Click to go to Digital Deli Too Home Page blank head
Preserving the Golden Age of Radio for A Digital Age
Explore Our Golden Age Radio Research Pages Click here to learn about our approach to Golden Age Radio Preservation [Under Development] Click to go to Our Radio Articles Page This Feature Is Currently Not Available
This will take you to our Numeric Radio logs
This will take you to our A Series Radio logs This will take you to our B Series Radio logs This will take you to our C Series Radio logs This will take you to our D Series Radio logs This will take you to our E Series Radio logs This will take you to our F Series Radio logs This will take you to our G Series Radio logs This will take you to our H Series Radio logs This will take you to our I Series Radio logs This will take you to our J Series Radio logs This will take you to our K Series Radio logs This will take you to our L Series Radio logs This will take you to our M Series Radio logs
This will take you to our N Series Radio logs This will take you to our O Series Radio logs This will take you to our P Series Radio logs This will take you to our Q Series Radio logs This will take you to our R Series Radio logs This will take you to our S Series Radio logs This will take you to our T Series Radio logs This will take you to our U Series Radio logs This will take you to our V Series Radio logs This will take you to our W Series Radio logs This will take you to our X Series Radio logs This will take you to our Y Series Radio logs This will take you to our Z Series Radio logs This will take you back to our Text List of Radio logs
Original Encore Theatre header art

Original Encore Theatre cover art
The Encore Theatre MP3 Cover Art

The Encore Theatre Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> The Encore Theatre

Encore Theatre spot ad for Schenley Labs from June 18, 1946
Encore Theatre spot ad for Schenley Labs from June 18, 1946

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset
Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset

Encore Theatre is one of several unfortunately overlooked dramatic anthologies that truly deserve a great deal more attention and respect from the Collector community.

For anyone in the medical field The Encore Theatre is a highly compelling and sympathetic series of well-produced, medical-themed dramas, interspersed with a great deal of medical history in the bargain. But even absent the uniting theme, these 13 productions stand on their own as fascinating, 30-minute vignettes of compelling, highly listenable drama and exposition--with emphasis on exposition. But the exposition is both instructive and inspiring, both to members of the medical community and laypeople alike.

It's even more compelling from an historical and cultural perspective to recall a period of amazing advances in common medical science, as well as a poignant reminder of what the Medical Profession was like when the vast majority of its practitioners still practiced their Hippocratic oath with integrity and selfless dedication. Sadly, that train has left the station--perhaps never to return.

But it's even more instructive to place this era in historical context. Schenley Labs, the series' sponsor, was one of the largest suppliers of penicillin--still a miracle drug for it's time. But Schenley wasn't completely parochial in it's sponsorship of the series. Indeed the series explored the entire gamut of contemporary, early 20th century advances in medical research as well as common, domestic, medical practice.

This was, afterall, still the post-Depression, wartime era of sacrifice--for professionals and laypeople alike--and the family doctor was still the backbone of communities great and small. If ever an industry needed to be reminded of its historical perspective, it's now. This gives an even more compelling and poignant reason to revisit this fascinating series of 13 well mounted medical dramas.

Schenley Labs skimped on nothing with this brief series. The principal actors represent some of the finest talent of Stage and Screen, and the supporting Radio voice talent represent the era's finest radio actors. Leith Stevens provided a wonderful musical backdrop and William Lawrence's direction remains well-paced and timed.

This series is one of the Golden Age of Radio's true, overlooked gems, both collectable and relevant to this day--perhaps even moreso, given the current state of Health Care in the United States.

Series Derivatives:

Jay Hickerson's Guide refers to a possible rebroadcast of all 13 episodes during 1949--of which only 8 are known available-citing the collection of David Seigel. This is the only known reference to any 1949 run. While the New York Times shows the entire run rebroadcast in 1947, it shows no listings for a 1949 run, nor do The Los Angeles Times Radio Listings, the Chicago Tribune Radio Listings, nor the Washington Post Radio Listings. Until a corroborating provenance surfaces, we can only assume that the reference to a 1949 rebroadcast is purely anecdotal and/or intended to sell or trade something that never existed.
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Dramas with a medical profession theme.
Network(s): Columbia Broadcasting System
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 46-06-04 01 Magnificent Obsession
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 46-06-04 - 46-08-27; CBS; Thirteen, 30-minute programs; Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m.
Syndication: CBS
Sponsors: Schenley Laboratories' 'Penicillin-Schenley'
Director(s): William Lawrence
Principal Actors: Cornell Wilde, Lurene Tuttle, Paul Lukas, Ronald Colman, Robert Young, Robert Taylor, Hume Cronyn, Virginia Bruce, Maureen O'Sullivan, George Zucco, Elliott Lewis, Charles Bickford, Cathy Lewis, Franchot Tone, Susan Peters, Lionel Barrymore, Zachary Scott, Howard Duff, Ida Lupino, Dennis O'Keefe, Hume Cronyn.
Recurring Character(s): Varied from episode to episode
Protagonist(s): Varied from episode to episode
Author(s): Lloyd C. Douglas, Sydney Howard, Sydney Kingsley
Writer(s) Gene Holloway, Milton Geiger
Music Direction: Leith Stevens
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Frank Graham
Estimated Scripts or
Episodes in Circulation: 13
Total Episodes in Collection: 13

Encore Theatre spot ad for The Life of Louis Pasteur from June 11 1946
Encore Theatre spot ad for The Life of Louis Pasteur from June 11 1946

Encore Theatre spot ad for Yellow Jack from June 18 1946
Encore Theatre spot ad for Yellow Jack from June 18 1946

Encore Theatre spot ad for Men In White from July 2 1946
Encore Theatre spot ad for Men In White from July 2 1946

Encore Theatre spot ad for Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet from July 23 1946
Encore Theatre spot ad for Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet from July 23 1946
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, Los Angeles Times, IMDB.

Notes on Provenances:

All above cited provenances are in error in one form or another. The most helpful provenance was the log of the radioGOLDINdex.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


The 46-06-11 Episode is often misnamed 'The Story of Louis Pasteur', after the movie of the same name, but Frank Graham announces it as 'The Life of Louis Pasteur', as well as in the credits. Since it's an adaptation, the title is almost certainly the correct title of the script and its broadcast.

The 46-06-18 Episode is often misnamed either 'Yellowjacket', or 'Yellowjack'. The title of the episode is derived from the play and movie, 'Yellow Jack', which refers to the slang name applied to yellow fever during that disease's early existence. The correct title is therefore 'Yellow Jack'.

The 46-07-02 Episode is often misnamed 'A Man In White', but the correct title is 'Men In White'.

The 46-07-23 Episode is often misnamed either 'Doctor Eurlick's Magic Bullet', or 'Dr. Eurlich's Magic Bullet', but the correct title is 'Dr. Ehrlich's Magic Bullet'.

We invite you to compare our fully provenanced research with the log from the '1,500 expert researchers' at the OTRR and their Encore Theater log, which the OTRR claims to be correct according to their 'OTTER log' they represent as the "most authoritative and accurate vintage Radio database in the world":


''The OTRR Group's Certified Series is currently the most accurate archive of OTR series in the world. Each series has been thoroughly researched, accurately labeled (dates and titles), and transcribed at the highest quality possible.''

We've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE to protect our own further due diligence, content and intellectual property. What remains in their fanciful 'log' of what they refer to as "Encore Theater" [sic] is as follows:

  • The production's name is Encore Theatre, not Encore Theater.
  • They still refuse to acknowledge the title of Episode No. 3 as Yellow Jack, vice what they refer to as Yellowjack.
  • They still refuse to acknowledge the title of Episode No. 5 as Men In White, vice what they refer to as A Man In White.

The wrong production name and two remaining wrong titles. That's like what . . . 79.5% accuracy for a thirteen week production. That's a B- at best, a C+ at worst. Does that strike anyone as "the most accurate archive of OTR series [sic] in the world"?

The OTRR's stubborn insistence to cling to their misinformation can be traced directly to the site from which they copied their initial Encore Theater [sic] log in the first place: The Vintage Radio Place log of Encore Theater [sic]. Indeed, they brazenly continue to cite it as a reference source on their references page for 'Encore Theater' [sic], knowing full well that it's utter rubbish. This is entirely understandable, since the OTRR's minions have strategically placed a link to the highly commercial--and highly inaccurate--Vintage Radio Place on virtually every single 'otr' article page in Wikipedia, driving tens of thousands of hits a month to their highly successful--and highly inaccurate--benefactor.

To give you an idea of the misguided sites that further perpetuate Encore Theatre misinformation--simply run any of the following quoted Google searches:

  • "Encore Theater" "Yellowjack"
  • "Encore Theater" "Dr. Eurlich's Magic Bullet"
  • "Encore Theater" "Yellowjacket"

We don't make this stuff up. Look in the sidebar at left. We don't rewrite history--we simply disclose it. How can any honest researcher miss thirteen gigantic spot ads like the ones at left? And here's the part we don't understand about the study of any 'aural' medium. How in heaven's name can anyone--of any organization--accurately log a series they don't even listen to. It simply can't be done.

A man far wiser, far saner, and a far and away more humble man than the owner of the OTRR will ever be, says the following about his own vintage Radio database:

"This reference work must begin with two admissions, either of which usually dooms a database’s usefulness

1. It is out of date.

2. It is inaccurate."

That quote is from none other than David Goldin, from the entry page of his remarkable database of transcription information, the radioGOLDINdex, the actual 'most often cited vintage Radio database in the world.' When he's unsure of something in his database, he states so. When he's unsure of the spelling of a name or a title, he states so. In short. his database has integrity.

What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. Here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here's the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.

We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.

We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:

We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.

The Encore Theatre Series Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
Magnificent Obsession
[ Premiere Episode ]

The Story of Doctor Robert Merrick.

46-06-04 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Premiere: Film star Cornel Wilde headlines the premiere performance of "Encore Theater" at 7:30 p.m. in "The Magnificent Obsession." "Encore Theater" will present a series of plays telling in dramatic fashion of the achievements of the medical fraternity in improving man's condition in the world. The plays will be based on famous films, novels and biographies of men and women who served as the link between humanity and the world of science.
The Life of Louis Pasteur
The Story of Louis Pasteur.

46-06-11 Lima News
Paul Lukas, famous film star, will play the title role in "The Life of Louis Pasteur" on the second "Encore Theatre" broadcast of the season at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday over CBS. The radio version of the film story which starred Paul Muni has been adapted by Jean Holloway.
Yellow Jack
Describes the story of Major Walter Reed as he fights expeditionary troops' exposure to yellow fever, or 'yellow jack' in Cuba.

46-06-18 Lima News
Ronald Colman will be starred as narrator when "Yellow Jack," the story of the conquest of yellow fever, is told on "Encore Theatre" at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday over CBS. The story tells how the cause and cure of the dread tropical disease were found, thanks to the heroism of men who volunteered to be innoculated and serve as human guinea pigs.
Green Light
The story of Doctor Newell Paige, a wrongly accused surgeon, who travels to rural America to attempt to eradicate spotted fever, exposing himself to the disease in an effort to find a vaccine to cure it.

46-06-25 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Green Light, best seller by Lloyd Douglas, will be the presentation of the "Encore Theater" at 7:30 p.m., with Robert Young in the leading role. Young will be cast as a young doctor who begins an operation, which subsequently is taken over and completed by another surgeon. The patient dies, and Young, who has fallen in love with her daughter, is spurned because the girl holds him responsible for her mother's death. Young vindicates himself and wins the girl's love by taking on and successfully completing a dangerous experiment.
Men In White
The fictional story of Doctor George Ferguson and his confllict between wealthy society's demands and his own medical ideals.

46-07-02 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Robert Taylor stars as a young doctor-scientist in "Men In White," an adaptation of the Sidney Kingsley play, on "Encore Theater" at 7:30 p.m. As the young doctor, Taylor is reluctant to marry a wealthy girl with whom he is in love, because he fears that as her husband he might become a society doctor and neglect his research.
White Angel
The story of England's famous nurse, Florence Nightingale
[Credits cut]

46-07-09 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Virginia Bruce, film actress, will be heard as Florence Nightingale when she plays the titled role in "The White Angel," on "Encore Theater," at 7:30 p.m. The story describes the work of the famous nurse in the Crimean war, when she earned immortality in the field of medicine.
Now Voyager
The fictional story of Doctor Henry Jasquith, Psychiatrist, and his patient, Charlotte Vale. Maureen O'Sullivan was a last minute replacement for the ailing Loretta Young.

46-07-16 Lima News
Film Star
Loretta Young plays the starring role when "Encore Theatre" presents "Now Voyager" at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday over CBS. The story deals with the psychiatric treatment of a girl whose sheltered life left her a mass of inhibitions. During her treatment, she falls in love with the doctor's children and the doctor falls in love with her.
Dr Ehrlich's Magic Bullet
The true story of German physician and early microbiologist, Dr. Paul 'Max' Ehrlich and his discovery of the use of targeted dyes (acting as a 'magic bullet') to discover, diagnose, and eventually cure specific diseases. This led to the discovery of cures for typhus and syphilis.

46-07-23 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Charles Bickford, film star, plays the leading role in "Dr. Erlich's Magic Bullet" on "Encore Theater" at 7:30 p.m. The drama describes Erlich's repeated failures to produce a cure for syphillis until, on his 606th try, he achieved success. The "Encore Theater" series is devoted to heroes of the medical fraternity.
Dark Victory
The fictional story of Dr. Frederick Steele, a brain surgeon, specializing in bliomas (tumors) who treats a wealthy society sportswoman for a terminal brain tumor, leaving her with only six months to live Life to the fullest . . . or most regrettably.

46-07-30 Mason City Globe-Gazette
The psychological study of a girl, doomed to die of a skull injury, who falls in love with her physician, will be narrated by Guest Star
Franchot Tone when "Encore Theater" airs a radio version of the movie success "Dark Victory" at 7:30 p.m.
A Man to Remember
The fictional story, in retrospective, of Dr. John Abbott, a small town doctor spcializing in 'charity cases' who tries to overcome his small community's ignorance of the importance of vaccinating for typhoid fever and polio.

46-08-06 Lima News
Lionel Barrymore will be heard as Dr. Bill Brown when "Encore Theatre" presents "A Man to Remember," over CBS at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday. The story, adapted from Kathryn Haviland-Taylor's novel, "Failure," deals with the sacrifices of a small-town doctor who set aside personal security for the welfare of the community.
The Prisoner of Shark Island
The true story of Dr. Samuel Mudd, the physician who unknowingly treats John Wilkes Booth's broken leg shortly after his assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Mudd is apprehended by an Army posse, who arrests him for treating Booth.

46-08-13 Lima News
Film star
Zachary Scott will play the leading role in the "Encore Theatre" drama, when it broadcasts at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday over CBS. His vehicle, broadcast rights for which have not yet been cleared, will be a radio adaptation of a well-known "inside story" of medical science.
Nurse Edith Cavell
The fictional story of English Nurse, Edith Cavell, in German-occupied Brussels during World War I. Her humane efforts to help an escaped POW reach safety, leads to the establishment of resistance movements throughout Belgium and France.

46-08-20 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Ida Lupino will be heard in the title role of "Nurse Edith Cavell," when that dramatic real life story is told on "Encore Theatre" at 7:30 p.m. The story depicts the heroic and courageous deeds of the English nurse during the German occupation of Belgium in 1915, and her execution in the military hospital of Saint Gilles.
Disputed Passage
[ Last Episode ]

The fictional story of Doctor Milton 'Tubby' Forester, a reknowned anatomist and neurosurgeon, whose medical studies are threatened by his infatuation with a Chinese girl. The girl returns to China, but complications arise when she runs into him in Nanking during a Japanese bombing raid.

The 'disputed passage' refers to those people or circumstances in Life that challenge, shape, or change one's views.

46-08-27 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Dennis O'Keefe will be heard as a man torn between romance and his career in neurological surgery, when he stars in Lloyd Douglas' "Disputed Passage" on "Encore Theater" at 7:30 p.m. O'Keefe will be cast as Dr. John Wesley Beaven, assistant to the world's greatest living neurologist, whose exacting standards require that all outside interests be eliminated. Then the young doctor falls in love, and the older doctor's attempt to focus his entire attention on his work bring the story to a dramatic climax. Hume Cronyn will play a supporting role in the drama, which is the last "Encore Theater" presentation for this season.

The Encore Theatre Biographies

Schenley Laboratories

Founded: New York City

The Doctor Fights
The Encore Theatre

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine adSchenley Labs 1944 magazine ad

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset

Dr. Paul Erlich (1854-1915)
Dr. Paul Erlich (1854-1915)

Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955)
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955)

Sir Howard Florey (1898-1968)
Sir Howard Florey (1898-1968)

Dr. Selman Waksman (1888-1973)
Dr. Selman Waksman (1888-1973)

Schenley Laboratories, based in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, sponsored two important programs during World War II: The Doctor Fights, in 1944, and The Encore Theatre in 1946. Though both series might be considered 'infomercials' in today's media parlance, they were both excellent dramatic vehicles for promoting Schenley Laboratories' breakthrough work in promoting and distributing one of the most revolutionary drugs in 20th century medical history: Penicillin.

By 1944, laboratories across the country were stepping up their production of penicillin, especially Schenley in Indiana, whose advertisement stated that “When the thunderous battles of this war have subsided to pages of silent print in a history book, the greatest news event of World War II may well be the discovery and development of "penicillin."

German scientist Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915), first synthesized the arsenic-based compound Salvarsan, an effective treatment for syphilis, in 1909. Ehrlich coined the term “chemotherapy,” thus creating the first antibiotic drug. A generation later, another German, Gerhard Domagk (1895-1964), working for Bayer, produced the first useful sulfa drug. This drug was used to treat streptococcal, or strep, diseases, including meningitis.

Ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks had found that moldy substances were highly effective in keeping open cuts clean. Dr. Louis Pasteur observed an antibacterial action when he noted that the addition of common bacteria stopped the growth of anthrax bacilli in sterile urine.

In the 1920s the Scotsman Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) found a mold growing on some bacterial samples in his laboratory. Indeed, the mold killed the samples. He identified that mold as penicillin. During World War II a team of researchers, led by Australian Howard Florey (1898-1968) furthered that research and tested the new drug on injured soldiers. It proved effective against anthrax, tetanus, and syphilis and was the first drug that worked against pneumonia. About the same time Selman Waksman (1888-1973), an American biochemist, isolated another fungoid, streptomycin, which proved effective against tuberculosis. Waksman coined the term “antibiotic” to describe such biological drugs.

More new drugs followed in the 1950s, including cortisone, a steroid hormone that reduced inflammation and suppressed immune system response. The first effective drugs for the treatment of mental illness also appeared during the era. Two antiviral vaccines--for smallpox and polio--also appeared during this era. Both virtually eradicated both diseases by the end of the 20th century.

Leith Stevens
(Music Director)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Music Director and Composer

Birthplace: Mount Moriah, Missouri, USA

Education: Horner Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Conservatory of Music
at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

1937 Saturday Night Swing Club
1937 Columbia Workshop
1938 No Help Wanted
1938 Men Against Death
1938 American School Of the Air
1939 Arch Oboler's Plays
1940 Big Town
1941 The Free Company
1945 The Doctor Fights
1945 Rogue's Gallery
1945 Request Performance
1946 Academy Award
1946 Encore Theatre
1947 Lights Out
1949 Escape
1949 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1949 Suspense
1950 The Miracle Of America
1950 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1952 The Black Book
1952 Action Eighty
1952 The Judge
1953 Hallmark Hall Of Fame
1954 Anthology
1955 Biography In Sound
1956 CBS Radio Workshop

Caption: Leith Stevens is another ex-[Mark] Warnow arranger turned maestro (1938)
Caption: Leith Stevens is another ex-[Mark] Warnow arranger turned maestro (1938)

Leith Stevens circa 1939
Leith Stevens circa 1939

Leith Stevens circa 1944
Leith Stevens circa 1944

Leith Stevens obituary
Leith Stevens obituary

Leith Stevens was already a musical child prodigy at the age of 5. By the age of 14 he was making his performing debut. At the age of 16, he was Madame Schumann-Heink's accompanist and mentor to her own students. At the age of 21, the Columbia Broadcasting System wisely scooped him up as a network vocal arranger and within three more years he was a CBS composer/conductor for many of the network's top recurring programs.

From the Star-News - July 24, 1970, Pasadena, California:

Fatally Stricken
When Told Wife
Killed in Crash

HOLLYWOOD (UPI) — Leith Stevens, director of television music at Paramount Studios, was called to an extension telephone to take an emergency long distance call.

The party on the other end advised him his wife, Elizabeth, 40, had been killed when her car plunged over a 150-foot cliff in the Santa Rosa Mountains near Palm Springs.

Stevens, 60, nominated three times for Oscars for songs or movie scores took the telephone call about his wife on a Hollywood studio phone, put down the receiver, walked across the room and slumped in death Thursday, witnesses said.

Stevens was a composer and a conductor during his long career. He was nominated for an Academy Award three times. He was founder and first president of the Composers and Lyricists Guild of America in 1954.

Stevens' wife was driving with her three pet dogs when she was killed. The accident occurred on California 74, the co-called "Palms to Pines Highway," near where Jimmy Durante simulated an accident in the movie "Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The dogs escaped with minor injuries when the vehicle rolled over and landed upside down.

Oscar nominations were accorded Stevens' movie scores for The Five Pennies and A New Kind of Love. His melody Julie was given an Oscar nomination as Best Song.

What is the function of a director of television music at a studio producing many hours of video entertainment every week for the consumption of millions of viewers?

Does he select the composer? How closely does he supervise the work during writing? How much of his personal touch is reflected in the finished piece?
Leith Stevens, the bearded Director of Television Music at Paramount Studios, is eminently qualified to answer these questions regarding the writing of music lor television.

A child prodigy, Stevens took his first piano lesson from his father when he was five years old. He made his piano debut at 14, and when he was 18 he was a coach for the students of the legendary Madame Schumann-Heink. He subsequently went on tour with the contralto as her accompanist.

He was 21 when he joined CBS as a vocal arranger and three years later he was made a composer and conductor for many of the network's top radio shows. In 1941 he began composing for motion pictures--he had been nominated three times for an Academy Award--and when television came along he entered that field.

Stevens said that assigning a composer is like casting an actor for a part. "A composer is chosen whose particular talents fit certain dramatic problems." he explained. "This is usually done in conjunction with the series producer, who has specific ideas about what he wants the music to accomplish. My chore is to guide the composer right and see that he follows through."

"Bruce Geller has strong instincts in this area and almost without exception selects the composer for his productions of Mission: Impossible and Mannix." Bruce chose Lalo Schifrin, a comparative newcomer to the business, to write the theme for Mission four years ago. "Schifrin's ability to provide the right music in the right context is why Bruce also had him write the music for Mannix."

Stevens points out how it is possible to angle music several different ways, giving mysteries as an example. "A producer may wish to highlight the romance in a whodunit and play down the mystery." And then he may wish to go the other way. "I usually check the score while it is in progress and supervise the recording.", Stevens said. "But I try to keep my personal touch out of the work. I don't want our composers sounding like Leith Stevens. A composer's stock in trade is his own personal sound which gives a distinctive quality to his music and I wouldn't want to take that away from him."

Summing up his role as music director, Stevens said: "My function is not to have musicians do something I want them to do but to make sure that what the composer does is in his own style and that the result is right for the show."

Maimonides' Daily Prayer of a Physician

Moses Maimonides as depicted on an Israeli postage stamp
Moses Maimonides as depicted on an Israeli postage stamp
The prayer that was recited--in a highly paraphrased and shortened rendition--by the star of each episode of The Encore Theatre immediately after each performance is said to have been written by the 12th-century physician-philosopher Moses Maimonides. Much like the Oath of Hippocrates, the prayer of Maimonides is often recited by new medical graduates. The same paraphrased prayer was employed in the Schenley Labs-sponsored The Doctor Fights, which preceeded this series. Here's that abbreviated rendition:

“The eternal providence has appointed me to watch over the life and death of all thy creatures. May I always see in the patient a fellow creature in pain. Grant me strength and opportunity always to extend the domain of my craft.”

In fact, the prayer is now believed to have been written, not by Maimonides, but by Marcus Herz, a German physician, pupil of the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, and physician to the great English philanthropist Moses Mendelssohn. The prayer first appeared in print in 1793 which may be when it was written.

Irrespective of who wrote it, it is an extraordinary prayer. The entire prayer reads as follows in its original context:

"Almighty God, Thou has created the human body with infinite wisdom. Ten thousand times ten thousand organs hast Thou combined in it that act unceasingly and harmoniously to preserve the whole in all its beauty the body which is the envelope of the immortal soul. They are ever acting in perfect order, agreement and accord. Yet, when the frailty of matter or the unbridling of passions deranges this order or interrupts this accord, then forces clash and the body crumbles into the primal dust from which it came. Thou sendest to man diseases as beneficent messengers to foretell approaching danger and to urge him to avert it.

"Thou has blest Thine earth, Thy rivers and Thy mountains with healing substances; they enable Thy creatures to alleviate their sufferings and to heal their illnesses. Thou hast endowed man with the wisdom to relieve the suffering of his brother, to recognize his disorders, to extract the healing substances, to discover their powers and to prepare and to apply them to suit every ill. In Thine Eternal Providence Thou hast chosen me to watch over the life and health of Thy creatures. I am now about to apply myself to the duties of my profession. Support me, Almighty God, in these great labors that they may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed.

"Inspire me with love for my art and for Thy creatures. Do not allow thirst for profit, ambition for renown and admiration, to interfere with my profession, for these are the enemies of truth and of love for mankind and they can lead astray in the great task of attending to the welfare of Thy creatures. Preserve the strength of my body and of my soul that they ever be ready to cheerfully help and support rich and poor, good and bad, enemy as well as friend. In the sufferer let me see only the human being. Illumine my mind that it recognize what presents itself and that it may comprehend what is absent or hidden. Let it not fail to see what is visible, but do not permit it to arrogate to itself the power to see what cannot be seen, for delicate and indefinite are the bounds of the great art of caring for the lives and health of Thy creatures. Let me never be absent- minded. May no strange thoughts divert my attention at the bedside of the sick, or disturb my mind in its silent labors, for great and sacred are the thoughtful deliberations required to preserve the lives and health of Thy creatures.

"Grant that my patients have confidence in me and my art and follow my directions and my counsel. Remove from their midst all charlatans and the whole host of officious relatives and know-all nurses, cruel people who arrogantly frustrate the wisest purposes of our art and often lead Thy creatures to their death.

"Should those who are wiser than I wish to improve and instruct me, let my soul gratefully follow their guidance; for vast is the extent of our art. Should conceited fools, however, censure me, then let love for my profession steel me against them, so that I remain steadfast without regard for age, for reputation, or for honor, because surrender would bring to Thy creatures sickness and death.

"Imbue my soul with gentleness and calmness when older colleagues, proud of their age, wish to displace me or to scorn me or disdainfully to teach me. May even this be of advantage to me, for they know many things of which I am ignorant, but let not their arrogance give me pain. For they are old and old age is not master of the passions. I also hope to attain old age upon this earth, before Thee, Almighty God!

"Let me be contented in everything except in the great science of my profession. Never allow the thought to arise in me that I have attained to sufficient knowledge, but vouchsafe to me the strength, the leisure and the ambition ever to extend my knowledge. For art is great, but the mind of man is ever expanding.

"Almighty God! Thou hast chosen me in Thy mercy to watch over the life and death of Thy creatures. I now apply myself to my profession. Support me in this great task so that it may benefit mankind, for without Thy help not even the least thing will succeed."

Frank Lee Graham

Stage, Screen and Radio Actor; Radio Producer; Voice Artist

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

1937 White Fires Of Inspiration
1938 Night Car Yarns
1940 Community Mobilization For Human Needs
1941 Forecast
1941 Columbia Workshop
1941 Romance of the Ranchos
1942 Command Performance
1942 The New Swan Show
1943 Stars Over Hollywood
1943 Cavalcade Of America
1944 The Sportsman's Club
1944 Four For the Fifth
1944 The Purple Heart Program
1944 The Electric Hour
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1945 The Talent Theatre
1945 Theatre Of Romance
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 The Rudy Vallee Show
1947 Your Movietown Radio Theatre
1947 Sound Stage For Joan Crawford
1948 Adventure, Inc.
1948 Crooks Cruise
1949 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1950 Satin's Waitin'
The Dinah Shore Program
Yarns For Yanks

Frank Graham, gifted young actor, producer and voice talent called ''The Man of A Thousand Voices'' was found dead at his own hand in September 1950 at the age of 35.

Mildred Rossi was a Walt Disney animator--and the tragic object of Frank Graham's affection
Mildred Rossi was a Walt Disney animator--and the tragic object of Frank Graham's unrequited affection.
Brilliant young voice talent, Frank Lee Graham was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of an inventor and his wife.

Born also to show business, his mother was Ethel Briggs Graham, a concert and opera singer. Graham grew up in dozens of cities and attended a number of schools while traveling the concert circuit with his mother. He knew the backstage odors of grease paint and dress rooms as a toddler.

Frank Graham attended the University of California for a year then left to begin his acting career in Seattle--both on the stage and in radio. He was brought to Hollywood in 1937 to join the Columbia Pacific Radio Network's Radio station, KNX.

Graham had married the former Dorothy Jack of Seattle in 1935. They were later divorced. In addition to his radio roles, Graham's voice was well-known to motion picture fans. He created the voices of numbers of cartoon characters in animated films for Walt Disney, MGM and Warner Bros. studios.

Associates at the Columbia Broadcasting System said Graham was at the peak of his career in 1950. He had been starring in Jeff Regan, Investigator. He had just completed a summer announcing the popular dramatic program, Satan’s Waitin’, which he and Des Autels had developed and owned.

He had starred in Night Car Yarns over CBS from 1938 through 1942 and was the announcer of dozens of programs, including the Ginny Simms, Rudy Vallee and Nelson Eddy shows. He also announced or narrated several public interest programs over his short, but highly successful Radio career, including The Romance of The Ranchos (1941-1942). His last starring role in Radio was in the 1949-1950 run of Jeff Regan, Investigator, the series during which he took his own life five episodes prior to the end of the ordered run.

With an estimated 1,800 appearances over Radio by the time of his death, one can only imagine the mark he'd have continued to make during the remainder of The Golden Age of Radio. Dubbed ''The Man of A Thousand Voices'' by peers and fans alike, there's no question that Graham did, indeed, leave his mark in Radio--and Animation, Film, and The Stage.

A great volume of exemplars of his Radio work remain in wide circulation, with new examples entering circulation with each passing year. As regrettable as the circumstances of his early demise remain to this day, he's almost certainly acquiring thousands of new admirers of his extraordinary voice talent with each new release of his work. Frank Graham's gifts, as exemplified through hundreds of vintage radio recordings and lovingly restored Animation features of the era, continue to impress all of us who've heard or seen them.

Thus, despite the circumstances of his passing, he's remembered just as fondly. If only he'd have been able to see that for himself . . .

Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> The Encore Theatre