Night Watch

(4.9 stars; 14 reviews)

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.



The First Realty Radio, c. 1950

(4 stars)

Before Reality TV, there was Reality Radio, and this is the first Reality Radio programme. "There are no actors, no script, No warrants, No Probable Cause, NO Constitution,...this is IT!" Drinking game; Each time a person's Constitutional Rights are violated, you rake a drink. You will be well soused by the end of each programme. Culver City was where Silent Movies got their start. By 1950, only a few grade B studios remained. Donn Reed. "Police Recorder". Donn Reed probably thought :Police Recorder was a going career. Who knows? Perhaps, Donn Reed had a Ph.D in "Police Recording" (just press the red button and..." Did Donn Reed earn a 4 year university degree as a "Police Recorder? How in Heck was Reed allowed to BE there with out being deputised? Answer, he wasn't, and the radio station lawyers probably convinced the station how illegal the activity was, It also goes to show you how good a professional WIRE recorder could sound. I can imagine Donn Reed losing about 3 reels a night because once the wire lost more than 4 or 5 turns of wire, it was a lot cause. What I don't get, is how so many people signed a release for their tape to be broadcast! How much money could KNX-AM afford to pay? Things have changed quite a lot for the better. Still a long way to go, but, with Miranda, Gideon, the Rockefeller Sentencing Laws removed, track marks on an arm are no longer a criminal offence, etc. Yes a lot of people were arrested for a scratch on the arm becayse tgeb they cou Yet things are still pretty bad. In England, P.C.s do not carry guns, —no fear, they have serious arsenals in the cars, but overall, in England there are a LOT less police shooting deaths, as a London PC learn to use his mouth far better than his gun. Like Dragnet,there is NO police detective work done here. Suspects are shaken down until that confess. —Innocent of guilty, it matters not. As Joe Friday loves to say, "Why not just cop out and make it easier on yourself? The suspect (the one without a lawyer) then asks, " So I get better deal if I confess?" "No, we make no deals. We will just make sure it gets put down that way for the judge.", Says Joe Friday. Of course, the frightened suspect grabs on to this as code words for :'YES, you get a better deal' today, we call this copping a PLEA. A legal and dependable way of reducing the charge. Gideon vs. Florida changed so much because, today, ANYONE can have a free lawyer who will then attempt to cop a PLEA for the suspect. This could have been done in 1950, but there was no legal expertise on YOUR side.

Not Nightfall - a truly amazing real-life cop show from the 50s!

(5 stars)

I believe the previous reviewer has this series mixed up with NIGHTFALL - this show, NIGHTWATCH, is a fascinating radio forerunner of COPS from the mid-1950s - where real police are followed and recorded. One episode involving a man who exposes himself has suprisingly adult content for radio of this period. It's really interesting to hear the real voices of the accused and the police from such a long time ago - a truly amazing time capsule! Despite being a fan of old radio for over 30 years, I have only discovered this show recently.

stark realism of this show from the 50s is astounding

(5 stars)

This actual real life 'Dragnet' radio program shows there were plenty of psychos in early 1950s suburban LA just like today. The actual sound of the traffic noise and sirens and the suspects' quavering voices as they are questioned or arrested will send chills up your spine. From suicide attempts, to crazy old ladies, to wayward mothers carousing around while their kids are left alone to fend for themselves- it gives you a good insight into daily police work as it really is.

Issues with recordings....

(2 stars)

A lot of these episode cannot be played. Receive an error: "Error Loading Media: File could not be played. Out of the 52 episodes on this page, I've only been able to listen to less than 10 of the episodes. Of the episodes that I've been able to listen to, they have been very interesting. Wish I could listen to the others.

Mixed shows of the same title

(4 stars)

The confusion is the last 4 episodes are some other show named Nightwatch that is a horror show, not a police drama.. I have listened to the police version a lot but never heard of the other Nightwatch. Good show but the audio quality suffers on some because the original recording were not the greatest ..

Great Series

(5 stars)

This is going to be one of the better quality series you will find, because it is not OTR, well not very old OTR anyway (1980s). It's in stereo, very well recorded, and pretty gruesome and graphic. If you like horror, this is very good stuff. Forewarning: there is some really cheesy eighties synth-music in a lot of these.

Found Sounds

(0 stars)

I'm not sure if that's the best way to categorize this...but I stumbled on these Nightwatch recordings while searching the Archive for Public Domain sounds to use in my recordings. I went through basically every episode of Nightwatch and found bits and pieces I found interesting. Here's the result:

Can't wait

(5 stars)

Saw review by an ex cop on the 21st precinct series which mentions nightWATCH thinking it was the chicago newspaper guy series...but this is even better. Can't wait to check it out. Thanks ex copper!