07 June 2010

Pleasant dreams, Himan Brown

Himan Brown died last Friday at his New York home, although it didn't become public knowledge until yesterday.  As creator of the CBS Radio Mystery Theater, Brown single-handedly extended the age of viable radio drama by almost a decade.  The creaking-door sound effect that Brown turned into RMT's signature became an audio icon for those of us who were too young for the Baby Boom but too old  for Generation X.

One thing I didn't realize until I started downloading RMT episodes in 2000 was how important Brown was to American radio.  Decades before RMT, he was responsible for popular radio dramas like Inner Sanctum -- RMT's immediate parent -- The Adventures of the Thin Man and Grand Central Station.  While he wasn't able to transition to television as it displaced radio, he really didn't need to.  (The picture above is from 1943, at the height of his long career.)  It's easy enough these days to hear old-time radio on the Internet, and Himan Brown is a big reason why.

My condolences to Himan Brown's family and friends.


1 comment:

Matty Boy said...

Sorry for your loss, Art.