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Original Philo Vance header art

The Philo Vance Radio Programs

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Philo Vance

Philo Vance MP3 Cover Art for John Emery Series
Philo Vance MP3 Cover Art for John Emery Series

Philo Vance Premiere spot ad from July 19 1945
Philo Vance spot ad from July 19 1945

Philo Vance spot ad for Mutual Run from November 28 1946
Philo Vance spot ad for Mutual Run from November 28 1946

Jackson Beck and George Petrie reenact a scene from The Model Murder Case circa 1948
Jackson Beck and George Petrie reenact a scene from The Model Murder Case circa 1948

D.A. Markham (George Petrie) and Philo Vance (Jackson Beck) look for clues in The Model Murder Case circa 1948
D.A. Markham (George Petrie) and Philo Vance (Jackson Beck) look for clues in The Model Murder Case circa 1948

Philo Vance and D.A. Markham are held at bay by a .22 during the denouement of The Model Murder Case circa 1948
Philo Vance and D.A. Markham are held at bay by a .22 during the denouement of The Model Murder Case circa 1948

Background

S.S. Van Dine's Philo Vance remains arguably the most aristocratic of the popular Gentleman Detectives of the modern era of Detective Fiction. He clearly possessed every bit of the arrogance of Sherlock Holmes, Gregory Hood, and even Ellery Queen. But one counter that, as an aristocrat with no lack of self-confidence, at the very least he wasn't hobbled by either cocaine addiction or an overbearing father. Indeed he's arguably most like Gregory Hood in many aspects of his basic personality.

His other possible rival, Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe, clearly possessed every bit of the requisite arrogance of this class of private--or Gentleman--detective, but Nero Wolfe was also hobbled by his inherent agorophobia, proclivity for habitual excess, and murky background.

Philo Vance, by contrast, possessed no apparent excessive proclivities, other than his continually overbearing self-confidence, arrogance, and smugness. But let's be honest here. We don't expect protagonists of this level of deductive, analytical genius to be people we'd either want to have a beer with, or pal around with to any degree. What we do expect from them is to continue to think outside-the-box in solving some of the most vexing and fascinating mysteries, murders, and mayhem in modern Detective Fiction History.

Thirteen Philo Vance feature films captured the attention of audiences for almost 20 years during The Golden Age of Radio:

  • 1929 The Canary Murder Case with William Powell
  • 1929 The Greene Murder Case with William Powell
  • 1930 The Bishop Murder Case with Basil Rathbone
  • 1930 The Benson Murder Case with William Powell
  • 1930 Paramount on Parade with William Powell
  • 1933 The Kennel Murder Case with William Powell
  • 1934 The Dragon Murder Case with Warren William
  • 1935 The Casino Murder Case with Paul Lukas
  • 1936 The Garden Murder Case with Edmund Lowe
  • 1936 The Scarab Murder Case with Wilfrid Hyde-White
  • 1937 Night of Mystery with Grant Richards
  • 1939 The Gracie Allen Murder Case with Warren William
  • 1940 Calling Philo Vance with James Stephenson
  • 1947 Philo Vance's Gamble with Alan Curtis
  • 1947 Philo Vance Returns with William Wright
  • 1947 Philo Vance's Secret Mission with Alan Curtis

We also included two early made for Television movies from 1947 and the Paramount film Paramount On Parade, which featured William Powell as Philo Vance. Warner Brothers also produced a highly entertaining series of six "S. S. Van Dine" shorts starring Donald Meek and John Hamilton, one of which was Herringbone Murder Mystery. Of the feature film canon, two of the films were remakes. William Powell and Warren William were predictably the most entertaining and believable Vances, with James Stephenson and Basil Rathbone running a close third and fourth.

Neither listeners nor readers like being cheated out of a clear path to the solution of any of the mysteries these characters tackle from episode to episode. We tend to pride ourselves--to one degree or another--in possessing the analytical acumen to at least discover most of the clues provided by this genre's weekly mysteries without feeling we've been duped or deliberately mislead by the time an episode's moment of dénouement finally arrives.

Herein lies the true genius underlying the talented authors--and adapters--behind the protagonists of this genre of Radio Drama. And S.S. Van Dine [Willard Huntington Wright] was truly one of the most masterful proponents of this genre in the history of Modern Fiction. Often criticized for the very complexity, depth, and intentional misdirection of his plots, he was never unfair. Irrespective of his plots' twists, turns, blind alleys, and red herrings, S.S. Van Dine always managed to rein in all of the pertinent elements of his mysteries just in time for a satisfactory reveal.

Radio ushers in a more 'human' Philo Vance

Indeed, an argument can be made that the Philo Vance we hear in the various Radio series' of Philo Vance mysteries isn't quite the arrogant cur we read about or watch on Film. But neither is he a very lovable character in his Radio incarnation. The actors that depicted Philo Vance throughout this series of three distinct productions all share a very unique gift for portraying both Philo Vance's inherent arrogance and self-assuredness, while somehow allowing just enough room to be poked fun at from time to time by his freinds or casual love interests, depending on the canon.

What they also share are three of the most distinctive baritone voices in Radio--or Film and Television. These were three very wise choices indeed and the success of the Philo Vance franchise over the years clearly bears this out.

Our personal preference is Jackson Beck's masterful depiction of Philo Vance, but there's as much to be said for the two Jose Ferrer examples in circulation. Neither can we forget to add the Ellen Deering character to the mix. The Jose Ferrer incarnation of Philo Vance had his personal secretary 'Lane' Randall at his side. And as charming as Frances Robinson always was, that particular combination is more reminiscent of Let George Do It, or The Adventures of Sam Spade.

Ellen Deering, as interpreted through Joan Alexander was no shrinking violet, and possessed more than enough spine to stand up to Philo Vance's domineering personality whenever necessary. This made for a much more believable interplay between the two characters and offered some relief from the usually dry, expositional back and forth between Philo Vance and District Attorney Markham.

From the August 11th, 1948 edition of the Canton Repository:

48-08-11 Philo Vance Crosby Review

PHILO VANCE, the brains trust invented by S.S. Van Dine, now has a secretary, a flippant, hard-boiled girl, just like all the other secretaries to private detectives in radio.  The Philo Vance I used to know in fiction wouldn't tolerate her for a minute, but the radio version of Philo (Mutual, 10 p.m. Mondays) is quite a different proposition.

     Philo used to be quite an intellectual and bon vivant.  In the radio version he's just another smoothie with an eye for the ladies and a collection of wisecracks that would make the late author spin in his grave.
     I don't know why they insist on desecrating well known fictional characters this way.  Maybe a union rule among radio's private eyes requires hiring these girls.
     I expect Sherlock Holmes will have to fire faithful old Watson one of these days and employ one of these flippant babes to hand him the needle.  Holmes also will have to learn the language, will have to master the art of snarling out of the corner of his mouth:  "You'll burn for this, Moriarity."

     WHEN THAT DAY comes, I won't answer for the safety of the cast.  Sherlock Holmes fans everywhere will hie themselves to the nearest gunsmiths and then descend on the studios.
     This profanation of well known literary works is not confined entirely to mystery yarns.  Some time ago on the "Romance" program I heard a version of Rudyard Kipling's "The Light That Failed" in which that great story was coated heavily with sugar, or, as they call it in radio, romance.  Instead of dying with a bullet through his brain, as in the novel, the artist hero wound up in the girl's arms, gibbering about love, love, love.  It was enough to whiten the hair of a Kipling man.

     "THE LONE WOLF" (Mutual, 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays) is another wisecracking bachelor who solves crimes for no apparent reason and who is irresistible t women, particularly bad ones.  In a recent episode, the girl was Sandra, and a bum if ever I heard one.  In the end she was asking him to take her to dinner and he played with this notion in arch tones that suggested he was interested in more than food.
     Seems to me this sort of coy suggestiveness is approaching sex on tiptoes in much the same way the novelist once used asterisks.  About the only other thing you need knew about this wolf is that his program is usually studded with bodies and there are more than the usual number of suspects.

     "THE FALCON" (Mutual, 8 p.m. Mondays) is a distant cousin of the Lone Wolf.  The only difference between the two, as near as I can see, is the fact that the Falcon appears to devastate repressed women, rather than just bad ones.
     This is adventure without mystery, or with only a minimum of it, but there is a good deal of gore, a lot of very tough talk, much of emitting from the side of the mouth, and some painful overacting.
     Inevitably, at the end, there is a long explanation from the Falcon as to how he figured all this out, that I find superfluous, since I generally have it figured out way ahead of the Falcon.

     HOWEVER, I'm indebted to the Falcon for adding a nugget to my collection of understatements.  "No, he says, but yes, I say," one of the characters declared.  "You've got to listen to me."  What this character was objecting to in the mildest possible way was being killed.  Oh, well, I suppose in the make-believe world of murder mysteries death is so commonplace as to be regarded as a minor inconvenience, no worse than a bad cold.

The bottom line here is, there are no bad episodes of Philo Vance. The franchise seems to have maintained the highest standards of plot integrity and compelling mystery through all three incarnations of it's production runs. With new episodes surfacing every few months lately, this series has again become highly collectible and a wonderful addition to any serious collection of Detective or Mystery Fiction.

Series Derivatives:

Armed Forces Radio Service [AFRS] Mystery Playhouse H-Series
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Detective Mystery Dramas
Network(s): NBC, ABC Blue Network [West], MBS, The AFRS, and several other local affiliates and networks while in syndication.
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 1943-45 Run [Unknown]
Summer 1945 Run: 45-07-05 01 Title Unknown
1946 Run: 46-09-26 The Eagle Murder Case
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 1943-45 Run; NBC; [Unknown]
Summer 1945 Run: 45-07-05 to 45-09-27 [Summer replacement for Bob Burns Program]; NBC; Thirteen, 30-minute programs; Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.
1946 Run: 46-09-26 to 47-03-20; MBS; Twenty-six, 30-minute programs; Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Syndication: 1946-52 Run: ZIV Radio Productions; The AFRS
Sponsors: 1943-45 Run: Raleigh Cigarettes
Summer 1945 Run: Lever Brothers [Lifebuoy Soap]
1946-52 Runs: Pennzoil Gasoline, Beneficial Finance, Tavern Pale Ale, and other local sponsors.
Director(s): Jeanne K. Harrison; Frederick W. Ziv [Producer]
Principal Actors: 1943-45 Run: John Emery
Summer 1945 Run: Jose Ferrer and Frances Robinson
1946-52 Runs: Jackson Beck, Joan Alexander, Bud Collyer, George Petrie, Ed Jerome, Mandel Kramer, Ian Martin, Humphrey Davis, Bryna Raeburn
Recurring Character(s): Philo Vance [Jackson Beck], District Attorney John Markham [George Petrie], Lana 'Lane' Randall, Ellen Deering
Protagonist(s): Philo Vance: Aristocratic amateur gentleman detective, raconteur and bon vivant
Author(s): S.S. Van Dine (Willard Huntington Wright)
Writer(s) Summer 1945 Run: Bob Shaw [adaptation]
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): Henry Sylvern Organ Music
Announcer(s): 1943-45 Run: Tom Shirley
Summer 1945 Run: Don Hancock
1945 [AFRS] Mystery Playhouse: 'T4Y'
1946-52 Runs: [Unknown]
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
1943-45 Run: [Unknown]
Summer 1945 Run: 13 episodes
1946-52 Runs: 104
Episodes in Circulation: 1943-45 Run: 3 (includes 1 Mystery Playhouse episode #124)
Summer 1945 Run: 1
1946-52 Runs: 92 (includes 4 partial, 2nd side Episodes)
Total Episodes in Collection: 101 (includes 1 Mystery Playhouse episode #124 and
5 East Coast Episodes with Local Pennsylvania Commercials)
Provenances:

Billboard article of September 20 1947 citing the amazing success and market share of the Ziv Transcriptions business. It also cites an average of 450 subscribers of Philo Vance as of September 1947. Someone should mention this article to Radio Archives
Billboard article of September 20 1947 citing the amazing success and market share of the Ziv Transcriptions business. It also cites an average of 450 subscribers of Philo Vance as of September 1947. Someone should mention this article to Radio Archives.

ZIV transcription label for Philo Vance
ZIV transcription label for Philo Vance


ZIV ad for Boston Blackie also cites Philo Vance among its current offerings--from Billboard Magazine April 19 1947
ZIV ad for Boston Blackie also cites Philo Vance among its current offerings--from Billboard Magazine April 19 1947


RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, 'The Directory of The Armed Forces Radio Service Series', Terry Salomonson.

Notes on Provenances:

All above cited provenances are in error in one form or another. Some cite a Summer 1946 West Coast run of Philo Vance starring John Emery. From actual recordings we know the John Emery episodes are from a 1943 series of as yet indeteriminate run dates and episodes. Indeed, it was not a summer replacement series in any case, as provenanced by the dates of the two known available episodes from April and May of 1943. 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 Philo Vance log. We've provided a screen shot of their current log for comparison, HERE to protect our own further due diligence, content and intellectual property.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

The OTRR disingenuously cites some of the worst references possible at their Philo Vance References page:

  • The Vintage Radio Place log they cite is incomplete and inaccurate. It's the database from which the OTRR's infamous OTTER database was built.
  • The old-time.com log is also inaccurate since it's merely a copied rendition of The Vintage Radio Place log devised to promote the sales of the 'otr' dealers the author promotes on the log.
  • the OTRR's self-references to their Old Radio Times and their own 'certifed' collection are equally in error. Referencing oneself when one is wrong is no reference at all.
  • They simply ignore numerous dates and titles in all of their logs, referenced and otherwise, and their references ignore entire runs of Philo Vance.
  • They fail to note that at least four circulating episodes in their collection are only partial recordings (half-recordings).
  • They disingenuously fail to note that one of their earliest cited recordings isn't from the broadcast Philo Vance canon at all. It's from the AFRS Mystery Playhouse canon. The OTRR misrepresents thousands of episodes throughout their various logs that are not 'as broadcast' renditions, but rather AFRS or AFRTS denatured renditions.

The dumbing down of vintage Radio collecting has now reached the previously reliable former non-profit, Radio Archives, now a commercial operation with what would appear to be 'otr writers' penning the inaccurate fiction that passes for descriptions on every one of their offerings. If an organization with the previous reputation of Radio Archives can be dumbed down in just a span of four years, it's a barometer of how far the entire hobby has been dumbed down over that same period:

  • Radio Archives inaccurately cites a 1946 John Emery run as what they refer to as a 'revival' of the 1945 run, over ABC. That's utter nonsense. As can be heard in the lone circulating 1943 Raleigh-sponsored episode of Philo Vance, Tom Shirley cites John Emery as a "star of the Broadway success, Angel Street." Emery appeared in Angel Street from December 1942 to May 1943. If, as Tom Shirley announces, John Emery "is a star" of Angel Street, that dates the John Emery run of Philo Vance to between 1942 and May 1943. That's consistent with the currently circulating date of April 29, 1943 for The Case of The Cellini Cup as well as for the implied May 6, 1943 date of The Mystery of The Singing Cat.
  • Radio Archives' description cites the following nonsense for the very ZIV transcription encodes they're selling:

    "But, in 1948, the most enduring version of the character was heard for the first time."

  • That's a complete falsehood. The first broadcasts of the ZIV canon of Philo Vance that we were able to log were in 1946: a twenty-six week run over Mutual which premiered on September 26, 1946 and ran through March 27, 1947. Apparently making extravagant false claims on their website to give the impression they know something no one else knows about the Ziv Run of Philo Vance--and to promote sales of their CDs--has become more important to Radio Archives than it used to be when they were still a non-profit of some integrity. Goodbye the Radio Archives we grew to trust. Hello to a Radio Archives with the integrity of an OTRCat--or worse.

The 1945 Summer run of Philo Vance was a replacement for the Bob Burns Show. It began on July 5, 1945 and ran for thirteen episodes.

The 43-05-06 Episode is consistently mistitled 'The Case of The Missing Cat', but in fact Tom Shirley announces it as 'The Case of the Singing Cat', in the cue at the end of the 43-04-29 episode.

Most circulating logs omit either the 'The's' in their episode names. If a logger is too illiterate--or too lazy--to include the 'The''s in the proper titles for this canon why would anyone in their right mind consult such a catalog in the first place? If you take offense at this observation, do all of us in the vintage recording preservation movement a favor--find another hobby.

The bottom line on any of the ZIV-syndicated series' of Philo Vance is as follows:

  • The only current, verifiable account of ZIV-syndicated Episode Nos. 27 through 100 is contained within the radioGOLDINdex database of transcriptions--period.
  • Anyone who currently represents otherwise is simply being disingenuous. And yes, that includes the OTRR, The Vintage Radio Place, and old-time.com. It's regrettable that they'd all put their own commercial interests and commercial promotions ahead of historical accuracy, but that's precisely what they're engaged in. More's the pity for all of us. They are what they are.
  • We have managed to reconstruct only one set of verfiable, accurately sequenced and titled ZIV-syndicated provenances: in the 1946, ZIV-syndicated log below--for only the first 26 episodes.
  • To that end, we've provided a sorted list of the known ZIV transcription numbers and titles contained within the radioGOLDINdex database in our last log table below.
  • You make the choice: trust commercially motivated sales catalogs or trust history. It's a very simple choice: simple vanity or historical facts.
  • Prove us wrong and we'll publicly state so right here on the page. Indeed, we want to be proven wrong. That's what historical research is all about, isn't it?.

There are precious few provenances from which to date the only circulating exemplar of the Raleigh-sponsored, John Emery run of Philo Vance. The announcer cites John Emery's recent triumph in the Stage production of Angel Street. Emery portrayed Mr. Manningham in Angel Street between December 1942 and May 1943. The provisional circulating date for the one exemplar in wide circulation is April 29, 1943. It's entirely possible that Emery began appearing in a 1943 run of Philo Vance while still performing on stage in Angel Street. However, we have this, from the May 7, 1943 edition of The Salt Lake Tribune:

''John Emery, now playing in the Broadway smash hit, "Angel Street," is as much at home in pictures as he is in the theater and has made an enviable record. He appears as a nazi captain in "Assignment in Brittany''."

If Emery had recorded Philo Vance as a syndicated transcription, then it's entirely possible he was both appearing on stage nightly, while recording a 1942 or 1943 canon of Philo Vance. We're currently attempting to track this series via its sponsor, Brown & Williamson's Raleigh cigarette brand. When we discover more, we'll update this page.

[UPDATES: Thanks and a tip of the hat to alert visitor Gary Marsa, regarding a full, 26-program Ziv-syndicated run of Philo Vance broadcast as early as September 1946. Sure enough, this appears to be the earliest widely broadcast Ziv Syndication of the period--that can be provenanced by newspaper listings, not the later, more widely reported 1948 rebroadcasts of the Frederick Ziv syndication. Gary found his provenances in the Wisconsin State Journal for the most part. We cross-verified the run with the Portsmouth Times and Wisconsin State Journal. In addition, the previously theoretical dates of the 1945 Summer Series are now accurately provenanced.]

And of course--due to the advent of commercial otr--we have all manner of encoding nonsense and mischief to contend with in this canon. All the 'usual suspects' are present:

  • Recordings padded out with as much as six minutes of dead air to give the impression of either a higher encode, a possible rehearsal, or a complete broadcast from a truncated recording.
  • Intentionally mistitled recordings to give the impression of the presence of an episode not yet in circulation.
  • 'Hinky' encodes designed, presumably, as simple 'leg lifting' or 'marking one's territory.' This one's beyond childish.
  • "LAME-ing" inferior encodes in a distribution. Why in the world would anyone CRC-protect an inferior or crappy encode in the first place? This one's beyond childish.
  • Up-sampliing a marginal encode to make it appear better than it is.
  • Making circulating '1st half only' or '2nd half only' recordings stereo so as to give the initial impression of a full-length recording.

Last but by no means least. This was a Ziv syndication. Ziv, as in: the subscription was sold to whoever stepped forward to purchase it. The subscribers determined when it would air and in what order. There was little continuity in the Ziv canon of Philo Vance--by design. The few holiday themed episodes could be plucked out of the canon order by the broadcasting station if--and when--they determined that airing a holiday themed episdoe would be more appropriate for their listening market--or not. They owned the transcriptions. They could do with them what they chose once the sale was complete.


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

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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.







Philo Vance Series Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
43-04-29
--
The Case of the Cellini Cup

Y
[NBC Run with John Emery as Philo Vance]
43-05-06
--
The Mystery of The Singing Cat
N





AFRS Mystery Playhouse H-Series 'Philo Vance' Episodes Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
45-07-26
AFRS #124
The Case of The Girl Who Came Back
Y
Mystery Playhouse Episode with
Jose Ferrer and Francis Robinson

This episode is NOT currently available in 'as broadcast' form--from anyone.





Philo Vance Series Log NBC 1945 Summer Run

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
45-07-05
1
Title Unknown
N
NBC Run with Jose Ferrer and Frances Robinson for Lifebuoy Soap
San Antonio area premiere
[Replaces Bob Burns for the Summer]

45-07-05 Capital Times
In order of appearance, the replacements, of which two are additional detective mysteries, comprise: NBC 7:30 another Philo Vance Detective Series for Bob Burns;

45-07-05 Wisconsin State Journal
WIBA 6:30 NBC Philo Vance Stories
45-07-12
2
Title Unknown
N
45-07-12 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WIBA): detective series with Jose Ferrar in title role.
45-07-19
3
The Case of The Happy Yank
N
45-07-19 Wisconsin State Journal - 6:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WIBA): "The Case of the Happy Yank."
45-07-26
4
The Case of The Girl Who Came Back
N
45-07-26 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--WIBA--Philo Vance
45-08-02
5
The Case of Double Trouble
N
45-08-02 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WIBA): "
The Case of Double Trouble."
45-08-09
6
The Case of Strange Music
Y
45-08-09 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WIBA): visits a county fair in "
The Case of Strange Music."
45-08-16
7
The Case of The Green Eye
N
45-08-16 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WIBA): Jose Ferrer and Frances Robinson in mystery drama.
45-08-23
8
Title Unknown
N
45-08-23 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--WIBA--Philo Vance
45-08-30
9
Title Unknown
N
45-08-30 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--WIBA--Philo Vance
45-09-06
10
Title Unknown
N
45-09-06 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--WIBA--Philo Vance
45-09-13
11
Title Unknown
N
45-09-13 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--WIBA--Philo Vance
45-09-20
12
Title Unknown
N
45-09-20 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--WIBA--Philo Vance
45-09-27
13
Title Unknown
N
[ Last Summer 1945 Episode ]

45-09-27 Wisconsin State Journal
6:30--WIBA--Philo Vance

Bob Burns returns to fill the slot

45-10-04
Wisconsin State Journal
6:30
p.m.--Bob Burns (WIBA): tells of his vacation of first program of season.





Philo Vance Series Log MBS 1946 ZIV-Syndicated Run

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
46-09-26
1
The Eagle Murder Case
N
46-09-26 Portsmouth Times
Philo Vance, the famous fictional detective created by S.S. Van Dine, will make his debut in a new radio series tonight at 7:30 p.m..
"
The Eagle Murder Case". involving two partners in a business and the wife of the victime, is the first mystery to be solved by the suave detective, Philo Vance,
in this new series.
46-10-03
2
The Merry Murder Case
N
46-10-03 Portsmouth Times
"
The Merry Murder Case" seems anything but merry when Philo Vance is confronted with the corpse of a literary lecturer shot by three bullets. For even after he finds the guns and their owners, Vance must determine which bullet caused the victim's death tonight at 8:30 on the "Philo Vance" show over Mutual.
46-10-10
3
The Model Murder Case
N
46-10-10 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m. -- Philo Vance (WGN): "
The Model Murder Case"
46-10-17
4
The Orchid Murder Case
N
46-10-17 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p., m. — Philo Vance (WGN): "The Orchid Murder Case."
46-10-24
5
The Restless Murder Case

N
46-10-24 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.—Philo Vance (WGN): “The Restless Murder Case.”
46-10-31
6
The Poverty Murder Case
N
46-10-31 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.—Philo Vance (WGN): “The Poverty Murder Case.”
46-11-07
7
The Poetic Murder Case
N
46-11-07 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.—Philo Vance (WGN): “The Poetic Murder Case.”
46-11-14
8
The Coachman Murder Case
N
[A Coachman is a popular fly-fishing artificial fly]

46-11-14 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.—Philo Vance (WGN): solves murder of famous fisherman.
46-11-21
9
The Midget Murder Case
N
46-11-21 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p. m.—Phllo Vance (WGN) "Midget Murder Case."
46-11-28
10
The Blue Lady Murder Case
N
46-11-28 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Blue Lady Murder Case."
46-12-05
11
The Backstage Murder Case
N
46-12-05 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
Backstage Murder Case."
46-12-12
12
The Argus Murder Case
N
46-12-12 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
Argus Murder Case."
46-12-19
13
The Bulletin Murder
N
46-12-19 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
Bulletin Murder."
46-12-26
14
The Cover Girl Murder Case
N
46-12-26 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Cover Girl Murder Case."
47-01-02
15
Title Unknown
N
47-01-02 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 Philo Vance WGN
47-01-09
16
The Angel Murder Case
N
47-01-09 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN:
The Angel Murder Case.
47-01-16
17
Title Unknown
N
47-01-16 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 Philo Vance WGN
47-01-23
18
The President Murder Case
N
47-01-23 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The President Murder Case."
47-01-30
19
Heavyweight Murder Case
N
47-01-30 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Heavyweight Murder Case."
47-02-06
20
The Tree Trunk Murder Case
N
47-02-06 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Tree Trunk Murder Case."
47-02-13
21
The Blackjack Murder Case
N
47-02-13 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Blackjack Murder Case."
47-02-20
22
The Star-Studded Murder Case
N
47-02-20 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Star Studded Murder Case."
47-02-27
23
The Murdock Murder Case
N
47-02-27 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Murdock Murder Case."
47-03-06
24
The Vanilla Murder Case
N
47-03-06 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Vanilla Murder Case."
47-03-13
25
The Rhumba Murder Case
N
47-03-13 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Rhumba Murder Case."
47-03-20
26
The Magic Murder Case
N
47-03-20 Wisconsin State Journal
7:30 p.m.--Philo Vance (WGN: "
The Magic Murder Case."





Philo Vance Series Log KGO 1948 ZIV-Syndicated Run

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
48-03-26
1
The Eagle Murder Case
N
Premiere Episode of 1948-50 Run with Jackson Beck and Joan Alexander, [ZIV Syndication]

48-03-36 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-04-02
2
The Merry Murder Case
N
48-04-02 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-04-09
3
The Model Murder Case
N
48-04-09 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-04-16
4
The Orchid Murder Case
N
48-04-16 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-04-23
5
The Restless Murder Case

N
48-04-23 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-04-30
6
The Poverty Murder Case
N
48-04-30 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-05-07
7
The Poetic Murder Case
N
48-05-07 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-05-14
8
The Coachman Murder Case
N
48-05-14 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-05-20
9
The Midget Murder Case
N
[Moves to Thursdays 10:00 p.m.]

48-05-20 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-05-27
10
The Blue Lady Murder Case
N
48-05-27 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-06-03
11
The Backstage Murder Case
N
48-06-03 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-06-10
12
The Argus Murder Case
N
48-06-10 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-06-17
13
The Bulletin Murder
N
48-06-17 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-06-24
14
The Cover Girl Murder Case
N
48-06-24 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-07-01
15
Title Unknown
N
48-07-01 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-07-08
16
The Angel Murder Case
N
48-07-08 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-07-15
17
Title Unknown
N
48-07-15 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-07-22
18
The President Murder Case
N
48-07-22 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-07-29
19
Heavyweight Murder Case
N
48-07-29 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-08-05
20
The Tree Trunk Murder Case
N
48-08-05 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-08-12
21
The Blackjack Murder Case
N
48-08-12 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-08-19
22
The Star-Studded Murder Case
N
48-08-19 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-08-26
23
The Murdock Murder Case
N
48-08-26 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-09-02
24
The Vanilla Murder Case
N
48-09-02 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-09-09
25
The Rhumba Murder Case
N
48-09-09 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-09-16
26
The Magic Murder Case
N
48-09-16 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-09-23
27
Title Unknown
N
48-09-23 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-09-30
28
Title Unknown
N
48-09-30 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-10-07
29
The Idol Murder Case
N
48-10-07 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-10-14
30
The Golden Murder Case
N
48-10-14 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-10-21
31
The Flying Murder Case
N
48-10-21 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-10-28
32
The Butler Murder Case
N
48-10-28 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance
48-11-04
33
The Herringbone Murder Case
N
48-11-04 Hayward Review
10:00 p.m. -- KGO -- Philo Vance





48-07-13
1
The Eagle Murder Case
Y
Premiere Episode of 1948-50 Run with Jackson Beck and Joan Alexander, [ZIV Syndication], Thursdays, Tuesdays and Sundays in most West Coast markets. Mondays in New York. Tuedays for this log
48-07-20
2
The Merry Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-07-27
3
The Model Murder Case
N
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-08-03
4
The Orchid Murder Case
N
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-08-10
5
The Restless Murder Case

N
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-08-17
6
The Poverty Murder Case
N
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-08-24
7
The Poetic Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-08-31
8
The Coachman Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-09-07
9
The Midget Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-09-14
10
The Blue Lady Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-09-21
11
The Backstage Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-09-28
12
The Argus Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-10-05
13
The Bulletin Murder
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-10-12
14
The Cover Girl Murder Case
Y
[See 1946 provenance above]
48-10-19
15
Title Unknown
N
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-10-26
16
The Angel Murder Case
N
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-11-02
17
Title Unknown
N
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-11-09
18
The President Murder Case
N
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-11-16
19
Heavyweight Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-11-23
20
The Tree Trunk Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-11-30
21
The Blackjack Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-12-07
22
The Star-Studded Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-12-14
23
The Murdock Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-12-21
24
The Vanilla Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
48-12-28
25
The Rhumba Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
49-01-04
26
The Magic Murder Case
Y
[See 1947 provenance above]
49-01-11
27
Title Unknown
N
49-01-18
28
Title Unknown
N
49-01-25
29
The Idol Murder Case
N
49-02-01
30
The Golden Murder Case
N
49-02-08
31
The Flying Murder Case
Y
49-02-15
32
The Butler Murder Case
Y
49-02-22
33
The Herringbone Murder Case
Y
49-03-01
34
The Listless Murder Case
Y
49-03-08
35
The Curtain Call Murder Case
Y
49-03-15
36
The Million Dollar Murder Case
Y
49-03-22
37
The White Willow Murder Case
Y
49-03-29
38
The High Hat Murder Case
Y
49-04-05
39
The Movie Murder Case
Y
49-04-12
40
The Green Girls Murder Case
Y
49-04-19
41
The Cardinal Murder Case
Y
49-04-26
42
The Cipher Murder Case
Y
49-05-03
43
The Masters Murder Case
Y
49-05-10
44
The Meanest Man Murder Case
Y
49-05-17
45
The Butterfly Murder Case
Y
49-05-24
46
The Hurdy-Gurdy Murder
Y
49-05-31
47
The Red Duck Murder
Y
49-06-07
48
The Mistletoe Murder
Y
49-06-14
49
The Combination Murder Case
Y
49-06-21
50
The Peacock Murder Case
Y
49-06-28
51
The Motor Murder Case
Y
49-07-05
52
The White Murder Case
Y
49-07-12
53
The One-Cent Murder Case
Y
49-07-19
54
The Racket Murder Case
Y
49-07-26
55
The Cheesecake Murder Case
Y
49-08-02
56
The Tick-Tock Murder Case
Y
49-08-09
57
The Deep Sea Murder Case
Y
49-08-16
58
The Johnny 'A' Murder Case
Y
49-08-23
59
The Blue Penny Murder Case
Y
49-08-30
60
The Brotherly Murder Case
Y
49-09-06
61
The Oxford Murder Case
Y
49-09-13
62
The Checkerboard Murder Case
Y
49-09-20
63
The Penny-Ante Murder Case
Y
[2nd Side Only]
49-09-27
64
The Shoeless Murder Case
Y
[2nd Side Only]
49-10-04
65
The Black Gold Murder Case
Y
49-10-10
66
The Tea Cup Murder Case
Y
49-10-17
67
The Meeker Murder Case
a.k.a. Necktie Murder Case
Y
[We're a bit confused about the circulating a.k.a. for this title, 'Necktie Murder Case.' In the first place, only a lazy idiot would omit the 'The' from of such a title. In the second place, the title is announced twice within The Meeker Murder Case. What's the point of an a.k.a. for it?]
49-10-24
68
The Deathless Murder Case
Y
49-11-01
69
Title Unknown
N
49-11-08
70
Title Unknown
N
49-11-15
71
The Little Murder Case
Y
49-11-22
72
The Nightmare Murder Case
Y
49-11-29
73
The Thundering Murder Case
Y
49-12-06
74
The Birdcage Murder Case
Y
49-12-13
75
The Grey Glove Murder Case
Y
49-12-20
76
The Chop Suey Murder Case
Y
49-12-27
77
The Identical Murder Case
Y
50-01-03
78
The Tip-Top Murder Case
Y
50-01-10
79
The Left-Handed Murder Case
Y
50-01-17
80
The Talking Corpse Murder Case
a.k.a. Catty Corpse Murder Case
Y
[We're a bit confused about the circulating a.k.a. for this title, 'Catty Corpse Murder Case.' In the first place, why would anyone trust an anecdotal title from an idiot too lazy to type the 'The"? In the second place, the title is announced clearly within The Talking Corpse Murder Case. What's the point of an a.k.a. for it? And finally, what collector in his or her right mind would do business with anyone naming their titles so absurdly in any case?]
50-01-24
81
The Music Box Murder Case
Y
50-01-31
82
The Sterling Murder Case
Y
50-02-07
83
The Chicken Murder Case
Y
50-02-14
84
The Scarface Murder Case
Y
50-02-21
85
The Psychic Murder Case
Y
[2nd Side Only]
50-02-28
86
The Big Nick Murder Case
Y
[2nd Side Only]
50-03-07
87
The Church Murder Case
Y
50-03-14
88
The Mathematical Murder Case
Y
50-03-21
89
The Jackpot Murder Case
Y
50-03-28
90
The Ivory Murder Case
Y
50-04-04
91
The Mimic Murder Case
Y
50-04-11
92
The Nylon Murder Case
Y
50-04-18
93
The Golden Key Murder Case
Y
50-04-25
94
The Shower Bath Murder Case
Y
50-05-02
95
The Rooftop Murder Case
Y
50-05-09
96
The Whistling Murder Case
Y
50-05-16
97
The Manicure Murder Case
Y
50-05-23
98
The Money Machine Murder Case
Y
50-05-30
99
The Whirlaround Murder Case
Y
50-06-06
100
The Alibi Murder Case
Y
50-06-13
101
The Full-Dress Murder Case
Y
50-06-20
102
The Prize Ring Murder Case
Y
50-06-27
103
The Argyle Murder Case
Y
50-07-04
104
The Muddy Murder Case
Y
[ Last Episode ]





Philo Vance Series ZIV-Syndicated Transcription Numbers [radioGOLDINdex database]

Date N/A ZIV # Title Avail. Notes
1
The Eagle Murder Case
Y
2
The Merry Murder Case
Y
7
The Poetic Murder Case
Y
8
The Coachman Murder Case
Y
9
The Midget Murder Case
Y
10
The Blue Lady Murder
Y
11
The Backstage Murder Case
Y
12
The Argus Murder Case
Y
13
The Bulletin Murder Case
Y
14
The Cover Girl Murder Case
Y
21
The Blackjack Murder Case
Y
22
The Star-Studded Murder Case
Y
23
The Murdock Murder Case
Y
24
The Vanilla Murder Case
Y
25
The Rhumba Murder Case
Y
26
The Magic Murder Case
Y
29
The Idol Murder Case
Y
30
The Golden Murder Case
Y
31
The Flying Murder Case
Y
32
The Butler Murder Case
Y
33
The Herringbone Murder Case
Y
34
The Listless Murder Case
Y
35
The Curtain Call Murder Case
Y
36
The Million Dollar Murder Case
Y
37
The White Willow Murder
Y
38
The High Hat Murder Case
Y
39
The Movie Murder Case
Y
40
The Green Girls Murder Case
Y
41
The Cardinal Murder Case
Y
42
The Cipher Murder Case
Y
43
The Masters Murder Case
Y
44
The Meanest Man Murder Case
Y
45
The Butterfly Murder Case
Y
46
The Hurdy Gurdy Murder Case
Y
47
The Red Duck Murder Case
Y
48
The Mistletoe Murder Case
Y
49
The Combination Murder Case
Y
50
The Peacock Murder Case
Y
51
The Motor Murder Case
Y
52
The White Murder Case
Y
53
The One Cent Murder Case
Y
54
The Racket Murder Case
Y
55
The Cheesecake Murder Case
Y
56
The Tick Tock Murder Case
Y
57
The Deep Sea Murder Case
Y
58
The Johnny A Murder Case
Y
59
The Blue Penny Murder Case
Y
60
The Brotherly Murder Case
Y
61
The Oxford Murder Case
Y
62
The Checkered Murder Case
Y
65
The Black Gold Murder Case
Y
67
The Meeker Murder Case
Y
68
The Deathless Murder Case
Y
69
The Argyle Murder Case
Y
70
The Muddy Murder Case
Y
71
The Little Murder Case
Y
72
The Nightmare Murder Case
Y
73
The Thundering Murder Case
Y
74
The Bird Cage Murder Case
Y
75
The Gray Glove Murder Case
Y
76
The Chop Suey Murder Case
Y
77
The Identical Murder Case
Y
78
The Tip Top Murder Case
Y
79
The Left Handed Murder Case
Y
80
The Talking Corpse Murder Case
Y
81
The Music Box Murder Case
Y
82
The Sterling Murder Case
Y
83
The Chicken Murder Case
Y
84
The Scarface Murder Case
Y
87
The Church Murder Case
Y
88
The Mathematical Murder Case
Y
89
The Jackpot Murder Case
Y
90
The Ivory Murder Case
Y
91
The Mimic Murder Case
Y
92
The Nylon Murder Case
Y
93
The Golden Key Murder Case
Y
94
The Shower Bath Murder Case
Y
95
The Whistling Murder Case
Y
97
The Manicure Murder Case
Y
98
The Money Machine Murder Case
Y
100
The Alibi Murder Case
Y
--
The Rooftop Murder Case
Y






Philo Vance Biographies




Willard Huntington Wright
(S. S. Van Dine)

(1887-1939)

Birthplace: Virginia

Education: Harvard, Munich and Paris Art Institutes

Curriculum Vitae: Art Critic, Editor of 'Smart Set', and detective fiction author.

Novels:
1926 The Benson Murder Case
1927 The Canary Murder Case
1928 The Greene Murder Case
1929 The Scarab Murder Case
1936 The Kidnap Murder Case
1938 The Gracie Allen Murder Case
1939 The Winter Murder Case


Murder Will Out
Willard Huntington Wright was a distinguished Art Critic before the personal epiphany that led him to become a fiction writer. A two-year breakdown left him essentially bed-ridden from 1923 to 1925. During that period he read a reported 2,000 detective fiction and crime novels, inspiring him to try his skills as a fiction writer in his own right.

His often overly complex and convoluted plots and counter-plots were clearly character-driven, portraying his protagonist, Philo Vance, as a preening, demanding, arrogant, highly intellectual dilletante. And yet it was those very characteristics that framed the highly detailed plots that made his Philo Vance novels so fascinating.

That his novels fell out of popular fashion was more a testament to casual readers' mental fatigue in negotiating his plots than to the quality of his writing style. Though never 'cheating' his readers by leaving out significant details, the sheer exhaustion experienced by his readers eventually caused his later novels to fall out of popular demand. But for dyed-in-the wool detective fiction aficionados they were always both challenging and ultimately satisfying.

Perhaps he was more a reflection of his protagonist than he cared to admit--publicly anyway. In the end he never compromised with the public at large, ultimately producing the minimum six novels he intended to write from the outset--the public be damned.




John Emery
Radio, Television, Film and Stage Actor
(1905-1964)
Birthplace: New York City

Radiography:
1939
Campbell Playhouse
1943
Philo Vance
1943
Treasury Star Parade
1947
Family Theatre

John Emery c. 1943
John Emery c. 1943

John Emery c. 1945
John Emery circa 1945
The son of stage players Isabel Waldron (1871-1950) and Edward Emery (d. 1938), John Emery proved to be a versatile actor much in the image of his parents.

Emery's physical presence, voice projection and appearance often stoked rumors that he was the illegitimate son of John Barrymore.

The only husband of Tallulah Bankhead, their marriage lasted almost four years, from 1937-1941.

John Emery was a solid character player in actor in over 30 films, and classic television comedies and dramas. He made his second film with director Alexander Hall. In Hall’s Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941), Emery is cast as a millionaire playboy’s personal assistant, out to kill his boss.

Emery also acted in two episodes of I Love Lucy, early in the series’ run (1951) and in its final season as a half-hour sitcom (1956-57). Emery died in 1964 at the age of 59.



José Ferrer
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor
(1912-1992)
Birthplace: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Awards:
1948 Academy Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor
1950 Academy Award for Best Actor as Cyrano de Bergerac

Radiography:
1944
Cavalcade of America
1945
Prudential Family Hour
1945
Philo Vance Summer Program
1945
Textron Theatre
1947
Suspense
1949
Turning Points
1950
Academy Awards
1950
The Big Show
1951
March of Dimes
1951
Hear It Now
1954
Anthology
1955
Biography In Sound

Jose Ferrer, ca. 1948
Jose Ferrer, ca. 1948
José Ferrer's deep, booming voice was tailor-made for the second voice behind Philo Vance. Anyone who's listened to the Philo Vance series can't help but notice the similarity between the three actors who assumed this radio role. From John Emery's commanding voice presence, to Jackson Beck's powerfully deep voice, all three actors sound uncannily similar.

But it's that cocky, arrogant, projected air that so perfectly channels the embodiment of Philo Vance to his audience.

Puerto Rico born José Ferrer was clearly the most highly accomplished and acclaimed actor of the three to portray Philo Vance on the radio. Ferrer's accomplishments on the stage, behind a radio microphone, in film, and even on television are the fabric of Hollywood legend.

But Ferrer's accomplishments in radio weren't limited to Philo Vance. He was equally as busy in Radio as he was in all the other Arts venues he pursued. His son Miguel Ferrer has carved out his own acting career in the steps of his father, producing a notable independent film "Where's Marlowe?", satirically patterned after the radio and film noir detective dramas of the 1940s, not to mention a distinguished career as a supporting actor on stage, screen and film.



Frances Robinson [Marion Frances Ladd]
Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actress
(1916-1971)

Birthplace: Ft. Wandsworth, NY

Radiography:
1940 Silver Theatre
1941-1949 Lux Radio Theatre
1945 Philo Vance
1945 Cavalcade of America
1946-1954 Let George Do It
1948 The Whistler
1948 Camel Screen Guild Theatre
1949 Adventures of Philip Marlowe
1949 Hallmark Playhouse
1949 Screen Director's Playhouse
1950 Richard Diamond, Private Detective
1950 The Adventures of The Saint
Lovely Frances Robinson in a 1940s publicity still
Lovely Frances Robinson in a 1940s publicity still

Eleanor Hansen and Frances Robinson on an Murray's Cigarette Card from the late 1930s
Eleanor Hansen and Frances Robinson on a Murray's Cigarette Card from the late 1930s
(roll over the image for the back of the card)

Lovely, helpless damsel Frances Robinson is spirited away by a renegade gorilla in Tim Tyler's Luck from 1937
Lovely, helpless damsel Frances Robinson is spirited away by a renegade gorilla in Tim Tyler's Luck from 1937

Frances Robinson poses with Johnny Mack Brown and Bob Baker in publicity still for 1940's Riders of Pasco Basin.
Frances Robinson poses with Johnny Mack Brown and Bob Baker in publicity still for 1940's Riders of Pasco Basin.

Frances Robinson models the latest Rosie the Riveter wear from 1942
Frances Robinson models the latest Rosie the Riveter wear from 1942

Frances Robinson as Pat Lawrence in 1940's The Lone Wolf Keeps A Date
Frances Robinson as Pat Lawrence in 1940's The Lone Wolf Keeps A Date

To say that Frances Robinson was simply a multi-talented stage, screen, radio, and television actress doesn't do her justice. Between 1935 and 1951, she was one of the hardest working actresses in Radio. If her name seems familiar, you may remember her as George Valentine's loving personal assistant in 'Let George Do It', along with numerous appearances in Richard Diamond, Philip Marlowe, The Whistler, and many other Detective and Mystery genre programs of the era. But it was her ensemble work as Claire 'Brooksie' Brooks with Robert Bailey as George Valentine and Wally Maher as Lieutenant Riley in the first three years of Let George Do It that endeared her to the vast majority of her most stalwart Radio fans.

We heard that kind of Radio magic so rarely in Radio, but when it happened there was usually no predicting it. It simply took on a life of its own as a particularly effective ensemble grew into their respective roles, made them their own, leant their particular charm to the characterizations and literally melded with their foils or counterparts in the ensemble. Such was the cast of the early years of Let George Do It. Indeed she wasn't much of a dialectition. She didn't really need to be. She was simply possessed of an amazingly endearing, charming voice backed up by absolutely splendidly versatile acting talent.

She never really had to either modulate or alter her voice. She was always precisley as expressive as she intended--or needed-- to be, while always projecting that 'girl-next-door' charm that was positively rivetting in every role.

As cute as her voice, she was also a solid supporting actress on Stage and in Film prior to her Radio and Television careers, as well as a fine supporting actress throughout the Golden Age of Television. Seen in several of the popular Screen Serials of the 1930s, she was usually cast as either the blonde damsel in distress, or the gun moll with a heart. Whether in the arms of Buster Crabbe, Tom Tyler, Johnny Mack Brown, or Tim Holt--or for that matter a wild gorilla--Frances Robinson was the epitome of damsel in distress. She was simply, naturally irresistable.

However, her first Film role was as simply 'blonde drunk' in 1937's Millions In the Air with Wendy Barrie. Thereafter, in a succession of suspense thrillers, potboilers, cliff-hangers and straight dramas, Frances Robinson performed in a widely versatile range of roles, from the aforementioned damsels in distress, to young professional women, to gun molls and gangster foils, to romantic co-leads. She was as adept at light comedy as she was in melodramatic roles and she clearly didn't take herself so seriously as to turn down the occasional helpless--or hapless--blonde.

Her Film career spanned almost thirty-five years and her Television career twenty-six years. During that same performing span she also compiled a sixteen year career in Radio, encompassing some 1,000-plus performances.

While not only distinguishing herself as a fine supporting actress in Television, she was also an effective commercial spokesperson, most notably as the spokesperson for Arrid Deodorant during the 1950s. Indeed after her career in radio she worked steadily in television, making over 100 appearances between 1954 and 1970.

Her performing career was only ended by her passing in 1971, at the age of only 55. There's no doubt that had she lived longer she'd have been in demand well into her 70s. As it was, Frances Robinson spent virtually every day of her adult life either modeling or acting--and she was absolutely delightful in both.

One of the 20th Century's most overlooked female performers, she joins an exclusive sorority of some 50 or so absolutely amazing actresses from the Golden Age of Radio that literally did it all--Stage, Screeen, Radio, Television and Commercials. And they worked as hard as any of their male counterparts in the process. Indeed, in many instances they had to work even harder to earn the same standard of living--and respect--as their male counterparts.

But as with the others in her exclusive sisterhood, Frances Robinson was constantly in demand because she was simply that good. Period.



Jackson Beck
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor
(1912-2004)

Birthplace:
New York City, NY

Radiography:
1936
The March of Time
1937
Other People's Lives
1939
Ideas That Came True
1941
We, The People
1942
Soldiers of The Press
1942
Superman
1942
The Columbia Workshop
1942
Hop Harrigan
1942
The Cisco Kid
1943
Todd Grant Gets the Story
1943
Lest We Forget
1943
This Is Our Enemy
1943
Words At War
1944
The Man Behind The Gun
1944
Inner Sanctum
1944
Creeps By Night
1944
Dangerously Yours
1945
The Brownstone Theatre
1945
Hercule Poirot
1945
The Adventures of The Falcon
1946
Boston Blackie
1947
The Tenth Man
1947
CBS Is There
1948
Philo Vance

. . . and literally hundreds more.
Jackson Beck as 'Cisco Kid', c. 1942
Jackson Beck as 'Cisco Kid', c. 1942

Jackson Beck and Paul Luther confer with William N. Robson during Man Behind the Gun (1943)
Jackson Beck and Paul Luther confer with William N. Robson during Man Behind the Gun (1943)

ackson Beck performs with Alice Reinheart over Life Can Be Beautiful circa 1948
Jackson Beck performs with Alice Reinheart over Life Can Be Beautiful circa 1948

Jackson Beck circa 1953
Jackson Beck circa 1953

Jackson Beck at the CBS Mike circa 1954
Jackson Beck at the CBS Mike circa 1954

Jackson Beck, c. 2000
Jackson Beck, c. 2000

I should probably have recused myself from writing this piece about Jackson Beck. He's one of my three favorite voice actors of all time--via any medium. From 'The Cisco Kid', to 'Superman', to 'Philo Vance' and on through innumerable radio, television and film roles, Jackson Beck's voice remains one of the top ten most recognized voices of the twentieth century. The irony is, I doubt that one out of ten people who've heard his voice would know who they'd just listened to. When prompted they'd simply refer to that guy with the deep, commanding voice.

Some might say the Philo Vance franchise saved it's most memorable voice of Philo Vance for last. To listen to any of the various iterations of Philo Vance on radio, television or film, it's clear that the role demanded very specific voice presence--clear, commanding, highly literate, capable of long exposition, and above all with a self-assuredness bordering on cocky or arrogant.

A New York City native from birth, Jackson Beck epitomized the stereotypical, cosmopolitan, big-city, impeccably dressed, know-it-all New Yorker of legend. But his versatility as a voice talent always showed a commanding ability to capture the complete attention and imagination of the listener, no matter the medium. During a career spanning almost 69 years Jackson Beck lent that commanding, compelling, reassuring voice to thousands of radio episodes and literally hundreds of film and television projects. Indeed, The RadiGOLDINdex site cites almost 1,400 individual entries in it's database for Jackson Beck appearances in Golden Age Radio era episodes.

Always in demand, Jackson Beck never wanted for work his entire career. Both a quick study, as well as a versatile ad-libber and expositionist, he rarely--if ever--broke character, and built a long-standing reputation as one of the rocks of the industry. From roles as fanciful as Walt Disney's 'Prince Charming', and 'Brutus' or 'Bluto' from the Popeye series', to the weightiest narrations of serious, patriotic documentaries, his delivery was always spot on, commanding, rivetting, and most of all--memorable.

I've always felt his work on Philo Vance was some of his best, especially given the sometimes overly long expositions that were part and parcel of most episodes. But that was one of his great talents, and it was perfectly applied to the Philo Vance character. But his work on Man Behind The Gun is probably universally recognized as his most critically acclaimed series of performances.

Jackson Beck was interred in Brooklyn, next to his father, Max Beck, a former silent film actor in his own right, and his grandfather, Joseph Beck, an emigre from Saxony, who founded the Joseph Beck and Sons Distillery.

He's already dearly missed, but thousands of his admirers are diligently working to ensure that his body of work will never be forgotten.



Joan Alexander [Louise Abras]
(Ellen Deering)

Stage, Screen, Radio, and Television Actress
(1915 - 2009)

Birthplace:
St. Paul, Minnesota

Radiography:
1940
Superman
1943
Words At War
1944
Columbia Presents Corwin
1944
Bright Horizon
1944
Theatre of Romance
1944
Mr. and Mrs. North
1944
This Is My Best
1944
The Eternal Light
1945
This Is Your FBI
1945
Lights Out!
1946
Leave It To Mike
1950
Dimension 'X'
1953
Perry Mason


Joan Alexander, c. 1947

Listen to Joan Alexander
from her 1966 Interview with Richard Lamparski

Joan Alexander proved to be one of Radio's most reliable, 'go-to' voice actors of The Golden Age of Radio. For sheer endurance alone, witness her long-running roles as Lois Lane on Mutual's 'Superman' and ABC's 'The Adventures of Superman', CBS's 'Perry Mason', and hundreds of other appearances in popular series such as 'The Adventures of The Falcon', 'The Shadow', 'Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator', 'Mr. President', 'Best Plays', 'Nick Carter', and of course, 'Philo Vance' in her recurring role as 'Ellen Deering' with long-time sidekick Jackson Beck.

If she was in any way upset at being typecast as 'the smart, sassy, intelligent secretary cum investigator' her career didn't show it. And from Lois Lane through Ellen Deering, her cleverness, intellect, and charm belied more of her basic nature than her personal humility would ever allow her to publicly acknowledge.

In another irony, though clearly a strikingly attractive woman in her own right, she limited her small screen and big screen work to her voice talent alone. Although given the great demand for her voice talent, her career clearly didn't suffer for the lack of time spent in front of the camera. But I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing she'd taken more on-screen roles during her career.

Her career was by no means limited to voice work. She was an accomplished, highly versatile stage actor as well. In actuality, Ms. Alexander cherished her privacy, as well as not being that readily recognizable in public. The mother of four children, Ms. Alexander was dedicated to her family and turned down many opportunites to perform outside Radio. As it should be, her family's gain was our loss.

[Update: We learned of the passing of Joan Alexander, May 21, 2009 at the age of 94.]



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