Thursday, January 10, 2013

Knowing Jack

Next to Bob Bailey, perhaps the most important figure in the history of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was writer-producer Jack Johnstone. A veteran of numerous successful programs, Johnstone shepherded the transition to the 15-minute daily episodes in 1955 then back to half-hour weekly stories a little over a year later. When the show moved production from Los Angeles to New York, Johnstone was replaced as producer but continued to contribute scripts until the end of the show (and by extension the end of the golden age of radio) in 1962. Johnstone resisted the temptation to work in television and seems to have largely stepped back from public life until his death in 1991. Consequently, his later years are an enigma worthy of Johnny Dollar. Back in 2011, the Metropolitan Washington Old Time Radio Club published an interesting piece about this very question. It's especially interesting reading for anyone who's heard references to nearby locales while listening to Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.