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

14Feb/151

EP1496: Dragnet: The Big Man, Part Two

Jack Webb
Having arrested the number two Drug kingpin in the West, Friday and Smith join with a coalition of state, local, and federal law enforcement to bring down the Big Man.

Original Air Date: January 19, 1950

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13Feb/150

EP1495: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Mary Grace Matter

Bob Bailey

 

A girlfriend of Johnny's murdered and the evidence points straight in Johnny's direction.

Original Air Date: October 20, 1957

When making your travel plans, remember http://johnnydollarair.com

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12Feb/150

EP1494: Nick Carter: The Case of the Bearded Queen

Lon Clark

Scubby's car is stolen and a boy from Nick's boy's club is arrested for being part of the gang.

Original Air Date: September 7, 1947

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11Feb/150

EP1493: Philip Marlowe: The Eager Witness

Gerald Mohr

A last minute defense witness in a murder trial through the conviction of a career criminal doubt and the daughter of the deceased turns to Phil to ensure her father's murderer is convicted.

Original Air Date: August 27, 1949

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10Feb/150

EP1492: Crime and Peter Chambers: The Miss Universe Contest Murder

Dane Clark
Peter investigates the murder of the organizer of the Miss Universe contest with three contestants as suspects.

Original Air Date: July 27, 1954

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9Feb/150

EP1491: The Saint: The Ghost that Giggled

Barry Sullivan

A middle aged woman comes to Simon for help when she says her brother's been hearing a giggling ghost. However, they find the brother's been murdered.

Original Air Date: September 17, 1950

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7Feb/150

EP1490: Dragnet: The Big Man, Part One

Jack Webb

Joe Friday goes undercover in a quest for a West Coast drug kingpin.

Original Air Date: January 12, 1950

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7Feb/155

Why Some People Can’t Enjoy The Golden Age of Radio

The Golden Age of Radio is beloved by fans who’d love to share an interest in old radio with children or friends, but to the uninitiated, the whole thing can seem rather weird or daunting, and leave them wondering, “why would I want to listen to that?”

How quickly radio declined once television became available and affordable to the mass audience is an indication that many people listed to radio less because they preferred the art form over film and more because it was all that was available outside of a movie theater and at no cost. Even in countries like Great Britain where new radio dramas are produced with high quality actors and creative teams, their popularity is dwarfed by that of television.

For younger viewers/listeners, this problem is compounded by an increasingly hyper-paced state of entertainment, they’re fed from their first television shows to the present to expect high-paced stories that are resolved very quickly and this has grown over the years. In the video commentary on the 1990s Batman: The Animated Series, it was commented that the show was too slow paced for today’s kids, and if you watch modern day cartoons, they move at a dizzying speed that make 1990s Action cartoons seem like they're moving in slow motion. And for viewers like that, the more deliberately paced programs of 1930s-60s don't have a chance.

Many people have an image of golden age radio drama from television and movies of the era that portray it as corny or hammy. Certainly there were programs that could be that way, but there's a wide variety of quality. The tens of thousands of programs out their encompass so many different genres and styles. If you like bold well-done drama there's Studio One and the Mercury Theatre, for classic Science Fiction, it's X-minus One, or you could listen to Fred Allen who pioneered the field of satire on his various programs, and then Cavalcade of America made American history entertaining. And there are countless more: from soaps to medical dramas to horror and fantasy.

Finally, there are social issues in old time radio for twenty-first century listener. To some people (myself included), patriotism, morals, and reverence aren’t bugs, they’re features, but not everyone shares that view and may find such things "preachy" or "propaganda."

However, there's larger concerns about some  golden age programming particularly when it comes to racial stereotypes and views of women.  Even some who might chafe at modern day political correctness will probably find something that would make them uncomfortable in the tens of thousands of surviving radio programs.

To enjoy the golden age of radio, you have to understand yourself to be a guest in another time and place with a different cultures,  values, and understanding. I tend to think that there are lessons to be learned from the past (both good and bad) and that we should have some grace and understanding for the foibles of past generations when listening to radio because future generations will no doubt have problems with today’s culture’s attitudes and behaviors, and I wouldn’t want everything good about our modern world written off due to those failures.

Still, if you find yourself unable to move beyond the lens of our twenty-first century world, you may not be able to enjoy the golden age of radio or many other classic works.

For some, enjoying the golden age of radio may mean finding the right programs or changing perspective. Still, for others, it's not something they'll ever be able to understand the joy of old time radio. As Jimmy Durante,  "Such are the conditions that prevail."

If you enjoyed this post, you can have new posts about Detective stories and the golden age of radio and television delivered automatically to your Kindle.

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6Feb/150

EP1489: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Silver Belle Matter

Bob Bailey

Johnny is called to find an elderly mine owner who is feared to have been a victim of foul play.

Original Air Date: October 13, 1957

When making your travel plans, remember http://johnnydollarair.com

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5Feb/150

EP1488: Nick Carter: The Case of the Wandering Macaroni

Lon Clark

Nick and Patti are sent to obtain a macaroni dish.

Original Air Date: July 20, 1947

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