My Friend Irma
Marie Wilson created and starred as Irma Peterson, a loopy but lovable secretary. Irma's best friend and roommate was Jane Stacy, played by Cathy Lewis. The sitcom aired from April 11, 1947 - August 23, 1954.
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Marie Wilson created and starred as Irma Peterson, a loopy but lovable secretary. Irma's best friend and roommate was Jane Stacy, played by Cathy Lewis. The sitcom aired from April 11, 1947 - August 23, 1954.
The Whistler whistled its way onto the airwaves beginning May 16, 1942 and its eerie 13-note theme set the tone for West Coast radio mystery for the next decade. "I am the Whistler and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes, I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak."
This crime drama was first produced by the BBC in 1951, and aired in the US the following year. Narrator Orson Welles told tales of this "mausoleum of murder," with ordinary objects and the murder mysteries behind them.
Tales of the Texas Rangers was broadcast over NBC from July 8 1950 through September 14, 1952 and was later revived on television. Western film star Joel McCrea portrayed Ranger Jace Pearson in NBC's Tales of the Texas Rangers.
Bud Abbott and Lou Costello made their radio debut on CBS’ The Kate Smith Show as replacements for Hollywood-bound Henny Youngman. The former burlesque comics reintroduced and preserved the classic comedy sketches of vaudeville in their films and radio and television series. The Abbott and Costello Show debuted as a 1940 summer replacement for Fred Allen and later aired from October 8, 1942 through June 29, 1949.
This anthology series dramatized the stories of fiction author Damon Runyon and aired in various forms from the late 1940s to the mid 1950s. John Brown starred as "Broadway," a fluent "Brooklynese" speaker who spun tales of old Manhattan.
For more than 20 years, Jack Benny reigned as the king of radio comedy. His show ran on nearly every network from 1932 to the mid 1950s. How he turned a miserable, self-absorbed cheapskate into a beloved icon ranks among the great achievements in entertainment history. Benny revolutionized the way humor was played on radio by introducing the situation comedy and by giving most of the best lines to his supporting cast.
The Red Skelton Show came to NBC on October 7, 1941 after years as a mainstay on Cincinnati's powerhouse station WLW. Red scored with radio audiences as Junior, "the mean widdle kid," a character he originated in vaudeville. Some of his other memorable characters included Deadeye, J. Newton Numbskull, Willie Lump-Lump, Bolivar Shagnasty and Clem Kadiddlehopper.
The Green Hornet debuted over the Detroit station on January 31, 1936. The Green Hornet was well-served by his valet Kato and a supercharged roadster, the Black Beauty. Al Hodge portrayed The Green Hornet during the series' first seven seasons, followed by Donovan Faust, Robert Hall and Jack McCarthy. The show ran on radio through December 5, 1952.
Wherever there is mystery, adventure, intrigue, in all the strange and dangerous places in the world, there you will find--The Man Called X! Debonair British actor Herbert Marshall stars as FBI agent Ken Thurston, "the man who crosses the ocean as readily as you and I cross town; he is the man who fights today's war in his unique fashion, so that tomorrow's peace will make the world a neighborhood for all of us." The Man Called X debuted over CBS on July 10, 1944, moved to NBC in 1950 and continued through May 20, 1952.
The Phil Harris & Alice Faye Show grew out of the popular Fitch Bandwagon series. Phil Harris played himself, continuing the egotistical, smart-alec characterization he had perfected during his years as Jack Bennys' bandleader. Alice Faye, Phil's movie star wife, recreated her real-life role as a film star turn devoted housewife.
This NBC thriller ran for about a year from the spring of 1952 to the summer of 1953. Each unique story entails suspense, action and, of course, a protagonist on the run. The series often featured guest stars who were announcers or actors for other suspenseful series, and many of the scripts were also used in other dramas like The Clock and Inner Sanctum Mysteries.
X-Minus One premiered on April 24, 195 and was a revival of Dimension X, NBC's earlier science fiction anthology series. X-Minus One ran until January 9, 1958 and was rerun during the 1970s as part of NBC's Omnibus series.
Michael Waring was a freelance detective who was also known as the Falcon. Waring's detective techniques were a cross between Ellery Queen and Richard Diamond. He had a certain eye for detail but was frequently on the outs with the police.
Phillips H. Lord, creator of Gang Busters, worked with creator/writer/director Ed Byron to develop this series, which is inspired by the early years of New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. It aired on NBC and ABC from April 3, 1939 to June 13, 1952. The nameless title role was played by several actors throughout the run: Raymond Edward Johnson, Jay Jostyn, and David Brian. A key figure in the show was the D.A.'s secretary, Edith Miller (played by Vicki Vola).
Born Owen Patrick Eugene McNulty in an Irish family in the Bronx, Dennis Day first became known for his tenor voice as a replacement singer on Jack Benny's radio show on October 8, 1939. Benny and Day would remain friends and colleagues the rest of their lives. "A Day In The Life Of Dennis Day" aired on NBC from 1946-1951, while Day also regularly appeared on Benny's show singing, telling jokes, and performing impressions.
Millions of radio listeners visited Duffy's Tavern each week, but Duffy himself was nowhere to be found. Although he dutifully phoned Archie the manager each week, he never once dropped by. Duffy's Tavern first opened its doors to radio listeners on the CBS audition series Forecast on July 29, 1940, and then opened for regular business on March 1, 1941.
Bandleader Ozzie Nelson and his vocalist wife, Harriet Hilliard, debuted in The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet on October 8, 1944. The show featured the home life of "America's favorite young couple" and their sons, David and Ricky. Initially, David and Ricky were portrayed by two actors, but in March 1949, the kids persuaded their Dad to allow them to appear in the radio series and later on television.
Suspense debuted on June 17, 1942 as a sustaining summer replacement, returned that fall and continued in the CBS lineup September 30, 1962. "Radio's outstanding theatre of thrills" is recognized as one of the finest dramatic series in the history of broadcasting.
Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent... One of the most popular police dramas in the history of broadcasting, Dragnet aired on NBC Radio from June 10, 1949 through February 7, 1957 and on television from 1952-59 and 1967-72. Dragnet introduced a new era of documentary-style realism.
Radio's greatest series of high adventure debuted over the CBS network on July 7,1947. Escape's protagonists faced life-and-death situations each week, as the show careened from classic adventure to Western drama to science fiction. The program was broadcast as a sustainer (unsponsored) series during most of its seven-year run.
Radio’s greatest adult western told the story of Matt Dillon, U.S. Marshal, "the first man they look for and the last they want to meet." Gunsmoke grew out of a request from CBS founder William Paley for a "Philip Marlowe in the Old West," and featured grimly realistic stories set in the vicinity of Dodge City, the "Gommorrah of the West," with William Conrad as Dillon.
Frank Lovejoy is heard as Randy "Lucky" Stone, a hardboiled reporter who covers the "nightbeat" for the Chicago Star. Randy Stone wandered the back alleys and bars of Chicago, searching for both crime and human-interest stories. Nightbeat premiered on February 6, 1950 and ran until September 25, 1952.
As a summer replacement series on NBC, this show only broadcast a handful of episodes from July to September 1951. The title character, also known as Phillip Gault, could speak only in whispers following a football injury. He's cast out of society and joins an underground crime syndicate - but after having miracle surgery that restores his voice, he becomes a double agent in hopes of destroying the syndicate from the inside. Carleton G. Young played the protagonist, alongside Betty Moran who played Gault's girlfriend and the only other person who knows about his double identity.
Hopalong Cassidy's millions of fans got a New Year's Day present in 1950 when William Boyd brought the famous Bar-20 Ranch onto the Mutual radio range. In 1950, Clarence Mulford's classic cowboy was heard on 152 radio stations, seen on 63 television outlets and appeared as a comic strip in 155 newspapers.
Have Gun, Will Travel debuted on television on September 14, 1957 and moved to radio November 23, 1958. The program was an oddity, a western that began on television and moved to radio, featuring an ethical anti-hero whose mysterious origins were left untold until the fifth and final TV season.
21st Precinct debuted on July 7, 1953 as a summer replacement for My Friend Irma. Based on true stories, 21st Precinct aired after Dragnet gained popularity and audiences were hungry to hear behind-the-scenes stories of police life. While Dragnet’s story material came from the files of the LAPD, 21st got its stories from the largest police union in New York City, the New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association.
Broadway Is My Beat debuted over CBS on February 27, 1949 and continued through August 1, 1954. Anthony Ross starred as Clover during the first two seasons, with Thor taking over the role on July 3, 1950. Homicide detective Clover pounded the Broadway beat for five years in one of radio's last great detective series.
This police procedural series was syndicated on NBC stations in 1932. It features quarter-hour stories typically based on true crimes.
Radio Spirits' nationally syndicated radio program hosted by old-time radio expert Greg Bell
Murder By Experts
This anthology series first ran on NBC in 1939, then was reprised on Mutual in 1945. Oboler was an immense talent, compared to Norman Corwin, specializing in stylized "radio literature" that was often political and staunchly anti-Nazi. He got his radio break in horror, writing scripts for Lights Out, before given free reign on his own show to write, produce, and direct his masterpieces of radio theatre.
Film star William Gargan came to the NBC airwaves in 1951 as the star of Barrie Crane, Confidential Investigator, a reworking of his earlier Mutual radio series (and NBC television program) Martin Kane, Private Investigator. When the producers of the earlier program objected to the many similarities between the two series, changes were made in Gargan's new series, which was quickly retitled Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator. The series aired on NBC from October 3, 1951 through June 30, 1955.
The Life of Riley featured the comic misadventures of riveter Chester A. Riley. Riley was a devoted family man with a talent for flying off the handle and a penchant for being worse. Movie star William Bendix played the title role of the lovable hardhat throughout the series.
Science-fiction anthology series on the Mutual Radio Network. It was the first of its kind for adults, predating the landmark NBC series Dimension X.
Dimension X aired over NBC from April 8, 1950 through September 29, 1951 featuring "adventures in time and space told in future tense." The series adapted stories by the modern masters of science fiction adapting works by Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Clifford Simak, Theodore Sturgeon and many others.
Based on the popular characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes began on coast-to-coast CBS radio in 1930. By the late 1930s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes had moved to the Mutual Broadcasting Network and the series was forced to rely on invented new adventures, having run out of Doyle stories to adapt.
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar told the story of the freelance insurance investigator with the "action-packed expense account." Radio’s last great detective series, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar ended its run September 30, 1962 during the final week of network radio drama.
This CBS cop procedural pulls back the curtain on crime fighting in San Francisco. The Shadow's Bill Johnstone starred as cool-mannered Lt. Ben Guthrie, foil to hot-tempered Sgt. Matt Grebb. Director Elliot Lewis was one of the busiest men in radio, having a hand in the Phil Harris & Alice Faye Show, Suspense, Broadway Is My Beat, and many more.
The Great Gildersleeve featured one of radio’s greatest casts of comedic players. The Great Gildersleeve aired until March 21, 1957, with Willard Waterman taking over the title role for the final seven radio season and three television seasons.
Jack "Flashgun" Casey was first introduced in the March 1934 issue of Black Mask, the classic pulp fiction magazine. Created by pulp wordsmith George Harmon Coxe, Casey appeared in dozens of stories in Black Mask, which were later collected into six books. Flashgun Casey came to radio as a CBS sustaining series on July 7, 1943. The series was renamed Casey, Press Photographer in 1944 and became Casey, Crime Photographer on September 12, 1945.
Philo Vance was the most popular fictional detective during the late 1920s and early 1930s and influenced the creation of many later detectives. S.S. Van Dine's legendary creation was first brought to radio on July 5, 1945 in an NBC summer series starring Jose Ferrar and was also briefly portrayed by John Emery.
Boston Blackie was created by Jack Boyle, a hard-drinking opium addict who served three prison terms. While in prison, Boyle began writing true-crime confession stories that were published in The American Magazine under the byline 6006, his convict number. Boyle's stories were collected in his 1919 book, Boston Blackie, and inspired a popular series of B-films, the radio series and a 1951 video version.
Edward G. Robinson starred as crusading newspaper editor Steve Wilson from October 19, 1937 through July 2, 1942. The Hollywood great was glad to play an idealistic role in contrast to his many film gangster portrayals. Big Town at its peak was radio’s highest-rated drama and was only eclipsed by The Jack Benny Program in ratings. The series was canceled when Edward G. Robinson quit in 1942 but was resurrected the following year with Edward Pawley (and later Walter Greaza) as Wilson and Fran Carlon as Lorelei. The revived Big Town aired from October 5, 1943 through June 25, 1952.
This series revolved around true crime stories reported in newspapers. The stories were dramatized retellings of heroic reporters uncovering big truths in the name of public service. At the end of every episode the show gave a $500 reward to the real reporter on whose stories the episode was based. The Big Story aired from April 2, 1947 through March 23, 1955.
This medical drama was based on films by the same name. Lews Ayes as Dr. Kildare and Lionel Barrymore as Dr. Gillespie face everything from pushy administrators to personal drama and ethical crises in the halls of Blair General Hospital in New York City.
This police drama aired for 6 months in 1951 on ABC. Dan Duryea starred as tough cop Lou Dana with Bill Bouchey as Inspector Sherman and Lawrence Dobkin as Dave the Sergeant. Written by Dick Powell.
Leslie Charteris' famous character first came to radio on January 6, 1945 with Edgar Barrier heard as the debonair Simon Templar. The "Robin Hood of modern crime" returned to the airwaves on July 9, 1947 with Vincent Price in the title role in a short-lived CBS summer series. Price returned to the role in 1949 over Mutual and became radio's most remembered Simon Templar.
Frank Race is an attorney whose life is filled with intrigue following the war. The adventure series aired from 1949 to 1950. Starring Tom Collins and then Paul Dobov.
I Was a Communist for the FBI--I walk alone. The 1952 syndicated series starred Dana Andrews as real-life undercover agent Matt Cvetic, whose book of the same title provided the inspiration for the radio series and a Hollywood film. Growing out of the communist paranoia of the McCarthy era, the Cold War drama featured red spies portrayed in the same stereotypical manner of the Nazis during World Ward II propaganda programs.
The Six Shooter aired started movie star James Stewart rode the radio range from September 20, 1953 through June 24, 1954 as Britt Ponset, "the Texas plainsman who wandered through the western territories, leaving behind a trail of still-remembered legends."
This series is one of a few modern series featured by Radio Classics. A creation of writer Jim French, Harry Nile first came to radio in 1976 and continued to be adapted into the late '90s as part of the "Imagination Theatre" productions. Harry Nile, a former Chicago cop turned private detective, was played by Phil Harper for more than 20 years.
The Mysterious Traveler was one of radio's greatest omniscient storytellers, introducing tales of mystery, science fiction and horror from the typewriters of writers/producers Robert A. Arthur and David Kogan. The Mysterious Traveler rode the Mutual rails from December 5, 1943 through September 23, 1952.
Inner Sanctum's sinister host welcomed listeners "through the squeaking door to another night of horror." The show’s "squeaking door" was one of radio’s most-remembered openings and was inspired by the creaking hinges on a sound effects door at the radio studio.
The Lux Radio Theatre was one of radio's most popular series attracting Hollywood's top stars and boasting a lavish budget. The Lux Radio Theatre began in 1934 featuring dramas from Broadway, but there was not enough material to support the show. In an attempt to reverse the slipping ratings, the show was moved to Hollywood in 1936, where there was plenty of material and talent.
My Favorite Husband told the story of George and Liz Cooper, "two people who live together and like it." The radio series was based on Isabel Rorick's novel Mr. And Mrs. Cugat. The show's audition broadcast featured Lucille Ball and Lee Bowman as her husband.
The husband-and-wife vaudeville team of Jim and Marian Jordan began their radio careers in Peoria on a bet from Jim’s brother. The Jordans were heard as The O’Henry Twins and The Air Scouts before Don Quinn created Smackout in 1931. Quinn revamped the show as Fibber McGee and Molly in 1935 when Johnson’s Wax signed on as sponsor.
Dr. Sixgun starred Karl Weber as Dr. Ray Matson, "the gun-toting frontier doctor who roamed the length and breadth of the old Indian territory, friend and physician to white man and Indian alike, the symbol of justice and mercy in the lawless west of the 1870s." His sidekick Pablo, played by Bill Griffis, narrates the stories.
This western adventure serial was syndicated in 1949 by Bruce Eells Productions. Chad Remmington is a crimefighting attorney, played first by Jeff Chandler and then Reed Hadley, in the small town of Dos Rios. Cherokee O'Bannon, Remington's sidekick, was played by Wade Crosby.
Rocky Fortune aired on NBC from October 6, 1953 through March 30, 1954 with Frank Sinatra starring as "that footloose and fancy-free young gentleman" whose fortune was as rocky as his name. The unsponsored "sustainer" series was broadcast during the low point in Sinatra’s career and aired for only 26 weeks.
Eve Arden portrays Miss Connie Brooks, an overworked and underpaid teacher of 10th grade English at Madison High School. Our Miss Brooks called her radio classroom to order beginning July 19, 1948. The final bell rang for Our Miss Brooks on July 7, 1957.
Rocky Jordan operated a café in exotic Cairo, a city filled with danger and intrigue, and spent much of his time solving crimes. The detective show was based on an earlier program called A Man Named Jordan.
The Third Man was an adventure series starring Orson Welles as Harry Lime, the character created by author Graham Greene. It first aired on the BBC in 1951 and was then syndicated for American radio in 1952.
This CBS series adapted stories penned by Norman Corwin to radio.
This comedy-quiz show, hosted by Groucho Marx, aired on multiple networks between 1947 and 1956.
Dinah Shore Show
These tense half-hour plotlines revolved around the wartime activities of the U.S. government's Office of Strategic Services. Stories were based on true adventure tales by Corey Ford and Alastair MacBain. It ran on NBC for about 6 months from May - October 1950.
Let George Do It, stars Bob Bailey, who plays George Valentine who was a detective whose cases came from the newspaper.
The Screen Director's Playhouse featured adaptations of famous movies and called upon the screen directors to introduce and highlight their work. After each show, the director and stars gathered around the microphones to reminisce about the actual making of the film.
Ventriloquist Edgar Bergen developed his Charlie McCarthy character in high school. Bergen performed with the newsboy dummy while attending Northwestern University and eventually left college to tour vaudeville. With the decline of vaudeville during the Great Depression, Bergen moved into night spots like New York’s trendy Rainbow Room but feared his friend wouldn’t be appreciated by high society. So he gave Charlie a monocle and top hat and a "man about town" was born. Following a three-month guest stint on Rudy Vallee’s show, Edgar Bergen was signed as headliner of The Chase and Sanborn Hour. The series premiered May 9, 1937 and ended the next three seasons as radio’s top-rated series.
Richard Diamond, Private Detective premiered over the NBC network on April 24, 1949 and ran through 1952 starring Dick Powell as "radio's singing detective." Powell had first achieved movie stardom as a baby-faced crooner, and later matured to hardboiled roles, including Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in the 1944 film Murder My Sweet.
Radio Classics invites you to experience the audio magic of legendary old time radio. RadioClassics features the best dramas, mysteries, comedies, and variety programs from the Golden Age of Radio.