With the recent pulp reprint publications of THE SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE, it seems about the perfect time to explore the medium of radio which dramatized the same stories that appeared in the pulps, on the radio. The origin of the DOC SAVAGE radio program began in December 1932, when the Knox Company of St. […]
With the recent pulp reprint publications of THE SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE, it seems about the perfect time to explore the medium of radio which dramatized the same stories that appeared in the pulps, on the radio. The origin of the DOC SAVAGE radio program began in December 1932, when the Knox Company of St. Louis approached Street & Smith Publishers seeking broadcast rights for The Shadow, unaware that NBC was airing THE SHADOW along the East Coast under exclusive license to a promising sponsor. Street & Smith replied favorably with a counter-offer to sponsor a series of radio dramas based on another of their successful pulp magazines, DOC SAVAGE, which premiered on news stands earlier that same calendar year. Even thought Street & Smith offered to sponsor the program, to promote the magazine, Knox rejected the offer. A series of 26 scripts, however, was later dramatized from February to August 1934 over KFRC in San Francisco. The productions were also recorded via electrical transcriptions in MacGregor & Sollie’s offices for nation-wide syndication, broadcast on more than 80 stations throughout the United States and Canada (verified in numerous advertisements in the DOC SAVAGE magazine), beginning in October 1934.
For decades, the name of the actor playing the lead of DOC SAVAGE, as well as the radio cast, has remained elusive to historians. Until now. Researcher/author Martin Grams has a new book coming out on March 31, 2011, documenting the entire history of THE SHADOW radio program. Along the way, DOC SAVAGE will receive extensive coverage. “Documentation will also include the recoding dates and master numbers for the recordings, rehearsals and the experimental pilot,” Grams explained. “Very little has been written about the radio program, and when I was handed a private collection of the MacGregor & Sollie papers and ledgers, I was surprised to discover one of the Holy Grails of DOC SAVAGE material was included. Because both THE SHADOW and DOC SAVAGE radio programs originated from Street & Smith, it seemed natural that we document what all is known about the DOC SAVAGE program, including the latest information unearthed from private archives.”
The 820 page book is titled, “THE SHADOW: The History and Mystery of the Radio Program, 1930-1954,” was recently praised by Walter Gibson historian J. Randolph Cox, who reviewed: “For the collector and historians of old-time radio, there are facts here that they may be seeking for the first time. For everyone else, this is a book to treasure.” Most fans of THE SHADOW know that the supernatural sleuth with a sepulchral chuckle began his career in July of 1930 as the narrator of spooky detective mysteries. Seven years later, Orson Welles elevated the series with a change of format: The Shadow was now fighting crime with his female companion, Margot Lane. (Spelled Margo in the pulps, Margot in the radio scripts with a silent ‘t’.) The radio program outlasted the pulps, expiring in December 1954. With rare, never-before-seen photos (including one of the lead actor who played DOC SAVAGE in 1934 and 1935), extensive episode guide with cast and plot summaries, interviews with cast and crew and exclusive research unearthing facts never-before-documented, only an index (which it has) can enhance the book’s appeal.
The book is available for pre-sale on Amazon.com for $34.95
A sneak peak of the book can be found at www.MartinGrams.com. The suggested retail price is $29.95.
(Editor’s Note: Article is a reprinting of a MartinGrams press release.)