Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 139 – Suspense

Edmund O'Brien

Edmund O'Brien

We’re back with an all new podcast. This one is a good one featuring Edmund O’Brien in a well layered role as Eric Strange, an author of help books about people who seem to suffer from “blind spots” in their lives. Blind spots are those areas where an individual fails to see or understand some event in their lives. Strange finds himself becoming a detective as he attempts to find a serial killer without himself being killed. A one hour Suspense program from 1948. Listen!

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 138 – Crime Classics

Elliott LewisFinally, I am back for a new podcast! Expanding the genre a bit to include crime in general, this week, a look at one of the better, but not so well known crime series in the fifties: Crime Classics. The series ran for 52 episodes only, but had the talents of Elliott Lewis (right) as producer/director, David Friedkin and Mort Fine, writers, and Bernard Herrmann as composer-conductor with live in studio musicians!

Music under is “Morning Passages” by Philip Glass and Michael Riesman from the film The Hours.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 137 – Cabin B-13

On June 23rd, 1948, CBS released a press statement entitled “Mysteries Circle the Globe: Cabin B-13 New Series by John Dickson Carr.” The location for the mysteries was built around the sailings of the passenger ship S.S. Maurevania. Each episode would be introduced by a Dr. Fabian, a world traveler and collector of strange and terrible tales of mystery and terror, as the opening described him. Events would occur at the port cities to which the ship sailed and at each one, Dr. Fabian would tell a mysterious story related to that city.

Music under is “All the Things You Are” performed by Andre Previn, Joe Pass and Ray Brown.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 136 – Devil in the Summer House

John Dickson CarrWhile in England, one of John Dickson Carr’s earliest plays was one called “Devil in the Summer House” which was originally envisioned as a two-parter, but eventually reduced to a one hour play. When Carr came back to the United States due to the war and his need to register for the draft, he re-wrote his one hour play into a half hour version for the Suspense radio series. “Devil in the Summer House”, even re-written into a half-hour play is very well produced, probably due to Dickson Carr’s desire to always create good radio.

Devil in the Summer House originally featured Carr’s private detective Gideon Fell, but he was excluded in this version. The role of Captain Burke fills Gideon’s shoes.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 135 – Women as Detectives

Detective fiction is full of examples of the woman-as-detective theme throughout its history. While the majority of the fictional detectives were men, there are flattering examples in which female sleuths regularly sought out clues and ultimately solved crimes.

In radio, on the other hand, female detectives were usually somewhat vacuous or treated with little respect. Radio did have its share of female sleuths, though many were either regional broadcasts or never really succeeded.

A look at one specific example of a woman in a detective role unintentionally as based on a Cornell Woolrich (right) story, “The Book That Squealed.”

Music under is Andre Previn/Joe Pass/Ray Brown: Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.

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 involved with murder more often. After O’Brien left to a growing film career, another future film actor, John Lund, stepped into the role.

It was Lund’s successor who really expanded the popularity when radio actor Bob Bailey became Johnny Dollar fresh from his role as George Valentine in Let George Do It.  Bailey stayed with the series until the early sixties when the series left Hollywood and moved back to New York.

You can hear more about the Johnny Dollar series in a podcast I did in Episode #68.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 133 – Night Beat

Frank LovejoyNight 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 somewhat gravely, reedy voice was perfect as Randy Stone, ran for several years and evoked noirish themes as he traveled the big city of Chicago in search of stories of the lost souls who survived living in the dark. Well written, well acted, the series still retains its attractiveness as reporter Stone found himself embroiled in the lives of these lost souls and often crossed beyond the role of reporter into that of detective as he helped resolve the events which he encountered.

Music under is “Midnight in Chicago” by jjo.

Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 125 – Criminal At Large

Edgar WallaceFrom 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 the Molle’ Mystery Theatre from April 1944. The radio play was based upon a stage play and film called The Frightened Lady.

Music under is Deep Purple played by Art Tatum.

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

Nick Carter PublicationThis 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, and an early Nick Carter, Master Detective episode from 1943.


Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 108 – Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Anthony BoucherFrom 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.


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