10 hours - Audio CD Set
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 a radio audience rapidly migrating to television.
In the fall of 1955, however, a few interesting 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. 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 shot in the arm for "Johnny Dollar." 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 opera weepers.
This collection features ten five-part stories from 1955-56. 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 second collection, Radio Archives is pleased to bring you another ten full weeks of these programs in excellent digital sound.
The Lansing Fraud Matter
Monday, December 12 through Friday, December 16, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Nick Shurn Matter
Monday, December 19 through Friday, December 23, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Forbes Matter
Monday, December 26 through Friday, December 30, 1955 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Caylin Matter
Monday, January 2 through Friday, January 6, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Todd Matter
Monday, January 9 through Friday, January 13, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Ricardo Amerigo Matter
Monday, January 16 through Friday, January 20, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Duke Red Matter
Monday, January 23 through Friday, January 27, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Flight Six Matter
Monday, January 30 through Friday, February 3, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The McClain Matter
(Note: The third chapter in this adventure is not currently known to exist. The remaining four episodes of "The McClain Matter" are, however, still enjoyable without it.)
Monday, February 6 through Friday, February 10, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS
The Cui Bono Matter
Monday, February 13 through Friday, February 17, 1956 - 15:00 each - CBS