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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The Adventure of Sam Spade Detective

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Sam Spade is a fictional character who is the protagonist of Dashiell Hammett’s novel The Maltese Falcon (1930) and the various films and adaptations based on it, as well as in three lesser known short stories by Hammett.

Dashiell Hammett - Creator of Sam Spade

The novel, first published as a serial in the pulp magazine Black Mask, is the only one that Spade appears in, yet the character is widely cited as the crystallizing figure in the development of the hard-boiled private detective genre – Raymond Chandler’s character Philip Marlowe, for instance, was strongly influenced by Hammett’s Spade.

Raymond Chandler's Marlowe was influenced by Spade

Spade was a departure from Hammett’s nameless and less than glamorous detective, The Continental Op. Sam Spade combined several features of previous detectives, most notably his cold detachment, keen eye for detail, and unflinching determination to achieve his own justice. He is the man who has seen the wretched, the corrupt, the tawdry side of life but still retains his “tarnished idealism”.

On the radio, Sam Spade was played by Bogart in a 1943 Screen Guild Theater production and a 1946 Academy Award Theater production. He was also played by Edward G. Robinson in a 1943 Lux Radio Theatre production.

The Adventures of Sam Spade

The Adventures of Sam Spade ran from 1946-1951 (on ABC, CBS, and NBC) and starred Howard Duff (and later Steve Dunne) as “Sam Spade” and Lurene Tuttle as Spade’s devoted secretary “Effie Perrine”, and took a considerably more tongue-in-cheek approach to the character.

Howard Duff played Sam Spade

The show ran for 13 episodes on ABC in 1946, for 157 episodes on CBS in 1946-1949, and finally for 51 episodes on NBC in 1949-1951. The series was largely overseen by producer/director William Spier. In 1947, scriptwriters Jason James and Bob Tallman received an Edgar Award for Best Radio Drama from the Mystery Writers of America.

Laureen Tuttle played Spade's devoted secretary, Effie Perrine

The series had a commercial that is well remembered.  Wildroot Cream Oil.  Wildroots catch phrase was, “A little dab’l do you.”  The melody “Cream Oil Charlie” was copyrighted on 01/27/46 for Tad Dameron & Woody Herman by the Charling Music Corp., New York. Each of the broadcasts were 30 minutes in length.

The Sponsor of Sam Spade - Wildroot (German Ad)

Dashiell Hammett’s name was removed from the series in the late 1940s because he was being investigated for involvement with the Communist Party. Later, when Howard Duff’s name appeared in the Red Channels book, he was not invited to play the role when the series made the switch to NBC in 1950.

Born on May 27, 1894, he was a veteran of World War II, serving as a Sergeant in Alaska.
He was a member of the Civil Rights Congress, a liberal political group which was targeted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as being a Communist front. He refused to name contributors to the organization and was sentenced to six months in jail for that refusal.

He later became a virtual recluse in the tiny village of Katonah, New York, partly due to chronic health problems.

Dashiell Hammett's Grave

He died there on January 10, 1961 and, as was his wish, he was buried in Section 12 of Arlington National Cemetery. At one point, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover attempted to block the burial but was overruled in that attempt.

You can hear episodes of The Adventures of Sam Spade on both the Crime & Suspense Channel and Heritage Gold.

Happy Listening 🙂

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The Black Museum Radio Series

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Opening in 1875, the Crime Museum at Scotland Yard is the oldest museum in the world purely for recording crime. The name “Black Museum” was coined in 1877 by a reporter from “The Observer”, a London newspaper, although the museum is still referred to as the Crime Museum. It is this museum that inspired The Black Museum radio series, produced in London by Harry Alan Towers.

From Jay Hickerson’s “The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming and Guide To All Circulating Shows”, the earliest US broadcast date was January 1, 1952. Thirty nine shows, from the full syndication of fifty two shows, aired over Mutual stations from January 1, 1952 through June 24, 1952 and September 30, 1952 through December 30, 1952.

This may be the earliest broadcast of the series worldwide. It was later broadcast over Radio Luxembourg starting May 7, 1953. Radio Luxembourg broadcast sponsored programs at night to England (the BBC was state-owned and had no commercials). The shows were sponsored by Dreft and Mirro (cleaning products).

The series continued to be offered in syndication and was heard on AFRTS broadcasts and in the US on NPR stations through the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s. Some shows were broadcast by the BBC in England in 1994.

This murder mystery series was based on true life cases from Scotland Yard’s files. Each episode was based on an item or items of evidence in the museum.

Orson Welles hosted and narrated the shows. Mr. Welles opened each show slightly differently but followed a standard format. For example, the show, “The Bathtub”, open as follows:

“This is Orson Welles speaking from London.” (Big Ben starts himing in the background). “The Black Museum, repository of death… Here, in this grim stone structure on the Thames which houses Scotland Yard, is a warehouse of homocide, where everyday objects, a piece of wire, a chemist’s flask, a silver shilling, all are touched by murder.” (dramatic music)

Following the opening, Mr. Welles would introduce the museum’s item or items of evidence that was central to the case, leading into the dramatization. He also provided narration during the show and ended each show with his characteristic closing from the days of his Mercury Theater of the Air, remaining “obediently yours”.

Harry Alan Towers produced the series from scripts written by Ira Marion. Music was composed and conducted by Sidney Torch.

The museum was not open to the general public. It’s purpose was then, and still is, for police training, although it did receive a considerable number of famous people, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It is currently used as a lecture theater for the police and like bodies in various subjects of Criminology. But, thanks to Mr. Towers and Mr. Welles, we can still get a glimpse of what secrets are housed in The Black Museum.

Listen to The Black Museum of ROK Classic Radio OTR!

(From the Old Time Radio Researcher’s Group)

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