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 Radio Joan

1930s    1940s    1950s    1960s

With husband Franchot Tone. July 25, 1936, rehearsal for the July 27 Lux Radio performance of 'Chained.' 


Joan was introduced to radio performances in 1935 by her second husband Franchot Tone (pictured at right), and she continued to do live radio shows through the 1950s. In the '60s, she lent her voice to several radio promos.


Listed below, chronologically, are Joan's radio performances that I know about. (Please e-mail me if you have info on any others.)


For info on Joan's RECORDINGS, click here. (This separate page includes a link to read the full transcript of Joan at Town Hall in 1973.)

Click here to see Joan's 1938 signed application for membership to the American Federation of Radio Artists.

Click here to see the Old Time Radio Catalog listing of early Joan shows available for purchase (bottom of this page).










Lux Radio Theatre: "Within the Law"
October 14, 1935. CBS. 60 mins.

Notes: Also featured Raymond Bramley.

Leo on the Air: "Love on the Run"
1936. 15 mins.
Notes: Short promo distributed by MGM to promote the upcoming film of the same name.


1936 Shell Chateau promo picture.Shell Chateau Program

Saturday, July 4, 1936. NBC-Red Network. 9:30pm.

Notes: MC'd by Smith Bellow. Joan's first radio appearance with Franchot Tone after their October 1935 wedding.














CBS radio. July 25, 1936, rehearsal for July 27 'Chained.'Lux Radio Theatre: "Chained"
Monday, July 27, 1936. CBS. 60 mins. 9-10pm.
Stars Joan as "Diane Lovering" and Franchot Tone as "Michael Bradley."


 Press ticket for Lux Radio's 'Chained,' July 27, 1936.    








'Mary of Scotland.' From left: Cecil B. DeMille, unknown, Joan, Franchot Tone, Judith Anderson.Lux Radio Theatre: "Mary of Scotland"
May 10, 1937. CBS. 60 mins.
Starring Joan as Mary, Queen of Scots; Franchot Tone as the Earl of Bothwell; and Judith Anderson as Queen Elizabeth.














From left: Marjorie Rambeau, George Marion, Joan, Cecil B. DeMille (host)Lux Radio Theatre/Music Box Theater (sources vary):  "Anna Christie"
February 7, 1938. CBS. 60 mins.
Starring Joan as Anna Christie, with Spencer Tracy as Matt Burke, George Marion as Chris, and Marjorie Rambeau as Marthy.











Good News of 1938
Thursday May 19, 1938. NBC. 60 mins.
Notes (written by Bsabas Bennett)

Identified variously as The Maxwell House Hours, The Maxwell House MGM Hours, Film Stars on Parade and Good News of 1938, the show, according to Variety, had a substantial budget ($25,000 per episode) for talent. The host for this program was Robert Young. Also featured Fanny Brice, Frank Morgan, Hanley Stafford, Douglas McPheil and Meredith Wilson. Young introduces a new feature called "The MGM Theater of the Air" and their first performer is Joan. The first "play" is titled "Dark World". Joan plays the part of Carol Matthews, a patient who has just died in the hospital. One of her nurses, Amy, bemoans the fact that Carol led such a miserable, lonely and unhappy life. The scene changes so that we the listener can hear Carol's final thoughts. She says that the visits and attention that Amy gave her made a big difference in her life and that thanks to Amy, she was never unhappy. After the "play" finishes, Young asks Joan to give a "curtain speech". Joan says
"Oh, know working in pictures how little practice we get making curtain speeches. But I would like to say that I'm extremely proud that I was chosen to innaugurate your MGM Theater of the Air." Joan later returns to chat with Young and Frank Morgan and helps Morgan to prove that he does indeed know Joan (she calls him "Ducky Morgan"). During this session, Joan seems to crack up laughing (it sounds genuine) and has a hard time reading her lines. Eventually, it becomes clear that Joan thinks he's Ralph Morgan.







Lux Radio Theatre: "A Doll's House"
June 6, 1938. CBS. 60 mins.
Starring Joan as Nora Helmer, with Basil Rathbone as Torvald Helmer. Also featured Sam Jaffee.


From left: Mrs. Walter Connelly, Basil Rathbone, Sam Jaffee.       1938 Velma Morse art used for flyers and ads to publicize the 'Doll's House' broadcast.





Good News of 1939
Thursday, October 20, 1938. NBC. 60 mins.
Notes (written by Bsabas Bennett)

Identified variously as The Maxwell House Hours, The Maxwell House MGM Hours, Film Stars on Parade and Good News of 1938, the show, according to Variety, had a substantial budget ($25,000 per episode) for talent. The host for this program was Robert Young. Also featured Judy Garland, Fanny Brice, Billie Burke, Frank Morgan and Hanley Stafford. Joan is featured in the "The MGM Theater of the Air" drama entitled "The Moon is on Fire", written by John Lee Mann and Patsy Ruth Miller. The director is Edgar Selwin. Joan performs with Young (as "Bill") and plays an unnamed character in a story of two young "pals" who crash their plane in to the ocean. They struggle to come to terms with their imminent deaths on the slowly sinking plane. Together, Joan and Robert Young sing "Come Josephine" as the plane finally sinks. Later, Joan performs with Billie Burke and Fanny Brice in a skit titled "If Women Went on Hunting Trips as Men Do". The best line of the skit is delivered by Joan when she says, "Hold this cigar while I fix my girdle." Finally, with Judy Garland leading the procession, the cast sings "The Bumpy Road to Love" with Joan doing a brief duet with Frank Morgan.



Good News of 1939
November 17, 1938. NBC. 60 mins.



The Screen Guild Theater: "Variety Revue"
January 8, 1939. CBS. 30 mins. Sundays at 7:30pm Eastern.
Debut of the program, which ran until 1952. (From 1939 to 1940, the show was known as the "Gulf Screen Guild Show.") Emcee George Murphy; along with Joan, featured Jack Benny, Reginald Gardiner, Judy Garland, Ralph Morgan, and the Oscar Bradley Orchestra. With John Conte (announcer), Earl Brecher and Sam Perrin (writers), Mitchell Leisen (director).   
Screen Guild Theater Wikipedia page.


 1939. Screen Guild Theater. Joan with Jack Benny.    From left: Jack Benny, George Murphy, Joan, Reginald Gardiner.





Train Ride, 1939.Silver Theater: "Train Ride"
May 7, 1939. 30 mins.
Starring Joan as "Mary Crane." CBS presented this dramatic anthology series featuring guest stars from Broadway and Hollywood, hosted by Conrad Nagel and sponsored by the International Silver Company. Also featured John Hiestand and Carlton Kadell.













Screen Guild Theater: "None Shall Part Us"
October 15, 1939. 30 mins.
Starring Joan as "Sarah Farrington," with Lew Ayres as Michael Farrington, Ronald Colman as Captain Alan Harcourt, and Montague Love as Sir George Packman.




March 2, 1940. With Arch Oboler.Arch Oboler's Plays: "Baby"
March 2, 1940. NBC. Airing Saturdays at 10pm. 30 minutes.

From the Lima, Ohio, paper at the time of the broadcast:

Joan Crawford Will Play Lead Role In Radio Drama

Joan Crawford, movie star for whom Arch Oboler has just completed "Fall 0f a Woman," his first motion picture script, will appear at her own request in the leading role of "Baby," one of his most outstanding radio dramas, which will be repeated over WEAF Saturday at 8:00 p. It is an original score for this study of a woman who has jus! been told by her doctor that she soon is to become a mother. 





Every Man's Theater: "Two"
November 22, 1940.
The story of two people left in the world after an atomic holocaust. Also featured Raymond Edward Johnson.


Mail Call



March 17, 1949. The Screen Guild Theater's 'Dark Victory.'The Screen Guild Theater: "Dark Victory"
March 17, 1949. NBC. 30 mins.
Also featured Robert Young and Paula Winslow.
















Suspense: "The Ten Years"
June 2, 1949. 30 mins.
Starring Joan as "Clara." According to the Vintage Radio Logs website, Joan refused to do this show unless it was transcribed. Being a film actress, and used to having mistakes edited out, she didn't want to look bad on live radio.



The George Fisher Show: Christmas With the Crawfords

December 24, 1949.

Notes: Joan and oldest kids Christina and Christopher are interviewed by Fisher on Christmas Eve. Cathy and Cynthia are also in attendance. (A full transcript can be found in Christina's Mommie Dearest, pp. 82 - 88 of the hardcover. You can also Listen to the audio on YouTube.)




United Nations Radio: "Document A/777"
April 17, 1950. 60 mins.
Written, directed, and produced by Norman Corwin.

Screen Director's Playhouse: "Flamingo Road"
May 26, 1950.
Starring Joan as "Lane Bellamy" and David Brian as "Dan Reynolds," both reprising their film roles.

Hollywood Star Playhouse: "Statement in Full"
January 15, 1951. 30 mins.

Suspense: "Three Lethal Words"
March 22, 1951. 30 mins.

Notes: Starring Joan as "Jane Winters."


Screen Director's Playhouse: "The Damned Don't Cry"
April 5, 1951. 60 mins.
Starring Joan as "Lorna Forbes" and Frank Lovejoy as "George Castleman." Also featured Paul Frees.

The Cancer Show
April 13, 1951. 30 mins.
Notes (written by Bsabas Bennett)
This was a special show that pre-empted "Nero Wolfe."
Also featured Jimmy Durante, Eddie Jackson, Garry Moore, Judy Holiday, Mindy Carson. During the program, Joan gave the following speech: "I'd like to take a moment to tell you something that may someday save your life. If recognized in time, cancer
can be and is being cured. Yes, every day lives are being saved. Saved because people have knowledge about it. The magnificent work of the American Cancer Society has brought this knowledge to millions of Americans. And with it has come the hope for the ultimate victory over this dread disease. Victory through the vast programs of the American Cancer Society. Education. Research. Service. These are the weapons in the 1951 cancer crusade. Support the American Cancer society. That is the way to guard your family. Please send your generous contribution to Cancer, care of your local post office. And please send it now."

The Screen Guild Theater: "Secret Heart"
May 10, 1951. 60 mins.

Stars Over Hollywood: "I Knew This Woman"
October 6, 1951. 30 mins.
Featuring Joan as herself. Sponsored by Carnation Milk.

Stars Over Hollywood: "When the Police Arrive"
March 1, 1952. 30 mins.
Starring Joan as "Florence Jennings." Sponsored by Carnation Milk.

Calvacade of Stars
March 27, 1955. 30 mins.
Notes (written by Bsabas Bennett)
Joan is featured briefly and says the following: "I think everyone in the industry has a sincere regard and respect for the motion picture audience. In the final analysis, it is the movie-goer who decides what motion pictures shall be. Through the box office and their likes and dislikes, the audience chooses the stories and the players they want most. An actor stands or falls by the approval of the audience. It goes even further than that. Speaking for myself, I feel a deep sense of responsibility. It matters greatly to me what people think of me on the screen. And I'm sincerely grateful when they like what I do. I've spent my lifetime trying to measure up to what the movie-goer expects of me. The most important reward is something more than merely success. What I truly appreciate is the approval of the audience. If I have that...I'm happy because motion pictures are my life...and a good life too."




1960 Pepsi promotion.Pepsi Promo


Notes: Radio promo record. "Joan Crawford Presents Pepsi-Cola's 1960 Radio Selling Team." 33-1/3 rpm. Side One tracks: Joan Crawford; Chet Huntley, NBC; David Brinkley, NBC; Bob and Ray, CBS. Side Two: Joan Crawford; John Daly, ABC; Frank Singiser, Mutual.








Eternal Light: "Message to the World"
June 5, 1960. 30 mins.
From the Jewish Theological Seminary. This program told the story of motion-picture executive Nate B. Spingold. Also featured Franchot Tone.


1963 March of Dimes promotion.March of Dimes Recruitment
Radio promo record to be broadcast Nov. 15, 1962, to Jan. 31, 1963.
33-1/3 rpm volunteer recruitment announcement for the 15th annual Mothers' March. Side B has a minute-long message from Joan, plus 30-second announcements from Helen Hayes and Nanette Fabray, as well as 15-second announcements from Rosemary Clooney and Bess Myerson.









Arthur Godfrey Morning Show

January 21, 1964. CBS. 50 minutes.

Notes: The 30th anniversary program for Godfrey's show. His guests were Pat Buttram, Joan, and Jackie Gleason.


United Negro College Fund


Notes: Radio commercial featuring Joan.




Order Joan radio shows:


The Old Time Radio Joan Crawford Collection

21 shows - 14 hours - 20 minutes, on one MP3 disc. $5.00.

Arthur Godfrey
Arthur Godfrey 640121 30 Years 2

Com 23 Love On The Run (1936) Joan Crawford-Clark Gable
Com 25 The Gorgeous Hussy (1936) Joan Crawford-Robert Taylor

Good News
Good News 380519 029 W Joan Crawford
Good News 381020 043 W Joan Crawford
Good News 381117 047 W Joan Crawford
Good News 390302 062 W Joan Crawford

Louella Parsons
Louella Parsons 481109 Joan Crawford

Lux Radio
Lux 360727 091 Chained
Lux 370510 132 Mary Of Scotland
Lux 380207 162 Anna Christie
Lux 380606 179 A Doll's House

Screen Directors Playhouse
Screen Dir Phouse 500526 Flamingo Road
Screen Dir Phouse 510405 The Damned Dont Cry

Screen Guild Theater
Screen Guild Theater 390108 001 Variety 1
Screen Guild Theater 391015 026 None Shall Part Us

Silver Theater
Silver Theater 390507 232 The Train Ride

Stars over Hollywood
Stars Over Hollywood 511006 01 I Knew This Woman
Stars Over Hollywood 520301 21 When The Police Come W Joan Crawford

Suspense 490602 343 The Ten Years
Suspense 510322 421 Three Lethal Words


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