Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Big Audio Wednesday - Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

A mystery this week, one of my favorite storylines from my favorite radio mystery series. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar features the adventures of "the man with the action-packed expense account."

Yeah, as a catch phrase, it sucks, but as a hook to draw you into the mysteries, it isn't bad. Basically, every episode is narrated by insurance investigator Dollar as he accounts the expenses he rang up while investigating that week's mystery. The show started out as a series of self-contained episodes, with the title role played by various actors.

In 1955, the show became serialized--each week's story was split into five fifteen-minute chapters that would run Monday through Friday-- and Bob Bailey took over the title role, giving Dollar a heart and a personality that the previous actors couldn't match. The mysteries, written by Jack Johnstone, were engrossing, and the production values, including the lush score, were top-notch.

Here are the five chapters from the week of June 4, 1956, "The Indestructible Mike Matter." Although there are none of the usual hooks for this blog--no superheroes, no sci-fi, no fantasy--Mike does seem to have at least one superpower. And there are a couple of other tie-ins, as well. Guest-starring in this week's shows is Howard McNear (I believe he's playing Mike) who was the star of last week's "Speed Gibson" shows. Another player is Herb Vigran, a longtime character actor who made six appearances on the George Reeves Adventures of Superman TV series.

So click the widget, sit back and enjoy the adventures of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar as he tries to save the life of a lovable lush (drunk people are funny) in "The Indestructible Mike Matter."

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