Great Radio Heroes / Edition 2

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In 1967, Jim Harmon published the first edition of The Great Radio Heroes to great acclaim. Thirty-three years later comes an illustrated, corrected, revised and greatly expanded new edition...

Once there was a time—and it was not so long ago—when radio listening, especially to the dramas, was one of the most important events in many a young person's life. People developed a love affair with the radio, and though the old times are now gone forever, the love affair continues. The heroes and settings of radio drama spurred the imagination to supply its own and much better images than visual media provided. There were no padded shoulders on the Lone Ranger, Superman flew with no jiggly trick photography, and the Martians whom Orson Welles helped attack the Earth were more convincing than anything the movies can provide.

For those who have been under the thrall of radio's alluring call, your new host Jim Harmon provides reminiscences of the heyday of radio programming, with insights on such radio dramas as I Love a Mystery, Gangbusters, The Shadow, Inner Sanctum, Batman and Robin, Superman, Tom Mix, The Lone Ranger, The Green Hornet, Adventures by Morse and a couple of dozen more. Photographs, a bibliography, and an index are included to enhance the reader's journey into a past time when radio was the favorite pastime.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
good one-stop resource
Communication Booknotes Quarterly
wonderfully readable
Publisher's Weekly
lovingly logs the golden age of radio
Minneapolis Star
I can recommend a most pleasurable evening or two...reading [this book].
Harmon actually has a hot-seller... ‘Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear.'
Shreveport Times
Harmon recalls premiums described in such golden prose that it made our mouths water for the secret decoder badge, the Tom Mix ring.
Buffalo Courier Express
A magnificent job in covering early radio.
Arizona Republic
Beautiful—just beautiful—the way he calls the sounds of the voices back from the past.
North American Radio Archives
This publication will present you with many fond memories as well as new information.
Library Journal
Radio producer Harmon here expands his 1967 original to include numerous photos of actors who starred in the radio shows of yesteryear and to update their profiles (what they are doing now, who died, etc.). Chapters cover the stars of cop shows, Westerns, comedies, adventures, and dramas. A good one-stop resource for information on the days when radio was the leading form of home entertainment. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
First published in 1967, this book reminisces about the golden age of radio. It recalls the plots, characters, audiences, studios, and artists associated with radio dramas, and weighs their significance to the genre. Specific programs like , , , , , , , , and are discussed in detail. This new edition features black and white photographs. Harmon is an author and radio producer. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786408504
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/2001
  • Edition description: REVISED
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Writer and radio producer Jim Harmon of Burbank, California, wrote, produced, and appeared in a revival of "Tom Mix" in the early 1980s. He is also the author of Radio Mystery and Adventure and Its Appearances in Film, Television and Other Media (1992).

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Table of Contents

Foreword I 1
Foreword II 3
Introduction: What Did You Listen to Every Day at Five o'Clock? 7
1 Jack, Doc and Reggie: (I Love a Mystery) 11
2 Crime Lord: (Gangbusters) 28
3 "Who knows what evil lurks": (The Shadow) 39
4 "And here is your host ...": (Inner Sanctum, Lights Out, and the Anthology Dramas) 54
5 Full Color Heroes That Were Never Seen: (Superman, Buck Rogers, Dick Tracy, and Little Orphan Annie) 70
6 The Straight Shooter: (Tom Mix) 87
7 For Just a Box Top: (Various Radio Premiums) 103
8 For Armchair Detectives Only: (Sherlock Holmes, Ellery Queen, The Thin Man, The Fat Man, Sam Spade and Others) 113
9 Gentlemen of the Press: (Big Town, Front Page Farrell, and Casey, Crime Photographer) 128
10 "Can a Woman Find Happiness?": (Stella Dallas, One Man's Family, and the Rest) 138
11 From the Studios of WXYZ - I: (The Lone Ranger) 156
12 From the Studios of WXYZ - II: (Sergeant Preston of the Yukon) 172
13 From the Studios of WXYZ - III: (The Green Hornet) 176
14 Aces of the Airwaves: (Captain Midnight and Brethren) 182
15 The All-American Boy: (Jack Armstrong) 194
16 Some "Heroes" Made Us Laugh: (Gildersleeve, Fibber McGee, Amos 'n' Andy, Jack Benny, and More) 206
17 American Indian Heroes: (Harka, Straight Arrow, Little Beaver) 215
18 More Mysteries by Morse 221
Afterword 229
Selected Bibliography 233
Index 235
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