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Original The Doctor Fights header art
The Doctor Fights Schenley Labs spot ad from 1944

The Doctor Fights Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> The Doctor Fights

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine adSchenley Labs' famous 1944 magazine ad

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset

The Doctor Fights spot ad from August 21 1945
The Doctor Fights spot ad from August 21 1945

1945 Announcer Jimmy Wallington
1945 Announcer Jimmy Wallington

Dee Engelbach goes over a script with Production Assitant Maggi Fowler
Dee Engelbach goes over a script with Production Assitant Maggi Fowler

Dee Engelbach and Robert Montgomery go over the script of 'Mare Island and Back' for The Doctor Fights
Dee Engelbach and Robert Montgomery go over the script of 'Mare Island and Back' for The Doctor Fights

August 19th 1945 spot promo for George Brent in a The Doctor Fights episode.
August 19th 1945 spot promo for George Brent in a The Doctor Fights episode.


Schenley Laboratories sponsored two inspirational medical drama anthologies during the World War II era--The Doctor Fights and The Encore Theatre. The Doctor Fights was the first to air in two seasons: a Summer replacement season during 1944 and a Summer replacement season in 1945. The Encore Theatre aired during the Summer replacement season of 1946.

Schenley Laboratories made a fortune during World War II from an explosion in the demand for several of their innovative, patented field triage preparations to combat infection and staunch bleeding. The most important among them--and the most historic in nature--was their formulation of Sir Alexander Fleming's accidental discovery of the revolutionary antibiotic mold, Penicillium notatum, or penicillin. The two seasons of The Doctor Fights in 1944 and 1945 and the season of The Encore Theatre in 1946, combined with active advertising campaigns in Life, Look, The Saturday Evening Post and several other popular magazines of the era, as well as all manner of international medical journals and publications brought weekly reminders of Schenley's ground-breaking, mass-produced Penicillin-Schenley to the world.

Schenley Laboratories was a subsidiary of Schenley Liquor Company, but during the 1940s the mere mention of 'liquor' over Radio was discouraged--or banned in some instances. The connection between Schenley Liquor Company and its laboratories was understandably essential. Distilleries and wineries rely heavily on molds and scientific distillation technology to improve their products. The evolution in the secret processes for isolating and producing Penicillium notatum in Great Britain was, by 1941, reaching strategic military importance. The threat of an invasion by Germany demanded that any further refinement and eventual mass-production of penicillin be conducted in a safer geographic location. Schenley Laboratories in Lawrenceburg, Pennsylvania was designated as one of the United States sites to mass produce penicillin as a strategic priority for shipment to Allied Forces throughout the world.

Schenley, by contrast, encountered little difficulty in sponsoring several other Radio programs during the World War II years and beyond, through their Wine company acqusitions, such as Cresta Blanca Wines. Wine wasn't considered liquor--nor was beer. As many of those of us over the age of 50 may remember, consumer alcohol products were generally presented to high school students between the 1960s and 1980s as comprised of three broad categories: beer, wine, and whiskey. Beer and wine were deemed suitable for mention over Radio. Whiskeys--and all other hard liquors--were not.

Schenley's The Doctor Fights and their subsequent The Encore Theatre were the two Schenley productions of the 1940s that took the high road for Schenley. Their serendipitous selection to mass produce penicillin for World War II--along with some twenty to thirty other laboratories strategically located throughout the U.S.--was a boon to the entire conglomerate. Penicillin-Schenley was the only such penicillin product to be popularly promoted during the era. It at once gave Schenley a means of anchoring the brand name in the minds of the American public as associated with one of the ground-breaking, history making medical discoveries of the 20th Century. It also leant an even greater authority and veneer of trust and respectability to their permissible alcohol-sponsored programming with Cresta Blanca Wines.

The Doctor Fights honors 60,000 Allied medical personnel

The common theme underlying both The Doctor Fights and The Encore Theatre was the selfless, idealistic, altruistic and often heroic contributions of medical professionals throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. With The Doctor Fights, the focus was narrowed even further to the extraordinary efforts and sacrifices of the estimated 60,000 medical doctors serving Allied Forces throughout the world during World War II.

Raymond Massey, by 1944 one of Film, Stage, and Radio's most respected actors, was tapped to narrate and often perform in the first season of The Doctor Fights. As with The Encore Theatre that followed in 1946, Schenley employed a formulaic format for The Doctor Fights. The first Summer season introduced the format that would continue through both Summer seasons. Schenley's spokesperson would introduce both the production and Raymond Massey--or the evening's guest star--as narrator and performer, followed by a reminder of Penicillin-Schenley's contributions to the war effort. Raymond Massey--or guest star--would then frame the drama for the evening. Following the dramatic presentation, a representative of the medical community would provide a three to five minute presentation on some aspect of the involvement of modern medicine in the war effort. Most presentations would announce the title or subject of the following program.

For the Summer season of 1945, the guest star for the episode would introduce and/or narrate the production. In addition to the departure of Raymond Massey as the host/narrator/performer, the series' epilogues were often delivered by the actual subjects of the presentations. The Summer 1944 season presentations had pointedly disclaimed any actual participants' names used in the productions. The Summer 1945 season, by contrast, highlighted the actual participants or protagonists of the productions.

The Summer 1945 season was also unique for the extraordinary roll of famous big screen actors headlining each production. Film stars Cary Grant, Robert Cummings, Robert Montgomery, Robert Young, Ronald Colman, Benita Hume, Gene Lockhart, Van Heflin, Gregory Peck, Glenn Ford, Franchot Tone, John Hodiak, George Brent, and Walter Abel graced the Summer 1945 run. Dee Engelbach, one of CBS's brilliant young directors, both produced and directed The Doctor Fights. Vladimir Selinsky was credited with the music for the Summer 1944 season, while Leith Stevens composed and conducted the music for the Summer 1945 season. James Wallington was the spokesperson and announcer for the Summer 1945 season of The Doctor Fights.

From the August 5th 1945 issue of Radio Life magazine:

Radio Salutes Its Fighting Medics by Betty Mills 

     WHEN YOUNG, boyish producer-director Dee Engelbach ("Fat boy" to his associates) throws the "on the air" cue to the "Doctor Fights" cast, he crosses his fingers and knocks on wood.  If there happens to be no wood handy, he'll knock on anything and is once reported to have used his secretary's head.  This is, of course, for luck.  By now his good fortune is well established in radio circles, yet Engelbach, himself, is eternally grateful for it and regards himself as the original "good luck" boy.
     He doesn't attribute his meteoric rise (which he'd rather not dwell upon) to his astute mind and love of hard work, but dismisses it with an airy "oh, it was a lucky break."  But radio is cognizant of the fact that it has something in Dee and his "lucky breaks."  He is the man who successfully brought "Hall of Fame" to the air along with a great many soap operas and musical shows.  One of his more subdued efforts which caused a big splash on the ether waves was a dignified program entitled "The Doctor Fights."
     Sponsored by the makers of penicillin, the series first appeared last summer as a tribute to war doctors and to acquaint the public with the miracles of the wonder drug.  Based on authentic war stories, the "Doctor Fights" starred Raymond Massey each week in the dramatization of an actual doctor's experience on a fighting front.  Audience response was immediate and overwhelming.
               On Again
     This summer it is again on the airlanes, emanating from Hollywood with a guest star policy.  As an added highlight to each half-hour show, the doctor, himself, now appears for a brief chat.  Portraying the heroic medics have been some of Hollywood's biggest names, Cary Grant, Robert Cummings, Robert Montgomery, Robert Young, and Ronald Colman.
     Working with Engelbach, who possesses a shrewd sense of showmanship, is more than a worthwhile experience to the actors.  It's a pleasure.  He has unloosened the most reserved by his air of informality and soon has them rehearsing minus coats and ties.  He never fits the star to the story, but the story to the star.  His actors display no temperament while working with him because they know he won't stand for it.
               Started As Page Boy
     Seven years ago, Dee (who was christened Devere) was an aspiring page boy for New York's NBC.  (He almost didn't get the job because he was too big for the uniform's collar.)  In his spare time he studied music and art and planned bigger things.  One day NBC found itself in a predicament.  Its producer for the Metropolitan Opera program was unable to show up.  "I can do it," announced Engelbach.
     He did, of course, and this was only the beginning.  Joining NBS's producer staff, he cut his 'radio teeth' on soap operas, dramas, variety shows and long-haired and short-haired musical hours.  When conductor Serge Koussevitzky of the Boston "Pops" (one of his earlier shows) once asked him what he did with the other six days of the week, Dee wondered how he would explain "Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street" to him.
     With the launching of "Hall of Fame," Engelbach established himself as a definite personality.  On this, his first trip to California with the "Doctor Fights" series, he is favorably impressed by the state but looks forward to returning to his home in the heart of Greenwich Village.  He achieved another "luck break" by finding a home for his wife, dog, and himself within three weeks after his arrival here.  He is seriously considering a fall New York stage play to round out his varied career.
     Putting to use every bit of knowledge gleaned during his staff days, he now isolates his musicians from the dramatic cast, which he, in turn, places close to his perch in the control room.  This is an unusual procedure but provides a feeling of intimacy between the actors and producer.
     Although Engelbach becomes nervous preceding air time, only the technicians in the control room are aware of it.  He never fails to go through the ritual of knocking on wood and crossing his fingers.  The closing signature on the show is a title credit acknowledging Dee as producer-director.  When this is over he breathes a big sigh of relief and mutters "Nuts to Dee Engelbach."

It was Dee Engelbach who ordered recordings of many of the rehearsals for the Summer 1945 production. Some of the surviving recordings of rehearsals for the second season remain in collectors' holdings. There are an estimated eleven to fifteen exemplars of the series in current circulation.

The Summer 1945 season of The Doctor Fights was a replacement for CBS's This Is My Best. The C. E. Hooper Ratings for the Summer 1945 season, at least, bested even This Is My Best by a few points. This Is My Best peaked at 6.5 for its 1945 season. The Doctor Fights ranged between 4.5 and 6.7 for its Summer replacement season. This Is My Best returned to the air, on schedule, on September 18, 1945.

Series Derivatives:

Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Medical Dramas
Network(s): CBS
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): Unknown
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 1944 Run: 44-06-06 01 Class of '38
1945 Run: 45-06-05 01 Hero of Bataan
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 1944 Run: 44-06-06 to 44-08-29; CBS; Twelve, 30-minute programs, Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.
1945 Run: 45-06-05 to 45-09-11; CBS; Fourteen, 30-minute programs, Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m.
Syndication: 1944 Run: CBS Transcriptions
1945 Run: CBS Transcriptions
Sponsors: 1944 Run: Schenley Laboratories
1945 Run: Schenley Laboratories
Director(s): 1944 Run: Dee Engelbach
Maggi Fowler [Production Assistant]
1945 Run: Dee Engelbach
Maggi Fowler [Production Assistant]
Principal Actors: 1944 Run: Jose Ferrer, Richard Kollmar, Jackson Beck
1945 Run: Cary Grant, Robert Cummings, Robert Montgomery, Robert Young, Ronald Colman, Gene Lockhart, Van Heflin, Glenn Ford, Franchot Tone, Vincent Price, John Hodiak, Gregory Peck, George Brent, Walter Abel, Daniel H. Monds, Tony Marvin, Alexander Fleming, Benita Hume, Al Hodge
Recurring Character(s): None
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): None
Writer(s) 1944 Run: Milton Geiger, Norman Rosten, Joseph Liss
1945 Run: Milton Geiger, Arthur Miller, Don Ettlinger, Millard Lampell
Music Direction: 1944 Run:Vladimir Selinsky - Music
1945 Run: Leith Stevens; Al Schaeffer [Sound effects]
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): 1944 Run: Frank Gallop; Raymond Massey [Host/Narrator]
1945 Run: James Wallington [Announcer], Gerald Mohr [Rehearsal]
Estimated Scripts or
1944 Run: 12
1945 Run: 14
Episodes in Circulation: 1944 Run: 1
1945 Run: 10
Total Episodes in Collection: 1944 Run: 1
1945 Run: 10

Provenance for resumption of This Is My Best over CBS in The Doctor Fights timeslot from September 14 1945
Provenance for resumption of This Is My Best over CBS in The Doctor Fights timeslot from September 14 1945
Contributor Scott MacArt.

Notes on Provenances:

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

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


There was never a program titled 'Mayer Island and Back'. There was, however an important strategic World War II location named 'Mare Island'. It was the Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, California, the first naval shipyard on the Pacific Coast. The correct title for Episode No. 3 of the Summer 1945 season of The Doctor Fights is 'Mare Island and Back.'

There was never a program titled 'Captain Rayme's Story.' The correct title for Episode No. 8 of the Summer 1945 season of The Doctor Fights is 'Captain Rehm's Story.'

There was never a program titled 'The Lam Ping Miracle.' The correct title for Episode No. 9 of the Summer 1945 season of The Doctor Fights is 'The Lan Ting Miracle.'

As the rampant 'borrowing' of the radioGOLDINex's rare misspellings continue to proliferate throughout the otr community one need but find the culprits spreading these inaccuracies with the following quoted Google searches:

  • "Mayer Island and Back"
  • "Captain Rayme's Story"
  • "The Lam Ping Miracle"

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The Doctor Fights Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
The Class Of '38
44-06-03 Evening Gazette
The first of twelve programs entitled "The Doctor Fights" will be broadcast Tuesday at 9:30 p.m. over WHIO with stage and screen star Raymond Massey as narrator.

44-06-06 Mason City Globe-Gazette - "THE DOCTOR FIGHTS," starring Raymond Massey in dramas based on the lives of noted men of medicine, makes its debut over KGLO-CBS Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. The stories, while they are to be drawn for the most part from the personal life, experiments andhumanitarian contributions of celebrated researchers and practitioners, will deal frequently with the careers and experiences of doctors now with the armed forces. By way of complementing each broadcast, a prominent physician will be invited personally to describe the latest advances in his profession or in his particular specialty. Sponsor of the program is Schenley Laboratories, Inc., in behalf of Penicillin Schenley.

44-06-06 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--The Doctor Fights (WBBM): Raymond Massey stars in series of dramas based on lives of noted men of medicine; Dr. James E. Paullin, president of American Medical Assn., guest speaker.
Title Unknown
44-06-12 Mason City Globe-Gazette
8:30 "The Doctor Fights," Schenley Laboratories, Inc., CBS
Glider Doctor
44-06-20 Mason City Globe-Gazette
RAYMOND MASSEY, star of stage and screen, as the narrator of "The Doctor Fights," recounts the story of "
Glider Doctor" on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. over KGLO-CBS. It is the adventure of a young army surgeon who made the dangerous flight from England to Normandy with his glider detachment on the morning of D-day. They are later captured by nazis when the glider is forced down on the roof of the German headquarters building and enoucnter an unexpected hazard of being caught in allied gun-fire when they attempt to escape. Maj. Gen. Norman T. Kirk, surgeon general of the army, will be heard later in the program, in an informal address.
Title Unknown
44-06-27 Mason City Globe-Gazette - WHEN "The Doctor Fights" is broadcast Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., over station KGLO, another thrilling dramatization in the series showing what doctors are doing at the war front and on the home front, will be presented with Raymond Massey, famous stage and screen star, as narrator. Dr. Herman L. Kretschmer, president of the American Medical association, will be guest speaker on the program.

44-06-27 Wisconsin State Journal - The Doctor Fights (WBBM): Raymond Massey, narrator; story of air force physician.
Title Unknown
44-07-04 Mason City Globe-Gazette - IN an Independence Day broadcast to the wives and parents of our service men, Maj. Gen. David W. Grant, air surgeon, Hq., army air forces, Washington, D.C., will be hear on "The Doctor Fights," on Tuesday, July 4, at 8:30 p.m., over KGLO-CBS. General Grant's talk will be the 4th in a series of addresses by famous military and civilian doctors who have spoken on medicine in wartime. Raymond Massey will narrate another story, based on the true adventures of our soldier-doctors. The series is directed by DeVere Engelbach.
44-07-11 Mason City Globe-Gazette - THE ANNUAL All-Star baseball game, between top flight players of athe major leagues will be aired exclusively over the full Columbia network on Tuesday night, July 11, from Forbes Field, Pittsburgh. Beginning at 7:55 p.m., KGLO will carry the game to its conclusion.
Air Commando Doctor
44-07-18 Mason City Globe-Gazette - MAKING his last radio appearance before he embarks on a nationwide tour with "Othello," Jose Ferrer will play the title role in "Air Commando Doctor," written by Norman Rosten for "The Doctor Fights" on Tuesday, at 8:30 p.m., over KGLO-CBS. It's the story of a surgeon who takes off in a glider with an Air Commando unit bound for a long-abandoned Burma landing field. Their orders are to clear the strip of snipers and prepare it for General Wingates raiders. However, the gliders crash when the encounter natural hazards hidden under elephant grass. The surgeon patches up his wounded, but additional dangers arise when the hospital plane takes off in the direct line of Jap fire. Raymond Massey will narrate "Air Commando Doctor," and Major General David W. Grant, Air Surgeon, Hq., Army Air Forces, will be the guest speaker.
Doctor On Corregidor
44-07-25 Mason City Globe-Gazette - A YOUNG doctor arrives on Corregidor before Pearl Harbor, complete with golf clubs, tennis rackets and similar equipment, prepared for what he expects to be a pleasant, restful assignment. Then the Japs strike, and the physician casts aside his sports equipment for the endless work of caring for the wounded, in "Doctor on Corregidor," the story to be presented on "The Doctor Fights" on Tuesday, July 25, at 8:30 p.m., over KGLO-CBS. Richard Kollmar, of the Broadway hit, "Early to Bed," will be heard as the young doctor in this story, with Raymond Massey cast in a dramatic role as an older doctor, also assigned to the besieged "Rock."
Doctor On the Big 'V'
44-08-01 Wisconsin State Journal - The Doctor Fights (WBBM): Raymond Massey in "Doctor on the Big V," story of a doctor on a naval aircraft carrier; speaker, Dr. Irvin Abell, chairman of board of regents, American College of Surgery.
The Doctor and Benny
44-08-08 Mason City Globe-Gazette - DR ERNEST E. IRONS, professor of medicine at Rush Medical college, Chicago, Ill., and president of the American College of Physicians, is the guest speaker on Raymond Massey's "The Doctor Fights" program over KGLO-CBS Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. Massey stars in and narrates another exciting episode of the work of medical officers in the armed forces. Vladimir Selinsky conducts the orchestra in the musical background.

44-08-08 Wisconsin State Journal - 8:30 p.m.--The Doctor Fights (WBBM): Raymond Massey in "The Doctor and Benny," about an army cook who goes Jap-hunting; speaker, Dr. Ernest Irons, head of American College of Physicians.
Helm of Gilead
44-08-15 Mason City Globe-Gazette
DR. ERNEST IRONS, president of the American College of Physicians, is the guest speaker on "The Doctor Fights," in its broadcast on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., over KGLO-CBS. Raymond Massey stars in this dramatic program, which presents stories of doctors in combat duty in the present war.
This broadcast will be the last originating in New York. Beginning the following week, "The Doctor Fights" moves to Hollywood where Massey is scheduled to begin work in the motion picture, "God Is My Co-Pilot." Dr. Irons, speaker on the Aug. 15 broadcast, originally was scheduled for Aug. 8.

44-08-15 Wisconsin State Journal - 8:30 p.m. The Doctor Fights (WBBM): "
Helm of Gilead," with Raymond Massey.
The Doctor and the Leaping Death
44-08-22 Mason City Globe-Gazette - IN THE GRIM SLANG of the armed forces, a land mine is known as "the leaping death." Raymond Massey's latest lead role in "The Doctor Fights" series is that of "The Doctor and the Leaping Death," heard on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m., over KGLO-CBS. It's the story of an army physician who risks death in a German mind field in order to rescue the wounded. Dr. Rudolph Matas, an expert researcher of tropical diseases, is the guest speaker.
Title Unknown
44-08-29 Mason City Globe-Gazette - RAYMOND MASSEY'S face is red and it isn't from sunburn. The Canadian born star of "The Doctor Fights," heard Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m., over KGLO-CBS, finally met his Waterloo, in the guise of a jaw-breaking medical term. For nine weeks, the actor's perfect enunciation had triumphed over words that would give pause to less hardy script readers and, flushed with success, he reached for a copy of Tuesday's drama. All went well until Massey's tongue tripped over "epinephrine hydrochloride." Six times he read it and six times he flubbed it. Massey shrugged his shoulders, admitted defeat and asked that the darn thing be omitted. It was.

44-08-29 Lima News - Stage and screen star Raymond Massey will offer his final medical portrait in "The Doctor Fights" series Tuesday at 9:30 p.m., over Station WABC. The program has been dedicated to the thousands of physicians serving in war zones and on the home front and was based on actual records in Army and Naval Medical Corps files. Brig. Gen. James S. Simmons, of the Surgeon General's office in Washington, and chief of the Preventive Medical Division will be guest speaker.

Shingle On Luzon
45-06-05 Lowell Sun - THE DOCTOR FIGHTS, dramatic series on physicians. Cary Grant in story of Maj. Livingston P. Nobell, Jr., Bataan Army doctor; WEEI, 9:30.

45-06-05 Wisconsin State Journal - 8:30 p.m.--The Doctor Fights (WBBM): Cary Grant in story of Maj. Livingston Pope Nobell, Jr., hero of Bataan.

Picnic At McBurney's Point

[Note: According to his grandson, the medical officer aboard the cruiser Birmingham was named LtCdr James MacArt; the little Girl in the recording “Judy” is actually LtCdr MacArt's daughter; thanks and a tip of the hat to Scott MacArt for correcting the newspaper provenance for us]

45-06-12 Lowell Sun
THE DOCTOR FIGHTS--Robert Cummings in drama of experiences of
Lt. Com. James McArt, medical officer aboard cruiser Birmingham; WEEI, 9:30.

45-06-12 Wisconsin State Journal - 8:30 p.m.--The Doctor Fights (WBBM): Robert Cummings as Leyte hero.

Mare Island and Back
45-06-19 Lowell Sun
THE DOCTOR FIGHTS: Robert Montgomery in dramatic story of Capt. Henry H. Kessler, Marine Corps Rehabilitation Chief; WEEI, 9:30.

James Wallington announces "
Rescue To the Moon" for next week.

Rescue To the Moon
45-06-26 Lowell Sun
THE DOCTOR FIGHTS--Robert Young as "Lieut. Col. Daniel H. Maunz," flight surgeon who parachuted in Arctic Circle to perform appendectomy; WEEI, 9:30.

Miracle Drug
45-07-03 Lowell Sun
portrays Sir Alexander Fleming, penicillin discoverer, on "The Doctor Fights," WEEI, 9:30.

Lips For the Trumpet
45-07-10 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--The Doctor Fights (WBBM): Gene Lockhart portrays Col. James Barrett Brown, chief of plastic surgery at the Valley Forge hospital, Pennsylvania, in "
Lips for the Trumpet."

Burma Incident as next

Burma Incident
45-07-17 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--The Doctor Fights (WBBM):
Van Heflin portrays Capt. Henry G. Stelling, doctor with Merrill's Marauders in India.

Captain Rehm's Story as next

Captain Rehm's Story
45-07-24 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--Doctor Fights (WBBM): Glenn Ford portrays role of flight surgeon
Capt. Robert Rehm.

The Lan Ting Miracle as next

The Lan Ting Miracle
45-07-31 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--Doctor Fights (WBBM): Franchot Tone portrays World War II hero Maj. Morris Kaplan in "
The Lan Ting Miracle."

Mission In the Dark as next

Mission In the Dark
Mission Into Darkness
45-08-07 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--Doctor Fights (WBBM): Vincent Price portrays
Lieut. Col. Roy R. Grinker, Chicago army psychiatrist, who initiated new treatment for fatigue and shock neuroses.

[ Program cancelled due to V-J Day]

45-08-14 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--Doctor Fights (WBBM): Film Star John Hodiak as Maj. Oscar Turner, brain surgeon.

45-08-14 Springfield Republican
Film Star
John Hodiak will be heard as Maj Oscar Turner, brain surgeon, when "The Doctor Fights" dramatizes the true story of that doctor's heroism tonight at 9:30 over station WMAS. Working in the grand mirrored ballroom of a luxurious hotel five miles from the Remagen bridgehead, Maj Turner and his operating team were forced to work two days and a night without letup.

45-08-15 Circleville Herald
"The Doctor Fights," the Tuesday summer series which dramatizes the real life adventures of war doctors, has shown a steadily rising audience rating despite the seasonal slump of most airshows. In the latest rating, "The Doctor Fights" gained nearly a point over the previous survey, causing the sponsors to extend the series two additional weeks, running through Sept. 11.

45-08-19 Zanesville Times Recorder
"The Doctor Fights" uses many service men in its weekly broadcasts. (They may appear only during off hours, without name credit and without audience). After the recent drama, "
Mission Into Darkness," the uniformed actor was complimented on his performance by Producer Dee Engelbach. "That was a hard role," said Engelbach "Not many actors can do a convincing job of portraying a battle-shocked victim" "I don't deserve any credit," said the actor. "I just used my memory. It's not easy to forget how you felt when you've been through it."

Story of Major Oscar Turner
45-08-21 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--Doctor Fights (WBBM): John Hodiak portrays Maj. Oscar Turner, surgeon at work near Remagen bridge.

45-08-21 Nassau Daily Review-Star
9:30-10:00--The Doctor Fights: "
Story of Major Oscar Turner," with John Hodiak, others--WABC.

45-08-21 New York Times
9:30-10--The Doctor Fights: "
Story of Major Oscar Turner," With John Hodiak, Others--WABC.

Medicine For the Enemy
[ Rehearsal; Gerald Mohr as announcer]

Gerald Mohr announces "
His Brother Uses A Bagel" for next week.

Medicine For the Enemy
45-08-28 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--Doctor Fights (WBBM):Gregory Peck portrays Lieut. Comdr. Harry Joseph, medical officer who performed successful operations aboard a destroyer hunting subs in North Atlantic.

James Wallington announces "
Hero Without Medals" for next week.

Hero Without Medals
45-09-04 Wisconsin State Journal
8:30 p.m.--The Doctor Fights (WBBM): George Brent as Lieut. Comdr. A. Duane Beam, heroic eye surgeon, in drama, "
Hero Without Medals."

The End of Darkness
[Last Program]

45-09-11 Lima News
Screen Star Walter Abel portrays a doctor who worked psychological wonders with battle-scarred and war-weary veterans in "
The End of Darkness," "The Doctor Fights" drama to be heard on Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. over Station WABC. The story is based on the authentic deeds of Major Howard A. Rusk, who has performed valiant work with convalescing airmen.

Goldin cites the title,
The Man From Missouri as 'The last show of the series."

45-09-18 Lima News
Rosemary DeCamp and Herbert Marshall arc the co-stars when "This is My Best" returns to the air at 8:30 p. m. Tuesday over WABC, in "Turnip's Blood."
Marshall will be heard as a brain surgeon who meets an unusual gal in an unusual way, with dramatic results.

45-09-18 Wisconsin State Journal - 8:30 p.m.--This Is My Best (WBBM): return of program, with Rosemary DeCamp and Herbert Marshall in "Turnip's Blood."

The Doctor Fights Radio Program Biographies

Raymond Hart Massey

Stage, Screen, Television and Radio Actor, Producer and Director

Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Education: Havergal College; Toronto Model School; Upper Canada College; St. Andrews; Appleby College [with honours.]

1938 Ninety Years Of News
1939 The Pursuit Of Happiness
1940 Cavalcade Of America
1940 Fifth Row Center
1940 Lux Radio Theatre
1940 Everyman's Theater
1941 Kraft Music Hall
1941 Forecast
1942 Philip Morris Playhouse
1942 This Is War
1942 Dear Adolph
1942 Cleveland Symphony Orchestra
1943 Treasury Star Parade
1944 The Doctor Fights
1944 Two Men On A Raft
1944 The Battle Of the Warsaw Ghetto
1944 Columbia Presents Corwin
1944 The Eternal Light
1944 Answering You
1945 Treasury Salute
1945 Arch Oboler's Plays
1945 Inner Sanctum
1946 Harvest Of Stars
1947 Mission Not Completed
1947 Radio Reader's Digest
1947 The Bitter Herb
1948 Marine Story
1948 Lest We Forget
1948 V.D. Radio Digest
1949 Christmas Seal Sale
1949 MGM Theatre Of the Air
1950 Hedda Hopper's Hollywood
1951 Hallmark Playhouse
1952 The Endless Frontier
1955 Anthology
1956 The Unforseen
1957 Recollections At Thirty
Raymond Massey: Familiar Readings From the Bible
Chapel By the Side Of the Road
Raymond Massey's ancestral Canadian home from the late 1800s
Raymond Massey's ancestral Canadian home from the late 1800s

Raymond Massey takes Abraham Lincoln to Broadway from Life Magazine October 31, 1938
Raymond Massey takes Abraham Lincoln to Broadway from Life Magazine October 31, 1938

Raymond Massey as Abraham Lincoln in Film.
Raymond Massey as Abraham Lincoln in Film.

Raymond Massey as Jonathan Brewster in the 'Capra-corn' masterpiece, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Raymond Massey as Jonathan Brewster in the 'Capra-corn' masterpiece, Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Raymond Massey as Dr. Leonard Gillespie with Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare in the Television series of the same name (1961-1966)
Raymond Massey as Dr. Leonard Gillespie with Richard Chamberlain as Dr. Kildare in the Television series of the same name (1961-1966)
From the July 30, 1983 edition of The Winnipeg Free Press:

Raymond Massey
87, dies in California

     TORONTO (CP)--Actor RaymondMassey, brother of Canada's first Canadian-born governor general, died last night in Los Angeles at the age of 87.
     Massey had been ill with pneumonia for several weeks, said his nephew, Hart Massey of Port Hope, Ont.
     The debonair actor, known for his role as Dr. Gillespie in the television series Dr. Kildare and for his portrayal of Abraham Lincoln on stage and screen, was born in Toronto to a wealthy family of industrialists and became an American citizen in 1944.
     Massey grew up in a world of private schools and clubs and was enrolled in the Canadian Officers Training Corps at the University of Toronto when the First World War began.
     Commissioned a lieutenant in the Canadian Field Artillery, he fought in France until being wounded at Ypres in 1916.  After six months of convales-cence, he served with the British Mili-tary Mission to the United States as an instructor in trench warfare.
     Massey's brother, the late Vincent Massey, was Canada's first Canadian-born governor general.     Vincent Massey, who retired in 1959, died in 1967.

From the July 31, 1983 edition of The Chronicle Telegram:

Raymond Massey

     BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP)— Raymond Massey, a gauntfaced, courtly actor who brought Abraham Lincoln to life on screen and later won over TV audiences as no-nonsense Dr. Gillespie on "Dr. Kildare," has died at the age of 86.
     The Canadian-born actor, who appeared in more than 70 movies and 80 stage productions, died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center at 8:30 p.m. Friday.  He had been hospitalized for 3 1/2 weeks suffering complications of pneumonia, his son Geoffrey said yesterday.
     Massey, once described as "the man who took Abraham Lincoln off the penny" and made him a living image for millions, retired from acting more than a decade ago and lived in Beverly Hills.  He had just completed filming an autobiographical television program to be shown in Canada.
     Among his most noted films were "The Prisoner of Zenda," with David Niven, who also died Friday, "Arsenic and Old Lace," "East of Eden," "Dangerously They Live," "Seven Angry Men" and "The Naked and the Dead."
     Massey, who directed 35 of his stage productions, made his final stage appearance in 1970 in London, saying he lacked stamina and was disenchanted with modern theater.
     "To me theater should be enchantment, make-believe, pretend," he once told an interviewer.  "Today it's sex, obscenity and squalor."
     Massey once described himself as "so Republican it makes my skin crack."
     He played Lincoln in Robert Sherwood's Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play, "Abe Lincoln In Illinois" for two years, then took the show on national tour.  The 6-foot-2 actor later portrayed the lanky president in three movies, describing the role as "overwhelming."
     "Actually, I'd kill with my bare hands anyone who tried to get the part away from me," he said in a 1955 interview.
     TO A LATER generation, Massey was Dr. Gillespie, the crusty old physician of NBC's "Dr. Kildare" series (1961-65) that starred Richard Chamberlain.
     In 1972 he appeared in a television movie "All My Darling Daughters."
     Born Raymond Hart Massey on Aug. 30, 1896, in Toronto, Massey was the grandson of the founder of the Massey farm machinery empire.  His brother, the late Vincent Massey, was Canada's first Canadian-born governor general.
     Massey's acting career began during World War I when he served with a small Canadian expeditionary force in Siberia after being wounded at Ypres in 1916.  Out of boredom in the bleak, frozen waste, he organized a minstrel troupe.
     Encouraged by a chance meeting with famed American actor John Drew, Massey took up acting professionally, debuting with a bit part in the 1922 London production of Eugene O
'Neill's "In the Zone."

The above Canadian and American renditions of Raymond Massey's obituary inadvertently overlooked Massey's exceptional contributions to American Radio. Raymond Massey's estimated 400 appearances throughout the Golden Age of Radio represented some of the most prestigious dramas of the era. Massey's appearances throughout the era were invariably met with great fanfare, and justifiably so.

Raymond Massey appeared in:

  • Thirteen installments of Cavalcade of America
  • Three Norman Corwin-directed productions
  • Three Lux Radio Theatre productions
  • All five episodes of The Endless Frontier (1952)
  • The entire run of The Unforeseen (1956)
  • Several episodes of Marine Story

Massey's radiography also discloses a great many religious and inspirational programs of the era. A profoundly religious man his entire life, Raymond Massey rarely hestitated when asked to lend his considerable reputation and authority to the public service anthologies of the era.

Dee Engelbach [DeVere Engelbach]


Birthplace: Virginia

1943 Radio Hall Of Fame
1945 The Doctor Fights
1945 Rogue's Gallery
1946 Academy Award
1948 Hallmark Playhouse
1948 The Man Called X
1949 Humphrey Bogart (Audition)
1950 The Scarlet Cloak (Audition)
1950 The Big Show
1951 American Portraits
1956 CBS Radio Workshop
1972 Same Time, Same Station

Meredith Wilson and Tallulah Bankhead take bemused direction from Director Dee Engelbach (right) during Radio's The Big Show circa 1950
Meredith Wilson and Tallulah Bankhead take bemused direction from baby-faced Director Dee Engelbach (right) during Radio's The Big Show circa 1950
Dee Engelbach was by all contemporary accounts a boy-genius director when he got his start on CBS in his early 30's. While cutting his teeth on Radio, Engelbach began wearing both Radio and Television directorial hats in 1948. Quickly elevated to producer-director status at NBC, Dee Engelbach was entrusted with some of the entertainment world's often delicate talent.

Three cases in point: Tallulah Bankhead, Groucho Marx and Milton Berle. All three were seasoned professionals--and notoriously high-maintenance scene stealers. But young Dee Engelbach not only managed to wrangle excellent performances from them, but leave all three of them singing young Dee's praises in the process. All three were regular visitors to Engelbach's The Big Show (1950) once Engelbach had moved to NBC.

Mr. Engelbach was an executive producer-director and program consultant in television for NBC. In 1954, he joined Circa Productions Inc., a television production company active in both New York and California and became Executive Vice President of the company.

But indeed, Engelbach's most loyal fans recall his Radio career. Engelbach directed many of the The Hallmark Playhouse (1948) episodes for CBS, as well as Radio Hall of Fame (1943-1944), many of the Rogue's Gallery (1945) for Mutual, then CBS, Academy Award (1946) for CBS, The Man Called X, with Herbert Marshall, virtually all of The Big Show (1950-1952) for NBC and American Portraits (1951) for NBC.

In the early days of television he produced and directed The All Star Revue which reunited him with Tallulah Bankhead, Groucho Marx and Milton Berle.

Dee Engelbach died in 1983 after a short illness while at St. Luke's Hospital in Manhattan. He was survived by his wife, the former Carole O'Hara, a daughter, and two sisters.

Leith Stevens
(Music Director)

Stage, Radio, Television and Film Music Director and Composer

Birthplace: Mount Moriah, Missouri, USA

Education: Horner Institute, Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Conservatory of Music
at the University of Missouri-Kansas City

1937 Saturday Night Swing Club
1937 Columbia Workshop
1938 No Help Wanted
1938 Men Against Death
1938 American School Of the Air
1939 Arch Oboler's Plays
1940 Big Town
1941 The Free Company
1945 The Doctor Fights
1945 Rogue's Gallery
1945 Request Performance
1946 Academy Award
1946 Encore Theatre
1947 Lights Out
1949 Escape
1949 Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
1949 Suspense
1950 The Miracle Of America
1950 The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show
1952 The Black Book
1952 Action Eighty
1952 The Judge
1953 Hallmark Hall Of Fame
1954 Anthology
1955 Biography In Sound
1956 CBS Radio Workshop

Caption: Leith Stevens is another ex-[Mark] Warnow arranger turned maestro (1938)
Caption: Leith Stevens is another ex-[Mark] Warnow arranger turned maestro (1938)

Leith Stevens circa 1939
Leith Stevens circa 1939

Leith Stevens circa 1944
Leith Stevens circa 1944

Leith Stevens obituary
Leith Stevens obituary

Leith Stevens was already a musical child prodigy at the age of 5. By the age of 14 he was making his performing debut. At the age of 16, he was Madame Schumann-Heink's accompanist and mentor to her own students. At the age of 21, the Columbia Broadcasting System wisely scooped him up as a network vocal arranger and within three more years he was a CBS composer/conductor for many of the network's top recurring programs.

From the Star-News - July 24, 1970, Pasadena, California:

Fatally Stricken
When Told Wife
Killed in Crash

HOLLYWOOD (UPI) — Leith Stevens, director of television music at Paramount Studios, was called to an extension telephone to take an emergency long distance call.

The party on the other end advised him his wife, Elizabeth, 40, had been killed when her car plunged over a 150-foot cliff in the Santa Rosa Mountains near Palm Springs.

Stevens, 60, nominated three times for Oscars for songs or movie scores took the telephone call about his wife on a Hollywood studio phone, put down the receiver, walked across the room and slumped in death Thursday, witnesses said.

Stevens was a composer and a conductor during his long career. He was nominated for an Academy Award three times. He was founder and first president of the Composers and Lyricists Guild of America in 1954.

Stevens' wife was driving with her three pet dogs when she was killed. The accident occurred on California 74, the co-called "Palms to Pines Highway," near where Jimmy Durante simulated an accident in the movie "Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. The dogs escaped with minor injuries when the vehicle rolled over and landed upside down.

Oscar nominations were accorded Stevens' movie scores for The Five Pennies and A New Kind of Love. His melody Julie was given an Oscar nomination as Best Song.

What is the function of a director of television music at a studio producing many hours of video entertainment every week for the consumption of millions of viewers?

Does he select the composer? How closely does he supervise the work during writing? How much of his personal touch is reflected in the finished piece?
Leith Stevens, the bearded Director of Television Music at Paramount Studios, is eminently qualified to answer these questions regarding the writing of music lor television.

A child prodigy, Stevens took his first piano lesson from his father when he was five years old. He made his piano debut at 14, and when he was 18 he was a coach for the students of the legendary Madame Schumann-Heink. He subsequently went on tour with the contralto as her accompanist.

He was 21 when he joined CBS as a vocal arranger and three years later he was made a composer and conductor for many of the network's top radio shows. In 1941 he began composing for motion pictures--he had been nominated three times for an Academy Award--and when television came along he entered that field.

Stevens said that assigning a composer is like casting an actor for a part. "A composer is chosen whose particular talents fit certain dramatic problems." he explained. "This is usually done in conjunction with the series producer, who has specific ideas about what he wants the music to accomplish. My chore is to guide the composer right and see that he follows through."

"Bruce Geller has strong instincts in this area and almost without exception selects the composer for his productions of Mission: Impossible and Mannix." Bruce chose Lalo Schifrin, a comparative newcomer to the business, to write the theme for Mission four years ago. "Schifrin's ability to provide the right music in the right context is why Bruce also had him write the music for Mannix."

Stevens points out how it is possible to angle music several different ways, giving mysteries as an example. "A producer may wish to highlight the romance in a whodunit and play down the mystery." And then he may wish to go the other way. "I usually check the score while it is in progress and supervise the recording.", Stevens said. "But I try to keep my personal touch out of the work. I don't want our composers sounding like Leith Stevens. A composer's stock in trade is his own personal sound which gives a distinctive quality to his music and I wouldn't want to take that away from him."

Summing up his role as music director, Stevens said: "My function is not to have musicians do something I want them to do but to make sure that what the composer does is in his own style and that the result is right for the show."

Schenley Laboratories

Founded: New York City

The Doctor Fights
The Encore Theatre

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine adSchenley Labs 1944 magazine ad

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset

Schenley Labs 1944 magazine ad inset

Dr. Paul Erlich (1854-1915)
Dr. Paul Erlich (1854-1915)

Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955)
Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955)

Sir Howard Florey (1898-1968)
Sir Howard Florey (1898-1968)

Dr. Selman Waksman (1888-1973)
Dr. Selman Waksman (1888-1973)

Schenley Laboratories, based in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, sponsored two important programs during World War II: The Doctor Fights, in 1944, and The Encore Theatre in 1946. Though both series might be considered 'infomercials' in today's media parlance, they were both excellent dramatic vehicles for promoting Schenley Laboratories' breakthrough work in promoting and distributing one of the most revolutionary drugs in 20th century medical history: Penicillin.

By 1944, laboratories across the country were stepping up their production of penicillin, especially Schenley in Indiana, whose advertisement stated that “When the thunderous battles of this war have subsided to pages of silent print in a history book, the greatest news event of World War II may well be the discovery and development of "penicillin."

German scientist Paul Ehrlich (1854-1915), first synthesized the arsenic-based compound Salvarsan, an effective treatment for syphilis, in 1909. Ehrlich coined the term “chemotherapy,” thus creating the first antibiotic drug. A generation later, another German, Gerhard Domagk (1895-1964), working for Bayer, produced the first useful sulfa drug. This drug was used to treat streptococcal, or strep, diseases, including meningitis.

Ancient Chinese, Egyptians, and Greeks had found that moldy substances were highly effective in keeping open cuts clean. Dr. Louis Pasteur observed an antibacterial action when he noted that the addition of common bacteria stopped the growth of anthrax bacilli in sterile urine.

In the 1920s the Scotsman Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) found a mold growing on some bacterial samples in his laboratory. Indeed, the mold killed the samples. He identified that mold as penicillin. During World War II a team of researchers, led by Australian Howard Florey (1898-1968) furthered that research and tested the new drug on injured soldiers. It proved effective against anthrax, tetanus, and syphilis and was the first drug that worked against pneumonia. About the same time Selman Waksman (1888-1973), an American biochemist, isolated another fungoid, streptomycin, which proved effective against tuberculosis. Waksman coined the term “antibiotic” to describe such biological drugs.

More new drugs followed in the 1950s, including cortisone, a steroid hormone that reduced inflammation and suppressed immune system response. The first effective drugs for the treatment of mental illness also appeared during the era. Two antiviral vaccines--for smallpox and polio--also appeared during this era. Both virtually eradicated both diseases by the end of the 20th century.

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