This is the second year I have showcased different Old Time Radio programs for Christmas. Here is a link to all the 2014 OTR Christmas entries. If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#148). He does a great job of showcasing great holiday themed episodes, especially now that we are days away from Christmas.
|Nativity Scene - Saline, Michigan - 2013|
|Visit to Mission San Buenaventura (Ventura, California) - Friday November 1, 2013|
Jack Webb is Joe Friday and Ben Alexander plays Frank Smith, his partner. The program also became part of the television series. According to an article in the Atlanta Constitution on December 22, 1955 (p20), the story was based on a true incident that too place in the 1930s in San Francisco. The New York Times published an article in 1933 about this 'theft" (thanks ProQuest Historical Newspapers):
Thief-Hunting Priest Bows to Boy's Faith
Christmas Bargain Explains San Francisco Church's Loss of Christ Child Figure
New York Times December 27, 1933 (page 14)
Special to the New York Times
San Francisco, Dec. 26. - This is a story of Christmas time, of a missing figure of the Christ Child and of a boy and his coaster.
It happened today at the Church of Our Lady of Victory. The Christ Child had been stolen from the manger-crib in the nativity scene in the church. The discovery caused consternation. Priests, sextons and sacristans joined in a frantic search of the premises with no results. The little figure could not be found.
A thief was blamed and the priests were about to call police headquarters, when one of them saw the missing figure in a coaster wagon which a small boy was towing up the hill behind him. For a moment the priest was speechless. He looked down in amazement at Master Georgie Potter, aged 7.
"Why, my son!" the priest exclaimed. "Do you realize that yo uhave the Christ Child there'"
"Yes. Father," said Georgie, quite blandly.
"Did you take the figure from the church?"
"Yes, father." answered Georgie. The lad's face fell as the priest sought further explanation. Yes, he had taken it, but he really had not meant to steal it.
"I-I wanted a wagon for Christmas," he explained.
The priest could not quite understand.
"A wagon for Christmas, my boy-yes-but why did you take the statue of Jesus?"
"You see, Father," was the reply, "I told he Christ Child that if he'd let me have a red wagon for Christmas I'd give him a ride in it twice around the block. He did his part, so now I'm just doing mine."So as Paul Harvey would say, now you know the rest of the story. I love how the story grew as a Dragnet episode. Maybe that was their trick - develop something small that happened into a whole story. And such a great one this is. I hope you enjoy it.
Script from the Generic Radio Workshop Library
Here are some links to programs relating to Dragnet:
- Dragnet Radio program episodes via the Internet Archive
- Dragnet, “The Christmas Story” (a.k.a. “The Big Little Jesus”)
- Big Little Jesus Script (December 22, 1953) from the Generic Radio Workshop Script Library
- Old Time Dragnet Show with Adam Graham (fan blog with links to radio and television episodes)
- Dragnet scripts from the Generic Radio Workshop
- Badge 714 - the Dragnet Webb site
- Dragnet on Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs
- Dragnet from the RadioGOLDINdex
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2015) & Other Links
- 2015 Day 1 - Honest Harold's Christmas Party
- 2015 Day 2 - The Innocent Santa Claus (This is Your FBI)
- 2015 Day 3 - Christmas Story from The Mysterious Traveler
- 2015 Day 4 - All is Bright (the story of Silent Night)
- 2015 Day 5 - Beeker's Barn (a Christmas tale from Gunsmoke)
- 2015 Day 6 - Santa Claus of Bums' Boulevard (Casey Crime Photographer)
- 2015 Day 7 - Dr. Sixgun's A Pony for Christmas
- 2015 Day 8 - The Plot To Murder Santa Claus (with Frank Sinatra as Rocky Fortune)
- 2015 Day 9 - Department Store Woes with Johnny Dollar
- 2015 Day 10 - Department Store Contest with Connie Brooks
- 2015 Day 11 - Radio Nutcracker
- 2015 Day 12 - Frank Sinatra in Room for a Stranger (Radio Reader's Digest)
- 2015 Day 13 - A Child Visits the Magnificent Montague
- 2015 Day 14 - The Gift of the Magi (Radio Reader's Digest)
- 2015 Day 15 - A Child is Born (from Cavalcade of America)
- 2015 Day 16 - Dennis Day's The Boy Who Sang For The King
- 2015 Day 17 - Suspense's Back for Christmas (1943)
- 2015 Day 18 - Dancing Dan's Christmas (Damon Runyon Theater)
- 2015 Day 19 - Day 19 - Have Gun, Will Travel's Hanging Cross
- 2015 Day 20 - Dressing up as Santa on the Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show
- 2015 Day 21 - Great Gildersleeve and Leroy Alone for Christmas (1952)
- 2015 Day 22 - Fibber McGee and Molly's Phonograph (1940)
- 2015 Day 23 - The Messiah from Theater of Romance
- 2015 Day 24 - Big Little Jesus from Dragnet
- All my entries covering OTR and Christmas
- All my OTR blog posts
- Also visit 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive.
- Christmas Programs from Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs
- Christmas Scripts at Generic Radio Workshop
- Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#148)
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)
- Day 1 - Nick Carter's Christmas Adventure
- Day 2 - The Saint is No Santa Claus
- Day 3 - Stolen Rings at Christmas with Boston Blackie
- Day 4 - Dragnet's Christmas Episodes
- Day 5 - Nero Wolfe & the Slaughtered Santas
- Day 6 - The Plot To Murder Santa Claus (with Frank Sinatra as Rocky Fortune)
- Day 7 - Christmas at Mission San Gabriel with Romance of the Ranchos
- Day 8 - Arch Oboler's Christmas 1918
- Day 9 - The Story of Silent Night (Hallmark Playhouse)
- Day 10 - Juggler of Notre Dame (with Nelson Eddy)
- Day 11 - Candy Matson's Christmas Episodes
- Day 12 - Lionel Barrymore's Mayor of the Town
- Day 13 - More Radio Adaptations of a Christmas Carol
- Day 14 - Tales Of The Texas Rangers (not those Rangers)
- Day 15 - Christmas in Connecticut (with Ronald Reagan)
- Day 16 - Holidays with Connie - Our Miss Brooks
- Day 17 - The Whistler's Christmas Episodes
- Day 18 - Detroit's WXYZ & The Lone Ranger
- Day 19 - Johnny Dollar and the Nick Shurn Matter
- Day 20 - Christmas Shopping with Jack Benny
- Day 21 - Gunsmoke's Christmas Story
- Day 22 - Bob Hope's Christmas Shows
- Day 23 - Christmas with Mel Blanc
- Day 24 - Bing Crosby's Christmas Shows
- Day 25 - Elgin Watch Christmas Specials
- Day 26 - Five Days Off For Christmas with Night Beat
- Day 27 - Let George Do It Christmas Episodes
- Day 28 - CBS Radio Workshop's All is Bright
- Day 29 - Hotpoint's The Man Who Came to Dinner (with Jack Benny)