Enjoyed Dave Nuttycombe’s little blurb for my appearance at the Metro Washington Old Time Radio Club (City Lights, 7/13). Unfortunately, because no one asked me about Mamie Van Doren’s wild story, I can only assume your readers opted not to attend. Too bad, because yours is exactly the attitude that my book is designed to counter.
If you’d seen Jack Webb in Sunset Boulevard, or The Men, or even his own film, -30-, you’d know he was capable of more than Sgt. Friday’s stoicism. As for Dragnet, it is the show that created TV drama as we know it today. Catch an episode of CSI or ER or anything, wait for the inevitable moment when the music comes up and the screen fills with face shots and the dialogue gets terse, and you’re looking at Webb’s legacy. The tight close-up has even been labeled the “Jack Webb shot” in the industry.
Incidentally, the two Warner Bros. albums released by Rhino Handmade are not the only two Webb did. There was also a 1953 Dragnet soundtrack album, plus there were five “Pete Kelly” LPs and one EP; the one selected by Rhino (Pete Kelly Lets His Hair Down) was probably the weakest of the bunch. But I guess that figures.