II
Cutaway illustration of Martin modified PBM from World War II


PT Boat from World War II
PT Boat from World War II

March 31 1951 Billboard announcement of Now Hear This to air as a Summer replacement series
March 31 1951 Billboard announcement of Now Hear This to air as a Summer replacement series

Seabees Insignia
Seabees Insignia






Background

World War II and the post-War years took a heavy toll on The Navy, the Marines, and the Merchant Marine. Three of the most under-reported and underrated services, the sea-going services of World War II were far more difficult to replace than, for example, Army Infantry troops, their support troops, and Army Air Corps support personnel.

As a consequence of this, all sea-going personnel recruiting programs, nurse candidate recruiting, and pilot recruiting became three of the most ambitious recruiting efforts of the era--especially the post-War era. Note that by the above, we don't mean to discount the heroic sacrifices of the other service branches, their personnel or the quality of their personnel. But The Navy, the Merchant Marine, the various Nursing Corps', and pilots for the various services were always in high demand--before, during, and after World War II. But moreso, after the cessation of conflict in World War II.

Keeping The Navy in the public eye was therefore of paramount importance to the Department of the Navy, the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Marine Corps, and The War Department, soon to be renamed the Department of Defense in 1947, along with the birth of the U.S. Air Force, and the C.I.A.--all part of The 1947 Defense Act. In an effort to keep focus on these requirements both the Navy Department and the U.S. Merchant Marine mounted numerous programs over Radio throughout World War II and during the post-War years. Among them were:

  • 1941 Anchors Away
  • 1941 First Line of Defense
  • 1942 Meet Your Navy
  • 1942 The Man Behind the Gun
  • 1943 Battle Stations
  • 1943 Fighting Heroes of the US Navy
  • 1943 Men At Sea
  • 1943 The Pacific Story
  • 1944 Boot Camp Parade
  • 1945 Crisis In War Town
  • 1949 The Eddy Duchin Show
  • 1950 Les Brown
  • 1951 Adventure is Your Heritage
  • 1951 The Navy Hour
  • 1951 Now Hear This
  • 1957 Country Hoedown
  • 1957 Music On Deck
  • 1959 The Navy Swings
  • Broadway In Review
  • Country Music Express
  • Sounds Like the Navy
  • Stand By for Music
  • The Best Bands In the Land
  • The Navy Band
  • Travel the World in Song
  • U.S. Navy Air Reserve Show
  • Winnie The WAVE
  • Your Navy Show
  • Your Star Time

While there were numerous other such programs throughout the era, the above are fairly representative of their scope and variety. The majority of these programs were produced or co-produced by the Navy Department or The Department of the Navy. The co-produced programming aired over commercial networks as well as being transcribed for distribution through the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS) and the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service (AFRTS). The programming itself, as might be apparent from the titles alone, were a mix of variety (music, big band, and featured singers) and 'message' programming consisting of mostly docudramas or dramatic reenactments of many of the more heroic and emblematic moments throughout both Naval History and World War II in particular.

For recruiting purposes, name bands, popular singers of the era, and tales of stirring naval stories proved the most effective recruiting vehicles of the era. Dramatic reenactments of Navy History, World War II, and Korean War exploits generally appealed to both targeted candidate recruits and Homefront listeners equally. These were the types of programs that proved the most successful and compelling as commercial programming candidates of the era.

NBC debuts Now Hear This as a Summer Replacement

Now Hear This was one of the better produced, written and performed docudrama productions of the post-War era. Co-produced by Navy Recruiting and NBC, the east-coast productions featured some of the era's finest east-coast talent. Well-written, directed and paced, the series provided as many as twenty-one highly compelling vignettes of naval exploits, punctuated by one or two Navy recruiting messages. As indicated in the Billboard review below, the reviewer found the premiere episode, Fire At Sea, equally well-dramatized, performed and written.

Initially conceived solely as a Summer replacement of Mr. and Mrs. Blandings, with the popularity of Now Hear This, the program was extended beyond its Summer replacement run for seven more weeks of programming in some NBC markets. On the east coast, for example, Now Hear This continued on in the 5:30 p.m, Sunday timeslot through November 11, 1951, while in the midwest, the 4:30 p.m., Sunday timeslot was replaced with the TV and Radio simulcasts of Martin Kane, Private Detective, starring William Gargan, then Lee Tracy in the starring role. Mutual had aired Martin Kane, Private Detective as a Radio program only up until June 24, 1951. NBC then took the series over both Radio and Television beginning with the Summer and Fall of 1951.

There's no question that Now Hear This was an effective recruiting message during the Korean War era--and beyond. The series portrayed Navy personnel with both a very human and very inspirational touch, and in a perfect balance of each. Promoted as actual stories based on the personal experiences of the Navy personnel that embodied the great traditions of The Navy, the series more than met its portfolio. These were dramatized, first-person accounts of naval experiences. As such they presented a far more visceral and personal impression of each naval fighting man's fears, self-reflection and motivations. It was an inspired touch.

With the majority of the dialogue so personalized and intimate, the scripts came alive to equal the most compelling Radio drama of the era. This was a tribute to both the production staff and the performers enacting the scripts. This brief series, often overlooked in the vintage Radio community stands as the equal of the Peabody Award winning The Man Behind the Gun. Now Hear This is one of vintage Radio's overlooked and underappreciated gems.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Patriotic Docudramas
Network(s): NBC.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 51-06-24 01 Fire At Sea
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 51-06-24 to 51-11-11; NBC; Twenty-one, 30-minute programs; Sundays, 5:30 p.m.
Syndication: NBC and United States Navy Recruiting Service
Sponsors: United States Navy Recruiting Service
Director(s): David Harmon [Director]; Si Levine [NBC Producer]; Chuck Vincent [Navy Recruiting Producer]
Principal Actors: Larry Haines, Everett Sloane, Jackson Beck, Billy Redfield, Billy Quinn, Arnold Robertson, Gilbert Mack, Jay Meredith, Chuck Webster, Jack Grimes, George Petrie, Don Briggs, Mason Adams, Maurice Tarplin, Vinton Hayworth, Frank Behrens, Grant Richards, Leon Janney, Lyle Sudrow, William Zuckert, Joseph Curtin, Charita Bauer, Ian Martin, James Lipton, Richard Newton, Charles Smith, Robert Readick, Chuck Webster, Beryl Firestone, Bernard Lenrow, Jim Boles, John Sylvester, Michael O'Day, Sandy Becker, Joseph Julian, James McCallion, John Gibson, Casey Allen, Ross Martin, Grant Richards, Mandel Kramer, Walter Greaza, Cliff Carpenter, Rita Lynn, Elaine Rost, Charme Allen, Casey Allen, Lois Harmon, Les Damon, Elspeth Eric, Frank Maxwell, Inge Adams, George Hicks
Recurring Character(s):
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) David Harmon
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): "Anchors Aweigh"
Announcer(s): Arnold Robertson, Larry Haines, Jack Costello
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
21
Episodes in Circulation: 20
Total Episodes in Collection: 20
Provenances:

Billboard Review of Now Hear This from July 7 1951
Billboard Review of Now Hear This from July 7 1951
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the radioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

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We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.

[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







The Now Hear This Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
51-06-24
1
Fire At Sea
Y
51-06-24 Wisconsin State Journal
4:30 p.m.--Now Hear This (WIBA): new series based on fact files and personal experiences of navy men and women.
51-07-01
2
Unification Plan
Y
51-07-01 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-07-08
3
Operation 'Submarine'
Y
51-07-08 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-07-15
4
Hawaiian Rescue
Y
51-07-15 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-07-22
5
Marine Landing
Y
51-07-22 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-07-29
6
Underwater Demolition Team
Y
51-07-29 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-08-05
7
Aleutian Islands
Y
51-08-05 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-08-12
8
PT Boats
Y
51-08-12 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-08-19
9
Fog-Bound
Y
51-08-19 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-08-26
10
Seabees In Action
Y
51-08-26 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-09-02
11
The U.S.S. Philadelphia
Y
51-09-02 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-09-09
12
Ten-Day Leave
Y
51-09-09 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-09-16
13
What Makes A Hero
Y
51-09-16 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-09-23
14
No Blood for Battle
Y
51-09-23 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30 Now Hear This
51-09-30
--
--
51-09-30 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 4:30
Martin Kane





51-06-24
1
Fire At Sea
Y
51-06-24 Washington Post
WRC--5:30. "Now Hear This," new drama series based on real Navy stories.
51-07-01
2
Unification Plan
Y
51-07-01 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-07-08
3
Operation Submarine
Y
51-07-08 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-07-15
4
Hawaiian Rescue
Y
51-07-15 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-07-22
5
Marine Landing
Y
51-07-22 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-07-29
6
Underwater Demolition Team
Y
51-07-29 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-08-05
7
Aleutian Islands
Y
51-08-05 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-08-12
8
PT Boats
Y
51-08-12 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-08-19
9
Fog-Bound
Y
51-08-19 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-08-26
10
Seabees In Action
Y
51-08-26 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-09-02
11
The U.S.S. Philadelphia
Y
51-09-02 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-09-09
12
Ten-Day Leave
Y
51-09-09 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-09-16
13
What Makes A Hero
Y
51-09-16 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-09-23
14
No Blood for Battle
Y
51-09-23 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-09-30
15
Retreads
Y
51-09-30 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-10-07
16
Lady
Y
51-10-07 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-10-14
17
The Emperor's Bathtub
Y
51-10-14 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-10-21
18
The Right Cross
Y
51-10-21 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-10-28
19
No More Tommorrow
Y
51-10-28 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-11-04
20
Too Long Remembered
Y
51-11-04 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-11-11
21
Title Unknown
N
51-11-11 Washington Post
WRC 5:30 Now Hear This (Navy Show)
51-11-18
--
--
51-11-18 Washington Post
WRC 5:30
This Is Scotland Yard






The Now Hear This Radio Program Biographies




Jackson Beck
(Performer)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor
(1912-2004)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1936
The March of Time
1937
Other People's Lives
1939
Ideas That Came True
1941
We, The People
1942
Soldiers of The Press
1942
Superman
1942
The Columbia Workshop
1942
Hop Harrigan
1942
The Cisco Kid
1943
Todd Grant Gets the Story
1943
Lest We Forget
1943
This Is Our Enemy
1943
Words At War
1944
The Man Behind The Gun
1944
Inner Sanctum
1944
Creeps By Night
1944
Dangerously Yours
1945
The Brownstone Theatre
1945
Hercule Poirot
1945
The Adventures of The Falcon
1946
Boston Blackie
1947
The Tenth Man
1947
CBS Is There
1948
Philo Vance

. . . and literally hundreds more.
Jackson Beck as 'Cisco Kid', c. 1942
Jackson Beck as 'Cisco Kid', c. 1942

Jackson Beck at the CBS Mike circa 1954
Jackson Beck at the CBS Mike circa 1954

Jackson Beck, c. 2000
Jackson Beck, c. 2000

I should probably have recused myself from writing this piece about Jackson Beck. He's one of my three favorite voice actors of all time--over any medium. From 'The Cisco Kid', to 'Superman', to 'Philo Vance' and on through innumerable radio, television and film roles, Jackson Beck's voice remains one of the top ten most recognized voices of the twentieth century. The irony is, I doubt that one out of ten people who've heard his voice would know who they'd just listened to. When prompted they'd simply refer to that guy with the deep, commanding voice.

Some might say the Philo Vance franchise saved it's most memorable voice of Philo Vance for last. To listen to any of the various iterations of Philo Vance on radio, television or film, it's clear that the role demanded very specific voice presence--clear, commanding, highly literate, capable of long exposition, and above all with a self-assuredness bordering on cocky or arrogant.

A New York City native from birth, Jackson Beck epitomized the stereotypical, cosmopolitan, big-city, impeccably dressed, know-it-all New Yorker of legend. But his versatility as a voice talent always showed a commanding ability to capture the complete attention and imagination of the listener, no matter the medium. During a career spanning almost 69 years Jackson Beck lent that commanding, compelling, reassuring voice to thousands of radio episodes and literally hundreds of film and television projects. Indeed, The RadiGOLDINdex site cites almost 1,400 individual entries in it's database for Jackson Beck appearances in Golden Age Radio era episodes.

Always in demand, Jackson Beck never wanted for work his entire career. Both a quick study, as well as a versatile ad-libber and expositionist, he rarely--if ever--broke character, and built a long-standing reputation as one of the rocks of the industry. From roles as fanciful as Walt Disney's 'Prince Charming', and 'Brutus' or 'Bluto' from the Popeye series', to the weightiest narrations of serious, patriotic documentaries, his delivery was always spot on, commanding, rivetting, and most of all--memorable.

I've always felt his work on Philo Vance was some of his best, especially given the sometimes overly long expositions that were part and parcel of most episodes. But that was one of his great talents, and it was perfectly applied to the Philo Vance character. But his work on Man Behind The Gun is probably universally recognized as his most critically acclaimed series of performances.

Jackson Beck was interred in Brooklyn, next to his father, Max Beck, a former silent film actor in his own right, and his grandfather, Joseph Beck, an emigre from Saxony, who founded the Joseph Beck and Sons Distillery.

He's already dearly missed, but thousands of his admirers are diligently working to ensure that his body of work will never be forgotten.



Larry Haines [Larry Hecht]
(Narrator)

Stage, Radio, and Television
(1918-2008)

Birthplace: Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.A.

Education: London University

Military Service: Served with London Scottish during World War I; decorated Mons Medal

Radiography:
1942 Gang Busters
1943 Words At War
1943 Manhunt
1944 Treasury Salute
1944 Cavalcade Of America
1944 The SPortsmen's Club
1944 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 Inner Sanctum
1946 Columbia WOrkshop
1946 Molle Mystery Theater
1946 The Shadow
1947 Radio Reader's Digest
1947 Crime Club
1948 Ford Theatre
1948 The Big Story
1948 Big Town
1949 Secret Missions
1949 Under Arrest
1949 Murder By Experts
1949 Philo Vance
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1950 Dimension X
1950 The FBI In Peace and War
1951 The Amazing Mr Malone
1951 Now Hear This
1952 Mysterious Traveler
1952 The Chase
1952 California Civil Defense
1953 That Hammer Guy
1953 Suspense
1953 Best Plays
1953 Wild Bill Hickok
1953 The Marriage
1954 21st Precinct
1954 Proudly We Hail
1954 Easy Money
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1956 X Minus One
1958 Exploring Tomorrow
1958 Treasury Agent
1960 The Right To Happiness
1961 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1974 CBS Radio Mystery Theatre
1975 To Have and To Hold
Counterspy
The Guiding Light
The Korn Kobblers Kornival

Larry Haines circa 1950


Ronald Colman circa 1917
Larry Haines circa 1970



From the July 24, 2008 edition of the Indiana Gazette:

Larry Haines 

     DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — Larry Haines, who won two Daytime Emmys for his 35-year role on the soap opera “Search for Tomorrow,” has died.  He was 89.
     Haines, who also had a successful career on Broadway generally billed as A. Larry Haines, died July 17 at a hospital where he had been admitted a week earlier, his attorney and friend, Tom Dachelet, said Wednesday.
     The actor played Stu Bergman on “Search for Tomorrow” from 1951 to 1986, missing only the first two months of the
show’s run.
     Stu was the neighbor and best friend of Joanne Gardner Barron, later Joanne Tourneur, the character at the center of most of the show’s plot lines.
     The soap opera, which was first on CBS, later on NBC, was the longest-running daytime TV drama when its last episode
aired in December 1986.
     He won his Daytime Emmys in 1976 and 1981.
     In 1985, he was presented with a special recognition award for his longevity on the series.
     Haines was twice nominated for Tonys, for “Promises, Promises,” the 1968 musical version of the film “The Apartment,” and “Generation,” a 1965 play starring Henry Fonda.
     Early in his career, he was an actor on radio series, including the popular horror series “Inner Sanctum,” which famously
opened with the sound of a creaking door.



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