I hear of Sherlock everywhere [GREE] – American Radio Part 2

At the end of Part 1, I said the heyday of Holmes on the radio in the USA was coming to an end with the series of 39 shows with Ben Wright as Holmes and Eric Snowden taking my part. This series lasted until June 1950.

Then, after a gap of five years, in 1955 the shows with the Gielgud and Richardson pairing mentioned in British Radio Part 1 were broadcast in the USA in a different order and with four extra shows. These were repeated in 1956.

In 1959, 36 of the Carleton Hobbs and Norman Shelley shows were aired for the first time in the USA.

Then after what appears to be a very long gap, in 1977 the CBS Mystery Theatre broadcast eleven shows with Kevin McCarthy as Holmes and Cort Benson as Watson. These shows are all from the Canon and include HOUN, SIGN, STUD, REDH, BOSC, SPEC, SCAN, BLUE, BERY, IDEN and GLOR.

I can then find details of three more CBS Mystery Theatre shows, all with Gordon Gould as Holmes but with a different Watson in each case – MUSG with Lloyd Batesta in 1981, NAVA with Bernard Grant in 1982, and NAVA again later in 1982 with William Griffiths.

Nine years later in 1991, Edward Petherbridge appeared as Holmes with David Peart as Watson in STUD followed by VALL, FIVE, TWIS, SILV, GREE, SCAN, BLUE, SPEC, BRUC, NOBL, SIXN and HOUN stretching into 1993.

I also have a note of a production of HOUN with Nicol Williamson and George Rose but I have no date for this and I cannot tell whether this is a radio broadcast or not.

There are two more series, both of which are still running and produced by Jim French for the Imagination Theatre. The first of these, The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes are all pastiches with Lawrence Albert as Watson but with a succession of different actors playing Holmes. These include John Gilbert, John Patrick Lowrie and Denis Bateman. In one episode, Watson (played by Lawrence Albert) impersonates Holmes and works with Mycroft in that episode and the previous one. Over 90 episodes have been produced (at the end of 2009) and scripts and recordings are available.

Following on from this, Jim French started another series in 2005 called The Classic Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with John Patrick Lowrie as Holmes and Lawrence Albert again as Watson. This time they are all stories from the Canon and, as of March 2010, 23 shows have been produced.

So this brings this series itself to an end. The previous parts were:

  1. Sherlock Holmes on British Radio – Part 1
  2. Sherlock Holmes on British Radio – Part 2
  3. Sherlock Holmes on American Radio – Part 1

But, before I go I must acknowledge the following sources without whom this series could not have been produced:

There are still some broadcasts that I am trying to track down but if anyone  knows about any that I have missed then please drop me a line care of 221B Baker Street.


5 Responses

  1. Pat Flannagan says:

    Dr. Watson, thanks so much for this very tidy and comprehensive listing of yourself and Holmes on the radio in Britain and America. I love the great diversity of actors who have played the fabulous duo, and I’ll use this as a radio reference source. As they used to say on a 1970’s comedy show…You can get away with so much on the radio.
    Regards and don’t forget to practice your GMT (good mike technique.)

  2. Excellent! Thank you for assembling these essential histories. As wonderful as live-drama and filmed portrayals can be, there is a a special lure to hearing a fine voice conjure a scene and an array of characters. This is especially true when they have the privilege of reading your accounts of your friend.

    • The Good Doctor says:

      Thank you for your kind comments.

      It has been a great pleasure to compile these short summaries and I am now collecting together as many of the recordings as I can find. Many of these I had not heard before and I found to my suprise that John Stanley (who replaced Tom Conway as Holmes – see American Radio Part 1) sounds exactly like Basil Rathbone.

      I hope to provide more detailed and up to date listings in the future.

  3. Craig Wichman says:

    Dear (?) –

    Just a note to flag you on some more Modern Audio Drama Holmes…
    My group, Quicksilver Radio Theater, has produced two (actually three, if you count a bonus feature) adventures of The Great Detective and The Good Doctor. Originally authorized by Dame Jean Conan Doyle, they’ve been warmly received, and have taken a national award.


    I play Holmes, as I’ve also done on stage in the Gillette play, and in recreations of classic Edith Meisner episodes both in NYC, and at the Friends of Old Time Radio convention.


    P.S. – And as do most folks who have visited these two great friends and their world, we hope to do so again…


    • The Good Doctor says:

      Thank you for the information and I will certainly take a look (listen) to what you have done. My congratulations on your award.

      I am discovering new “adaptations” of the Canon all the time and hope to bring these posts up to date at some point in the future.


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