The Graveyard Shift with Dudley Knight

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The Graveyard Shift - Readings by Dudley KnightBeginning it seems in the mid-1970s Dudley Knight, a U.C. Irvine professor of drama, voiced a series called The Graveyard Shift on KPFK, Los Angeles. The purpose was to tell stories of the macabre. His broadcasts aired weekly with shows of variable length (between half and hour and two and a half hours).

Here is a list of broadcast stories, with links to audio when available:

Jan. ??, 1974- The Room In The Tower by E.F. Benson (34 min.)

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May. ??, 1977 – Upon The Dull Earth by Philip K. Dick (55 min.)

Jun. 08, 1977 – I See A Man Sitting On A Chair And The Chair Is Biting His Leg by Harlan Ellison and Robert Sheckley (57 min.)

Jun. 22, 1977 – It by Theodore Sturgeon (57 min.)

Jun. ??, 1977 – Count Magnus by M.R. James (35 min.)

Jul. 06, 1977 – Children Of The Corn by Stephen King (71 min.)

Aug. 03, 1977 – Compulsory Games by Robert Aickman (56 min.)

Aug. 17, 1977 – The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (37 min.)

Aug. 31, 1977 – Silent Snow, Secret Snow by Conrad Aiken (46 min.)

Sep. 21, 1977 – The Empty House by Algernon Blackwood (42 min.)

Oct. 19, 1977 – Armaja Das by Joe Haldeman (44 min.)

Nov. 08, 1977 – It Only Comes Out At Night by Dennis Etchison (33 min.)

Dec. 14, 1977 – Couching At The Door by D.K. Broster (59 min.)

Dec. ??, 1977 – The Aleph by Jorge Luis Borges (35 min.)

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Jan. 18, 1978 – Suspicion by Dorothy L. Sayers (38 min.)

Jan. ??, 1978 – I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream by Harlan Ellison (41 min.)

Feb. 01, 1978 – The Gentleman From America by Michael Arlen (48 min.)

Feb. 08, 1978 – Bulkhead by Theodore Sturgeon (75 min.)

Feb. 22, 1978 – Gonna Roll The Bones by Fritz Leiber (60 min.)

Mar. 22, 1978 – Sometimes They Come Back by Stephen King (58 min.)

Apr. 05, 1978 – Three Miles Up by Elizabeth Jane Howard (42 min.)

Apr. 19, 1978 – Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Fredric Brown (49 min.)

Jun. 07, 1978 – The Ash Tree by M.R. James (36 min.)

Jul. 26, 1978 – The Squaw by Bram Stoker (35 min.)

Aug. 30, 1978 – Batard by Jack London (39 min.)

Sep. 06, 1978 – The Game Of Rat And Dragon by Cordwainer Smith (37 min.)

Oct. 17, 1978 – The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson (49 min.) |MP3|

Nov. 21, 1978 – The Other Celia by Theodore Sturgeon (48 min.)

Dec. 06, 1978 – Benlian by Oliver Onions (44 min.)

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Jan. 03, 1979 – Before Eden by Arthur C. Clarke (32 min.)

Jan. 31, 1979 – The Haunters and the haunted by Edward Bulwer Lytton (106 min.)

Feb. 23, 1979 – Space Rats Of The CCC by Harry Harrison (37 min.)

Apr. 03, 1979 – Breakfast At Twilight by Philip K. Dick (41 min.)

Apr. 17, 1979 – Thurnley Abby by Perceval Landon (43 min.)

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???. ??, 1985 – Afternoon At Schrafts by Gardner Dozis, Jack Don, and Michael Swanwick Part 1 |MP3| Part 2 |MP3|

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???. ??, ???? – The Whisperer In Darkness by H.P. Lovecraft

Posted by Jesse Willis

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8 thoughts to “The Graveyard Shift with Dudley Knight”

  1. Don’t think I heard any of these broadcasts as I don’t remember doing so and wasn’t much of a KPFK listener. Also I am pretty sure my FM radio listening at the time would have still been mostly KMET in 1977-78 with a switch to KCRW in 1978 or 1979. The listing shows an interesting selection of stories known to have been broadcast. Wonder if some or all of the shows are archived.

    I seem to recall dimly that UCI’s radio station had a Philip K. Dick Hour (or some such title) for a little while in the 1990s though I was unable to listen to it more than once or twice due to conflict with my work schedule. Anyone know if Dudley Knight had any connection with that program if it really existed?

  2. Fellow Fans,

    In the later 1980s and early 1990s I recorded about 25 of Dudley Knight’s KPFK, “The Graveyard Shift”, readings onto cassette tapes.
    The cassette tape brands varied in quality from K-Mart tapes, to high quality TDK tapes.
    I still have the tapes, but none of them are in mint condition.
    The sound quality for most of the tapes is rather good considering how old they are. Some tapes have very brief missing sections of the story due to accidental erasure, broken tape, and drunken dingbat mishandling.

    If anyone is interested I can upload some of the readings as torrent files.

    I mustered up enough guts to email Dudley Knight, in the late 1990s, concerning his KPFK “Graveyard” readings.
    He told me that he had the “reel to reel” aircheck tapes of most of his “Graveyard Shift” readings, from the 1970s to his last reading in the early 1990s, stored away in his garage.

    Dudley didn’t answer my next emails, so I assumed I had annoyed him somehow.
    Did Dudley throw away his aircheck tapes? Maybe they were sent to his University archives following his death.

    There is one special, “Graveyard Shift “, reading that I can kick myself for not having recorded.
    It was a reading of Fritz Leiber’s homage to H.P. Lovecraft, titled, “The Terror from the Depths”.

    The only two persons who I can think of who may have the entire collection of “Graveyard” readings are Harlan Ellison and the late Forrest J Ackerman.

    It would fantastic if someday all those readings were available on the Internet as free downloads.

    And finally there is the infamous Leftie , New Ager, Roy Tuckman who is the founder and host of the radio show that hosted Dudley Knight’s “The Graveyard Shift”, the midnight to 6 AM show “Something is Happening”

    He has access to all or many of Dudley’s KPFK readings, but refuses to play them because, as he says, “they down fit in with what I am doing”.

  3. I just finished Whispers in the Darkness up on youtube. Great voice acting by Knight! Any luck finding the entire Graveyard Shift recordings? I’d pay to hear them.

  4. I would suggest that all of you contact Roy Tuckman of the, “Something’s Happening”, KPFK radio program and ask him to please play Dudley Knight’s readings at least once or twice a month on a regular basis.
    I could then record them off the air, and upload them to the Internet if that doesn’t violate some copyright restriction.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Tuckman

    Dudley Knight is dead and those boxes of aircheck taped readings he mentioned to me, in an email of long ago, that he kept stored in his garage were probably thrown out.
    Hopefully, they were given to the university he taught at but I doubt it.

    It may be possible to order readings from the Pacifica Foundation Archives, but most likely it would be very expensive. I don’t have that kind of money.

  5. Dudley Knight reads Lateshift by Dennis Etchison (Graveyard Shift).mp3
    http://www14.zippyshare.com/v/27WtlCPo/file.html

    Dudley Knight reads Pickman’s Model H.P. Lovecraft (Graveyard Shift).mp3
    http://www88.zippyshare.com/v/o5CMk41Z/file.html

    Dudley Knight reads The Signal-Man by Charles D (Graveyard Shift).mp3
    http://www74.zippyshare.com/v/bYxUwWmu/file.html

    Here are 3 Dudley Knight Graveyard Shift readings copied from my old cassette tapes.

    The “Signal-Man” was taped when KPFK studio was using a silly automatic sound level system that they quickly removed because of complaints.
    When Dudley speaks loudly the KPFK sound level went down, then up slowly, spoiling the reading. It’s not my fault.

    The intro music may be too long for some of you, but that is how it was aired on Roy Tuckman’s “Something’s Happening” show several decades ago.

    Let me know what you think of the overall sound quality.

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