As many will remember, one of the favorite detective shows during the 1940s was “Boston Blackie”. “Boston Blackie” was not only dominant on radio, but, most certainly, had a significant presence on screen. I love the radio show mostly probably because it is so available on my IPhone.
The “Boston Blackie” radio show was ONLY intended to be the 1944 summer replacement for the dominant, history-making radio show “Amos ‘n Andy”. (You won’t find “Amos ‘n Andy” on any productions by Old Time Radio Foundation for obvious offensive reasons.) “Boston Blackie” had a great sponsor with a wonderful little tune: “Rinso Blue Soap”. The product identification via the logo/song was legend in marketing. Something like this might never occur in one’s career as an advertising expert or the entire advertising agency’s existence.
Blackie was a former safe cracker/criminal turned private investigator. He always was able to remove the cuffs or whatever Inspector Farraday would use to restrain Blackie. In most jurisdictions, I know as a Court Reporter for many years in New Jersey, you just don’t do these things. Invariably, though, Inspector Farraday wouldn’t arrest Blackie for escape with the proviso Blackie would credit Farraday in the press for catching the real bad guy. Today, if you escape from police custody, even if you are innocent, I hope you have a lawyer, a good lawyer, a real good lawyer.
The Foundation has the wherewithal to load on to tablets, “Boston Blackie” and many other genre, i.e., drama, comedy, WW2 era news and mystery. In the Jewish-American template, Jewish-American performers, such as Burns & Allen, Jack Benny, and Jewish-American sports figures, The Goldbergs. For Christian Interest, we have Christian-centric shows of the era, such as Easter episodes of many, many shows.
Additionally, we sell tablets loaded with era movies. For example, on a 500 gig flash drive, we are able to load approximately 400 full-length movies. These are all public domain as are the radio shows. The copyright ended by an act of Congress in 1972, expanded/clarified in 1978, unless the studio maintained the copyright protection by paying an annual fee to the United States Copyright Office in Washington, D.C., which 99.999% of the studios did not do.
MGM was the exception. Metro Goldwyn Mayer knew they had a gold mine in their movies. Most studios of the era were no longer existent; and those who were still in production did not foresee the inevitable. MGM sold to Ted Turner, owner of the Atlanta Braves, CNN, Turner Classic Movies (TCM), Turner Field (Braves’ Stadium), previously married to Jane Fonda, sold the entire movie library to Turner Classic Movies. You will NOT find any copyright protected movies on devices sold by Old Time Radio Foundation.
Now, CONTINUING, “Boston Blackie” was performed dominantly by two actors, Chester Morris and Richard Kollmer. You won’t believe the involvement of Kollmer’s wife in the disclosure of JFK’s assassination. READ ON
Chester Morris started the radio series in June 1944 but was soon replaced, ironically, by Richard Kollmer. Most people will remember Morris, though, not because of his short radio presence, but the 14 movies in which he performed starting in 1941.
OTRF has all these full-length movies for sale, because they are in the public domain, on flash drives which one could see on their own tablet/PC, OR purchase tablets loaded with custom orders. What’s a custom order? How about only the performers you want or the genre, i.e., comedy, musical, drama, detective, war, et cetera you have interest in.
REMEMBER, 100% of the profits from OTRF are directed to the residential veteran facilities in the state from which the sale originates. This is true not only for the tablets, flash drives, DISCOUNTED phone services from national carriers, but also DISCOUNTED DATA PLANS, and many more ways for one to contribute to the MISSON. Also, you or a loved one, mom/dad/aunt/uncle/neighbor will receive a VERY unique gift. These devices, loaded with either era movies, radio shows, or TV shows are all valuable and interesting entertainment of an era gone by. These devices employ the utilization of current communication and technology devices. WOW! Can you do all of that? ANSWER: Yes, Of course.
CONTINUING: Chester Morris, many thought, including this author, had it all over a wonderful performer in Richard Kollmer. That just goes to show, i think, how wonderful Morris was.
In the beginning of the show Morris did not have a love interest; he had a buddy named Shorty. Now, the show never disclosed the height of Shorty, but amazingly, Shorty possessed a very New York accent. If “Boston Blackie”, ostensibly, originated in Boston, don’t you think it was uncharacteristic to have a best bud with a New York accent. Go figure.
Shorty was Blackie’s pal for a pretty long time. THEN the inevitable occurred: he had a friend/love interest in the personage of Mary Wesley (initially performed by Lesley Woods, then Jan Miner.) Mary was such a compliant assistant. She was every unmarried employer’s dream; beautiful, friendly, great worker and a love interest. BUT this was only by innuendo. The two never ever kissed, hugged, or held hands.
Now this was 1940s radio. As in all of the radio shows, even the detective shows where the performer was investigating a murder, there never was coarse language, no sexual innuendo, no racism, no politics, nothing EXCEPT honoring America for being a great country AND promoting, every way possible, the War effort.
Included as a part of the show was the insertion of dialogue relating to the war effort. One product which is somewhat unique was women’s silk stockings. Why silk stockings? They were a very important product to those fighting the enemy who invaded Pearl Harbor and Europe. Silk, because of the Japanese invasion of silk-producing countries, and American having a very limited production, became a very scarce commodity.
How were silk stockings used? In artillery on both land and ship, it was necessary to encase the black powder which would propel the projectile. Silk, because of its flimsy exposure to the firing mechanism, was the method of delivery even prior to the War. If this powder was encased in a more rigid, impervious material, there would not be the spontaneous combustion which was key.
In our radio shows, additionally, there are no commercials. This was not true during the original production. Back in the 30s, 40s and 50s there certainly were commercials but not to the extent we have today. Twenty-five percent of air time currently is commercials. (Go to On Demand and you will observe a 60-minute show which is 45-47 minutes in the entertainment portion.)
On the radio show, after the summer of 1944, Richard Kollmer replaced Chester Morris because of Morris’s time constraints in the production of 14 “Boston Blackie” movies in which only he appeared as Blackie. Morris was great.
RICHARD KOLLMER was a great performer, but as previously cited, I don’t think Kollmer was nearly as dynamic as Morris in Morris’s short summer stint. I am, by no means in the minority with this belief. Both Morris and Kollmer were wonderful. Much to Kollmer’s credit, he appeared in 200+ episodes on the radio show between September 1944 – October 25, 1950.
Kollmer did pretty well for himself. What do I mean? How about marrying the leading columnist in America, radio personality Dorothy Kilgallen?
Beginning in 1945, Kilgallen and Kollmer had a morning talk show on WOR Radio, New York, which was syndicated nationwide with an audience of approximately twenty million listeners.
Now, let’s shift our attention to the JFK assassination and the discovery of those responsible for the murder of a beloved President. Now, as many will remember, Mark Lane became a renown author and conspiracy theorist. Mr. Lane found a conspiracy under every rock on which he stepped.
Well, maybe true, probably not. You be the judge. Eighteen people died under very questionable circumstances. These American citizens had valuable information regarding the killing of a revered President of the United States. Who are these 18 people? Well, they were either eye witnesses or who professed to have more information on the JFK assassination than the media would release. Maybe.
Dorothy Kilgallen was a source for all gossip and very sensitive international secrets. She was the go-to columnist for things political or gossip. (Now, Kilgallen was much different than columnist/TV personality Ed Sullivan. Mr. Sullivan had a show Sunday night, every Sunday, 8-9 pm EST. This show was the medium for many performers of all ilk. How about the first performance of the Beatles in America during the height of their popularity?
Kilgallen broke the news about JFK, she said mistakenly in her column, about his relationship with mega-star of the era Marilyn Monroe. The truth is: her source was mistaken. The Kennedy wasn’t John Fitzgerald Kennedy, but, rather, Robert Fitzgerald Kennedy, the United States Attorney General, who was appointed by his brother the President. Can you spell nepotism?
Amazingly, the next day, Marilyn Monroe was found dead. Now, some would say Monroe killed herself with barbiturates. Why would she? She had everything every movie star would want, wealth because of success, most sought-after actor for movies, much attention by the media, albeit, possibly, unwanted. She dated men with much prominence. But you be the judge that this femme fatal would actually kill herself because she was having sex with a world leader. Was this too much embarrassment for her to bear? Not likely, but certainly possible. What do you think?
Kilgallen told author Mark Lane: “They’ve killed the President, (and) the government is not prepared to tell us the truth…….”
She planned to “break the case.”
To other friends, she said: “This has to be a conspiracy…..I’m going to break the real story and have the biggest scoop of the century.”
In her last column item regarding the assassination, published on September 3, 1965, Kilgallen wrote: ” This story isn’t going to die as long as there’s a real reporter alive — and there are a lot of them.”
But on November 8, 1965, two months hence, there was one less reporter. That day, Kilgallen was found dead in her home.
Now, one would ask: Why the length of time between the initial publication and the death? She needed to perform due diligence and to talk to other sources of information. This is what every journalist would do, for fear of a law suit. Kilgallen had the very embarrassing release of incorrect information when she revealed the President of the United States of America was having sex with Marilyn Monroe. Fool me once, fool me twice………..
Of course, there cannot be defamation if the alleged act of defaming is the TRUTH. Ask the New York Times in their landmark case where the Times prevailed. Although embarrassing, because the President was a public figure, there could be no claim of defamation. All is fair game for this class of citizens who chose/dared to enter the world of politics.
I can’t promise all future postings will be as intriguing as this, but I can promise: our volunteers/founders/corporate sponsors have one focus, one focus only. That is to enhance the quality of life for those brothers/sisters in residential nursing, hospice and veteran care facilities in the ebb of their blessed lives.
Maybe, just maybe you could be a part of this focus. We need your help, not necessarily money. Money is not the answer to all woes of society, but money certainly beats poverty. What everyone needs, including the good folks of the Foundation are your prayers and positive thoughts. Prayers, positive thoughts, and mitzvahs are the best chicken soup anyone could ever consume.