Addressing timeless subjects and questions, Joe Frank’s radio shows are as relevant today as when they were originally produced.
Joe Frank radio programs are comprised primarily of four discrete series he produced between 1986 and 2002 for KCRW in Santa Monica, California. Prior to that, in 1976, Joe volunteered at Pacifica Network station WBAI in New York. Later, he was granted his own late-night timeslot and given free rein. He experimented with freeform live broadcasts featuring several collaborators who continued to work with Joe throughout his radio career. The show’s bizarre and original vision quickly drew increasingly larger audiences.
In 1978, Joe moved to Washington DC where he wrote, performed in and produced 18 dramas for NPR Playhouse which won several major broadcasting awards.
At KCRW’s invitation in 1986, Joe moved to Los Angeles to mount weekly hour-long programs. His first series: Joe Frank: Work in Progress. His succeeding series are: In the Dark, Somewhere Out There, and The Other Side. These series each reflect Joe’s evolving aesthetic through time with an emphasis on dramas in the early years and highly personal conversations later. Joe’s trademark monologues continued throughout his work.
With a significant body of work behind him, and despite repeated and prolonged illnesses, Joe never entertained the idea of retirement. In 2003, he created online shows exclusively for his web site subscribers, while also appearing live onstage with new original content in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. In 2012, he created shows for KCRW’s UnFictional. He continued to work even in the hospital shortly before he passed in January 2018.
Over the course of Joe’s radio career, he was afforded little, if any, administrative help. As a result, there is scarce verifiable information regarding the production date of many of the shows, along with other details. In addition, some show masters were lost or misplaced. However, we are combing through all of Joe’s materials to update the site with newfound shows and their details as they become available.