Showing posts from October, 2012

Creeeeak, Welcome to the Inner Sanctum

The now famous sound of the creaking door was first heard January 7, 1941 on the Blue network. Creepy sound effects combined with humor set the show apart from contemporary mystery-thriller programs.  Inner Sanctum  was the creation of Himan Brown. Using creepy, yet comical sound effects and banter,  Inner Sanctum  took its listeners to the other side. The other side included going into the minds of lunatic killers, entering into the realm of the supernatural and encounters with ghostly apparitions. In early broadcasts, host Raymond Johnson accompanied by ghastly organ music, opened each episode with a cheesy joke. Johnson’s sarcastic wit and chilling melodramatic voice kept listeners on the edge of their seat in anticipation of the story that was about to be told. Creator Himan Brown was no stranger to radio and he knew exactly how to enthrall an audience. In 1935, he produced the first radio soap opera ,  Marie, Little French Princess . The same year, he also produced  Flash

1954: The Year of the National Negro Network

W. Leonard Evans organized the first radio network devoted to airing programs that reflected Black life and music. On January 20, 1954, the National Negro Network (NNN) claimed forty founding affiliate station members. While programming was aimed at a Black audience, network staff was composed of both Black and White employees. Evans maintained that a “mixed” or “interracial” staff performed better and was more successful in bringing in revenue. Evans believed the time was right for a Black network and Black programming. His plans included the broadcasting of Black sports and Black news. Initial programming included musical variety shows and soap operas. The soap opera,  The Story of Ruby Valentine  was very popular. It was an adaptation of the long running Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) network’s radio soap opera ,  We Love and Learn .  The Story of Ruby Valentine starred Juanita Hill, Ruby Dee and Terry Carter. Other programs included Black college concerts, Cab Calloway and