Friday, January 15, 2016

Casey, Crime Photographer

Casey, Crime Photographer, known by a variety of titles on radio (aka Crime Photographer, Flashgun Casey, Casey, Press Photographer) was a media franchise from the 1930s to the 1960s. The character was the creation of novelist George Harmon Coxe. Casey was featured in the pulp magazine, Black Mask, novels, comic books, radio, film, television and legitimate theatre.

 Jack "Flashgun" Casey, was a crime photographer for the newspaper The Morning Express. With the help of reporter Ann Williams (best remembered portrayed by Jan Miner, Palmolive's "Madge"), he solved crimes and recounted his stories to friends at the Blue Note, their favorite tavern and jazz club where the Archie Bleyer Orchestra and the Teddy Wilson Trio were featured.

 Begun as over 20 popular short stories in Black Mask, there were films and novels before the stories were brought to radio under various names. The series aired on CBS. The radio show was sustained by the network when a sponsor could not be found. Sponsors of the show include Anchor Hocking, Toni home permanents, Toni Shampoo and Philip Morris.

Matt Crowley, Casey
Jim Backus, Casey (briefly)
Staats Cotsworth, Casey

Jan Miner, Ann Williams
John Gibson, Ethelbert the bartender

Air dates
07/07/43 - 04/01/44 (as Flashgun Casey)
04/08/44 - 06/26/45 (as Casey, Press Photographer)
07/11/45 - 03/13/47 (as Crime Photographer)
03/20/47 - 11/16/50 (as Casey, Crime Photographer)
01/13/54 - 04/22/55 (as Crime Photographer)

In the period between the fourth and fifth series, the live television version was telecast.

 In 1951 the popular series moved to television:
First Telecast: April 19, 1951 Last Telecast: June 5, 1952
Casey (June 1951-April 1952): Darren McGavin
Ann Williams: Jan Miner (reprising her radio role)

Darrin McGavin commented, "The cast of Crime Photographer didn’t go down fighting. They took off for the hills. It was so bad that it was never re-run, and that’s saying something when you recall the caliber of television programs in those days."

Another great Casey, Crime Photographer link.

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