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Original Hawk Durango header art

The Hawk Durango Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Hawk Durango

Hawk Larabee spot at from January 3 1948
Hawk Larabee spot at from January 3 1948

Background

Ground-breaking adult westerns had begun appearing over both Radio and Television throughout the 1950s. The adult western was the thinking man's western, replete with the psychological motivations of both the genre's protagonists and villains and the often agonizing journeys either experienced enroute to the still mostly predictable denouement--in the case of westerns, the showdown and inevitable shootout. The genre was also generally more accurate as to the history of the eras and locations in which they were set. Duel in the Sun (1948), The Gunfighter (1950), High Noon (1952), Shane (1953), and Giant (1955) for example, were some of the popular adult western "A" films that preceded most of the adult western genre over either Radio or Television.

Apart from their more adult themes--as opposed to those of the predominately white hat/black hat shoot-'em-up western variety--also featured dramatic, previously unseen, new camera angles for the inevitable quick-drawing face-offs that occured near the end of most of them. The proliferation of these new and different shooting angles had become so ubiquitous--and often overreaching--that throughout the 1950s the adult western genre in Film was liberally lampooned and parodied by Ernie Kovacs on Television and Mad Magazine in Print, among many others. And indeed in many respects, the adult western in Film was very much the analog of the film noir crime, detective and mystery films of the same erea.

That ground been having been broken, the genre soon became the western of choice for even the juvenile audiences of the era that had so popularized the white hat/black hat shoot-'em-up morality tales of the preceding twenty years over Radio. Gunsmoke, the adult western analog of the adult crime drama, Dragnet, first aired in 1952; Dragnet three years prior. The popular precedents and precursors to adult westerns of the era over Radio follow:

There were glimpses of more adult western themes throughout 1940s Radio but they didn't always catch on with War-weary America. Saunders of the Circle X (1941) tended to take a more serious approach to its scripts but still exemplified the action-adventure flavor of the mostly juvenile adventure fare that preceded it. Death Valley Sheriff [or The Sheriff] (1944) was an extension of the long-running Death Valley Days series dating to 1930. Often written to both educate and entertain, the more historically authentic elements of Death Valley Sheriff leaned toward some of the early adult westerns of the mid-1940s.

We included Hashknife Hartley (1950), Hopalong Cassidy (1950), Tales of the Texas Rangers (1950), the later Roy Rogers (1951) programs of that series, and Wild Bill Hickok (1951) as other westerns in the vein of Saunders of the Circle X. While admittedly still targeted to a juvenile audience--and sponsored by juvenile-targeted products--they began leaning toward more mature themes while still featuring all the guns-ablaze, white hat-black hat action of the other juvenile adventures of the Golden Age of Radio.

Hawk Durango and Hawk Larrabee (1946) were arguably the first authentic adult westerns of the era.

From the July 31st, 1947 edition of the Canton Repository:

47-07-31 Hawk Larabee Crosby Review

"HAWK LARABEE," according to the announcer on that show, brings us stories of "the timeless West." 
   "Timeless" isn't at all the proper word for the West but it sure fits westerns, which haven't changed so much as a comma since the days of Buffalo Bill.  As a rule, I don't brush against westerns very often simply because I don't know what to say about people who ride horses and carry six guns.  When they put them in automobiles and equip them with fountain pens I may change my mind.
     However, Hawk Larabee is a bit of an exception because CBS, which originated the show, has given him lines in authentic southwestern dialect, in an attempt to turn out a reasonably intelligent western story.
     This is not much different from equipping Buck Rogers with authentic scientific terminology but I suppose we'll have to hand CBS a certificate for effort anyhow.

     IN ALL OTHER respects Mr. Larabee follows the classic pattern of those indestructible western heroes.  He's tall, lean, slow-speaking and has the qualities of gallantry, courage, kindness, honesty and decency.  And of course, he's the fastest man on the draw in the whole southwest.
     But, Larabee does talk like a lot of Texans I've met, droppin' his G's heah and theah all ovah the western plains and speaking with such deliberation that it takes about twice as long for a sentence to pass a given point as it does here in the East.

     TEXANS, I'VE always felt, speak so slowly that it sharply affects the style of their talk and even their manner of thinking.
     "Wal, I guess the law is a necessary thing but so's a graveyard and I never had an handkerin' to get in none of em," said Mr. Larabee.  That sentence is so ponderous you have to slow the speech down to a walk to work it out in your mind while you're delivering it.
     Texas metaphors have the same quality, length and weight.  "You stick to the subject," again quoting Mr. Larabee, "link lint to a blue serge Sunday suit" or "I feel lower than an old maid's window blind."  Darned if I didn't meet a lot of Texans in the army who talked just like that.  Here in the East we clip our metaphors as well as our speech.

     ANOTHER CHARACTERISTIC I've discerned in Texans--and this will bring a howl of rage from the natives of that state--is their fondness for aging their jokes like good beef.  Here, for instance, is Mr. Larabee's explanation of why his friend orders milk in a local saloon.  "You see, my friend never mixes his drinks.  He started on milk and he's been on it ever since."
     That sounds like one of those Texas originals at which the natives still dutifully chuckle.  It isn't meant to be funny, just amiable and it isn't, I'm afraid, meant for export out of Texas either.
     Possibly the most charming of all Texas mannerisms is their habit, almost an affectation, of understanding anything that out to be overstated and overstating everything that normally requires understatement.  I'm afraid I haven't any specific examples on hand; it's a hard point to prove anyhow.  You'll just have to take my word for it or dig up your own Texans.

     I HAVE RARE doubts that this authenticity of speech has any great appeal for fans of western stories.  I have a feeling that they plunge into their westerns as a peculiarly abstract form of escapism and they don't want them cluttered up with verismilitude.  In all other respects Hawk Larabee is of the old school.
     There are lots of shootings.  Rustlers, old-time saloon six-guns and justice always triumphs.  I must admit the scripts sound as if a little imagination and hard work had been expended on them.  For a western series these scripts are a miracle of organization.
     The reason for telling you all this at this time is that Hawk, I understand, is going through a metamorphosis next Saturday.  (The show is moving from 7 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday).  This Saturday, Hawk will be one of those lone riders, avenging injustice, helping out the cripples and orphans, and in general behaving like a little Robin Hood.  First thing you know, he'll be talking to his horse.

Series Derivatives:

Hawk Larabee
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Western Dramas
Network(s): CBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): Hawk Durango: 46-07-o5 01 Title Unknown
Hawk Larabee:
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): Hawk Durango: 46-07-o5 to 46-08-16
Hawk Larabee: 46-10-03 to 48-02-07
Syndication: CBS
Sponsors: Sustaining; J&B Motors
Director(s): Producer: William N. Robson

Hawk Durango: William N. Robson, Richard Sanville
Hawk Larabee: William N. Robson, Richard Sanville
Principal Actors: Elliott Lewis, Frank Lovejoy, Barton Yarborough, Barney Phillips
Recurring Character(s): Hawk Durango:
Hawk Larabee:
Protagonist(s): Hawk Durango:
Hawk Larabee:
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Hawk Durango: Kenneth Perkins
Hawk Larabee: John E. Hasty, E. Jack Neuman, Dean Owen, Kenneth Perkins
Music Direction: Hawk Durango:
Hawk Larabee: Andy Parker and The Plainsmen, The Texas Rangers
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Hawk Durango: William Conrad [Host/Narrator]
Hawk Larabee:
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
Hawk Durango: 7
Hawk Larabee:
Episodes in Circulation: Hawk Durango: 1
Hawk Larabee:
Total Episodes in Collection: Hawk Durango: 1
Hawk Larabee:
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the RadioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

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The Hawk Durango Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-07-o5
1
Title Unknown
N
[Premiere; Summer replacement for The Adventures of Maisie]
46-07-12
2
Title Unknown
N
46-07-12 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Western Drama: "Hawk Durango," suspense laden drama of a western vendetta,
began a weekly series last Friday at 8:30 p.m., in the time vacated for the summer by Ann Sothern's "Maisie" series. The central character, Jim Carter, comes to Sundown Wells, revitalized desert town, determined to find the man who killed Hawk Durango, his father. In the first episode, Carter found the killer, took his revenge, and assumed the name of Hawk Durango. The series presents one of the favorite forms of American entertainment, western drama in a modern setting.
46-07-19
3
Title Unknown
N
46-07-18 The Courier Express
YOUNG JIM CARTER
who has come to Sundown Wells, a revitalized desert town, to find and punish the man who killed Hawk Durango, his father, is confronted by new dangers and complexities as he carries out his purpose on CBS' new Western Dramatic" series, "Hawk Durango" Friday, at 10:30 P. M
46-07-26
4
Title Unknown
N
46-07-26 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Hawk Durango, young western stalwart who avenged his father's murder in the desert town of Sundown wells, is now involved in a fast-paced sequence of adventure. Western drama endures as a favorite form of American entertainment, and "Hawk Durango" (8:30 p.m. Friday) is endowed with all the exciting attributes of western drama at its best. Elliott Lewis plays the title role.

46-07-26 The Morning Herald
The
CBS summer replacement drama at .9:30, Hawk Durango, tells the story, in episode form, of a young easterner who has gone into the west to avenge, the death of his father.
46-08-02
5
Susie Kimball Comes West
Y
46-08-09
6
Hawk Suspected of Murder
N
46-08-09 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Hawk Durango spars with his enemies in an exciting episode Hawk Durango of the western vendetta story, aired at 8-30 p. m. Young Jim Carter comes to Sundown Wells, an old desert town, in search of the man who killed his father, Hawk Durango. His revenge accomplished, Jim assumes his father's name and becomes the leading character in a modern Western drama
46-08-16
7
Title Unknown
N






Originial Hawk Larabee header art





The Hawk Larabee Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-10-03
1
Title Unknown
N
[Barton Yarborough stars]

46-09-30 Salamanca Republican
Beginning today, on a Monday
through Friday basis, CBS is using
its 5:30 p. m., half-hour as program
development time. For the
present the schedule calls for Oklahoma Roundup on Mondays, the Chicagoans orchestra on Tuesday, Theater of Romance Wednesdays,
Hawk Larabee, Western drama, Thursdays, and J. C. Flippen's Quiz Fridays.
46-10-10
2
Title Unknown
N
46-10-09 Mason City Globe-Gazette
Western Drama: Hawk Larabee, young hero of western drajnai returns to the air on Thursday at 4:30 p. m. Western drama in a modern setting, "Hawk Larabee" features Barton Yarborough in the title role. During the summer, the show was titled "Hawk Durango" and aired on Friday nights.
46-10-17
3
Title Unknown
N
46-10-16 Mason City Globe-Gazette
In a modern Western setting, "Hawk Larabee" meets adventure and excitement rivalling that of the old frontier days. "Hawk Larabee,".
previously heard under the title of "Hawk Durango," is aired Thursday at 4:30. p. m.
46-10-24
4
Title Unknown
N
46-10-23 Mason City Globe-Gazette
"Haw k Larabee," a robust dramatic series set in the Western mining and cattle town of Sundown Wells, stars Barton Yarborough in the title role, Thursday at 4:30 p. m. Hawk Larabee is owner of Gold Bar House, a hotel, bar and gambling-house! Each week's episode is complete in itself and Hawk's role of hotel-owner and principal citizen involves him in situations that form the basis for fast-moving and absorbing drama.
46-10-31
5
Title Unknown
N
46-10-30 Mason City Globe-Gazette
The bad lands of the old West take on new glamor in "Hawk Larabee," a tale of high adventure in a revitalized desert town, heard every Thursday at 4:30 p. m. Barton Yarborough is heard in the title role
46-11-07
6
Title Unknown
N
46-11-14
7
Title Unknown
N
46-11-13 Mason City Globe-Gazette
(Thurs., 4:30 p. m.) Barton Yarborough, who has 15 motion pictures, 200 stage appearances and more than 10,000 radio broadcasts to his credit, stars in "Hawk Larabee," drama of the Old West in modern setting.
46-11-21
8
Title Unknown
N
46-11-20 Mason City Globe-Gazette
(Thurs., 4:30 p. m.) Outlaws of the Old West ride again, adapting methods of 1946 gangsters, in the modern Western drama of "Hawk Larabee." Barton Yarborough stars in the title role.
46-11-28
--
Preempted
N
[Preempted for CBS Network-wide, 2-hour Elgin Thanksgiving Holiday Show]
46-12-05
9
Title Unknown
N
46-12-04 Mason City Globe-Gazette
(Thurs., 4:30 p. m.)
Posses ride motorcycles and cattle rustlers carry off steers in trucks in "Hawk Larabee," drama of modern life in a western, boom town.
46-12-12
10
Title Unknown
N
46-12-12 Lima News
5:30--Hawk Larabee Show cbs
46-12-19
11
Title Unknown
Y
46-12-19 Lima News
5:30--Hawk Larabee Show cbs
46-12-26
12
Title Unknown
Y
46-12-26 Lima News
5:30--Hawk Larabee Show cbs





47-05-10
13
Title Unknown
N
47-05-10 Salamanca Republican
Please note this correction for
tonight:
CBS, 7 Hawk Larrabee drama
returning.

47-05-10 Dixon Telegraph
6:00--Hawk Larrabee Drama Returns
47-05-17
14
Title Unknown
N
47-05-17 Dixon Telegraph
6:00--Hawk Larrabee Drama
47-05-24
15
Title Unknown
N
47-05-24 Salamanca Republican
CBS, 7 Hawk Larrabee drama
47-05-31
16
Title Unknown
N
47-05-31 Frederick News-Post
6:00--Hawk Larrabee
47-06-07
17
Title Unknown
N
47-06-07 Joplin Globe
5 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee cbs
47-06-14
18
Title Unknown
N
47-06-13 Estherville Daily News
5 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee cbs
47-06-21
19
Title Unknown
N
[Moves to Fridays]

47-06-20 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM) western series moves to this station
47-06-27
20
Title Unknown
N
47-06-27 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)
47-07-04
21
Title Unknown
N
47-07-03 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)
47-07-11
22
Title Unknown
N
47-07-11 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)
47-07-18
23
Title Unknown
N
47-07-18 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)
47-07-25
24
Title Unknown
N
47-07-25 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)





47-08-02
1
The Return of Hawk Larabee
N
[Moves back to Saturdays with Elliott Lewis back in the lead]

47-08-02 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)
47-08-09
2
The House At Black Mesa
N
47-08-09 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)
47-08-16
3
The Affair at Silver Bow
N
47-08-15 Wisconsin State Journal
6 p. m. — Hawk Larrabee (WBBM)
47-08-23
4
Brush Fire!
N
47-08-30
5
The Rodeo at Silver Bow
N
47-09-06
6
The Affair at Desert Strike
N
47-09-05 Mason City Globe-Gazette

Saturday Highlights

HAWK LARABEE (5 p.m.) aided by his knowing friend Brazos John, hits the western trail for an exciting chapter depicting life among the cattle ranchers. Starring Elliott Lewis as Hawk and Barton Yarborough in the role of Brazos John, the series features music by the Plainsmen

47-09-13
7
Stampede
N
47-09-13 Mason City Globe-Gazette
(5 p. m.) Hawk Larabee
47-09-20
8
Smoke Signal!
N
47-09-27
9
Gold Fever
N
47-09-26 Mason City Globe-Gazette
(5 p. m.) The soft-spoken, hard-fisted, straight-shootin' knight errant rides again with his loyal pardner Brazos John keeping a dour eye on the proceedings.
47-10-04
10
The Wagon Train
N
47-10-04 Olean Times Herald
WCBS--7:00--Hawk Larabee, Elliott Lewis
47-10-11
11
Clementine
N
47-10-11 Olean Times Herald
WCBS--7:00--Hawk Larabee, Elliott Lewis
47-10-18
12
The California Kid
N
47-10-18 Oakland Tribune
KQW--8:00--Hawk Larabee
47-10-25
13
The Return of Edwin Crane
N
47-10-25 Olean Times Herald
WCBS--7:00--Hawk Larabee, Elliott Lewis
47-11-01
14
Title Unknown
N
47-10-31 Long Beach Press Telegram
Saturday--4:00pm--KNX--Hawk Larabee

47-11-01 Olean Times Herald
WCBS--7:00--Hawk Larabee, Elliott Lewis
47-11-08
15
Title Unknown
N
47-11-08 Syracuse Herald Journal
WFBL (CBS)--7:00--Hawk Larabee
47-11-15
16
Title Unknown
N
47-11-15 Syracuse Herald Journal
WFBL (CBS)--7:00--Hawk Larabee
47-11-22
17
Title Unknown
N
47-11-22 Syracuse Herald Journal
WFBL (CBS)--7:00--Hawk Larabee
47-11-29
18
Title Unknown
N
47-11-29 Olean Times Herald
WCBS--7:00--Hawk Larabee, Elliott Lewis
47-12-06
19
Title Unknown
N
47-12-13
20
Title Unknown
N
47-12-20
21
Title Unknown
N
47-12-20 Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
CBS--6:00p.m.--Hawk Larabee, drama
47-12-27
22
Title Unknown
N
47-12-27 Syracuse Herald Journal
WFBL (CBS)--7:00--Hawk Larabee
48-01-03
23
Title Unknown
N
48-01-03 Morning Herald
7:00--Hawk Larabee
48-01-10
24
Title Unknown
N
48-01-10 Morning Herald
7:00--Hawk Larabee
48-01-17
25
Title Unknown
N
48-01-17 Morning Herald
7:00--Hawk Larabee
48-01-24
26
Title Unknown
N
48-01-24 Morning Herald
7:00--Hawk Larabee
48-01-31
27
Title Unknown
N
48-01-31 Morning Herald
7:00--Hawk Larabee
48-02-07
28
Title Unknown
N
[Last Program]

48-02-07 Morning Herald
7:00--Hawk Larabee:
Finale

48-02-07 The Advocate
CBS--7:00--Hawk Larabee:
Finale

48-02-14
--
--
48-02-14 Morning Herald
Remember Goodman and Jane Ace of the old Easy Aces script? Well, they've got a comedy script which they intend to introduce on CBS at 7 p.m. as
a replacement for Hawk Larabee. It will be known as "Mr. Ace and JANE," the typed listing appearing in just that form. For the supporting roles there will be Leon Janney and Eric Dressler.






The Hawk Durango Radio Program Biographies




Elliott Lewis
(Hawk Durango/Hawk Larabee)
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor, Director, Producer, and Writer
(1917-1990)

Birthplace:
New York City, New York, USA

Radiography:
1937 The Cinnamon Bear
1939 The Silver Theatre
1939-1941 The Jello Program
1941 Miss Pinkerton, Inc.
1941 The Orson Welles Theatre
1941 We Hold These Truths
1942-1946 The Cavalcade of America
1942 The Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Lights Out!
1944 Command Performance
1945 The Theatre of Famous Radio Players
1945-1948 The Whistler
1945-1956 Suspense
1945 On A Note of Triumph
1945 Arch Oboler's Plays
1945 Columbia Presents Corwin
1945 Twelve Players
1945 The Life of Riley
1945 The Amazing Nero Wolfe
1946 Lux Radio Theatre
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 The Casebook of Gregory Hood
1946 Columbia Workshop
1946-1951 The Lucky Strike Program
1947 The Adventures of Sam Spade
1947 The Voyage of The Scarlet Queen
1947 Escape!
1947 Hawk Larrabee
1948 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1948 The Sweeney and March Show
1948-1952 The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show
1949 The Kraft Music Hall
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1950 The Line-Up
1951 Pursuit!
1952-1954 Crime Classics
1953 Onstage with Cathy and Elliott Lewis
1957 The CBS Radio Workshop
1973 The Hollywood Radio Theatre [Zero Hour]
1979 Sear Radio Theatre
1980 Mutual Radio Theatre
Elliott Lewis's comparatively sparse casting book entry circa 1942
Elliott Lewis' comparatively sparse entry from the October 1940 edition of Lew Lauria's Radio Artists Directory

Elliott Lewis c. 1944
Elliott Lewis c. 1944

Ellliott Lews article from 1949
Ellliott Lews article from 1949

Elliott Lewis c. 1948
Elliott Lewis c. 1953
It's safe to say that Elliott Lewis was the most prolific, versatile Renaissance Man of both Radio and Television throughout the Golden Ages of both media. Quite simply, he did it all--and superlatively. Elliott Lewis first made his mark as an actor, writer, producer and director on radio in the late 1930's. Indeed his first recorded radio appearances were in 1937's The Cinnamon Bear.

During World War II, Lewis was responsible for many of the finest Armed Forces Radio Service productions of the War years, working in conjunction with Gower Gulch fellow enlistee, Howard Duff. Indeed, being the ingenious and resourceful non-Coms that they were, they are reported to have often substituted for each other on air. Apparently each had the other's air voice down so pat that they were indistiguishable from each other when they wanted--or needed--to be. Dedicated fans of AFRS' Mystery Playhouse have been tricked without knowing it, through the personae of Sgt. X, who, in reality was often Elliott Lewis subbing for his buddy, Duff.

Lewis' guest appearances on The Adventures of Sam Spade are some of the more memorable episodes of that series for the magical, on-air interplay between Lewis, Duff, and Lurene Tuttle.

In contrast to his extraordinary radio career, in which he worked either alone or in tandem with his first wife Cathy Lewis, and/or his second wife, Mary Jane Croft, his movie career, like those of most radio actors of the period, wasn't nearly as prolific, with only three films to his credit. His voice was also heard on Gordon Jenkins' classic recording of "Manhattan Tower" on Decca Records in 1945.

During the 1950s, he began to concentrate on writing, producing and directing in earnest. During that period, Lewis produced (1950-1956) and directed (1951-1954) CBS's long running, highly collectible Suspense program. He also produced and directed Broadway Is My Beat from 1949-1954. CBS Radio also tapped him to produce and direct Crime Classics from 1953 to 1954.

After the Golden Age of Radio effectively ended, Lewis moved to Television as a producer of such shows as The Lucille Ball Show (1962) and The Mothers-In-Law (1967), and directed all but one episode of the final season of Petticoat Junction (1963). But it was Radio that remained his first love and he continued to direct the occasional radio play well into the 1970s, culminating with Mutual's critically acclaimed Zero Hour (Hollywood Radio Theatre) in 1973, Sears Radio Theatre in 1979, and Mutual Radio Theatre in 1980 as both director and producer. These Golden Age Radio Revival dramas were some of the finest productions of the 1970s, and despite the dominance of Television, represented an enduring, sophisticated tribute to The Golden Age of Radio that Elliott Lewis had loved so very much.

CBS Radio Publicity once dubbed Elliott Lewis "Mr. Radio" because of his contributions to the medium as a writer, producer, director, and actor. Lewis was involved in more than 1,2o0 network radio programs in those various capacities.




William Barton Yarborough
(Hawk Larabee)
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor; Playwright
(1900-1951)

Birthplace: Goldthwaite, Texas, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1932 One Man's Family
1935 Unsolved Mysteries
1939 I Love A Mystery
1939 The Chase and Sasnborn Hour
1941 One Man's Family
1944 Adventures By Morse
1944 Radio Almanac
1944 The Human Adventure
1944 The Life Of Riley
1944 Attorney For the Defense
1945 Words At War
1945 Cavalcade Of America
1946 Hawk Larabee
1947 Voyage Of the Scarlet Queen
1947 Escape
1948 In Your Name
1948 The First Nighter Program
1948 Decision Now!
1948 I Love Adventure
1948 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1948 Family Theatre
1948 The Eddie Cantor Pabst Blue Ribbon Show
1948 Errand Of Mercy
1948 Guest Star
1949 Three For Adventure
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 Let George Do It
1949 Today's Children
1949 Dragnet
1949 Broadway Is My Beat
1950 Frontier Town
1950 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1950 The Adventures Of Christopher London
1950 Hopalong Cassidy
1950 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1950 One Man's Family
1950 Adventure Is Your Heritage
1950 Suspense
1951 The Story Of Dr Kildare
1951 The Line-Up
1951 Lux Radio Theatre
1951 Wild Bill Hickok
1951 Melody Ranch
1951 Meet Millie
1951 Bold Venture
1951 The Halls Of Ivy
1952 I Was A Communist For the FBI
The Black Ghost
Hashknife Hartley and Sleepy Stevens
The Cisco Kid
Obsession
Three For Adventure
The Capture Of Lizzie Stone

Barton Yarborough circa 1944
Barton Yarborough circa 1944


Barton Yarborough was a member of the famed Eva Le Gallienne Company
Barton Yarborough was a member of the famed Eva Le Gallienne Company.


Barton Yarborough as Doc Long with Jim Bannon as Jack Packard in I Love A Mystery
Barton Yarborough as Doc Long with Jim Bannon as Jack Packard in I Love A Mystery (1945)


News clipping for I Love A Mystery from April 2 1943
News clipping for I Love A Mystery from April 2 1943


Barton Yarborough was briefly married to beautiful Stage, Screen, Radio and Television actress Barbara Jo Allen, better remembered in Radio as Vera Vague.
Barton Yarborough was briefly married to beautiful Stage, Screen, Radio and Television actress Barbara Jo Allen, better remembered in Radio as Vera Vague.


'Doc', Reggie and Jack camp it up for publicity still for I Love A Mystery
'Doc', Reggie and Jack camp it up for publicity still for I Love A Mystery


Michael Raffetto as Paul Barbour in One Man's Family
Barton Yarborough as Detective Sergeant Ben Romero in Dragnet (1951)

William Barton Yarborough was born in 1900 near Goldthwaite, Texas to Patrick and Molly Ardena Yarborough. During high school, Yarborough ran away from home, attracted to Vaudeville.

Yarborough began his acting career on the Stage, studying with the famed Eva Le Gallienne Company. Yarborough began his Radio career while in his early 20s, starring in several long-running programs as well as in hundreds of character roles during a twenty-six year career in Radio. It was while appearing in early radio that he met and briefly married his first wife, actress Barbara Jo Allen, best remembered by Golden Age Radio fans as Vera Vague, a character she'd developed in San Francisco in 1935. The couple had one child together before divorcing in 1931. The two later appeared in two long-running Radio programs together: One Man's Family (as Beth Holly from 1937) and I Love A Mystery (1939).

He appeared in the premiere cast of one of Radio's longest running serial melodramas, One Man's Family (1932), portraying young Clifford Barbour--eventually portraying Cliff Barbour for his entire adult life as a professional actor.

Yarborough was probably best known for his role as Doc Long in Carlton E. Morse's I Love a Mystery (1939), an occasional Skip Turner in Adventures By Morse (1944), and Doc Long in I Love Adventure (1948), his starring role in Hawk Larrabee (1946), and as Sergeant Ben Romero on Dragnet (1949). Indeed, Bart Yarborough owed most of his Radio career to either Carlton E. Morse or Jack Webb. Yarborough appeared in virtually every production Carlton Morse ever initiated and in every production that Jack Webb was associated with during Yarborough's career.

Barton Yarborough debuted in a credited Film role in the Dr. Christian feature, They Meet Again (1941) with Jean Hersholt. Yarborough subsequently co-starred as 'Doc' Long, of the A-1 Detective Agency in three movies based on the Carlton E. Morse radio series I Love a Mystery: I Love a Mystery [a.k.a. The Decapitation of Jefferson Monk] (1945), The Devil's Mask (1946), and The Unknown (1946).

Throughout the 1940s he appeared in another fourteen character roles, in a variety of characterizations. Notable among his other Film appearances was his role as Dr. Kettering in The Ghost of Frankenstein (1942), the ill-fated mastermind, Joseph Bradish in the Charlie Chan film The Red Dragon (1945), and a small, uncredited role in Alfred Hitchcock's classic, Saboteur (1942).

But it's Yarborough's Radio work that remains his greatest legacy. Yarborough's distinctive, easy drawl and nasally twang were his most easily recognizable voice characterizations, although it's clear from his other Radio work and Film work that he could just as easily dispense with his native twang for hundreds of other highly versatile characterizations.

Barton Yarborough added playwright to his already considerable resumé in 1948 with his play, These Tender Mercies, which concerns lynching and racial discrimination in a small Southern town of the early 1900's. It was presented in both Los Angeles and at the Lenox Hill Playhouse in New York as part of Experimental Theatre's Invitational Series, sponsored by the American National Theatre and Academy.

Yarborough began his highly productive--yet brief--association with 28-year old Jack Webb in Webb's gritty detective drama Jeff Regan Investigator (1948) with an appearance as one of Regan's fellow operatives, Joe Canto of Anthony J. Lyon's dubious International Detective Bureau. The Lady With the Golden Hair (48-07-31) was the fourth episode of Jeff Regan, and costarred Hans Conreid [Max Vladny], Betty Lou Gerson [Hilda Graham], and Wilms Herbert [Anthony J. Lyon] as well. In one of the series most entertaining episodes, Joe Canto takes a gunshot in the lung during the second half of the program. Joe Canto would survive to appear in at least two other Jeff Regan adventures.

In 1949, Webb approached Yarborough with his idea for a ground-breaking new, true-to-life cop show. The stories would come straight from the files of the L.A.P.D., with the full support of legendary L.A. Police Chief William Parker. Dragnet would star Jack Webb as Detective Sgt. Joe Friday and Bart Yarborough as his partner, Detective Sgt. Ben Romero.

Homicide was Dragnet's premiere Radio episode, airing on June 2, 1949. Friday and Romero would work together in 133 appearances on Radio's Dragnet until Yarborough's unexpected fatal heart attack of December 19, 1951 that took his life.

Webb and Yarborough had already begun filming their Television version of Dragnet. With the pilot already in the can, Webb and Yarborough both anticipated a December 1951 roll-out of the equally ground-breaking Television version of Dragnet.

Television's Dragnet pilot episode, The Human Bomb, aired on December 16, 1951, three days before Yarborough's fatal heart attack, starring Radio standbys Stacy Harris, Herb Butterfield, Jack Kruchen, and Sam Edwards. Barney Philips appeared as Officer Sam Erickson and Raymond Burr as Watch Commander Thad Brown. The pilot was a critical and popular sensation and the series was set to premiere on January 3, 1952. The second episode, The Big Actor, was already in the can. They'd begun filming the third episode when, on the evening of December 19,1951 at 8:55pm, Barton Yarborough died of a heart attack at his home at 122 South Valley Street in Burbank, California. He was survived by his second wife, Janet, and their daughter, Joan.

On December 27, 1951, eight days after Yarborough's death, Jack Webb remembered his friend and partner in a Dragnet radio episode he dedicated to Barton Yarborough. The Big Sorrow, has Joe Friday working Homicide when he gets the news that his partner, Ben Romero, has died at his home from a heart attack--a poignant memorial to one of Radio's giants.

Barton Yarborough's last I Love A Mystery adventure, Find Elsa Holberg - Dead or Alive, aired posthumously on December 29, 1949.

Yarborough's One Man's Family character, Cliff Barbour, heard for 19 years, was written out of the storyline.

Over a career of only thirty years, Barton Yarborough appeared in 15 feature films, made over 200 appearances on the Stage, performed in over 11,000 Radio presentations, and had already appeared 20 times on early Television.

On January 3, 1952, the first Dragnet television episode of the season, The Big Actor, aired--the last appearance of Performing Arts legend, Barton Yarborough.




William Conrad [William Cann]
(Announcer, Performer)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor, Director, Producer, Narrator
(1920-1994)

Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky

Radiography:

1944 The Whistler
1945 Destination Tomorrow
1946 Dark Venture
1946 Strange Wills
1946 I Deal In Crime
1946 Favorite Story
1946 Cavalcade Of America
1946 Meet Miss Sherlock
1947 Voyage Of the Scarlet Queen
1947 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1947 Johnny Madero, Pier 23
1947 Mr President
1947 Escape
1947 Lux Radio Theatre
1947 Shorty Bell, Cub Reporter
1948 The New Adventures Of Michael Shayne
1948 Damon Runyon Theatre
1948 The First Nighter Program
1948 Ellery Queen
1948 The Adventures Of Sam Spade
1948 Let George Do It
1948 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1948 Prudential Family Hour Of Stars
1948 Command Performance
1948 Hawk Larabee
1949 Pat Novak For Hire
1949 Our Miss Brooks
1949 This Is Your FBI
1949 Hollywood Mystery Playhouse
1949 Rocky Jordan
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1949 Box Thirteen
1949 The Green Lama
1949 Dangerous Assignment
1949 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1949 Four Star Playhouse
1949 The Adventures Of the Saint
1949 The Count Of Monte Cristo
1950 Dragnet
1950 The Halls Of Ivy
1950 The Adventures Of Frank Race
1950 Night Beat
1950 Rocky Jordan
1950 T-Man
1950 Philip Morris Playhouse
1950 The Adventures Of Sam Spade
1950 The Story Of Dr Kildare
1950 Romance
1950 Broadway Is My Beat
1950 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1951 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood
1951 The Man Called X
1951 Tales Of the Texas Rangers
1951 Pete Kelly's Blues
1951 Mr I.A. Moto
1951 The Silent Men
1951 The Railroad Hour
1952 Gunsmoke
1952 Stars Over Hollywood
1952 The Line-Up
1952 Jason and the Golden Fleece
1952 Tums Hollywood Theatre
1953 Bakers' Theatre Of Stars
1953 The Six-Shooter
1953 Crime Classics
1953 On Stage
1953 Hallmark Hall Of Fame
1953 Fibber McGee and Molly
1954 High Adventure
1955 The Adventures Of Captain Courage
1955 I Was A Communist For the FBI
1955 Mystery Theatre
1956 The Key
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1958 Heartbeat Theatre
Bold Venture
The Clock
Secret Mission
The Roy Rogers Show
The Pendleton Story
The Adventures Of Maisie
At Ease
Safari
Obsession
Peril

William Conrad, ca. 1943
William Conrad, ca. 1943

William Conrad in Killers (1947)
William Conrad in Killers (1947)

William Conrad as Matt Dillon, ca. 1953 (Courtesy of Harry Bartell)
William Conrad as Matt Dillon, ca. 1953 (Courtesy of Harry Bartell)
William Conrad, for ABC, ca. 1957
William Conrad, for ABC, ca. 1957

William Conrad and Jack Webb, in Webb's Film --30-- (1959)
William Conrad and Jack Webb, in Webb's Film, --30-- (1959)

Conrad in Cannon publcity still, ca 1971
Conrad in Cannon publicity still, ca 1971
Bill Conrad, ca. 1972
Bill Conrad, ca. 1972
William Conrad was born William Cann in Louisville, Kentucky. He started work in radio in the late 1930s in California. During World War II, Conrad served as a fighter pilot. He returned to the airwaves after the war, going on to accumulate over 7,000 roles in radio-by his own estimate. We can attest to at least 2,000--Conrad had been a fighter pilot, after all.

Conrad's deep, resonant voice led to a number of noteworthy roles in radio drama, most prominently his role as the original Marshal Matt Dillon on the Western program Gunsmoke (1952–1961). For the Gunsmoke purists, we'd remind them that the two actors that technically preceded Conrad in the role--Rye Billsbury and Howard Culver--auditioned as Mark Dillon, not Matt Dillon.

He was considered for the Television role of Matt Dillon when the series was brought to the small screen in 1955, but increasing obesity led to the casting of James Arness instead. As it turned out, relatively few of the other cast members were cast in the TV version.

Other radio programs to which Conrad contributed his talents included The Whistler, Strange Wills, The Adventures of Philip Marlowe, Johnny Madero, Pier 23, The New Adventures of Michael Shayne, Ellery Queen, The Adventures of Sam Spade, Jeff Regan, Investigator, Let George Do It, Pat Novak for Hire, Escape!, Suspense and The Damon Runyon Theater. One particularly memorable radio role was his breathtaking performance in "Leinengen Vs. The Ants" first heard in the January 14, 1948 broadcast of Escape!, and in a later rendition in the August 25, 1957 Suspense broadcast of "Leinengen Vs. The Ants." Conrad, of course was also memorable as the 'voice' of Escape!.

Conrad's long association with Jack Webb produced some of radio noir's most memorable moments as well. Conrad was heard in every Jack Webb production he ever mounted, and the chemistry between the two of them is one of radio's greatest pairings. From Johnny Madero, Pier 23, to Dragnet--and beyond, the verbal interplay between Conrad and Webb always made for fascinating radio--and Film.

Conrad possessed an amazing gift for creating bone-chilling Radio characterizations of a seemingly endless array of toughs, gangsters, hard-boiled cops, corporate magnates, and hundreds of other commanding, self-assured, scoundrels and heroes alike. Those roles created a Radio following for him rarely equalled in Radio History. He was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1997.

Among Conrad's various film roles, where he was usually cast as threatening figures, perhaps his most notable role was his first credited one, as one of the gunmen sent to eliminate
Burt Lancaster in the 1946 film The Killers. He also appeared in Body and Soul (1947), Sorry, Wrong Number and Joan of Arc (1948), and The Naked Jungle (1954). And again, his characterizations of tough guys, aided by his amazing deep baritone and chillingly authoritative presence made for some of Film Noir's most enduring depictions.

Conrad moved to television in the 1960s, first guest-starring in NBC's science fiction series The Man and the Challenge. Conrad guest-starred--and directed-episodes of ABC's crime drama Target: The Corruptors! (1962). Indeed, both Conrad and the legendary Sam Peckinpah directed episodes of NBC's Klondike (1960–1961). He returned to voice work, most notably as narrator of The Fugitive (1963–1967) and as the director of Brainstorm (1965).

Conrad is as fondly remembered for his voice work in Animation. He narrated the animated Rocky and Bullwinkle series from 1959–64 (as "Bill Conrad"), and later performed the role of Denethor in the animated Television version of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Return of the King (1980).

The 1970s brought him further small-screen success with leading roles in Cannon (1971-1976), Nero Wolfe (1981) and Jake and The Fat Man (1987-1990). Conrad was also the on-camera spokesman for First Alert fire prevention products for many years, as well as Hai Karate men's cologne.

Conrad's credits as a director include episodes of The Rifleman, Bat Masterson, Route 66, Have Gun, Will Travel, and 77 Sunset Strip, among others, and feature films such as Two on a Guillotine.

Conrad had one son, Christopher, with his first wife, Susie. When Susie died after thirty years of marriage, Conrad married Tippy Stringer Huntley, a graduate of the University of Maryland at College Park and widow of famed former NBC newscaster Chet Huntley.

Conrad died from congestive heart failure on February 11, 1994, in Los Angeles, California. He is interred at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in the Lincoln Terrace.




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