The Great Detectives of Old Time Radio The great ones are back in action.

31Oct/120

EP0788: Let George Do It: The Deadly Pines

Bob Bailey
George tries to find out who is behind a series of unexplained arsons in timber country.

Original Air Date: March 3, 1952

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30Oct/120

EP0787: The Fat Man: The NIghtmare Murder

J Scott Smart
A troubled hired hires Brad to prove he killed a young woman obsessed with death.

Original Air Date: January 17, 1951

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29Oct/120

EP0786: Frank Race: The Adventure of the Embittered Secretary

Tom Collins
Frank Race is asked to investigating a missing item for a highly insured man but finds the guy so distasteful he begs off the case until the man's secretary is murdered.

Original Air Date: June 11, 1949

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28Oct/120

Radio’s Most Essential People #57-#55

Previous: 60-58, 65-61, 70-6671-75, 76-80, 81-85, 86-90, 91-95, 96-100

57) Mercedes McCambridge:

Mercedes McCambridgeOrson Welles called her "'the world's greatest living radio actress." McCambridge certainly was a rare talent. Her big starring role came as radio was in decline.  Starring in 1951,  She starred as a tough and smart female attorney who solved crimes and got justice for her clients.  In 1952, she was recognized as radio's favorite dramatic by Radio TV Mirror Magazine.  McCambridge frequently appeared on Lights Out and also had many appearances on The Mercury Summer Theater, the Great Gildersleeve, and Inner Sanctum.

For my money, the best showcase of her talent was in Studio One,  CBS one hour drama showcase produced by her then-husband Fletcher Markle. She began in November 1947 with the lead in Kitty Foyle. McCambridge became a regular on Studio One returning each week with a new role from an ambitious opera singer to the bored and disgruntled wife of a broken down businessman, McCambridge took all parts, always proof of the old saying that there are no small parts-only small actors, and she was a talented and dedicated actress through and through. Her voice was like none other in radio, a wonderful instrument that's been keeping fans entertained for decades.

56)  William N. Robson

Robson had many claims to fame as a producer of radio drama. Perhaps his greatest was as the first producer of radio's class anthology series Escape in 1947. In the mid-to-late 1950s, he would become producer, director, and host of Suspense as that drama headed for its Twilight Years. Robson. He also won a Peabody Award for his work on Man Behind the Gun.  His writing, producing, and directing included work on programs ranging from Calling all Cars to Have Gun, Will Travel.

55) Ben Wright

Ben Wright's career was marked by a couple starring roles. Perhaps, his most noteworthy was starring as Sherlock Holmes in the final season of the New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. He also took on the role of Scotland Yard Inspector Peter Black in CBS' Pursuit. However, he was known far better for his character roles. He was an indispensable man, particularly if the role called for a British accent.  However, Wright could do quite a few dialects as evidenced by his 2 years playing the Chinese hotel clerk Hey-Boy on Have Gun Will Travel.  Beyond recurring roles, he was used frequently on countless dramas. He made his first appearances on Yours Truly Dollar in 1949 and his last appearance eleven years later making him one of radio's most indispensable people.

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27Oct/120

You Ought to be on DVD: Unreleased TV Detectives

Previous: The Ziv Properties, Vintage Detective Movie Serials, I Heard it on Radio, Nero Wolfe

Some the details on some of these shows are rather scant. That's due to their lack of availability, so all we have are a few details.

Richard Diamond, Private Detective-Several episodes of this show have landed on DVD with the first season entirely in the public domain. But this series with a pre-fugive David Janssen ran 4 years, adapted many radio scripts, and featured early work by Mary Tyler Moore. With action, adventure, and good pacing there's no reason why Richard Diamond shouldn't be given a full out full series release with all 77 episodes available to be enjoyed.

77 Sunset Strip: A popular detective drama featuring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. and Roger Smith as his partner. The show was popular, ran for six seasons, and spawned many imitators. Currently rated a 8.1 on IMDB.

The Line Up: This program based on the classic radio show of the same name ran as a Dragnet Rival for six seasons and was resyndicated as San Francisco Beat.  Most episodes are still under copyright protection but are very scarce. Rated 7.4 on IMDB.

Hawaiian Eye: A fan favorite starring Robert Conrad as a handsome Private Eye plying his trade in Hawaii. Also starred Connie Stevens. Rated 7.8 on Imdb.

Johnny Midnight: Detective program starring Oscar Winning Actor and Yours Truly Johnny Dollar star (1950-52) Edmond O'Brien as a former broadway detective turned private eye. Rated 6.5 on IMDB.

Hawk: This 1966 series starred a young (30 year old) Burt Reynolds a a Native American detective working for the New York District Attorney's office.  Rated  7.0 on IMDB.

The Felony Squad: Classic police series starring Howard Duff (Sam Spade) and Ben Alexander (Dragnet) Currently rated 8.3 on IMDB.

Dan August: Another detective vehicle starring Burt Reynolds as Santa Luisa Police Lieutenant Dan August and ran during the 1970-71 season. Reynolds netted a golden globe nomination for his performance.  Rated 6.6 on IMDB>

Longstreet: 1971 Detective show featuring James Franciscus as a blind detective. Only episodes available on DVD are those featuring Bruce Lee. Rated 8.0 on IMDB.

Jigsaw: Short lived 1972 series starring James Wainwright as a police detective and later private detective who handled missing person cases. Rated 6.2 on IMDB.

Hec Ramsey: Western Detective series starring Richard Boone (Have Gun Will Travel) as a detective in the Old West. Also featured Harry Morga and was part of NBC's Mystery Wheel. Rated 7.8 on IMDB.

Lanigan's Rabbi: A police chief (Art Carney) solves crimes with the help of a rabbi (Bruce Solomon.) I know it's only rated 5.2 on IMDB but the whole concept is intriguing.

Tenafly:  Along with Richard Roundtree's Shaft, Tenafly was the first detective show to feature a black private eye. The star was James McEachin who I've most often seen portraying Lt. Ed Brock in the  Perry Mason and Lt. Frank Daniels on Matlock, two cops who were constantly arresting the wrong guy. As such, I think we're entitled to see him actually getting the right guy a few times. Rated 6.9 on IMDB.

Mathnet: Mathnet was a feature on PBS Square One program which grew bigger as the series progressed becoming a sort of comedy mystery show within a show rather than a mere Dragnet parody.  The show featured its fictional mathematicians usually all sorts of math principles to solve cases. The math is still up to date and it has great nostalgia appeal for "kids of all ages." Rated 7.6 on IMDB.

Cosby Mysteries: This 1994-95 series starred Bill Cosby as Guy Hanks, a New York criminologist who retired from the police force after winning the lottery and having a heart attack, but emerges to solve some difficult and puzzling cases. The series is only rated a 5.0 on IMDB, but I really don't get why.  It featured solid mysteries and a great lead and supporting cast particularly James Naughton as Detective Sully. Certainly, there has to be enough Cosby fans to make this one get on DVD.

I'd love your thoughts on my list. Also what other detective shows do you think deserve a DVD release. (Hint: Check TVShowsonDVD first as many programs have actually gotten released.)

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26Oct/120

EP0785: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Harpooned Angler Matter

John Lund

Johnny investigates the death of a fisherman by harpoon.

Original Air Date: February 9, 1954

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25Oct/121

EP0784: Sherlock Holmes: The Bloodstained Goddess

Sherlock Holmes is asked to find a woman who is inciting a revolt in a Chinese province. But is she really the villain?

Original Air Date: February 7, 1949

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24Oct/120

EP0783: Let George Do It: The Starlight Pier

Bob Bailey
George investigates a series of suspicious accidents at an amusement park.

Original Air Date: February 25,1952

 

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23Oct/120

EP0782: The Fat Man: Murder is the Medium

J Scott Smart

The Fat Man is hired a medium that appears to know too much to be an ordinary faker.

Original Air Date: July 22, 1949

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22Oct/120

EP0781: Frank Race: The Adventure of the Vanishing Favorite

Tom Collins

Frank is hired to protect a Greek horse who is a favorite in a horse race.

Original Air Date: June 4, 1949

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