Theme Time Radio Hour: The Annotated “New York” Episode

Fred Bals
20 min readJun 15, 2023

Season 1, Episode 48: “New York”

The Lady in Red

It’s nighttime in the big city. The rain-soaked streets reflect the glare of passing headlights. The cab driver tosses a $0.50 tip out the window. A woman with a torch stands in the harbor. It’s Theme Time Radio Hour with your host Bob Dylan.

Bob Dylan

Good evening, Mr. And Mrs. First-Nighter and all the ships at sea. Welcome to Theme Time Radio Hour. And tonight we’re going to be going from the Bowery to the Bronx, from the East Village to Harlem, from Hudson Heights to Lenox Hill from Koreatown to Little Italy. From Hell’s Kitchen to Greenwich Village from Manhattan Valley to Marble Hill from Midtown South to Midtown itself, from Murry Hill to NoHo. From Roosevelt Island to Soho. From Spanish Harlem to Sugar Hill, from Sutton Place to Tribeca. From Tudor City to Turtle Bay from the Upper East Side to the Upper West Side, from the West Village to Washington Heights, from West Harlem to Yorkville.

That’s right, we’re talking about the greatest piece of real estate on the planet, a little island known as Manhattan. So settle in and join us for the next hour as we talk about New York.

Commentary

“… Mr. And Mrs. First-Nighter and all the ships at sea.” A conflation of two uniquely New York themes. “First Nighter” was a long-running radio series broadcast from New York, with your host, Mr. First Nighter.

“All the ships at sea” is the tagline of the intro to journalist Walter Winchell’s radio show that originated from New York, “Good evening, Mr. And Mrs. (North and South) America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let’s go to press.”

Bob Dylan

You do a lot of walking in New York City, but sometimes you gotta rest your feet. It can be expensive to hail a cab, so sometimes you hop on the subway. In the background, Duke Ellington takes the A train.

[Take the A-Train (excerpt}]

Bob Dylan

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Fred Bals

Corporate Storyteller. Tech enthusiast. Mini Cooper fanboy. One-time chronicler of Bob Dylan’s Theme Time Radio Hour. Husband of Peggy. Human of Lily Rose.