Old Time Radio - 1 CD-ROM 60 mp3
When Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons first debuted over the Blue Network on October 12, 1937, the show’s title accurately described Keen’s stock-in-trade; the “kindly old investigator” tracked down individuals who had mysteriously vanished, leaving behind their families, homes, jobs and other day-to-day activities. Keen (he never had a first name, unless it was “Peachy”) was assisted in these duties by an Irishman named Mike Clancy. Mike wasn’t much of a brainiac (the quote that comprises the title of this post was a semi-catchphrase that he seemed to use on the show every week) but he could use the necessary brawn when the situation called for it. Bennett Kilpack played kindly ol' Keen throughout most of the program’s run, as well as Philip Clarke and Arthur Hughes, while Jim Kelly took the role of Clancy. The series originally aired as a thrice-weekly fifteen-minute serial from 1937-43 (the show moved to CBS in 1942), providing more than ample time for Keen to solve even the most baffling of disappearances.
Beginning November 11, 1943, the program changed its format to that of a half-hour weekly offering—and though the title and theme song remained, Keen branched out into investigating murders.
If Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons sounds a little soap opera-ish, it’s because it originated from the “radio fiction factory” of Frank and Anne Hummert. (Frank received on-air credit for the writing, but the scripts were actually churned out by scribes like Lawrence Klee, Bob Shaw, Barbara Bates and Stedman Coles.) Mr. Keen“ employed all the stereotypes, heavy dialogue, and trite plotting of its daytime cousins” and “it appealed to a lowest common denominator.” So why is the show so popular with old-time radio fans today? Simple…it’s pretty doggone funny, in an unintentional sort of way.
Mr. Keen, Tracer of Lost Persons enjoyed a healthy eighteen-year stint over radio, ending its run not—as previously reported on this blog—on April 19, 1955 but on September 26 of that same year. Over the years, the series had a variety of sponsors: Bisodol, Kolynos toothpaste, Chesterfield cigarettes, American Chicle, etc., and there are nearly sixty broadcasts extant today for modern-day listeners to revel in. It’s ample evidence that not every show during the Golden Age of Radio was “golden”—but I gotta admit, it sure is fun.
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Mr Keen 400605 the case of the woman who wasn t needed pa 1
Mr Keen 440106 the case of the moonless night
Mr Keen 440113 the case of the missing witness
Mr Keen 440120 the case of the girl who sang too well
Mr Keen 440203 the case of the girl who flirted
Mr Keen 440210 the case of the boy who used big words
Mr Keen 440217 the case of mr trevor s secret
Mr Keen 440224 the case of murder in the air
Mr Keen 440313 the silver candlestick murder case
Mr Keen 440316 the case of the strange display
Mr Keen 440413 the case of the leaping dog
Mr Keen 440529 the woman who wasn t there
Mr Keen 440615 the case of the woman in blue
Mr Keen 441116 the case of the frightened child
Mr Keen 441214 the nightmare murder case
Mr Keen 450315 the case of the absent minded professor
Mr Keen 460523 the case of the glamorous widow
Mr Keen 481028 Identical Twins Murder CasePt 2 of 3
Mr Keen 490609 the case of murder and the star of death
Mr Keen 490915 the case of murder and the bloodstained neck 1
Mr Keen 490922 the yellow talon murder case
Mr Keen 490929 the case of murder with a thousand witnesses
Mr Keen 491006 the case of the man who invented death
Mr Keen 491013 the silver dagger murder case
Mr Keen 491027 the case of the ruthless murderers
Mr Keen 491103 the forgotten cave murder
Mr Keen 491110 the engaged girl murder case
Mr Keen 500105 the case of the rushville murder
Mr Keen 500119 the bride and groom murder case
Mr Keen 500126 the telephone book murder case
Mr Keen 500209 the case of murder and the jewel thief
Mr Keen 500216 the case of the two faced murderer
Mr Keen 500309 the case of the melody of murder
Mr Keen 500316 the innocent flirtation murder case
Mr Keen 500406 the case of the murdered detective
Mr Keen 500413 the eccentric millionaire murder case
Mr Keen 500420 the country club murder case
Mr Keen 500427 the case of the woman who married a murderer
Mr Keen 500504 the king cobra murder case
Mr Keen 500511 the case of murder and the missing car
Mr Keen 500518 the case of the missing countess
Mr Keen 500525 the broken window murder case
Mr Keen 500601 the quicksand murder case
Mr Keen 500608 the amusement park murder case
Mr Keen 500615 the skull and crossbones murder case
Mr Keen 510720 the case of murder and the strange woman
Mr Keen 510727 the photograph album murder case
Mr Keen 510803 the case of the strange murder of carrie ell 1
Mr Keen 510810 the abandoned well murder case
Mr Keen 510817 poisoned sandwich murder case
Mr Keen 511206 the case of murder at a mile a minute
Mr Keen 520222 murder and the revengful ghost
Mr Keen 520313 the silver candlestick murder case
Mr Keen 520403 the rented cottage murder case
Mr Keen 520410 the mother s plea murder case
Mr Keen 540621 the shrieking prisoner murder case part 1
Mr Keen 540623 the shrieking prisoner murder case part 2
Mr Keen 540624 the shrieking prisoner murder case part 3
Mr Keen 540625 the shrieking prisoner murder case part 4
Mr Keen 550222 the case of murder and the revengeful ghost