Detective serial (Late 1940s)
requisite Chinese chords and stings from the organist…
we have several selections from the casebook of the Incomparable
Charlie Chan, Detective, Philosopher, and Modern Chinese
Sage. Thrills, excitement and comedy are promised. And pearls
of wisdom, as well. "Solution, like pearl, is gained
through much minor irritation."
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Charlie Chan was the Chinese detective created by Earl
Derr Biggers. Over 40 Charlie Chan movies were done from
the early 1930s through 1949, all of which starred non-Chinese
actors as Charlie. Supposedly working as a Honolulu police
detective, Charlie was almost always somewhere else, like
Paris, Rio, LA, even Treasure Island…but he did have
a wonderful home life, too, with a reported 14 children,
including his famous #1, #2 etc. sons, ever intent on helping
"pop" solve the case.
Still, it's fun to hear radio's daytime serial version
of the Hawaiian family man who gave us all a little exotic
wit and wisdom while uncovering dishonorable culprit. The
other shows are more of "the incomparable" at
work. Unfortunately, Chan on radio is very rare, the very
opposite of the ubiquitous Charlie Chan movie reruns on
TV. This is a mysterious absence even the great Charlie
Chan might be needed to solve!
Many mystery lovers sniff at Chan. But here's one more
from Charlie that might apply…"Mind, like parachute,
only function when open."
Sadly the Charlie Chan serial recordings are rare and hard to come by. The episode recordings are complete however the recordings are in serial format and the complete story line is incomplete (as most of the recorings of this series is believed lost).
Fore more asian detectives, see also: Mr Moto and Frank Wantanabe and the Honorable Archie.
Some other classic detectives on radio are Sherlock
Holmes, Blackstone The Magic
Detective, Nick Carter,
Philo Vance and The
Falcon. Also there's Nero
Wolfe, The Saint, and a
host of private eyes like Philip
Marlowe, Sam Spade,
Johnny Dollar, and Richard
For more brainy detectives, see also: Softboiled Detectives.