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.


Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 107 – Adventures of Ellery Queen

Hugh MarloweContinuing 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 originals are lost to time. This is from The Ford Theatre and stars the original Ellery Queen Hugh Marlowe (right).


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

Ona MunsonThis 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 was written by Carr himself but without Colonel March. Instead we have an Inspector Braddock.


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

John Dickson CarrThis 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 a partial episode of his famous detective on Suspense plus a complete episode with the detective written out, but other characters serving up the detection!

Music under is Oscar Peterson and a “Waltz for Debby”.


Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 104 – Adventures of Sam Spade

Howard DuffThis 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 superior versions thanks to the writing talent of Bob Tallman and Jo Eisinger and though no copies exist, eight of Hammett’s actual works are adapted into stories from Hammett’s own publication also called The Adventures of Sam Spade.

Music under is from the Tony Marino Project called “Take Me Tonight” from the Podshow Music Network.


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

Charles RussellA 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 Charles Russell. Doud created some radio scripts that bore distinct Sam Spade themes in the creation of his new radio detective character. Portions of the characterizations in this podcast radio play were almost a steal from Hammett’s Maltese Falcon.

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Radio Detective Story Hour Episode 102 – Suspense: Two Sharp Knives

Stuart ErwinA continued look at our twisted six degrees of separation as I look at radio detectives connected to Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade. This week a look at Hammett’s own short story adapted for radio on Suspense. Stuart Erwin (right) plays a police lieutenant who like Hammett’s Continental Op rises above the corruption of police authority to solve the crime. A well written play by the great mystery writer, John Dickson Carr.

Music under is “Grover’s Tune” by Excellent Adventure from the Podshow Music Network.


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