Unusual approach to crime drama from the early 1950s.
The stories are dark, and the production aurally,
"Broadway Is My Beat" was a labyrinth of sounds. The
result was often befuddling, sometimes disturbing
and always complex.
"Detective Danny Clover" was a "Times Square
Detective," when the show originated from New York.
After production moved to Los Angeles, in July 1949, "Clover"
worked homicide. "From Times Square to Columbus
Circle," said the announcer as he set the tone, "the gaudiest, the most violent, the
lonesomest [sic] mile in the world."
"Broadway Is My Beat" (BIMB) premiered at 5:30 pm on
Sunday the 27th of February 1949. Dunning reports
the show aired "in at least 15 different timeslots
[on CBS]; heard virtually every night of the week,
at some point." CBS ran BIMB as "sustaining
programming," that is, without a regular sponsor,
even during its two full seasons. Think filler, and
transcribed for release at convenient times.
Antony Ross portrayed Clover, while the show
originated from New York. John Dietz directed,
Lester Gottlieb produced. Music was by Robert
For the full run of the show, from New York City and
Los Angeles, the theme was, "I'll Take Manhattan."
The lyric was by Lorenz Hart, with music by Richard
Rogers. "I'll Take Manhattan" premiered, in 1925, in
the "The Garrick Gaieties," and was much too innocent to
frame this lurid melodrama.
When BIMB moved to Los Angeles, beginning 7 July
1949, Elliot Lewis got his first directing credit,
and also produced. Wilbur Hatch was musical
director. No writings credits are available for the
New York production, but in Los Angeles, Morton Fine
and David Friedkin wrote.
Larry Thor took over the "Danny Clover" role.
"Sergeant Gino Tartaglia" was played by Charles
Calvert. "Sergeant Muggavan" was Jack Kruschen. Most
every character actor of the day appeared on BIMB,
including Hy Averback, Ben Wright, Lou Gerson and
Mary Jane Croft, to name three that define a wide
"Danny Clover" narrated each story, weaving himself
in and out of the action. Dunning suggests Fine and
Friedkin liked to stretch metaphors. "The still of
August [night time]," they wrote, "is beyond crest
now, has broken, begun its downsurge, and in the
empty avenue there are trailings of phosphorescence
and tricklings of stillness ... time before dawn."
Every show ended with a version of, "Broadway is
sleeping now ... the furious avenues of the night
are still ... only the sleepwalkers are there ...
the seekers, the sodden ...."
In the episode, which aired Tuesday, 8 August 1953,
Fine and Friedkin weren't lyrical. Killer, "Joe
Webb," pleads his innocence. "I didn't do it! I
wasn't born, yet. I mean it, officer; he was dead
when I got here." After confirming "Webb" is guilty,
"Clover" segues into "Broadway is sleeping now ...."
The crimes "Clover" described tended to the
gruesome, always less than glamorous and usually
seedy. "Philip Marlowe" dealt with classy, often
complex, crimes. "Richard Diamond" was pure whimsy.
"Sam Spade" solved silly crimes and misadventures.
"Clover" trolled the lurid side of life, and New
York City, implied the Los Angeles writers, was a
most lurid place.
BIMB is an unusual show. Dunning writes that it "was
noisy," and he's right. The show was performed in
what amounts to an sound chamber, perhaps to convey a
sense of cavernous crime scenes among the
skyscrapers. New York is a noisy city, but not
hollow, as BIMB portrays it, and never has been.
From 7 July 1949 to 25 August 1949, BIMB ran as a
"Summer Series," on CBS. The show aired sporadically
before getting two full seasons, 9 September 1951 to
October 1953, and sporadically, again, until 1
Here are two episodes of "Broadway Is My Beat,"
the first and the last. Click to Listen!
Dorn" 7 July 1949.
"Floyd Decker" 1 August 1954.
John Dunning (1998), "On the Air: the encyclopedia
of old-time radio," is published by Oxford
University Press. Pp. 120-121.
Jerry Haendiges, "Broadway
Is My Beat: log." 16 February 2005.
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