In the style of The Adventures of Sam Spade, ABC broadcast a thirty minute radio detective series beginning on Halloween, October 31, 1952 on Fridays at 8:00 P.M. EST. The series was sponsored by Gillette-Toni, but was short-lived leaving after the last broadcast on February 27, 1953.
The series starred veteran radio and film actor Myron McCormick as Dan Dodge with Shirley Eggleston as his secretary. Mccormick is probably best known today as Sgt Orville C. King in the comedy film No Time For Sergeants who always seemed victimized by the innocent Andy Griffith.
The series always started each episode with Dodge dictating a letter or case summary for his secretary. The story was then told, like Sam Spade, in a flashback sequence. The opening sequence is so much like The Adventures of Sam Spade with wacky secretary thrown in that one could almost think it was created by some of the same production people.
It was thought that no copies of the series were in existence until recently thanks to Dick Bertel. Dick wrote Jack French:
In 1972, as part of a series of programs called "The Golden Age of Radio" on WTIC, Hartford, Connecticut, I interviewed Shirley Eggleston... I came across your reference to "A Crime Letter from Dan Dodge" in which you say that no copies of these shows exist. One does. At least the first ten minutes of one show exists. Ms. Eggleston brought her own copy to the studio and I played the first few minutes for our audience.
Shirley Eggleston is best known for her recurring role in the 1950's version of the television soap opera Valiant Lady as Bonnie Withers. Her credited name for that series was Shirley Egleston (note: one "g"). She also appeared on the fifties television science fiction series Tales of Tomorrow and on radio also in I Was A Convict, Whispering Streets, The Road of Life and Dorothy Dix among other shows..
The first ten minutes unfortunately was not played on the show. What was played was a 3.5 minute segment. The copy that Shirley had with her was loaned out never to be seen again. So all that is currently available to the OTR community is the 3.5 minute segment.
UPDATE: Since this was written, two shows have surfaced. Jack French and I were able to track down the missing ETs and I was able to secure them and transcribe them. They are are not true ETs but rather copies of the show with commercials roughly cut out as well as portions that some of the characters were not in (unfortunately) and re-written to LP. The quality is not great, but now we can enjoy two partial episodes of this previously unavailable program.
The two episodes available for download are the only copies known to exist. You can download them here in mp3 format slightly cleaned up. These versions are 9 & 7 megs in size and will take quite a while without high-speed access.