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

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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

Six Shooter — The Radio Western Starring Jimmy Stewart Debuted 20 September 1953

On this date (20 September) in 1953, one of my favorite old time radio Westerns debuted on NBC -- Six Shooter. It was created and written by Frank Burt, who'd also written for The Whistler, The Man Called X, and The Unexpected. It was produced by Jack Johnstone (Buck Rogers, The CBS Radio Workshop, Richard Diamond, Somebody Knows, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, and others). The music … Continue reading Six Shooter — The Radio Western Starring Jimmy Stewart Debuted 20 September 1953

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

Happy Birthday, The Whistler! – rated by independent research the most popular West Coast Program in radio history

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