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

Frank Race

World War II changed the lives of many Americans. People moved from civilian careers to often radically different lives in the military. The Office of Strategic Services (O.S.S.) was one of the most storied with its top secret intelligence operations.

Most O.S.S. Agents returned to their normal lives, but for some it wasn't that easy. For Frank Race, the war changed his life and he became a freelance troubleshooter and insurance investigator.

That's the premise for 1949's Series by Broadcaster's Program Syndicate.  The series initially starred Tom Collins as Race and half way through the series run, Paul Dubov took over.  Throughout the run, veteran radio character actor Tony Barrett played Race's sidekick cabbie Mark Donovan.

The hallmarks of the series included its wide variety of exciting plots and its stirring dramatic theme music.  It was a type of show that resonated with post-war America who tuned in to hear these exciting adventures.

Cast notes:

Tom CollinsTom Collins (1913-73):  Born in Chicago, Collins was a well-known radio and film actor known for his appearances in the Dr. Kilder movie series.  Over radio, he played Chandu the Magician. He was a favorite of Carlton Morse and  played Reggie Yorke in I Love Adventure and Nick Lacey in One Man's Family. Beyond his starring roles, Collins was known as a solid character actor capable of playing a wide variety of roles and dialects.

Paul DubovPaul Dubov (1918-79): Dubov was a long-time character actor. He's reported to have made 3700 appearances. He continued to be active with the coming of television appearing in shows as diverse as Burke's Law, That Girl, Bonanza, and 77 Sunset Strip.  He also began to write for television in the 1960s, writing several years of Burke's Law, Honey West, and Mod Squad. In 1979, he was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on Backstairs at the White House. 

 

Episode Log:

Tom Collins as Race:

Paul Dubov as Race:

End of log

Log Information Courtesy of the Digital Deli

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Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Just discovered this great show. Having listened to several episodes now, I do find one aspect different from many of the other shows I’ve been following, and that is the femme fatale in many of the Frank Race episodes turn out to be guilty as sin. For a while it seemed that if any girl showed up she may as well have been the proverbial butler. It would be interesting to know if that was just my imagination or if a greater percentage of Frank Race bad guys did turn out to be of the fairer sex compared to other shows of the genre.

  2. Been listening to Frank Race for a while and it doesn’t seem to agree with me.

    I thought at first it was the weirdly fake-sounding husky voice he uses for his “oh look a woman I better go and squeeze her in my arms” moments that seem to be so popular in this show but I realized I think it is the character of Marc that I just cant understand.

    Marc is a taxi driver that follows Race around, but he is not his assistant in a Watson kind of way as Marc follows Race except when there is anything related to the actual case. If Race talks to a client Marc is not there, if Race has to do some investigating Marc is somewhere else, Marc is only there the moments when Race isnt doing any investigating and occasionally to call the police. This would be fine if the case was in the town where Marc worked as a taxi driver, but I just dont get why Marc goes with Race to MonteCarlo or Paris only to visit a bar or play at the casino and not help Race at all or actually get involved with any investigating.

    I will continue to listen as maybe the series will grow on me as did the Leonidas Witherall one,

    Love the podcast,
    Javier from near Madrid, Spain.


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