Showing posts with label Dragnet. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dragnet. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28: Happy Birthday, Frank Lovejoy

March 28: Happy Birthday, Frank Lovejoy

We can't know if Frank Lovejoy was voted "Most Likely To Be The Blue Beetle" by his high school class, but it seems possible. The steely-eyed, square-jawed actor exuded intensity and a detective's predatory determination. If we were alive, he'd be celebrating his one hundred and first birthday.

Lovejoy's voice was one of the most recognized in the business, for Blue Beetle and several other shows. Blue Beetle hit the airwaves in May of 1940. Lovejoy gave voice to the title character, a superhero (whose alter-ego's name was Dan Garrett) with the strength of ten men. He carried a beetle pendant and left it around town to alert evil-doers he was on to them. Lovejoy held down this gig only for a Summer, and then future episodes went uncredited as to the voice.

Frank Lovejoy is also well-known for his parts in Box 13, Nightbeat, Dragnet, and This Is Your FBI. When they needed a stern cop or investigator, they called Lovejoy.

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2: Happy Birthday, Barton Yarborough

Though he lived just fifty-one years (1900-51), actor Barton Yarborough racked up an awful lot of mileage with appearances on a variety of programs.

Joe Friday's partner Ben Romero on Dragnet; Doc Long on Dragnet, and Clifford Barbour on One Man's Family: jeez, Barton, save some parts for someone else.

Yarborough was born in Goldthwaite, Texas, and early on decided that he wasn't going to be a cowpoke.  He ran away and joined the vaudeville circuit.  Just like a computer software reviewer or recipe expert experiencing a boon with the advent of the blog, Yarborough flourished when radio was invented for him.

And we're glad he did! Happy Birthday, Big B!

Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20: Happy Birthday, Jack Webb



On this day in 1920, radio superstar Jack Webb entered the world. The man who breathed life into the character Sgt. Joe Friday on Dragnet was also a screenwriter, producer, and jazz enthusiast.


You know all about Dragnet and its contribution to American popular culture. But let's take a minute to tip a digital hat to some of Webb's other contributions to radio. Many of you remember Pat Novak For Hire, a detective show in which the title character contracts to do difficult and dastardly deed around San Francisco. Webb was the original Pat Novak, with Ben Morris taking over later.


But do you recall The Jack Webb Show, which ran briefly in 1946? How about The New Adventures of Michael Shayne? Webb appeared in about a baker's dozen episodes of this series in '48. He also lent his talents to Escape, Suspense, Jeff Regan, Investigator, and other great programs. We extend our gratitude to Jack Webb, for the great memories!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

September 4: Happy Birthday, Dick York



In addition to his role as Darrin on Bewitched, did Dick York do any radio work? That's like asking if Ben and Jerry developed a couple of ice cream flavors.

Dick York was a prolific radio actor who started at the tender age of 15.  He appeared on Grand Marquee, Meet the Meeks, The Cavalcade of America, My True Story, Tales of Tomorrow, and had a run as one of the stars of That Brewster Boy.

On the latter, he was the third of three actors to portray the eponymous character, Joey Brewster.  Apparently the show's writers got entangled in the dragnet of the Cold War Communist hunt, and that was the end of the show.  However, Dick made pitchers and pitchers of lemonade out of those particular lemons, marrying Joan Alt, his character's sister on the show.  Maybe he was Darrin, but to fans of oldtime radio, he was much more.  Happy birthday, Dick!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April 2: Happy Birthday, Jack Webb

April 2: Happy Birthday, Jack Webb

The story you are about to read is true.

Jack Webb, born on this day in 1920, is best known in the world of radio for his work on the popular series Dragnet. This radio series was birthed as a way of showcasing the hard work that L.A. police officers did. Webb was, personally, an admirer of cops, and he thought they usually got a bad rap from the media. So, with several acting jobs, some of them as detectives, under his belt, he began developing a program that would showcase the techniques of police.

It became, though, known for the various quirks and mannerisms of Webb's character, Joe Friday: "Just the facts, ma'am," etc. It also lent to the canon of American pop culture the lines from the opening narration, "the story you are about to read is true," and "this is the city: Los Angeles, California."

Books could be--and have been--written on Dragnet. Here, let's mention also that Webb was either the host of or a contributor to other radio series such as Pat Novak For Hire, Jeff Regan, Investigator, The Whistler, and Pete Kelley Blues.

So, happy birthday, Jack Webb! Thanks for the memories!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

March 6: Happy Birthday, Virginia Gregg

March 6: Happy Birthday, Virginia Gregg

She had gun and she traveled, even if Virginia Gregg didn't have one of the lead roles in the radio drama Have Gun--Will Travel. She played Miss Wong, the girlfriend of Hey Boy (Ben Wright), a booksmart, somewhat sophisticated gal.

Have Gun Will Travel was a rare beast that began as a television series and then went to radio. Both versions were wildly successful, and some of the credit for the success of the radio show goes to the quality of the cast. Gregg was already a big name in radio before the show began airing. As was the case with many performers of the day, she made the rounds of many different series such as The Adventures of Adventures of Sam Spade, Lux Radio Theatre, Johnny Dollar, and Dragnet.

Virginia Gregg was born on Mar. 6, 1916 in Harrisburg, Illinois, and died in Encino, CA on Sept. 15, 1986.