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Night Watch, Volume 2

Night Watch, Volume 2

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Night Watch, Volume 2

Night Watch, Volume 2

Audio Library Digital

10/23/2020

0 pages

9781662060014

Audio Retail Digital

10/23/2020

0 pages

9781662062148

Description:

If you’re a fan of modern day television, it will come as no surprise to you that the reality shows are very popular. Whether you cast your votes for the latest “American Idol,” Dancing with the Stars, or spend your free time hooting at this week’s collection of shirtless, shiftless, beer-swilling lowlife on “Cops”, you know that - for better or worse - reality shows are here to stay. You may, however, be surprised to find that the notion of network reality programming is really nothing new -- in fact, the concept actually dates back as far as 1954, when “Night Watch” debuted on CBS Radio. Beginning on April 5, 1954 and running for about a year, “Night Watch” was the first program to bring “live” and authentic police drama to the air. A fascinating combination of “Dragnet” and “Cops” with just a hint of “This is Your FBI” thrown in for public service purposes, each week official police recorder Donn Reed accompanied Officer Ron Perkins on the night watch in Culver City, California. Traveling in an unmarked car through the nighttime streets, Reed used a heavy battery-powered reel-to-reel tape recorder, complete with a microphone cleverly concealed inside the casing of a flashlight, to accompany Perkins and his fellow officers on real police calls. These were authentic, unscripted, and unrehearsed adventures, with no actors, no expectations, and nothing planned in advance. At the end of each show, Police Chief W. N. Hildebrand would give listeners the updates on what happened to the citizens involved in each incident and encourage the public to aid the police in doing their work. Heard today, “Night Watch” remains a vivid and frequently riveting example of just how innovative radio could be when used creatively. Were it being produced today, the producers of “Night Watch” would be using tiny and almost weightless digital recorders and editing software -- but, in 1954, tape recording (not to mention tape editing) was still in its infancy, with Reed forced to lug sixty-plus pounds of technology to every crime scene and change tape reels on a regular basis. Likewise, what would be considered acceptable dialogue for a network broadcast was far more restricted in 1954 than we’d find on TV today, so the tape editing (accomplished with little more than a razor blade and a splicing block) had to be extensive and extremely selective, while still retaining the basic content and flavor of the incident and the chronology of the developing story. Given all of the limitations of 1950s technology, plus the unpredictable nature of the criminal events that were the basis for the series, the audio quality of the broadcasts and engrossing nature of the events being covered remain truly surprising -- and truly great radio. But make no mistake: even though more than sixty years has passed since “Night Watch” first aired, the series is definitely not suitable for family listening. The individual incidents recorded range from an investigation of two small children left in a cold parked car while their parents spend hours drinking in a local tavern to the often harrowing attempts by police to save the life of a man slashed almost to death with a razor. Reed’s quiet ongoing narration of the cases as they develop makes for a real-life version of the kind of flat no-nonsense narration that made Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” so memorable -- and it makes the shows even more gripping to hear today. The twenty broadcasts contained in this collection have been taken from the highest quality source recordings known to exist for this series - in fact, these newly restored broadcasts have the best audio quality of any “Night Watch” programs ever released. We know that these unique, unusual, and rare documentary shows will make an excellent and welcome addition to your radio show library. Stalker & PeacemakerThursday, October 14, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Seeing the Light & Bridge JumperThursday, October 21, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Psycho Ward & No Physical EvidenceThursday, October 28, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Missing ChildThursday, November 11, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Child Neglect & Knife AssaultThursday, November 18, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Family Quarrel & Safe BurglarsThursday, November 25, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Rolling Pin & LugerThursday, December 2, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Traffic Accident & Fight in Front of a BarThursday, December 16, 1954 - CBS, sustaining HoldupThursday, December 23, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Tossing Beer CansThursday, December 30, 1954 - CBS, sustaining Attempt at SuicideThursday, January 13, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Hit and Run & JuvenileThursday, January 20, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Iron Lung & Lie DetectorThursday, January 27, 1955 - CBS, sustaining C.A.R.E. & Robbery InvestigationThursday, February 3, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Ma and Pa Heinz & ChaseThursday, February 10, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Narcotics PusherThursday, February 17, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Woman With a Black EyeThursday, February 24, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Flash Pictures & Baby AssaultedThursday, March 10, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Cat in Washer & Black EyeThursday, March 24, 1955 - CBS, sustaining Mr. PeepersThursday, March 31, 1955 - CBS, sustaining

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