In 1947, the House Committee for UnAmerican Activities held nine days of hearings into alleged communist influence within Hollywood. Soon this expanded into other entertainment media including radio. Soon, more than 300 artists were boycotted by the studios.
On the list was Dashiell Hammett. When this expanded to the McCarthy Hearings in the early fifties, Howard Duff also appeared on the list.
Both of these events would spell doom for the radio detective series, The Adventures of Sam Spade, but listeners loved Duff in the roll. Though his film career was beginning to get some traction, there were others who still wanted him to come back to radio in something similar to Sam Spade. An audition that never made it to radio was created by David Friedkin and Morton Fine called The McCoy in an obvious Spade like roll for the actor.
Thanks to Martin Grams Jr’s book The Radio Adventures of Sam Spade.
Music under is Art Tatum playing “My Ideal.”