Perry Mason

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Perry Mason

Postby Lou » Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:28 pm

On the Air: Oct. 18, 1943-March 31, 1944, CBS, 2:45 p.m. ET; April 3, 1944-March 23, 1945, CBS, 2:30 p.m.; March 26, 1945-Dec. 30, 1955, CBS, 2:15 p.m.

Perry Mason: Donald Briggs, Santos Ortega, Bartlett Robinson, John Larkin (1947-55) ... Della Street: Joan Alexander, Jan Miner, Gertrude Warner ... Paul Drake: Matt Crowley, Charles Webster ... Lieutenant Tragg: Frank Dane, Mandel Kramer

Announcers: Bob Dixon, Alan Kent, Richard Stark

Theme Song: Original melody

Epigraph: Perry Mason -- the famous character created by Erle Stanley Gardner ... dramatized by Irving Vendig. Perry Mason -- defender of human rights ... champion of all those who seek justice.

Premise: In the trilogy of formats (pulp fiction, radio, television) used to portray the best-recalled fictional attorney of all time, the populace seems to least remember the radio drama. Perhaps because Perry Mason was heard mostly by a few million homemakers, there is a tendency to ignore the fact that the great supersleuth was ever on radio. Yet for a dozen years he carried the tradition of an earlier print hero, becoming a forerunner of the "defender of human rights" admired on TV by people of both genders and still seen internationally in cablevision reruns. Mason, for sheer intrigue, was never more faithfully portrayed than through gripping moments in the threater of the mind. The drama was intense, often holding fans spellbound for weeks as Mason sought to trap a deranged demon before the rogue caught up to an intended victim. Unlike the TV series, on radio the criminal's identity was almost always known by the audience. The craftiness of the pursuer, hell-bent on destroying the pursued, would in time be overwhelmed by the mental dexterity of the brilliant lawyer. In the meantime, innocent lives were put in harm's way. Conceived by respected attorney-turned-author Erle Stanley Gardner, Mason was masterfully perfected on radio by the pen of Irving Vendig and the authoritative enunciation of the actor John Larkin. The series offered a diversion from the typical fare of most dishpan dramas. While it lasted, it gave fans mayhem aplenty as housewives conjured up images of unspeakable crimes provoked by some of radio's most dastardly rapscallions.

Question: Were you ever an addict of the Mason radio series? I know I was. Missing an occasional chapter in the summertime seems now to me like it could have qualified as one of those unspeakable crimes!


surviving Perry Mason episodes

Postby Guest » Wed Nov 09, 2005 12:35 pm

Happily a long run of Perry Mason exists which demonstrate Irving Vendig's genius at creating absorbing crime storylines was no fluke. He had the inimitable knack of drawing you into the situation and caring about what would become of the protagonists. At the conclusion of the Perry Mason run, Vendig performed his magic on TV's The Edge of Night, which was originally conceived of as a Perry Mason drama but had to be reformed as the TV rights to PM were owned by others. John Larkin, radio's Perry of my era, became crime-fighting Mike Karr. Check out the Perry Mason episodes available from various OTR dealers. You'll enjoy them so much, you'll wish there were more. Great listening!

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Postby scoopsimons » Tue Aug 08, 2006 4:38 pm

Jim and other Perry fans,

I am in the middle of your most informative Radio Detectives book. You list that there are over 300 extant episodes of Perry Mason. According to my calculations there are approximately 252 or so that are readily available which I have:

Episodes #2686 -2867 the Kate Beekman storyline 1953 -1954

The Mae Grant/Dorrie/Kitty storyline #2085-2254 with many gaps

The Wilfred Palmer murder 3 episodes #1925, 1926 and one other
Puzzled Suitor 6/7/44
2 frrom the Bill Barker storyline
The Den of Marijuana from 1950
One episode from 1955
One other from 1950 known as the Stopped Clocks
and one other that possibly from 1948 with pre-tide sponsership

That leaves a minimum of 48 more episodes. Was this a typo in the book or do these really exist and are available. If so, where? Or are they only in private hands or the Library or Congress? I'm a major fan and will be happy to contact anyone who can provide these for me.

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