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Book Covers the Years Ellery Queen Fought Crime on Radio

Poster for Ellery Queen and the Murder Ring (1941) Martin Grams Jr. has gained the reputation of being somewhat of a research dynamo. Rarely will you speak to Grams when he's not engrossed in researching a particular show for an article, a book or simply for the sake of knowing more about it. He's gotten the reputation of being one of the most productive old time radio scholars today. For his latest book, The Sounds of Detection: Ellery Queen's Adventures in Radio, Grams teamed up with Francis ... (read more)

Radio: The Cure for Juvenile Delinquency

Monitor brand wooden radio from the 1920s Justice James Church Cropsey, one of the leading jurists of the state of New York, recently sentenced several young men, some of them scarcely more than boys, to long terms in Sing Sing Prison. Justice Cropsey, in making an address from the bench, offered the following to the boys: We can lessen the crimes in our midst by giving our attention to the youths. They need a man's guiding hand and helpful personality. They need the example of a true man's ... (read more)

The Great Radio Detectives of the 1950s

Variety Detective cover in December 1939 Richard Diamond, Private Detective is a tough private eye played to perfection by a former crooner Dick Powell. Before he started specializing in rugged roles such as the famous CBS sleuth, Dick had built up a world-wide reputation as a singer. Born in Mountain View, Arkansas, he was spotted in Hollywood in 1933 and spent the next 10 years starring in musicals. He wanted a change -- and got it in Murder, My Sweet, his first detective role. In 1945, Dick ... (read more)

Maurice Zimm: Murder is My Business

Maurice Zimm wrote the story for Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) The man in the coroner's office glared at me. "What gave you the idea we freeze bodies?" he demanded. "That isn't exactly what I meant," I said hastily. "You see --." But it wasn't easy to explain. It never is! People give you that strange look when you tell them that you're trying to figure out an interesting way of committing murder. As a radio mystery writer, murder has become my business. I lie awake nights devising new ... (read more)

With Canada's Mounted Dramatized on Radio by T. Morris Longstreth

Canadian Mountie on the Saturday Evening Post in 1933 The real story of the Canadian Royal Mounted Police, written by the official historian of the group that always gets its man, will be dramatized in a new series of programs to begin over an NBC network this Monday at 9 p.m. T. Morris Longstreth, who claims the distinction of being the only person outside the organization ever to have been granted access to complete records, will write the continuity for the program, to be known as With ... (read more)

The Big Story: An Interview with Bill Gagnon

James Dean and Wendy Drew on The Big Story TV series in 1953 Some of the old radio shows were great, and some were only fair. Time plays funny tricks on our minds, however, and any show I actually recall listening to seems to come out in my mind as having been great. One such show was The Big Story. The Big Story was likely one of those "fair" shows, and its Pall Mall cigarette commercials were probably more memorable than the show, but it is one of the shows that I remember and it is one of my ... (read more)

Warden Lewis E. Lawes on Radio in Sing Sing Prison

Sing Sing Prison Warden Lewis E. Lawes on Time Magazine (Nov. 18, 1929) The other evening, I made one of my accustomed tours through the cell blocks. As I strolled along I could hear laughter issuing from practically every cell and could see, of course, that the radio was creating this atmosphere of joviality. "Hello, Warden," the men greeted as I passed by. "They got a swell program on tonight." I knew the program they were referring to. It was one of the prominent half-hour variety ... (read more)

For Police Detective Danny Clover, Broadway is My Beat

Larry Thor as Danny Clover in Broadway is My Beat With the musical refrain of "I'll Take Manhattan," and the sound of impatient car horns in the background, another episode of Broadway is My Beat begins. New York police detective Danny Clover informs us that "Broadway is my beat. From Times Square to Columbus Circle -- the gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world." Homicide detective Clover, played by Larry Thor, narrates the introduction to each program's plot. In ... (read more)

Sheldon Keck the Art Detective

Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett in the movie Monuments Men (2014) Several hundred years ago, a French painter, who was unsuccessful in selling his own works, hit upon the idea of imitating one of the masters, forging his name, and disposing it as an original. Since then, countless copyists have produced works of art ostensibly by Gainesborough, Van Dyck, da Vinci, Titian, Corot, Rubens, and Rembrandt, to name a few of the greatest. Private collectors and museums, for years, fell prey to ... (read more)