Radio Drama Review: The Green Valley Line

The Green Valley Line was a syndicated radio drama from the 1930s. Told in 26 quarter hour parts, it tells the story of Bill Reed, the son of a wealthy railroad baron who comes to work for the Green Valley Line, a small western railroad that his father wants to buy out. His decision gains suspicion from locals who support the Green Valley Line as well as the condemnation of those who favor the acquisition as he’s going against his father.

His sincerity becomes clear and that’s important when an injury to railroad superintendent Pop Harkness forces Bill into taking over as acting superintendent of the line. His father and his supporters are determined to take the line by hook or by crook. The daughter of the President of the railroad Carrie Graham initially despises Bill but then at the urging of Harkness becomes a friend and an eventually ally against Bill’s father and her father who is backing the acquisition.

The series was most likely produced in Detroit according to the Radio Goldindex. It featured the voice talents of John Dodd (Tonto from the Lone Ranger) and Bill was played by Rollen Parker who appeared frequently in WXYZ’s famous radio programs The Lone Ranger, the Green Hornet, and Challenge of the Yukon.

There’s much to like about this series. The business story of the Green Valley Line and Bill Reed’s various clever maneuvers make for a solid entertainment with lots of twist. The story’s weak spot is the predictable romantic subplot between Bill and Carrie. That it’s predictable is not the problem, but Bill’s blossoming feelings for Carrie leave him willing to quit his job as Superintendent and leave local investors who supported him in a lurch and allow his effort to fail. This doesn’t make him look good in the eyes of listeners or of Carrie. The romance is pretty badly handled in the last few episodes which is a pretty sorry state of affairs given that the plot was so basic. The romance instead of adding to the story, became a detriment.

But the earliest episodes are good and enjoyable which makes up for the weak romantic plot. For a 1930s syndicated show, it was pretty good.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.00


You can download episodes of the Green Valley Line from

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