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Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, Volume 3 - 10 hours [Download] #RA644
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Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
"Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar"
, billed as the adventures of "America's action packed insurance investigator", debuted on CBS radio on February 11, 1949, featuring Charles Russell in the title role. It was typical radio fare for the time - basically just another slam-bang half-hour detective series - and, though consistently well written and acted, the series was never really unique or substantial enough to capture a large and enthusiastic audience. Over the next few years, several actors were assigned the title role - including Edmond O'Brien and John Lund - but, 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 a radio audience that was rapidly migrating to television.
In the fall of 1955, however, some surprising things happened to "Johnny Dollar". 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. 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 some of its longest-running radio series by offering them as quarter hour, five-a-week "strip" shows, running Monday through Friday. The result was a shot in the arm for "Johnny Dollar" - and a surprisingly fresh beginning for a show in a medium that was rapidly turning away from drama. It was 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 outside the realm of the daily soap operas.
This third 10 hour collection features ten five-part stories first aired in 1956. 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 are frequently noted throughout the shows. Local stations that broadcast "Johnny Dollar" are often mentioned, as well as the actual names of their 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, chapter by chapter, into the adventure. 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," these five-part adventures constitute the absolute pinnacle of the series' run -- and, in this third collection, Radio Archives is pleased to bring you another ten full weeks of these engrossing programs in excellent digital sound.
The Bennett Matter
Monday, February 20 through Friday, February 24, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Fathom-Five Matter
Monday, February 27 through Friday, March 2, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Plantagenet Matter
Monday, March 5 through Friday, March 9, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Clinton Matter
Monday, March 12 through Friday, March 16, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Jolly Roger Fraud Matter
Monday, March 19 through Friday, March 23, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Lamarr Matter
Monday, March 26 through Friday, March 30, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Laird Douglas Matter
Monday, April 9 through Friday, April 13, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Shepherd Matter
Monday, April 16 through Friday, April 20, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Callicles Matter
Monday, April 30 through Friday, May 4, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Silver Blue Matter
Monday, May 7 through Friday, May 11, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
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