Great Beginnings: Grand Central Station January 29, 2007Posted by William Spear in >> Great Beginnings, >> Radio Drama.
(By Spear at 2,056) Grand Central Station broadcast mostly non-stop from October of 1937 through April of 1954. The show had more time slots, days and networks than many, but a near 17-year run is not shabby.
The opening included a train roaring down the Hudson and pulling into Manhattan. Listeners followed one of the passengers off the train and the episode would begin. Beyond starting each show at Grand Central Station, the shows had no other common theme.
But what a theme. Announcer and sound effects combined to produce the same sensation as a train pulling into a station. The show began as follows:
. . .
SFX: TRAIN WHISTLE.
ANNOUNCER: (ROBUSTLY) Pillsbury’s Snow Sheen cake flour brings you (WITH ECHO) Grand Central Station.
SFX: WAY OFF: TRAIN WHISTLE. BED: TRAIN ENGINE CHUGGING AND WHEELS ON TRACKS.
ANNOUNCER: (SLOWLY BUILD) As the bullet seeks its target, shining rails in every part of our great country are aimed at Grand Central Station, heart of the nation’s greatest city. Drawn by the magnetic force of the fantastic metropolis, day and night great trains rush toward the Hudson River. Sweep down its eastern bank for 140 miles. Flash briefly by the long red row of tenement houses south of 125 Street.
SFX: ON MIC: ENGINE CHUGGING SLOWS. TRAIN’S BELL.
ANNOUNCER: (OVER SFX) Dive with a roar into the two and one half mile tunnel which burrows beneath the glitter and swank of Park Avenue. And then . . .
SFX: ENGINE CHUGGING SLOWS. TRAIN’S BELL. HISS OF AIR BRAKES.
ANNOUNCER: . . . GRAND CENTRAL STATION . . . Crossroads of a million private lives.
. . .
Truly grand is the start of Grand Central Station. Buy me a ticket any time for that kind of Great Beginning.
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