Down These Mean Streets

An Old Time Radio Detective Podcast

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Happy Birthday, Jackson Beck

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Actor Jackson Beck was born July 23, 1912. During his long career in voice over work, Beck played the Cisco Kid on radio, Bluto in Popeye cartoons, and narrated The Adventures of Superman. Beck delivered the famous “Faster than a speeding bullet” introduction on radio and in cartoons. On the detective side of the street, Beck starred in over 100 syndicated episodes as S.S. Van Dine’s sophisticated private eye, Philo Vance.

We heard Jackson Beck as Vance back on Episode 57 of the podcast (click here for that episode) and I’ll post more of his Vance episodes today.

For more great stars and mysteries of the Golden Age of Radio, click here to subscribe to the “Down These Mean Streets” podcast in iTunes.

Filed under Jackson Beck Birthdays Philo Vance Superman Old Time Radio OTR Golden Age of Radio

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10 Plays
Lucille Ball
"George is Messy" (June 4, 1950)

On July 23, 1948, My Favorite Husband premiered on CBS. Lucille Ball and Richard Denning (Jerry North of Mr. and Mrs. North) starred as Liz and George Cooper - “two people who live together and like it!” The show was based on novels by Isabel Scott Rorick and ran until March 31, 1951. Gale Gordon (star of The Casebook of Gregory Hood) appeared as Mr. Atterbury, George’s boss, with Bea Benadaret as Iris, his wife. The couple’s original surname was Cugat, but it was changed to avoid confusion with bandleader Xavier Cugat.

CBS hoped to stage a television series, but Lucille Ball balked unless her real-life husband Desi Arnaz could  co-star as her screen hubby. CBS agreed and reworked the program into I Love Lucy.

In honor of the premiere anniversary, here’s an episode of My Favorite Husband that finds Liz and George in disagreement over housekeeping.

Filed under My Favorite Husband Anniversary Old Time Radio Lucille Ball Richard Denning Gale Gordon OTR Golden Age of Radio

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4 Plays
Raymond Chandler
"Double Indemnity" (March 5, 1945)

Raymond Chandler co-wrote the screenplay of Double Indemnity, Billy Wilder’s classic film version of James M. Cain’s novel. Chandler brought his own sensibility and dialogue to bring Cain’s story to the big screen. In this radio version, Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck recreate their film roles, with Walter Abel playing the Edward G. Robinson part.

Filed under Raymond Chandler Screen Guild Players Double Indemnity Fred MacMurray Barbara Stanwyck Old Time Radio OTR Golden Age of Radio