Let George Do It
"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."
Old-time radio fans love and revere actor Bob Bailey - particularly when it comes to his long-running stint as "America's favorite freelance investigator" on the classic radio crime drama "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar" in the 1950s. But before landing that lucrative gig, "Robert" Bailey cut his teeth on another detective show favorite that ran on the West Coast Mutual-Don Lee network from October 18, 1946 to September 27, 1954: a decidedly offbeat private-eye series entitled "Let George Do It." During its original run, George's audience was limited to a West Coast listenership and, although transcribed repeats were heard in New York City from January 20, 1954 through January 12, 1955, it wasn't until much later that the show was appreciated by a small but devoted audience who enjoyed the series as a cut above the usual hard-boiled detective offerings.
George Valentine was an ex-cop-turned-private-investigator who set himself apart from his private eye brethren - at least, in the early episodes - by eschewing tough-guy muscle in favor of a certain manual dexterity and analytical thinking skills. His cases ran the gamut from murder to blackmail to kidnapping, and the program showcased a wry sense of humor thanks to the better-than-average plotting and writing of scribes Polly Hopkins, David Victor and Jackson Gillis. (Gillis, who often wrote in tandem with Victor, later demonstrated his talent for labyrinthine plots as a writer and associate producer on TV's "Perry Mason".) Bob Bailey essayed the role of Valentine almost to the end - veteran actor Olan Soule replaced Bailey in 1954 - and the part of the P.I. was in essence a dress rehearsal for his more celebrated turn as the titular insurance investigator on "Johnny Dollar." As radio historian Elizabeth McLeod once observed, "the actor's interpretation of George Valentine is that of an intelligent, thinking man leavened by just a touch of world-weary cynicism."
Because Valentine had a strained relationship with 'John Law' - his friendly nemeses on the force included Lieutenant Riley (Wally Maher) and Lieutenant Johnson (Ken Christy) - he often depended on a trio of confederates to assist him in his investigations. At the top of the list was his gal Friday, Claire Brooks ("Brooksie"), who was first played on the show by Frances Robinson, then replaced in 1949 by Virginia Gregg, a future Bailey-era "Johnny Dollar" alumnus. (Shirley Mitchell and Lillian Buyeff were also heard as Brooksie.) Brooksie occupied the middle ground between secretary and girlfriend, frequently accompanying George on out-of-town investigations. She carried a none-too-subtle torch for her boss but, where romance was concerned, George kept her at arm's length most of the time - though he did refer to her affectionately as 'Angel'. Brooksie had a brother named Sonny (Eddie Firestone, Jr.) who served as George's office boy; both he and an elevator operator named Caleb (Joseph Kearns) completed the investigative triad.
The episodes offered in this collection originate from vinyl transcription discs syndicated by the New York-based Harry S. Goodman Radio Productions. The discs themselves were found in Toronto and were originally syndicated throughout Canada by S. W. Caldwell Ltd. The audio quality of these recordings is exceptionally fine and, at first listen, it was assumed that the original scripts from the series had actually been re-recorded for syndication. However, additional research - and, particularly, reviews of the cast listings - lends credence to the theory that they are instead edited and repackaged broadcast recordings of the original 1946-54 Mutual-Don Lee run. The fact is, at this writing, there is no way to be certain of their origin -- but what is certain is that several of these broadcasts are not mentioned in any of the program logs for the series, suggesting that this is the very first time they have been made available for modern listeners to enjoy.
Thanks to expert transfers and complete audio restoration, the crystal clear recordings in this ten-hour set give you the opportunity to really hear what happens when you "Let George Do It".
#3 There Ain't No Justice
Friday, October 31, 1952 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#4 Portrait of a Suicide
Friday, November 7, 1952 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#5 The Prairie Dog
Monday, March 12, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#6 Tonight the Mayhem's Going to Be Different
Friday, November 21, 1952 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#7 The Eight Ball
Monday, April 2, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#8 Every Shot Counts
Monday, October 31, 1949 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#9 The Anthill
Monday, May 15, 1950 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#10 Touched by an Angel
Monday, July 9, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#11 Drop Dead!
Monday, July 23, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#12 Uncle Harry's Bones
Monday, April 9, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#13 This Ain't No Way to Run a Railroad
Friday, January 9, 1953 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#14 No Escape From the Jungle
Monday, March 26, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#15 Murder on Vacation
Monday, August 27, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#16 The Man Behind the Frame
Monday, January 8, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#17 Big Brother
Monday, May 21, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#18 What Became of Terry Cable?
Monday, July 16, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#19 The Discovery of Ponce the Lion
Monday, April 30, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#20 The Fearless Clown
Monday, August 13, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#21 The Man From French Guiana
Monday, June 25, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication
#22 Sucker Stunt
Monday, June 11, 1951 - 30:00 - Harry S. Goodman Syndication