Welcome to Two-Fisted Tuesdays, where we throw on our trench coats, don our fedoras, and walk down the mean streets of classic crime fiction. This week, we’re pumping two new bullets into your hard-boiled ear drums, Yours Truly Johnny Dollar and Boston Blackie.
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was a crime drama that ran for over 12 years during the golden age of radio. The main character, Johnny Dollar, was a smart, tough, wisecracking insurance detective who tossed silver-dollar tips to waiters and bellhops. While always a friend of the police, Johnny wasn't necessarily a stickler for the strictest interpretation of the law. He was willing to let some things slide to satisfy his own sense of justice, as long as his employers were also protected.
Download this week's episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
Special thanks to Scott from Dieselpunk Industries for tipping us to Johnny Dollar's radio adventures.
Boston Blackie, enemy to those who make him an enemy, friend to those who have no friend, was created by pulp author Jack Boyle. He appeared in Boyle's 1920 novel Boston Blackie, which was a compilation of his short stories "Boston Blackie's Mary" and "Fred the Count," published in Red Book Magazine in Nov. 1917 and Jan. 1918, respectively. Originally conceived as a jewel thief and safecracker in Boyle's stories, Blackie became a “reformed” criminal and private detective in later adaptions. Blackie made the jump to silent films treatments in the late teens and early twenties, eventually scoring big time in 1941 thanks to Columbia's Boston Blackie series.
Meet Boston Blackie became the first film in Columbia's profitable 14 film series, with Chester Morris providing an amiable, charming hero in all episodes. Although the charming detective is suspect number one whenever a daring crime is committed, Boston Blackie's adventures always find a way to bring the actual culprit to justice.
Watch Boston Blackie in Meet Boston Blackie (1941)