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

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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

Somebody Knows and Wanted — Golden Age Radio’s Great Unsolved Mysteries

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

Dragnet – The greatest police procedural and realest of the real

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

Happy Birthday, Johnny Madero, Pier 23

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

A happy birthday, of sorts, to radio

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