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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Let George Do It (OTRR Certified)


Let George Do It was a radio drama series produced by Owen and Pauline Vinson from 1946 to 1954. It starred Bob Bailey as detective-for-hire George Valentine (with Olan Soule stepping into the role in 1954).

Clients came to Valentine's office after reading a newspaper carrying his classified ad:

Personal notice: Danger's my stock in trade. If the job's too tough for you to handle, you've got a job for me. George Valentine.

The few earliest episodes were more sitcom than private eye shows, with a studio audience providing scattered laughter at the not-so-funny scripts. Soon the audience was banished, and George went from stumbling comedic hero to tough guy private eye and the music from wah-wah-wah to suspenseful.

Valentine's secretary was Claire Brooks, aka Brooksie (Frances Robinson, Virginia Gregg, Lillian Buyeff). As Valentine made his rounds in search of the bad guys, he usually encountered Brooksie's kid brother, Sonny (Eddie Firestone), Lieutenant Riley (Wally Maher) and elevator man Caleb (Joseph Kearns). For the first few shows, Sonny was George's assistant, but he was soon relegated to an occasional character.

Sponsored by Standard Oil, the program was broadcast on the West Coast Mutual Broadcasting System from October 18, 1946 to September 27, 1954, first on Friday evenings and then on Mondays. In its last season, transcriptions were aired in New York, Wednesdays at 9:30pm, from January 20, 1954 to January 12, 1955.

John Hiestand was the program's announcer. Don Clark directed the scripts by David Victor and Jackson Gillis. The background music was supplied by Eddie Dunstedter, initially with a full orchestra. When television supplanted radio as the country's primary home entertainment, radio budgets got skimpier and skimpier and Dunstedter's orchestra was replaced by an organ.

.The First Client

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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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