First heard on network radio in 1948, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar chronicled the adventures of freelance insurance investigator Johnny Dollar, "the man with the action-packed expense account". For 15 years, it was one of the most popular detective shows on the air, lasting until the final days of network radio drama in 1962. Each story started with a phone call from an insurance executive calling on Johnny Dollar to investigate an unusual claim.
Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve was a popular character appearing each week on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show. On August 31, 1941, Gildersleeve landed his own situation comedy, The Great Gildersleeve, becoming radio's first spin-off. Gildersleeve moved from the town of Wistful Vista, where Fibber McGee and Molly lived, to Summerfield, where he oversaw his late brother-in-law's estate and took on the rearing of his orphaned niece and nephew, Marjorie and Leroy Forrester.
First heard on network radio in 1948, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar chronicled the adventures of freelance insurance investigator Johnny Dollar, "the man with the action-packed expense account". For 14 years, it was one of the most popular detective shows on the air, lasting until the final days of network radio drama in 1962. Each story started with a phone call from an insurance executive calling on Johnny Dollar to investigate an unusual claim.
Created by Frances and Richard Lockridge, Mr. & Mrs. North were fictional amateur detectives appearing in novels, motion pictures, radio, and television. The Norths were not professional detectives but simply a well-to-do New York couple who stumbled across a murder or two every week and felt compelled to solve the crimes. A 1942 MGM movie starred William Post, Jr. and George Burns' wife, Gracie Allen.
This collection showcases Lucille Ball's amazing spectrum of radio work, from comedy to mystery and everything in between. As Lucy Ricardo, Lucille Ball brought a tomboy's enthusiasm and a scatterbrained quality to the long-running television program I Love Lucy. She was the wacky wife making life difficult for her loving but exasperated husband, Ricky Ricardo, played by Ball's real-life husband, Desi Arnaz.
Candy Matson was a response to all the hard-boiled detectives on the radio, like Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, and Pat Novak, and all those other detectives who were beaten up on a regular basis. Candy, played by Natalie Park, was hard-boiled in her own way. She never compromised her femininity, but she did know how to use a gun and didn't hesitate to use it when it was necessary. She didn't take any guff from the guys - the good guys or the bad guys. With a snappy comeback, she could take anybody's head off.
"The best of Old Time Radio"
Here are 12 episodes from the greatest detective shows ever broadcast during the golden age of radio, with the legendary stars that made them great. You'll hear Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson, Sydney Greenstreet as Nero Wolfe, Howard Duff as Sam Spade, Chester Morris as Boston Blackie, Dick Powell as Richard Diamond, and Jack Webb as Dragnet's Sergeant Joe Friday, plus more gumshoes like Philip Marlowe, Bulldog Drummond, Michael Shayne, and Johnny Dollar.
Conceived as a potential radio vehicle for Alfred Hitchcock to direct, Suspense was a radio series of epic proportion. It aired on CBS from 1942 to 1962 and is considered by many to be the best mystery drama series of the golden age. Often referred to as "Radio's Outstanding Theater of Thrills", it focused on suspenseful thrillers starring the biggest names in Hollywood.
The Black Museum was a weekly radio crime drama produced for the BBC in 1951 and based on real-life cases from the files of Scotland Yard. Orson Welles, who was living in London at the time, was both host and narrator for these dramatized stories based on Scotland Yard's Black Museum, which housed its collection of murder weapons and various ordinary objects once associated with historical crime cases.
This Is Your FBI, as the title suggests, was a crime drama that featured true cases from the FBI and was told from an agent's viewpoint. The show's producer and director, Jerry Devine, had once worked for the FBI, so having him for the show would allow each story to be told in the best way possible. J. Edgar Hoover, who was the chief of the FBI at the time, gave it his endorsement, calling it "the finest dramatic program on the air", and gave Devine access to the FBI files for the stories used in the show.
Raymond Chandler's celebrated hard-boiled private eye, Philip Marlowe, made his radio debut in 1945 on the Lux Radio Theatre with Murder, My Sweet, starring Dick Powell. Two years later NBC brought the character to the air in his own weekly series starring Van Heflin, The New Adventures of Philip Marlowe. A summer replacement for The Bob Hope Show, the series was short lived, ending on September 9, 1947.
Rogue's Gallery was an old-time radio program starring Dick Powell as Richard Rogue, a private detective who trailed luscious blondes, protected witnesses, and did whatever else detectives do to make a living. What set this show apart from others in the genre was that midway through every episode, Rogue would invariably end up getting knocked out and spending his dream time in acerbic conversation on Cloud 8 with his subconscious self named Eugor - Rogue spelled backward.
Damon Runyon was a newspaperman and writer. He was best known for his short stories celebrating the world of New York City's Broadway that grew out of the Prohibition era. He created a little world of characters that live on even today in such classic movies as Little Miss Marker and Guys and Dolls, both based on Runyon's stories. Actor Alan Ladd's Mayfair Productions brought Runyon's short stories to radio in the early 1950s.
Broadway Is My Beat was a dark, gritty radio crime drama that ran on CBS from 1949 until 1954. The series was originally broadcast from New York, with Anthony Ross portraying Times Square Police Detective Danny Clover. Produced by Lester Gottlieb, it was directed by John Dietz. But by the 13th episode, the series moved to Hollywood (still set in NYC) with producer Elliott Lewis directing a new cast, with scripts by Morton Fine and David Friedkin (the duo that would later write and develop TV's popular secret-agent series I Spy).
Mr. District Attorney came to radio in 1939 and focused on a crusading DA named Paul Garrett. Created, written, and directed by former law student Ed Byron, the series was inspired by the early years of New York governor Thomas E. Dewey. It was Dewey's public war against racketeering that led to his election as governor and enabled him to run for the presidency of the United States.
Philo Vance is a fictional character featured in numerous crime novels written by S. S. Van Dine, published in the 1920s and 1930s, who was later revived in film and on radio and television. During that time Vance was immensely popular. He was portrayed as a stylish, even foppish dandy, a New York bon vivant with a highly intellectual bent - America's Sherlock Holmes. He worked closely with his secretary and right-hand woman, Ellen Deering, and his pal, John Markham, New York County district attorney.
The Whistler was one of radio's top mystery programs, airing from May 16, 1942 until September 22, 1955. The Whistler was an ominous narrator who opened each episode with, "I am the Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, many secrets hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak."
It's 1875, and Paladin lives at the swanky Carlton Hotel in San Francisco, where he dresses in formal wear, eats gourmet food, attends the opera, has a Chinese valet named Hey Boy, and enjoys the company of beautiful women. When working as a gun for hire, he dresses entirely in black, uses calling cards, and wears a holster decorated with a chess knight emblem - a symbol that refers both to his name and to his occupation as a champion for hire.
Frontier Gentleman was a radio western series aimed at adults that aired on CBS radio for one season in 1958. It starred radio veteran John Dehner as J. B. Kendall, a reporter for the London Times. The series followed the adventures of the freelance journalist as he roamed the western United States in search of stories for his newspaper. Kendall often crossed paths with well-known historical figures, such as Jesse James, Calamity Jane, and Wild Bill Hickok.
Here are 12 radio episodes featuring Jack Benny in different series from the golden age of radio. This collection includes episodes from The Jack Benny Program, Suspense, The Burns & Allen Show, The Bing Crosby Show, The Ford Theatre, and many more.