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Original Jeff Regan, Investigator header art

The Jeff Regan, Investigator Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Jeff Regan, Investigator

Original Jeff Regan, Investigator cover art

Barton Yarborough (left) made several recurring appearances in Jeff Regan Investigator--as Joe Canto a fellow operative for the International Detective Bureau
Barton Yarborough (left) made several recurring appearances in Jeff Regan Investigator--as Joe Canto a fellow operative for the International Detective Bureau

Our fanciful--though accurate--depiction of Jeff Regan's business card
Our fanciful--though accurate--depiction of Jeff Regan's business card.

CBS-ordered Radio Recorders transcription from the 1949-1950 run of Jeff Regan Investigator
CBS-ordered Radio Recorders transcription from the 1949-1950 run of Jeff Regan Investigator

Here's a sampling of the unique Webb-isms from the Jeff Regan Investigator canon:

"He looked sad--like a water buffalo caught in a drought."

"You can't miss it. It's a big building--made outta white granite; The Cosmpolitan Building. The man who built it is doing a long run up at San Quentin--for graft. Anthony J. Lyon, the guy I work for for, rents an office in that building: International Detective Bureau, Suite 308--a coupla rooms with a connecting waste basket. The Lyon has the only desk in the office--and a typewriter that Remington dropped from their catalog back in 1915."

"The office was fulla taboo."

"I might as well have tried to walk to Catalina."

"He was a little guy. I figured he got the job because they ran outta big uniforms. They double-crossed him on that cap--if it wasn't for his ears, he'd a been wearing a snood."

"Today's my birthday. That's the reason you're walking outta here."

"The whole thing looked like an undertaker in a white derby."

"The Lyon was sitting there with a bottle of beer--and a sandwich that looked like a coupla end tables."

"When I left Lyon, he looked happy--like the guy who just figured out the 'Mystery Melody'."

"That left me with with as much chance as a blue peanut on a wedding cake."

"I don't know if it was the lighting effect in the dim hallway, but when she opened that door, I expected those thousand ships to slide down the ways again. She was wearing some kinda filmy thing that made a spider's web look like burlap. She had a voice that stole over you like a pint of Irish ale."

"I felt like a short girl with a new look."

"When I got up, my face looked like a relief map of Death Valley."

"It was hard to figure. It was like trying to throw a saddle on a porpoise."

"The Lyon was there, pecking on that same old Remington. Somebody'd broken the 'period', but Lyon didn't mind--he seems to talk in commas, anyway. I don't know who he was writing to, but there were a coupla cereal box tops at his elbow and a contest blank. He was writing something about 'Why I feed my children your breakfast food . . . .' The Lyon's a bachelor."

"There was enough marble inside to make the Bank of America jealous."

"I kinda figured she was just upset, and needed a man around. . . When she opened the door, I knew she was right. You could see she was in mourning--she was wearing black lipstick. She was tall, and thin . . . with long blonde hair. She made Mr. Peabody's Mermaid look like a beginner. Right then, I knew this case was as much on the level as the city of San Francisco."

"When she said, 'Hello,' it melted all over you, like honey on a hot biscuit."

"One look at her and you knew Dallas was wrong about their women."

" I believe ya. . . you're letting your fingernails grow . . ."

"I couldn't tell too much about her, but if I'd a known her in college my homework woulda suffered."

"When I came out of it, I was all head--like tap beer in a cheap saloon."

"I had about as much chance as a snowball in a Turkish bath."

There were literally hundreds more, to be sure--and even more within the Pat Novak . . . for Hire, Johnny Madero Pier 23, and Pete Kelly's Blues canons.

Background and Introduction

Jeff Regan, Investigator first debuted as 'Joe Canto, Private Eye' on July 10, 1948. The subsequent week it debuted, yet again, as "Jeff Regan, Private Eye." By the time that CBS radio station KNX and the local newspapers ended up on the same page, the series was finally listed as Jeff Regan, Investigator. Over the years the newspaper listings often listed the program as simply Jeff Regan, Jeff Regan Det., or Jeff Regan Detective. Two titles that they never--ever--employed were the Lyon's Eye or Lion's Eye titles bantied about for the past thirty-seven years of the commercialization of vintage radio recordings as 'otr' or 'old time radio.' Those of you who've believed that malarkey for the past forty years can finally stop looking for anything named either Lyon's Eye or Lion's Eye. Those two program names never--ever--existed, nor were they ever employed to either list or describe the program.

'Joe Canto,' referred to in the first listed debut of the program, was a fellow International Detective Bureau operative who worked directly with operative Jeff Regan in at least two scripts and by reference in at least two other scripts. The actor who portrayed Joe Canto was Radio legend Barton Yarborough, famous for his various Radio associations with Carlton E. Morse, in One Man's Family, I Love A Mystery, and Adventures By Morse. Yarborough was also Jack Webb's sidekick, 'Sgt. Ben Romero,' for the first 133 episodes of Webb's legendary Dragnet program over Radio. Yarborough was tapped to be Webb's first sidekick in the Television version of Dragnet, but tragically suffered a massive heart-attack the night after the proposed second film production of the Television series was in the can.

Joe Canto, Private Eye might have been a quite similar rendition of Jeff Regan, Investigator. Yarborough certainly had the talent for it. But thankfully, Jeff Regan, Investigator began as another Jack Webb vehicle of the era--this time for CBS.

Jack Webb was riding a wave of predominantly West Coast buzz from his previous radio noir vehicles, Pat Novak . . . for Hire (1946) and Johnny Madero, Pier 23 (1947). With Jeff Regan, Investigator, Jack Webb's terse, innovative, staccato dialogue would finally reach an audience beyond the Rockies. It would also unite Jack Webb and Barton Yarborough for the first time in a regularly scheduled detective drama--a precursor to their extraordinary success together in Webb's later Dragnet program over Radio.

Jeff Regan and Joe Canto (Webb and Yarborough) were 'operatives' for the International Detective Bureau, a small private investigations firm in downtown Los Angeles, with often oversized ambitions. The oversized ambitions existed, for the most part, in the mind of Anthony J. Lyon, Esq. (Wilms Herbert). Lyon, a defrocked ambulance-chasing lawyer, assumed the lofty title of President of the International Detective Bureau in an effort to attract more upscale clients. The International in the title of the firm was simply more pretentious window-dressing. As far as we're aware, no operative of the firm ever left the U.S., with the possible exception of a brief excursion across the Mexico border to Tijuana. Indeed, we're aware of only a handful of 'operatives' ever mentioned during the run of the series.

At this point we need to separate the background and production details of Jeff Regan, Investigator into what amounted to two very different productions--the orignal 1948 run of twenty-four programs, and the subsequent 1949 to 1950 run of Jeff Regan, Investigator, which consisted of an initial order of fifty-two installments, but tragically ended at only forty-seven.

The original Jeff Regan, Investigator (1948)

Jack Webb and roommate Richard L. Breen had escaped the San Francisco Bay area, KGO, and ABC when professional differences obliged Breen to exit from Webb, Breen, and William P. Rousseau's highly successful production of Pat Novak . . . for Hire after only twenty-four programs. The details of the kerfuffle remain obscure, but they were apparently significant enough for Breen to split for Tinseltown almost overnight. Webb reportedly followed him the following day, driving down to stay with his Mom in Santa Monica until the details of any futher professional collaborations in Hollywood could be hashed out.

Webb and Breen's fortunes took an upswing when Don-Lee Mutual offered to produce a Pat Novak . . . for Hire clone, Johnny Madero, Pier 23, from the Don-Lee studios. The Hollywood gig reportedly enabled Jack Webb to marry Julie London, a Jazz songstress and actress with her own rising star. Breen and Webb cranked out the concept for Johnny Madero, Pier 23, quite intentionally in the mold of Pat Novak . . . for Hire, but the writing credit for most of the programs went to the talented writing team of Herb Margolis and Lou Morheim.

Johnny Madero was Webb's first genuinely national exposure with the genre--and his first leading role before a national audience. But Johnny Madero, Pier 23 had been ordered as a summer run only. Once the series ended, Jack Webb ended up freelancing around the studios in an effort to either break into Film or hook up with another Radio vehicle. The irony was that while demand for more of Pat Novak . . . for Hire remained unabated, Webb couldn't find another gig in Hollywood after completing Johnny Madero, Pier 23.

Jack Webb eventually impressed CBS enough that they offered him another national audience with their production of Jeff Regan, Investigator. Jeff Regan, Investigator would come with all the bells and whistles of any CBS Hollywood-originating series. Webb was given the talents of E. Jack Neuman to help write the series and Webb sought, and obtained the talents of Barton Yarborough and Wilms Herbert, two of Radio's most versatile--and underrated--character actors to co-star in the vehicle.

With the launch of the 1948 run of Jeff Regan, Webb settled in to yet another opportunity to showcase his snappy, compelling--and by then, oft-imitated--delivery to another, much larger national audience. As briefly described above, the ensemble cast consisted of Jack Webb as Jeff Regan, Wilms Herbert as his money-grubbing boss, Anthony J. Lyon, and Barton Yarborough as fellow operative and comrade in arms, Joe Canto, at the International Detective Bureau. Laurette Fillbrandt makes an occasional repeat appearance as Lyon's beleagured private secretary, Melody.

With the CBS Hollywood connection, came some of the finest West Coast Radio talent then available for supporting casts, among them: Betty Lou Gerson, Harry Lang, Lou Krugman, Ken Christy, Hans Conried, Jeff Chandler, William Conrad, Berry Kroeger, Marvin Miller, Paul Frees, Wally Maher, Lureen Tuttle, Herb Butterfield, Gloria Blondell, John Hoyt, Larry Dobkin, Paul Dubov and Herb Vigran.

Del Castillo and his electric organ provided the initial underscore for the series and it was announced by Bob Stevenson and Bob Lemond. Gordon T. Hughes and Sterling Tracy produced and directed the 1948 run. Dick Aurandt later assumed the musical scoring for the 1948 run.

Fans of the Jack Webb gumshoe vehicles that preceded Jeff Regan, Investigator may have noticed the abscence of 'father confessor' or foil in the Jeff Regan canon. Tudor Owen had portrayed Jocko Madigan in Pat Novak . . . for Hire and Gale Gordon portrayed Father Leahy in Johnny Madero, Pier 23. For Jeff Regan, Investigator, Barton Yarborough's character, Joe Canto, served in that role on rare occasions, but it in Jeff Regan, Investigator, Jack Webb was allowed to pretty much go his own way for the 1948 run--but not for lack of a fascinating array of interesting clients, in any case. Nor were fans of Webb's signature metaphors, aphorisms and euphemisms disappointed in the least.

Upon completion of the 1948 run of Jeff Regan, Investigator, Jack Webb began production of the Pat Novak . . . for Hire revival run of 1949 for ABC in Hollywood, while simultaneously undertaking preparations for his most ambitious project, Dragnet.

The Jeff Regan, Investigator run of 1949-1950

After Jack Webb's departure from Jeff Regan, Investigator the demand for the series remained high, but it wasn't until October 1949 that CBS regrouped for another season of Jeff Regan, Investigator, with a new cast and lead--talented young actor and voice talent, Frank Graham. Frank Graham was only a few years older than Jack Webb at the time, had tremendous range and versatility, and had been making an increasing name for himself as a CBS announcer and actor and with increasing voice work in Animation features of the era. He was also one of the handful of voice talents of the era referred to as a 'Man of a Thousand Voices.'

Supporting Frank Graham in the revival of Jeff Regan, Investigator were Radio legend, Frank Nelson in the role of Anthony J. Lyon, and Jim Backus in various roles. On the production side, the revival was produced by Sterling Tracy, with writing support from E. Jack Neuman and Adrian Gendot, initially. Dick Aurandt continued with his original music, and Bob Stevenson continued as announcer. Writing chores were later turned over to William Fifield, William Froug and Gilbert Thomas.

The scripts for the revival series were as entertaining and compelling as in the original run, but Frank Graham, though certainly talented enough in the role of Jeff Regan, wasn't Jack Webb. The backchat and byplay between Graham and Frank Nelson as Anthony J. Lyon was the better for Frank Nelson's contributions. Indeed, had the original series never aired with Jack Webb and Wilms Herbert in the leading roles, there's every expectation that Frank Graham and Frank Nelson would have gone down in Radio history as the definitive starring duo of the series.

Jack Webb had left big shoes to fill in the Jeff Regan role. Young Frank Graham, for his part, had begun producing his own promising series with the unlikely title, Satan's Waitin'--a prophetic title, given the events of 1950--with partner Van Des Autels. And although Jeff Regan, Investigator continued to do well, listening audiences had just experienced the revival of Pat Novak . . . for Hire during the Spring and Summer of 1949. Thus, Jack Webb's continuing presence in a similar role left an even more noticeable contrast between Frank Graham's portrayal of Jeff Regan and Webb's very similar roles as the previous Jeff Regan, as Johnny Madero, and as Pat Novak the second time around.

There's every expectation that, once Frank Graham had become Jeff Regan in the role that the series might well have continued for at least one more season beyond 1950. The Hooper numbers for the series were strong, the ensemble cast was growing into their respective starring and recurring roles, and the writing was as crisp, clever and ironic as ever. But as the series neared the end of its run for 1950, tragedy struck the production.

Frank Graham, by all contemporary accounts, was on the fast track to a highly successful career in Radio, Television and Animation. His voice talent was in great demand in Animation, his success with CBS as an announcer, narrator, actor and producer was being noticed, and he was already being cited as an up and comer throughout the entertainment industry. But the morning newspapers of September 3, 1950 brought news totally at odds with everyone's expectations of Frank Graham's rising star. He was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning, apparently at his own hand, in the garage of his Hollywood Hills home. He was found clutching a photo of his current lady friend, Mildred Rossi, a talented young animator for the Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. Graham had apparently taken his own life in response to disappointment over the progress of his relationship with Ms. Rossi.

It is as yet unknown if the September 3 episode aired that evening. One would hope that it didn't, in any case. News paper accounts of Graham's suicide stated that CBS wouldn't be airing the night's episode of September 3rd 1950. The same accounts stated that CBS--and Graham--had completed "several more"--probably five--episodes, but didn't state if the network would be airning them.

In any case, that was the end of Jeff Regan, Investigator--literally and figuratively. A sad and utterly unnecessary end to an engaging series, to be sure, but also a simple reminder that the lives and adventures portrayed over Radio were performed by quite fallible human beings. CBS, for it's part, made no further effort to revive the series from that point forward.

In spite of the unexpected--and tragic--end of the series, the entire surviving Jeff Regan, Investigator canon remains one of Radio's most prized exemplars of the radio noir genre. With the possible exception of the Pete Kelly's Blues Summer run of 1951, Radio would never again hear the unique brand of satiric radio noir upon which Jack Webb and Richard Breen had left their indelible stamp.

Series Derivatives:

Joe Canto, Private Eye; Jeff Regan, Private Eye; AFRTS Radio Mystery Theater
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Detective Dramas
Network(s): CBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 1948 Run: 48-07-10 01 Doctor, Lawyer and Indian Chief
1949 Run: 49-10-05 01
The Burned Out Immigrant
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 1948 Run: 48-07-10 to 48-12-18; CBS [KNX]; Twenty-four, 30-minute programs; Saturdays, 9:30 p.m.
1949 Run: 49-10-05 to 50-09-03; CBS; Forty-seven, 30-minute programs; Wednesdays, then Fridays, varying evening times.
Syndication: Radio Recorders [for CBS]; AFRTS
Sponsors:
Director(s): Gordon T. Hughes [Producer/Director]
Sterling Tracy [Producer/Director]
Cliff Howell [Director]
Principal Actors: Betty Lou Gerson, Eve McVeagh, Harry Lang, Jack Webb, Laurette Fillbrandt, Lou Krugman, Theodore Von Eltz, Wilms Herbert, Ken Christy, Hans Conried, Jack Kruschen, Marlo Dwyer, Edgar Barrier, Jeff Chandler, Sidney Miller, William Conrad, Berry Kroeger, Lurene Tuttle, Lou Krugman, Lureen Tuttle, Dave Henderson, Marvin Miller, Tim Rogers, Dickie Chambers, Paul Frees, Wally Maher, Bernice Barrett, Charles McGraw, David Ellis, Herb Butterfield, June Martell, Yvonne Peattie, Gloria Blondell, Grace Leonard, Jack Petruzzi, John Hoyt, Lawrence Dobkin, Mary Lansing, Herb Ellis, Ed Begley, Clayton Post, Leo Cleary, Paul Dubov, Charles Seel, Carol Matthews, Herb Vigran, Pat McGeehan, Frank Graham, Frank Nelson, Jim Backus.
Recurring Character(s): Jeff Regan [Jack Webb, Frank Graham and Paul Dubov], Joe Canto [Barton Yarborough], Anthony J. Lyon [Wilms Herbert and Frank Nelson]
Protagonist(s): Jeff Regan and Joe Canto, Operatives for the International Detective Bureau; Anthony J. Lyon, Esq., Owner of the International Detective Bureau; Melody, the firm's beleagured secretary.
Author(s): None
Writer(s) E. Jack Neuman, Larry Roman, Jackson Gillis, William Froug, William Fifield, Gilbert Thomas
Music Direction: Del Castillo [Organ]
Milton Charles [Composer/Conductor/Organ]
Richard Aurandt [Music]
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Bob Stevenson, Bob Lemond, Joe Walters
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
1948 Run: 24
1949 Run: 47
Episodes in Circulation: 1948 Run: 23
1949 Run: 8
Total Episodes in Collection: 1948 Run: 23
1949 Run: 14
Provenances:
Contributor Jerry Haendiges.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were newspaper listings.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

During this effort we uncovered several new titles for the canon that actually aired. Most important among them was the title of the first episode, Doctor, Lawyer and Indian Chief. This puts to rest the notion that The Prodigal Daughter was the premiere episode.

As noted in the Dee-Scription, there was never--ever--any series titled either Lion's Eye, Lyon's Eye, or Jeff Regan, Lion's Eye. Don't waste another moment of time looking for them in Golden Age Radio history. They only ever existed in the minds of the commercial 'otr' community that invented the title to sell something that never existed in the first place. Nor should you believe any rubbish that states that Jeff Regan, Investigaor was 'reorganized' as "The Lion's Eye"--also a lie.

Frank Graham was a Radio producer himself. Therefore it's likely that the 1949-1950 run of Jeff Regan, Investigator would have been ordered as a 52-installment run. We have yet to determine if the September 3, 1950 performance of Jeff Regan, Investigator ever took place. We'll update the log appropriately whenever we can deterimine the facts one way or the other. If it had aired, it would have been the 47th installment, leaving only five more of the original commitment. Obviously, Frank Graham's premature demise foreclosed any possibility of completeing a 52-installment order.

In that same vein, there may yet be two more of the original Jack Webb run of Jeff Regan, Investigator that never aired--Episodes 25 and 26. We're still attempting to track them down.

We invite you to compare our fully provenanced research with the log from the '1,500 expert researchers' at the OTRR and their Jeff Regan, Investigator log, which the OTRR claims to be correct according to their 'OTTER log' they represent as the "most authoritative and accurate vintage Radio database in the world":

OTRRpedia

We've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE to protect our own further due diligence, content and intellectual property.

The title for the first episode of "Joe Canto, Private Eye" was "Doctor, Lawyer and Indian Chief."


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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 Jeff Regan, Investigator Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
48-07-10
1
Doctor, Lawyer and Indian Chief
N
[Debuts as Joe Canto, Private Eye]

48-07-10 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--A new show debuts tonight with the title, "
Joe Canto, Private Eye." The first story is titled "Dr, Lawyer, and Indian Chief."

48-07-10 Oakland Tribune
9:30 --KQW--Joe Canto
48-07-17
2
The Prodigal Daughter
Y
[Debuts as Jeff Regan, Private Eye]

48-07-17 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--A new actor in the detective line debuts tonight when "Jeff Regan, Private Eye" is broadcast.

48-07-17 San Diego Union
Premiere of "Jeff Regan Investigator," KSDJ, 9:30 p.m.

Announces
The Lonesome Lady as next program.
48-07-24
3
The Lonesome Lady
Y
48-07-24 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--
A beautiful girl turns racketeer or shall we say racketeeress during the airing of "Jeff Regan, Investigator" over CBS.

48-07-24 San Diego Union
"Jeff Regan Investigator,"
solves an insurance policy case, KSDJ, 9:30 p.m.

Announces
The Lady With The Golden Hair as next program.
48-07-31
4
The Lady With the Golden Hair
Y
48-07-31 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan det
48-08-07
5
The Man Who Liked the Mountains
Y
48-08-07 Long Beach Independent
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan det
48-08-14
6
The Diamond Quartet
Y
48-08-14 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan det
48-08-21
7
The Man Who Came Back
Y
48-08-21 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan det
48-08-28
8
The Man In the Door
Y
48-08-28 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan det

Announces
The House By The Sea as next program.
48-09-04
9
The House By the Sea
Y
48-09-04 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--More crime story here as a psycho-consultant, Prince Keru, claims that actress Grace Nicholas, whom he has been blackmailing, has threatened to kill him in this episode of "Jeff Regan, Investigator."
48-09-11
10
The Story of Abel and Cain and the Santa Maria
Y
48-09-11 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--"Jeff Regan, Investigator," is assigned to recover a stolen pin on tonight's story of "The Story of Abel and Cain and the Santa Maria."
48-09-18
11
The Gambler and the Lady
Forgotten Feud
Y
48-09-18 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--
A nearly forgotten feud explodes into murder! The story is in the series of "Jeff Regan, Investigator."

48-09-18 Bakersfield Californian
A nearly forgotten feud explodes into murder as JEFF REGAN, INVESTIGATOR, finds himself caught between "
The Gambler and the Lady" at 9:30. Jack Webb stars as the soft-spoken investigator in a tale written by Jack Neuman.
48-09-25
12
The Lady With No Name
Y
48-09-25 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan det
48-10-02
13
The Man With the Key
Y
48-10-02 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det
48-10-09
14
The Too Many Mrs. Rogers
Y
48-10-09 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan, "private eye," finds himself playing a stand-in role tonight . . . for a corpse!

48-10-09 The Oregonian
Private Detective Jeff Regan will double for a corpse during the mystery program over KOIN at 9:30 p.m.

[Provenance: Cleveland clinched the American League pennant on October 4, 1948--a Monday. Jeff Regan's reference to the Cleveland Indians clinching the pennant 'last Tuesday' would have been accurate for this date]

48-10-16
15
The Lost Lady
Y
48-10-16 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det
48-10-23
16
Title Unknown
Y
48-10-23 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det
48-10-30
17
Fourteen Grand and No Client
Y
48-10-30 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--"Jeff Regan, Investigator," finds himself with 14 grand . . . and no client.
48-11-06
18
The Lady with Too Much Hair
Y
48-11-06 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det
48-11-13
19
The Guy from Gower Gulch
Y
48-11-13 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det
48-11-20
20
The Pilgrim's Progress

Y
48-11-20 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det
48-11-27
21
The Man Who Fought Back
Y
48-11-27 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Here's a novel switch to an old counterfeiting racket as told in "Jeff Regan, Investigator."

48-11-27 The Oregonian
Jeff Regan is hired to witness a murder during the mystery program over KOIN at 10:30 p.m. When the wrong person is killed, Regan finds himself fighting conterfeiters with a novel switch to an old racket.

48-12-04
22
The Lawyer and the Lady
Y
48-12-04 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--The client disappears as shots fly at "Jeff Regan, Investigator."
48-12-11
23
The Gambler and His Lady
Y
48-12-11 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det

48-12-11 The Oregonian
When a client asks Jeff Regan to break up a romance between her daughter and a gambler, Regan finds trouble when he meets a man with too many wives during the detective program over KOIN at 10:30 p.m.

48-12-18
24
The Man Who Lived By The Sea
Y
[Last Jack Webb appearance]

48-12-18 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan Det
48-12-25
--
--
48-12-25 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:30 --KNX--Concert Orchestra





49-09-28
--
--
49-10-05
1
The Lady By the Fountain
N
[9:00 p.m. , Wednesdays; CBS]

49-10-05 San Diego Union
Wednesday evening dialing specialties will be the C.B.S. premiere of Groucho Marx's "You Bet Your Life," KCBQ at 6, and debut of another detective serial, "Jeff Regan, Investigator," on the same station at 8.
Frank Graham, remembered by dialers as the story teller on "Nightcap Yarns," will portray Regan, a private detective with an unscrupulous boss, Anthony J. Lyon. In the first episode, Regan tries to trace jewelry stolen from a wealthy Bel Air wedding party.

49-10-05 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--When "Jeff Regan, Investigator," that fast-talking, fast-moving detective begins a new series with
an attempt to recover jewelry stolen from a recent wedding.

49-10-12
2
The Man In the Church
N
49-10-12 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--When "Jeff Regan, Investigator"
gets a new client he runs into trouble. He is handed $5000 and told to deliver it . . . but to whom . . . and how does this involve him.

49-10-19
3
The Lady from Brazil
Y
49-10-19 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
49-10-26
4
The Lady Who Wanted to Live
Y
49-10-26 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
49-11-0?
5
The Man In The Black Suit
Y
[Rehearsal]

49-11-02
5
The Man In The Black Suit
N
49-11-02 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
49-11-09
6
The Little Man's Lament
Y
49-11-09 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
49-11-16
7
The Two Little Sisters
Y
49-11-16 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
49-11-23
8
If I Knew You Were Comin' I'd Have Wrecked A Train
Y
49-11-23 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

49-11-24 Wisconsin State Journal
Looks like "Jeff Regan, Investigator," CBS whodunit now heard on Pacific coast only,
will soon switch to a national hookup.
49-11-30
9
Title Unknown
N
49-11-30 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
49-12-07
10
The Hundred Dollar Guy
N
49-12-07 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00—KNX—A $5000 convertible, with gold trimmings, has a subtle but deadly influence in "The Hundred Dollar Guy," "Jeff Regan's" case for tonight. When a bookie loses his best customer, the car is a tip-off leading to his whereabouts.
49-12-14
11
The Friday Night Off
N
49-12-14 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

49-12-14 San Diego Union
"
The Friday Night Off" caper will be investigated by "Jeff Regan, Investigator," tonight at 9 through KCBQ.

49-12-21
12
Some Enchanted Car-Hop
Y
49-12-21 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

49-12-21 San Diego Union
"Jeff Regan, Investigator," takes over
an unusual assignment involving a beautiful, but neurotic, redhead who is frightened by the strange packages she receives, KCBQ at 9 p.m.

49-12-28
13
The Man On the Hook
N
49-12-28 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

49-12-28 San Diego Union
When "Jeff Regan, Investigator," and his boss, Anthony J. Lyon, both are hired to go after a certain George MacDonald they discover that many persons, including the police are hunting for MacDonald in, "
The Man on the Hook," KCBQ at 9 p.m.

50-01-04
14
Not Quite A Thousand Violins
A Thousand Violins . . . Almost
N
50-01-04 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-01-04 San Diego Union
Starting with a love-sick violinist, "Jeff Regan, Investigator," becomes involved in a new-type artistic crime tonight in, "
Not Quite A Thousand Violins," KCBQ at 9 p.m.

50-01-11
15
Sure, A Little Bit of Murder
N
50-01-11 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-01-18
16
A Streetcar Named Schultz
N
50-01-18 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-01-18 San Diego Union
"Jeff Regan, Investigator," becomes involved with a wrestler with an English accent and
a, "Street Car Named Schultz," KCBQ at 9 p.m.

50-01-25
17
The Killer of Cats
The Barefoot Boy With Shoes-Gone
N
50-01-25 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-01-25 San Diego Union
When the directors of a Califonia art gallery ask "Jeff Regan, Investigator," to hunt for a missing painter, he suggests that they inform police in "
The Killer of Cats," KNX only at 9 p.m.

50-02-01
18
All the Queen's Men
N
50-02-01 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00—KNX—When "Jeff Regan, Investigator," received a letter containing two tickets to a burlesque show, plus $50, he takes his boss to the performance in "
All the Queen's Men" . . . when a murder occurs behind the scenes they go right to work.

50-02-08
19
Title Unknown
N
50-02-08 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-02-08 San Diego Union
"Jeff Regan, Investigator," investigates the murder of a friend with a Chinese letter opener, KNX only at 9 p.m.

50-02-15
20
Mama Inez
N
50-02-01 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 — KNX— There is a double tragedy when "Jeff Regan, Investigator," and his boss visit the restaurant of "
Mama Inez" where a hold-up and a poisoning are reported.

50-02-22
21
The Gorilla That Always Said 'Yeah-Ah'
N
50-02-22 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-03-01
22
Title Unknown
N
50-03-01 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-03-08
23
Title Unknown
N
50-03-08 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-03-15
24
Wine, Women and Worms
N
50-03-15 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00—KNX—"Jeff Regan, Investigator," is hired by a beauty contest winner because she fears her husband is going to commit suicide in "
Wine, Women and Worms." The husband, a worm rancher, disappears and the wife is arrested for murder . . . "the worm."
50-03-22
25
Hollywood Story
N
50-03-22 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00— KNX— "Jeff Regan, Investigator," is talked into taking on an odd but highly paid assignment from a movie producer in "
Hollywood Story." It is his job to keep a movie star separated from an ex-wartime buddy who is exerting a bad influence upon him.
50-03-29
26
A Tree Grows In Encino
N
50-03-29 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-04-05
27
Title Unknown
N
50-04-05 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-04-12
28
The Man Behind the Rod
N
50-04-12 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00— KNX—" Jeff Regan, Investigator,"
becomes involved with a client's problem child to such an extent that he is forced to ride in a hot rod race. When a car battle develops Regan tries to have both drivers disqualified to save their lives, but he is unable to prevent a crash of cars that was not of the kind expected.
50-04-19
29
The Smell of Magnolias
N
50-04-19 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-04-26
30
It All Comes Back To Me Now
Y
[Paul Dubov subs as Jeff Regan]

50-04-26 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-05-03
31
A Cure for Insomnia
N
50-05-03 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-05-12
32
Oil for the Lamps of Burbank
N
[Moves to Fridays, at 8:00 p.m.]

50-05-10 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 — KNX — A new mystery series
"Mr. Chameleon" leads off with the "Engagement Ring Murder Case" in which the murdered victim is the young woman who has recently received said ring.

50-05-12 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:00—KNX—"Jeff Regan, Investigator." is hired by a frightened little man named Clarence to save his daughter from a murder charge in the story "
Oil for the Lamps of Burbank." This is a new time and night for this popular mystery drama.

50-05-19
33
Lo, The Gentle Earthworm
N
[Moves to Fridays, at 9:00 p.m.; Possible repeat of 50-03-15]

50-05-19 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-05-26
34
A Claw, A Corkscrew, A Coffin, A Crab
N
50-05-26 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-06-02
35
This May Hurt . . . Just A Little
N
50-06-02 Long Beach Press-Telegram
9:00 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-06-11
36
Title Unknown
N
[Moves to Sundays, at 8:30 p.m.]

50-06-11 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-06-18
37
They've Got More Than Coffee In Brazil
Y
50-06-18 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-06-25
38
No Sad Clowns for Me
Y
50-06-25 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-07-02
39
Title Unknown
N
50-07-02 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-07-09
40
She's Lovely, She's Engaged, She Eats Soybeans
Y
50-07-09 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-07-16
41
All His Sisters and His Cousins and His Uncles and His Aunts
N
50-07-16 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-07-23
42
Ninety-Nine Men on A Deadman's Chest
N
50-07-23 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-07-30
43
A Fire For Romano
Y
50-07-30 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-08-06
44
There's Nothing Like A Pork Chop When Supper Rolls Around
Y
50-08-06 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-08-06 San Diego Union
Jeff Regan--The investigator tries to protect the life of a verse writer and immediately is beset by unpoetic poetry in "
There's Nothing Like a Pork Chop When Supper Rolls Around," KCBQ at 8:30.

50-08-13
45
A Streetcar Named Schultz
N
[ Possible repeat of 50-01-11]

50-08-13 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-08-20
--
Pre-empted
N
50-08-20 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30--KNX--
"Miracle of America Week," an all-out public service drive designed to review the accomplishments and to redidicate the principles of the American way of life, will begin with tonight's broadcast. This star-studded hour-long program will present radio and screen personalities as well as government officials and ad men.
50-08-27
46
Gentlemen Prefer Horses
Y
50-08-27 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan
50-09-03
47
The British Are Coming
N
50-09-03 Long Beach Press-Telegram
8:30 --KNX--Jeff Regan

50-09-04 Long Beach Press-Telegram
HOLLYWOOD, Sept. 3 — (INS)
The death of Radio Actor and Producer Frank Graham, 35, was formally listed as suicide by police today.
Graham, 'star of the Jeff Regan show over CBS and co-owner and announcer of the "Satin's Waitin " show, was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in his car at his home in the Hollywood Hills last night.
The exhaust had been piped into the car with a section of vacuum cleaner hose.
In his hand Graham held a photograph of a pretty brunet. Police identified her as Mildred Rossi, who, the actor's friends said, had been his constant companion until recently.

50-09-10
--
--





AFRTS Radio Mystery Theatre Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
50-07-30
43
A Fire for Romano
Y






The Jeff Regan, Investigator Radio Program Biographies




John Randolph 'Jack' Webb
(Jeff Regan)

Radio, Stage, Screen and Television Actor, Radio Disc Jockey, Recording Artist, Producer, Director, and Writer
(1920-1982)

Birthplace: Santa Monica, CA

Education: Belmont High School, Los Angeles, CA

Radiography:

1945 The Little Man Inside
1946 Spotlight Playhouse
1946 The Jack Webb Show
1946 Are These Our Children?
1946 One Out of Seven
1947 The New Adventures Of Michael Shayne
1947 Johnny Madero, Pier 23
1947 Suspense
1948 Murder and Mr Malone
1948 Escape
1948 The Whistler
1948 Ellery Queen
1948 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1948 Errand Of Mercy
1948 Guest Star
1948 The Anacin Hollywood Star Theatre
1949 Three For Adventure
1949 Pat Novak For Hire
1949 Dragnet
1949 The Adventures Of Sam Spade
1950 Family Theatre
1950 Night Beat
1950 The Story Of Dr Kildare
1951 Pete Kelly's Blues
1953 The Martin and Lewis Show
1953 The Bob Hope Show
1959 Hollywood Salutes the National Guard
1963 Weekend Sound Flights
1969 The Charlie Greer Show
1969 Special Delivery: Vietnam
Three For Adventure

Mark VII, Limited Productions:

Mark VII Logo, 1953

1951-1959 Dragnet
1956-1957 Noah's Ark
1959 The D.A.'s Man
1959 Pete Kelly's Blues
1962-1963 General Electric 'TRUE'
1967-1970 Dragnet
1968-1975 Adam-12
1971-1972 The D.A.
1971-1972 O'Hara, U.S. Treasury
1972-1979 Emergency!
1972-1974 Hec Ramsey
1973 Escape
1973-1974 Chase
1974 Sierra
1975 Mobile One
1978-1979 Project UFO


August 16, 1951 Article on Jack Webb's Work Ethic
August 16, 1951 Article on Jack Webb's Work Ethic


Jack Webb ca. 1955
Jack Webb ca. 1955

Jack Webb (lower right) at Belmont High School ca. 1938
Jack Webb (lower right) at Belmont High School ca. 1938

Jack Webb ca. 1948
Jack Webb ca. 1948

Jack Webb as Joe Friday, ca. 1951
Jack Webb as Joe Friday ca. 1951

Jack Webb, providing direction to Ella Fitzgerald, ca 1954
Jack Webb, providing direction to Ella Fitzgerald, ca 1954

Jack Webb and first wife famed Jazz songstress, Julie London ca 1955
Jack Webb and first wife famed Jazz songstress, Julie London ca 1955

Jack Webb at home with his first daughter, Stacey ca. 1953
Jack Webb at home with his first daughter, Stacey ca. 1953

Jack Webb, reading a script on set, ca 1953
Jack Webb, reading a script on set, ca. 1953

Webb, with Peggy Lee and George Jessel at 1953 Cerebral Palsy Fund Raiser
Webb, with Peggy Lee and George Jessel at 1953 Cerebral Palsy Fund Raiser

Ben Alexander and Jack Webb confer in the Radio studio for Dragnet, ca. 1953

Ben Alexander and Jack Webb confer in the Radio studio for Dragnet, ca. 1953

Jack Webb, resting on a lighting board for the production set of Pete Kelly's Blues, ca. 1955
Jack Webb, resting on a lighting board for the production set of Pete Kelly's Blues, ca. 1955

Jack Webb, ca. 1965
Jack Webb, ca. 1965
Born in Santa Monica, California, on April 2, 1920, Jack Webb's father had already left home before his birth and Jack Webb would never know him. John Randolph Webb was raised by his mother and maternal grandmother amidst the poverty immediately preceding the Great Depression.

To make matters worse, Webb suffered from acute asthma from the age of six until his death, despite a cigarette intake that often reached three packs a day throughout his adulthood. Even as a young man, Jack Webb's great passion was movies, and he dreamed of one day directing them. His other passion--Jazz, was the gift of an ex-jazz performer who lived in Webb's Bunker Hill, L.A. apartment building. He gave Webb an LP of the legendary Bix Beiderbecke, the first of over 6,000 jazz recordings Jack Webb would collect over his lifetime.

Jack Webb served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a crewmember of a B-26 Marauder medium bomber during World War II. Upon receiving his discharge, he relocated to San Francisco, working first as a late night disc jockey, then starring in his own radio show, The Jack Webb Show (1946), a half-hour comedy that aired on the West Coast over ABC Radio.

His first acting roles in Radio were in San Francisco-based Monte Masters' Spotlight Playhouse (1946) performing with Masters' wife Natalie Park (later of Candy Matson fame), 1947's The New Adventures of Michael Shayne, and his own Johnny Madero, Pier 23. He would later spin off his Johnny Madero character into Pat Novak for Hire and Jeff Regan, Detective before he refined his crime drama sights to the more realistic and subdued Joe Friday character in Dragnet. Most notable--and personal--of his early projects was One Out of Seven (1946) in which Webb performed all the voices, attacking many social ills of the era, including race prejudice, corrupt politicians, and Red-baiting.

Jack Webb had an extraordinary ear for the 'throwaway line' most often associated with the work of Raymond Chandler. But it was Webb's genius for drolly and cynically delivering those Chandleresque lines, that made every radio program he recorded during that era some of the most often revisited recordings among Golden Age Radio collectors. Nevermind the fact that he was bouncing those memorable, hard-boiled retorts off of the likes of Raymond Burr, William Conrad, Wilms Herbert, Tudor Owen, Herb Butterfield--and yes, even the famous Carlisle Bibbers. Webb's influence continued throughout most of the radio noir genre detective and crime dramas that followed, even though Webb's own Joe Friday character never uttered a Chandleresque line himself during any of the iterations of Dragnet that followed.

Indeed it was a small role as a crime lab technician in the film noir classic He Walked by Night (1948) that led him to the creation of "Dragnet." Dragnet first aired over NBC radio on June 3, 1949, and moved to TV ("Dragnet" (1951)) on December 16, 1951, where it ran until September 1959. Webb also appeared in the famous Billy Wilder film, Sunset Boulevard (1950) as William Holden's energetic best friend. But it was the influence of the gritty, hyper-realistic He Walked By Night, that linked Webb to Detective Sergeant Marty Wynn of the Los Angeles Police Department. Wynn was a technical consultant for He Walked By Night, and with Wynn's assistance--and entre to legendary LAPD Chief William H. Parker--that Webb mapped out the pains-taking, hyper-realistic model for Dragnet.

Dragnet's ground-breaking influence was being felt in both Radio and Television. Webb's star continued rising fast, and the 1950s saw him become a film director, directing (and starring in) five features: Dragnet (1954), Pete Kelly's Blues (1955), The D.I. (1957), -30- (1959), and The Last Time I Saw Archie (1961). Webb's famous--or infamous--attention to the minutest details made him a natural behind the camera, but his last two directorial outings were box office flops.

Jack Webb's personal life was also arcing from the mid-1940s through the 1950s. He met and married beautiful Jazz songstress and actress Julie London, in 1947. The couple had two daughters, Stacey (1950) and Alisa (1952) and Webb was a doting father, albeit greatly compromised for quality time throughout what came to be the most active and demanding years of his professional life.

The compromises inevitably took their toll, and the couple divorced in 1953. Webb would marry three more times during his life; to Dorothy Towne (2 years), Jackie Loughery (6 years), and Opal Wright (2 years). After his divorce from Jackie Loughery in 1964, Webb would remain single until he married Opal Wright in 1980, just two years before his sudden heart attack just before Christmas of 1982.

Webb's return to Television in 1962 led to his appointment as Head of Production for Warner Bros. Television in February 1963. Webb had taken over from William T. Orr as executive producer of the hit ABC detective series 77 Sunset Strip (1958). Webb demanded wholesale changes in the program, retaining only Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., in the role of Stuart Bailey from the previous rotating ensemble cast of Zimbalist, Ed Byrnes, Roger Smith, Louis Quinn, Jaqueline Beer, and Richard Long. The result was a predictable disaster. Its ratings plummeted, and Warner Bros. canceled the Webb-helmed series midway into its sixth season. Apart from the poor box office showing of Webb's two previous films, Webb's reputation as one of Hollywood's wunderkind had continued to rise. The loss of his position with Warner Bros. was the first significant stumble of Webb's career

Following two years of unemployment--and reflection, Universal Studios invited Webb to do a new Dragnet as a TV movie. The result so pleased NBC and Universal that they offered Webb a new Dragnet series--Dragnet 1967. The new, updated series was an almost instant hit, and Dragnet 1967 ran for three seasons, followed by over ten years in syndication. Webb leveraged Dragnet 1967's success into a second hit, Adam-12 (1968), which gave both Jack Webb and his Mark VII, Limited production company a new lease on life. Webb's success developing new television programs with Mark VII continued through the 1970s, right up until the time of his unexpected passing in 1982. Webb's daughter Stacy tragically died in an automobile accident in 1996.

Jack Webb was a tireless champion of both social justice and the peace officers he so respected throughout his adult life. Jack Webb's mark in Radio influenced hundreds of other productions throughout the 1940s and 1950s. His influence on Television is felt to this day.

But for his Radio fans, his body of work--and its far-reaching influence--carries on, generation after generation through the magic of The Golden Age of Radio and the wonderful recordings we've managed to preserve from the era.

Rest In Peace, Detective Sergeant Friday




Frank Lee Graham
(Jeff Regan)

Stage, Screen and Radio Actor; Radio Producer; Voice Artist
(1914-1950)

Birthplace: Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1937 White Fires of Inspiration
1938 Night Cap Yarns
1939 The Advs. of Cosmo Jones
1940 Community Mobilization For Human Needs
1941 Forecast
1941 Columbia Workshop
1941 Romance of the Ranchos
1942 Command Performance
1942 The New Swan Show
1942 The Whistler
1943 Stars Over Hollywood
1943 Cavalcade Of America
1944 The Sportsman's Club
1944 Four For the Fifth
1944 Melody Round-Up
1944 Jobs for Heroes
1944 The Purple Heart Program
1944 The Electric Hour
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1945 The Talent Theatre
1945 Theatre Of Romance
1946 Encore Theatre
1946 The Rudy Vallee Show
1947 Your Movietown Radio Theatre
1947 Sound Stage For Joan Crawford
1948 Adventure, Inc.
1948 Crooks Cruise
1949 Sing for Your Supper
1949 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1950 Satan's Waitin'
The Dinah Shore Program
Yarns For Yanks

Frank Graham, gifted young actor, producer and voice talent called ''The Man of A Thousand Voices'' was found dead at his own hand in September 1950 at the age of 35.

Mildred Rossi was a Walt Disney animator--and the tragic object of Frank Graham's affection
Mildred Rossi was a Walt Disney animator--and the tragic object of Frank Graham's unrequited affection.
Brilliant young voice talent, Frank Lee Graham was born in Detroit, Michigan, the son of an inventor and his wife.

Born also to show business, his mother was Ethel Briggs Graham, a concert and opera singer. Graham grew up in dozens of cities and attended a number of schools while traveling the concert circuit with his mother. He knew the backstage odors of grease paint and dress rooms as a toddler.

Frank Graham attended the University of California for a year then left to begin his acting career in Seattle--both on the stage and in radio. He was brought to Hollywood in 1937 to join the Columbia Pacific Radio Network's Radio station, KNX.

Graham had married the former Dorothy Jack of Seattle in 1935. They were later divorced. In addition to his radio roles, Graham's voice was well-known to motion picture fans. He created the voices of numbers of cartoon characters in animated films for Walt Disney, MGM and Warner Bros. studios.

Associates at the Columbia Broadcasting System said Graham was at the peak of his career in 1950. He had been starring in Jeff Regan, Investigator. He had just completed a summer announcing the popular dramatic program, Satan’s Waitin’, which he and Des Autels had developed, produced and owned.

He had starred in Night Cap Yarns over CBS from 1938 through 1942 and was the announcer of dozens of programs, including the Ginny Simms, Rudy Vallee and Nelson Eddy shows. He also announced or narrated several public interest programs over his short, but highly successful Radio career, including The Romance of The Ranchos (1941-1942). His last starring role in Radio was in the 1949-1950 run of Jeff Regan, Investigator, the series during which he took his own life five episodes prior to the end of the ordered run.

With an estimated 2,800 appearances over Radio by the time of his death, one can only imagine the mark he'd have continued to make during the remainder of The Golden Age of Radio. Dubbed ''The Man of A Thousand Voices'' by peers and fans alike, there's no question that Graham did, indeed, leave his mark in Radio--and Animation, Film, and The Stage.

A great volume of exemplars of his Radio work remain in wide circulation, with new examples entering circulation with each passing year. As regrettable as the circumstances of his early demise remain to this day, he's almost certainly acquiring thousands of new admirers of his extraordinary voice talent with each new release of his work. Frank Graham's gifts, as exemplified through hundreds of vintage radio recordings and lovingly restored Animation features of the era, continue to impress all of us who've heard or seen them.

Thus, despite the circumstances of his passing, he's remembered just as fondly. If only he'd have been able to see that for himself . . .



William Barton Yarborough
(Joe Canto)
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.

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




Frank Brandon Nelson
(Anthony J. Lyon)
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actor
(1911-1986)
Birthplace:
Colorado, USA

Radiography:
1930 The Count of Monte Cristo
1932 Tarzan of the Apes
1933 The Fleischmann's Yeast Hour
1935 Shell Chateau
1936 Lux Radio Theatre
1937 The Jello Program
1937 The Cinnamon Bear
1938 Texaco Star Theatre 1939 Good News
1940 Maxwell House Coffee Time
1940 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1941 Fibber McGee and Molly
1942 Gulf Screen Guild Theatre
1942 Command Performance
1942 The Great Gildersleeve
1942 The Jack Benny Program
1942 It's Time To Smile
1943 The Al Jolson Program
1943 Cavalcade of America
1943 The Roma Wine Show
1944 The Spirit of the Vikings
1944 The Raleigh Cigarette Program
1944 The Dinah Shore Program
1944 The Lucky Strike Program
1945 The Danny Kaye Show
1945 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet
1945 Mail Call
1945 Lady Esther Screen Guild Theatre
1945 Blondie
1945 Birds Eye Open House
1945 Pabst Blue Ribbon Town 1946 Hollywood Star Time 1946 The Eddie Cantor Show 1946 The Abbott and Costello Show
1946 The Harry Von Zell Show
1946 The Life of Riley
1946 The Baby Snooks Show
1946 The Cass Daley Show
1946 Enocre Theatre
1946 The Jack Kirkwood Show
1946 The Jack Carson Show
1947 The Rudy Vallee Show
1947 The Alan Young Show
1947 The Sealtest Village Store
1947 The Victor Borge Show
1947 The Smiths of Hollywood
1947 Family Theater
1947 The Jack Paar Program
1947 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1947 The Eddie Cantor Show
1948 Just Outside Hollywood
1948 A Day In teh Life of Dennis Day
1948 Your Movietown Radio
Theater
1948 The Jimmy Durante Show
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 Guest Star
1948 Sealtest Variety Theater
1948 My Favorite Husband
1949 Life With Luigi
1949 Our Miss Brooks
1949 Young Love
1949 The Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show
1949 The Martin and Lewis Show
1949 Four Star Playhouse
1949 The Whistler
1949 Jeff Regan, Investigator
1950 Screen Director's Playhouse
1950 The Private Life of Rochester Van Jones
1951 Stars Over Hollywood
1951 Hollywood Sound Stage
1952 Stars In the Air
1952 Cascade of Stars
1952 Errand of Mercy
1952 The Amos 'n Andy Show
1953 Destination: Blood Center
1953 His and Hers
1953 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1953 On Stage
1953 You Were There
1954 That's Rich
1954 The New Beulah Show
1954 Our Miss Brooks
1954 Suspense
1954 The Bob Hope Show
1954 Meet Mr McNutley
1955 Hallmark Hall of Fame
1955 My Little Margie
1956 The New Edgar Bergen Hour

Frank Nelson circa 1938
Frank Nelson circa 1938

Frank Nelson as Floor Walker with Jack Benny Dec. 12 1954
Frank Nelson as Floor Walker with Jack Benny Dec. 12 1954

Frank Nelson circa 1955
Frank Nelson circa 1955

Frank Nelson with Lucille Ball circa 1956
Frank Nelson with Lucille Ball circa 1956

Frank Nelson as Mr. Russell from The Real McCoys circa 1959
Frank Nelson as Mr. Russell from The Real McCoys circa 1959

Frank Nelson as Cecil B. Pomeroy from The Addams Family circa 1964
Frank Nelson as Cecil B. Pomeroy from The Addams Family circa 1964
Frank Nelson as Cecil B. Pomeroy with Lurch from The Addams Family circa 1964
Frank Nelson as Cecil B. Pomeroy with Lurch from The Addams Family circa 1964

Frank Nelson had one of the most identifiable voices--and faces--in Radio and Television. Short and husky, with a neatly-styled mustache and a deep baritone voice dripping with indignant sarcasm, Frank Nelson's career in Film, Radio and Television spanned over six decades. Frank Nelson was born in 1911. He started working in Radio at a Denver, Colorado radio station KOA as an announcer at the tender age of 15 and only four years later, at the age of 19 he was appearing some of the earliest nationwide radio dramas of the era.

Frank Nelson soon became another of the A-List icons of The Golden Age of Radio. He was a charter member (1937) of AFRA (American Federation of Radio Artists) before it became AFTRA (American Federation of Radio and Television Artists), and served as AFTRA's president from 1954 to 1957. He was a driving force in securing responsible pension plans for actors.

Radio programs such as The Great Gildersleeve, Burns and Allen, and
Fibber McGee & Molly made frequent use of his droll, squealing voice and "slow burn" takes. A show-stealer in even the tiniest of roles (clerk, neighbor, announcer), Frank Nelson performed in hundreds of sitcoms, culminating in his fifteen-year stint as a regular on The Jack Benny Program and as a returning guest artist year after year on I Love Lucy. His characters' appearances, alone, on Television and Radio were so predictably funny that script writers and timers had to allow extra time for a live audience's reaction to Nelson's stage entrances.

An equally well-seasoned voice talent in Animation, his voice will be well remembered from 1962's
The Jetsons television series.

Frank Nelson passed away in 1986 after a courageous fight with cancer--the same weekend that we lost Virginia Gregg. He was survived by his wife, actress Veola Vonn, and his son Doug Nelson and daughter Bonnie Esther. Veola Vonn followed him in 1995. The couple are entombed next to another Radio legend, Hanley Stafford.



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