Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

June 29, 2022

RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE DETECTIVE, VOLUME 1 STARRING DICK POWELL (Radio Archives)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:10 am

For someone who started out as a band singer, then progressed into light comedies and musicals, and then reinvented himself as a hard-boiled (but still witty) detective actor, and then reinvented himself as a producer-director-studio head, DICK POWELL was an amazing talent…and he did it all equally well.

After his success in 1944 as Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe in MURDER, MY SWEET, Powell found a new career in crime films and film noir on the screen, and on radio as Richard Rogue in ROGUE’S GALLERY, which ran in 1945-46. In 1949, he became RICHARD DIAMOND, PRIVATE DETECTIVE on radio, a show which ran through 1953. Written by Blake Edwards (who went on to take some of the same qualities and use them in the PETER GUNN television series), the show used all of Powell’s strengths. An ex-cop turned detective, Diamond was tough, but tossing off one-liners and sarcastic remarks and even whistling during the show’s theme music. In fact, the theme music captures the contrast of the show—it starts off sounding like comedy music, but then morphs into hard-boiled crime music.

Diamond himself narrates the shows, making it a very character-oriented and character-driven show. The plots introduce a number of interesting elements and are sometimes surprisingly violent or grisly, but a few minutes later things are lightened with humor. You couldn’t get away with this kind of a tonal shift on TV as well as you can on radio, especially when you’ve got an actor like Powell who is associated with both tough guy roles and charming, witty comedies front and center in every scene of every show.

This collection contains 20 shows from 1949-51, 10 hours of Richard Diamond, the early shows sponsored by Rexall Pharmacies, the later shows sponsored by Camel cigarettes, and as a former Camel smoker myself, I can say that the ads make the product sound VERY attractive….and hey, Camels are recommended by doctors (in 1951, at least).

The shows manage to work in a lot of action, both depicted and referred to, and the supporting characters are colorful….the people who hire Diamond, the cops (both helpful ones and bumbling ones), the women (both seductive and deadly), the crooks, the informants, the minor characters like short-order cooks in diners, newsstand boys, garage attendants, etc. The sound effects are quite evocative, making you think you are on a boat off Key West or in a warehouse at night in New York’s Garment District or in the local police precinct office. Tonight, I am listening to a show recorded 70 years ago, and it’s as fresh and alive and engaging as if it were broadcast today. I love the way that at the end of each show, as Powell whistles the theme, the announcer tells you what movie Powell is presently starring in, playing at your local theater! It’s easy from Richard Diamond to see why audiences could not get enough of Dick Powell. I had the privilege of seeing a theatrical screening, from a 35mm print, of his superb 1951 film noir CRY DANGER (see poster), about five years ago in Houston. It’s an RKO film, so keep an eye out for it on TCM. As with most old radio shows, Richard Diamond episodes can be found easily online, although this CD set is attractive, has great sound quality, and can be found inexpensively.

In the late 50’s, Dick Powell produced a TV version of Diamond, starring the pre-Fugitive David Janssen. That’s also highly recommended, though the tone is a bit different, as Powell wisely tailored the show to Janssen’s strengths and didn’t just do a clone of the radio show.

Bill Shute, originally published elsewhere online in 2020

June 24, 2022

Bill Shute discusses Ed Wood on two-part ‘Ephemeral’ podcast

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:32 am

Very happy to announce that the IHeartRadio podcast “Ephemeral” has released a two-show feature on filmmaker-writer Edward D. Wood, Jr., for which I did an interview last December.

The first show deals with Wood’s beginnings through about 1960, and my comments are probably 70% of the content. Kathy Wood’s (EW’s widow) friend Bob Blackburn is also interviewed, providing insight into Wood’s life (I avoided any speculation about his personal life, asking the producers to talk to Bob about that, since he had direct knowledge through Kathy Wood–I usually try focus on the work, not the personal lives of artists and celebrities). The show is very well-produced (production worthy of, say, This American Life), and it would be an excellent introduction to Wood’s life and work for someone who’d just heard his name and knew nothing about him. It should get a large audience over the years.

There is also a second show, the first half of which discusses his career from 1960 on (Bob B and I are included on that too), and then the final half, which is of less interest, has the three show producers chatting about Wood (that can be skipped, IMHO).

Besides giving a chronological survey of EW’s career and explaining that I considered his work up through THE SINISTER URGE as attempts to fit his unique vision into existing genre-film categories (that’s the way you get a film financed and made and released in the low-budget feature film world, then or now), I also wanted to champion Ed Wood’s work, explain why I totally reject the condescending “bad film” approach, and describe how Wood has been an empowering and inspirational figure to many creative artists. Above all, I wanted to present a narrative about Edward D. Wood, Jr. that his grandchildren, if he’d had any, would have been proud to listen to. I also discussed how Wood would no doubt have re-emerged into the SOV slasher/horror market of the 1980s and 1990s, had he lived.

EW’s marginal, z-grade productions are still charming, entertaining, and fascinating audiences today, 60-70 years after they were made. Since the VHS boom of the 1980s, I’ve re-watched a Wood film every month or two, and I still do today. If I’m feeling antsy or bored, not sure of what to watch, I can put on pretty much any Wood feature or short, pre-1962, and I will be entertained and kept glued to the screen.

Fortunately, the producer left in my mention of the recent collection of Wood’s 1970s adult magazine non-fiction pieces WHEN THE TOPIC IS SEX (Bear Manor Media), which Bob Blackburn edited/compiled and I wrote the introductory essay to, and gave it a few other mentions too. If you are looking for 545 pages of edgy, idiosyncratic, free-associational sex-oriented (mostly) writing to meet a deadline and a word count–a situation that curiously allows Wood’s unique themes and images and wording to be front-and-center–you’ve got an incredible bounty of riches here. However, as with rich food, be sure to sample this content sparingly, or you’ll get the mental and emotional equivalent of a tummy ache!

Here is the link to the first show:

https://omny.fm/shows/ephemeral/ed-wood-i

And the link to the second show:

/https://omny.fm/shows/ephemeral/ed-wood-ii

====================

Of course, if you REALLY want to take a deep dive into Edward D. Wood, Jr.’s prolific career as a writer and filmmaker, you need to start with what is the ultimate guide to all things Wood, Joe Blevins’ amazingly deep and amazingly documented ED WOOD WEDNESDAYS. When I try to describe this mind-blowing resource to people, as I often do, I use as an example how readers are provided with transcriptions of the captions Wood wrote for hardcore porn loops. That’s only the beginning, my friends…. Once you go down that rabbit hole, you’ll never come back and you’ll probably become a lifelong Ed Wood champion. You can find the index to ED WOOD WEDNESDAYS here:

/https://d2rights.blogspot.com/2013/09/you-know-what-this-weekend-would-be.html

June 22, 2022

CRAZY MAN CRAZY: THE BILL HALEY STORY by Bill Haley Jr. and Peter Benjaminson (Omnibus Press UK/Backbeat Books US; 2019; 299 pages).

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:43 am

In 1990, Bill Haley’s son John co-wrote a now-rare book, Sound And Glory, which many consider the go-to source for Haley’s work up through the early 60’s and the move to Mexico. Now, Haley’s son Bill Jr. has co-written a new biography, Crazy Man Crazy, which balances Haley’s music and his personal life. It has the benefit of the detailed insights from Haley’s first two wives, Dorothy (who was there for the years of struggle, when Bill was a regional artist and working on his fusion of country boogie/R&B in local bars and on local Philly labels), and Cuppy (who was there during Bill’s breakthrough in the founding days of rock and roll through his biggest fame until things crashed circa 1959 and he left the country), and Haley fans will thrill at the wealth of detail and specifics about the early tours and television appearances and band dynamics and business problems and the like. It’s as if you are there as “Crazy Man Crazy” flies up the charts in 1953, and audiences and radio programmers are trying to figure out what this curious musical hybrid Haley calls rock’n’roll is about…and as “Rock Around The Clock” is featured in the film Blackboard Jungle, months after its original release and modest reception (it wasn’t even the “A”-side of the single!), and Haley and his Comets become superstars, for a time at least.


Bill Haley had a passion to become a famous music personality and an equal passion to create a new form of music, combining the elements of the many American musical forms he loved, from gospel to polka (the early Comets had an accordion) to jazz to honky tonk (the Comets had a steel guitar), though especially country boogie and R&B. Haley tried various approaches, but hit the right combination in 1951 with his cover of “Rocket 88” and mastered the newly created form with his 1953 hit “Crazy Man Crazy.” This book puts you alongside Bill during those agonizing early days as things are coming together.
Unfortunately, you are also right beside Bill as things fall apart in the late 50’s, mostly due to mis-management and Bill’s loyalty to friends from the neighborhood who were in way over their heads in business affairs. Also, Bill was not a model father or model husband with his first two marriages, and the picture emerges of a solitary man with a pleasant and friendly public image who lived for music, but found life and family more difficult to master. Fortunately, his third marriage, to Martha, whom he met in Mexico, proved more successful, but by the late 60’s, when he’d moved to South Texas and began working in the US again (his tax problems resolved), his drinking problem had taken its toll.


Crazy Man Crazy is not a happy read (with Haley’s inconsiderate behavior toward family members and the man’s own sad run of bad luck), but it’s inspiring in a way to see Haley soldier on decade after decade, often in reduced form, excitedly representing pure 50’s rock and roll during periods where few cared. The book is a compelling read and will surely become the standard biography of one of the key architects of Rock and Roll.

Bill Shute, originally published in Ugly Things magazine in 2019

June 20, 2022

15+ hours of vintage 1956 ALAN FREED ‘CAMEL ROCK & ROLL DANCE PARTY’ radio shows

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 6:07 pm

Though not a musician himself, Alan Freed deserves the title KING OF ROCK & ROLL as much as anyone, in my humble opinion, and he’s called that in the introduction of some of the episodes of his CAMEL ROCK & ROLL DANCE PARTY show from 1956, and thanks to the folks at the Country Music Hall of Fame Digital Collections (who also have episodes of shows from artists you’d associate more with Country Music, such as Pat O’Daniel, Hank Snow, Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams, etc.), we can now listen to OVER FIFTEEN HOURS (!!!!) of prime Alan Freed, when he was still at the top of his game and the height of his national popularity.

Anyone who is a serious follower of Freed and who has heard the albums released under his name (two of which appeared on a wonderful Ace CD a few years back) knows that the man was rooted in the jump-blues/proto-R&B era, and thus it’s no mystery why he filled the bands who played his shows with middle-aged musicians, usually African-American, who’d started working during the swing era but who moved into R&B in the late 40s and early 50s. That music was the core of rock & roll to Freed. It also makes perfect sense that he would have Count Basie’s Orchestra as the house band on a number of these radio shows. The were a riff-oriented band going back to the 30s, and though they moved into more complex arrangements in the 1950s, they could still provide music that was essentially R&B, though with jazz-quality solos. The kind of rock & roll that appealed to Freed was the “jive” sound of Bill Haley or early Charlie Gracie or Jimmy Cavallo. And as many experts on New York-based session musicians and studio work have documented, these Black swing-era rooted, R&B based musicians were the backing band on many if not most of the “rock & roll” records of the mid-to-late 50s recorded in NYC. Freed certainly liked other kinds of music (he clearly loved the vocal group sound and championed that too), but I’ve always had the feeling that his heart was deeply rooted in the R&B side of things, and in his version of Heaven, Sam “The Man” Taylor would be taking tenor sax solos and Mickey Baker guitar solos for Eternity.

These radio shows are a superb document of the excitement that Freed was able to corral and then package and label as Rock & Roll. We’re fortunate that so many were preserved so well, literally jumping out of your computer speakers!

Link to the Alan Freed radio shows (bookmark it!):

https://digi.countrymusichalloffame.org/digital/collection/musicaudio/search/searchterm/Camel+rock+’n+roll+dance+party+(Radio+program)/field/subjec/mode/exact/conn/and/order/title/page/1

June 16, 2022

newest from Jandek, TILBURG SATURDAY (Corwood 0860)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 9:39 am

The latest Jandek release came out last month (while I was out of town), TILBURG SATURDAY (Corwood 0860), solo piano and vocal from a 19 Sept 2008 performance at the Incubate Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. As Jandek performances feature new spontaneous pieces accompanying the Representative’s prewritten texts (his notebook on the music stand), every performance is unique and precious. I just ordered my copy. Jandek keeps issuing multiple first-rate albums each year. The man will be 77 this Fall–let’s continue to support him and his work while he is still around to appreciate the support.

You can order a copy directly from Corwood Industries in Houston:

Depending on how you count them, we’re now at approximately 120 releases from the Representative From Corwood. It’s now 10 years since the Jandek performance in Austin in 2012, which I co-produced and assembled the band for. It was an amazing show with an amazing band….

June 15, 2022

THE CHANCES—Baby, Listen To Me! (Nor-Va-Jak), CD

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:33 am

Baby, Listen To Me
I Can’t Live Without It
Girl As Perfect As You
Get Out Of My Life
To Love Her
It’ll Be Better For You
Goldfinger
Goldfinger 
(alternate)
From Russia With Love
Thunderball
Lookin’ For Love
Things I Feel
Always On The Run
So Much Love
That Girl (Isn’t Coming Today)
The Next Time Around
Your Kind Of Love
Why Shouldn’t I
Baby, Listen To Me 
(original mono mix)
Girl As Perfect As You 
(original mono mix)bonus track: Act III / Travel Agency – Made For You

THE CHANCES—Baby, Listen To Me! (Nor-Va-Jak), CD


It’s exciting that at this late date we can still discover 22 previously unknown sparkling, well-recorded, (mostly) original compositions (1965-67) by an excellent beat-pop quartet, but that’s what you get here, buried deep in the vaults of Clovis, New Mexico, producer Norman Petty.


Consisting of Sandy Salisbury (later of The Millennium), Gary Lee Swofford (a Texas drummer who’d worked with Petty on a number of earlier projects and recorded a 1962 single with George Tomsco and Stan Lark of the Fireballs), Tom Beal, and Steve Haehl (later of The Travel Agency and Shanti), the band got their start in Southern California circa 1965, though they also worked in Arizona and resorts such as Mammoth Lake. Through the Swofford connection, Norman Petty took an interest in the group, and as they travelled back to Texas to visit Swofford’s family, the group stopped in Clovis, New Mexico, for the first of three sessions between June 1965 and March 1967.


The recordings, being all originals (except for four stunning instrumental covers of James Bond movie themes, done in the Fireballs/Virtues manner), are a total surprise to the listener—beautiful harmonies, interesting chord changes, fresh melodies, and recorded with the sharpness and sparkle one associates with Petty’s productions for The Crickets or The Fireballs. The core quartet have an uncluttered, open sound, and had they released an album, it would be considered a classic today for fans of American 60’s beat groups. I’m reminded of a more mannered Phil And The Frantics or perhaps the early Cryan Shames if they’d never heard The Byrds.


Unfortunately, some of the band members received draft notices, and the group folded…so Petty did not attempt to market the single (“Baby, Listen To Me”/”Girl As Perfect As You”) he’d already mastered and had ready to send out to potential licensees (there’d be no group to promote it), and the album’s worth of songs sat in the vaults. As Petty had the publishing on the compositions, and knew strong material when he heard it, he had The Fireballs do versions of both sides of The Chances’ unreleased single on their first Atco LP, but otherwise this fine material has been unheard for 50+ years…until this CD.
All the qualities associated with Sandy Salisbury’s later work can be heard here, in an earlier form, in the smaller and more concentrated quartet form. A wonderful find from the Petty vaults.

Bill Shute, originally published in 2019 in Ugly Things magazine

June 8, 2022

POPPIES: Assorted Finery From The First Psychedelic Age (Craft Recordings), LP/CD

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:26 am

V.A.—POPPIES: Assorted Finery From The First Psychedelic Age (Craft Recordings), LP/CD

  1. Buffy Sainte-Marie – Poppies
  2. Southwest F.O.B. – Smell of Incense
  3. Jefferson Lee – Sorcerella
  4. The Gospel – Redeemer
  5. The Frost – Stand In The Shadows
  6. The Sot Weed Factor – Say It Isn’t So
  7. IThe Honey Jug – In 1582 We
  8. The Paternak Progress – Flower Eyes
  9. Circus Maximus – Bright Light Lover
  10. The Serpent Power – Open House
  11. The Human Jungle – When Will You Happen To Me*
  12. Chapter VI – Oracle
  13. Erik – Why Come Another Day


Label-based compilations of lesser-known 60’s garage and/or psych singles and album tracks are always welcome, from the old Mindrocker LP’s of the early 80’s through Steve Stanley’s masterful expeditions through the vaults of White Whale and B. T. Puppy (and more recently Capitol, on the Book A Trip cd’s). This first-rate collection, assembled and annotated by Alec Palao, focuses on the back catalogues of Vanguard, Original Sound, and Stax’s “Hip” subsidiary.


Except for Southwest F.O.B.’s lovely, swirling cover of “Smell of Incense,” little here can be called pop-sike. The droning mind-fry “Poppies” from Buffy Saint-Marie’s electronically mutated psych masterwork Illuminations throws down the gauntlet at the album’s start, and then we’re taken on a tour through the Music Machine-like punch of Jefferson Lee’s “Sorcerella,” the raga-like “Redeemer” from John Townley & The Family of Apostolic (check out their fine Vanguard Apostolic LP) hiding under a pseudonym, Dick Wagner’s trippy guitar workout with The Frost on the majestic “Stand In The Shadows”, and a Jim Dickinson-produced single “In 1582 We” by The Honey Jug that starts off with warped sounds from an ancient cylinder recording and is totally uncommercial although Stax head honcho Al Bell thought that it sounded like a hit (probably seeing how much money songs like “I Am The Walrus” were making and thinking Stax wanted a piece of that). There are also well-chosen selections from Vanguard artists The Serpent Power (with poet David Meltzer) and Circus Maximus (with Bob Bruno and Jerry Jeff Walker). Brian Ross of Music Machine fame was involved with four of the tracks (those with an Original Sound connection), and even the listener who specializes in obscure psych will find a few surprises here. It’s expertly programmed by Palao to present a wide variety of psychedelic sub-genres, and this 13-track trip ends by “coming down” with folk-psych shaman Erik (Heller) doing the agonized raga-drone “Why Come Another Day.”


This is a masterful comp of first-rate psych from a wide variety of artists. Those looking for nothing but super-rare obscurities might be let down (there are only a few of those here), but otherwise, this is an album I doubt I’ll ever put back on the shelf, and I hope that further volumes are coming…soon!

Bill Shute, originally published in Ugly Things magazine in 2019

June 1, 2022

THE NEW ROY ROGERS SHOW, VOLUME THREE (Radio Archives)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:56 am

Roy Rogers began his career as a guitarist-singer with the original lineup of the Sons Of The Pioneers, under his real name, Len Slye. When Republic Pictures was looking for a new singing cowboy as a back-up to Gene Autry, to keep Gene in line in case he made any demands to re-negotiate his contract, Roy was chosen and given his own western films to star and sing in. These films turned out to be as popular with Western audiences as Gene’s ever were (and Roy had the same wholesome appeal as Gene, so he could be marketed to children as well as adults, and both men took their position as role model to the youth of America seriously), and Roy went on to become a huge phenomenon on his own, Hollywood’s KING OF THE COWBOYS, a man who was at the top of popularity in movies, on radio, on television, in comic books, in newspaper comics, in storybooks aimed at children, and in toy sales. Anyone who frequents junk stores, antique malls, and the like knows that there was a wide variety of Rogers items for sale in the 40’s and 50’s, and you still see them today, usually in poor condition and being sold at laughable prices. One wonders why sellers would assume anyone would be stupid enough to pay $20 for a water-stained used coloring book (for instance) with half the pages missing—you’d have to convince me to take it for free, and I’m a Rogers fan. I’m guessing most of these sellers saw a mint item similar to that sold for $20 on Ebay once—probably to some collector of Rogers who needed it to complete his collection—and figure that’s the going price. So much for the pre-Ebay days when sellers would price something so that they could move it in a month….and if it didn’t move it in a month, they’d drop it by a third. But I digress…

As someone who listens to old-time radio shows when I’m working (I unfortunately take a lot of work home from my job each night and need something to keep me going while I’m doing hours of tedious work—usually it’s music, but often it’s old-time radio….in the last month, I’ve probably listened to 75 episodes of the late 40’s Philo Vance show, starring Jackson Beck), I’ve had Roy Rogers in my rotation here and there over the years, though I paid little attention to what season I was listening to. On the whole, Rogers’ radio shows featured a lot of music and had a variety show feel, though later in the run, they tended to go more into a juvenile-oriented style, and were sponsored by breakfast cereals, and Roy would appeal directly to “boys and girls” when he spoke to the audience.

So imagine my surprise when I stumble across a set of 14 shows from 1954 (Roy’s last season on radio was 1955), and it’s quite different in format from what I’m used to. First of all, it’s called THE NEW ROY ROGERS SHOW. Then it’s announced at the beginning that it’s “for the entire family.” Usually that would mean that the show was family-friendly for children, with no “mature” content. This, however, means the opposite—that it’s not just a children’s show but is meant for adults too.

And that’s made crystal clear from the sponsor and the many commercial pitches. I don’t think many children are interested in buying an elegant 1954 Dodge or Plymouth sedan….or one of the work-horse Dodge trucks that Roy mentions he uses on his ranch and for pulling the horse trailer for Trigger. In fact, the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans theme song “Happy Trails” is re-written to include Dodge in every line after the first and is sung at least once on every show! There are so many ads for Dodge vehicles on the show, and the ads are full of such rich and enticing particulars, I found myself wanting to own one of those sleek, attractive, and affordable ’54 Dodges at the end of each show, the way I want to smoke a Lucky Strike at the end of each episode of THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM

One gimmick used during this season (it might be used on other 50’s seasons too, but not in the 40’s shows I remember) is that each show is titled after a song, usually some Western standard such as “Strawberry Roan” or “Red River Valley,” which is performed during the show and echoes of which are worked into the orchestral backing during the dramatic scenes, and then some element from the title of the song is worked into the plot…in the most forced but tangential way. For instance, Strawberry Roan is worked into a horse-racing plot (Brad Kohler will have to hear that one), while Red River Valley is set in a town near the Red River!

Also, many of the episodes involve murder mysteries! The earlier shows aimed at 10 year olds were certainly not. Of course, Agatha Christie or Erle Stanley Gardner would not have had to worry about any competition, as the quality of the murder plotting is rudimentary, to put it mildly, and one can only introduce so many suspects in a 30-minute show….especially when a chunk of it is given over to music, to Dodge commercials, to sidekick Pat Brady’s comedy antics, and to the Queen of the West DALE EVANS (originally from right down the road in Uvalde, Texas!) getting a song and interacting with the female characters on the show. I guess the murder mysteries were a way of making the show more “adult.” However, the eight-year-olds are not forgotten, as any child who’d listen to one or two previous episodes could figure out the guilty party as quickly as the adult listeners could.

I also like Roy’s being a celebrity in the dramatic parts of the show, someone recognized as being famous by the other characters they encounter as the plot plays out. This technique was used in the later seasons of the YOURS TRULY, JOHNNY DOLLAR radio show (which ran until 1962), where Johnny would appear in some town on a case, go into the local diner and get a cup of coffee and ask a few questions about the locals, and the guy serving the coffee would say, “why I know you, Mr. Dollar—I listen to your show every week.” Here, Roy will be about to question someone who was a witness to a crime or whatever, and the person is at first not wanting to cooperate, but then after Roy says his name, the person is impressed, admits he’s a fan, and says “of course I can help Roy Rogers—what can I do for you, Mr. Rogers.” Boy, it must be nice to have your name open doors like that!

Any fan of old-time radio will recognize many of the voices of Los Angeles-based character actors in the supporting roles, and the music is the kind of vaguely Western orchestral sound I associate with Spade Cooley at his most uptown. The Mello-Men vocal group appear too and do a novelty quartet vocal about Dodge products, the same way the Sportsmen Quartet used to do a novelty song about Lucky Strike on THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM. The instantly recognizable deep-bass voice of Thurl Ravenscroft (voice of Tony The Tiger, of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes Fame) is heard on these tracks, and here and there he gets 8 or 12 bars of solo singing, which is always a treat.

Anyone who remembers the Rogers 50’s TV show will enjoy the antics of comedy sidekick Pat Brady (in his other life, a member of the Sons Of The Pioneers), though since much of his routine on the TV show was visual humor and exaggerated mugging a la Leo Gorcey or Shemp Howard, he’s toned down a bit on radio. Also, his famous Jeep “Nellybelle” does not appear on the ten or twelve episodes of the show I listened to in this review….though the show DOES mention that Pat was on occasion taking Trigger somewhere in the horse trailer which was pulled by Roy’s tough 1954 Dodge truck! Evidently, Jeep not being an advertiser (Jeep was not part of Chrysler back then—it joined Chrysler when they purchased American Motors decades later) kept Nellybelle out of a Dodge-sponsored show!

Overall, this is an entertaining show for the Rogers fan. He’s in virtually every scene, he gets a song in every show, he interacts with his charming wife Dale, he plays the straight man to Pat Brady’s comic buffoonery, he solves a murder in most episodes, and he’s excited about the 1954 Dodge line of cars and trucks, and anxious to tell YOU about them. Listen to a few of these shows in a row, and you’ll be wanting a stylish and economical 1954 Dodge too!

Bill Shute, originally published elsewhere online in 2020

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