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Original Mystery House header art

The Mystery House Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Mystery House
Mystery House spot ad circa 1944 with Rye Billsbury, Forrest Lewis and Nannette Sargent
Mystery House spot ad circa 1944 with Rye Billsbury, Forrest Lewis and Nannette Sargent

This is one of the W-G-N Studios that theatre attendees would have visited to watch a broadcast of Mystery House
This is one of the W-G-N Studios that theatre attendees would have visited to watch a broadcast of Mystery House.

Nannette Sargent's picture might have adorned the walls of many a founding Pilgrim bachelor, 'shocking' as it might  have been. Nan played lead on radio's Mystery House program
Nannette Sargent’s picture might have adorned the walls of many a founding Pilgrim bachelor, 'shocking' as it might have been. Nan played lead on radio’s 'Mystery House' program.

The original W-G-N building in Chicag
The original W-G-N building in Chicago.

A Chicago staple, and one of the last major Illinois brewing houses, Meister Brau beer from Peter Hand Brewers sponsored much of the run of Mystery House.
A Chicago staple, and one of the last major Illinois brewing houses, Meister Brau beer from Peter Hand Brewers sponsored much of the run of Mystery House.

One of the period Meister Brau delivery vehicles of the era. In this case a 1932 Studebaker delivery truck
One of the period Meister Brau delivery vehicles of the era. In this case a 1932 Studebaker delivery truck.

Background

Mystery House was a production of radio station W-G-N, Chicago, one of the charter stations of the Mutual Broadcasting System. W-G-N was owned by The Chicago Tribune--by their own lights, the World's Greatest Newspaper, hence the call letters 'W-G-N.' Consisting of a canon of approximately one-hundred thirty distinct scripts, W-G-N recorded the vast majority of the programs before a live audience from their W-G-N Studio Theater. As noted in the spot ad at the left, W-G-N encouraged listeners to order tickets for the recording sessions by simply requesting them from the station.

Mystery, detective, and crime drama productions that were broadcast in the early to mid-1940s hadn't yet fallen under the stricter curfew guidelines established by the broadcasters' self-policing National Association of Broadcasters (NAB). Indeed, even if Mystery House had been produced and aired during the curfew era, it's unlikely that it would have been assigned a curfew in any case. Mystery House was a mystery series, to be sure, but for the most part fairly wholesome compared to other exemplars of the genre during the World War II years.

The premise of Mystery House is relatively unique for the era. The main protagonists were a married couple, Dan and Barbara Glenn, owners and publishers of mystery novels via their Mystery House publishing firm purportedly located on Park Avenue in New York City. As a further twist, the firm had a policy of acting out their proposed novels prior to publication. This was an admittedly unrealistic concept--even for the 1940s--given the fast paced, frenetic business of publishing, but with a bit of suspension of disbelief the concept captures the listener's imagination.

The premise of the series also has all of the employees of the publishing house taking part in these 'trial runs' of a novel under development, an even more engaging twist that conveniently provides additional 'actors' to assist in stepping through every detail of an evolving novel until it's deemed ready for publication.

As best as we can determine at present, Rye Billsbury announced and narrated the series, Forrest Lewis portrayed Dan Glenn and Nannette Sargent portrayed Barbara Glenn. Production values are as might be expected of an in-house produced program. The live audience can occasionally be heard in the background of some recordings and the local productions were apparently well-received. Running continuously for almost three years, the series ran for the most part uninterrupted for the duration of the run.

Once one accepts the underlying premise, the program's format is entirely engaging. The underscore and accompanying incidental music is provided by traditional organ music to nostalgic effect. In that respect alone, the series remains a time capsule of sorts of the type of studio-mystery fare that enjoyed its heyday throughout The Golden Age of Radio. Indeed, even though the production was a home-grown product, it would seem that residents of Wisconsin enjoyed the series even more than local Chicagoans, judging by the abundance of information available as far away as Madison, Wisconsin in the newspapers of the era. Local newspapers, by contrast--The World's Great Newspaper among them, while actively promoting the series, provided little in the way of program synopses or even titles for the vast majority of the broadcasts.

The series was apparently so popular that a second airing was offered on Saturday mornings at 11:00 a.m., as well as its normal airing on Sunday, Friday or Monday evenings. This is yet another indication of the relatively mild violence and mayhem underlying most of the production's scripts.

W-G-N was, and remains, a powerhouse station of the upper midwest, and it's clear that this production was well-supported by--and a point of great pride to--the station itself. As evidence of the production's staying power, the Harry S. Goodman syndication firm apparently recorded most of the programs for later syndication. Under Goodman syndication the program enjoyed a subsequent run in 1951 and beyond. Virtually all of the circulating exemplars are from the Harry S. Goodman canon of recordings. It is as yet unknown if Goodman recorded the entire W-G-N canon of Mystery House programs, but the circulating exemplars appear, for the most part to have come from Canadian-syndicated Goodman transcriptions.

The programs were apparently recorded earlier in the day or week of their scheduled broadcast timeslot, since the Wisconsin broadcasts often aired an hour prior to the broadasts in Chicago itself. This lends further credence to our hypothesis that Harry S. Goodman was recording the programs for syndication from at least 1945-on, since that was the period during which the Wisconsin broadcasts began to be heard earlier than the local Chicago broadcasts.

When we undertook this article and log, the conventional wisdom was that there was little further to discover about this interesting, locally produced program. The previous known canon contained some fifty titles out of a possible 130+. The canon now contains some one-hundred-two titles with only 30+ unknown. Unfortunately most of the production details remain yet to be discovered. But we're certain that they'll soon surface. One thing certain about history is it's immutability. Some may attempt to reinvent it, rewrite it, or twist it, or distort it, but history ultimately reasserts its integrity, no matter what artificial forces act against it. History's facts, no matter how arcane or esoteric want to surface. It's simply a matter of bringing enough interest--and resources--to bear to facilitate the rediscovery of those facts.

We undertook the challenge of this conceptually unique program to uncover even more about a series that, to all appearances, enjoyed great popularity--at least regionally--for almost three years. We also hoped the effort might reassert the immutable history of The Golden Age of Radio in the process. We feel we've accomplished both purposes. And now that the canon is nearing complete rediscovery, perhaps those collectors holding back some of the thousands of transcriptions that almost certainly survived, will feel more inclined to release a few of them into wider circulation. We can only hope as much. The canon deserves it and Chicago's rich broadcasting history has earned it.

Series Derivatives:

None
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Mystery Dramas
Network(s): MBS [W-G-N]
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 44-02-19 01 This Man Was Poisoned
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 44-02-26 to 46-09-27; MBS [WGN]; One-hundred thirty+plus, 25-minute programs; Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays, and Fridays, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. or 11:00 a.m. [Saturday morning broadcasts only]
Syndication: Harry S. Goodman Syndication
Sponsors: Peter Hand Brewing Company [Meister Brau Beer]
Director(s):
Principal Actors: Rye Billsbury, Forrest Lewis, Nannette Sargent
Recurring Character(s): Dan and Barbara Glenn, husband and wife publishers of mystery novellas for their Mystery House Publishing House.
Protagonist(s): Dan and Barbara Glenn, husband and wife publishers of mystery novellas for their Mystery House Publishing House--and their staff.
Author(s): None
Writer(s) Unknown
Music Direction: Unknown
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Rye Billsbury [Announcer/Host/Narrator]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
137
Episodes in Circulation: 32
Total Episodes in Collection: 32
Provenances:
RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

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

We invite you to compare our fully provenanced research with the '1,500 expert researchers' at the OTRR and their Mystery House 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.

While it's too late to point out their earlier log, we've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE to protect our own further due diligence and intellectual property.

Here's their original 'Certified Accurate' log, prior to stumbling upon our research. You'll note that this is the 'Certified Accurate' log upon which the OTRR made their absurd recommendation that everyone in the vintage Radio collecting community with other, differing recordings destroy what they already had, in favor of this log. You simply can't find more bombastic arrogance than that.

You'll note that they cite Mystery House as a "1950s" series that "Sadly, not a lot is known about . . ", on their archive.org page--at least not until they discovered our research into the series. Below are our fully provenanced research results. One need but go to archive.org to see theirs. That 'certified accurate' nonsense of theirs has been sitting on archive.org for four of years now, with every novice or casual vintage Radio collector visting archive.org having taken it as gospel--simply because the OTRR said so. No proof. No provenances of any kind. No substantiation whatsoever. Simply 'certified accurate' because they say so. Even worse, they suggest that anyone downloading their 'certified set' destroy any other Mystery House recordings already in a collector's possession.

We regret having to ask the obvious, but are vintage radio collectors truly that gullible? We fully realize that this is--and will continue to be--an uphill struggle.

Even more to the point, how long are we going to be the only voice pushing back against continued misinformation and total absence of peer-reviewed scholarship--or integrity? Our only claim to the historical integrity of our logs and articles is that we actually listen to what we log--and we provenance every entry we can find to substantiate what we actually hear in these recordings. Neither do we foolishly and bombastically refer to ourselves as the 'worldwide authority on otr research' as the OTRR does. Clearly, if the OTRR is truly being perceived as such a distinguished body, then something's gone very amiss in this entire pastime, since nothing could be further from the truth--by any measure.

The OTRR used to cite a 1947 run of some eight months or so in its 'certified accurate' log. Those 1947 entries appear to be Mystery Playhouse episodes broadcast over MBS, not an actual rebroadcast run of Mystery House.

The OTRR maintained that the 1951 rebroadcasts were yet another unique run of Mystery House, but offered no proof of that assertion. It's our belief that the 1951 run was simply a subsequent Harry S. Goodman run of rebroadcasts from transcriptions. Indeed, the radioGOLDINdex -- a site that can be trusted -- cites eighteen reputed Harry S. Goodman transcription numbers from the 1951 run, all of which are recordings from 1946, which simply buttresses our conclusion that the 1951 run was simply a subsequent rebroadcast of the earlier Mystery House canon--from transcription--or possibly a completely different run entirely. Upon their discovery of these assertions, the OTRR's OTRRpedia site updated their log results.

The OTRR also suggested that the earliest airings of an NBC program also named Mystery House was a direct antecedent to W-G-N's independent production. From our own research we find no correlation--however tenuous--between the concept of the 1929 and 1940 runs to the concept of the W-G-N run.

Nor do we believe that the circulating exemplar of an NBC-produced episode of a program also named Mystery House was either an audition or a sales promotion vehicle for the W-G-N series. Indeed if, as the OTRR alleges, the NBC vehicle was a trial balloon for some sort of 'Mystery House' series based on the macabre plays of Paris' famous Grand Guignol then the concept itself bears no resemblance--by whatever tortured logic--to W-G-N's Mystery House production or its concept.

The OTRR also maintains there was to be some sort of tie-in from NBC's proposed Mystery House Radio production to 'several' Mystery House shorts or television film features being undertaken by Universal Pictures during that era--also starring Bela Lugosi. That no such series from Universal ever materialized doesn't seem to dissuade the OTRR in the least. Nor, apparently did any spin-off series of Mystery House periodicals or magazines ever materialize during that period. Nor, quite frankly, do we believe that a network of the acuity--and ruthlessness--of NBC would have seriously undertaken a Radio series anchored around Bela Lugosi during that period in his career--for all too obvious reasons. We personally adored Bela Lugosi's Film work--even the worst of it--and greatly admired his stoic, life-long suffering from thrice-inflicted World War I wounds. But the harsher realities of that era of his career were that no mainstream broadcast network executive in his right mind would have risked an entire series anchored on the Bela Lugosi of the mid-1940s and beyond. Sad? Yes. Regrettable? Absolutely. But all too self-evident.

By way of explaining the color coding of our log (below), we offer the following:

  • The dark red entries refer to information we can't substantiate as yet. For example:
    • In the case of titles or dates we had to 'back into' we also indicate our lack of complete assurance with the dark red encoding.
    • And of course in the case of pre-emptions, since we weren't there to hear the announcements--and in the absence of any 'as broadcast' exemplars, we have no irrefutable proof as to the actual pre-emption or how wide its effect, hence the red coding for those entries.

We are, however, reasonably comfortable with our evolving episode sequencing. We recognize that a station as experienced with syndicated transcriptions as W-G-N, would almost certainly have ordered or scheduled broadcasts in sets of thirteen t0 twenty-six programs at a time. Our best and current count of unique episodes of the canon is 133, excluding the three most likely actual pre-emptions over the three years of the run. That number is so close to 130 (e.g., ten sets of 13 or five sets of 26) to beg the question as to at least three additional possible pre-emptions over the course of the three year run. But given the current absence of some fifty remaining titles and their provenances we've necessarily had to qualify our episode counts and their effect on episode sequencing. With only thirty-two exemplars currently in circulation--and only nine with verifiable dates--we feel entirely comfortable assigning the existing exemplars with episode numbers from those below.

What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. Here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here's the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. 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.

We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:

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.







The Mystery House Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
44-02-19
1
This Man Was Poisoned
N
44-02-19 Freeport Journal Standard
9:30 p.m.--WGN--Bulldog Drummond

44-02-19 Chhicago Tribune
9:30 p.m.--WGN Mystery House,
44-02-26
2
The Incinerator Clew
N
44-02-26 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Radio Theater of Famous Classics (WGN)

44-02-26 Olwein Daily Register
9:30 Mystery House

44-02-26 Chicago Tribune
9:30-W.G.N Mystery House presents
"The Incinerator Clew."
44-03-04
3
Murder Makes Page One
N
44-03-04 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-03-11
4
The Curse of the Camel Back
N
44-03-11 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-03-18
5
Murder Goes to College
N
44-03-18 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
: "Murder Goes to College."
44-03-25
6
Death Ain't So Funny
N
44-03-25 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-04-01
7
Cemetary Park
N
44-04-01 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-04-08
8
Detective, Name Unknown
N
44-04-08 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-04-15
9
The Pin-Up Murder
N
44-04-15 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-04-22
10
One Coffin Reserved
N
44-04-22 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-04-29
11
Death On Schedule
N
44-04-29 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-05-06
12
The Corpse Wore Diamonds
N
44-05-06 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-05-13
13
The Closed Season Killing
N
44-05-13 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
: "The Closed Season Killing."
44-05-20
14
Candidate For A Corpse
N
44-05-20 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Candidate For A Corpse," story of small town political intrigue.
44-05-27
15
The Light Brings Darkness
The Ghost Brings Darkness
N
44-05-27 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"The Light Brings Darkness."
44-06-03
16
The Bride Was Missing
N
44-06-03 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-06-10
17
Murder Knocks Three Times
N
44-06-10 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-06-17
18
Death Laughing Back
N
44-06-17 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-06-24
19
Challenge to the Force
N
44-06-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Challenge to the Force."
44-07-01
20
If Looks Could Kill
N
44-07-01 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-07-01 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House presents "If Looks Could Kill."
44-07-08
21
Murder Needs Managing
N
44-07-08 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-07-08 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House presents "Murder Needs Managing."
44-07-15
22
I Hate People
N
44-07-15 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
I Hate People."
44-07-22
23
Murder Off the Reservation
N
44-07-22 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-07-22 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House presents "Murder Off the Reservation.
"
44-07-29
24
The Blind Shall See
N
44-07-29 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-08-05
25
One Drop Kills You
N
44-08-05 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
One Drop Kills You."
44-08-12
26
Death on a Dude Ranch
N
44-08-12 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-08-19
27
Murder's Bad for Business
N
44-08-19 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Murder's Bad for Business;" small town rivalry intermingled with murder.
44-08-26
28
A Notch for Riordan's Gun
N
44-08-26 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
44-09-02
29
Submerged Murder
N
44-09-02 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Submerged Murder."
44-09-09
30
Title Unknown [Probable Preemption]
N
44-09-09 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-09-09 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Gov. Bricker Address [M]
44-09-16
31
Death Strikes a Happy Medium
N
44-09-16 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-09-16 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House presents "Death Strikes a Happy Medium."
44-09-23
32
The Unconvincing Killer
N
44-09-23 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): mystery drama with Nannette Sargent and Rye Blllsbury.

44-09-23 Chicago Tribune
9:30 --W-G-N--Mystery House presents "The Unconvinceing Killer."
44-09-30
33
The Quiz Show Killing
N
44-09-30 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-10-07
34
Cupid Packs a Gat
Cupid Packs a Cat
N
44-10-07 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-10-07 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House presents "Cupid Packs a Gat."
44-10-14
35
The Long Odds Murder
N
44-10-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-10-14 Chicago Daily Tribune - 9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House presents "
The Long Odds Murder.

44-10-21
36
Unnecessary Roughness
N
44-10-21 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)

44-10-21 Chicago Daily Tribune - 9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House Presents "Unnecessary Roughness."

44-10-28
37
One Extra Body
N
44-10-28 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
44-11-05
38
Priority on a Coffin
N
[Moves to Sundays]

44-11-05 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Priority on a Coffin."
44-11-12
39
Wanted—One Body
N
44-11-12 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Wanted—One Body."
44-11-19
40
Death In Two Parts
N
44-11-19 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):

44-11-19 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Mystery House airs "Death In Two Parts."
44-11-26
41
Murder at Random
N
44-11-26 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Murder at Random."
44-12-03
42
The Jitterbug Corpse
N
44-12-03 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
The Jitterbug Corpse."
44-12-10
43
Death With Reservations
N
44-12-10 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
44-12-17
44
Murder on the Swing Shift
N
44-12-17 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): ''
Murder on the Swing Shift."
44-12-24
45
Another Wise Man
N
44-12-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Another Wise Man."
44-12-31
46
The Party Was Deadly
N
44-12-31 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
The Party Was Deadly."
45-01-07
47
The Perfect Ghost
N
45-01-07 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): Mystery House (WGN): "
The Perfect Ghost"
45-01-14
48
Phantoms of the Lower Level
N
45-01-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"
Phantoms of the Lower Level."
45-01-21
49
Death Writes a Palsied Hand
N
45-01-21 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "
Death Writes a Palsied Hand."
45-01-28
50
Death in the Nursery
N
45-01-28 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"
Death in the Nursery."
45-02-04
51
Title Unknown
N
45-02-11
52
Title Unknown
N
45-02-18
53
Title Unknown
N
45-02-25
54
Too Old To Die
N
45-03-04
55
Choose Your Partner [Possible Preemption]
N
44-03-05 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--Bulldog Drummond.
45-03-11
56
Death at a Distance
N
44-03-11 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--9:30 Mystery House:
"Death at a Distance."
45-03-18
57
Hotter Than Hades
N
44-03-18 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--9:30 Mystery House
45-03-25
58
Find The Body
N
44-03-25 Chicago Tribune
9:30--W-G-N--9:30 Mystery House
45-04-01
59
The Easter Story
N
45-04-01 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"The Easter Story".
45-04-08
60
Always Leave 'Em Smiling
N
45-04-08 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Always Leave 'Em Smiling".
45-04-15
61
Death After Dark
N
45-04-15 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
blind detective solves "Death After Dark."
45-04-22
62
Title Unknown
N
45-04-22 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Death After Dark."
45-04-29
63
Things Are Dead Here
N
45-04-29 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Things Are Dead Here."
45-05-06
64
She's Mine, All Mine
N
45-05-06 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"She's Mine, All Mine."
45-05-13
65
Title Unknown
N
45-05-13 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
45-05-20
66
Grandma Has a Cat
N
45-05-20 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Grandma Has a Cat."
45-05-27
67
Murder With Affidavits
N
45-05-27 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder With Affidavits."
45-06-03
68
Fear Is My Foe
N
45-06-03 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Fear Is My Foe."
45-06-10
69
Murder for a Killer
Murder of Mystery for A Killer
N
45-06-10 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder for a Killer."
45-06-17
70
The Corpse Gets the Point
N
45-06-17 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"The Corpse Gets the Point."
45-06-24
71
Murder In the Gentle Manner
Murder In the Gentle Manor
N
45-06-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Murder In the Gentle Manner."
45-07-01
72
The Quiet Guest
N
45-07-01 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "The Quiet Guest."
45-07-08
73
A Call to Dr. Lin
N
45-07-08 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
45-07-15
74
She Was Horrid
N
45-07-15 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
: "She Was Horrid."
45-07-22
75
Something About a Soldier
N
45-07-22 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
: "Something About a Soldier."
45-07-29
76
Mr. Murder-Map
N
45-07-22 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
: "Mr. Murder-Map."
45-08-05
77
Crazy to Kill
N
45-08-05 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Crazy to Kill," with live inmates from an insane asylum.
45-08-12
78
Whistle is a Hearse
N
45-08-12 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Whistle is a Hearse" when a fugitive hides out on a South Dakota farm.
45-08-19
79
A New Lease on Death
New Lease On Death
Y
45-08-19 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"A New Lease on Death."
45-08-26
80
Death at Deadline
Y
45-08-26 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Death at Deadline."
45-09-02
81
A Short Life for Mary
Y
45-09-02 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"A Short Life for Mary."
45-09-09
82
Malice in Wonderland
Y
45-09-09 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Malice in Wonderland."
45-09-16
83
Complete with Quartet
Y
45-09-16 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Complete with Quartet."
45-09-23
84
Well, Well Another Body
Y
45-09-23 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"[Well, Well] Another Body."
45-09-30
85
Sauce for The Goose
Y
[Time changes to 6:30 p.m.]

45-09-30 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Sauce for The Goose."
45-10-07
86
Death House Blues
Y
45-10-07 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Death House Blues"
45-10-14
87
Danger—Man at Bay
Y
45-10-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN):
"Danger—Man at Bay."
45-10-21
88
Death In The Saddle
Y
45-10-21 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN):
"Death In The Saddle."
45-10-28
89
A Case of Homicide
Y
45-10-28 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "A Case of Murder."
45-11-04
90
Murder for Laughs
Y
45-11-04 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "Murder for Laughs".
45-11-11
91
Death Plays For Keeps
N
45-11-11 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "Death Plays for Keeps".
45-11-18
92
Murder in Paradise
Y
45-11-18 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "Murder in Paradise."
45-11-25
93
The Subconscious Murder
N
45-11-25 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "The Subconscious Murder."
45-12-02
94
Dead Man's Thumb
N
45-12-02 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "Dead Man's Thumb."
45-12-09
95
Title Unknown
N
45-12-09 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
45-12-16
96
His Head in His Hands
N
45-12-16 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
: "His Head in His Hands."
45-12-23
97
Ghastly Giver
N
45-12-23 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "Ghastly Giver."
45-12-30
98
The Impossible Murder
N
45-12-23 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "The Impossible Murder."
46-01-05
99
The Ship of Death
N
[Saturday morning airing]

46-01-05 Wisconsin State Journal
11a m. _ Mystery House (WGN, WIBU): "The Ship of Death."
46-01-13
100
Meek, Mild Murder
N
46-01-13 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House
(WGN): "Meek, Mild Murder."
46-01-20
101
End of Sentence
N
46-01-13 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mygtery House (WGN): "End of Sentence."
46-01-27
102
Nothing But the Proof
Y
46-01-20 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Nothing But the Proof."
46-02-03
103
Plot and Counterplot
N
46-02-03 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Plot and Counterplot."
46-02-10
104
Right Fence, Wrong Side
N
46-02-10 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Right Fence, Wrong Side."
46-02-17
105
Murder On West Madison
N
46-02-17 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder On West Madison"
46-02-24
106
Title Unknown
N
46-02-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
46-03-03
107
The Body Beautiful
N
46-03-03 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "The Body Beautiful"
46-03-10
108
The Too-Perfect Murder
N
46-03-10 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "The Too-Perfect Murder.
"
46-03-17
109
Murder Fluffs a Cue
N
46-03-17 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder Fluffs a Cue."
46-03-24
110
This'll Knock You Dead
N
46-03-24 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "This'll Knock You Dead"
46-03-31
111
Death Passed My Window
Death Passed By My Window
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 33

46-03-31 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Death Passed My Window"
46-04-07
112
Sub-rosa Justice
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 34

46-04-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Sub-rosa Justice" .
46-04-14
113
Laugh? I Thought I'd Die!
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 35

46-04-14 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Laugh—I Thought I'd Die."
46-04-21
114
Murder Takes Practice
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 36

46-04-21 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder Takes Practice."
46-04-28
115
Death With a Punch
Y
[Moves to 8:30 p.m.]

Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 37

46-04-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Death With a Punch"
46-05-05
116
The Composite Killer
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 38

46-05-05 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "The Composite Killer."
46-05-12
117
Murder Me Gently
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 39

46-05-12 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder Me Gently"
46-05-19
118
Murder Is An Accident
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 40

46-05-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder Is An Accident"
46-05-26
119
Bury Me Not
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 41

46-05-26 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Bury Me Not"
46-05-31
120
A Killing In The Market
Y
46-06-07
121
Murder Hires a Hall
Y
[Moves to Fridays]

Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 43

46-06-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Murder Hires a Hall."
46-06-14
122
Bases Loaded
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 44

46-06-14 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN): "Bases Loaded."
46-06-21
123
Time to Kill
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 45

46-06-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Time to Kill."
46-06-28
124
Make Mine Murder
N
46-06-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Make Mine Murder."
46-07-05
125
Dagger in the Dark
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 47

46-07-05 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Dagger in the Dark.
46-07-12
126
A Vacation from Murder
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 48 [Vacation from Death]

46-07-12 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"'A Vacation from Murder."
46-07-19
127
I Thought I'd Die
N
46-07-19 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"I Thought I'd Die."
46-07-26
128
Drop Me A Line
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 49

46-07-26 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"'Drop Me A Line."
46-08-02
129
Operation - Murder
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 50

46-08-02 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Operation - -Murder."
46-08-09
130
Murder Is An Art
Y
Harry S. Goodman Transcription Program No. 52

46-08-09 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Murder Is an Art."
46-08-16
131
Title Unknown
N
46-08-16 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
46-08-23
--
Pre-empted
N
46-08-23 Chicago Tribune
8:30--W-G-N--All-Star game.
46-08-30
132
Whereabouts Unknown
N
46-08-30 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Whereabouts Unknown"
46-09-06
133
Title Unknown
N
46-09-06 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN)
46-09-13
134
Our Best Murder
N
46-09-13 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Our Best Murder," story of voodoo magic
46-09-20
135
Proof Positive
N
46-09-20 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Proof Positive" tells of "perfect crime."
46-09-27
136
Death with a Homey Touch
Death with a Honey Touch
N
[Last Original Airing]

46-09-27 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p. m. — Mystery House (WGN):
"Death with a Homey Touch."






The Mystery House Radio Program Biographies




Forrest Lewis
(Dan Glenn)

(1899-1977)

Birthplace: Knightstown, Indiana, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1937 Buck and Wheat
1938 Cabin at The Crossroads
1938 Wayside Theater
1942 Columbia Workshop
1944 Cavalcade Of America
1944 Attorney For the Defense
1945 Theater Of Famous Radio Players
1945 Pacific Story
1946 Mystery House
1946 Suspense
1947 Meet the Meeks
1947 Curtain Time
1949 Destination Freedom
1949 Comedy Playhouse
1951 The Harold Peary Show
1951 Let George Do It
1951 Uncle Judge Ben
1951 The Woman In My House
1951 Wild Bill Hickok
1951 The Roy Rogers Show
1952 Tales Of the Texas Rangers
1952 Escape
1952 I Was A Communist For the FBI
1953 The Six-Shooter
1953 The Railroad Hour
1954 Lux Radio Theatre
1954 You Were There
1955 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1956 CBS Radio WOrkshop
1960 Have Gun, Will Travel
1973 Hollywood Radio Theater
The Fighting Parson
Forrest Lewis as Dr. Murray in The Case of The Negligent Nymph from Perry Mason (1957)
Forrest Lewis as Dr. Murray in The Case of The Negligent Nymph from Perry Mason (1957)

Forrest Lewis as Luther in The Andy Griffith Show Oct 21 1964
Forrest Lewis as Luther in The Andy Griffith Show Oct 21 1964

Forrest Lewis as a sailor in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1964)
Forrest Lewis as a sailor in The Alfred Hitchcock Hour (1964)

Forrest Lewis as Cy in The Andy Griffith Show Oct 28 1964
Forrest Lewis as Cy in The Andy Griffith Show Oct 28 1964

Forrest Lewis as 'Pop' in The Monkees (1967)
Forrest Lewis as 'Pop' in The Monkees (1967)
Forrest Lewis was born and raised in rural Indiana. He made his Radio career initially in the midwest, working regularly out of the W-G-N studios in Chicago.

From the October 27, 1937 Lima News :
 
     Forrest Lewis, who plays the part of "Wheat" in the early morning sketch "Buck and Wheat" now measures to the 34 year mark.  He obtained his first radio part by convincing a program director that he (Lewis) was 72 years old...By talking fast and persuasively, Lewis won an opportunity to audition for the part.  The program director's secretary, whose good graces Lewis had won, suggested that her boss hear the auditions without viewing the actors...Flanked by character actors twice his age, Lewis emoted in a quavering voice, satisfied then startled the director with his actual age with the result that he was given the part.

Though actually closer to the '38-year mark' at the time of the above article, Forrest Lewis had been actively involved on the vaudeville stage and Radio for almost twelve years by that point in his career. Buck and Wheat was a 'blackvoice' comedy along the lines of Amos 'n' Andy. Vance McCune was 'Buck' and Forrest Lewis was 'Wheat'. Buck and Wheat was one of a long series of very similar blackvoice comedies of the 1920s and 1930s. Other similar examples were Mack and Moran as The Two Black Crows, Slick and Slim, Watermelon and Cantaloupe, 'Pick' Malone and 'Pat' Padgett with their Molasses 'n' January routine and of course Amos 'n' Andy by Freeman and Gosden and their earlier Sam 'n' Henry act. Not exactly Radio's finest cultural moment, but reflective of what passed for high comedy during the period.

This was by no means a direct reflection of the personalities or beliefs of the actors involved in these characterizations. That's simply what life had become in the post-Depression years. Indeed, Forrest Lewis was generally characterized in local news reports as being an extremely generous and altruistic young actor in the Chicago area for his time. For example, this from the January 21, 1938 edition of the Lima News:

     Operating marionettes of themselves, the entire cast of the "Cabin at the Crossroads" program will give a puppet show on Saturday of their "Cabin" broadcast for the Martha Washington Home for Crippled Children in Chicago.
Hariette Widmer, feminine emcee of the show, made the dolls, taught the Cabin cast to operate them, and planned the entertainment for the kids. It took her three weeks to complete the seven puppets and a specially constructed chorus, four weeks to make the stage and it will only take 30 minutes to give the show.
     She'll be assisted by Vance McCune and Forrest Lewis who are the blackface team of "Buck & Wheat. Roy Brower who is "Ornamental Johnson" singer of sweet songs on the program, Noble Cain's A Capella choir, and Sammy Williams and his orchestra.
     Determined to do something about it after receiving a fan letter from the home, the talented Harriette hit on the idea of the Puppet show and now the entire cast is busy learning to work the "strings."

A prolific and versatile actor in Radio and later in Television, Forrest Lewis was referred to as the midwest's version of a 'man of a thousand voices.' In characterizations ranging the entire spectrum of straight drama, comedy, western drama and mystery drama, Forrest Lewis was heard in several popular Radio programs of the era. He appeared in the long-running popular series Tom Mix Ralston Straight Shooters program as 'Wash.' He starred in his own radio program, Mystery House (1944-1946) as Dan Glenn, a role that allowed him to act-out 130+ 'mystery novels' for the character's publishing house named, appropriately enough, Mystery House.

Forrest Lewis was reported to be a descendant of Meriwether Lewis, the famous American explorer immortalized by the Lewis and Clark expedition. He'd made his first appearance on a theatrical stage as a singer--at the age of 12. He debuted at the age of 20, with the Emerson Stock Company, portraying an 80-year-old man. Over the next decade, he toured the United States in vaudeville and stock companies, before reportedly landing on Broadway in Lulu Belle, with Lenore Ulric.

Lewis made his debut in commercial Radio in 1929. He portrayed Harry Freeman on the popular radio series Scattergood Baines and with Van McCune, the other half of his comedy team, Buck and Wheat, and the above mentioned Harriette Widmer, star of the Aunt Jemima radio show, Cabin At The Crossroads. Lewis often portrayed as many as four to six characters on a given Radio program. He'd developed a 'margin coding system' for his scripts that helped signal him well in advance of the transitions between his many characters in a script.

Lewis resisted offers to appear in movies until the mid-1940s, when he began playing a wide range of character roles in movies such as Gildersleeve on Broadway (1943) and I'll Tell the World (1945).

But Lewis staunchly remained focused on his Radio career until Radio's waning years. He transitioned to television with the early Amos 'n' Andy and Dragnet programs, before long becoming one of the big and small screens' most busy character actors during the first half of the 1950s. He was cast in a succession of roles as doctors, judges, public officials, police officers, and, of course, cantankerous old geezers, long his specialty.

Appearing predominantly in westerns, he also appeared in the Disney movies The Shaggy Dog and Son of Flubber. He was later seen in two B-movie horror grinders, The Thing That Couldn't Die (1958) and The Monster of Piedras Blancas (1959) his meatiest role in Film up to that point. Howard Hawks cast him as 'Skaggs' in Man's Favorite Sport? (1964) and he appeared in an uncredited role in Red Line 7000 (1965). His last film Riot on Sunset Strip (1967), cast him as a senior expressing disgust over the behavior of teenagers on The Strip.

Forrest Lewis died in 1977 of a heart attack at age 77, almost four years after his last television appearance.




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