Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Big Audio Wednesday - Rocky Fortune

So last week I posted the Jack Benny episode that prompted me to start talking about old radio shows on here, and I mentioned that this week would continue the Sinatra theme. Thus this week's two-episodes-for-the-price-of-one special: Rocky Fortune.

Sinatra was well known as a pop music star/heartthrob, but by 1953, his acting career was starting to take off as well, so NBC gave him his own starring vehicle. Sinatra played Rocco Fortunato, aka Rocky Fortune, a small-timer fromn New York who takes odd jobs from an employment agency and always seems to get involved in murder and mystery along the way.

The shows are breezy and fun, and Sinatra's casual approach to Fortune stands as a stark contrast to the more straitlaced heroes of the usual detective and mystery shows.

Two episodes here, presented for your enjoyment. In the first, "Companion to a Chimp," Fortune is hired to take care of a simian TV star, a take-off on J. Fred Muggs, the chimp who was a regular mascot on the Today Show at the time this episode aired (Muggs later got too old to do TV, so NBC replaced him with Katie Couric).

The second episode actually has a sci-fi connection. It's "Rocket Racket," in which an eccentric Texan millionaire hires Fortune to test-fly his prototype spaceship. The episode was written by show creator George Lefferts, who had previously worked on the science fiction anthology shows X Minus One and Dimension X.

Click the widget and enjoy.

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