Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Man with the Action-packed Expense Account (and a Big Heart)

One of the big differences in American broadcasting between today and the golden age of radio is that back then popular shows actually aired new episodes around the holiday season. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was no exception, and the season often found Johnny Dollar with his heart on his sleeve, especially during Bob Bailey's tenure. Sometimes the stories were overtly Christmas themed, as in 1956's "The Missing Mouse Matter", but even if they weren't Johnny's cases could still tug at your heart.

A case in point is the episode that aired the week before "The Missing Mouse Matter". "The Rasmussen Matter" tells the story of a dying man grieving for a dead son and consumed by the mystery of a daughter-in-law he's never met. It should surprise no one that Johnny Dollar is up to the challenge of solving this particular mystery, however, the path the script by E. Jack Neuman (aka John Dawson) takes him on is among the show's best and by extension among the best of radio drama.

If you're a fan and haven't heard it, you owe it to yourself to listen to it. If you're a fan and you have heard it, you owe it to yourself to listen to it again.