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Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, Volume 1 - 10 hours [Download] #RA610
10 hours - Digital Download
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Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
"Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar"
is a series with an interesting history. It debuted on CBS as a fairly typical slam-bang half-hour detective series on February 11, 1949, featuring Charles Russell in the title role as "America's action packed insurance investigator". Over the next few years, several actors played the part - including Edmond O'Brien and John Lund - but, though consistently well written and acted, the series was never really unique or substantial enough to capture a large and enthusiastic audience. Though the show was, at one point, sponsored by Wrigley's Gum, the network often simply carried it as a sustaining feature -- a creative time-filler for the enjoyment of an increasingly sparse radio audience, as television began to dominate the free time of the American public.
However, a few interesting things happened to "Johnny Dollar" in fall of 1955. In a stroke of casting genius, long-time radio veteran Bob Bailey - fresh from the Mutual network detective series "Let George Do It" - took over the title role. Veteran director Jack Johnstone and writers John Dawson, Robert Ryf, and Les Crutchfield joined the production team. And, at the same time, CBS began experimenting with three of its long-running radio series by running them as quarter hour, five-a-week "strip" shows running Monday through Friday. This unique and innovative approach was tried with "Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons," "Mr. & Mrs. North," and "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar".
The result was a good one for the "Dollar" series. It quickly became obvious that actor Bob Bailey was born to play the role, bringing to his portrayal a realistic depth and likeability that had been lacking in earlier versions of the show. The newly expanded format gave the writers a chance to craft characters and develop the depth of the stories without the need to wrap up every loose end after 24 brief minutes of dialogue. And the subtle cliffhanging nature of the stories made radio's dwindling listening audience want to tune in day after day - something that, by 1955, was seldom happening with any shows other than daily soap operas.
This collection features the first ten five-part stories from the 1955 run of "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar", beginning with "The McCormick Matter" from October of that year. As you listen to Dollar as he painstakingly pursues each case to its conclusion, note the extensive research that has obviously gone into each script; the action always takes place in real locations, complete with real street names and landmarks noted throughout the shows. Local stations that broadcast "Johnny Dollar" are often mentioned, as well as the real names of station personnel -- an interesting and amusing way to sustain interest in the show among network radio affiliates that might (or might not) be willing to carry it at all. The sound patterns, the musical scores, and the realistic dialog paint such a true audio picture that you can't help being swept into the adventure - chapter after chapter - until it concludes its 75-minute playing time. And the performers - including such radio veterans as Virginia Gregg, Peter Leeds, Hy Averback, Barney Phillips, Vic Perrin, John Dehner, Paul Dubov, Parley Baer, Marvin Miller, Jack Moyles, Lillian Buyeff, and Betty Lou Gerson - demonstrate their diverse talents in a series of realistic and textured characterizations.
For long-time fans of "Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar," the five-part adventures constitute the absolute pinnacle of the series' run -- and, in this collection, Radio Archives is pleased to bring you the first ten weeks of these programs in excellent digital sound.
The McCormack Matter
Monday, October 3 through Friday, October 7, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Molly K Matter
Monday, October 10 through Friday, October 14, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Chesapeake Fraud Matter
Monday, October 17 through Friday, October 21, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Alvin Summers Matter
Monday, October 24 through Friday, October 28, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Valentine Matter
Monday, October 31 through Friday, November 4, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Lorcoe Diamonds Matter
Monday, November 7 through Friday, November 11, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Broderick Matter
Monday, November 14 through Friday, November 18, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Amy Bradshaw Matter
Monday, November 21 through Friday, November 25, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Henderson Matter
Monday, November 28 through Friday, December 2, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Cronin Matter
Monday, December 5 through Friday, December 9, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
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