Monday, February 20, 2017

Old Time Radio: Gang Busters (1936)

I've often referenced the fact that in the home district, a local radio station began airing reruns of classic old time radio shows back in the early 70's. WQBK-AM (now WGDJ) would run The Bickersons in the morning during morning drive host Bill Edwardson's program. Then, there was an afternoon block that featured The Shadow, The Lone Ranger, and our next subject, Gang Busters.

The radio version of Gang Busters began as G-Men in 1935, but lasted less than a year. You might believe it may be because then-FBI head J. Edgar Hoover had the final say on scripts for the show, which created tension with series creator-producer Phillips H. Lord. A year later, the show was retooled, the scope expanded to cover true crime cases from across the country, and the series was rechristened, Gang Busters, which would go on to last for 21 years (1936-57). In contrast, the television version, which we've previously covered, ran for just 1 calendar year as a twice-monthly entry, alternating with Dragnet during 1952. Only 12 episodes were produced for television.

Right now, let's go back to 1948, and the episode, "The Case of the Chicago Tunnel Gang":



The success of Gang Busters also spawned a comic book version, published by DC/National Periodical, which ran for nearly 70 issues in the 40's & 50's.

To be perfectly honest, I can't give a fair rating. This was the first time I've heard a radio episode of the series, and there's not enough to judge at this time.

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