Alfred Hitchcock & Ed Harvey
WCAU Studios
Tuesday, March 26, 1963

On Tuesday, March 26, 1963, Broadcast Pioneers member Ed Harvey had famed film director Alfred Hitchcock as a guest on his WCAU Radio program, "The Talk of Philadelphia." Alfred was late for the broadcast that day. We have the broadcast in our archive and it is now available on our website.

Born Alfred Joseph Hitchcock on August 13, 1899 in Leytonstone, London, England, his father was a green grocer in the tough East End of London and the Hitchcocks were strict Catholics.

Just out of his teens, he rose quickly through the British film making industry directing his first film in 1922. It was not released and the studio went under. Hitchcock relocated to Berlin to continue in his work, and he was exposed to the dark German school of filmmaking, filled with shadows and out of kilter camera angles. It was a completely different approach to motion pictures, one which the young director readily absorbed before returning to Great Britain.

Hitchcock's biggest British films included "The Man Who Knew Too Much" (1934), "The Lady Vanishes" (1938), and "The Thirty-Nine Steps" (1935). He moved to Hollywood in 1939 with a large amount of box-office smashes.

On Sunday, October 2, 1955, he started his television career with "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," first on CBS and then on NBC. The CBS time period was Sunday evening from 9:30 pm until 10. When he moved to NBC-TV in 1960, they placed him on Tuesdays at 8:30 pm, possibly a slightly too early time period for the broadcast.

In 1962, he went back to CBS-TV with an hour long version of the show retitled, "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour," Thursday at 10 pm. It didn't do what CBS had expected and was moved half way through the season to Fridays at 9:30 pm. That seemed to work a little better and when the 1963 season started, he found himself a half-hour later at 10 pm. The last season found him going back to NBC at 10 pm on Monday evenings. It didn't do what NBC expected and the last new episode was aired May 10, 1965. One reason for the success of the earlier series may have been that Hitchcock himself directed more of the episodes.

For one season on NBC, in the fall of 1985, five years after Hitchcock's death, the well-known director achieved an unique distinction. He became the first person to return from the grave to host a new series. Clips of his original black-and-white introductions were colorized and used to introduce new episodes. Hitchcock's black humor took on an eerie quality coming from the grave. In 1987 an additional season of new episodes were made for the USA Cable Network.

Alfred Hitchcock was in Philadelphia on the day he appeared on the "Talk of Philadelphia" for a luncheon tied in for the premiere of his latest motion picture, "The Birds." The debut of that motion picture in Philadelphia was on April 4, 1963 at the Fox Theater.

As you probably know, "The Talk of Philadelphia" was on WCAU Radio daily from 1 pm to 4 pm. Alfred was in the 2 to 3 pm hour. In that show's first hour was Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. We do have that hour in our archive and we hope that some day we can made that interview available on our website. We do not know who was on the third hour. Our archive does contain a couple dozen "Talk of Philadelphia" hourly segments where we do not know the date. So it's possible, that we do have the third hour and just don't know it.

Now, let us tell you a little about the technical aspects of this recording. The original air check would be the master or first generation copy. What we have is a second generation recording made at WCAU Radio. Ed had the habit of giving the engineer the original master and have them dub off the hour long segment without commercials, news, etc.onto another reel to reel audio tape cut at 7 and a half ips (inches per second). This copy without commercials is what we have.

We have divided the hour into three segments. Segment one is 6:21 long and is Ed Harvey taking telephone calls from women in what they seek in a man. Ed was basically stalling until Hitchcock could arrive. The segment starts right after the local news and goes to the first commercial break.

Segment two has Alfred Hitchcock in the studio. It is 5:40 long and starts after the commercial break and continues until the next commercial cluster which Hitchcock introduces.

Segment three is 25:02 long. It is actually three different segments with commercial sandwiched into between. However, since the commercial were removed in 1963, all there was to indicate a commercial break was a slight click where the tape was stopped and then started back up. Since the WCAU technician skillfully removed the spots, it sounds like one long segment. We elected to leave it that way.

Listen to Segment 1 with Real Audio
Listen to Segment 1 with Windows Media

Listen to Segment 2 with Real Audio
Listen to Segment 2 with Windows Media

Listen to Segment 3 with Real Audio
Listen to Segment 3 with Windows Media

From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Picture originally donated by the Estate of Broadcast Pioneers member Ed Harvey
Photo and audio does not fall under "Fair Use" of US Copyright Laws
Researched and written by Broadcast Pioneers historian Gerry Wilkinson
© 2010, Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
All Rights Reserved

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