We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes | [Frank Burt, James E. Moser, John Robinson]

Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes

Dragnet was perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history. The series gave millions of audience members a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of real-life police work.

Actor and producer Jack Webb's aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting. He achieved both goals, and Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media.

Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Dragnet was perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history. The series gave millions of audience members a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of real-life police work.

Actor and producer Jack Webb's aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting. He achieved both goals, and Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media. The show's cultural impact is such that even after five decades, elements of Dragnet are known to those who have never seen or heard the program - including the famous four-note introduction to the theme music and the opening narration, "Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."

The original Dragnet starring Jack Webb as Sgt. Friday ran from from June 3, 1949, to February 26, 1957 on NBC radio. Webb insisted on realism in every aspect of the show. The dialogue was clipped, understated and sparse, influenced by the hardboiled school of crime fiction. Scripts were fast moving but didn’t seem rushed. Every aspect of police work was chronicled, step by step: From patrols and paperwork, to crime scene investigation, lab work and questioning witnesses or suspects. The detectives' personal lives were mentioned but rarely took center stage. "Underplaying is still acting", Webb told Time. "We try to make it as real as a guy pouring a cup of coffee."

©2013 BN Publishing (P)2013 BN Publishing

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (89 )
5 star
 (54)
4 star
 (22)
3 star
 (7)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.5 (78 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.2 (78 )
5 star
 (47)
4 star
 (12)
3 star
 (13)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lizski PARK CITY, UT, United States 09-21-13
    Lizski PARK CITY, UT, United States 09-21-13 Member Since 2006

    lizski

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Grandfather of Law and Order"
    What made the experience of listening to Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes the most enjoyable?

    The entire experience of a radio show, combined with the culture of the 40s and 50s is absolutely fantastic (although there I times when I keep thinking how much faster cases could have been solved with DNA evidence and other modern forensics!).


    What did you like best about this story?

    Dragnet is the grandfather of ever cop show that has ever been on tv - to say it is a classic is an understatement.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I watched Dragnet on tv ages ago, and while the tv show was good fun, all the sound effects and 'atmosphere' of a radio show make the radio show superior.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I like the tribute at the end of each episode to a fallen police officer - officers that were killed in the line of duty 50+ years ago are memorialized again.


    Any additional comments?

    There is a fair amount of variability in sound/audio quality (which is why I only gave the performance 4 stars - the actual performance is great, but the occasional audio issues made me downgrade it), but it generally doesn't take away from the listening experience.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G S Hallifax Gardnerville, NV United States 07-29-13
    G S Hallifax Gardnerville, NV United States 07-29-13 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The volume and clarity varies greatly"
    What did you love best about Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes?

    I enjoy the stories. I heard them for the first time as a child and later on XM Radio. Dragnet is a classic.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I enjoy the stories each time I listen.


    What three words best describe the narrators’s performance?

    Jack Webb's monologues are very entertaining.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The stories show the different culture in America during the 1940's and 1950's.


    Any additional comments?

    Hours of entertainment!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 03-06-14
    Linda Lou Cave Creek, AZ USA 03-06-14 Member Since 2014

    Obsessive reader, 6-10 books a week, chosen from Member reviews. Fact & fiction, subjects from the Tudors to Tookie, Harlem to Hiroshima, Huey Long to Huey Newton.  In-depth fair reviews - from front to BLACK!!! 

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1823
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1425
    248
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    209
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A CLASSIC!!!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    With all of the crime that is happening now, people should see that there was just as much crime 60 years. I'd recommend this to friends who are always complaining about "the good old days" and "these kids today". The mindset is the same among criminals - only the amount of firepower has changed. "Dragnet" is the father of all crime shows today, especially the in depth technical ones which involve forensics and DNA and also shows like "Law & Order" that used real crimes taken from newspaper reports or police files. Jack Webb was an innovator who created this genre of television.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    That question is not applicable here.


    Did the narrators do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    This is a multi-performer audiobook with different actors playing each role. That gives the listening experience a rare layered effect.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    IMPOSSIBLE! It's 16 Parts of 6 to 8 hours in each Part. But, say, I had nothing to do for a whole month, like I'm stuck in a hospital bed because I broke every bone in my body - I'd have to say that no one would WANT to listen to these episodes in one sitting or even one day. It's basically the same format over and over again - crotchety old landladies, snoopy neighbors, arrogant criminals, mouthy teens, precocious toddlers, each repeating the same dialogue from one story to the other. The "stage business" - walking, stirring coffee, typing, opening doors, balling up paper, etc. - gets irritating after a while. It worked 60 years ago because listeners wanted to get as much bang for their buck in the 30 minute show time. However, listening to Sgt. Friday "walking" on a hard floor for the first 100 episodes, it becomes a bit old to have to hear it for 260 more shows.


    Any additional comments?

    Overall I enjoyed this "book" which is actually recordings of old radio shows, even with the snaps, crackles and pops. That's what gives it the dated feeling. However, the original recording was poorly done with no levels adjusted from one season to another, much less episodes. I had to give up the ghost when "the needle got stuck", playing several parts over and over again. In the old days, we'd just lift up the record player arm or put a coin on it to hold it in the groove. Here it is apparent that the engineer wasn't paying attention during the production and that Audible did no quality control afterwards.

    NOTE: A highlight of these old shows is the advertisements. To hear the manufacturers of Fatima ("The Long Cigarette") and Chesterfields ("The Mild Cigarette") insist that smoking is healthy for you and that THEIR product is the very best is both funny and sad. Fatima goes on and on about how smokers switching to Fatima has increased by 500% since its last "report". If you've lost a loved one to lung cancer, this will be hard for you to take. But that was the way it was back then. People lit up a cigarette for any reason, even in a hospital bed!

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy nanaimo 12-01-14
    Kathy nanaimo 12-01-14 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "1/2 hour Radio Shows but does not copy to IPod"
    What made the experience of listening to Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes the most enjoyable?

    Nice to hear the radio shows from the early 1950's complete with commercials.
    The radio shows at that time were quite simplistic.
    The commercials really make you realize that people did not know the effects of smoking at that time.


    Would you be willing to try another book from the authors? Why or why not?

    No. 300 episodes of Dragnet are quite enough.
    May try other old shows - probably comedy.


    What didn’t you like about the narrators’s performance?

    Jack Webb's narration is fine, very easy to understand.


    Any additional comments?

    The file did not transfer to my IPod well. About half of the episodes transferred.
    The others were just a loud screeching sound.
    There were 280 episodes in total (not 379) of which I could listen to about half.
    Perhaps the limit of my IPod memory was reached and maybe that's why I could not get all of the episodes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John N. Sigman Merrillville, Indiana, United States 07-14-14
    John N. Sigman Merrillville, Indiana, United States 07-14-14 Member Since 2013

    I am a retired Credit Union Examiner who loves baseball, sfi-fi stories & reading books about our history. I still believe in the future.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dragnet just like TV and Radio"
    Where does Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    If you loved Dragnet you will love Dragnet on Audio. It's the same as what we used to watch and listen to on TV and on radio. I highly recommend them.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Each story is just like what we listen to years ago.


    What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Realistic


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    They have made various movies on and about Dragnet.


    Any additional comments?

    none

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanette 04-06-15
    Jeanette 04-06-15

    Amazing mom who schools her children at home and loves to listen to audio books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Just as good as grandma told me"

    I love these stories Very engaging and they always have a positive theme to them.
    Awesome incredible highly recommended yup

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J Gary Fox 03-21-15
    J Gary Fox 03-21-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    107
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "One of the Best Dramatic Radio Show of All Time"
    If you could sum up Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 379 Episodes in three words, what would they be?

    Tough, Gritty, Real


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Duh Sargent Friday


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

    Romero his first partner


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Best bargain I've ever encountered ... only FIVE cents per show.


    Any additional comments?

    This show transformed the “cop story” in that it was the first to portray the daily workings of a Police department (Los Angeles) and both the boredom and danger of the work. It was the first to focus on forensic evidence to solve crimes. And it was very realistic ... no over the top drama ... just the grind of work.

    Jack Webb who was the producer and star of the show as Sgt. Joe Friday (“Just the facts, Mam) went on patrols with the police and took courses at the LA police Academy. He wanted it to be as accurate as possible.

    "Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."

    One episode had Sgt. Friday and his partner Ben Romero waiting for a considerable amount of show time ... talking and waiting and waiting ... in a cheap hotel room to catch a brutal robber. Then the hotel room phone rings [They called HQ earlier to give them the number] ... the criminal was picked up by other cops! Just another day policing ... and another stakeout that didn't pay off.

    Another had Sgt. Friday and other police personnel saving a mentally ill man from jumping off an office building ledge. Very well done and you weren’t sure he could be saved. At a risk to their own lives ... they were able to grab him and pull him in.

    Spoiler Alert .. but only one for 379 shows ....

    The show always had a follow-up on what happened ... trial, conviction, sentencing etc.

    “He was found to be mentally ill by a panel of doctors and sent to (Name of Institution) for treatment). Two years later he killed himself by hanging.”

    Wow ... what realism and big ending shock!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phil Kalamazoo, MI 03-09-15
    Phil Kalamazoo, MI 03-09-15 Member Since 2015

    compy 386

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fairly entertaining"

    Note: I have not listened to all of the episodes yet.

    I have always like radio dramas "Theater of the mind" so I enjoy this show. However, the audio has some issues. Sound effects and music are ear shatteringly shrill, while the dialogue is so quiet you quiet that I have trouble making it out at times.

    "smorgle smuff mlugin... DUH DEE DUM DUM!!!!!!" (shatters ears)

    A few episodes are so garbled that they are not worth trying to make out.

    A few episodes are repeated without explanation.

    Also note that this show touches adult themes (not graphically.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Moshfists 09-03-14
    Moshfists 09-03-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Inconsistent audio quality"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    See below.


    Any additional comments?

    It would be better if the audio quality was consistent from one episode to the next. One episode may sound fine, then the next one is muffled or contains static or crackles. There are very few of the episodes that are of listenable quality. I'm going to return this for a refund.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 03-11-14
    Sandra 03-11-14

    Retired high school English teacher. I liked and worked with the at-risk student. Interested in about everything, but I love a good story.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    50
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    796
    60
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved It"

    I'm old enough to remember listening to some of these stories on radio and it was like listening to an old friend. I'm not sure, but I think this was the beginning of the police procedural drama on radio.

    My only problem with it was that the recording was somewhat mushy-sounding. I know we didn't have Dolby, but a clearer recording would have been delightful. On the other hand, maybe it was my aging ears.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 11 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
Sort by:
  • P. R. Dixon
    12/3/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Old-fashioned radio"
    Where does Dragnet: Old Time Radio - 380 Episodes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Not a classic audiobook but a good opportunity to return to authentic old-fashioned radio broadcasts from the 1940s.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sgt Friday is the main (fictional) character in real-life stories, which they achieved by putting him and his partner fictitiously into the LAPD department that that week's story featured.,


    Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favourite?

    No narrators as such, but a dramatized production each time.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Quite a gritty view of police work in LA, but with a permanently upbeat pro-police attitude that sometimes grated.


    Any additional comments?

    Hours and hours and hours of 30-minute 'true-life' police procedural dramatization. Enough to last for months of occasional bite-sized listening. Sound quality is very good for the period.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-1 of 1 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.