Oh how I wish the copy of the Night Beat box I have in my collection were a real one. But of course, it’s not. This is the most rare Warhol cover ever. The record Paul Maréchal has found when doing the research for his catalogue raisonné of Andy Warhol record covers, is the only one I know to exist.
The copy I have – and pictured here – was made facsimile by friend and fellow collector Richard Forrest a.k.a. rockdoc. Besides being a passionate collector of Warhol covers (among others) and a blogger about record cover art, Richard also has great admiration for the appropriation art of Elaine Sturtevant, or the notorious Vermeer-forgings by Han Van Meegeren. In their spirit Richard thought: let’s make our own Night Beat boxes. And he did a hell of a job, they look great. Thanks, Richard!
The Night Beat box set was a promo item for an NBC Radio drama series, with Frank Lovejoy playing the role of tough news paper reporter Randy Stone. The box contained two blue 7″ records, with the very first episode (titled Zero) and a promo talk directed to companies, to convince them to buy time for commercials during the series.
Episode Zero was aired on February 6, 1950. The series ran until September 25, 1952. In his catalogue Paul Maréchal dates the record set 1952. That in my opinion would be strange. The box most likely was sent at the beginning of the series to potential ad buyers, in 1950.
In Daniel Blau’s book Andy Warhol – From Silverpoint to Silver Screen (Hirmer, 2013) there are 4 drawings or sketches of a man making a telephone call. These drawings very probably are alternative sketches for the Night Beat cover.