The Crime & Suspense Channel

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Being one of the most prolific categories during The Golden Age of Radio, the airwaves were stuffed full with detective, police and suspense stories – shows about licensed (and unlicensed) “private eyes”, insurance investigators, police detectives, amateur sleuths from little known characters such as Philo Vance to giant detective legends such as Sherlock Holmes.

The Crime & Suspense Channel from the ROK Classic Radio OTR Network brings you 24/7 exciting capers, adventures and frights spanning nearly 80 years of radio history. So crank up your radio, find your magnifying glass, don your sleuth’s hat because it’s time to enter the radio underworld of crime, dastardly deeds and spine tingling suspense.

The Crime & Suspense Channel is now scheduled so you now can always catch your favourite crime show! Crime & Suspense Channel – Program Guide

Here are a few classics not to miss on the Crime & Suspense Channel!

Host of Murder at Midnight Raymond Morgan

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. The host was Raymond Morgan, who delivered the memorable lines of introduction over Charles Paul’s effective organ theme: “Midnight, the witching hour when the night is darkest, our fears the strongest, and our strength at its lowest ebb. Midnight, when the graves gape open and death strikes.”

A total of 50 episodes were produced. Ten shows were syndicated and rerun on Mutual in 1950.

 

  Murder at Midnight – The Man Who Was Death
Murder at Midnight – The Man_Who_Was_Death

The Dragnet radio show was a police action series that ran for 382 episodes over 7 1/2 years from

Jack Webb in an advert for the shows sponsor Fatima

June 3, 1949 to February 26, 1957 on the NBC radio network! It was the first police series that detailed every single step involved in police work. The street cops would often discover a crime, then the detectives would investigate and gather evidence. The questioning of witnesses and suspects was typically included. The show even went so far as to show the mundane tasks involved in police work like filling out paperwork.

For the first time, the audience got a feel for what a real cops job was like, not the glorified hollywood version. And yet, the stories were intense and definitely held the interest of the audience. The show’s creator, director and main star, Jack Webb, insisted on realism and accuracy in portraying the cops and detectives in the series. Episodes were based on real cases from the Los Angeles Police Department’s files. Dragnet also broke some (at the time) taboos by occasionally depicting sexual crimes and episodes where children were murdered.

Dragnet (1949-08-11) Episode 10 – Homicide

Dragnet_49-08-11_ep010_Homicide

Anthony Ross as Detective Danny Clover in Broadway Is My Beat


Broadway Is My Beat
, a radio crime drama, ran on CBS beginning with the July 7, 1949 episode, the series was broadcast from Hollywood with producer Elliott Lewis directing a new cast in scripts by Morton S. Fine and David Friedkin. The opening theme of “I’ll Take Manhattan” introduced Detective Danny Clover, a hardened New York City cop who worked homicide “from Times Square to Columbus Circle — the gaudiest, the most violent, the lonesomest mile in the world.”

Danny Clover narrated the tales of the Great White Way to the accompaniment of music by Wilbur Hatch and Alexander Courage, and the recreation of Manhattan’s aural tapestry required the talents of three sound effects technicians (David Light, Ralph Cummings, Ross Murray). Bill Anders was the show’s announcer, as was Joe Walters. The supporting cast included regulars Charles Calvert (as Sgt. Gino Tartaglia) and Jack Kruschen (as Sgt. Muggavan), with episodic roles filled by such radio actors as Irene Tedrow, Barney Phillips, Lamont Johnson, Herb Ellis, Hy Averback, Edgar Barrier, Betty Lou Gerson, Harry Bartell, Sheldon Leonard, Martha Wentworth, Lawrence Dobkin and Mary Jane Croft.

Broadway is My Beat – The Tommy Mannon Case (1949.11.12)
Broadway_Is_my_Beat_The_Tommy_Mannon_Case
Don’t forget to listen to the other great channels on the ROK Classic Radio Old Time Radio Network!
Happy Listening 🙂
Team Pumpkin

 

The Crime & Suspense Channels Shows include:-

* Abbott Mysteries
* Adventures of Bill Lance, The
* Adventures of Christopher Wells, The
* Adventures of Christopher London, The
* Adventures of Father Brown, The
* Affairs of Anne Scotland, The
* Affairs of Peter Salem, The
* Alias Jimmy Valentine
* Amazing Mr Smith, The
* Avenger, The
* Barrie Craig
* Big Guy
* Blackstone, The Magic Detective
* Blue Beetle
* Boston Blackie
* Bulldog Drummond
* Candy Matson
* Case Book of Gregory Hood
* Casey, Crime Photographer
* Charlie Chan
* Charlie Wild, Private Detective
* Chick Carter, Boy Detective
* Crime & Peter Chambers
* Crime Files of Flamond
* Danger With Granger
* Danger, Dr Danfield
* David Harding, Counterspy
* Dick Tracy
* Ellery Queen
* Falcon, The
* Fat Man, The
* Frank Race
* Green Hornet, The
* Hannibal Cobb
* Harry Lime (The Third Man)
* Hearthstone of the Death Squad
* Helen Holden, Govermental Girl
* Hercule Poirot
* Inspector Thorne of Homicide
* It’s A Crime, Mr. Collins
* Jeff Regan, Investigator
* Johnny Dollar
* Johnny Fletcher
* Johnny Madero, Pier 23
* Johnny Nighthawk
* Leonidas Witheral
* Let George Do It
* Maigret
* Marcel
* Mark Sabre of Homicide
* Martin Kane. Private Detective
* Matthew Slade, Private Eye
* Michael Shayne, Private Detective
* Mike Malloy, Private Eye
* Mr. and Mrs. North
* Mr. Chameleon
* Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons
* Mr. Malone
* Mr. Moto
* Nero Wolfe
* Nick Carter, Master Detective
* Pat Novak For Hire
* Paul Temple
* Perry Mason
* Pete Kelly
* Peter Chambers
* Philip Marlowe
* Philo Vance
* Raffles
* Rex Saunders
* Richard Diamond
* Rocky Fortune
* Rocky Jordan
* Roger Kilgore, Public Defender
* Rogue’s Gallery
* Saint, The
* Sam Spade
* Sgt. Preston
* Shadow, The
* Sherlock Holmes
* That Hammer Guy
* Thin Man, The
* Whisperer, The
* 21st Precinct
* Are these our Children?
* Big Story
* Big Town
* Bishop and The Gargoyle, The
* Black Hood, The
* Black Museum, The
* Box 13
* Broadway is my Beat
* Call The Police
* Calling All Cars
* Calling All Detectives
* Confession
* Crime Club
* Crime Doctor
* Crime Does Not Pay
* Crime Fighters
* Deadline Mystery
* Defense Attorney
* Dragnet
* Eno Crime Club
* FBI in Peace and War
* Federal Agent
* Five Mysteries Program, The
* For the Defense
* Front Page, The
* Gangbusters
* Highway Patrol
* Hollywood Mystery Time
* Hot Copy
* I Deal in Crime
* I Love A Mystery
* Indictment
* Lineup, The
* Mr. District Attorney
* Murder by Experts
* Nightbeat
* Obsession
* Official Detective
* Police Blotter
* Police HQ
* Queen’s Men
* Squad Room
* Tales of the Texas Rangers
* This Is Your FBI
* Treasury Agent
* True Detective Mysteries
* Under Arrest

 

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Dragnet – Jack Web

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Jack Webb

The original Dragnet started as a radio show in June 1949 and later transfered to television. A total of 314 original episodes were broadcast from 1949 through 1957. The series was broadcast on NBC and starred Jack Webb and Barton Yarborough as Friday’s first partner Sergeant Ben Romero.

The show takes its name from an actual police term, a “dragnet”, meaning a system of coordinated measures for apprehending criminals or suspects.

Dragnet was perhaps the most famous and influential police procedural drama in media history. The series gave millions of audience members a feel for the boredom and drudgery, as well as the danger and heroism, of real-life police work. Dragnet earned praise for improving the public opinion of police officers.

Actor and producer Jack Webb’s aims in Dragnet were for realism and unpretentious acting. He achieved both goals, and Dragnet remains a key influence on subsequent police dramas in many media. The show’s cultural impact is such that even after five decades, elements of Dragnet are known to those who have never seen or heard the program.

Jack Webb, the shows creator and lead actor

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.

Barton Yarborough played Sergeant Ben Romero

Raymond Burr was on board to play Chief of Detectives Ed Backstrand. When Dragnet hit its stride, it became one of radio’s top-rated shows.

Webb insisted on realism in every aspect of the show. The dialogue was clipped, understated and sparse, influenced by the hard-boiled school of crime fiction. Scripts were fast moving but didn’t seem rushed. Every aspect of police work was chronicled, step by step: From patrols and paperwork, to crime scene investigation, lab work and questioning witnesses or suspects.

Jack Webb on the set of the TV show (1967)

The detectives’ personal lives were mentioned but rarely took center stage. (Friday was a bachelor who lived with his mother; Romero was a Mexican-American from Texas, was an ever-fretful husband and father.) “Underplaying is still acting”, Webb told Time. “We try to make it as real as a guy pouring a cup of coffee.” (Dunning, 209) Los Angeles police chiefs C.B. Horrall, William Worton, and (later) William Parker were credited as consultants, and many police officers were fans.

Though rather tame by modern standards, Dragnet—especially on the radio—handled controversial subjects such as sex crimes and drug addiction with unprecedented and even startling realism. In one such example, Dragnet broke one of the unspoken (and still rarely broached) taboos of popular entertainment in the episode “.22 Rifle for Christmas” which aired December 22, 1949 and was repeated a year later. The episode followed the search for two young boys, Stanley Johnstone and Stevie Morheim, only to discover Stevie had been accidentally killed while playing with a rifle that belonged to Stanley—who’d be receiving it as a Christmas present but opened the box early; Stanley finally told Friday that Stevie was running while holding the rifle when he tripped and fell, causing the gun to discharge, fatally wounding Morheim.

Jack Webb died at the age of 62 of a massive heart attack. He was buried with full honors by the LAPD, even though he had never been on the force.

Listen out for Dragnet on the Crime and Suspense Channel from ROK Classic Radio OTR.

You can also download a couple of episodes in the download section of our website!

Happy Listening 🙂

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