Sunday, December 6, 2015

25 More Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 6 - Santa Claus of Bums' Boulevard (Casey Crime Photographer)

If you knew anything about me, you would know that I am an avid photographer, so when I find another one out there - we have something in common.  This is true of people in both fiction and non-fiction.   So one of the great radio characters I found was Casey, Crime Photographer.  I love the idea of following a cameraman through the rough streets of the city. The series was sponsored by Anchor Hocking glass company of Lancaster, Ohio.

So this is where I am going to take my next day in my review of Christmas episodes from old time radio.  (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 as we get closer to Christmas and the end of December.

Scenes at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix, Arizona)
Self-portrait at Scenes at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (Phoenix, Arizona) in 2012.

Casey, Crime Photographer is the crime series as you could imagine...a guy named Casey who is...anyone...a photographer for a newspaper.  He is joined out and about in the city finding stories with reporter Ann Williams.  The show almost always opens and closes at the Blue Note Tavern and their great bartender Ethelbert.  The voice talent was primarily Staats Cotsworth as Casey, Jan Miner as Ann Williams and John Gibson as Ethelbert the bartender.  Despite being part of the CBS Network, these are not brilliant shows.  I love them because they have a charm that comes with the opening and closing conversations at the Blue Note.  It is a great frame for these programs and I think gives it a bit more than what one might imagine.

The Christmas episode I want to highlight is The Santa Claus of Bums' Boulevard from Christmas day, 1947.  As the episode opens, Casey, Ann and Ethelbert lament all having to work on Christmas Day.  The quiet Blue Note Tavern did not find that many people besides those three on Christmas.  Such is the life of a tavern keeper and newspaper staff!  Well, the staff without family or anyone else at home to give them an incentive to try to get the day off.  Casey and Ann are killing time at the Blue Note waiting to head to the worst part of town at mid-day.  Why?  Because the previous few years, a mysterious visitor handed out one dollar bills to all the people (or rummies as they were called) who are walking the streets among the down and out.  They were trying to catch this mysterious benefactor to see what his motives are.  But when this mysterious Santa Claus is jumped and the money that he had to give away is taken, Casey and Ann jump into action.  Among the others who come under scrutiny are a petty crime boss from that neighborhood, a down and out actress, and an old gent who lives there, but is so much more than he appears.  Casey and Ann Williams help shepherd the story to a happy ending!

The Santa Claus of Bums' Boulevard (December 25, 1947)

Here are additional links to Casey, Crime Photographer items on the web.

      25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2015) & Other Links

      25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas (from 2014)

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