Whispering Streets

(3 stars; 1 reviews)

Whispering Streets began as a 25-minute 5-day-a-week daytime program on ABC Radio. The host was writer "Hope Winslow" played by Gertrude Warner. Each story dramatized events of people she had met in her years, especially as an ex-newspaper reporter. The series began on March 3, 1953 on ABC Radio and was produced in New York. It concluded there sometime in Fall 1957. CBS Radio took over the series and moved production to Hollywood. and had its first broadcast on March 31, 1958. To add some star power to the series, Bette Davis had the lead role. She replaced actress Laraine Day who was originally planned as the new "Hope Winslow," but left the role weeks before the first CBS broadcast because she did not realize how big the time commitment would be. By the end of August 1958, Davis also left the role and radio veteran Cathy Lewis took over as Winslow on September 1, 1958. CBS was always re-evaluating its commitment to radio drama in terms of costs and advertising revenue, and decided to move the show back to New York in a 10-minute format. The “new Winslow” was actress Anne Seymour, who took over the role on January 5, 1959. She was on Broadway at the time in a successful play about FDR, Sunrise at Campobello . She had the Hope Winslow role for only two months, and Gertrude Warner returned to the lead on March 2, 1959. Whispering Streets ended its broadcasts in the November 25, 1960 purge at CBS that affected its soap operas and other dramas. The only major survivors of radio drama were Gunsmoke and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar . Even Suspense was cancelled. Gunsmoke met its own radio demise in June 1961, and Suspense returned to fill in an hour of drama with Johnny Dollar . Both had their last broadcasts on September 30, 1962. These six episodes from the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection are new to circulation. They all star Cathy Lewis. The actual dates are not known, but the following are the best estimates developed from the available documentation resources... AFRTS# 186 12/15/1958 Monday AFRTS# 188 12/17/1958 Wednesday AFRTS# 189 12/18/1958 Thursday AFRTS# 190 12/19/1958 Friday AFRTS# 191 12/22/1958 Monday AFRTS# 193 12/24/1958 Wednesday Most of the AFRTS recordings already in circulation among collectors star Bette Davis, so these are welcome new finds from the Hehn transcription discs. * * * These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.


Cathy Lewis

(3 stars)

She's one of the consistently great actresses in OTR, like Anne Seymour and Marian Seldes, among others. The series is pure soap but it's better than what passes for drama nowadays. Hoping the Joe Hehn collection has some of the uncirculated episodes of Candy Matson, and The Big Show: now -that- would be a find!