Category Archives: crime drama

14 January: Just Whistler

Advertisement for The Whistler at the height of its West Coast popularity. (Photo: Signal Oil Corp.)

Advertisement for The Whistler at the height of its West Coast popularity. (Photo: Signal Oil Corp.)

The Whistler is unique among radio crime dramas for more than the often-underrated point that there was little if any actual violence in a typical episode. And, more than its equally unique second-person narration the title storyteller uses to tell it from the killer’s viewpoint.

This is also one of the earliest such shows to hand a listener the thought, as John Dunning would put it in On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio, that “this could happen to you,” the “everyday gone haywire . . . These were not mysteries: the identity of the killer was never in doubt, from the first hint that the deed must be done until the moment when the killer trapped himself.”

Posted in classic radio, crime drama, old-time radio | Tagged , | Leave a comment

12 January: Compassion misplaced

Larry Thor of Broadway is My Beat. (Photo: CBS.)

Larry Thor of Broadway is My Beat. (Photo: CBS.)

There come times in life when the falsely accused show compassion to those who set them up for the accusation in the first place. But there also come times when such compassion proves only too badly misplaced, as in tonight’s installment of one of the best crime dramas old-time radio yielded in its final decade of life.

 

 TUNE IN TONIGHT:
Broadway is My Beat: The Larry Moore Murder Case (CBS, 1952)

Posted in classic radio, crime drama, old-time radio | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

10 January: Suspense in Spades

 

Howard Duff (right, with Lurene Tuttle) brings Sam Spade to Suspense. (Photo: CBS.)

Howard Duff (right, with Lurene Tuttle) brings Sam Spade to Suspense. (Photo: CBS.)

Suspense in 1948 starts the year with an experiment: an hour-long exercise digging deeper, as if the show isn’t already renowned for digging plenty deep and then some in half an hour. It’s also going to make another change little by little: incoming director Anton M. Leader will rotate the established players from Radio Row out and hold open auditions while also reaching for known Hollywood talent.

Posted in classic radio, crime drama, mystery/thriller, old-time radio | Leave a comment

29 December: New Year’s Eve is a time for death, too, alas . . .

New Year’s Eve is a time to celebrate, but too often a time for tragedy and death. The memorial roll for New Year’s Eve—day, or the eve itself—includes:

"The gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world," says radio detective Danny Glover (Larry Thor) of the Great White Way . . .

“The gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world,” says radio detective Danny Glover (Larry Thor) of the Great White Way . . .

Donald Douglas II, whose father founded the Douglas Aircraft Company.

Albert Plesman, the first president of KLM, the Dutch national airline now the world’s oldest airline still flying under its founding name.

Posted in classic radio, crime drama | Leave a comment

25 December: Merry Christmas to all; and, to all, classic radio

Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa: Allen's oldest surviving radio episode  aired originally on Christmas Day. (Photo: CBS.)

Fred Allen and Portland Hoffa: Allen’s oldest surviving radio episode aired originally on Christmas Day. (Photo: CBS.)

Our annual Christmas Day radio listening merely begins with two jewels from a master satirist:

The Linit Bath Club Revue: The Mammoth Department Store (CBS, 1932)

Here’s a treat for any old-time radio fan—the oldest known surviving program hosted by the singular Fred Allen, in whose spotlight sketch he plays a man with a sometimes unenviable profession: managing a department store . . . on the day after Christmas. Hopefully, without driving himself crazy.

Posted in classic radio, comedy, crime drama, drama/dramatic anthology | Leave a comment