Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar Premiers

On February 18th, 1949 – fifty years ago – one of the best loved radio detective series premiered over NBC starring Charles Russell as Johnny Dollar.  Russell only lasted a year and the series took a different tone with the next Dollar actor – Edmund O’Brien. That was a much darker tone with the sullen O’Brien seeming to find himself… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 133 – Night Beat

Night Beat was one of those radio series that came over the networks in the early fifties just as the medium was beginning to toll its death knell for dramatic network drama. Yet the quality of many of the shows from this period were some of the best produced by radio. This journalist as detective serial starring Frank Lovejoy, whose… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 125 – Criminal At Large

From the fecund mind of mystery/thriller writer, Edgar Wallace, best known as the first screenwriter of the film King Kong. His better known mystery series include the J.G. Reeder and Green Archer series. Wallace’s stories were so well accepted over 160 films were made from them. This week I’ll look at Wallace and the radio play “Criminal At Large” from… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 109 – Nick Carter, Master Detective

This week begins a short series on radio detectives who come from the pulps. This includes pulps such as the early publications like the one on the right and Black Mask Magazine. I’ll start with one of the earliest pulp detectives who appeared on radio, Nick Carter. A look at the history of these pulps, some of the early detectives,… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 108 – Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

From John Dickson Carr to Ellery Queen, we now move to the last of our look at the scientific detectives on radio – the master himself, Sherlock Holmes, as written by Anthony Boucher (right) and Denis Green. I’ll do a little comparing to the Edith Meiser version of Holmes too. Podcast: Download | Embed

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 107 – Adventures of Ellery Queen

Continuing the examination of the detectives using the deductive process, a look at the authors Fred Dannay and Manfred Lee, aka Ellery Queen and their famous detective. We’ll follow their connection to last week’s author John Dickson Carr and hear an episode that while not from the first year (the hour long series) reflects the hour long series since the… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 106 – Suspense: Five Canaries in a Room

This week concludes my focus on John Dickson Carr. A look at a radio play based upon his Colonel March detective stories (written under the pseudonym Carter Dickson) without, unfortunately, the Colonel. “Five Canaries in a Room” starring Ona Munson (right) is based upon his Colonel March short story “The Crime in Nobody’s Room.” This version has been Americanized and… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 105 – Suspense: John Dickson Carr

This week, a look at the detective Dr. Gideon Fell created by mystery writer John Dickson Carr. Carr was an American who spent much of his life in England writing “locked room” mysteries and crime involving his several detectives. Dr. Gideon Fell was one his most popular. We’ll also look at the writing of John Dickson Carr and listen to… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 104 – Adventures of Sam Spade

This week I bring to a close the look at the influence of Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade on radio detectives. You’ll hear a rarer heard Adventures of Sam Spade from the first season ABC Radio network run in 1946. This series also starred Howard Duff (right) and is the only existing audio copy known from that season. These were generally… (more…)

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 103 – Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: Who Took the Taxis

A look at a sort of a six degrees of separation around Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade and various radio programs which seemed directly or indirectly influenced by the hardboiled detective. By early 1949, Gil Doud and Bob Tallman left the Adventures of Sam Spade. Doud became the writer for a new radio detective series – Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar starring… (more…)