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Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

Entertainment Radio

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was a radio drama that aired on CBS Radio from February 18, 1949, to September 30, 1962. The first several seasons imagined protagonist Johnny Dollar as a standard private investigator drama.


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Our Editor's Take

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar is a podcast that replays episodes of the popular show from the Golden Age of Radio. The character Johnny Dollar is an investigator. He's a Marine veteran and former police officer. He also has a penchant for tabulating expenses while investigating. Eight actors played Dollar during the original radio broadcast dates. The first was Charles Russell. Many consider actor number six, Bob Bailey, the most memorable. Bailey took the role in 1955 and played the part until 1960. This show includes several of his portrayals.

The Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar radio shows had various formats over the twelve years it was on air. Many believe writer-director Jack Johnstone composed the most popular format. He made Dollar a freelance insurance investigator. Each case began with a phone call from an insurance adjuster. They asked Dollar to investigate a suspicious claim. Dollar recounted each investigation after completing it. He often encountered danger on the job and made time for occasional romance and fishing. Listeners get to follow these cases on the podcast.

Episode 582 of the Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar podcast plays "The Killer's List Matter." Inter-Allied Life Insurance Company agent Pat Cummings calls Dollar with a request. Inter-Allied carried a $100,000 life insurance policy on Everett Benton. He was the wealthy owner of an investment firm in New York. The night before, Benton fell fourteen stories from his office building and died. Cummings suspects someone pushed Benton for the money. He mentions that Benton's wife, Claire, is twelve years younger.

Dollar visits Claire to interrogate her. She offers him a drink and doesn't seem concerned. When Dollar mentions that, Claire says she and Benton had an unhappy marriage. She believes he committed suicide. Claire plans to file an insurance claim in the morning and calls her alibi "airtight." She seems suspect until Dollar visits her alibi, a club owner with something to hide. He warns Dollar that being nosy can be fatal.

Listeners of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar follow Dollar's investigations and learn about a former era. All 811 episodes are available for streaming.

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