Author: Yours Truly Johnny Blogger

EP0085: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Racehorse Piledriver Matter

 

An ex-jockey asks Johnny’s help to save a beloved horse from an insurance fraud scheme.

Original Air Date: October 8, 1949

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EP0084: Sherlock Holmes: The Vienese Strangler

 
Watson recalls an adventure in Vienna where Holmes had to solve the murder of a Blackmailer.

Original Air Date: April 9, 1945

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EP0083: Let George Do It: The Immigration Racket

 

An immigrant preparing for his citizenship test asks for George’s help when he figures out he’s been roped into illegal activity.

Original Air Date: June 28, 1948

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EP0082: Pat Novak for Hire: Joe Dineen

 

Two men kidnap Pat Novak from a wrestling match and demand he take them to a man Novak doesn’t know by the name of Joe Dineen.

Original Air Date: June 19, 1949

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EP0081: Box 13: The Haunted Artist

 

Dan helps an artist whose painting is being mysteriously vandalized.

Original Air Date: April 28, 1948

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History, The Way It Wasn’t

Time for an inaccuracy rant. History.com posted this item for today in History for February 13, celebrating the debut of “Jack Webb’s first crime drama” on February 13, 1949 when Pat Novak began airing. 

The problem?

Webb had been doing crime dramas for nearly 2 1/2 years. He’d done an undetermined number of Pat Novak episodes in San Francisco in 1946-47 and then did 20 weeks of Johnny Madero on Mutual and 23 weeks of Jeff Regan on CBS before Pat Novak’s national premier on ABC in 1949. 

It’s great that history.com remembered Jack Webb. It’d be nice if they got their facts straight. I’d ask for the just the facts, but Joe Friday never said that either.

EP0080: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Fishing Boat Affair

Johnny Dollar investigates the suspicious sinking of two fishing boats and a $400,000 claim.

Original Air Date: October 1, 1949

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EP0079: Sherlock Holmes: The Amateur Medicant Society

 

Dr. Watson is summoned to an eccentric club. Sherlock Holmes is called when it’s believed a murder occurred.

Original Air Date: April 2, 1945

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EP0078: Let George Do It: Unfit Mother

 

George is hired by a widow who wants him to prove that she’s not an unfit mother.

Original Air Date: June 21, 1948

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EP0077: Pat Novak for Hire: Georgie Lampson

Novak is hired by an old flame and finds himself once again, in the thick of a murder investigation.

Original Air Date: June 12, 1949

“Houdini couldn’t get out of that one in two hours, with both hands, and a can of olive oil. It was like chasing cyanide with a bucket of brandy: it tastes bright, but it’s only a matter of time.”

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EP0076: Box 13: Look Pleasant, Please

Dan Holiday answers a letter to Box 13 and finds himself engaged to a wealthy heiress whose first two intendeds met untimely deaths.

Original Air Date: April 21, 1948

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I Vote For The Mayor of the Town

I make it a policy not to discuss politics on this blog, but I did want to reccomend one politician worth voting for-the Mayor of the Town.

Mayor of the Town was a radio series that ran for 7 years and I first encountered it last weekend while researching the career of Bob Bailey who made a guest appearance in the 1942-43 season.

The Mayor was portrayed by Lionel Barrymore, and those who only knew Barrymore from It’s a Wonderful Life as Mr. Potter  should give this series a listen. Barrymore’s Mayor is a fascinating character. He’s less the modern understanding of a mayor, and more the picture of the town elder from centuries past, who is to every person in town a father and friend who offers wise counsel and encouragement. In the ten episodes I’ve heard, no plot centers around the Mayor expending taxpayer funds, making a law, or applying any government force.

The Mayor is kind, wise, and patriotic. He’s the type of person people could look at and say, “I’d like my son to grow up and be like that.”  Indeed, the Mayor, a childless widower helped to raise many children in the community.

However, this is during World War II, and the Mayor’s love of the people of his town can often be heartbreaking. A lifelong friend blames the Mayor when his son dies at war.  The Mayor faces a difficult decision as to whether to tell a young nurse to join the Nurse’s corps or to get married and stay home. He prays, “God, bring them all home safe” while knowing that prayer can’t be answered.

The Mayor encounters the victims of a war: A British war orphan who cringes in terror when a plane passes overheard, a polish musician who is slowly losing the ability to hear even the beautiful music he plays thanks to being near a bomb blast near Warsaw.

The Mayor  is the master of the great speech, exhorting people to courage and patriotism in the face of adversity. To the modern ear, the Mayor may sound too preachy in his patriotism, particularly to people facing difficult life decisions.

But in the 1940s, the words of the Mayor were something different. Real people were facing these real life and death problems. They were Blue Star widows and war orphans, and people who had to make the decision to leave all their hopes and dreams behind, not knowing if they would return. And maybe the Mayor’s words could give them the courage to do it.

The show is a piece of Americana, even the commercials for Rinso reminding people that there would be no washers made for the duration of the war spoke to the austerity and shared sacrifice of the time. The Mayor of the Town is a wonderful trip back to give you a window into what made the Greatest Generation so great.

Of course, the whole series was not “all about war,” there was the somewhat odd “Papa Bear” episode, as well as typical drama-comedy fare, but Lionel Barrymore as the Mayor the scripts take on a life of their own.

Unfortunately, the episodes are not in the greatest condition. Mostly not so great .mp3s. However, the show is so good, as is Mr. Barrymore and his co-star Agnes Moorhead that I’d reccomend people take a listen to The Mayor of the Town and recapture the spirit of ’42.

Click here to listen to the first ten episodes that are available on Archive.org.

Video Theater 001: Sherlock Holmes and the Secret Weapon

Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) and Watson (Nigel Bruce) try to ensure that a devestating weapon and its creator don’t fall into the hands of Professor Moriarity and the Nazis.

New York Premier: January 4, 1943

EP0075: Yours Truly Johnny Dollar: The Search for Michelle Marsh

 

Johnny Dollar goes to Boston in search of a missing insured woman.

Original Air Date: September 25, 1949

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EP0074: Sherlock Holmes: The Book of Tobit

 

Is a demon from the Bible behind the death’s of a beautiful woman’s first two husbands and will Sherlock Holmes be the next to die?

Original Air Date: March 26, 1945

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