In the wake of Dragnet's success for NBC (after having been rejected by CBS), radio audiences more and more craved authenticity from their crime dramas. Programs like Gang Busters (1936-1957) and This is Your FBI (1945-1953) claimed to be based on authentic cases, but were less realistic and adult in tone than the true crime … Continue reading Somebody Knows and Wanted — Golden Age Radio’s Great Unsolved Mysteries
DUMMM DAH-DUM DUM Though nowadays the Dragnet franchise is best emembered today as a TV series (or two TV series), it began existence as was most exceptional as a radio drama. Dragnet starred Jack Webb as Sergeant Joe Friday, an LAPD detective who, when the series began, lived at home with his mother and later on his own in a Silver Lake bachelor pad. It first aired on 3 June, … Continue reading Dragnet – The greatest police procedural and realest of the real
On this date (23 April) back in 1947, the radio drama Johnny Madero, Pier 23 made its debut. It was the second detective drama that resulted from the collaboration of Jack Webb and Richard L. Breen. St. Regis Hotel in 1904 Jack Webb was born 2 April, 1920, in Santa Monica, California, the son of Margaret … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Johnny Madero, Pier 23
As regular readers of my blog (if there is such a thing) probably know, I’m a bit of a radio junkie – spending many hours every day listening to Old Time Radio dramas, public radio, AM radio and podcasts. Therefore it shouldn’t come as a surprise that 20 August is a pretty big deal to … Continue reading A happy birthday, of sorts, to radio
My introduction to old time radio was listening to a 1957 Decca 12” The Adventures of the Lone Ranger that my dad presumably procured as a child. As a kid growing up in the 1980s, I don’t think I ever made the connection that the album’s tracks were old radio episodes… I don’t think I even knew about radio dramas until … Continue reading Happy Birthday, The Whistler! – rated by independent research the most popular West Coast Program in radio history
Today is the 57th birthday of X Minus One, a science fiction anthology that debuted on NBC radio on 24 April 1955. It began as a sort-of revival of pioneering sci-fi program, Dimension X and the first fifteen episodes were remakes from that series. The remainder of the episodes were originals from staff writers Ernest … Continue reading Happy Birthday, X Minus One – radio’s greatest sci-fi anthology!
On this day, in 1944, The Life of Riley premiered on the Blue network (later known as ABC). The Life of Riley began with an audition taping on 25 July 1943 after its creation by Irving Brecher. Over the course of roughly 320 episodes, it established itself as one of the most enduringly funny sitcoms on … Continue reading Happy Birthday, The Life of Riley! – or – What a revoltin’ development this is!
Broadway Is My Beat, was a dark, gritty radio drama that began airing 62 years ago today on CBS, debuting 27 February 1949. The series revolved around Times Square homicide detective Danny Clover. NEW YORK ERA When the program debuted, it was produced in New York City. Clover was portrayed by actor Anthony Ross, a … Continue reading Broadway is My Beat
Confession is a crime drama anthology that originally aired on NBC from July 5 to September 14 in 1953,Sunday nights at 9:30. Each episode featured Paul Frees as Richard McGee -- then the director of California Department of Corrections. John Wald was the announcer. The rest of the cast changed from episode to episode and … Continue reading Confession: Old Time Radio Drama
THE END OF THE GOLDEN AGE On this day (September 30) in 1962 CBS radio broadcast the final episodes of Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and the Golden Age of Radio came to a close. RADIO'S BEGINNINGS Radio Drama (also frequently referred to as Old Time Radio or OTR) really began in the 1920s. … Continue reading The Death of Old Time Radio