2000 Plus (aka Two Thousand Plus and 2000+) was an American old-time radio series that ran on the Mutual Broadcasting System from March 15, 1950 to January 2, 1952 in various 30-minute time slots. A Dryer Weenolsen production, it was the first adult science fiction series on radio, airing one month prior to the better known Dimension X. 2000 Plus was an anthology program, using all new material rather than adapting published stories. The series was the creation of Sherman H. Dryer (October 11, 1913-December 22, 1989) who scripted and produced the series with Robert Weenolsen (April 19, 1900-August 1979).
A vintage radio drama series about a criminal psychologist, Dr Morelle, who solves murder cases which are too complex for the police. Morelle is played by English film actor Cecil Parker, and is alternately helped and hindered in his investigations by his secretary Miss Frayle, played by film actress Sheila Sim.
Life of Bliss is the story of shy young bachelor David Bliss as he lives the sweet single life. Produced in the United Kingdom, George Cole plays the lead character David Bliss. Famed bird imitator, Percy Edwards, filled the role of Psyche the dog. The show was written to be a light-hearted and simple comedy, but the response was strong and the show became a hit around the world. Life of Bliss later became a popular television program.
Abbott and Costello where one of the most popular duo comedy teams in history through radio and television. William (Bud) as Abbott and Lou Costello (born Louis Francis Cristillo).
Academy Award was a CBS radio anthology series which presented 30-minute adaptations of plays, novels or films.
Captain Bart Friday was a globe-trotting San Francisco-based private investigator, portrayed during the series by Elliott Lewis, David Ellis and Russell Thorson. Fridays sidekick from Texas, Skip Turner, was played mostly by Jack Edwards and occasionally by Barton Yarborough. The tales covered such areas as espionage, kidnapping and murder, along with secret Nazi bases, snake worshipers and voodoo.
The Adventures of Maisie (aka Maisie) is a radio comedy series starring Ann Sothern as underemployed entertainer Maisie Ravier, a spin-off of Sothern's successful 1939–1947 Maisie movie series. The series was heard on CBS Radio, NBC Radio, the Mutual Radio Network, and on Mutual flagship radio station WHN in NYC.
A husband and wife crime-fighting team based on the detective fiction books by Francis Crane. Starring Claudia Morgan and Les Damon as the husband and wife detective team, Jean and Pat Abbott. The show aired from 1945-1947.
The Aldrich Family, a popular radio teenage situation comedy (1939-1953), was also presented in films, television and comic books. In the radio series' well-remembered weekly opening exchange, awkward teen Henry's mother called, "Hen-reeeeeeeeeeeee! Hen-ree Al-drich!", and he responded with a breaking adolescent voice, "Com-ing, Mother!" The creation of playwright Clifford Goldsmith, Henry Aldrich began on Broadway as a minor character in Goldsmith's play What a Life. Produced and directed by George Abbott, What a Life ran for 538 performances (April 13, 1938 to July 8, 1939). The Broadway cast included Eddie Bracken, Betty Field and Butterfly McQueen. The actor who brought Henry to life on stage was 20-year-old Ezra Stone, who was billed near the bottom as the 20th actor in the cast. Stone was also employed as the play's production assistant.
A 15 minute Music show sponsored by Alka Seltzer, One-A-Day. Stars of the show are Curt Massey, Martha Tilton, Country Washburn and His Orchestra, Fort Pearson (announcer). The show aired between October 9, 1953 and November 6, 1953.
All Star Western Theater was a thirty minute program combining western music and stories. The shows aired on Sunday featuring Foy Willing and The Riders Of The Purple Sage plus plenty of top cowboy guest stars like Johnny Mack Brown, Cisco Kid and Pancho, Ken Curtis and many others. Sponsored by Weber's Bread.
The American Trail was originally broadcast in 1953 as a 13-part serial. The series chronicles American History, including the exploration and settlement of the American West.
The Anderson Family is a show based on the escapdes of Oliver, Mary and Junior Anderson as they get into endless trouble and sticky situations in each and every episode.
The Baby Snooks Show was an American radio program starring comedienne and Ziegfeld Follies alumna Fanny Brice as a mischievous young girl who was 40 years younger than the actress who played her when she first went on the air. The series began on CBS September 17, 1944, airing on Sunday evenings at 6:30pm as Post Toasties Time (for sponsor General Foods). The title soon changed to The Baby Snooks Show, and the series was sometimes called Baby Snooks and Daddy.
William Gargan, who also played the better known television (and radio) detective Martin Kane, was the voice of New York eye Barrie Craig while Ralph Bell portrayed his associate, Lt. Travis Rogers. Craigs office was on Madison Avenue and his adventures were fairly standard PI fare. He worked alone, solved cases efficiently, and feared no man
Blondie is a radio situation comedy adapted from the long-run Blondie comic strip by Chic Young. The radio program had a long run on several networks from 1939 to 1950. After Penny Singleton was cast in the title role of the feature film Blondie (1938), co-starring with Arthur Lake as Dagwood (the first in a series of 28 produced by Columbia Pictures); she and Lake repeated their roles December 20, 1938, on The Pepsodent Show starring Bob Hope. The appearance with Hope led to their own show, beginning July 3, 1939, on CBS as a summer replacement for The Eddie Cantor Show. However, Cantor did not return in the fall, so the sponsor, R.J. Reynolds' Camel Cigarettes chose to keep Blondie on the air Mondays at 7:30pm. Camel remained the sponsor through the early WWII years until June 26, 1944.
His first regular series for NBC Radio was the Woodbury Soap Hour in 1937, a 26-week contract. A year later, The Pepsodent Show Starring Bob Hope began, and Hope signed a ten-year contract the show's sponsor, Lever Brothers. The show became the top radio program in the country. Regulars on the series included Jerry Colonna and Barbara Jo Allen as spinster Vera Vague. Hope continued his lucrative career in radio through to the 1950s, when radio's popularity was overshadowed by television
Salty seadog Slate Shannon (Bogart) owns a Cuban hotel sheltering an assortment of treasure hunters, revolutionaries and other shady characters. With his sidekick and ward, the sultry Sailor Duval (Bacall), tagging along, he encounters modern-day pirates and other tough situations while navigating the waters around Havana
In 1944, Blackie made his radio debut on NBC. This series was an outgrowth of the popular Boston Blackie movies. Chester Morris and Richard Lane brought to the radio the characters of Boston Blackie and Inspector Farraday. The series was originally a summer replacement for The Amos and Andy Show. It was scheduled to run from June 23, 1944 to September 15, 1944 for a total of thirteen episodes. There is some disagreement on how many episodes actually aired. The series turned out to be very popular and on April 15, 1945 it returned to the air in its own time slot on NBC. This time the star was Richard Kollmar who played Blackie for 220 episodes.
Box 13 was a syndicated radio series about the escapades of newspaperman-turned-mystery novelist Dan Holliday, played by film star Alan Ladd. Created by Ladd's company, Mayfair Productions, Box 13 premiered in 1947. In New York City, it first aired December 31, 1947, on Mutual's New York flagship, WOR. To seek out new ideas for his fiction, Holliday ran a classified ad in the Star-Times newspaper where he formerly worked: Adventure wanted, will go anywhere, do anything -- write Box 13, Star-Times. The stories followed Holliday's adventures when he responded to the letters sent to him by such people as a psycho killer and various victims.
Bright Star is about Susan Armstrong (Dunne) the editor of a struggling newspaper the Hillsdale Morning Star. MacMurray plays George Harvey an idealist star reporter who often conflicts with his editor over stories.
Broadway Is My Beat, a radio crime drama, ran on CBS from February 27, 1949 to August 1, 1954. With Anthony Ross portraying Times Square Detective Danny Clover, the show originated from New York during its first three months on the air. For the remainder of the series, the role of Detective Danny Clover was portrayed by Larry Thor. The series featured music by Robert Stringer, and scripts by Peter Lyon. John Dietz directed for producer Lester Gottlieb (eventually succeeding him as producer). Bern Bennett was the original announcer.
Burns and Allen, an American comedy duo consisting of George Burns and his wife, Gracie Allen, worked together as a comedy team in vaudeville, films, radio and television and achieved great success over four decad
The Campbell Playhouse (1938–40) was a CBS radio drama series directed by and starring Orson Welles. Produced by John Houseman, it was a sponsored continuation of the Mercury Theatre on the Air. The series offered 60-minute adaptations of classic plays and novels, plus some adaptations of popular motion pictures.
Cavalcade of America is an anthology drama series that was sponsored by the DuPont Company, although it occasionally presented a musical, such as an adaptation of Show Boat, and condensed biographies of popular composers. It was initially broadcast on radio from 1935 to 1953, and later on television from 1952 to 1957. Originally on CBS, the series pioneered the use of anthology drama for company audio advertising. Cavalcade of America documented historical events using stories of individual courage, initiative and achievement, often with feel-good dramatizations of the human spirit's triumph against all odds. This was consistent with DuPont's overall conservative philosophy and legacy as an American company dating back to 1802. The company's motto, Maker of better things for better living through chemistry, was read at the beginning of each program, and the dramas emphasized humanitarian progress, particularly improvements in the lives of women, often through technological innovation.
CBS Radio Mystery Theater (aka Radio Mystery Theater and Mystery Theater, sometimes abbreviated as CBSRMT) was a radio drama series created by Himan Brown that was broadcast on CBS Radio affiliates from 1974 to 1982.
The CBS Radio Workshop was an experimental dramatic radio anthology series that aired on CBS from January 27, 1956, until September 22, 1957. Subtitled radio’s distinguished series to man’s imagination, it was a revival of the earlier Columbia Workshop, broadcast by CBS from 1936 to 1943, and it used some of the same writers and directors employed on the earlier series. The CBS Radio Workshop was one of American network radio's last attempts to hold onto, and perhaps recapture, some of the demographics they had lost to television in the post-World War Two era.
Challenge of the Yukon was a radio series that began on Detroit's station WXYZ (as had The Lone Ranger and The Green Hornet), and an example of a Northern genre story. The series was first heard on February 3, 1938. The title changed from Challenge of the Yukon to Sergeant Preston of the Yukon in November 1951, and remained under that name through the end of the series and into television. The program was an adventure series about Sergeant William Preston of the North-West Mounted Police and his lead sled dog, Yukon King, as they fought evildoers in the Northern wilderness during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Preston, according to radio historian Jim Harmon, first joined the Mounties to capture his father's killer, and when he was successful he was promoted to sergeant. Preston worked under the command of Inspector Conrad, and in the early years was often assisted by a French-Canadian guide named Pierre.
The Cisco Kid came to radio October 2, 1942, with Jackson Beck in the title role and Louis Sorin as Pancho. With Vicki Vola and Bryna Raeburn in supporting roles and Michael Rye announcing, this series continued on Mutual until 1945. It was followed by another Mutual series in 1946, starring Jack Mather and Harry Lang, who continued to head the cast in the syndicated radio series of more than 600 episodes from 1947 to 1956.
The series began as the idea of Irving Reis. Reis had begun his radio career as an engineer and developed a fascination with the possibilities of the relatively new medium. His idea was to use experimental modes of narrative to enhance the way a narrative was conveyed over the radio. Reis had isolated attempts to experiment on the radio: Before the Columbia Workshop's debut, he had directed at least a few radio dramas. For Reis, the Columbia Workshop was a platform for developing new techniques for presentation on radio as noted in the debut broadcast: The Columbia Workshop dedicates itself to the purposes of familiarizing you with the story behind radio, both in broadcasting, as well as in aviation, shipping, communication and pathology, and to experiment in new techniques with a hope of discovering or evolving new and better forms of radio presentation, with especial emphasis on radio drama; to encourage and present the work of new writers and artists who may have fresh and vital ideas to contribute.
Command Performance is a radio program which originally aired between 1942 and 1949. The program was broadcast on the Armed Forces Radio Network (AFRS) with a direct shortwave transmission to the troops overseas. It was not broadcast over domestic U.S. radio stations. Troops sent in requests for a particular performer or program to appear, and they also suggested unusual ideas for music and sketches on the program, such as Ann Miller tap dancing in military boots. Top performers of the day appeared, including Jack Benny, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Fred Allen, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland and The Andrews Sisters.
The Couple Next Door was a comedy radio series which aired from 1953 to 57 on Chicago's WGN, moving to the Mutual Broadcasting System in the summer of 1957. Episodes were 15 minutes in length. The married couple was played by Olan Soule and Elinor Harriot. It was revived on CBS Radio (December 30, 1957-November 25, 1960) with Peg Lynch and Alan Bunce as the married couple. Essentially, The Couple Next Door was a reprise of the radio show Ethel and Albert, both were created by Peg Lynch. But the new name was necessitated because Lynch had long since lost the rights to the original title.
The cast included Eve Arden, Lionel Stander, and Big Band leader Harry James, and it was scripted by radio notable Goodman Ace and playwright-director Abe Burrows.
Dark Fantasy was an American Radio supernatural thriller anthology series. It had a short run of 31 episodes, debuting on November 21, 1941 and ending on June 19, 1942. Its writer was Scott Bishop, also known for his work on The Mysterious Traveler. It originated from station WKY in Oklahoma City and was heard Friday nights on NBC stations. The stories found a nationwide audience almost immediately.
Alton Delmore (December 25, 1908 - June 8, 1964) and Rabon Delmore (December 3, 1916 - December 4, 1952), billed as The Delmore Brothers, were country music pioneers and stars of the Grand Ole Opry in the 1930s. The Delmore Brothers, together with other brother duets such as the Louvin Brothers, the Blue Sky Boys, the Monroe Brothers (Birch, Charlie and Bill Monroe), the McGee Brothers, and The Stanley Brothers, had a profound impact on the history of country music and American popular music.
Dimension X was an NBC radio program broadcast on an unsponsored, sustaining basis from April 8, 1950 to September 29, 1951. The first 13 episodes were broadcast live, and the remainder were pre-recorded. Fred Wiehe and Edward King were the directors, and Norman Rose was heard as both announcer and narrator
Dragnet debuted inauspiciously. The first several months were bumpy, as Webb and company worked out the program's format and eventually became comfortable with their characters (Friday was originally portrayed as more brash and forceful than his later usually relaxed demeanor). Gradually, Friday's deadpan, fast-talking persona emerged, described by John Dunning as a cop's cop, tough but not hard, conservative but caring. (Dunning, 210) Friday's first partner was Sergeant Ben Romero, portrayed by Barton Yarborough, a longtime radio actor. After Yarborough's death in 1951 (and therefore Romero's, who also died of a heart attack, as acknowledged on the December 27, 1951 episode The Big Sorrow), Friday was partnered with Sergeant Ed Jacobs (December 27, 1951 - April 10, 1952, subsequently transferred to the Police Academy as an instructor), played by Barney Phillips; Officer Bill Lockwood (Ben Romero's nephew, April 17, 1952 - May 8, 1952), played by Martin Milner (with Ken Peters taking the role for the June 12, 1952 episode The Big Donation); and finally Frank Smith, played first by Herb Ellis (1952), then Ben Alexander (September 21, 1952-1959). Raymond Burr was on board to play the Chief of Detectives. When Dragnet hit its stride, it became one of radio's top-rated shows.
Duffy's Tavern was a popular American radio situation comedy which ran for a decade on several networks (CBS, 1941–1942; NBC-Blue Network, 1942–1944; NBC, 1944–1951), concluding with the December 28, 1951 broadcast. The program often featured celebrity guest stars but always hooked them around the misadventures, get-rich-quick schemes and romantic missteps of the title establishment's malaprop-prone, metaphor-mixing manager, Archie, portrayed by Ed Gardner, the writer/actor who co-created the series. Gardner had performed the character of Archie, talking about Duffy's Tavern, as early as November 9, 1939, when he appeared on NBC's Good News of 1940.
Easy Aces, a long-running American serial radio comedy (1930–1945), was trademarked by the low-keyed drollery of creator and writer Goodman Ace and his wife, Jane, as an urbane, put-upon realtor and his malaprop-prone wife
The famous opening to the show, often worded to suit the events of the moment or season, warns the intrepid radio listener of adventure that is anything but... everyday. Like its sister show on the radio, Suspense, it is considered one of the top shows ever done on radio. Escape takes you on a ride into a world where danger comes in many forms, and you are on the edge of life and death, and perhaps you are being pushed! When Escape says romantic, we're not talking kissing, perhaps those kisses might be from teeming piranha! Escape is more Devil's Island than Fantasy Island. And it is wonderful adventure radio for the whole family, especially Dad.
Exploring Tomorrow was an American old-time radio series which ran on the Mutual Broadcasting System from December 4, 1957 until June 13, 1958
The series began August 25, 1949, on NBC Radio. Set in the Midwest, it starred Robert Young as the General Insurance agent Jim Anderson. His wife Margaret was first portrayed by June Whitley and later by Jean Vander Pyl. The Anderson children were Betty (Rhoda Williams), Bud (Ted Donaldson), and Kathy (Norma Jean Nillson). Others in the cast were Eleanor Audley, Herb Vigran and Sam Edwards. Sponsored through most of its run by General Foods, the series was heard Thursday evenings on NBC until March 25, 1954.
Fibber McGee and Molly is an American radio comedy series which maintained its popularity over decades. It premiered on NBC in 1935 and continued until its demise in 1959, long after radio had ceased to be the dominant form of entertainment in American popular culture.
Fort Laramie was a radio Western series that aired Sunday afternoons at 5:30pm(et) on CBS from January 22 to October 28, 1956. Produced and directed by Norman Macdonnell, this Western drama depicted life at old Fort Laramie during the 19th Century. The 41 episodes starred Raymond Burr as Lee Quince, captain of the cavalry. One year later, Burr became a television star as Perry Mason. Supporting regulars included Vic Perrin as Sgt. Gorse, Harry Bartell as the slightly green Lt. Seiberts and Jack Moyles as Major Daggett. Heard on a more irregular basis were Howard McNear as Pliny the fort sutler, Sam Edwards as Trooper Harrison, and in a variety of roles, such actors as John Dehner, John McIntire, Virginia Gregg, James Nusser, Parley Baer and Barney Phillips. Amerigo Marino supplied the music. The scripts were mostly written by John Meston, Kathleen Hite, Les Crutchfield and John Dunkel. 
Fred Allen moved from Vaudeville to radio and perfected his character over a number of years for several sponsors. One of his career highlights was a supposed feud with his good friend, Jack Benny.
Frontier Gentleman tells the adventures of an English newspaperman who is sent to document life on the American Frontier. Interestingly, newspaperman Kendall, played by John Dehner, interacts with a number of historical characters, including Calamity Jane, Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Sitting Bull and General George Custer.
Chad Remington's quest to bring his father's killer to justice served as a springboard for a career as a crimefighting attorney in the small town of Dos Rios. Remington was played initially by Jeff Chandler, billed as Tex Chandler. Halfway through the program's run, the role was assumed by Reed Hadley. Remington's sidekick, Cherokee O'Bannon, was played by Wade Crosby using the speech patterns of W.C. Fields. The series was written and directed by Paul Franklin. Ivan Ditmars and Bob Mitchell provided the background organ music.
The Goldbergs is a comedy-drama broadcast from 1929 to 1946 on American radio. It was a domestic comedy featuring the home life of a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York City, at a fictitious address of 1030 East Tremont Avenue. Gertrude Berg starred as bighearted, lovingly meddlesome matriarch Molly Goldberg. The show began as a portrait of Jewish tenement life before later evoking such growing pains as moving into a more suburban setting and struggling with assimilation while sustaining their roots.
The Grand Ole Opry radio show featured country stars as well as up and comers in the country music industry. it was a variety show that included skits with hillbillies and country folks.
The Great Gildersleeve (1941–1957), initially written by Leonard Lewis Levinson, was one of broadcast history's earliest spin-off programs. Built around Throckmorton Philharmonic Gildersleeve, a character who had been a staple on the classic radio situation comedy Fibber McGee and Molly, first introduced to FMAM on Oct. 3, 1939, ep. #216. The Great Gildersleeve enjoyed its greatest success in the 1940s. Actor Harold Peary played the character during its transition from the parent show into the spin-off and later in a quartet of feature films released at the height of the show's popularity.
Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman MacDonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West.
The first Hall of Fantasy originated from radio station KALL in Salt Lake City, Utah. Richard Thorne and Carl Greyson were announcers for the station and produced the rather bare bones shows, possibly late in 1946 and into 1947. The shows were written or adapted by Robert Olson and directed by Mr. Thorne. Most were classic murder mysteries with traditional endings, the evil-doer got his just rewards. It ended when Mr. Thorne and Mr. Greyson went their separate professional ways. The Hall of Fantasy aired again in 1949 when, by pure coincidence,Thorne and Greyson were working at in Chicago. This reunion led to their reviving the series. This time, the series featured stories involving struggles against the supernatural where man was usually the loser, specializing in shock endings.
The Hallmark Playhouse made its debut on June 10, 1948 with author James Hilton as host. The series, which presented literary works, revamped its format in 1953. The show had a new title, Hallmark Hall of Fame, a new host, Lionel Barrymore, and a new concept, presenting true stories of famous historical figures.
The Halls of Ivy featured Colman as William Todhunter Hall, the president of small, Midwestern Ivy College, and his wife, Victoria, a former British musical comedy star who sometimes felt the tug of her former profession, and followed their interactions with students, friends, and college trustees. Others in the cast included Herbert Butterfield as testy board chairman Clarence Wellman; Willard Waterman (then starring as Harold Peary's successor as The Great Gildersleeve) as board member John Merriweather; and Bea Benaderet, Elizabeth Patterson, and Gloria Gordon as the Halls' maids. Alan Reed (television's Fred Flintstone) appeared periodically as the stuffy English teacher, Professor Heaslip. The series ran 109 half-hour radio episodes from January 6, 1950, to June 25, 1952, with Quinn, Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee writing many of the scripts and giving free if even more sophisticated play to Quinn's knack for language play, inverted cliches and swift puns (including the show's title and lead characters), a knack he'd shown for years writing Fibber McGee & Molly. Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee continued as a writing team; their best-known play is Inherit the Wind. Cameron Blake, Walter Brown Newman, Robert Sinclair, and Milton and Barbara Merlin became writers for the program as well.
At CBS, Peary began a new situation comedy, The Harold Peary Show, sometimes known as Honest Harold, a title that was actually the name of the fictitious radio show the new character hosted. Radio veteran Joseph Kearns (later familiar as Mr. Wilson on television's Dennis the Menace) played veterinarian Dr. Yancey, known better as Doc Yak-Yak and resembling former foil Judge Hooker. The new show also borrowed a few Gildersleeve plot devices, such as running for mayor and engagements to two women. In what was possibly a desperate attempt to recreate the Gildersleeve magic, it even brought in actress Shirley Mitchell, virtually recreating her Gildersleeve role of Leila Ransom, under the name of Florabelle Breckenridge. Additionally, Honest Harold's secretary at the radio station, Glory, bears a more than passing resemblance to Gildersleeve's Water Department secretary, Bessie: both are stereotypical giggly blondes
The Have Gun — Will Travel radio show broadcast 106 episodes on CBS between November 23, 1958, and November 22, 1960. It was one of the last radio dramas featuring continuing characters and the only significant American radio adaptation of a television series. John Dehner (a regular on the radio series version of Gunsmoke) played Paladin, and Ben Wright usually (but not always) played Hey Boy. Virginia Gregg played the role of Miss Wong, Hey Boy's girlfriend, before the television series began featuring the character of Hey Girl. Unlike the small-screen version, in this medium, there was usually a tag scene back at the Carlton at both the beginning and the end of the episode.
Caustic half-hour satires by the cantankerous comedian
The Mutual Broadcasting System began broadcasting a radio version of Hopalong Cassidy, with Andy Clyde (later George McMichael on Walter Brennan's ABC sitcom The Real McCoys) as the sidekick, in January 1950; at the end of September, the show moved to CBS Radio, where it ran until 1952
Horizons West was produced by Capital Records in 1962-1963 for broadcast on Armed Forces Radio. Horizons West was a 13 episode serial old time radio show that told the story about Lewis & Clarks Expedition west after the Louisiana purchase.
Information Please was an American radio quiz show, created by Dan Golenpaul, which aired on NBC from May 17, 1938 to April 22, 1951. The title was the contemporary phrase used to request from telephone operators what was then called information but is now called directory assistance. The series was moderated by Clifton Fadiman. A panel of experts would attempt to answer questions submitted by listeners. For the first few shows, a listener was paid two dollars for a question that was used, and five dollars more if the experts could not answer it correctly. When the show got its first sponsor (Canada Dry), the total amounts were increased to five and ten dollars respectively. A complete Encyclopædia Britannica was later added to the prize for questions that stumped the panel. The amounts went up to ten and twenty-five dollars when Lucky Strike took over sponsorship of the program.
The anthology series featured stories of mystery, terror and suspense, and its tongue-in-cheek introductions were in sharp contrast to shows like Suspense and The Whistler. The early 1940s programs opened with Raymond Edward Johnson introducing himself as, Your host, Raymond, in a mocking sardonic voice. A spooky melodramatic organ score (played by Lew White) punctuated Raymond's many morbid jokes and playful puns. Raymond's closing was an elongated Pleasant dreeeeaams, hmmmmm His tongue-in-cheek style and ghoulish relish of his own tales became the standard for many such horror narrators to follow, from fellow radio hosts like Ernest Chappell (on Wyllis Cooper's later series, Quiet, Please) and Maurice Tarplin (on The Mysterious Traveler).
Jack Benny first appeared on radio as a guest of Ed Sullivan in 1932. He was then given his own show later that year, with Canada Dry Ginger Ale as a sponsor —The Canada Dry Program, beginning May 2, 1932, on the NBC Blue Network and continuing there for six months until October 26, moving the show to CBS on October 30. With Ted Weems leading the band, Benny stayed on CBS until January 26, 1933. Arriving at NBC on March 17, Benny did The Chevrolet Program until April 1, 1934. He continued with The General Tire Revue for the rest of that season, and in the fall of 1934, for General Foods as The Jell-O Program Starring Jack Benny (1934–42) and, when sales of Jell-O were affected by sugar rationing during World War II, The Grape Nuts Flakes Program Starring Jack Benny (Later the Grape Nuts and Grape Nuts Flakes Program) (1942–44). On October 1, 1944, the show became The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny, when American Tobacco's Lucky Strike cigarettes took over as his radio sponsor, through the mid-1950s. By that time, the practice of using the sponsor's name as the title began to fade. The show returned to CBS on January 2, 1949, as part of CBS president William S. Paley's notorious raid of NBC talent in 1948-49. There it stayed for the remainder of its radio run, which ended on May 22, 1955. CBS aired repeats of previous 1953-55 radio episodes from 1956 to 1958 as The Best of Benny for State Farm Insurance, who later sponsored his television program from 1960 through 1965.
Journey into Space was a science fiction serial radio program produced by the BBC and aired from 1953-1956. The program was has three separate series: Journey to the Moon (sometimes called Operation Luna), The Red Planet, and The World in Peril. The plots deal with mankind traveling to the moon, exploring Mars, and stopping an impending Martian invasion
Let George Do It was a radio drama series produced by Owen and Pauline Vinson from 1946 to 1954. It starred Bob Bailey as detective-for-hire George Valentine (with Olan Soule stepping into the role in 1954). Clients came to Valentine's office after reading a newspaper carrying his classified ad: Personal notice: Danger's my stock in trade. If the job's too tough for you to handle, you've got a job for me. George Valentine. The few earliest episodes were more sitcom than private eye shows, with a studio audience providing scattered laughter. The program then changed into a suspenseful tough guy private eye series. Valentine's secretary was Claire Brooks, aka Brooksie (Frances Robinson, Virginia Gregg, Lillian Buyeff). As Valentine made his rounds in search of the bad guys, he usually encountered Brooksie's kid brother, Sonny (Eddie Firestone), Lieutenant Riley (Wally Maher) and elevator man Caleb (Joseph Kearns). For the first few shows, Sonny was George's assistant, but he was soon relegated to an occasional character. Sponsored by Standard Oil, the program was broadcast on the West Coast Mutual Broadcasting System from October 18, 1946 to September 27, 1954, first on Friday evenings and then on Mondays. In its last season, transcriptions were aired in New York, Wednesdays at 9:30pm, from January 20, 1954 to January 12, 1955. John Hiestand was the program's announcer. Don Clark directed the scripts by David Victor and Jackson Gillis. The background music was supplied by Eddie Dunstedter, initially with a full orchestra. When television supplanted radio as the country's primary home entertainment, radio budgets got skimpier and skimpier and Dunstedter's orchestra was replaced by an organ.
Life with The Lyons is unusual in that it featured a real-life American family. Ben Lyon and his wife Bebe Daniels settled in London during the Second World War and feature with the comedian Vic Oliver in the radio series Hi, Gang! that ran from 1940 to 1949. Life With the Lyons followed on from this and, together with Ben and Bebe, featured their children Richard and Barbara Lyon. Although scripted, it expanded on real-life events.
In the fall of 1933, NBC writer Wyllis Cooper conceived the idea of a midnight mystery serial to catch the attention of the listeners at the witching hour. The idea was to offer listeners a dramatic program late at night, at a time when the competition was mostly airing music. At some point, the serial concept was dropped in favor of an anthology format emphasizing crime thrillers and the supernatural. The first series of shows (each 15 minutes long) ran on a local NBC station, WENR, at midnight Wednesdays, starting in January 1934. By April, the series proved successful enough to expand to a half hour. In January 1935, the show was discontinued in order to ease Cooper's workload (he was then writing scripts for the network's prestigious Immortal Dramas program), but was brought back by huge popular demand a few weeks later. After a successful tryout in New York City, the series was picked up by NBC in April 1935 and broadcast nationally, usually late at night and always on Wednesdays. Cooper stayed on the program until June 1936, when another Chicago writer, Arch Oboler, took over. By the time Cooper left, the series had inspired about 600 fan clubs.
Little Orphan Annie was the first late-afternoon children's serial and was the mould that set up all the succeeding juvenile radio serial dramas. The old time radio show was based on the 1924 comic strip by Harold Gray for the Chicago Tribune
The first of 2,956 radio episodes of The Lone Ranger premiered on January 30, 1933 on WXYZ, a radio station serving Detroit, Michigan
Sam Buffington played a Civil War cavalryman turned Arizona cattleman known as, "Slaughter's my name. Luke Slaughter. Cattle's my business. It's a tough business. Big business. I've got a big stake in it. And there's no man west of the Reo Grande big enough to take it from me." Junius Matthews played h his sidekick, Wichita. Music was provided by Wilbur Hatch. The series was directed by William N. Robson and was written by Fran Van Hartesveldt.
Lum and Abner was an American radio comedy network program created by Chester Lauck and Norris Goff that was aired from 1931 to 1954. Modeled on life in the small town of Waters, Arkansas, near where Lauck and Goff grew up, the showed proved immensely popular. In 1936, Waters changed its name to Pine Ridge after the show's fictional town.
Lux Radio Theater, a long-run classic radio anthology series, was broadcast on the NBC Blue Network (1934-35); CBS (1935-54) and NBC (1954-55). Initially, the series adapted Broadway plays during its first two seasons before it began adapting films. These hour-long radio programs were performed live before studio audiences. It became the most popular dramatic anthology series on radio, broadcast for more than 20 years and continued on television as the Lux Video Theatre through most of the 1950s. Broadcasting from New York, the series premiered at 2:30pm, October 14, 1934, on the NBC Blue Network with a production of Seventh Heaven starring Miriam Hopkins and John Boles in a full-hour adaptation of the 1922–24 Broadway production by Austin Strong. The host was the show's fictional producer, Douglass Garrick (portrayed by John Anthony). Doris Dagmar played another fictional character, Peggy Winthrop, who delivered the Lux commercials. Each show featured a scripted session with Garrick talking to the lead actors. Anthony appeared as Garrick from the premiere 1934 episode until June 30, 1935. Garrick was portrayed by Albert Hayes from July 29, 1935 to May 25, 1936, when the show moved to the West Coast. Cecil B. DeMille took over as the host on June 1, 1936, continuing until January 22, 1945. On several occasions, usually when he was out of town, he was temporarily replaced by various celebrities, including Leslie Howard and Edward Arnold.
Mayor of the Town was a comedy-drama radio series that aired from 1942 to 1949 on CBS and NBC radio, and starred noted actor Lionel Barrymore as the mayor of the fictional town of Springdale. Agnes Moorehead was the voice of his housekeeper Marilly. The Program was sponsored by Rinso and later Noxzema. Barrymore is said to have written the program's theme song.
Meet Corliss Archer, a program from radio's Golden Age, ran from January 7, 1943 to September 30, 1956. Although it was CBS's answer to NBC's popular A Date with Judy, it was also broadcast by NBC in 1948 as a summer replacement for The Bob Hope Show. From October 3, 1952 to June 26, 1953, it aired on ABC, finally returning to CBS. Despite the program's long run, less than 24 episodes are known to exist.
Saturday mornings with The Meeks became a household tradition in the late 1940s. Families sat together at 11 a.m. each Saturday to listen as brow-beaten Mortimer Meek, wife Agatha, daughter Peggy and Uncle Louie burst their seams open with laughter. This situation comedy is a continuation of an earlier series, Meet Mr. Meek, which aired from 1940 through 1942.
Hard-riding, sweet-singing, cowboy picture star Gene Autry was heard each Sunday evening on radios across America via CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System. Gene's Melody Ranch radio show aired for an unprecedented 16 years (between 1940 and 1956), featuring songs, comedy and action filled drama. Throughout the run, the show's sponsor was cool, refreshing Doublemint Gum.
The sponsor of this show, Sterling Drugs, makers of Molle Shave Cream, used it as a vehicle for advertising. In over a decade, the show went through several incarnations, beginning first as Molle Mystery Theater, then simply Mystery Theater in '48, as Sterling emphasized Bayer Aspirin and Phillips Milk of Magnesia. Several versions were broadcast in the early 50s,
From late 1950 to late 1951, you could hear Hank Williams on WSM every morning at 7:15 singing and selling Mother's Best Flour, as well as self-raising Cornmeal and Pig & Sow Feed. During the 15 minute show Hank and the announcer Louie Buck would pitch the flour in between Hank's songs.
Mr. President was a radio series that ran on the ABC Network from June 26, 1947 to September 23, 1953. Each half-hour episode was based on an incident in the life of one of the people who have held the office of President of the United States, but the dialogs were written in such a way as not to reveal the name of the President until the last line of dialog at the end of the program, when the President would be addressed by name.
Murder at Midnight was an old-time radio show featuring macabre tales of suspense, often with a supernatural twist. It was produced in New York and was syndicated beginning in 1946. The show's writers included Robert Newman, Joseph Ruscoll, Max Ehrlich and William Norwood, and it was directed by Anton M. Leder.
My Favorite Husband is the name of an American radio program and network television series. The original radio show, co-starring Lucille Ball, was the initial basis for what evolved into the groundbreaking TV sitcom I Love Lucy. The series was based on the novels Mr. and Mrs. Cugat, the Record of a Happy Marriage (1940) and Outside Eden (1945) written by Isabel Scott Rorick, which had previously been adapted into the Paramount Pictures feature film Are Husbands Necessary? (1942), co-starring Ray Milland and Betty Field.
NBC University Theater is an unusual series that focused on reenacting novels by great authors for college classes. Many accredited American universities such as Washington State College, University of Louisville, and University of Tulsa, used this dramatic series as a supplement to correspondent college courses.
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was an old-time radio show which aired in the USA from October 2, 1939 to July 7, 1947. The show first aired on the Blue Network but later moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System. The radio stories were action packed, filled with atmosphere, and featured great music by Lou Kosloff, as well as excellent sound effects. Originally, the show starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. Together, they starred in 220 episodes which aired weekly on Mondays from 8:30 to 9:00pm. Commercialism seeped into the radio show from the start, as Watson himself, played by various actors, took on the co-host role with a spokesman for G. Washington Tea as a visitor ready to hear a Holmes story. Before a blazing fire with tea always at the brew, Watson reminiscences the great tales between comments on how good the tea is! Bromo Quinine sponsored some of the earlier programs on the NBC Blue Network and for a period Parker Pen was the sponsor.
Nick Carter played for over ten years, and gave radio detectives fans another deductive hero to tail. The half-hour unfolds as a straight, dramatic narrative, with clues littering the scenes, so that a plausible solution was possible for the alert listener. Nick came on at the end of the show to add it all up correctly.
The Old Gold Comedy Theater aired over NBC for one season, from October 29, 1944 to June 10, 1945. The Lennen and Mitchell ad agency wanted to produce a comedy series for Old Gold cigarettes, a brand of the Lorillard Tobacco Company. The show was patterned after the successful format used by the Lux Radio Theatre and Cecil B. DeMille. Preston Sturges, an up and coming director, was originally tapped to host the show, but was already committed elsewhere, and so suggested Harold Lloyd, a silent film star, with whom he had worked in the past. As this was his first radio program, Lloyd worked for many months to get over his fear of the microphone. Critics believed he was improving as the season progressed, and would have eventually mastered the art had the series lasted more than one season.
Our Miss Brooks is an American situation comedy starring Eve Arden as a sardonic high school English teacher. It began as a radio show broadcast on CBS from 1948 to 1957. When the show was adapted to television (1952–56), it became one of the medium's earliest hits. In 1956, the sitcom was adapted for big screen in the film of the same name.
Philip Marlowe was like many hardboiled detectives at the time, he could take a punch to the face and still have a stinging comeback. He was also morally upright, liked classical music and played chess. In all, there were 7 Philip Marlowe novels published all of which have been adapted to film or radio.
Pinto Pete and His Ranch Boys opens with the song I am the King of the Rangers. This old time radio western music show is meant for listening to while roaming on the prairie or kicking back.
This is the fascinating story of Dantro, The Planet Man, troubleshooter for the League of Planets organization, the law enforcement body for peace and justice in the celestial world -- whose headquarters and center of operations are situated on the capital of all planets, Planteria Rex. From Mercury to Pluto, where ever danger threatens the universe, you will find Dantro the Planet Man fighting for fair play. The Planet Man was a juvenile science ficton series of the 1950's transcribed and syndicated by Palladium Radio Productions. The stories are campy and predictable, but silly fun none the less. Good for a laugh or for bedtime stories for younger listeners.
An obscure series from 1935 or 1936 in which each episode deals with a voyage to a different country where events of that country's history are dramatized. They each begin with the low moan of a tramp steamer's whistle and the announcement of the series title, followed by a musical interlude.
Radio City Playhouse was a live half-hour anthology series that aired on NBC from July 3, 1948 to January 1, 1950. Directed by Harry W. Junkin, with music by Dr. Roy Shield, and announcers Bob Warren (1948-49) and Fred Collins (1949-50), the series presented original radio dramas regardless of the fame of the author.
Foreman Alabam', Tenderfoot, Idaho, Arizona, Cookie and Tex are the hired hands on the Red Horse Ranch, working and singing hard for Dad Carter.
Romance of the Ranchos tells the story of the expeditions of men and women that tried to tame the wilds that existed in early California.
The Roy Rogers Radio show changed shape and format during it's ten year run. It was originally a western music and variety show. The shows from the early 50's are still in the earlier mode of some action in a storyline, whether it be outlaws, or tall tales, or a good old-fashioned deed to the ranch cliffhanger.
The Sealtest Variety Theater (1946-49) aired on Thursday nights at 9:30, it was a musical variety and comedy show with glamorous Dorothy Lamour as hostess. During the World War II years, Lamour was among the most popular pinup girls among American servicemen. Other regulars were Eddie Bracken and Frank Nelson. The show always had one or more stars appearing like Ronald Colman, Gregory Peck, Bob Hope, Jim and Marian Jordan, Ed Gardner, Harold Peary, Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis and many more.
Between 1997 and 2001, at the height of the dot-com bubble, the Sci-Fi channel decided to invest some money into producing a number of original audio stories under the banner of Seeing Ear Theater, essentially a “next generation” of radio plays for a modern audience. A talented team of script-writers, excellent actors and sound effects people crafted a series of remarkable episodes, breathing life into the stories of both classic writers, like Harlan Ellison and Frederic Brown, and modern writers, like Neil Gaiman and J. Michael Straczynski
Britt Ponsett was a laid-back cowboy drifter who found himself in all kinds of situations from comical to dangerous. Stewart was the perfect choice for the title character alternately portraying the character's easy attitude and the stress of the tense situations with the emotion in his voice.
This show from the early 1950s is a good example of the true story style of delivery made popular in radio's classic crime shows Gangbusters and Mr. District Attorney.
What began as a new series frankly dedicated to your horrification and entertainment took on a life of its own mostly due to the talents of some outstanding producers and adaptations and original stories from the cream of mystery writers of the time. The golden age of radio was truly the golden age of SUSPENSE as show after show broadcast outstanding plays which were calculated to intrigue...stir [the] nerves.
Tales of the Texas Rangers, a western adventure old-time radio drama, premiered on July 8, 1950, on the US NBC radio network and remained on the air through September 14, 1952. Movie star Joel McCrea starred as Texas Ranger Jayce Pearson, who used the latest scientific techniques to identify the criminals and his faithful horse, Charcoal, to track them down. The shows were reenactments of actual Texas Ranger cases.
The Adventures of Superman was a long running radio serial that originally aired from 1940 to 1951, adapted from the DC Comics character. The serial came to radio as a syndicated show on New York City's WOR on February 12, 1940. On Mutual, it was broadcast from August 31, 1942, to February 4, 1949, as a 15-minute serial, running three or, usually, five times a week. From February 7 to June 24, 1949 it ran as a thrice-weekly half-hour show. The series shifted to ABC Saturday evenings on October 29, 1949, and then returned to afternoons, twice-a-week on June 5, 1950, continuing on ABC until March 1, 1951.
The Big Show, an American radio variety program featuring 90 minutes of top-name comic, stage, screen and music talent, was aimed at keeping American radio in its classic era alive and well against the rapidly-growing television tide. For a good portion of its two-year run (1950-51), the shows quality made its ambition seem plausible.
Genres vary on The Chase, from adventure to crime to science fiction, but each show is consistently exciting and always contains a chase scene. This show is very well done, partly because it is directed by Fred Weihe, who is known for directing X Minus One.
The Clock was a radio anthology narrated by Father Time and broadcast 80 half-hour episodes from 3 November 1946 to 9 May 1948. Its stories were mostly mystery and crime with a tiny smattering of supernaturally-themed episodes. The Clock was originally a United States production. Starting in 1955, a version of the program was produced in Australia by Grace Gibson Productions.
The radio program starring William Bendix as Riley initially aired on the Blue Network, later known as ABC, from January 16, 1944 to June 8, 1945. Then it moved to NBC, where it was broadcast from September 8, 1945 to June 29, 1951. The supporting cast featured Paula Winslowe portraying Peg, Riley's wife, as well as John Brown, who portrayed not only undertaker "Digger" O'Dell but also Riley's co-worker Jim Gillis. (Brown also played the character of Waldo Binny.) Whereas Gillis gave Riley bad information that got him into trouble, Digger gave him good information that "helped him out of a hole," as he might have put it. Brown's lines as the undertaker were often repetitive, including puns based on his profession; but, thanks to Brown's delivery, the audience loved him. The program was broadcast live with a studio audience, most of whom were not aware Brown played both characters. As a result, when Digger delivered his first line, it was usually greeted with howls of laughter and applause from surprised audience members.
The Mysterious Traveler was an anthology radio series, a magazine and a comic book. All three featured stories which ran the gamut from fantasy and science fiction to straight crime dramas of mystery and suspense.
This series aired condensed versions of musicals and operettas. Gordon MacRae starred with guests like Dorothy Kirsten, Dorothy Warenskjold, Lucille Norman, and Jane Powell.
Several radio drama series were produced in North America, Ireland, and Britain. The earliest was for Radio Eireann in 1940 and starred Terence De Marney. Both NBC and CBS produced Saint series during 1945, starring Edgar Barrier and Brian Aherne. Many early shows were adaptations of published stories, although Charteris wrote several storylines for the series which were novelised as short stories and novellas. The longest-running radio incarnation was Vincent Price, who played the character in a series between 1947 and 1951 on three networks: CBS, Mutual and NBC. Like The Whistler, the program had an opening whistle theme with footsteps. Some sources say the whistling theme for The Saint was created by Leslie Charteris while others credit RKO composer Roy Webb.
Theater Five was ABC's attempt to revive radio drama during the early 1960s. The series name was derived from its time slot, 5:00 PM. Running Monday through Friday, it was an anthology of short stories, each about 20 minutes long. News programs and commercials filled out the full 30 minutes. There was a good bit of science fiction and some of the plots seem to have been taken from the daily newspaper. Fred Foy, of The Lone Ranger fame, was an ABC staff announcer in the early 60s, who, among other duties, did Theater Five.
Theatre Guild on the Air embarked on its ambitious plan to bring Broadway theater to radio with leading actors in major productions. It premiered September 9, 1945, on ABC with Burgess Meredith, Henry Daniell and Cecil Humphreys in Wings Over Europe, a play by Robert Nichols and Maurice Browne which the Theatre Guild had staged on Broadway in 1928-29. Within a year the series drew some 10 to 12 million listeners each week. Presenting both classic and contemporary plays, the program was broadcast for eight years before it became a television series.
Vic and Sade was an American radio program created and written by Paul Rhymer. It was regularly broadcast on radio from 1932 to 1944, then intermittently until 1946, and was briefly adapted to television in 1949 and again in 1957.
The Weird Circle was a syndicated series produced in New York and licensed by Mutual, and later, NBC's Red network (Digital Deli Too). For two seasons, it cranked out 39 shows (78 total) consisting mostly of radio adaptations of classic horror stories
You're walking alone on the street at night, but then you hear another set of footsteps and a haunting tune being whistled by an unseen stranger. Fritz Lang used an similar premise in his 1930s German movie with Peter Lorre playing M, a psychopathic murderer of children. But the American radio series was even creepier. The unseen Whistler didn't kill anyone (that we know of), but he certainly loved watching murders take place, narrating them for us, and chuckling at the suffering of others instead of doing anything to stop it. Unlike M, he was never caught. He kept walking the streets every week for thirteen long years, whistling his ominous thirteen notes and telling us another tale of bizarre fate. Perhaps Fate is who the Whistler really was? He never provided any sir name, and the killer was usually punished by some twist of fate that only The Whistler seemed to expect.
First heard on Mutual Network sponsored by Kellogg, and then by other advertisers, Wild Bill Hickok was a solid cowboy hero of the kids.
The World Adventurers Club is probably as close as we’ll come to getting close to many of the figures of history and literature. This fascinating series takes the form of the regular meetings of a club of globe-trotting explorers, scientists, agents provocateur and soldiers of fortune. When not escaping from headhunters or surviving arctic blizzards, the adventurers like nothing better than hearing a good story told by one of their number. Just as serial heroes would probably relive their adventures with their peers, these guys spin each other yarns from their most recent expeditions to the nether parts of the globe. Following each hackle-raising tale, the gang gathers round the piano for a rousing sing-along. The show ran in 1932.
Initially a revival of NBC's Dimension X (1950-51), the first 15 episodes of X Minus One were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations by NBC staff writers, including Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts, of newly published science fiction stories by leading writers in the field, including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl and Theodore Sturgeon, along with some original scripts by Kinoy and Lefferts.
You Are There is a great early radio program that not only entertained but educated the listener. Reported in first person the show places you the listener back into history to experience history as it unfolded. Reported live you will hear history take place in exciting recreations of histories greatest moments.
Each story started with a phone call from an insurance executive, calling on Johnny to investigate an unusual claim. Each story required Johnny to travel to some distant locale, usually within the United States but sometimes abroad, where he was almost always threatened with personal danger in the course of his investigations.