Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar - OTR - Vol 1 - 12 AUDIO CD's

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar - OTR - Vol 1 - 12 AUDIO CD's

Regular price $21.90 Sale

Yours Truely, Johnny Dollar - Vol 1 - 12 AUDIO CDs


This listing is for Volume #1 of Yours Truely, Johnny Dollar on 12 AUDIO CD's, NOT MP3 CD's .  It contains 24 Episides, 12 Hours of Shows!

These CD's will play in regular CD players, including in your car.


Please check out our store for more sets from this popular series and many other Old Time Radio Shows!



For over twelve years, from 1949 through 1962 (including a one year hiatus in 1954-1955), this series recounted the cases "the man with the action-packed expense account, America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator, Johnny Dollar". Johnny was an accomplished 'padder' of his expense account. The name of the show derives from the fact that he closed each show by totaling his expense account, and signing it "End of report... Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar".

Terry Salomonson in his authoritative "A Radio Broadcast Log of the Drama Program Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar", notes that the original working title was "Yours Truly, Lloyd London". Salomonson writes "Lloyd London was scratched out of the body of (the Dick Powell) audition script and Johnny Dollar was written in. Thus the show was re-titled on this script and the main character was renamed. Why this was done was unclear – possibly to prevent a legal run-in with Lloyd's of London Insurance Company." Although based in Hartford, Connecticut, the insurance capital of the world, freelancer Johnny Dollar managed to get around quite a bit – his adventures taking him all over the world.

There were some unusual devices used in the show that help set it apart from other shows. There was no partner, assistant, or secretary for Johnny. The character closest to a continuing role was that of Pat McCracken of the Universal Adjustment Bureau, who assigned Johnny many of his cases. Another atypical aspect gave the show additional credibility – frequently, characters on the show would mention that they had heard about Johnny's cases on the radio. Johnny often used his time when filling out his expense accounts to give the audience background information or to express his thoughts about the current case.

No fewer than eight actors played Johnny Dollar. Dick Powell, of Rogue's Gallery fame, cut the original audition tape, but chose to do Richard Diamond, Private Detective instead. Gerald Mohr, of The Adventures of Philip Marlowe fame, auditioned in 1955, prior to Bob Bailey getting the title role. Through the first three actors to play Johnny Dollar (Charles Russell, Edmond O'Brien, and John Lund), there was little to distinguish the series from many other radio detective series. Dollar was just another hard-boiled detective in a medium that was overloaded with the stereotype. Charles Russell, the first to play the role, would throw silver dollars to bellboys and waiters. Luckily, this trite gimmick did not survive long.

On October 3, 1955, after a hiatus of over a year, the show came back with a vengeance. A new production team, including director/writer Jack Johnstone, a new star, Bob Bailey, from the radio series Let George Do It, and a new format would set the series apart from its competitors. Johnny's cases were now a continuing serial, five days a week, for fifteen minutes each evening. With 75 minutes of airtime, minus commercials and openings and closings, there was sufficient time to develop good storylines and interesting characters.

During this time, Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar attracted some of the best writers in Hollywood, including Jack Johnstone, E. Jack Neuman (using the pen name John Dawson), Robert Ryf, and Les Crutchfield. Bob Bailey also wrote a script while he was playing Johnny Dollar. He used the pen name Robert Bainter (Bainter was his middle name) as the scriptwriter for "The Carmen Kringle Matter", which was aired on Saturday, December 21, 1957 on the West Coast, and on the following day for the rest of the country.

Bob Bailey, generally thought of as the most popular of the Johnny Dollars, brought a new interpretation to the character – tough, but not hard-boiled; streetwise, but not overly cynical, Bailey's Dollar was smart and gritty when he had to be. But Bailey's Johnny Dollar was also human. His character would get emotionally involved in a number of his cases. He had a streak of impatience, and would occasionally not fully listen to a witness and rush off on a tangent before realizing his mistake.

The weekday serialized episodes are generally acknowledged as some of the finest radio detective shows ever produced. There were fifty six multi-part shows in all: fifty four five-part shows, one six-part show, and one nine-part show. The serialized episodes continued until November 2, 1956 when the series again reverted to a once a week, thirty minute format. Bob Bailey continued in the lead, until "The Empty Threat Matter" of November 27, 1960, when the Hollywood run ended.

The guest stars and supporting casts were always first rate, attracting the best radio actors in both Los Angeles and New York. Pat McCracken was played by several actors – most frequently, by Larry Dobkin. Particularly noteworthy was the work of Virginia Gregg, who played many roles, including Johnny's girlfriend Betty Lewis. Harry Bartell was also a frequent guest, who did many of the Spanish dialect roles when Johnny went to a Latin American country. Other frequent guest performers were Parley Baer, Tony Barrett, John Dehner, Don Diamond, Sam Edwards, Herb Ellis, Frank Gerstle, Stacy Harris, Jack Kruschen, Forrest Lewis, Howard McNear, Marvin Miller, Jeanette Nolan, Vic Perrin, Barney Phillips, Jean Tatum, Russell Thomson, Ben Wright, and Will Wright. Vincent Price co-starred as himself in "The Price of Fame Matter" and went to Europe with Johnny on the case.

In December 1960, the show moved to New York. Robert Readick started the New York run as Dollar, but only lasted a short while. Jack Johnstone continued to write for the show and submitted scripts from California. Johnstone wrote about 350 Johnny Dollar scripts under his own name and his pen names Sam Dawson and Jonathan Bundy. Johnstone wrote the last episodes of both Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar and Suspense. He used the Bundy pen name when writing the last Suspense episode, "Devilstone".

And so, an era passed. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was the last continuing detective series of the Golden Age of Radio. Mandel Kramer was the last Johnny Dollar, and a close second in popularity to Bailey, when the final episode, "The Tip-Off Matter", was aired on September 30, 1962.


Episode List For This Volume

"Robert W Perry (Audition Show)"
"The Parakoff Policy (Premiere Show)"

"The Slow Boat From China"
"Robert W Perry"

"Murder Is A Merry-Go Round"
"Milford Brooks III"

"Stolen Portait"
"The Donniner Donninger Matter"

"The Case Of The $100,000 Dollar Legs"
"The Case Of Barton Drake"

"The Four C's Matter"
"Who Took The Taxi's For A Ride?"

"The No Matter Matter"
"Murder Ain't Minor"

"The Deadly Crystal Matter"
"Out Of The Fire and Into The Frying Pan"

"The Tip-Off Matter"
"The Expiring Nickels and the Egyptian Jackpot"

"The Search for Michelle Marsh"
"The Fishing Boat Affair"

"The Racehorse Piledriver Matter"
"Dr. Otto Schmedlich"

"Witness, Witness, Who's Got The Witness"
"The Little Man Who Wasn't There"


We appreciate that you can buy the old radio programming you love so much from many other sources and we very much appreciate your interest in our listing. Here's how we might be different from the other offerings you have to choose from:

  • BUY THREE GET ONE FREE! - Buy any three of our items and you'll receive a fourth, of equal or lesser value of the MOST EXPENSIVE ITEM, FREE. Just send us a note when paying for your items as to which you'd like free and it's yours. Only audio and video items are eligible for this offer. Individual discs or sets, buy it now or auction based, it doesn't matter! For auctions, use the auction price plus shipping to determine the value of the item you can receive for free.Only audio and video items are eligible for this offer. Individual discs or sets.
  • 30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE - If you aren't happy with the product for any reason, send it back and we will replace it or give you your money back. It's that simple. We aren't afraid you are ripping us off by making a copy and then getting a refund. Do you have the time for that?
  • Proper ID3 tags - What does this mean? When you are listening to your music on your mp3 or computer do you ever wonder how it knows what it is and displays it on the screen? ID3 Tags. We make sure the ID3 tags are correct and descriptive so you know which episode you are listening to. It just doesn't say "SHOWNAME" as do the audio files from many other providers.
  • Premium Blank Media - We use production quality CD and DVD media to make sure it plays in all devices and lasts forever.
  • Printed On-Disc Labels - Many providers use stick-on labels on their discs. Eventually they come off, often while in the player, throwing bits of paper inside your player which can permanently damage your device. Our labels are permanently etched into the backside of the disc.
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The items we sell are not commercially produced. They will not come with jewel cases or DVD boxes with the inserts and art work unless otherwise stated or shown in the item photo. Because the content we sell is in the Public Domain*, we produce these CD's and DVD's ourselves. All media will be delivered in a Tyvek sleeve to protect the media from damage but do not expect a plastic jewel case or dvd shelf case unless otherwise noted in the description.

Because the audio of these programs are between 30 and 90 years old, understand that while we are using the highest quality versions we can find, It still will sound like a 30-90 year old program ;)

* According to the Library of Congress, radio programs that were produced between 1929 and 1968 fall under Public Domain and do not have copyright protection as modern recordings do. Radio shows created before January 1, 1978 are protected by the Copyright Act of 1909 (US Government Copyright Office) Case law that is any copyright determination must be made according to the copyright law as it existed before that date. Since old radio shows were in the public domain from the Copyright Act of 1909, the update of 1976 could not retroactively place them under copyright because they were already in the public domain and status of public domain work can not be reversed.


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