One of my favorite Old Time Radio series is Boston Blackie. These crime stories always leave the police, especially Police Inspector Farraday, frustrated and befuddled. But to the rescue is Boston Blackie - who always solves the crime and saves the day. Each of episodes starts the same way - with this phrase that says everything you need to know about Boston Blackie:
"Enemy of those who make him an enemy,
friend to those who have no friend."
Remember that phrase! Boston Blackie moves effortlessly on both sides of the law, but is primarily interested in doing what is right. If that means working with the police, then so be it! The character was created by author Jack Boyle, Boston Blackie was a safecracker who served time in prison before turning his attention to making things right. The most well known episodes were syndicated by Frederic W. Ziv to Mutual and other networks after World War II. Staring in the role as Boston Blackie was Richard Kollmar. Mary Wesley (his constant companion) was played by Jan Miner. Maurice Tarplin plays Police Inspector Farraday, who starts off most episodes with the belief that no matter what the crime was, Blackie was involved. Tarplin is also know as the voice of the Mysterious Traveler and The Strange Dr. Weird.
Barnegat Lighthouse (Barnegat Light, Long Beach Island, New Jersey) - August 8, 2014
In the Lighthouse Ghost episode of Boston Blackie (which aired over ABC Network on September 10, 1947), a rash of shipwrecks turns out to be more than just bad luck. Captain Ross was piloting a ship in the fog as the episode opens. The Captain knows the geography of the shore well and was relieved to see the Rocky Island Lighthouse through the fog. He knew that the channel they needed to enter was just north of the light. So when he spotted it - they were set for a safe arrival of their ship, its crew and its cargo. But when they turned to what they thought was the channel, they grounded and crashed their ship instead. And amazingly, they were well south of the channel...and the Rocky Island Lighthouse.
When Captain Ross visited ship owner Charlie Kingston, he insisted that the ship was north of the Rocky Island Lighthouse. He could not explain how it seemed that the lighthouse moved. Was it a 'lighthouse ghost?' They were interrupted by a call from Mr. Lawrence of the salvage company. Not only did they get the job to clean up the wreck, but they got to keep 60% of whatever they are able to salvage. This had been an all too common occurrence for Charlie Kington - it was the 4th ship he lost that year. She he decided to call his friend, Boston Blackie. Think about that, Boston Blackie was "friend to those who have no friend." Yep...my mind is blown!
Anyway, Charlie, Mary Wesley and Blackie head up to the lighthouse. While Mary is thrilled to be at the lighthouse and the amazing view. However, she lets Charlie and Blackie climb to the top of the lighthouse to see the keeper. While they are climbing to the top, they hear someone fall from the top of the lighthouse. It turns out that it was the keeper and he was hanging on the outside of the light. Why was he trying to hide from Blackie and Charlie? Inspector Farraday arrives on the scene as Boston Blackie solves the riddle of the 'moving' lighthouse.
Please enjoy this great episode. This is a real treat and a great way to continue my Lighthouse Old Time Radio series. I will have another entry in about a week!
Lighthouse Ghost (September 10, 1947)
Here are some links to programs relating to Old Time Radio and Boston Blackie:
- Boston Blackie episodes via the Internet Archive
- Boston Blackie on Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs
- Boston Blackie from Thrilling Detective site
- Boston Blackie (on The Digital Deli)
- Boston Blackie info (mostly on movies, TV and stories)
- Boston Blackie Novel Audio Book
- Boston Blackie 1919 Novel by James Boyle (via Munseys)
- Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82)
- All Corey's Old Time Radio blog posts
- Corey's Lighthouse pictures on flickr
Lighthouses on Old Time Radio: