NEWSLETTER | VOL. 29, September 2023
Welcome to this month’s edition of The Hollywood 360 Newsletter, your place to get all the news on upcoming shows, schedule and interesting facts from your H360 team!
by Carl Amari
The character of Jack “Flashgun” Casey was first penned by former newspaper and advertising executive, George Harmon Coxe, Jr. in the March 1934 issue of Black Mask, the legendary Pulp Magazine. Casey was a cameraman who took photographs that accompanied reporter’s newspaper stories. His keen eye for detailed served him well at solving the crimes he was assigned to photograph. “Flashgun Casey” was an instant success with the Black Mask readers and soon made the leap to the silver screen and to radio. Jim Backus (TV’s Thurston Howell the Third) was radio’s first Casey, but was replaced early on by Staats Cotsworth (pictured here). Casey, was aided in his amateur detecting by his fellow reporter Ann Williams, portrayed by Jan Miner (pictured here – FYI: Miner may be best known as “Madge,” the spokeswoman for Palmolive) who, like Casey, worked for The Morning Express. When not at work, they frequented The Blue Note Café, a late night lounge where bartender, Ethelbert, provided both a sounding board and levity for Casey and Ann as they awaited their next call to a crime scene. “Casey, Crime Photographer” ran on radio from 1943 until 1955, sponsored for most of its run by Anchor Hocking Glass, and made the transition to TV with Richard Carlyle and later, Darren McGavin in the title role.
LEND ME YOUR EARS | THIS MONTH’S SONG: THE GAMBLER by Kenny Rogers
by Lisa Wolf
“Something more than me wrote that song. I’m convinced of that. I really had no idea where the song was coming from. There was something going through my head, which was my father. It was just a song, and it somehow filtered through me. Six weeks later I received the final verse. Months later it came to me that it was inspired by, and possibly a gift from, my father.” Schlitz’s father had died in 1976. ~ Don Schlitz
Don Schlitz was the creative force behind the lyrics of “The Gambler.” The song was initially turned down by several performers. Schlitz even recorded it himself in 1978, but it wasn’t until it found its way to Kenny Rogers that the song was destined for stardom.
Born in Houston, Texas in 1938, Kenneth Ray Rogers was already a seasoned performer by the time “The Gambler” was presented to him. “The Gambler” was a story of an encounter on a train “bound for nowhere” between the narrator and a gambler. As the gambler imparts his life philosophy woven through a game of cards, Schlitz’s lyrics present the audience with a truth on knowing when to fight and when to surrender, depicted through the metaphor of a poker game.
“The Gambler” peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard’s country chart and crossed over to the pop chart, peaking at No. 16. The song became so popular that it transformed Rogers into a household name and led to five television movies. Rogers played the character Brady Hawkes, a professional gambler known as ‘The Gambler.’
“The Gambler” received a string of accolades, including a Grammy for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1980. The song was so influential that it was selected for preservation in the National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress in 2018 as being “culturally, historically, or artistically significant.”
The legacy of “The Gambler” continued even after Rogers passed away in March 2020. The song remains a beloved classic, and its lyrical advice continues to echo in popular culture.
Hollywood 360 Schedule
THE JACK BENNY PROGRAM 10/24/48 Dinner at Jack’s House
BOX THIRTEEN 12/19/48 The Sad Night
YOU BET YOUR LIFE 3/30/57 Secret word: Roof
THE NEW ADV. OF NERO WOLFE 2/2/51 The Vanishing Shells
JOHN STEEL, ADVENTURER 6/20/50 Shadows on the Snow
THE ADV. OF SAM SPADE, DETECTIVE 7/18/48 The Missing Newshawk Caper
DIMENSION X 9/15/50 Hello, Tomorrow
FRONTIER GENTLEMAN 2/16/58 Honky Tonkers
NIGHT BEAT 6/5/50 The Girl From Kansas
VOYAGE OF THE SCARLET QUEEN 1/9/48 the Derelict and the Wandering Buoy
9/16/23 (repeat of 9/19/22 show)
THE CHARLIE McCARTHY SHOW 10/26/47 w/ guest, Richard Widmark
THE NEW ADV. OF SHERLOCK HOLMES 1/28/46 The Demon Barber
THE WHISTLER 3/10/48 Return Engagement
THE DENNIS DAY SHOW 1/8/47 Dennis Gets a Large Tax Refund
THE SCREEN DIRECTOR’S PLAYHOUSE 2/27/49 Night Has a Thousand Eyes
LIFE WITH LUIGI 9/5/50 Luigi Sells Ice Cream
SOMEBODY KNOWS 8/17/50 The Jean Coyle Long Murder
THE ADV. OF FRANK RACE 6/5/49 The Adv. of the Vanishing President
DUFFY’S TAVERN 9/7/50 Army Surplus Helicopter
YOU BET YOUR LIFE 2/3/58 Secret word: Chair
THE ADV. OF THE THIN MAN 7/6/48 The Passionate Palooka
THE SHADOW 11/16/41 The Case of the Three Frightened Policemen
THE CHARLIE McCARTHY SHOW 9/26/43 w/ guest, Hedy Lamarr
CASEY, CRIME PHOTOGRAPHER 8/11/49 Death of a Stranger
THE FRED ALLEN SHOW 11/18/45 w/ guest, Boris Karloff
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