Society & Culture:History
Night Beat - February 6, 1950 (45 promo set version)
I'm guessing that someone at NBC saw it as a chance to promote the series to advertisers in the face of competition from television. Indeed, "Night Beat" was sustained, without a sponsor, for the first few months of its run. I posted about the set on the OTR mailing list and Michael Biel helpfully provided some additional information about the set. The label and matrix numbers are EO-CX-342 through 347 and the label runoff area includes an "I" notation near the matrix number. According to Biel, "EO" is a date code indicating 1950. The "C" indicates "Custom", pressed by RCA for a special purpose (a "K" would be used if the records were custom pressed for an outside customer). Biel estimates that the master numbers were done early in the year, perhaps mid-January to early February. The "X" in the matrix number is a problem - usually a "W" was used in this position at the time. Biel thinks this might be a holdover from the "X" used in this position during secret development of the 45 rpm system between 1940 and 1948. The "I" indication is a code for pressings done in the Indianapolis plant. The source of the recording sounds to my ears like a 16" transcription - halfway through the show, you can hear a side change where the audio quality changes, similar to what might be heard when going from the end of one side of a transcription to the beginning of a second side. Despite no episode title in the program or on the label, the episode on the records appears to be "Zero", the first show of the series broadcast on February 6, 1950, according to a log of the series. Anyone have any additional info on the set or seen others like it? Was there other material, like a press kit, also released? Was it sent to ad agencies or advertising departments at some companies?
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