Thanksgiving Themed Entertainment — Radio Dramas, Music, and Film

Happy Thanksgiving! If you're like me (and chances are that you aren't), you like to get into the holiday spirit not by watching an American Football match or squabbling with relatives but by listening to an appropriately themed radio drama, listening to some Thanksgiving music, or watching a Thanksgiving-themed film. Here are 100 Thanksgiving-themed radio … Continue reading Thanksgiving Themed Entertainment — Radio Dramas, Music, and Film

A look at The New Adventures of Philip Marlowe on the anniversary of its debut

NBC's The New Adventures of Philip Marlowe was the first of two radio dramas featuring Raymond Chandler's most enduring literary creation, hardboiled Los Angeles detective, Philip Marlowe. The program was popular but short-lived, a summer replacement which kept a time slot warm and whose star after its conclusion returned to film. It was followed one year later by … Continue reading A look at The New Adventures of Philip Marlowe on the anniversary of its debut

An introduction to Crime Classics on the anniversary of its debut

Crime Classics was a CBS radio series which following a 1952 audition aired from 15 June 15 1953 to 30 June 1954. To quote its own introduction it was “A series of true crime stories from the records and newspapers of every land, from every time.” It's one of the finest programs of its sort. Crime Classics was … Continue reading An introduction to Crime Classics on the anniversary of its debut

A look at Crime Correspondent

The overwhelming success of Dragnet -- surely the greatest police procedural on radio -- predictably led to the creation of several similar programs. Dragnet's network, NBC, offered several more twists on the genre. Perhaps the best was Tales of the Texas Rangers which sounds as if it might be a juvenile western but was actually an excellent Texas-set police (or … Continue reading A look at Crime Correspondent

This one’s about the Blues, Pete Kelly’s Blues

Today Jack Webb is best remembered for his portrayal of Detective Sergeant Joe Friday on the radio and television series Dragnet. Friday – a stiff, slouching, robotic cop who chain smokes as he rails against drug abuse – embodies for many folks the definition of a hypocrite and a square. However, the real Webb was … Continue reading This one’s about the Blues, Pete Kelly’s Blues

Suspense – Radio’s outstanding theater of thrills

AND NOW, A TALE WELL CALCULATED TO KEEP YOU IN SUSPENSE   On 17 June 1942, the anthology Suspense debuted on CBS Radio. The long-running series, which anticipated television programs like Alfred Hitchcock Presents and The Twilight Zone, concluded in 1962, an occasion now usually cited as signalling the end of radio's Golden Age.   The formula … Continue reading Suspense – Radio’s outstanding theater of thrills

Stories start in many ways — a look back at old time radio’s Night Beat

In the Golden Age of Radio, NBC produced some of the medium's best crime dramas, programs like The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, The Adventures of Sam Spade, Confession, Dragnet, and Tales of the Texas Rangers. Another -- although sadly not well-remembered today -- was Night Beat, which debuted on 6 February, 1950 and aired not just in the US, but … Continue reading Stories start in many ways — a look back at old time radio’s Night Beat

Happy Birthday, Gildy — The Great Gildersleeve debuted on this day in 1941

The Great Gildersleeve was a radio sitcom and one of the first spin-offs. It was tremendously popular in the 1940s and led to four feature films and three 78 records. The series centered on Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve (nicknames included "The Great Man" or just "Gildy"), a lovable windbag who first appeared on Fibber McGee and … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Gildy — The Great Gildersleeve debuted on this day in 1941

Tales of the Texas Rangers — Police Procedural with a Lone Star Twist

It took me a while to discover the brilliant radio drama, Tales of the Texas Rangers. I inferred from its name that it was a juvenile Western -- possibly a derivative of The Lone Ranger. Even though The Lone Ranger provided my childhood introduction I have never been a fan of white hat vs. black hat … Continue reading Tales of the Texas Rangers — Police Procedural with a Lone Star Twist