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Radio Programs beginning with "D"
"...stories told in future tense:
DIMENSION X -x -x -x -x -x -x!"

You can read all about the real Damon Runyon in this book by Jimmy Breslin (check

The Damon Runyan Theatre

Star: John Brown (as Broadway)
Sponsor: local sponsors
Network: Syndicated (Mayfair) [heard on many Mutual stations]
Aired: 1940-1951
Type of Show: Drama
NB: Based upon the unexpectedly heartwarming gangster stories by Damon Runyan (such as Little Miss Marker and Palm Beach Santa Claus, both of which were episodes in this series).  Runyan was a newspaper sportswriter turned short story writer.

  Danny Kaye (1913-85)

Danny Kaye

Star: Danny Kaye
Sponsor: Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer
Network: CBS
Aired: 1945-1946
Type of Show: Variety (Comedy)
NB: David Daniel Kaminsky shortened his name to Kaye and became one of the most respected perfomers in show business.  Although this program lasted only a few months, it was immensely popular.  Shortly after this he began to make quite a few motion pictures.

Dennis Day, whose real name (he never had it legally changed) was Owen Patrick McNulty, was originally hired by Jack Benny to be his solo vocalist.

A Day in the Life of Dennis Day

Star: Dennis Day
Sponsor: Colgate toothpaste
Network: NBC, CBS, Syndicated
Aired: 1946-1951
Type of Show: Situation Comedy
NB: This is not the same character Dennis Day portrayed on The Jack Benny Program.  In this show he plays a soda jerk.  Phil Harris, Dennis Day, and Mel Blanc (from the Benny program) began radio shows in 1946.  They continued to work with Jack Benny, although Harris left the Benny program in 1951.

Death Valley Days was brought to you by 20 Mule Team Borax, now made by Armour-Dial

Death Valley Days (in its last year it was called, "Death Valley Sheriff;" reruns aired 1945-1951 on CBS called "The Sheriff")

Stars: various
Sponsor: 20 Mule Team Borax
Network: NBC (Red), NBC (Blue), CBS
Aired: 1930-1945
Type of Show: Drama (Historical Fiction/Western)
NB: Series would go on television in the 1950s and 1960s.  Ronald Reagan was its first host on TV. The last was Dale Robertson.

Dimension X

Stars: various
Sponsors: sustaining (no sponsors), General Mills
Network: NBC
Aired: 1950-1951
Type of Show: Anthology (science fiction)
NB: Would return a few years later as X Minus One

    Dinah Shore

Dinah Shore

Star: Dinah Shore
Sponsors: Bristol-Myers, Birdseye, Ford, Philip Morris Cigarettes, Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, Chevrolet
Network: NBC (Blue), ABC, CBS, NBC
Aired: 1939-1955
Trademark Sound: "Mwa!" (kiss blown to the audience)
Type of Show: Variety (Musical)
NB: The Pride of Winchester, Tennesee (she was born there and grew up in Nashville), the daughter of Russian Jewish immigrants was a success in everything she did.  When she first appeared on television in 1954, her shows were seen on TV and heard on the radio at precisely the same time.  Dinah suffered from polio as a child and rarely walked so anyone could watch her, as she had a slight limp.

Jean Hersholt

Doctor Christian, the Country Doctor

Star: Jean Hersholt
Sponsor: Vaseline petroleum jelly
Network: CBS
Aired: 1937-1954
Type of Show: Daytime drama (not necessarily a serial all the time; it only aired on one weekday afternoon)
NB: Based on a popular series of movies starring Jean Hersholt as the kind, old country doctor.  (The Humanitarian Academy Award is named for him.)  Most of the scripts on this program were submitted by listeners as part of a nationwide talent search. The prize was a substantial amount of cash and a case of Vaseline.  Since many of these programs survive on recordings, one could say that another prize would be that of literary immortality.

Dr. IQ

Star: Lew Valentine or Jimmy McClain
Sponsor: Mars Candy, Vick Chemical Company, Embassy Cigarettes
Network: NBC (Red), ABC
Aired: 1939-1950
Type of Show: Game Show
NB:  Inspired the Dr. IQ candy bar, long since forgotten.  Companion Saturday morning kids' show Dr. IQ, Jr., ran from 1941 to 1949 on NBC.  It went off the air when the adult show moved to ABC and was sponsored by a cigarette company.

Lew Ayers   Lionel Barrymore

Doctor Kildare

Star: Lew Ayres, Lionel Barrymore
Sponsor: Sustaining (no sponsors)
Network: Syndicated [originated from WMGM in New York City]
Aired: 1950-1951
Type of Show: Drama
NB: Based on a movie series.  About ten years after this there would be a TV series on NBC starring Richard Chamberlain.

So that's why he looked older than he really was!


Jack Webb heartily endorsed his sponsors


Stars: Jack Webb, Barton Yarbrough, Ben Alexander, George Fenneman, Hal Gibney
Sponsors: Fatima cigarettes, Chesterfield cigarettes (note how smoking plays an important role in the program!)
Network: NBC
Aired: 1949-1957
Type of Show: Police Drama
NB: Former child movie actor Barton Yarbrough played Ben Romero.  He was a favorite of  everyone.  After he died in 1952  (and his character also died on the show) he was replaced by Ben Alexander, who played Frank Smith.  This was the first of three versions of Dragnet  (one on radio and two on TV) and probably the most remembered and best loved.  An important thing to note is that toward the end of the radio series and first TV series Joe Friday was promoted from Sergeant to Lieutenant.  In the second TV series, he was a Sergeant again.  Did he get busted?

Updated November 23, 2001