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Archive for the ‘Radio crime’ Category

Happy Birthday, Paul McGrath!

On May 29, 1945, radio’s popular Inner Sanctum Mysteries welcomed inside “the creaking door” a new host to replace the departing Raymond Edward Johnson.  The new master of ceremonies who welcomed audiences to the weekly broadcasts of murder and mayhem would be referred to as “The Host” or “Your Host” …and not “Raymond,” the beloved narrator that […]

Happy Birthday, Lou Merrill!

An item in the September 25, 1939 edition of The Van Nuys News trumpets the motion picture debut of actor Louis Merrill—born in Winnipeg, Canada on this date in 1912.  The blurb is a little hyperbolic; Lou had previously appeared (uncredited) in the 1938 cliffhanger serial Flash Gordon’s Trip to Mars. In addition, his voice had been heard as the […]

Happy Birthday, Charles Russell!

Fans of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar are generally in agreement that it was actor Bob Bailey who made “America’s fabulous freelance investigator” the old-time radio icon he is today.  (I apologize in advance to all the John Lund fans out there.)  As revered as Bailey was as “the man with the action-packed expense account,” Johnny Dollar devotees know that he wasn’t the first radio thespian […]

Happy Birthday, Pat McGeehan!

Patrick Joseph McGeehan—born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on this date in 1907—enjoyed a long and fruitful association with comedian Red Skelton.  He joined Red’s radio program as an announcer in the fall of 1943 and, though he would eventually take a back seat to Rod O’Connor as Red’s foil, McGeehan was still on hand as an assistant announcer…plus he […]

Happy Birthday, Barbara Jean Wong!

It became one of old-time radio’s most cherished traditions.  The annual Christmas broadcast of Amos ‘n’ Andy, in which family man Amos Jones tucks his daughter Arbadella into bed on Christmas Eve and explains to her the meaning of The Lord’s Prayer.  While you probably know that the role of Amos was played by Freeman Gosden on that long-running series, it was […]

Happy Birthday, Louise Erickson!

Actress Louise Erickson—born in Oakland, California on this date in 1928—becomes a nonagenarian today…and we at Radio Spirits couldn’t be more excited about celebrating the occasion.  In the 1940s, Louise was one of the “go-to” thespians whenever the role of a teenage girl needed to be played on radio…and from 1943 to 1950, she would […]

Happy Birthday, William Johnstone!

Old-time radio fans know that when Orson Welles made the decision to abandon his role as Lamont Cranston (aka The Shadow) and go on to better things (scaring the daylights out of listeners on Halloween, for example), actor William Llewellyn Johnstone was there to take his place as the “wealthy young man-about-town.” Johnstone, born in New […]

Happy Birthday, Dan Duryea!

“He was Dark City’s most enchanting villain,” writes author/Turner Classic Movies personality Eddie Muller in his essential reference Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir, “the man audiences loved to hate.”  Muller is talking about actor Dan Duryea, once described by movie critic Paul Gaita as “the go-to for malevolent supporting roles in Westerns and […]