BOOKS

 

Truth or Consequences

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES: The Quiz Show That Became a National Phenomenon

Have you ever heard of the American Heart Association? The Jimmy Fund? These charities (and others) got their start from a radio quiz program, TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, created and hosted by Ralph Edwards. The quiz program was also responsible for Hot Springs, New Mexico, changing their name to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, was the origin for THIS IS YOUR LIFE, and Al Baker who hit a golf ball 823 miles across the country in six weeks! Everyone knows Jack Benny was the Walking Man, but who knows the name of the winner and the prizes she won?

 

TallulahBankhead_postcard

THE BIG SHOW: Tallulah Bankhead and her Radio Career

The untold story of the most prestigious radio program on NBC. After Jack Benny (among other top-rated radio comedians) switched to CBS in a landmark business deal, NBC threw money into a Sunday night colossus with the intention of killing Jack Benny’s career. Tallulah Bankhead was hired to emcee (after Bette Davis and Henry Fonda turned it down) and the story behind this epic battle, the lawsuits, the scandals, reprints of inter-office memos are all here!

 

 

DUFFY’S TAVERN: A History of Ed Gardner’s Radio Program

Soon after DUFFY’S TAVERN premiered over the radio in 1941, Hollywood celebrities flocked to the microphone for a guest appearance and accepted what was rarely heard of in network broadcasting — celebrities were roasted in the form of insults that were praised by critics and raved by radio listeners. DUFFY’S TAVERN was so popular it helped spawn a hit song, “Leave Us Face It,” an attempted newspaper comic strip, a number of premiums and a U.S.O. Tour. Convicts at San Quentin voted it their favorite radio program. This book (400 plus pages) documents the entire history of the radio program, the 1945 motion-picture, the short-lived television program, the lawsuits, Ed Gardner’s personal life, contract negotiations and much more!

 

 

THE TIME TUNNEL: A History of the Television Program

by Martin Grams

Every week from 1966 to 1967, television viewers were treated to a spectacle. Two American scientists were lost in the swirling maze of past and future ages. One week they found themselves on board the Titanic, the next week they were in the far future fighting aliens. James Darren and Robert Colbert were the stars of this weekly Irwin Allen program and this book documents the entire history of the program.


 

SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE: A History of the Television Program, 1955-57

by Martin Grams

Hosted by Truman Bradley, this science fiction anthology offered the “what if” approach with a strong emphasis on science. But when half the props were fake and budgets were slashed by the production company, how does a television program like Science Fiction Theatre manage to make television history? Add a smart comment by Marty McFly’s father in Back to the Future, referencing this program… that’s how!


 

THE SHADOW: The History and Mystery of the Radio Program, 1930-1954

by Martin Grams

“Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!” The long-running radio program finally receives its due with this 850 page book documenting everything you want to know about the radio program. Also included is an episode guide with plot summaries for each and every radio broadcast from 1937 to 1954.

 

 

THE GREEN HORNET: A History of Radio, Motion Pictures, Comics and Television

by Martin Grams and Terry Salomonson

This 800 page book documents the history of the masked vigilante (note: The Green Hornet was not a superhero — there is a difference). From the 1936 origin on radio, the comic books, the cliffhanger serials and the 1966-67 television program, everything you want to know about The Green Hornet is inside!

 

 

THE TWILIGHT ZONE: Unlocking The Door to a Television Classic

by Martin Grams

Winner of two “Best Book of the Year” Awards, this 800 page book covers everything you want to know about Rod Serling’s classic television series which aired over CBS Television from 1959 to 1964. From the bloopers, the music cues, dates of production to behind-the-scenes stories, find out what makes this 800 page book the rave everyone keeps talking about.

 


GANG BUSTERS: The Crime Fighters of American Broadcasting

by Martin Grams

Before there was Unsolved Mysteries and America’s Most Wanted, there was Gang Busters. Responsible for helping police apprehend hundreds of criminals over a 20 year time period, this popular radio program inspired a cliffhanger serial, comic books, two motion-pictures and a short-run television program of the same name.

 

 

CAR 54, WHERE ARE YOU?

by Martin Grams

Car 54, Where Are You? only ran two years but remains a favorite for people who watch TV Land and late-night cable reruns. Now available on DVD commercially, it’s time to revisit the series with background material and trivia about your favorite television comedy.

 

 

I LED THREE LIVES: The True Story of Herbert A. Philbrick’s Television Program

by Martin Grams

Often mistaken for the radio program, I Was a Communist for the FBI (which was also a Warner Bros. motion picture starring Frank Lovejoy), this television program was based on the real-life adventures of Herbert A. Philbrick, whose book was a long-time number one best seller. Richard Carlson gambled his screen career and his bank account to star in the series, ultimately making him a millionaire.



THE RADIO ADVENTURES OF SAM SPADE

by Martin Grams

Starring Howard Duff in the lead, the gumshoe with a nose for alcohol, hitching rides on the back of trolley cars and stealing money out of the wallets of dead men became America’s favorite radio program during the mid-forties. Soon other producers began their own imitation detective programs but none could ever beat the original Sam Spade.


 

The ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS Companion

by Martin Grams and Patrick Wikstrom

Hosted by Alfred Hitchcock beginning in 1955, this television anthology ran a total of ten seasons and featured a large cast of guest stars from Vincent Price, Peter Lorre, Steve McQueen, Roger Moore, Christopher Lee, Peter Falk and many others. Here their behind-the-scenes stories in this 660 page book documenting the history behind Hitchcock’s household name.


 

INFORMATION, PLEASE

by Martin Grams

One of the most popular quiz programs ever broadcast, listeners were encouraged to mail in questions in an attempt ti stump the experts. If the panelists could not answer the question, the listener received a very expensive prize. But look out! These panelists not only knew the answers, but had a sharp wit to boot. Celebrity guest panelists included Jackie Robinson, Gracie Allen, Harpo Marx and many others! 


 

THE RAILROAD HOUR

by Martin Grams and Gerald Wilson

Considered one of the finest musicals (following behind the Metropolitan Opera broadcasts), this program went up against stiff competition and still dominated 299 broadcasts over a period of six seasons. From Doris Day to Groucho Marx, celebrities poured their heart out and fans still enjoy listening to these vintage broadcasts today.


 

THE SOUND OF DETECTION: The Radio Adventures of Ellery Queen

by Martin Grams and Francis M. Nevins

The Ellery Queen program received very little documentation until the publication of this book, which extensively covers the entire broadcasting career of the fictional detective, Ellery Queen. His guest spots on other radio programs and a complete episode guide with plot summaries is also included.

 


The HAVE GUN – WILL TRAVEL Companion

by Martin Grams and Les Rayburn 

Considered one of the finest Westerns telecast on American television, the John Barrymore on horseback, Richard Boone, rode across CBS for six seasons and told some of the best stories a Western could produce. Scripts written by Harold Jack Bloom and Gene Roddenberry verify the quality of the series. Come explore the history behind the classic Western. 


 

INNER SANCTUM MYSTERIES: Behind the Creaking Door

by Martin Grams

One of the finest horror programs to grace the radio tubes, Hollywood celebrities Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney Jr., Peter Lorre and Frank Sinatra all graced the microphone in creepy stories that invoked a sense of fright during the signature opening of the creaking door. In one episode, the vampire was proven to be fake. It was a mad scientist with a need and a bicycle pump. Or was it a real vampire?

 


The I LOVE A MYSTERY Companion

by Martin Grams

This 500 page book documents the history of the radio program that helped define “blood and thunder” with thrilling stories such as “The Bride of the Werewolf,” “The Monster in the Mansion” and “The Temple of Vampires.” Children loved the series. Parents protested against the scary stories. Carlton E. Morse was the creator, producer, director and writer of the series, and his legacy is preserved in this book.



INVITATION TO LEARNING

by Martin Grams

Perhaps one of the least explored, least talked about radio programs, Invitation to Learning was a long running program (24 years) featuring discussions of famous works of literature with guest panelists — many happened to be Hollywood celebrities. Limited to a print run of 500, this limited edition book helps document the radio program.

 

 

THE “LOST” SAM SPADE SCRIPTS

by Martin Grams

Thirteen radio scripts from the Golden Age of Radio. The Adventures of Sam Spade is perhaps one of the few programs that collectors long for more “lost” recordings to surface. Filling in that void are these scripts including the premiere episode, the Christmas broadcast with Steve Dunne and a few surprises along the way!

 

 

THE CBS RADIO MYSTERY THEATER: An Episode Guide and Handbook, 1974-1982

by Martin Grams and Gordon Payton

All 1,600 plus episodes are documented with cast credits, script writer credits and plot summaries. Also included is a brief history of the program.

 

 

 

THE HISTORY OF THE CAVALCADE OF AMERICA

by Martin Grams

Often dismissed as one of those “historical drama” pieces, Cavalcade accomplished a long-running series of Hollywood productions in high quality productions that could rival The Lux Radio Theater. Thanks to DuPont, the history of this undiscovered Hollywood is now told with a highly-detailed episode guide.

 

 

SUSPENSE: Twenty Years of Thrills and Chills

by Martin Grams

Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Red Skelton, Frank Sinatra, Peter Lorre and Mickey Rooney all had their chance at being murderers in this 1942-1962 radio program. From classic productions as “Sorry, Wrong Number” to James Stewart’s “Mission Completed,” this series kept listeners on the edge of their seats.


 

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Books are not made for furniture, but there is nothing else that so beautifully furnishes a house.

— Henry Ward Beecher.

 

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.

— George Washington Carver