Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 199 – Bob Bailey and Johnny Dollar

Bob Bailey I want to briefly examine Bob Bailey and Mandel Kramer in their roles as Johnny Dollar. Bailey left the show when it moved to New York due to his being turned down for a television version of the character. Jack Johnstone who successfully led Bailey to his star run as the character is also discussed with comments from Bailey’s daughter Roberta Goodwin. We’ll also hear from Mandel Kramer on radio acting.

Thanks to John Dunning for his interview with Roberta Goodwin and Dick Bertel and the Golden Age of Radio interview of Mandel Kramer.

Music under is Jason Peri performing his piece Drastic Measures.

1 Responses to Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 199 – Bob Bailey and Johnny Dollar

  1. Cameron says:

    Dear Jim,
    I have two more suggestions for new podcasts for Radio Detective Story Hour. In 1952 John Dickson Carr wrote a mystery novel that didn’t feature either of his famous detectives Dr. Gideon Fell or Sir Henry Merrivale. It was called the 9 Wrong Answers. Carr dedicated the book to Val Gielgud who worked with Carr on the famous BBC series Appointment with Fear. He describes the book as “a novel for the curious”. It tells of a young Englishman who is approached by another Englishman to impersonate him and take his place by going to London to see the nephew’s wealthy but sinister uncle and also get $10,000. Soon he finds himself in a deadly cat and mouse with the uncle and his ex-wrestler manservant and once his identity is discovered the uncle makes a bet that he could kill the Englishman within three months and if he fails then his prey can keep the $10,000 and not go to prison for false pretenses. The novel has scenes at the BBC and there’s a fictional radio announcer who makes a clever reference to Valentine Dyall: “this is your storyteller, the Man in the Dark”.
    and there is a climatic and exciting denouement at the Sherlock Holmes Exhibition in Baker Street. However the idea for this novel was actually “recycled” from a radio play Carr did on the radio series Suspense. It was called “Will You Make a Bet with Death?” While the half-hour episode was done in 1942 the novel took its central idea from the play and used it for the plot only the setting and denouement in the radio play is different from the book. In the play it tells of how the wealthy stepfather John Destry makes the bet that he could kill his stepson Robert Penderel within six months and if the stepson survives he gets $25,000. The play starred Michael Fitzmaurice as Penderel (who was announcer for radio shows like Tales of Fatima with Basil Rathbone and for the 1947-1948 season of Sherlock Holmes and Nicholas Joy plays Destry. Joy was a British stage and screen actor who appeared in films like Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff and in Daisy Kenyon with Dana Andrews and Joan Crawford. I thought you might want to use this episode in a future podcast.
    My next one is on the writer T.S. Stribling who was born in America in 1881. He wrote mystery stories that featured his detective Henry Poggioli. Poggioli was an American psychologist for Ohio State University and he solved crimes through unusual psychological methods like trial and error inspirations and deductions that start from the smallest clues and lead into conclusions that would be impossible to imagine. In 1929, Stribling wrote the first collection of stories to feature the detective and it was called “Clues of the Caribbees”. These were stories that took place in various parts of the Caribbean while Poggioli was taking his sabbatical year. One of the stories in the collection that is considered one of his most famous because of its powerful and spectacular ending was called “A Passage to Benares”. It tells of the brutal murder of a young Hindu child bride in Trindad and how the bridegroom is the chief suspect. Poggioli believes that he did not do it and with the help of his host an Englishman named Lowe, a bank clerk they set out to solve the mystery. The story was used on the series Suspense in 1942. It starred the American actor Paul Stewart as Poggioli. Stewart was graduate of the Columbia Law School and he chose the theater over being an attorney and he later became a member of Orson Welles’ Mercury Theatre troupe and even took part in the famous War of the Worlds broadcast. He appeared in other shows like the Shadow, the March of Time, and the Columbia Workshop among others. He did appear in films most notably as Raymond the butler in Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane. The radio play follows quite closely to the original story. I hope you are able to use these two ideas and provide some interesting comment on them.

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