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Resources for Golden Age Radio Research
Please feel free to explore our growing library of over 400 Golden Age Radio programming and broadcasting history articles and logs. We start every article and every program log with a clean sheet of paper before us. We perform our own, independent research into every program or personality. Never hestitate to let us know how we're doing--pro or con. And if you have something to contribute--or challenge--in our findings, please drop us a comment.

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Fully Provenanced Radio Program Articles

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Cabin B-13 with John Dickson Carr and Arnold Moss

Cabin B-13 had been on our short-list of misdocumented Radio programs from the beginning. Many of the titles smacked of 'otr creativity', and the program sequence simply didn't make sense as published in every other OTR log on the internet. It also gave us a chance to honor author John Dickson Carr and distinguished actor Arnold Moss, yet another actor with a prodigious body of Radio work, embarrassingly cast aside by the 'OTR' community of collectors.

read more . . .

Camel Cigarettes Screen Guild Players cover art
Camel Cigarettes Screen Guild Players [CBS]
Camel Cigarettes Screen Guild Players [NBC]
Camel Cigarettes Screen Guild Theatre [NBC]

The Camel Cigarettes Screen Guild Players and Theatre were the fourth through sixth incarnations of the famous, long-running Screen Guild series in support of The Country House and Hospital of the Motion Picture Relief Fund. The Camel Seasons were comprised of programs in a half-hour format.

read more . . .

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Campbell Playhouse with Orson Welles

The Campbell Playhouse production of Mercury Theatre arrived with the fanfare one might expect from one of Radio's most prolific sponsors. Both parties benefited, although one has to wonder if the deal had already been inked before The War of The Worlds aired. And with Campbell's sponsorship, magazines and newspapers began printing Campbell's spot ads promoting the series. The program's audience increased and with all the attendant notoriety in the aftermath of The War of The Worlds, all three parties--CBS, Campbell's and Mercury Theatre--had every reason to celebrate the program's success.

The Campbell Playhouse ran for three seasons. Seasons One and Two were produced by Orson Welles himself. Season Three was produced by the Mercury Theatre's John Houseman.

read more . . .

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Cadillac Choral Symphony with Dr. Frank Black

Cadillac's catch phrase for forty-six of its fifty years had been "Standard of The World" and it's clear that Cadillac's 1952-1953 campaign had to be unrelenting in it's own standards. The choice of Dr. Frank Black was Cadillac's answer to maintaining that standard over its Radio campaign. As with the hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fine jewelry that adorned all of Cadillac's 1952 to 1953 Print ads, Dr. Frank Black and the 22-voice, all-male Cadillac Choral Symphony he assembled for Cadillac's program of the same name, represented the finest of the fine for Cadillac's Radio campaign. Cadillac dealers of the era also played transcription discs or tapes of the Cadillac Choral Symphony in their showrooms.

read more . . .

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Candy Matson, YUkon 2-8209 with Natalie Park Masters

After the fine-tuning of the audition--and the green light from NBC--Candy Matson aired as 'Candy Matson, YUkon 2-8209', with expanded characterizations for both Rembrandt and Lt. Mallard and a somewhat 'friskier' Candy herself. The combination clicked. Monty Masters' snappy dialogue, regular references to Bay Area locations, sports teams, cultural attractions and historic landmarks made for a both entertaining and familiar local production.

read more . . .

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Can You Imagine That? with Lindsay MacHarrie

1940's Can You Imagine That? wasn't a particularly historic or ground-breaking production over West Coast Radio. It was simply entertaining. Nothing more, nothing less. A combination of Ripley's Believe It Or Not, Information Please, and Can You Top This?, the program was presented as a combination of docudrama sketches combined with vignettes about odd news items and historical oddities.

Lindsay MacHarrie, who both wrote and directed the production, as well as acting in many of the vignettes, had been a prolific producer while at stations KHJ and KMPC in Hollywood. He also acted as host and narrator for the entire run. The format would tease three or four of the oddities to be presented, then after a 90 second commercial break would present the combination of fascinating vignettes for the evening.

read more . . .

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Captains of Industry

Captains of Industry was envisioned as an inspirational, uplifting and public relations vehicle as all of North America recovered from The Great Depression. Recorded in the early 1930s by Atlas Radio Corporation of Canada, the transcribed canon comprised fifty-two biographical dramatizations of the more noteworthy industrialists and philanthropists of the late 19th century and early 20th century. Atlas Radio Corporation was founded in 1921 by David Louis Harris, a Jewish immigrant who became one of the pioneering radio, television and electronics manufacturers throughout Canada and The United States.

read more . . .

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Case Dismissed with Carlton KaDell

Case Dismissed was developed as a public service to frame "the story of your legal rights." It was produced in cooperation with The Chicago Bar Association and employed John Fitzgerald, Dean of Loyola University Law School as both host and advisor to the series.

A local production of WMAQ AM/FM, NBC's network affiliate in Chicago, the series ran for thirteen weeks during the Spring of 1954. The production employed local talent for the most part. Carlton KaDell, who started his Radio career in Chicago, starred in most of the productions.

read more . . .

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The Casebook of Gregory Hood with Gale Gordon, Elliott Lewis, and Howard McNear

Gentleman detective Gregory Hood was invented for Radio by writers Anthony Boucher and Dennis Green. Their character was based in San Francisco, ostensibly a man of means by virtue of his extensive holdings in rare paintings and antiquities and his import-export business in such rarities. Boucher and Green's Philo Vance-like character first aired over Radio with the Mutual Broadcasting System in June of 1946.

read more . . .

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Casey--Press Photographer with Staats Cotsworth and John Gibson

The various 'Casey' Photographer series over the years represent arguably one of the top ten most misdocumented, mischaracterized, and mis-titled programs in Radio. Casey--Press Photographer was the second incarnation of the durable George Harmon Coxe, Jr. character. The Casey--Press Photographer incarnation ran for 69 episodes, with approximately 64 of them actually airing. We say approximately since only one of this set of 69 survives in circulation to date.

No sooner had we posted our sweeping set of corrections to the entire Casey canon, than we were immediately critiqued by a 'senior researcher' from the OTRR who baldly stated that there were far more 'Caseys' in circulation than we'd indicated since we didn't count the AFRS and AFRTS episodes in circulation as commercial episodes--which obviously they are not. Indeed, we logged the AFRS and AFRTS episodes as what they are--separate and distinct AFRS and AFRTS episodes, Q.E.D.

read more . . .

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Casey Crime Photographer with Staats Cotsworth, John Gibson and Jan Miner

As indicated immediately above, the various 'Casey' Photographer series over the years represent arguably one of the top ten most misdocumented, mischaracterized, and mistitled programs in Radio. Casey, Crime Photographer was the fourth--and most widely in circulation--incarnation of the durable George Harmon Coxe character. The Casey, Crime Photographer incarnation ran for 192 episodes, with approximately 55 of them in circulation. But of course, a great number of those in circulation are from AFRS or AFRTS transcriptions.

read more . . .

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Cathy & Elliott Lewis On Stage with Cathy Lewis, Elliott Lewis and Lud Gluskin.

A quick peek at the production details of the accompanying article show a distinctly eclectic combination of sources and original writing for the Lewis' On Stage productions--from beginning to end. It's also worth noting that the Lewis' and their production staff could also prove quite agile in responding to other network developments at the same time. This was a very busy time for Elliott Lewis. Lewis had launched Cathy & Elliott Lewis On Stage in January of 1953. Halfway through its run, his own Crime Classics production and Cathy & Elliott Lewis On Stage were heard back-to-back in CBS's lineup for much of the remainder of the Crime Classics' run--in most markets outside of California, in any case.

Indeed, following Elliott Lewis' own Crime Classics episode, The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, which aired December 9, 1953 outside of California, Lewis chose to re-enact the play, 'Our American Cousin' for the Cathy & Elliott Lewis On Stage program. Though clearly an inspired segue for On Stage for that night, it's been anecdotally reported that the combination met with the disfavor of no less than CBS President William S. Paley himself. We find this doubtful since this was clearly inspired programming, but the anecdote stands. Given Paley's somewhat infamous and quixotic reputation, one supposes it could very well be true --but. . . .

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Click to Play MGM THeatre of The Air, Lionel Barrymore's  'A Christmas Carol'
Click Above to Play

CBS Forecast with Wilbur Hatch

Preview programs weren't new in Radio. Since the mid-1930s the major Film Studios had been plugging their latest productions through a multitude of Movies On The Air types of programs. They were much like the trailers shown in later years in movie houses across America, and very much like those annoying five to seven movie trailers we pay to see with our favorite movies of today. But this was Radio. The Film previews over Radio simply served to whet the appetites of the listening public. Warner Bros. attempted something similar to Radio program previews with its Warner Academy Theater often referred to as Encore Theatre of The Air, in which promising new Warner Bros. stars were featured in screenplays with which the listening audience could phone or write in to voice their approval or disapproval for a given talent or screenplay.

Radio program previews--or public auditions--were a new wrinkle in test marketing for their day. CBS and NBC both exercised this technique during the 1940s. CBS's rendition was called CBS Forecast. NBC's rendition was called NBC Premieres. Not to be outdone, MBS also employed the format with its For Your Approval in 1946 and emcee'd by Sherman 'Jock' MacGregor. It was a very innovative way to gauge the potential of a proposed program to a far greater audience than test marketing auditions might disclose. To be sure, CBS, NBC, and MBS performed such focus group testing for smaller productions. They'd invite a cross-section of their target audience to one of their studios, give them the grand tour, treat them like honored guests, then sit them down and gauge their responses to a test program.

read more . . .

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CBS Is There with John Daly and Ken Roberts

CBS Is There and You Are There were two of the Columbia Broadcasting System's most ambitious joint undertakings by both their matchless News Bureau and their Broadcast Programming divisions. Both programs were also two woefully misdocumented and mischaracterized programs from The Golden Age of Radio.

These were two of the several most egregious examples of Commercial OTR treachery. The entire reason these series have been so miserably and inaccurately logged for 37 years is due to the outright fraud and duplicity of the hobby's earliest OTR Sellers. The vast majority of circulating exemplars of this program have been altered at some point, to accomplish one or more of four deliberately fraudulent aims:

  • To adulterate an AFRS-transcribed exemplar so as to appear to be an original You Are There broadcast episode.
  • To adulterate a CBS Is There episode so as to appear to be a You Are There episode.
  • To adulterate either AFRS or You Are There episodes to pass as earlier CBS Is There episodes.
  • To remove all outros and airchecks so as to disguise the actual broadcast air date and leave it indeterminate.

The special program, CBS: The Listening Years, though presented in CBS Is There format, was not part of the CBS Is There run.

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CBS Mystery Theatre with Gregory Barnes, Bernard Lenrow and Dan Seymour

Long before Himan Brown's CBS Radio Mystery Theatre (CBSRMT), there was CBS Mystery Theatre. CBS Mystery Theatre was the Molle Mystery Theatre under CBS--and The Hummerts--brand. It was the nexus for the Hearthstone of The Death Squad series which it evolved into, and was also the turning point in the series' critical success up to that point.

read more . . .

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CBS Radio Workshop with Parley Baer, Herb Butterfield and William Conrad

CBS Radio Workshop's famous subtext was "Dedicated to Man's Imagination: The Theatre of The Mind", yet another of Radio History's most oft-plagiarized quotes. This series was a continuation of the 'experimental Radio' that CBS had undertaken ten years earlier with its Columbia Workshop series.

When we approached the task of documenting this series we were certain that such a prestigious, widely critiqued, and widely eulogized series would be a piece of cake to document and re-log. What we discovered--yet again--is that the prestige or historical importance of a Radio program has little bearing on how well that series is either chronicled or memorialized.

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Cecil and Sally with C.P. MacGregor

Cecil and Sally was a very welcome departure for us. Distinguished Radio historian and electrical transcription expert, Doug Hopkinson very graciously granted us permission to publish his excellent Cecil and Sally article and log with our other new Radio articles.

The most complete and accurate log of Cecil and Sally yet attempted, there was thankfully little to dispute with this authoritative, fully supported, fully provenanced Cecil and Sally Log.

Doug's work stands as an example of what a well-documented, thoroughly provenanced log should contain.

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Ceiling Unlimited with Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Constance Moore and Wilbur Hatch

Ceiling Unlimited was yet another woefully under-documented and logged gem from the World War II years of The Golden Age of Radio. Yet another of the mischaracterized Mercury Theatre or Orson Welles productions, the series did, indeed begin as an Orson Welles directed and narrated series, but by the thirteenth 15-minute program, Orson Welles had all but left the production to Lockheed and Vega and CBS.

It's a tribute to both Lockheed and Vega and CBS that the series continued forward. After Welles' departure a series of 'guest-hosts' filled in for the initial series of scheduled 15-minute programs until the end of June 1943, at which point the series stood down for the summer of 1943 to regroup.

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The Charles Boyer Show with Charles Boyer

In retrospect, Charles Boyer should have been an inspired choice for a popular Radio anti-hero. He'd already portrayed the notorious Pepe le Moko in Algiers (1938) and several other Film scoundrels and intrigue artists of the era. A summer replacement for Johnson Wax's Fibber McGee and Molly, the series was originally scheduled for a 13-week summer run only.

The series was auditioned as The Adventures of Marcel. 'Marcel' was to be the archetypal suave international rogue. On the pretext of a wager, Marcel (Charles Boyer) cajoles a well-known writer, Mr. Ramsey (Raymond Burr), into gambling the viability of one of Marcel's yarns against $200 and the price of their meal together. In addition to Raymond Burr, the audition is wonderfully supported with Lurene Tuttle, Peter Leeds and Stacy Harris.

read more . . .

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Charlie Wild, Private Eye with George Petrie

Caving as it did under political pressure, Wildroot launched its own, similar 'Sam Spade' production, Charlie Wild, Private Eye on September 24th 1950. Launched over NBC as Charlie Wild, Private Eye, the series initially starred George Petrie as Charlie Wild. The billings that NBC stood to receive from Wildroot for the Charlie Wild series over Radio were pegged at an estimated $500,000 during the winter of 1950.

By October of 1950 NBC felt it had a real winner on its hands with Charlie Wild, Private Eye. It aired the detective series in prime time along with The Falcon, The Saint, and Dangerous Assignment in direct opposition to Mutual's competing lineup of Hashknife Hartley, Martin Kane: Private Detective, The Shadow and True Detective. George Petrie's portrayal of Charlie Wild was reportedly well received and NBC had every reason to believe that the series would remain a solid member of its Fall Season of night time mystery programs.

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The Chase

NBC first envisioned The Chase as a new Television feature. This was not uncommon during the later 1940s and early 1950s. Several Radio features straddled both media, with varying success. Developed as a psychological drama, the premise was that many life situations place their subjects in a 'chase' of one type or another. A chase for fame. A chase from peril. A chase to beat the clock. A chase to escape death. The added twist was the question of who is the hunter or the hunted in these situations.

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Christopher London with Glenn Ford

No Radio novice, Glenn Ford had not yet appeared in his own recurring dramatic Radio showcase. Christopher London gave millions of Glenn Ford fans an opportunity to hear him in a top-notch adventure anthology as Christopher London, a private investigator with an adventurous wanderlust reminiscent of Alan Ladd's Box Thirteen, Herbert Marshall's The Man Called X and Brian Donlevy's Dangerous Assignment--with a few elements of The Shadow and The Green Lama thrown in.

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Cinnamon Bear with Joseph Kearns, Gale Gordon, Verna Felton, Elliott Lewis, Howard McNear, Frank Nelson and Martha Wentworth

The Cinnamon Bear was an absolute wonder to document. The extraordinary cast alone made for one of the most fascinating research efforts we've undertaken to date. This was an historic program by virtually any measure:

  • It was the first program to showcase virtually every significant Golden Age Radio voice legend of the next twenty-five years in one ensemble cast.
  • It was the first significant juvenile adventure to literally bridge the entire time span from the 1930s to the present day, completely intact.
  • It was the first juvenile adventure series to result in an annual tradition of broadcasts for the subsequent twenty-five to seventy years in some markets.

Thankfully, Radio Archives had already uncovered a great deal of information about this syndicated transcription. The other site that provided invaluable accurate information about this remarkable series was

read more . . .

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Cloak and Dagger with Wyllis Cooper, Joseph Julian, Berry Kroeger, Karl Weber and Percy Hoskins

Based on the book, Cloak and Dagger: The Secret Story of the O.S.S. by Corey Ford and Alistair McBain, the Radio rendition of these fascinating stories promised to keep any listener perched on the edge of their seat.

The Office of Strategic Services--the precursor to our Central Intelligence Agency--was one of American History's most colorful and compelling World War II intelligence gathering efforts. It was also, quite understandably, one of our most secret undertakings. Given that backdrop it's very instructive in the least, that during the ramping up of the Cold War years, NBC would attempt to air a fact-based espionage anthology.

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Coca-Cola Top Notchers with Grantland Rice and Graham McNamee

Coca-Cola's Top Notchers was an unlikely--albeit inspired--marriage of variety bedfellows: a high-quality variety program combined with Sports interviews by Grantland Rice and Graham McNamee. A late night offering, Coca-Cola Top Notchers was clearly targeted to the adult audiences of the era. Late night Radio of the 1930s was full of dance music, 15 to 30-minute orchestral interludes, news wrap-ups, and other Sports programming.

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The Clock [Australian and U.S. ] with Elliott Lewis, Cathy Lewis, and William Conrad

The unique programming wrinkle that ABC was apparently attempting to promote with The Clock was a mix of the traditional crime drama and the supernatural dramas of the previous fifteen years. One or the other of the two genres had been traditionally popular formats throughout the Golden Age of Radio era.

To its credit, ABC gave The Clock all the time it needed to create an audience. It kept the series in pretty much the same timeslot throughout its seventy-eight episode run, maintained reasonably high standards of talent--both in front of and behind, the mike--and simply waited to see what developed.

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Columbia Presents Corwin
Columbia Presents Corwin with Norman Corwin, Keenan Wynn and Minerva Pious

Columbia Presents Corwin was another trend-setting, ground-breaking series for CBS, and yet another opportunity to showcase the talents of its most gifted director -- producer -- writer to date.

It was also a golden opportunity for us to finally query Mr. Corwin himself regarding a couple of curious anomalies that had cropped up in our research of this important series. The most important issue we managed to resolve once and for all with Mr. Corwin was the actual length of the program, Fourteen August, the amazing collaboration between Orson Welles and Norman Corwin produced literally within hours of the announcement of the end of hostilities with Japan.

The 'otr community' insists that the circulating Fourteen August recording was 'the only surviving side of a two sided 30-minute recording'. This never rang true with us, since, for one thing, the script itself certainly gave every appearance of the circulating, 15-minute recording being a complete work. For another, we had the contemporaneous newspaper listings and articles which indicated that the Fourteen August script was broadcast intact.

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Columbia Workshop with William N. Robson and Norman Corwin

The Columbia Workshop debuted with relatively little fanfare. And in fact, throughout The Columbia Workshop's history, CBS never quite knew what to do with it, showing almost no interest in promoting the various series' and their derivatives. Of course when it came time for CBS to mount retrospectives of its network history of the past 25, 40, or 70 years it was quick to take credit for its own genius in sustaining the various Columbia Workshop series' for so many years. Orson Welles' and John Houseman's own Mercury Theatre air productions over the years experienced much the same arm's-length treatment from Columbia, as did Norman Corwin with his numerous independent productions over CBS' history. A case in point: the articles to the left on the unprecedented success of Corwin's On A Note of Triumph that garnered CBS the single highest number of North American Radio listeners in history--an estimated 70 million.

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Comedy Theatre of the Air with Harold Lloyd

Old Gold's The Comedy Theatre premiered on October 29th 1944 in a half-hour format over NBC. For Harold Lloyd fans the series was pure gold. Exercising the same control he'd employed in all of his feature films, Harold Lloyd produced, directed and narrated the entire run of Old Gold's The Comedy Theatre of the Air. Aided by many of Lloyd's Film friends, the series featured different Film or Stage stars each week, headlining a popular light comedy adaptation of the era.

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Confession with Paul Frees

In actual practice, though Confession's dramatized crime biographies were certainly cautionary tales in their own right, NBC's representation of presenting them in the public interest rings a bit hollow. They were more in the vein of the already wildly popular Dragnet series, or the Night Watch series that followed soon after. Indeed, upon completing the Night Watch run, the production team envisioned a spin-off titled 'Police Recorder' that would be a virtual clone of NBC's Confession.

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Continental Celebrity Club with John Daly and Bud Collyer

Some format changes in a long-running Radio series were understandable: a star leaves or ages out of a role, the music or orchestra changes, the sponsor's messages become part of the production, or the timing of the production changes significantly. The morphing of Report to the Nation from a public affairs program to a variety revue was quite a jarring change indeed.

The gambit seemed to work though. Premiering on December 8th 1945, The Continental Celebrity Club featured a solid basic cast of regulars, three legendary announcers and hosts and some of the era's biggest name celebrities as featured guests. The Continental Celebrity Club's featured regular performers were host John Daly, singer Margaret Whiting, comedian Jackie Kelk, and band leader Ray Bloch and his Orchestra. The series' announcers were future Television Game Show legends Bill Cullen and Bud Collyer. And yes that's the same Bud Collyer equally famed for his portrayal of Superman over Radio.

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Counterspy with Phillips H. Lord and Don MacLaughlin

David Harding - Counterspy was a natural progression for Phillips Lord--an amalgam of Lord's hard-hitting crime dramas, Gang Busters and Mr. District Attorney, and his long-running, patriotic series, We, The People. It also tapped into the nation's growing interest in the foreign intrigue surrounding World War II and its aftermath. The program premiered over New York station WJZ on May 18, 1942.

Initially airing sustained over NBC-Blue's flagship station, WEAF, the program found its first sponsor by September 1942 in the form of Mail Pouch Tobacco Company, makers of chewing and smoking tobacco. The initial broadcasts were performed and recorded before a live audience, originating from WJZ, New York. A beneficiary--or victim--of the breakup of the National Broadcasting Company, the production soon transitioned to The Blue Network, then The Blue Network "A", then ultimately the American Broadcasting Company. The Blue Network's flagship station, WJZ, became the originating studio for the series until its move back to NBC in November 1950.

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The Creaking Door with Peter Broomfield and State Express Cigarettes

The Creaking Door was a fine South African anthology of psychological thriller dramas created in response to the extraordinary previous popularity programs such as Inner Sanctum. Though there was never a connection between Inner Sanctum and The Creaking Door, this is yet another of the often adulterated programs that, once stripped of its airchecks, intros and outros, have been passed off for years by unscrupulous otr Sellers as either a 'lost Inner Sanctum' episode or a 'lost Lights Out!' episode.

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Creeps By Night with Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Bela Lugosi

Creeps by Night was understandably difficult to log on several counts. Though a great looking project in concept, ABC Blue Network failed to follow through on it. Signing Boris Karloff to appear in each episode was a brilliant stroke, but by episode #13 Karloff had departed the project. ABC Blue repeatedly preempted Creeps By Night's timeslot for dance band programming. The extremely late night time slot was problematic in the first place.

In spite of ABC's best efforts to sabotage their own Boris Karloff-headlined program, Creeps By Night still managed to survive with some fascinating exemplars in circulation. At the very least any opportunity to hear Boris Karloff, Peter Lorre and Bela Lugosi in the same series remains a unique treat.

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Cresta Blanca's Hollywood Players article and log

The term 'star-studded' had become almost ubiquitous in Radio by 1946. In the case of Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players, the term could be taken quite literally. The leads in each of the twenty-six Cresta Blanca Hollywood Players episodes were quite literally the greatest stars of Stage, Screen and Radio for 1946. Indeed, for the Christmas episode of 1946, All Through the House, broadcast on Christmas Eve, the series introduced 19-year old Janet Leigh in her first national dramatic debut. Backed by no less than Joseph Cotten, John Garfield, Gene Kelly and Gregory Peck, the production took pains to have Gregory Peck himself, announce Janet Leigh's debut to a national audience--quite an auspicious debut for a relative unknown of the era. All Through The House was a new play written especially for Christmas 1946--and Janet Leigh.

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Cresta Blanca's This Is My Best with Orson Welles

First aired in a crowd of somewhat similar 'prestige player' drama anthologies of the era, Cresta Blanca and CBS distinguished their production with touches from the long-running Lux Radio Theatre formula--before and after performance comments from the players, a wrap-up of the production at the end, the build-up for the following production, and a complete musical close with the CBS network outro. The Cresta Blanca commercial messages were also entertaining, tasteful, and catchy, especially the popular "C-R-E-S-T-A B-L-A-N-C-A" jingle to plucked violin strings. Indeed, during one of the Orson Welles' hosted programs, Orson Welles himself, sang the jingle to great applause. And yes, that's applause. This Is My Best was performed before a live audience for the entire production run. Live audience performances were also a nod to Lux Radio Theatre.

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Crime . . . and Peter Chambers with Dane Clark

The abrupt departure of Frank Sinatra and his Rocky Fortune during the Spring of 1954 left a big hole in NBC's Tuesday night mystery lineup. Mystery novelist Henry Kane approached NBC to pitch his 'Peter Chambers' character from eight of his detective novels as a candidate Radio program. He'd wisely enlisted the interest of popular Film tough guy Dane Clark prior to pitching the concept to NBC.

Presenting NBC with a fait accompli was the right combination for all parties. NBC quickly regained a name Film talent for their Tuesday night mystery lineup to follow Dragnet, and Henry Kane got full control over the production, credits as creator, writer and producer, and the chance to promote his Peter Chambers character even further. First teased in the trade papers as The Affairs of Peter Chambers, much in the vein of The Affairs of Peter Salem (1949-1953), cooler heads prevailed and the production ultimately debuted--sustained--late Tuesday night, April 6, 1954 as Crime and Peter Chambers.

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Crime Classics with Mary Jane Croft, Bernard Herrmann and Elliott Lewis

Take Elliott Lewis--writer, director and actor, add his wife Mary Jane Croft to the cast, sauté with brilliant young Bernard Herrmann's music direction and you've cooked up a program that can't lose . . . or can it. The programs themselves have survived the test of time, but the manner in which they were documented was a travesty.

Referring to Crime Classics as a docudrama anthology by the notoriously compromised WikiPedia Radio project, is a typical example of how this fine series has been mischaracterized by the otr Community over the years. TV-Radio Life announced Crime Classics as, "The finest radio crime series of 1953". In addition, with fifty-one exemplars in circulation, fully thirty-eight of them were mistitled or incompletely titled.

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Crime Club with Raymond Edward Johnson and Jock MacGregor

Crime club book selections and crime club Radio installments came together in the Mutual Broadcasting System's program, Crime Club, which first aired on Monday, December 2, 1946, in the slot previously occupied by Bulldog Drummond. Contrary to persistent 'otr myths', there was never any relationship whatsoever between either Eno Crime Club or Eno Crime Clues and Mutual's 1946 run of Crime Club.

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Crime Correspondent with Paul Frees

Crime Correspondent was another of the short-lived leading vehicles that CBS attempted to air for Paul Frees, their talented 'Man of A Thousand Voices.' Somewhat reminiscent of the earliest Dragnet episodes from Jack Webb, the series attempted to combine the realism of actual crime stories, a bit of actual crime detection, and the immediacy and urgency of a Radio crime correspondent racing against the clock to meet the deadline for his nightly Radio broadcasts.

Paul Frees' character, radio correspondent Larry Mitchell, signs off his nightly broadcasts with the parting postscript, ''Remember . . . Truth, like the sun, submits to being obscured. But like the sun, only for a time . . . ''

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Crime Does Not Pay with MGM Radio Attractions, Lionel Stander and Joan Lorring

Crime Does Not Pay was a Radio spin-off of M-G-M's highly successful Crime Does Not Pay series of short films. Though M-G-M Radio Attractions utilized many of the scripts from the short film series, the casts and adaptations were completely unique.

For some time there was no apparent record of the titles of Program Nos. 51 and 52. In reviewing contemporaneous newspaper listings we determined that the title of Program #51 is Sucker's Bait and the title of Program #52 is Rigger's Racket, neither of which are in current circulation. Another anecdotal log cites obscure character actor Donald Buka as the 'host' for the series. Donald Buka appeared only once in Crime Does Not Pay--period.

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Crime Photographer [1945-1947] with Staats Cotsworth and John Gibson

The Crime Photographer run from 1945 through 1947 was a period of transition for the Casey Crime Photographer franchise. Comprising some 85 of the total run of 446 broadcasts, it's the series span that experienced the highest number of scheduling changes, cast changes, and script repeats. Further complicating the documentation of this two-year run is the fact that there are less than nine exemplars from this incarnation of 'Casey' in circulation.

Original Crime Photographer [1954] header art
Crime Photographer [1954] with Staats Cotsworth John Gibson and Jan Miner

The Crime Photographer run of 1954 remains virtually non-existent, with only two of the estimated 67 possible broadcast examples in circulation.

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Original Crisis In War Town! header art
Crisis In War Town! with Victor Jory and Ralph Bellamy

The many local Community Chest programs throughout America, prior to World War II, worked with each other in a united campaign to encourage charitable giving. After the U.S. declared War against the Axis, the entire Community Chest infrastructure mobilized itself throughout the country to become the War Chest for the remainder of World War II. The War Chest differentiated itself from the previous Community Chest activities by extending its reach to agencies such as the United Serviceman's Organization (USO), The United Seaman's Service (USS), war-prisoner aid, nursing and the local visiting nurses associations, hospitals, day care facilities for War workers, and other previously Community Chest-affiliated services.

Crisis In War Town! was apparently first heard over KLUF, Galveston, Texas, shortly after the series was released to Community Chests and Councils, Inc., for transcribed distribution to the nation's various local and regional former Community Chest organizations.

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Original Cruise of the Poll Parrot header art
The Cruise of the Poll Parrot with Marvin Miller

One of the more cleverly conceived serial Radio adventures of the era, the series' thirty-nine, 15-minute episodes were performed and transcribed such that potential buyers of the independently syndicated production could buy either:

  • one of the three complete, thirteen-episode adventures
  • the entire thirty-nine episode series of three adventures
  • or the last twenty-six episodes which, though consisting of two, thirteen-part adventures, were structured so that the final twenty-six installments sounded like a complete twenty-six installment serial.

It was a clever marketing structure for the era, given the target clients. This was after all the period following the Great Depression. Targeted at retail shoe stores, the first broadcasts of the syndicated series appears to have aired during the Fall of 1936, though it's possible that the series first aired even earlier during 1936.

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