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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Rogue's Gallery (OTRR Certified)

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Rogue's Gallery came to the Mutual network on September 27, 1945 with Dick Powell portraying Richard Rogue, a private detective who invariably ended up getting knocked out each week and spending his dream time in acerbic conversation with his subconscious self, Eugor.

Rogue's Gallery was, in a sense, Dick Powell's rehearsal for Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Powell played private detective Richard Rogue, who trailed luscious blondes, protected witness, and did whatever else detectives do to make a living. It was a good series, though not destined to make much of a mark. Under the capable direction of Dee Englebach and accompanied by the music of Leith Stevens, Powell floated through his lines with the help of such competents as Lou Merrill, Gerald Mohr, Gloria Blondell, Tony Barrett, and Lurene Tuttle. Peter Leeds played Rogue's friend Eugor, an obscure play on names with Eugor spelling Rogue backwards.

The gimmick in Rogue's Gallery was the presence of an alter ego, "Eugor," who arrived in the middle of the show to give Rogue enough information for his final deduction. Eugor was a state of mind, achieved when Rogue was knocked unconcious. Eugor would appear cackling like the host of Hermit's Cave and imparted some vital information the hero had overlooked. Rogue would then awaken with a vague idea of what to do next.

Rogue's Gallery also starred different actors as Rogue, in later incarnations of the series, but Richard Powell was the most popular. This series preceded Richard Powell's most famous series, Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Rogue trailed lovely blondes and protected witnesses in the new tough guy persona of Dick Powell. This was the transition series for Powell in his quest to be recognized as an actor rather than a singer. It had some of the same cute elements that would make Richard Diamond a high spot four years later.

During the summer of 1946, the show was billed as Bandwagon Mysteries, with a tip of the hat to the sponsor. In the summer of 1947, it was again revived on NBC Sundays for Fitch, with Barry Sullivan in the title role. In 1950 the character again turned up in a two-year sustainer on the ABC Wednesday-night schedule. Chester Morris played the lead. Chester Morris was the original Boston Blackie. (From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group)






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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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