Apologies for the quiet on the blog recently but it’s just been one of those months: off-blog chores to do for Ma and Pa, and for a moment there, I thought I might not be able to pay the income tax this year. (I would really be devastated if I couldn’t contribute to this furshlugginer border wall that both the President and Congress seem to have a stiffie for.) Yesterday, a post commemorating the natal anniversary of actress Frances Robinson appeared on the Radio Spirits blog…which started the ol’ machinery inside my brain a-whirrin’.
Robinson played a lot of girlfriends/secretaries on radio, working such shows as Perry Mason, The Falcon, Philo Vance, Murder and Mr. Malone, Ellery Queen, and Richard Diamond, Private Detective. Her best-remembered gig was as Claire Brooks—fondly called “Brooksie” by her employer, private investigator George Valentine on Mutual’s Let George Do It. Valentine, an ex-GI who got into the P.I. business to pay the bills, was played by Bob Bailey…who would later get into an even more successful line of work as the “fabulous freelance investigator” known as Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.
I’ve contributed liner notes to two of Radio Spirits’ George collections, the latest being Full Details—a copy of which I’d like to hand off to some lucky member of the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear faithful. So let me channel my best George Valentine and give you the “full details”:
1) Send an e-mail with “Full Details” in the subject header to igsjrotr(at)gmail(dot)com. You have until 11:59pm EST on May 4, 2019 (next Saturday) to enter. You don’t have to provide me with a mailing address at the point of (contest) entry but in a hypothetical scenario, if you do win and I don’t have any idea where you hang your hat, I’ll probably make something up. (Hopefully it will be milk-out-your-nose witty.)
2) You will need to be a resident of either the U.S. or Canada to participate. (I’m expecting a stipend—though around here it’s so small we call it a “stripling”—around the first of May so I’ll try not to delay in getting the prize out to the lucky winner. Just don’t hold me to this.)
3) As a rule, I ask that if you’ve been a previous winner in a TDOY giveaway, wait thirty days before entering another contest so that someone without your phenomenal streak of good fortune gets a chance to win some swag. But this time, it’s my bad for being absent from the blog so long, so if you want to enter again there’s precious little I can do to stop you.
4) I will choose a winner (via the Random Number Generator at Random.org) the morning of May 5 and inform the lucky individual via e-mail. They will even be congratulated on the blog, whereupon I will then expect a communique from their lawyer. (“Your mentioning my client on your…blog…has caused serious damage to their professional reputation. We will settle this in court, sir.”)
Let George Do It: Full Details is an eight-disc CD collection from Radio Spirits, featuring sixteen broadcasts from 1949 and 1950 of a series that’s often overlooked by OTR fans. It’s a good little show but I need to issue a caveat: Frances Robinson is only in the first show on this set (“Too Near the Sky”); the rest of the episodes feature Virginia Gregg as “Brooksie.” (I feel bad about this, but hey…I needed a hook for the contest.) It won’t detract from your enjoyment should you be the fortunate soul to win this prize, however…but as always, you cannot win if you don’t enter. And remember: Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is the phrase that pays!