Those of you who know me, likely know that I enjoy listening to radio shows from the 1930’s-1960’s. I primarily like the detective and police dramas, but there are also some westerns and comedies that I listen to regularly. Most of these shows were weeklies, and reflected the season in which they were broadcast. Many of the shows did Christmas episodes, some funny, some more poignant. As I like most things Christmas, it should come as no surprise that many of these episodes are among my favorites. I have uploaded a few of these shows, and will list them below with a brief description of the series. Most of these shows can be found on archive.org by searching for Old Time Radio, or OTRR. Happy listening 🙂
First, an episode of The Saint, featuring Vincent Price. As The Saint, he helps people who end up in difficult situations. His character is similar to a detective, though not in an official capacity.
Nineteen Santa Clauses
Next, an episode of classic Dragnet. Jack Webb played Joe Friday, a detective in LA. Most episodes are fairly dark, with bits of humor thrown in. For several years, the show titles started with the word ‘big’
Big Little Jesus
The next show is an episode of The Six Shooter. James Stewart plays Britt Ponsett, a drifter in the old West. Though there are many classic radio versions of Dickens’ Christmas Carol, I chose to share this interpretation.
Britt Ponset’s Christmas Carol
Most folks are familiar with at least one iteration of Sherlock Holmes, and his partner, Dr. Watson. This is a Christmas episode from an early radio series from 1945. Don’t let the title throw you- it has nothing to do with the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas.
The Night Before Christmas
The next two shows are both feel-good shows. They do a good job of evoking some of the emotion that is tied to the Christmas season. The first is an episode of Gunsmoke. The Gunsmoke radio show is wide recognized as one of the best-written of all classic radio shows. It is one of my favorites, as well. I enjoy this episode, as it verbally paints a great picture of a Christmas in Dodge City. The second show is from Nick Carter, Master Detective. This show generally had a fast pace, and shows tended to wrap up quickly, almost too quickly at times, due to the amazing observations of Nick Carter. This episode, though, is a roller coaster of emotion, and ends grandly. Keep a Kleenex handy 🙂
Nick Carter’s Christmas Adventure
The last show is from the series Broadway is My Beat, a police drama from NYC. This show tended to be dark, and not all episodes ended on a high note. Lt Danny Clover, the main character, tends to be a cynic. His character is offset buy an offbeat sergeant who keeps the mood lighter.
Nick Norman & Santa Claus
I hope you can make time to listen to at least one of these. These old shows are truly treasures. -B