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Original I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. header art

The I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> I Was A Communist for The F.B.I.

Ziv broadside for Billboard Magazine promoting I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. from January 19 1951
Ziv broadside for Billboard Magazine promoting I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. from January 19 1951

Matt Cvetic circa 1950
Matt Cvetic circa 1950

The story of Matt Cvetic's life as 'a communist for the F.B.I.' was serialized in a three-part story that first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post of July 15 1950
The story of Matt Cvetic's life as 'a communist for the F.B.I.' was serialized in a three-part story that first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post of July 15 1950

 Installment two appeared in The Saturday Evening Post of July 22 1950
Installment two appeared in The Saturday Evening Post of July 22 1950

Installment three appeared in The Saturday Evening Post of July 29 1950
Installment three appeared in The Saturday Evening Post of July 29 1950

Part 1 of officially released F.B.I. documentation and correspondence regarding I Was A Communist for The F.B.I
Part 1 of officially released F.B.I. documentation and correspondence regarding I Was A Communist for The F.B.I
(.pdf)

Part 2 of officially released F.B.I. documentation and correspondence regarding I Was A Communist for The F.B.I
Part 2 of officially released F.B.I. documentation and correspondence regarding I Was A Communist for The F.B.I
(.pdf)

Background

Frederick W. Ziv was a syndicated programming genius. Throughout The Golden Age of Radio, Ziv produced some of the most star-studded, popular, transcribed syndication programming to ever air. Innovative programming such as:

  • Easy Aces (1935) with Goodman and Jane Ace
  • One for The Book (1938)
  • Forbidden Diary (1938)
  • Dearest Mother (1938)
  • Lightning Jim (1939)
  • The Career of Alice Blair (1940)
  • Korn Kobblers (1941)
  • Manhunt (1943)
  • The Weird Circle (1943)
  • Sincerely, Kenny Baker (1944)
  • Boston Blackie (1944) with Richard Kollmar
  • Philo Vance (1945) initially with Jackson Beck
  • The Cisco Kid (1942)
  • Pleasure Parade (1945)
  • The Barry Wood Show (1946)
  • Favorite Story (1946) with Ronald Colman
  • The Guy Lombardo Show (1948)
  • Meet The Menjous (1949) with Adolph Menjou and Verree Teasdale
  • Bold Venture (1951) with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall
  • Freedom U.S.A. (1951) with Tyrone Power
  • I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. (1952)
  • Bright Star (1952) with Fred MacMurray and Irene Dunne
  • Showtime From Hollywood
  • Mr. District Attorney (1952)

Working with Frederick W. Ziv was usually a very profitable decision for all parties associated with Ziv. Guy Lombardo made a reported $3,000,000 with Ziv over the years of their association. The Bogarts (Bold Venture) made an estimated $600,000 for their son's trust fund with Ziv. The Menjous earned a reported $750,000 with Ziv. Ronald Colman was also reported to earn $750,000 for Ziv's award-winning Favorite Story.

Frederick Ziv had a formula--and the formula was a successful one. He developed appealing programming, backed it with the best writers of the era, obtained the perfect talent for each project and generally hyped them and almost always rolled them out with all the attendant splash, promotional hype, and star-power associated with the elaborate promotions.

All of this is by way of explaining Frederick W. Ziv's programming, marketing, and promotion genius, as much as to underline the huge business that syndicated, transcribed Radio had become by the late 1940s. It didn't hurt in the least that Ziv's transcribed syndications were invariably of the highest quality and production values. Ziv financed his programming out of pocket, in the expectation of generating a growing number of subscribers for his programs. With a combination of excellent business sense, a prior legal background, a proven track record of success and glowing testimonials from the famous artists he'd already promoted, Ziv had every good reason to bet the farm on most of his new productions. Since he bankrolled his own productions, he routinely employed Hollywood's finest, most versatile and most reliable talent for supporting roles and production.

Historical Backdrop

The fear-mongering from the more reactionary right-wing elements of American politics of the early 1950s in particular, was a common drumbeat of the era. The "military-industrial complex" President Eisenhower warned of in departing office in 1961 was a nexus of the military industries of World War II and the movers and shakers of Wall Street and American Industry in general that propelled the Eisenhower administrations to their power in the first place. This was but one example of the extraordinary ironies that surrounded the post-World War II years--economically, socially, culturally, and politically.

These forces were not lost on Frederick Ziv and his extraordinary independent programming efforts of the 1940s and throughout the waning days of The Golden Age of Radio. Ziv had begun to make a name for himself and his syndicated transcription productions in the late 1940s in particular. One of the hallmarks of his productions was securing the talents of high-profile Film and Entertainment personalities to headline his productions.

Matt Cvetic, the supposed "undercover agent of the F.B.I." first came to prominence on Radio and early Television during a [then] rare 'simulcast' over both Radio and Television of NBC's We The People program on July 14, 1950. Introduced by NBC's Dan Seymour as "the story of a double-life . . . the story of great heroism, of terror, of an incredible nine-year span of daily suspense that you will now hear from Gulf Oil's next guest, Matt Cvetic." Cvetic, himself, then introduced his story: "Don't call this a hero's story. It's not. It's just the story of an ordinary guy named Matt Cvetic . . . who was asked to do a tough job for his country. A guy who was scared, but a guy who couldn't say no."

Almost simultaneous to the airing of the We The People segment, The Saturday Evening Post serialized a Pete Martin article, "I Posed As A Communist for The F.B.I.." Given The Saturday Evening Post's popularity throughout middle America of the era, the serialization struck a polarizing chord. The F.B.I, for its part, wasn't particularly pleased with either the NBC program or the Post article, but couldn't determine any positive way to spin Cvetic's 'outing himself.'

Needless to say, Matt Cvetic was neither a formal 'undercover agent' of The F.B.I., nor a national hero by any measure. He was simply one of the tens of thousands of snitches of varying veracity that the J. Edgar Hoover-administered F.B.I. had employed during the 1940s and 1950s. The fact that he became a 'big fish' in a tawdry little pool of reactionary pond scum of the era owed itself solely to his perceived usefullness to the reactionary right-wing political elements of the era--the HUAC, the 'union-busters', The American Legion, the Shermans, and McCarthys, et al.

Right-wing politics, fear-mongering, and fascism raise their ugly heads every once in a while in every modern society. Such forces usually insinuate their immoral spectre in the wake of the very industrial and financial screwups and excesses by those same forces. As our own American history has shown, society has been most vulnerable to such forces after financial or geo-political disasters in one form or another: The Wall Street Crash, The Great Depression, the years of debate over isolationism that preceded World War II, and the debates over isolationism that marked The Korean War years and the Cold War years that followed. We've seen this cycle repeat itself during the past ten years of the 21st Century.

So it should come as no surprise to anyone, how a relatively insignificant, morally and financially compromised snitch could spawn the success of Radio programs, magazine articles, movies, and ultimately a Television program devoted to the fanciful story of Matt Cvetic and his almost entirely fabricated account of a 'heroic double-life.' A present day example of this phenomena is the 'Joe the Plumber' character of recent political and social memory.

After the outpouring of response to The Saturday Evening Post serialization, the lionization of Cvetic's efforts by the right-wing politicians of the era, and the release of 1951's film, I Was A Communist for The F.B.I., starring Frank Lovejoy, Matt Cvetic's crescendo of notoriety propelled Frederick Ziv into action.

Production Background

Billboard magazine announcement of forthcoming I Was A Communist for The FBI series from January 12 1952
Billboard magazine announcement of forthcoming I Was A Communist for The FBI series from January 12 1952

Enlisting the services of Dana Andrews as a lead for the proposed syndication, Ziv mounted his customary all-out campaign to 'sell' the syndication to potential sponsors and broadcasters alike. His legendary sales force fanned out across the U.S. and Canada, initially signing at least 117 outlets for the syndication. Once the initial syndication contracts were secured, Ziv announced an official rollout of the production for March 30, 1952. Only a handful of outlets actually began airing the syndication on March 30, 1952. The vast majority began broadcasting the syndication on April 7, 1952 through as late as the Summer of 1952.

1952 Frederic Ziv broadside promoting I Was A Communist for The F.B.I.
1952 Frederic Ziv broadside promoting I Was A Communist for The F.B.I.

The initial syndication comprised fifty-two installments. Following the success of that initial syndication, Ziv pressed another twenty-six installments, the first two of which were apparently two titles from the previous syndication: Red Clay and Kiss of Death. The resulting ultimate syndication comprised seventy-six unique titles.

As the official F.B.I. records (left sidebar) regarding Ziv's Radio syndication of I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. indicate, neither J. Edgar Hoover nor the Bureau itself, took a position one way or the other. Their stock responses to inquiries of either support for, or endorsement of the Ziv production were noncommital. While J. Edgar Hoover had, himself, expressed high praise for the 1951 Film version of Cvetic's 'story', both the famous F.B.I. Director and his Bureau showed little more interest in the syndicated Radio installments other than monitoring the installments as they were aired.

Nor could anyone cite Frederick Ziv as being anything other than politically neutral throughout his years of extraordinary syndicated programming success over either Radio or Television. As demonstrated by his re-syndication of Freedom U.S.A. during the same period that he was initially syndicating I Was A Communist for The F.B.I., Frederick Ziv was simply exploiting the evolving interests of the American public to promote viable product.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Propaganda Dramas
Network(s): NBC, ABC, MBS, CBS and several other local affiliates and networks while in syndication.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): 52-xx-xx 00 Little Red Schoolhouse
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 52-03-30 01 I Walk Alone
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 52-03-30 to 53-09-20; Theoretical run duration, based on the announced launch date; Seventy-eight, 30-minute programs;
Syndication: Frederick W. Ziv
Sponsors: Rainer Brewing Company; The Golden State Company; The Onyx Refining Company;
Director(s): Henry Hayward
Principal Actors: Dana Andrews, Barney Philips, Olan Soule, Jonathon Hole, William Conrad, Sheldon Leonard, Peter Leeds, Gerald Mohr, Byron Kane, Jeffrey Silver, Parley Baer, Bill Bouchet, William Johnstone, Jack Kruschen, Betty Lou Gerson, Mary Lansing, Sam Edwards, Paul Richards, Harry Lang, Herb Vigran, Barton Yarborough, Paul Dubov, Forrest Lewis, Virgina Gregg, Marvin Miller, Herb Butterfield
Recurring Character(s): Matt Cvetic, undercover operative for the F.B.I. [Dana Andrews]; Walter Skolvic, head of the Cvetic's communist cell [Jonathan Hole]; Cvetic's Chief Contact with The F.B.I. [Olan Soule]; Cvetic's younger brother, Tip [Sam Edwards]
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s)
Music Direction: David Rose
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Truman  Bradley
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
79
Episodes in Circulation: 74
Total Episodes in Collection: 74
Provenances:

Follow up to Billboard article above from January 26 1952
Follow up to Billboard article above from January 26 1952

Billboard announcement of sales success of I Was A Communist for the FBI from February 16 1952
Billboard announcement of sales success of I Was A Communist for the FBI from February 16 1952

Billboard announcement of renewals for I Was A Communist for The FBI from April 11 1953
Billboard announcement of renewals for I Was A Communist for The FBI from April 11 1953
Hickerson Guide, "I Was A Communist for The F.B.I.," by Daniel J. Leab, the records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


Let's shed a little sunlight on what's been passing for 'authoritative and accurate' catalogs--or research--of the Radio program, I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. throughout the otr community for the past forty years:

  • The official Frederick Ziv rollout of I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. was March 30, 1952, not the widely misreported April 23, 1952 date.
  • Nor could the alleged audition for I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. have possibly been the widely reported April 16, 1952 date. The official series rollout was March 30, 1952, so the audition recording(s) would have had to predate the first production broadcasts by at least a week--more likely as many as two to four months, as in the case of other proposed Ziv syndications.
  • There were no Ziv-distributed 'repeats' of I Was A Communist for The F.B.I.. If, indeed, Ziv included the two episodes Red Clay and Kiss of Death in the last set of twenty-six installments of I Was A Communist for The F.B.I., those would not have been either 'repeats' or 'rebroadcasts.' They'd have been simply the first and second episodes of Ziv's last twenty-six installments of I Was A Communist for The F.B.I..

What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. We have no 'credentials' whatsoever--in any way, shape, or form--in the 'otr community'--none. But here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here are the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No posturing about our 'credentials.' No misrepresentations. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.

We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.

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We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.

[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







The I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
52-xx-xx
--
Red Red Herring
Y
[Actual Audition]
52-xx-xx
--
Little Red Schoolhouse
Y
[Alleged Audition]
52-03-30
1
I Walk Alone
Y
52-04-06
2
I Can't Sleep
Y
52-04-13
3
Little Red Schoolhouse
Y
52-04-20
4
Red Red Herring
Y
52-04-27
5
The Pit Viper
Y
52-05-04
6
Traitors for Hire
Y
52-05-11
7
Card Game in the Clouds
Y
52-05-18
8
The American Kremlin
Y
52-05-25
9
Tight Wire
Y
52-06-01
10
A Riot Made to Order
Y
52-06-08
11
Where the Red Men Roam
Y
52-06-15
12
The Dangerous Dollars
Y
52-06-22
13
Rich Man, Poor Man
Y
[Date provenanced by correspondence records of the F.B.I.]
52-06-29
14
Canadian Crossfire
Y
[Date provenanced by correspondence records of the F.B.I.]
52-07-06
15
Draw the Red Curtain
Y
52-07-13
16
Red Clouds on the Good Earth
Y
52-07-20
17
Exit on the Left
Y
52-07-27
18
The Red Record
Y
52-08-03
19
Burnt Offering
Y
52-08-10
20
Squeeze Play
Y
52-08-17
21
Violence Preferred
Y
52-08-24
22
The Rat Race
Y
52-08-31
23
Jump to the Whip
Y
52-09-07
24
Pennies from the Dead
Y
52-09-14
25
A Suit for the Party
Y
52-09-21
26
The Party Got Rough
Y
52-09-28
27
Little Boy Red
Y
52-10-05
28
The Unwelcome Hosts
Y
52-10-12
29
No Second Chance
Y
52-10-19
30
The Red Gate
Y
52-10-26
31
Red Rover, Red Rover
Y
52-11-02
32
Home Improvement
Y
52-11-09
33
Red Clay
Y
52-11-16
34
The Kiss of Death
Y
52-11-23
35
Treason Comes in Cans
Y
52-11-30
36
The Flames Burned Red
Y
52-12-07
37
Hate Song
Y
52-12-14
38
Little Boy Blue Turned Red
Y
52-12-21
39
Red Gold
Y
52-12-28
40
Capitol City Square Dance
Charter City Square Dance
Y
53-01-04
41
A Study in Oils
Y
53-01-11
42
The Sleeper
Y
53-01-18
43
Against the Middle
Y
53-01-25
44
The Black Gospel
Y
53-02-01
45
The Red Ladies
Y
53-02-08
46
One Way Ticket
Y
53-02-15
47
Word Game
Y
53-02-22
48
The Red Waves
Y
53-03-01
49
Trial by Fear
Y
53-03-08
50
The Wrong Green
Y
53-03-15
51
The Brass Monkey
Y
53-03-22
52
Forged Faces
Y
53-03-29
53
Red Clay
N
53-04-05
54
Kiss of Death
N
53-04-12
55
An Un-American Activity
Y
53-04-19
56
My Friend the Enemy
Y
53-04-26
57
The Canadian Backbone
Y
53-05-03
58
The Innocence Club
The Elspeth Club
Y
53-05-10
59
The Crossed Heart
Y
53-05-17
60
The Red Octopus
Y
53-05-24
61
Abbie, as in Abigail
Abby, as in Abigale
Y
53-05-31
62
Tour of Duty
Y
53-06-07
63
Fifteen Minutes to Murder
Y
53-06-14
64
Use Only as Directed
Y
53-06-21
65
Double Exposure
Y
53-06-28
66
Courier of Disaster
Courter of Disaster
Y
53-07-05
67
The Line Is Busy
Y
53-07-12
68
The Red Snow
Y
53-07-19
69
Very Private Funeral
Y
53-07-26
70
Rhapsody in Red
Y
53-08-02
71
Kangaroo Court
Y
53-08-09
72
The Inhuman Element
Y
53-08-16
73
Title Unknown
N
53-08-23
74
Title Unknown
N
53-08-30
75
Title Unknown
N
53-09-06
76
Title Unknown
N
53-09-13
77
Panic Plan
Y
53-09-20
78
No Visitors
Y






The I Was A Communist for The F.B.I. Radio Program Biographies




Carver Dana Andrews
(Matt Cvetic)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor
(1909-1992)

Birthplace: Covington County, Mississippi, U.S.A.

Education: Sam Houston State Teachers' College, Texas

Radiography:
1944 Double Or Nothing
1944 We Came This Way
1945 Lux Radio Theatre
1945 Cavalcade Of America
1945 Suspense
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1947 Family Theater
1947 The Right To Live
1947 Hollywood Fights Back
1948 March Of Dimes Show
1949 Screen Directors' Playhouse
1949 Hallmark Playhouse
1951 Hollywood Star Playhouse
1951 Hollywood Sound Stage
1952 I Was A Communist For the FBI
1953 General Electric Theater
1953 Bakers' Theatre Of Stars
1954 Bud's Bandwagon
Dana Andrews circa 1943
Dana Andrews circa 1943

From the December 19, 1992 edition of the Hutchinson News:
 
Actor Dana Andrews dead at age 83
 
          The Associated Press
     LOS ANGELES -- Dana Andrews, the deep-voiced leading man of "Laura," "the Best Years of Our Lives" and "Boomerang," has died of pneumonia.  He was 83.
     As the panicked victim of a lynching in "The Ox-Bow Incident" in 1948, Andrews convinced Hollywood he had star potential.  That was confirmed in 1944 with "Laura."
     He had an extraordinary quality, sort of the original type of leading man we've come to depend on in the movie business.  I'm so sad he's gone," said Vincent Price, who also appeared in "Laura."
     Andrews died early Thursday at Los Alamitos Medical center in Orange County; where he had been hospitalized several days, said nursing supervisor Mary Helen Fitzgibbon.
     His best known performance came in "Laura," in which he played a detective entranced by the portrait of a young beauty presumed to be a murder victim.  He is astonished when the beauty herself, Gene Tierney, walks into her apartment.
     "The Best Years of Our Lives," William Wyler's 1946 drama of soldiers facing a postwar America, was Andrews' most prestigious film.  He portrayed a disillusioned veteran in the film, which won seven Academy Awards, including best picture.
     "Boomerang" was a 1947 thriller about a minister's murder, an innocent man's arrest and the hunt for the real killer.
     Andrews became a star during the wartime shortage of leading men; he was exempt from service because of his age and his wife, actress Mary Todd, and children.  His rugged good looks and mature manner made him an ideal co-star for Joan Crawford, Susan Hayward, Elizabeth Taylor and others.
     Andrews seemed to epitomize the new kind of movie star in the more realistic era of postwar America.
     At the height of his career in 1949, he told an interviewer, "There's no more of the pretty boy and matinee idol.  ...I wouldn't say all movie stars are intelligent, but I think the average intelligence is much higher than it used to be."
     Funeral services will be private.



David Rose
(Composer/Conductor)

Screen, Radio, and Television Music Director; Songwriter; Composer
(1910-1990)

Birthplace: London, England

Radiography:

1941 I Want A Divorce
1942 Hollywood Star Time
1944 Command Performance
1944 The Radio Hall Of Fame
1951 Bold Venture
1951 Hallmark Playhouse
1953 Hallmark Hall Of Fame
I Was A Communist For the FBI
Showtime
Downbeat
Personal Album
Art Baker and His Notebook

(David Rose and His Ochestra)

1940 Meet David Rose
1940 California Melodies
1941 Forecast
1941 Adventures In Melody
1941 Muted Music
1941 Barrel Of Fun
1941 The Chamber Music Society Of Lower Basin Street
1942 Navy Relief Program
1942 Command Performance
1947 The Raleigh Cigarette Program
1948 Operation Nightmare
1948 Guest Star
1948 The Red Skelton Show
1950 The David Rose Show
1955 The Tony Martin Show
1959 Hollywood Salutes the National Guard
Here's To Veterans
Freedom Is Our Business


David Rose, ca. 1941
David Rose, ca. 1941

Rose goes over the script of an AFRS production with staff, ca. 1944
Rose goes over the script of an AFRS production with staff, ca. 1944

Mr. and Mrs. David Rose (David Rose and Judy Garland), ca. 1939
Mr. and Mrs. David Rose (David Rose and Judy Garland), ca. 1939

The Roses mugging at a Hollywood party, ca. 1939
The Roses mugging at a Hollywood party, ca. 1939

Rose's second great passion--Trains. Here riding his own miniature gauge train around his Sherman Oaks home, ca. 1942
Rose's second great passion--Trains. Here riding his own miniature gauge train around his Sherman Oaks home, ca. 1942

Rose reflects on a lifetime of Music, ca. 1978
Rose reflects on a lifetime of Music, ca. 1978

Popular composer and music director David Rose was born in London, England, relocating to Chicago, Illinois in 1914 at the age of four. Young Master Rose was studying piano at the age of seven and by the age of 14, was studying at Chicago's prestigious Chicago College of Music.

By the age of 16, David Rose was performing with the Ted Florito dance band in New York City. NBC Radio got wind of his talent while recording some Band Remotes and by 1930, David Rose was working as a standby arranger, pianist and conductor for NBC Radio. He continued working independently of the network, penning arrangements for Benny Goodman, among them, his 1936 hit, It's Been So Long.

1938 saw him heading for Hollywood. Once there, he assembled his famous David Rose Orchestra and became the Music director for the Don-Lee Mutual Broadcasting
System's California Melodies for national broadcast. Soon becoming 'The King of Strings', Rose's Orchestra was ultimately pared down to the string section alone.

David Rose
joined the U.S. Army Air Forces, serving for 4 years. He acted as director and composer for the Moss Air Force production of the play Winged Victory, which subsequently became a major motion picture. It was during his time in the service that he composed his legendary Holiday for Strings which would become one of his most popular compositions.

On returning from the military, David Rose resumed his career in both Radio and Film as a studio conductor. 1944 marked his first Oscar
nomination for Bob Hope's The Princess and the Pirate. In 1947 he commenced a 23-year association with Red Skelton for whom Holiday For Strings became his theme song.

Throughout the 1940s, David Rose was scoring some of Radio's most popular programs, eventually compiling over 800 Radio appearances or credits. His work on the Red Skelton Show continued through its jump to Television. Rose also contributed to a vast array of military-sponsored variety programs of the 1940s. He performed on his own Radio program from 1950 to 1953. When Humphrey Bogart put together his first--and only--radio program, Bold Venture, it was David Rose who he tapped to score the entire run of seventy-eight episodes.

Rose was also becoming one of Television's most in demand
composers. In 1961, he became the Music Director at MGM where he scored films for Doris Day, Paul Newman, Sydney Portier and Jane Powell. By 1962 Rose was composing music for twenty-two shows. 1962 also saw his composition, The Stripper, go on to gain him his first gold record.

Rose continued scoring for Television well into the 1980s, ranging from Sea Hunt, Bold Venture, Mr. Adams and Eve to Father Murphy and Highway to Heaven. Rose's most memorable and noteworthy Television compositions
of the era were for his 136 episodes of Bonanza and 47 episodes of Little House on the Prairie, both of which gained him Emmys.

David Rose's music has backed feature films from MGM, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Universal and Paramount.
David Rose continued composing until his death in August 1990. But his musical compositions aren't his only legacy to the World of Music. His technical innovations in sound recording included pioneering the use of the echo chamber and for then, ground-breaking 21-channel separation in orchestral recording. Rose recorded over 5,000 hours of music and fifty albums. David Rose's compositions have been featured in over forty films and twenty-five television programs. Rose compiled four Emmys, six Gold Records, six Grammies, and two Academy Award nominations during his amazing career.



Olan Elbert Soulé
(F.B.I. Chief of Station)
(1909-1994)

Birthplace: LaHarpe, Illinois, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1933 Chandu the Magician
1936 Sunset Village
1936 The Couple Next Door
1936 Bachelor's Children
1938 David Adams, Son Of the Sea
1938 Wayside Theatre
1938 Curtain Time
1939 Jeff and Lucky (Audition)
1939 Midstream
1940 Fifth Row Center
1940 Chicago Theatre Of the Air
1943 Captain Midnight
1944 This Is the Story
1944 The First Nighter Program
1944 Author's Playhouse
1946 Grand Marquee
1947 The Whistler
1948 Your Movietown Radio Theatre
1949 Errand Of Mercy
1949 The Great Gildersleeve
1949 Guest Star
1950 Screen Director's Playhouse
1950 The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe
1950 The Harold Peary Show
1951 The Adventures Of Sam Spade
1951 A Memo From Molly
1951 Stars Over Hollywood
1951 Lux Radio Theatre
1951 The Pendleton Story
1952 Tarzan
1952 I Was A Communist For the FBI
1952 Dragnet
1952 The Railroad Hour
1954 You Were There
1954 Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator
1954 Inheritance
1957 Heartbeat Theatre
1957 The Ruggles
1959 Have Gun, Will Travel
1960 The Jack Benny Program
1960 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1973 Hollywood Radio Theatre
1973 Sears Radio Theatre
Olan Soulé Artist Card circa 1942
Olan Soulé entry from the October 1940 edition of Lew Lauria's Radio Artists Directory

Olan Soulé in Alfred Hitchcock's classic North By Northwest (1959)
Olan Soulé in Alfred Hitchcock's classic North By Northwest (1959)

Joining Soulé in North by Northwest were the following notable Radio performers of the era (uncredited for the most part due to conflicting union rules):

  • Ken Lynch
  • Les Tremayne
  • Edward Platt
  • Ed Binns
  • Patrick McVey
  • Carleton Young
  • Frank Wilcox
  • Larry Dobkin
  • Sara Berner
  • Walter Coy
  • Tommy Farrell
  • Madge Kennedy
  • Paula Winslowe


Olan Soulé during the zenith of Television's Golden Age circa 1962
Olan Soulé during the zenith of Television's Golden Age circa 1962

Olan Soulé in the Towering Inferno (1974)
Olan Soulé in the Towering Inferno (1974)

Olan Soulé as Carmichael from Battlestar Galactica 1979
Olan Soulé as Carmichael from Battlestar Galactica 1979

Olan E. Soulé was born in La Harpe, Illinois to Elbert and Ann Williams Soule. The Soule's were reportedly the descendants of three of the original surviving Mayflower passengers to arrive in North America. Olan departed Illinois at the age of seven, moving to Des Moines, Iowa. He continued to be raised in Iowa until he graduated from High School at 17. Soon after graduation, Soulé launched his Stage career, joining Jack Brooks' Tent Show based in Sabula, Iowa.

After a couple of years with the Tent Show, Soulé debuted on the legitimate stage in Chicago for a few more years before moving on to Radio. Olan Soulé inaugurated his Radio career in1933 with a stint on Chandu the Magician (1935-36). Beginning in 1936, he embarked on an eleven year career portraying Sam Ryder on Bachelor's Children, a daytime soap opera. His first significant dramatic lead was with Barbara Luddy on Radio's famed The First Nighter program. They were successfully teamed for almost nine years.

One of Radio's genuinely most versatile actors, Olan Soulé performed in every Radio genre ever aired over broadcast Radio. He was equally popular on Radio's Captain Midnight adventure serial, in the role of L. William Kelly, SS-II, second in command of The Secret Squadron.

Upon completing his nine-year commitment to The First Nighter in in 1949. Olan Soulé moved to Hollywood to do Film and Television-- in addition to Radio. Olan Soulé built his Television and Film careers with the same workman-like efficiency and diligence that he had with his Radio career and soon found himself one of Hollywood's most in demand character actors.

His Television career exploded first, with strong supporting roles in an extraordinary array of Television's earliest successful programming, and simply added to his impressive Television resume with each passing year. By 1960, Olan Soulé had appeared in well over 200 appearances in over forty of The Golden Age of Television's most popular programming. This, in addition to appearing in another estimated 1,000 Radio appearances and twelve feature films, concluding the decade with an appearance in Alfred Hitchcock's classic North By Northwest (1959) with Cary Grant and an amazing array of mostly uncredited current and former Radio actors, among them: Ken Lynch, Les Tremayne, Edward Platt, Edward Binns, Patrick McVey, Carleton Young, Frank Wilcox, Larry Dobkin, Sara Berner, Walter Coy, Tommy Farrell, Madge Kennedy and Paula Winslowe.

Among his more memorable appearances on Television were oft-recurring roles in Captain Midnight (1954) as scientist Aristotle 'Tut' Jones, as the court clerk in numerous Perry Mason episodes, as Lab Criminalists Ray Pinker and Ray Murray in the original and 1967 revivals of Dragnet, as the Hotel Carelton Manager in Have Gun, Will Travel (1958), as Cal in Stagecoach West (1961), as the telegraph operator in Bonanza (1961), as choir director John Masters on The Andy Griffith Show (1962), as the Telegraph Clerk in Big Valley (1965), and as Fred Springer in Arnie (1970).

He also appeared in Mister Ed, City Detective, Dante, Harrigan and Son, State Trooper, The Twilight Zone, Bewitched, The Munsters, Gunsmoke, Happy, The Jean Arthur Show, Laramie, The Monkees, Mission: Impossible, The Six Million Dollar Man, Fantasy Island, Little House on the Prairie, Dallas and Simon & Simon.

To whole new generations of fans in the 1970s and 1980s Soule is remembered as the voice of Batman in several animated series. He supplied the voice for the caped crusader first in 1968's Batman-Superman Hour. He then reprised the role in:
  • The Adventures of Batman
  • The New Scooby-Doo Movies
  • Sesame Street (1970)
  • SuperFriends
  • The All-New SuperFriends Hour
  • Challenge of the SuperFriends
  • The World's Greatest SuperFriends.

All told, Olan Soulé appeared in approximately 7,000 radio episodes and commercials, at least 300 television episodes and 60 feature films including, North by Northwest (1959), The Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Towering Inferno (1974) and The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975).

Olan Soulé weighed less than 135 pounds for most of his adult life.

"People can't get over my skinny build when they meet me in person after hearing me play heroes and lovers on radio," he said in an interview in The Los Angeles Times in 1968. "One guy really laid it on the line," he added. "He looked me over and his parting shot was, 'Well, I don't mind telling you I'm disappointed.' "

Olan Soulé ulitmately passed away in 1994 at the age of 84. According to his family, the cause was lung cancer. A light-weight--or make that bantam-weight--by physical stature standards, Olan Soulé was an absolute giant in Radio, on Television, in Film and certainly in the hearts of his millions of fans over the years.

Reputedly one of the most likeable, easy-going, unruffled major character actors in Hollywood, Olan Soulé was one of those Masters of the Acting Craft that seem to perform almost effortlessly. Indeed, many up-and-comers in the Acting profession might resent that apparent inherent talent. But the wiser, more seasoned observers understand all too well that that level of craft and skill is never achieved effortlessly.

To the extent to which it's perceived as effortlessly performed, is true genius. And by that measure among any number of others, Olan Soulé was a true genius.




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