Thursday, December 11, 2014

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 11 - Candy Matson's Christmas Episodes

Working on sending out one blog entry each day in December to showcase great Old Time Radio for the Christmas season.  Here is a link to all the entries.  Here is day #11 - Candy Matson's Christmas Episodes.  These are great fun and definitely worth a listen.

If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). He has a number of great programs available throughout the month of December on his great show.  You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web. One place to find these shows is the 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive. This is a great resources for many of these wonderful radio shows!

Mission San Jose (Freemont, California) - Sunday April 21, 2013

Mission San Jose (Freemont, California) - Sunday April 21, 2013

There are a number of series set in San Francisco on old time radio: Sam Spade; Pat Novak For Hire;  Have Gun, will Travel, just to name a few.  One that you need to add to that list is a West Coast series run by NBC called Candy Matson, YUkon 2-8209.  Candy Matson was voiced by Natalie Masters, who was heard in the mid 1950s on the Fibber McGee and Molly show.  Candy Matson was the brainchild of her husband, producer Monty Master.  The Digital Deli article (see the link below) cited that they never quite found the national audience and she never became a household name.  Maybe having a female lead of a detective series was ahead of the times.  Maybe it was too smart or the references were made too much to San Francisco elements that few outside the city could get (also from Digital Deli article).  In the Jack Frost episode listed below, there were three reference to Lefty O'Doul and the San Francisco Seals (of the Pacific Coast League).

And while there are only a handful of episodes that are with us, we do have two Christmas shows to share.  I need to dig around a bit, but it is interesting that in these episodes, it always starts with the phone ring and Candy giving her phone number (YUkon 2-8209).  It is just like the way that Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar would open week after week.  They both started doing that in 1949.  You know that imitation is the dearest form of flattery!  Candy is constantly joined by Mallard (a police lieutenant played by Henry Leff) and Rembrandt (a photographer played by Jack Thomas) in the adventures.  It is a great series that is very well written - shame we only have a few examples.

There are two Christmas themed episodes that are among the 14 or so recordings that survive.  On December 19, 1949, the episode "Jack Frost" aired.  It is the holidays and things are crazy at Department Store.  Candy's dear friend Myra is the Advertising Director at the store and is in a crisis when Jack Frost is missing!  Jack Frost, Santa's helper, is missing and Myra is in a pinch!  Who will the kids share their Christmas wishes with???  Candy talks her friend Rembrandt to play Jack Frost, but then they discover a plot filled with jealousy...and MURDER!

I will write up a few entries later next year on the interest in the old California Missions in Old Time Radio.  One of these episodes will be Candy Matson's holiday episode that first aired on December 18, 1950.  Candy, Rembrandt and Mallard head to San Juan Bautista to take a break from the city.  While in town, they pay a visit to the old Mission.  And while meeting a Father at the Mission, they are alerted to a tragic suicide.  But upon examining the body, they discovered that it was actually a case....or MURDER!

Here are some links to programs relating to Candy Matson:
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas:

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