Tag Archives: Agnes Moorehead

6 January: The brave, bold, unfulfilled mystery theater

Shown here at the height of her old-time radio career, Agnes Moorehead was one classic radio veteran who tried to make The CBS Radio Mystery Theater work generations later. (Photo: CBS.)

Shown here at the height of her old-time radio career, Agnes Moorehead was one classic radio veteran who tried to make The CBS Radio Mystery Theater work generations later. (Photo: CBS.)

If you can say nothing else about The CBS Radio Mystery Theater, premiering tonight in 1974, you can say it is a brave, bold, and often interesting exercise that will prove an ultimately unfilfilled bid to revive classic radio. Certainly it isn’t for lack of effort over its eight struggling seasons. And, just as certainly, its heart—from creator/mastermind Himan Brown and host E.G. Marshall on down—is in the right place.

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14 January: Not-so-dizzy Miss Lizzie

Suspense: Fall River Tragedy (CBS, 1952)

Moorehead, "the first lady of Suspense." (Photo: CBS.)

Moorehead, “the first lady of Suspense.” (Photo: CBS.)

In perhaps a minor masterpiece of understatement, the TruTV network’s Website Crime Library will put it like this:

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Suspense’s right number: Old-time radio listening, 25 May

Suspense: Sorry, Wrong Number (CBS, 1943)

Agnes Moorehead giving one of seven live Suspense performances of Lucille Fletcher's "Sorry, Wrong Number." (Photo: CBS.)

Agnes Moorehead giving one of seven live Suspense performances of Lucille Fletcher’s “Sorry, Wrong Number.” (Photo: CBS.)

Bernard Herrmann, already composing so much of the music that helps make Suspense a bellwether among old-time radio dramas, probably had no idea that an illness in his own life would help produce perhaps the best-remembered among numerous high-profile Suspense offerings.

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Hard-boiled laughs: Old-time radio listening, 20 September

Richard Diamond, Private Detective: The Bald Head Case (NBC, 1950)

Powell (right, with Ed Begley) as Richard Diamond—finally cracking his tough-guy/song-and-dance personae . . .

Dick Powell wanted to break both his tough-guy and his song-and-dance film images, so he took on Rogue’s Gallery, which turned out to be an underrated pilot fish (he left the show after three years; it endured for a few more without him) for his real radio starmaker, the breezier, livelier, funnier, and no less realistic Richard Diamond, Private Detective . . . and did precisely what he wanted.

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