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Original Private Files of Rex Saunders header art

The Private Files of Rex Saunders Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Private Files of Rex Saunders

Private Files of Rex Saunders spot ad from May 30 1951
Private Files of Rex Saunders spot ad from May 30 1951


Private Files of Rex Saunders announcement from May 2 1951
Private Files of Rex Saunders announcement from May 2 1951


The Private Files of Rex Saunders was sponsored by RCA Victor and its line of 'Golden Throat' matched-tube engineered Radios
The Private Files of Rex Saunders was sponsored by RCA Victor and its line of 'Golden Throat' matched-tube engineered Radios.


Kenneth Banghart served as the announcer for The Private Files of Rex Saunders
Kenneth Banghart served as the announcer for The Private Files of Rex Saunders
From the 51-05-23 San Mateo Times:

DETECTIVE YARN

We've neglected radio recently and, to be honest, there has been little in the industry outside of the routine to talk about. However, this week, in cooperation with the NBC engineering department, which so kindly made a special recording for us, and KSMO, which permitted us the use of one of its recording studios to listen to the disc, we got a chance to investigate the merits of KNBC's new mystery thriller, "The Secret Files of Rex Saunders."
Heard every Wednesday night at 7:30, this thriller is typical of radio mystery shows. However, it has one thing the others don't--that is a sauve Englishman by the name of Rex Harrison. Harrison turns in a better than average performance as a private detective. With the help of an assistant played by Leon Janey, the "dick" goes his way solving a new mystery each week.
Impressing us most was the quiet manner in which Harrison plays his new role. Not once during the entire half hour show did he raise his voice enough to activate the decible meter on the KSMO switchboard.
Most radio detectives are of the loud and fast talking type, who just love to order their girl friends and constituted police authorities around like mad. Harrison's show keeps away from this sort of thing.
The show we were fortunate enough to hear was the broadcast last Wednesday, May 16. It turned out to be a fairly suspensive affair, well presented, well directed and not too "horrific" as radio mysteries go.

As a detective--gentleman or otherwise--Rex Harrison lends a distinctively intelligent and understated confidence to the role. He's not quite as nonchalant as The Thin Man's Nick Charles, not as arrogant as Philo Vance, and not as melodramatic as Sherlock Holmes or Radio's Philip Marlowe. In short, he's both 'just right' and entirely fascinating--and competent--as detective Rex Saunders. Leon Janney's rendition of Saunders' assistant, Alec, complements Harrison's delivery of his Saunders characterization. Not the typical stooge assistant, nor quite as clever as Nero Wolfe's Archie, Leon Janney's Alec is given the same latitude as some of Radio's other more helpful detective assistants.

Harrison and Janney complement each other quite well throughout the series. The two great actors in their own fields are aided with equally capable New York voice talent--some of Radio's finest, including Jackson Beck, Alice Frost, Anne Seymour and Elspeth Eric. The writing for the series was also consistently compelling. While perhaps not the finest mystery plots heard over Radio, they suited Rex Harrison well, while still delivering several fascinating surprises in the course of the run's sixteen scripts.

The format was fairly formulaic. Rex Harrison would introduce each new adventure with a topic. The topics employed throughout the series were as follows:

  • Concerning Murder . . .
  • Concerning Art . . .
  • Concerning Jewelry . . .
  • Concerning Gambling . . .
  • Concerning Blackmail . . .
  • Concerning Fortune Telling . . .
  • Concerning Political Corruption . . .
  • Concerning A Mardi Gras . . .
  • Concerning Wealth . . .
  • Concerning A Masquerade . . .
  • Concerning Travel . . .
  • Concerning Marriage . . .
  • Concerning Antiques . . .
  • Concerning Hunting . . .
  • Concerning Shakespeare . . .

A relatively varied choice of topics, to be sure. And several of them ostensibly benign--until murder is added to the mix. Rex Harrison's disarming introduction of these topics had the desired effect of creating even more irony with the ensuing adventures. Indeed, Rex Harrison's delivery of his adventures made for a truly fascinating take on the competing murder and mayhem plots for which the mystery, detective and crime dramas of the era were so famous.

And of course this series was directed by Radio legend, Himan Brown. The direction, as might be expected of any Himan Brown production, was crisp, suspenseful, and perfectly timed. As seems obvious during the course of the series' run, Harrison and Brown complemented each other quite well. The only discernable miscues appear in the one circulating rehearsal--the best place for faux pas. The production broadcasts remain nothing if not remarkable for their relative 'maturity' despite the short life of the run.

As one can probably surmise, this program is one of those from The Golden Age of Radio that we view as a true gem. As regrettable as it is that it didn't run longer, the fourteen surviving examples remain a fascinating preview of the quality we learned to expect of Himan Brown's later CBS Radio Mystery Theatre revival series' between 1974 and 1998. The audio quality is superb, production values are the equal of anything Himan Brown ever directed, and the acting is wonderfully effective.

Series Derivatives:

The Private Files of Matthew Bell
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Mystery Dramas
Network(s): NBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): 51-04-13 [Aud] The Game With Death
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 51-05-02 01 The Lady With Hate In Her Heart
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 51-05-02 to 51-08-08; NBC; Fifteen, 30-minute; Wednesdays, 9:30 p.m.
Syndication: None
Sponsors: RCA Victor 'Golden Throat' Radios
Director(s): Himan Brown
Principal Actors: Rex Harrison, Leon Janney, Alice Frost, Jackson Beck, Arlene Blackburn, Barbara Weeks, Amzie Strickland, Anne Seymour, Lesley Woods, Jean Ellen, Elspeth Eric
Recurring Character(s): Gentleman Detective Rex Saunders (Rex Harrison) and his assistant, Alec (Leon Janney)
Protagonist(s): Rex Saunders and his assistant, Alec
Author(s):
Writer(s) Edward Adamson
Music Direction:
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Kenneth Banghart
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
15
Episodes in Circulation: 13
Total Episodes in Collection: 14
Provenances: RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide, Martin Grams' Radio Drama.

Notes on Provenances:

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

The Case of the Ming Cat, referred to in newspaper listings is the program titled Worth More Than Its Weight In Murder [see log notes below].

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

In fairness to the radioGOLDINdex, it never states categorically that the episode it cites, dated April 13, 1951, titled A Game with Death, actually is an audition. We assume that the physical trancription radioGOLDINdex refers to was dated with that date. Indeed, radioGOLDINdex may own, or have owned, such a transription--and that one may very well be an audition, though we doubt it.

The recording in circulation that's cited as an audition is, in fact a rehearsal for Episode No. 4, When You Play the Game . . . With Death. Among several rehearsal missteps by Kenneth Banghart is the one most noticeable at the beginning, when Hi Brown stops Banghart's intro, asking him to slow it down a bit. There are others throughout the recording, especially near the end when Banghart has difficulty prounouncing Leon Janney's name to everyone's satisfaction. We find it very difficult to believe that a director of Hi Brown's exacting standards would have ever allowed the recording in question to be distributed as an audition. Perhaps it was a rehearsal for an audition, but it certainly wasn't the audition. It was a rehearsal, Q.E.D.


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The Private Files of Rex Saunders Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
51-04-13
--
When You Play the Game ... With Death
N
Alleged Audition [See Provenances]
51-05-02
1
The Lady With Hate In Her Heart
Y
Concerning Murder . . .

Announces "
A Shocking Still Life" as next episode.

51-04-30 Wisconsin State Journal - TIP O' THE MORNING: The new radio show starring Rex Harrison (Forecast here) will be "The Private Life of Rex Saunders;" it will be on WIBA and WIBA-FM at 9:30 p.m. Wednesdays starting this week.

51-05-02 Capital Times - Rex Harrison, British stage and screen star, will start his first radio series over WIBA and WIBA-FM at 9:30 tonight. The dramatic program, "The Private Life of Rex Saunders," will replace "Short Story." While Harrison has never before had his own show on the air, he has been popular as a guest artist onsuch programs as "Theater Guild on the Air." One of its outstanding productions was his performance in "Libel."
51-05-09
2
A Shocking Still Life
Y
Concerning Art . . .

Announces "
Diamonds Can Be Done ... To Death" as next episode.
51-05-16
3
Diamonds Can Be Done . . . To Death
Y
Concerning Jewelry . . .

Announces "The Game With Death" as next episode.
51-05-2?
4
When You Play the Game . . . With Death
Y
[Rehearsal -- See Provenances]
51-05-23
4
When You Play the Game . . . With Death
Y
Concerning Gambling . . .

Announces "
High Dividends . . . Or Shallow Graves" as next episode.
51-05-30
5
High Dividends . . . Or Shallow Graves
Y
Concerning Blackmail . . .

Announces Plan In the Killer's Mind" as next episode. 51-05-30 Wisconsin State Journal - 9:30 p.m. -- Rex Saunders (WIBA): ne'er-do-well blackmails his uncle.
51-06-06
6
The Plan In the Killer's Mind
Y
Concerning Fortune Telling . . .

Announces "Trip To the Death House" as next episode. 51-06-06 Capital Times - 9:30 p.m. -- Private Files of Rex Saunders: murder in Manhattan--WIBA.
51-06-13
7
A Trip To the Death House
Y
Concerning Political Corruption . . .

Announces "
A Murder, Deep In A Killer's Mind" as next episode.
51-06-20
8
A Murder, Deep In A Killer's Mind
Y
Concerning A Mardi Gras . . .

Announces "
The Most Malignant of Diseases . . . Namely, Murder" as next episode.
51-06-27
9
The Most Malignant of Diseases . . . Namely, Murder
Y
Concerning Wealth . . .

Announces "
Hidden Thoughts In A Feminine Mind . . . Concerned with Murder" as next episode.
51-07-04
10
Hidden Thoughts In A Feminine Mind . . . Concerned with Murder
Y
Concerning A Masquerade . . .

Announces "
When Murder Is Along . . . As A Silent Companion" as next episode.

51-07-03 Capital Times - Wed 9:30 p.m.--Rex Saunders: murder at sea--WIBA.
51-07-11
11
When Murder Is Along . . . As A Silent Companion
Y
Concerning Travel . . .

Announces "
Unto Death, Do Us Part" as next episode.

51-07-11 Wisconsin State Journal - 9:30 p.m. -- Rex Saunders (WIBA): mysterious widow causes trouble.
51-07-18
12
Unto Death, Do Us Part
Y
Concerning Marriage . . .

Announces "Worth More Than Its Weight In Murder" as next episode.

51-07-18 Capital Times - 9:30 p.m. -- Rex Saunders: Harrison probes death of gambling-house owner's wife--WIBA.
51-07-25
13
Worth More Than Its Weight In Murder
Y
Concerning Antiques . . .

51-07-25 Wisconsin State Journal
9:30 p. m. — Private Files of Rex Saunders: Rex Harrison in "The Case of the Ming Cat"—WIBA.

Announces "The Human Game" as next episode.
51-08-01
14
When They Track Down . . . The Human Game
Y
Concerning Hunting . . .

Announces "Shakespeare Did Have A Way . . . With Murder" as next episode.

51-08-08
--
Shakespeare Did Have A Way . . . With Murder [Never Aired]
N
[Last episode never aired].

51-08-08 Racine Journal Times
New program due tonight: NBC
radio, 7, At Home With Meredith
Willson, music and variety series
replacing Rex Harrison and his
Who-Dun-It, "The Files of Rex
Saunders."

51-08-08 San Antonio Light
Replacing the Rex Saunders whodunnit program on WOAI at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, will be a new music and variety series entitled "
At Home With Meredith Wilson."






The Private Files of Rex Saunders Radio Program Biographies




Reginald Carey 'Rex' Harrison
(Rex Saunders)

Stage, Screen, Radio and Television Actor
(1908-1990)

Birthplace: Lancashire, England, United Kingdom

Radiography:
1946 Hollywood Star Time
1946 Academy Award
1947 Lux Radio Theatre
1947 Academy Awards
1948 Duffy's Tavern
1948 The Bill Stern Colgate Sports Newsreel
1949 Cavalcade Of America
1950 MGM Theatre Of the Air
1951 George Fisher Interviews the Stars
1951 The Big Show
1951 The Private Files Of Rex Saunders
1952 Theatre Guild On the Air
1959 The Heartbeat Of Broadway
1972 Same Time, Same Station
Rex Harrison fan card circa 1935
Rex Harrison fan card circa 1935

Rex Harrison with Lilli Palmer on the cover of Picture Show circa 1945
Rex Harrison with Lilli Palmer on the cover of Picture Show circa 1945

Rex Harrison with 3rd wife, Kay Kendall circa 1957
Rex Harrison with 3rd wife Kay Kendall circa 1957


Born in 1908 in Lancashire, England, Reginald Carey Harrison adopted the name, 'Rex', as a young boy. He began his Stage career at 18, with the Liverpool Repertory Theatre. Despite a few early missteps and flubs, Harrison soon began to land roles in the West End. His breakout role was in Terence Rattigan's play, French Without Tears. Before long he was being heralded as the "greatest actor of light comedy in the world." Harrison was also one of a handful of famous actors who were blind in one eye--Harrison's owing to a childhood illness.

He'd divorced his first wife, Collette Thomas, in 1942, marrying German actress Lilli Palmer shortly thereafter. The couple began appearing together in many plays and British films.

International fame came with his portrayal of the arrogant King in Anna and the King of Siam (1946), his first American film--though offered the role of King in the 1956 remake, The King and I, he turned it down and it went to Yul Brynner. After a sex scandal, in which starlet Carole Landis reportedly committed suicide because he ended their affair, Harrison's relationship with wife Lilli became strained.

1946 was also the year that Rex Harrison began to appear in American Radio. Known as much as a personality as a dramatic actor, Rex Harrison found himself in great demand in Radio. By 1951, Harrison took a lead role in The Private Files of Rex Saunders, a popular, though short-lived mystery drama.

The 1950s found Rex Harrison beginning a successful Television career as well, ultimately appearing in some 50 dramatic Television productions over a forty-year career in Television.

Rex--by then dubbed Sexy Rexy by the press for his magnetic charm--began a relationship with British actress Kay Kendall and divorced Lilli to marry the terminally ill Kendall with hopes of a re-marriage to Palmer upon Kay's impending demise. Kay Kendall's death affected Harrison more than he'd apparently anticipated and Lilli Palmer and Harrison never reunited.

But it was during the period following the death of Kay Kendall that Rex was offered the defining role of his Stage and Film careers: Professor Henry Higgins in the original Stage production of My Fair Lady (1960-1962). He won the Tony for the play and then an Oscar for the film version (1964).

In 1962 Harrison married actress Rachel Roberts. His marriage to Roberts and the one following it, to Elizabeth Harris (Richard Harris's ex-wife) also ended in divorce. In 1978 Rex met and married Mercia Tinker. He and Mercia remained happily married until his death in 1990. She was also with him in 1989 when he was granted his much-deserved and long awaited knighthood at Buckingham Palace.

Rex Harrison--scoundrel, romantic, disabled from childhood, gifted musical comedian--compiled a succession of critically acclaimed careers in Film (60 years), Radio (25 years), Television (35 years) and on the Stage (45 years) over a total of some 65 years in the Performing Arts. Rex Harrison died in 1990 of pancreatic cancer three weeks after his last stage appearance, as Lord Porteous in W. Somerset Maugham's "The Circle".



Leon Ramon [Leon Janney]
Stage, Radio, Television and Film Actor
(1917-1980)
Birthplace: Ogden, Utah, U.S.A.

Radiography:
1939 Hilltop House
1939 The Parker Family
1942 The Adventures Of Dick Cole
1943 This Is Our Enemy
1944 Theatre Of Romance
1945 The Eternal Light
1946 Theatre Guild On the Air
1947 One World Or None
1947 Studio One
1948 Quick As A Flash
1948 Mr Ace and Jane
1948 Dear Leo
1948 Under Arrest
1948 The Adventures Of Frank Merriewell
1948 Secret Missions
1949 The Arrival Of Delayed Pilgrims
1949 The Wooden Fish
1949 Crisis In War Town
1949 You Are There
1949 Radio City Playhouse
1950 The Mysterious Traveler
1950 The Joe DiMaggio Show
1950 Cloak and Dagger
1950 Dimension X
1950 Chandu the Magician
1951 The Private Files Of Rex Saunders
1951 Now Hear This
1951 The Silent Men
1952 Crime Letter From Dan Dodge
1952 Proudly We Hail
1952 The Chase
1952 Inner Sanctum
1953 Best Plays
1953 The Search That Never Ends
1953 The Marriage
1953 Stroke Of Fate
1953 Rocky Fortune
1954 Crime and Peter Chambers
1955 Strange
1955 Inheritance
1955 X Minus One
1955 By the People
1956 High Moment
1956 This Is My Story
1956 Proudly We Hail
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1958 Premier Playhouse
1959 NBC Radio Theatre
1959 Five-Star Matinee
1959 Suspense
1960 Best Seller
1960 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1965 Theatre Five
1974 CBS Radio Mystery Theatre
1974 National Lampoon Radio Hour
Leon Janney circa 1927
Leon Janney circa 1927


Leon Janney with Irene Rich in Father's Son (1931)
Leon Janney with Irene Rich in Father's Son (1931)

Leon Janney circa 1952
Leon Janney circa 1952

Leon Janney as Psychoanalyst Dr. Sturm in Car 54 Where Are You (1962)
Leon Janney as Psychoanalyst Dr. Sturm in Car 54 Where Are You (1962)

Leon Janney as Dr. Nemur conferring with Lilia Scala as Dr. Strauss in Charly (1968)
Leon Janney as Dr. Nemur conferring with Lilia Scala as Dr. Strauss in Charly (1968)
Leon Janney was destined for a career in the Performing Arts, performing almost from birth. His mother--in the archetypal Stage Mother mold--had entertained notions of an acting career, only to be forced by social convention to abandon them. Her son became a surrogate for her own theatrical ambitions. Leon made his dramatic debut at the age of two, reciting Winken, Blynken, and Nod on stage before an audience at the Pantages Theatre in Ogden, Utah, in 1919.

Young Ramon spent the next seven years working in vaudeville, also making his first appearance on Radio in 1926. The leap to the legitimate Stage followed soon after, and to Film a couple of years later, in Victor Sjöström's critically acclaimed The Wind (1928) with Lillian Gish.

Already established as both a child prodigy and quick study, he learned stagecraft from the more mature actors around him. By the time of the talkies he was already a veteran, debuting in Courage (1930) as young Bill Colbrook, then in Old English (1930) with George Arliss.

Janney thereafter undertook a string of feature films portraying boyhood versions of top stars Ricardo Cortez, Reginald Denny, and Conrad Nagel. He also appeared in one Our Gang (aka Little Rascals) comedy, Bear Shooters (1930). By then considered too old and too mannered an actor to fit the mold of the Hal Roach-produced film shorts, Bear Shooters marked his only appearance as a Rascal.

The Booth Tarkington-based Father's Son and Penrod and Sam (both 1931) were more successful, and prior to the rise of Freddie Bartholomew, Leon Janney was considered Filmdom's most sought-after juvenile male. But as is the inevitable lot of juvenile actors, Janney soon aged out of juvenile roles. As with most of his child star peers, he reportedly bitterly recalled that period of his career, and the loss of a normal childhood. He reportedly couldn't walk down the street without being mobbed and never got to live like a normal boy. His fans loved him, and he was earning a reported $100,000 a year from 1930 through 1933, but reportedly loathed that entire period of his life except for the acting.

It was Radio that saved both Janney's waning career and stardom. He soon became a star yet again, in popular programs such as Richard Parker in The Parker Family (1939). Still preferring the Stage to Radio, Janney continued to attempt to juggle both careers for most of the 1930s and 1940s. In the process he'd become a master dialectician over Radio.

Initially obtaining a deferment at the outset of World War II, Janney undertook the study of the Russian Language at New York's Cornell University. Ironically, that same deferment and mastery of the Russian language caused him to be drafted into the Army as a sorely needed translator. He took his discharge after the War in New York, choosing to settle there and take advantage of the exploding Television opportunities as well as continuing his Radio and Stage work.

The first success of Janney's triumphal return to Radio was in 1951's The Private Files of Rex Saunders, costarring with Stage and Screen star Rex Harrison in Harrison's first--and only--lead role in Radio. The Private Files of Rex Saunders was directed by legendary Himan Brown. The Himan Brown connection would serve Leon Janney even further when Brown created The Golden Age of Radio's last hurrah--CBS Radio Mystery Theatre. Leon Janney's latest--and some would say finest--Radio work came in some eighty CBSRMT appearances between 1974 and 1978. Another Himan Brown favorite, Mason Adams was often mistaken for Leon Janney--and vice versa--for most of their respective careers.

Along with many other actors of conscience, Janney became a key member of AFRA (later AFTRA), the union representing Radio (and later, Television) performers, as well as Actor's Equity. Janney, much like his contemporary, Lionel Stander, was a formidable debater and a tireless union activist. This landed him in trouble with the American Legion and it's Red Channels pamphlets, which denounced Janney as a communist sympathizer. Throughout that infamous, cowardly, right-wing period anyone actively organizing for a labor union was tagged as a communist.

Janney was in good company--he and Howard Da Silva, Lionel Stander, Burgess Meredith, and even Humphrey Bogart , were accused of communist sympathies or leanings at one time or another. For some it stuck, via the cowardly 'blacklists' employed in the Performing Arts fields. Why the Performing Arts fields? Because--as today--the management of businesses involved in the Performing Arts represented the business world's most spineless, cowardly, politically correct, and duplicitous management personnel in American Industry.

Janney took advantage of this period of unrest to return to his first love--The Stage. Throughout the 1950s Janney's stage work continued to acquire further critical acclaim. He returned to Film in 1959 as a sympathetic guard in the death house prison drama The Last Mile, and before long found himself back on Television with the start of the 1960s.

Janney acquired local notoriety as the spokesman for the young New York Mets in their Rheingold Beer commercials. And in a further irony, the same Russian language skills that both got him drafted as a translator but later branded as a commie sympathizer, were utilized by Actors' Equity when they established relations with the Moscow Arts Theatre.



Himan Brown [Hyman Brown]
Stage, Radio, Television and Actor, Film and Radio Writer, Director and Producer; Philanthropist
(1910--)

Birthplace: Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.

Education: New York City College; Broooklyn Law School

Radiography:
1930 The Goldbergs
1932 The Bronx Marriage Bureau
1933 Little Italy
1933 Jack Dempsey's Gymnasium
1935 David Harum
1935 The Gumps
1935 Dick Tracy
1935 The Amazing Interplanetary Adventures of Flash Gordon
1941 Inner Sanctum
1944 Green Valley U.S.A.
1947 The Right To Live
1948 Operation Nightmare
1948 The New Adventures Of the Thin Man
1951 The Private Files Of Rex Saunders
1951 Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator
1956 This Is My Story
1958 Premier Playhouse
1959 NBC Radio Theatre
1974 CBS Radio Mystery Theatre
1984 Americans All
1998 CBS Radio Mystery Theatre
Hyman Brown not only wrote, directed and produced Radio programs, but also acted in several of them as in this notice about the CBS Serial, Little Italy from 1934
Hyman Brown not only wrote, directed and produced Radio programs, but also acted in several of them as in this notice about the CBS Serial, Little Italy from 1934


Hi Brown circa 1945
Hi Brown circa 1945

Himan Brown circa 1941
Himan Brown circa 1941

Hi Brown at the ABC mike circa 1948
Hi Brown at the ABC mike circa 1948

Hi Brown in the command booth circa 1952
Hi Brown in the command booth circa 1952

Himan Brown directs CBS Radio Mystery Theatre circa 1975
Himan Brown directs CBS Radio Mystery Theatre circa 1975

Hi Brown promotes the Cooper Union's Great Hall during the 1990s
Hi Brown promotes Cooper Union's Great Hall during the 1990s
Himan Brown in The Wall Street Journal circa 2005
Himan Brown in The Wall Street Journal circa 2005
Hyman Brown was born in 1910 to a Yiddish family who'd immigrated from Odessa, Russia in the late 1890s. His parents were a tailor and seamstress eking out a meager living for a family of eight. A child prodigy, Hyman Brown was learning the violin at the age of seven and was fluent in Yiddish and Russian.

Hyman Brown changed the spelling of his hame to Himan Brown while in High School, preferring that everyone refer to him as 'Hi' Brown from that point forward.

He sold The Goldbergs to NBC at the age of 19 while still a law school student, but his involvement with the program was subsequently dropped by Gertrude Berg in a kind of "thanks, kid, but I don't need you anymore" end to the relationship.

Brown's first solo effort on the Air was The Bronx Marriage Bureau over WOR in 1932, directing, producing, acting in, and packaging and promoting the entire venture. Soon after, he was promoting Little Italy (1933) to Blue Coal as sponsors.

He married in 1933. 1933 also found him packaging Jack Dempsey's Gymnasium and by 1935 and 1936 he was packaging soaps for Anne Ashenhurst of The Hummerts. His first effort for The Hummerts was David Harum.

He also had the opportunity to help promote the budding theatrical careers of Van Heflin and Myron McCormick. He brought Flash Gordon to the air in 1935, packaging the deal with King Features. He followed that up with a nine-year package of Dick Tracy broadcasts. He did the same packaged promotion for Terry and The Pirates and Jungle Jim.

Brown also packaged and brought The Gumps to the air for four years beginning in 1935. He later brought Joyce Jordan, M.D. to the air in 19xx followed by Hilda Hope, M.D. (19xx) and Grand Central Station for Lambert.

His biggest break came through an offer from Carter Products to do three programs for them. Hi Brown took a disc of Bulldog Drummond to them, a disc of The Creaking Door, and a disc of Rehearsal Time. Of the three, Carter preferred The Creaking Door demo, but didn't care much for the name. Hi Brown offered 'Inner Sanctum Mysteries' as an alternative off the top of his head and Carter jumped at it. Inner Sanctum Mysteries ran for eleven years from 1941 to 1952.

Brown's largesse over his lifetime--both personal and philanthropic--are equally remarkable. Legendary American writer J.D. Salinger wrote Catcher in The Rye while a guest at Brown's Stamford, Connecticut home studio during the Winter of 1945.

Himan Brown's Radiography, if for nothing other than the 527 Inner Sanctum Mysteries and almost 3,000 original broadcasts and scheduled rebroadcasts of CBS Radio Mystery Theatre, would stand forever as a monumental record of accomplishment in the history of Radio. But indeed, his radiography stretches even further. All told, Hi Brown's involvement, in one capacity or another in Radio alone, encompasses some 10,000+ scripts over Radio, the vast majority of them during the Golden Age of Radio.

But Hi Brown's contributions to Radio didn't simply involve writing, producing and directing. As Brown is proud of emphasizing--and justifiably so--he was a widely acknowledged genius and innovator of packaging programming over an incredibly wide variety of Radio genres over an unparalleled seventy-five year career of active involvement in Radio. Indeed, the only other innovators to approach his equal throughout the Golden Age of Radio were The Hummerts.

Hi Brown remains a living legend in Radio History, whose contributions in perpetuating his talent and innovations continue to this day with innumberable personal endowments to educational institutions and performing arts organizations. One is also mindful of the fact that Hi Brown has remained effective well into his 90s.



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