Summer means hiatus for the bulk of old-time radio jewels and a general slimming of the pickings. This doesn’t mean, necessarily, that it equals a complete vacuum. Not with at least one comedy classic, one classic crime drama, two classic Westerns available, and critical news from the lingering war in the Pacific, that is . . .
WORLD WAR II
World News Today: The Noose Tightens Around Japan (CBS, 1945)
In which a report cited from Edward R. Murrow indicates a heretofore neutral Pacific party preparing to enter the war against Japan; and, Allied bombers press attacks on Honshu Island, among other events.
In addition: An interview with an Army Air Force B-29 gunner, who nearly went down through his own gun turret during a key Pacific raid; a report on a Potsdam conference addressing a spurned surrender ultimatum to the Japanese and the continuing Allied effort to reconstitute a post-Nazi German administration; preparations for Britain’s new Parliament and a Clement Atlee administration; an interview with Army Air Force commander Maj. Gen. William Kepner (commander of the 8th Air Force), about to receive British honours in Cambridge, where he has been headquartered, on his efforts to deliver a long-range fighter force to help neutralise the Luftwaffe before the advent of the large bombing forces; an analysis of the 20th Air Force’s Pacific operations, with new Okinawan bases and a deeper weakening of Japanese air power; the progress of Philippe Petain’s (former head of the Vichy government) treason trial in Paris; and, a commentary on how futilely the Japanese continue to press their defense despite the increasing Allied crush against them.
Anchor: Robert Trout in New York. Correspondents: Webley Edwards from Guam, Richard C. Hottelet from Berlin, Douglas Edwards in London, Maj. George Fielding Eliot from San Francisco, Charles Collingwood from Paris, Chris Coffin from Washington. Announcer: Warren Sweeney.
“A rain of ruin from the air” (All networks, 1945)
After the Japanese government rejects an American surrender ultimatum as the Pacific war presses to the Japanese homelands, President Truman promises “a rain of ruin from the air” until the Imperial Japanese surrender in a war they’ve all but lost.
FURTHER CHANNEL SURFING . . .
Bob & Ray Present the CBS Radio Network: Biff Burns with a Fight Manager (Think it over, 1959)—Before the intrepid sports reporter (Bob Elliott) corners his woman (Ray Goulding), the condition of the house bird is re-examined; and, Clayton T. Waybill (Elliott) answers live questions on tape regarding a dazzling new invention. Writers, so it was presumed: Bob Elliott, Ray Goulding.
The Whistler: My Love Comes Home (CBS, 1946)—A seemingly non-descript trucker, nursing a beer, a newspaper, and his eventless life in a New England tavern, has actually held three lives in the balance since an incident at a wintry airfield that led to a jarring marital crisis which led, in turn, to the attempted murder of a small-airline pilot near Cape Cod—one of whose would-be murderers the trucker once picked up. Cast: Elliott Lewis, Ann Stone, unknown additional cast. Announcer: Marvin Miller. The Whistler: Bill Forman. Music: Wilbur Hatch. (Whistling: Dorothy Roberts.) Director: George W. Allan. Writer: Harold Swanton.
The Whistler: Danger is a Beautiful Blonde (CBS, 1951)—Strolling along the Santa Monica Palisades, Van Barkley (Jack Webb) stops to accept an unexpected ride by a comely blonde (Joan Banks) in a large convertible, who takes him to her pleasant home, and whose forthrightness fascinates and unsettles him at once—with good enough reason, when he discovers a corpse in a closet. Additional cast: Unknown. Announcer: Marvin Miller. Music: Wilbur Hatch. (Whistling: Dorothy Roberts.) Director: George W. Allen. Writers: Hazel Reitel, John Dunkel.
Fort Laramie: Nature Boy (CBS, 1956)—Under reluctant orders, Quince (Raymond Burr) escorts a nature-loving couple (Howard McNear, Virginia Gregg) and their niece (Shirley Mitchell) to the fort whom Indian affairs agents find unsettling because they appear to know more about the tribes than the tribes themselves do . . . but over whom Quince and his men fret when the women’s venture into the northern woods terrifies a benign Indian. Seibert: Harry Bartell. Daggett: Jack Moyles. Gorce: Vic Perrin. Additional cast: Parley Baer, John Dehner. Music: Amerigo Moreno. Director: Norman Macdonnell. Sound: Bill James, Tom Hanley. Writer: Kathleen Hite.
Gunsmoke: Lost Rifle (CBS, 1956)—A boy who finds Frank Paris shot in the back suffers repeated abuse from his stepfather (Vic Perrin), who’s convinced Matt (William Conrad) is shielding Ben Tipler (John Dehner), but who won’t believe who really shot Paris and how. Chester: Parley Baer. Kitty: Georgia Ellis. Doc: Howard McNear. Additional cast: Richard Beals, Jack Kruschen. Announcer: George Fenneman. Music: Rex Khoury. Sound: Tom Hanley, Bill James. Director: Norman Macdonnell. Writer: John Meston.