Apr 30, 2013
On the program this week we visit the end of the golden age of radio. Where did radio get it to start? Most believe it was on Christmas Eve in 1906. Reginald Fessenden is said to have broadcast the first radio program, it consisted of some violin selections and passages from the Bible. The end of the golden age of radio is not in dispute. It came on September 30, 1962, with the final episodes of Yours Truly Johnny Dollar and Suspense. We will talk more about this subject on the show.
What we have is that last episode of Yours Truly Johnny Dollar. As originally conceived, Johnny Dollar was a smart, tough, wisecracking detective who tossed silver-dollar tips to waiters and bellhops. It stayed that way until in October 1955 when a new leading man and a new director changed the format. Radio veteran Jack Johnstone went from a 30-minute, one-episode-per-week affair to a 15-minute, five-nights-a-week serial. The new Johnny Dollar was Bob Bailey. Bob was exceptionally good in this format, making Johnny more sensitive and thoughtful in addition to his other attributes. In late 1956 CBS Radio retooled the show, which reverted to a weekly half-hour drama. Bob Bailey continued in the leading role until 1960. For the last two years, the lead role was played by Mandel Kramer.
Our story is called, “The Tip-Off Matter”. Johnny is hired by an inmate to track down $100,000.00 in stolen cash. He faces the true evildoer and puts his life on the line to set things to right.