Series Uploaded to Archive.org in January, 2022


Dave Tysver
 


Five series were uploaded to Archive.org in January, 2022. Two were updated, three are new. The series are:
·        Black Flame of the Amazon, OTRR Maintained v2112, web address: https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Maintained_Black_Flame_of_the_Amazon

·        Dangerous Assignment, OTRR Maintained updated v2112, web address: https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Certified_Dangerous_Assignment

·        A Case for Doctor Morelle, OTRR Maintained updated v2112, web address: https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Certified_Dr_Morelle

·        Stardust Time, OTRR Curated v2112, web address https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Curated_Stardust_Time

·        The Strange Romance of Evelyn Winters, OTRR Curated v2112, web address: https://archive.org/details/OTRR_Curated_Strange_Romance_of_Evelyn_Winters

The synopsis of each series follows:
 
A Case for Dr. Morelle
A Case for Dr. Morelle” was a 13-episode series which ran weekly in 1957 on the BBC Light Programme from April 23 to July 16. According to the author Ernest Dudley, the character of Dr. Morelle began life in 1940 during the World War Two air raids, as he was trying to think up a different kind of detective while also providing a comic role for the actress Jane Grahame, who was also his wife.
The result, originally heard on the radio show Monday Night at Eight, involved the acerbic criminal psychologist Dr. Morelle and his eager but less than helpful secretary Miss Frayle. In the 1957 series, Dr. Morelle was played by the English comic actor Cecil Parker and Sheila Sim played the long-suffering and devoted Miss Frayle. In addition to radio plays, Dudley wrote a stage play as well as a number of novels and short stories featuring these characters.
Audiences loved the opinionated and eccentric Morelle, whose disdain for his loyal secretary was an extension of his general lack of regard for humanity. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, who based his analysis on physical clues left at the scene of the crime, Morelle generally conducted his investigations via a series of interviews, although he sometimes included physical evidence in his analysis. He used his knowledge of criminal psychology to determine which of the suspects fit the psychological profile of the criminal. Often during the story, Miss Frayle would irritate the doctor by interrupting him as he was conducting an experiment or testing some
scientific theory. His solutions to the crimes - whether murder, blackmail, larceny or some other
crime - were always based on psychology.
(Sources: archive.org web page for series, 1958 New Zealand article, transcribed at
http://www.oocities.org/gregorym101/morelle.html; http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/d/ernestdudley/)
 
The Black Flame of the Amazon
Ryan Ellett
When Van Cronkhite Associates Incorporated, a Chicago-based radio consulting agency, dissolved in early 1938, some of its former employees promptly created TransAir Incorporated, another agency focused on building and selling radio programming, especially news and transcribed shows.
With William F. Arnold as president, Ray Launder as vice-president, and John Taylor Booz as secretary, TransAir quickly sold its first series to Toledo, Ohio’s Hickok Oil Company. That first sale was The Black Flame of the Amazon, a quarter-hour show that Hickok wanted on the Michigan Network as well as stations in Toledo, Cleveland, Canton, and Youngstown. Recorded by Aerograms Incorporated out of Hollywood, The Black Flame of the Amazon premiered on February 14, 1938.
The program aired five days per week and featured adventurer and explorer Harold Noice. Noice had spent the last half of the 19-teens on Arctic exploration trips and spent significant time among the Inuit. He later turned his attention to South America and the Amazon region, the period during which the The Black Flame of the Amazon is very loosely based. Noice played himself in the series and the scripts were written and produced by Aerogram’s J. B. Downie.
After going off the air for the summer, Hickock Oil renewed The Black Flame of the Amazon on September 26, 1938 for a 39-week run to last through the school year. The show’s reach expanded to Cincinnati’s WCKY, Richmond, Virgina’s WRVA, and other stations in Kentucky, North Carolina, and West Virginia under the sponsorship of Strietmann Biscuit Company and Felber Biscuit Company, both subsidiaries of United Biscuit Company.
Promoted as an educational adventure series, the producer created a Hi-Speed Explorer’s Club after a gasoline brand of the Hickock Oil sponsor. Executives boasted that over 450,000 youngsters joined the Explorer’s Club after hearing about it on The Black Flame of the Amazon. Other sponsor information includes the Independent Packing Company backing the program in St. Louis and Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1940 and Pacific States Oil Company underwriting it over San Francisco’s KFRC in 1941. Industry records show it was still on the air as late as 1943.
Sources:
Dunning, John. On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio.
Broadcasting February 1, 1938, August 15, 1938, October 15, 1938, August 1, 1938, December 1, 1938, January 1, 1939, January 1, 1940, February 10, 1941
Radio Daily January 31, 1938

Dangerous Assignment
Ryan Ellett
Dangerous Assignment, with Brian Donlevy in the lead role of Steve Mitchell, was developed by NBC during the summer of 1949 at a cost of $15,000. Other shows developed as part of this new programming blitz by the network included Dragnet at a cost of $34,000, Richard Diamond at $51,000, and Four Star Playhouse at $60,000. Seven episodes were broadcast that summer, from July 9 to August 20, 1949. When no sponsor stepped forward the show left the airwaves for six months.
Originally scheduled to replace Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis’ program at 10:00 in early February 1950, Dangerous Assignment instead took Dave Garroway’s slot at 10:30 with Garroway pushed back to 11:30 while Night Beat claimed the 10:00 time. Sustained initially, in the spring of 1950 General Mills signed to take sponsorship of the show beginning May 10 as part of a large bundle sale with NBC.
In September 1950 it was announced in the trades that Donlevy had formed a production company – New Colony, Inc. – to bring Dangerous Assignment to television. He purchased the video rights from writer Bob Ryfe, who was also the package owner, and signed Ryf to script the visual version in addition to continuing his radio responsibilities. While Donlevy funded the start-up himself, he had an understanding with radio sponsor General Mills that the cereal manufacturer would take over production costs if the initial results were satisfactory.
When Dangerous Assignment was once again looking for a sponsor in 1951 NBC advertised to potential backers that it had a gross weekly cost of $4,117, in comparison to $1,823 for Hollywood Love Story and $8,820 per half hour of Tallulah Bankhead’s The Big Show.
Dangerous Assignment ran until July 1953 on radio and could be found in syndication on various television stations throughout the 1950s and even into the early 1960s. An Australianbased version was produced in 1954.
In addition to Donlevy as lead character Steve Mitchell, his boss The Commissioner was played by Herb Butterfield and the Commissioner’s secretary, Ruth, was played by Betty Moran. Under the authority of a never-named federal spy agency, every week secret agent Steve Mitchell was off to an exotic locale to solve an international mystery. Interestingly, destinations in U.S-allied countries were regularly identified, from Italy to France to Norway, while Communist-bloc nations were not, usually referred to as simply a Balkan or Eastern European country. Old-time radio author John Dunning found the episodes “predictable” but audiences found the series if not ground-breaking at least enjoyable enough to afford it more than three years on the airwaves.
The head writer was Bob Ryf with Adrian Gendot frequently attributed as co-writer. Bill Cairn directed and Robert Armbruster provided music for most of the run.
 
The Strange Romance of Evelyn Winters
Brian Kavanaugh
The Strange Romance of Evelyn Winters was a 15-minute serial soap opera that was broadcast weekdays at 10:30 A.M. on CBS radio stations between November 20, 1944 and November 12, 1948. The show told “the story of Gary Bennett, playwright, who suddenly and unexpectedly finds himself the guardian of lovely Evelyn Winters.” Gary was a friend of 20-year-old Evelyn’s father, who died in the war, and felt an obligation to take care of her. Only fifteen years older than her, an inevitable romantic attraction between them developed. The show opened with the following question to its listeners: “Do you think 15 years is too great a difference for marriage?”
Only a handful of episodes of this series are known to exist.
Reference:
Dunning, J. (1998). On the air: The encyclopedia of old-time radio. Oxford University Press.
 
Stardust Time (1959) were short five-minute (including advertising time) entertainment vignettes intended to be broadcast at 25 minutes past the hour, Monday through Friday, featuring some of the bigger names in NBC radio at the time.

Dave Tysver

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