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All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Jack WebbPeggy WebberBarney PhilipsVirginia GreggBarton Yarborough
Police drama, a pioneering series of unprecedented realism (1949 - 1957)

"Ladies and gentlemen: the story you are about to hear is true.
Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent."

Jack WebbIn official police terminology, a dragnet is based on a fishing technique of dispensing a large fishing net hanging vertically in the water used in commercial fishing practices—once the drawstring is pulled on the net the fish have little hope of escaping.  This technique is similar to a coordinated police investigation that canvasses a large area to trap criminals.

Producer-Actor Jack Webb stared in many old time radio shows prior to Dragnet often as a detective or another member of law enforcement such as in Jeff Regan, Johnny Modero: Pier 23 and the comedy series, Pat Novak.  In these earlier crime-solving radio shows, he developed his memorable and distinguished voice cadence and deadpan delivery used in his characterization of Sergeant Joe Friday.  

The series covered crimes ranging from check fraud, petty theft, and bunko detail to more sensational topics like murder, drug abuse, and taboo topics such as sex crimes and child abduction and murder. With a semi-documentary style, realism would be the show's feature.  Webb began hanging out at police headquarters, riding with detective teams on house calls. He attended classes at police academy, becoming fluent in police terminology and technique. 

Dragnet WhistleDetective Sergeant Marty Wynn of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) provided technical advice throughout the show's run. He was such a supporter of law enforcement, that he felt his show was a public service to dispel negative views of police departments. Jack Webb's portrayal of Sergeant Joe Friday was so realistic that citizens would ask to see him at the LAPD police headquarters.  The show was also applauded for its positive portrayal of police officers in so much as upon the death of Jack Webb Friday's badge number 714 was retired.

Jack Webb and Barton YarboroughThe sound effects are some of the finest in radio history with complicated and layered sounds for each scene.  With five sound effect technicians, complex scenes involving interviews with witnesses would take place in publishing warehouses, high schools, steel yards, or other multifaceted-sounding locals.

In the beginning of the show's run, Barton Yarborough co-starred as Sgt. Ben Romero whose name was comically mispronounced by almost every witness while being interviewed. Chronically laidback Romero was older than Friday served a mentoring role; he was married with children and struggled with balancing police and family life.  When Barton Yarborough suddenly died of a heart attack, his death was written into the script in episode " Big Sorrow" (Volume 2: Dragnet 511227 e133 Big Sorrow). 

Later Ben Alexander filled the role as Joe Friday's partner as Frank Smith, and often added comic relief when complaining to Joe about his mundane life—everything from his wife's spending or the in-laws staying in town.  However, unlike the single and straightforward Joe Friday, Frank Smith humanized the policemen with his common day-to-day problems and ordinary communication. 

Ben AlexanderOften shows were moralizing in theme, such as in:

  • "A Rifle for Christmas where Joe Friday practically blames the parents for the death of their child for an inappropriate gift.  The National Rifle Association (NRA) was up in arms after this episode saying that it portrayed child gun ownership in a negative light.  Different versions of this dark Holiday show were aired multiple years.  (Volume 1: Dragnet 491222 e030 Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas)
  • In "Big Sophomore, Unwed alcoholic mothers were the source of juvenile crime in the episode, which featured a red headed petty thief (Volume 2: Dragnet 510719 e110 Big Sophomore). 
  • In "Big Seventeen parents were blames for Juvenile drug offences .  Though it is doubtful that real police sergeants berated parents and criminals regularly, this aspect of the show was perhaps a platform for Jack Webb's own beliefs about downfall of America's youth.  (Volume 2: Dragnet 510906 The Big Seventeen)

Dragnet Old Time RadioDragnet is not merely a radio, television shows nor film; it is an American institution with its characters ever immortalized in popular culture.  Its was one of the first law enforcement procedural dramas bringing police boredom, danger, and heroics into the homes of Americans influencing popular opinion of police departments across the country.

For special Jack Webb appearances in such series as Jack Webb Show, Jeff Regan, Investigator, JOHNNY MADERO, Pat Novak for Hire, and Pete Kelly Blues, (all available in the The Jack Webb Collection.

For more law enforcement excitements see The Line Up, Nightwatch, Police Headquarters, Mr. District Attorney, and This is Your FBI. See also I Devise and Bequeath. For a list of OTRCAT favorites, see also: Best of Dragnet.

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Barton Yarborough and Jack WebbFor more true police stories see also:

All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2015 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Volume 1 - 92 shows - total playtime 44 hours 33 minutes

Dragnet 490610 e002 Homicide aka The Nickel Plated Gun
Dragnet 490617 e003 The Werewolf
Dragnet 490624 e004 Homicide aka Quick Trigger Gun Men
Dragnet 490707 e005 Helen Corday
Dragnet 490714 e006 Red Light Bandit
Dragnet 490721 e007 City Hall Bombing
Dragnet 490728 e008 Big Missing
Dragnet 490804 e009 Benny Trounsel
Dragnet 490811 e010 Homicide aka Maniac Murderer aka Mad Killer At Large
Dragnet 490818 e011 Sixteen Jewel Thieves
Dragnet 490825 e012 Police Academy-Mario Koski
Dragnet 490901 e013 Myra, the Redhead
Dragnet 490903 e014 Eric Kelby
Dragnet 490910 e015 Sullivan Kidnapping - The Wolf
Dragnet 490917 e016 James Vickers
Dragnet 490924 e017 Brick-Bat Slayer
Dragnet 491001 e018 Tom Laval
Dragnet 491006 e019 Second Hand Killer
Dragnet 491124 e026 Mother-In-Law Murder
Dragnet 491201 e027 Spring Street Gang
Dragnet 491208 e028 Jade Thumb Rings
Dragnet 491215 e029 Garbage Chute
Dragnet 491222 e030 Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas
Dragnet 491229 e031 Roseland Murder
Dragnet 500105 e032 Big Escape
Dragnet 500112 e033 Big Man Part 1
Dragnet 500119 e034 Big Man Part 2
Dragnet 500202 e035 Claude Jimmerson, Child Killer
Dragnet 500209 e036 Big Girl
Dragnet 500223 e037 Big Grifter
Dragnet 500302 e038 Big Kill
Dragnet 500309 e039 Big Thank You
Dragnet 500316 e040 Big Boys
Dragnet 500323 e041 Big Gangster Part 1
Dragnet 500330 e042 Big Gangster Part 2
Dragnet 500406 e043 Big Book
Dragnet 500413 e044 Big Watch
Dragnet 500420 e045 Big Trial
Dragnet 500427 e046 Big Job
Dragnet 500504 e047 Big Badge
Dragnet 500511 e048 Big Knife
Dragnet 500518 e049 Big Pug
Dragnet 500525 e050 Big Key
Dragnet 500601 e051 Big Fake
Dragnet 500608 e052 Big Smart Guy
Dragnet 500615 e053 Big Press
Dragnet 500622 e054 Big Mink
Dragnet 500629 e055 Big Grab
Dragnet 500706 e056 Big Frame
Dragnet 500713 e057 Big Bomb
Dragnet 500720 e058 Big Gent Part 1
Dragnet 500727 e059 Big Gent Part 2
Dragnet 500803 e060 Big Dare
Dragnet 500810 e061 Big Actor
Dragnet 500817 e062 Big Youngster
Dragnet 500824 e063 Big Chance
Dragnet 500831 e064 Big Check
Dragnet 500907 e065 Big Poison
Dragnet 500914 e066 Big Make
Dragnet 500921 e067 Big Pair
Dragnet 500928 e068 Big Death
Dragnet 501005 e069 Big 38
Dragnet 501012 e070 Big Quack
Dragnet 501019 e071 Big Grandma
Dragnet 501026 e072 Big Meet
Dragnet 501102 e073 Big Church
Dragnet 501109 e074 Big Mother
Dragnet 501116 e075 Big Parrot
Dragnet 501123 e076 Big Betty
Dragnet 501130 e077 Big Car
Dragnet 501207 e078 Big Picture
Dragnet 501214 e079 Big Break
Dragnet 501221 e080 Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas
Dragnet 501228 e081 Big Family
Dragnet 510104 e082 Big Holdup
Dragnet 510111 e083 Big Jump
Dragnet 510118 e084 Big Dance
Dragnet 510125 e085 Big Tomato
Dragnet 510201 e086 Big Children
Dragnet 510208 e087 Big Cast
Dragnet 510215 e088 Big Crime
Dragnet 510222 e089 Big Couple
Dragnet 510301 e090 Big Partner
Dragnet 510308 e091 Big New Years
Dragnet 510315 e092 Big Ben
Dragnet 510322 e093 Big Trunk
Dragnet 510329 e094 Big Lover
Dragnet 510405 e095 Big Friend
Dragnet 510412 e096 Big Threat
Dragnet 510419 e097 Big Speech
Dragnet 510426 e098 Big Saint
Dragnet 510503 e099 Big Casing

Volume 2 - 100 shows - total playtime 47 hours 35 minutes

Dragnet 510510 e100 Big Drills
Dragnet 510517 e101 Big Blast
Dragnet 510524 e102 Big Mailman
Dragnet 510531 e103 Big Bindle
Dragnet 510607 e104 Big Imposter
Dragnet 510614 e105 Big Building
Dragnet 510621 e106 Big Run
Dragnet 510628 e107 Big Cliff
Dragnet 510705 e108 Big Love
Dragnet 510712 e109 Big Set-Up
Dragnet 510719 e110 Big Sophomore
Dragnet 510726 e111 Big Late Script
Dragnet 510802 e112 Big Cop
Dragnet 510809 e113 Big Screen
Dragnet 510816 e114 Big Winchester
Dragnet 510823 e115 Big In-Laws
Dragnet 510830 e116 Big Crazy
Dragnet 510906 e117 Big Seventeen
Dragnet 510913 e118 Big Waiter
Dragnet 510920 e119 Big Sour
Dragnet 510927 e120 Big September Man
Dragnet 511004 e121 Big Want Ad
Dragnet 511011 e122 Big Shoplift
Dragnet 511018 e123 Big Story Man
Dragnet 511025 e124 Big Market
Dragnet 511101 e125 Big Lease
Dragnet 511108 e126 Big Hit and Run Killer
Dragnet 511115 e127 Big Bungalow
Dragnet 511122 e128 Big Hands
Dragnet 511129 e129 Big Affair
Dragnet 511206 e130 Big Canaries
Dragnet 511213 e131 Big Overtime
Dragnet 511220 e132 Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas
Dragnet 511227 e133 Big Sorrow
Dragnet 520103 e134 Big Red Part 1
Dragnet 520110 e135 Big Red Part 2
Dragnet 520117 e136 Big Juvenile Division
Dragnet 520124 e137 Big Court
Dragnet 520131 e138 Big Almost No-Show
Dragnet 520207 e139 Big Honeymoon
Dragnet 520214 e140 Big Phone Call
Dragnet 520221 e141 Big Producer
Dragnet 520228 e142 Big Plant
Dragnet 520306 e143 Big Evans
Dragnet 520313 e144 Big Fire
Dragnet 520320 e145 Big Border
Dragnet 520327 e146 Big Rose
Dragnet 520403 e147 Big Streetcar
Dragnet 520410 e148 Big Show
Dragnet 520417 e149 Big Bunco
Dragnet 520424 e150 Big Elevator
Dragnet 520501 e151 Big Safe
Dragnet 520508 e152 Big Gamble
Dragnet 520515 e153 Big Mail
Dragnet 520522 e154 Big Shakedown
Dragnet 520529 e155 Big Fourth
Dragnet 520605 e156 Big Whiff
Dragnet 520612 e157 Big Donation
Dragnet 520619 e158 Big Jules
Dragnet 520626 e159 Big Roll
Dragnet 520703 e160 Big Trio
Dragnet 520710 e161 Big Hate
Dragnet 520731 e162 Big Signet
Dragnet 520807 e163 Big Impression
Dragnet 520814 e164 Big Drive
Dragnet 520821 e165 Big Paper
Dragnet 520828 e166 Big Test
Dragnet 520904 e167 Big Ray
Dragnet 520911 e168 Big Tear
Dragnet 520914 e169 Big Bull
Dragnet 520921 e170 Big Shot
Dragnet 520928 e171 Big Brain
Dragnet 521005 e172 Big Jolt
Dragnet 521012 e173 Big Lie
Dragnet 521019 e174 Big Pill
Dragnet 521026 e175 Big Number
Dragnet 521102 e176 Big Light
Dragnet 521109 e177 Big Dive
Dragnet 521116 e178 Big Walk
Dragnet 521123 e179 Big Guilt
Dragnet 521130 e180 Big Shirt
Dragnet 521207 e181 Big Mole
Dragnet 521214 e182 Big Eavesdrop
Dragnet 521221 e183 Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas
Dragnet 521228 e184 Big Mask Part 1
Dragnet 530104 e185 Big Mask Part 2
Dragnet 530111 e186 Big Small
Dragnet 530118 e187 Big String
Dragnet 530125 e188 Big Lay-Out
Dragnet 530201 e189 Big Strip
Dragnet 530208 e190 Big Press
Dragnet 530215 e191 Big Tooth
Dragnet 530222 e192 Big Smoke
Dragnet 530301 e193 Big Want
Dragnet 530308 e194 Big Laugh
Dragnet 530315 e195 Big Impossible
Dragnet 530322 e196 Big Informant
Dragnet 530329 e197 Big Dream
Dragnet 530405 e198 Big Chet
Dragnet 530412 e199 Big Compulsion

Volume 3 - 100 shows - total playtime 43 hours 45 minutes

Dragnet 530419 e200 Big Rip
Dragnet 530426 e201 Big Scrapbook
Dragnet 530503 e202 Big Carney
Dragnet 530510 e203 Big Joke
Dragnet 530517 e204 Big False Move
Dragnet 530524 e205 Big Gun Part 1
Dragnet 530531 e206 Big Gun Part 2
Dragnet 530607 e207 Big Will
Dragnet 530614 e208 Big Lilly
Dragnet 530621 e209 Big Revolt
Dragnet 530628 e210 Big Ham
Dragnet 530901 e211 Big Bop
Dragnet 530908 e212 Big Lift
Dragnet 530915 e213 Big Cab
Dragnet 530922 e214 Big Slip
Dragnet 530929 e215 Big Try
Dragnet 531006 e216 Big Little Mother
Dragnet 531013 e217 Big Plea
Dragnet 531020 e218 Big Paint
Dragnet 531027 e219 Big Fraud
Dragnet 531103 e220 Big Rain
Dragnet 531110 e221 Big Kid
Dragnet 531117 e222 Big Flight
Dragnet 531124 e223 Big Present
Dragnet 531201 e224 Big Odd
Dragnet 531208 e225 Big Pick
Dragnet 531215 e226 Big Brink
Dragnet 531222 e227 Big Little Jesus
Dragnet 531229 e228 Big Steal
Dragnet 540105 e229 Big Listen
Dragnet 540112 e230 Big Switch
Dragnet 540119 e231 Big Bill
Dragnet 540126 e232 Big Bid
Dragnet 540202 e233 Big Filth
Dragnet 540209 e234 Big Broad
Dragnet 540216 e235 Big Sucker
Dragnet 540223 e236 Big Pipe
Dragnet 540302 e237 Big TV
Dragnet 540309 e238 Big Cup
Dragnet 540316 e239 Big Rod
Dragnet 540323 e240 Big Mustache
Dragnet 540330 e241 Big Confession
Dragnet 540406 e242 Big Saw
Dragnet 540413 e243 Big Note
Dragnet 540420 e244 Big Net
Dragnet 540427 e245 Big Lift
Dragnet 540504 e246 Big Stop
Dragnet 540511 e247 Big Look
Dragnet 540518 e248 Big Help
Dragnet 540525 e249 Big Watch
Dragnet 540601 e250 Big Cowboy
Dragnet 540608 e251 Big Student
Dragnet 540615 e252 Big Cat
Dragnet 540622 e253 Big Customer
Dragnet 540629 e254 Big Chick
Dragnet 540706 e255 Big Search
Dragnet 540713 e256 Big Rescue
Dragnet 540720 e257 Big Heel
Dragnet 540727 e258 Big Match
Dragnet 540803 e259 Big Stand
Dragnet 540810 e260 Big Wish
Dragnet 540817 e261 Big Cad
Dragnet 540824 e262 Big Shock
Dragnet 540831 e263 Big Office
Dragnet 540907 e264 Big Trunk
Dragnet 540914 e265 Big Cut
Dragnet 540921 e266 Big Try
Dragnet 540928 e267 Big Bible
Dragnet 541005 e268 Big Handsome Bandit
Dragnet 541012 e269 Big Tar Baby
Dragnet 541019 e270 Big Manikin
Dragnet 541026 e271 Big Key
Dragnet 541102 e272 Big Locker
Dragnet 541109 e273 Big Coins
Dragnet 541116 e274 Big Dog
Dragnet 541123 e275 Big Switch
Dragnet 541130 e276 Big Gone
Dragnet 541207 e277 Big Dig
Dragnet 541214 e278 Big Lens
Dragnet 541221 e279 Big Little Jesus
Dragnet 541228 e280 Big Underground
Dragnet 550104 e281 Big Mug
Dragnet 550111 e282 Big Complex
Dragnet 550118 e283 Big Token
Dragnet 550125 e284 Big Bounce
Dragnet 550201 e285 Big Bird
Dragnet 550208 e286 Big Gap
Dragnet 550215 e287 Big Hat
Dragnet 550222 e288 Big Slug
Dragnet 550301 e289 Big Set-Up
Dragnet 550308 e290 Big Father
Dragnet 550315 e291 Big Set
Dragnet 550322 e292 Big Talk
Dragnet 550329 e293 Big Death
Dragnet 550405 e294 Big No Tooth
Dragnet 550412 e295 Big Tie
Dragnet 550419 e296 Big Deal
Dragnet 550426 e297 Big Child
Dragnet 550503 e298 Big Momma
Dragnet 550510 e299 Big Revision

Volume 4 - 88 shows - total playtime 40 hours 13 minutes

Dragnet 550517 e300 Big Squealer
Dragnet 550524 e301 Big Siege
Dragnet 550531 e302 Big Sisters
Dragnet 550607 e303 Big Limp
Dragnet 550614 e304 Big Fall Guy
Dragnet 550621 e305 Big Grab
Dragnet 550628 e306 Big Convertible
Dragnet 550705 e307 Big Rush
Dragnet 550712 e308 Big Genius
Dragnet 550719 e309 Big Bobo
Dragnet 550726 e310 Big Housemaid
Dragnet 550802 e311 Big Sheet
Dragnet 550809 e312 Big Missus
Dragnet 550816 e313 Big Beer
Dragnet 550823 e314 Big Blonde
Dragnet 550830 e315 Big Fellow
Dragnet 550906 e316 Big Ruling
Dragnet 550913 e317 Big Daughter
Dragnet 550920 e318 Big Close
Dragnet 550927 e319 Big Shot
Dragnet 551004 e320 Big Brain
Dragnet 551011 e321 Big Jolt
Dragnet 551018 e322 Big Lie
Dragnet 551025 e323 Big Pill
Dragnet 551101 e324 Big Number
Dragnet 551108 e325 Big Light
Dragnet 551115 e326 Big Dive
Dragnet 551122 e327 Big Walk
Dragnet 551129 e328 Big Guilt
Dragnet 551206 e329 Big Shirt
Dragnet 551213 e330 Big Mole
Dragnet 551220 e331 Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas
Dragnet 551227 e332 Big Mask Part 1
Dragnet 560103 e333 Big Mask Part 2
Dragnet 560110 e334 Big Small
Dragnet 560117 e335 Big String
Dragnet 560124 e336 Big Lay-Out
Dragnet 560131 e337 Big Strip
Dragnet 560207 e338 Big Press
Dragnet 560214 e339 Big Tooth
Dragnet 560221 e340 Big Smoke
Dragnet 560228 e341 Big Want
Dragnet 560306 e342 Big Laugh
Dragnet 560313 e343 Big Impossible
Dragnet 560320 e344 Twenty-Two Rifle for Christmas
Dragnet 560327 e345 Big Informant
Dragnet 560403 e346 Big Dream
Dragnet 560410 e347 Big Chet
Dragnet 560417 e348 Big Compulsion
Dragnet 560424 e349 Big Rip
Dragnet 560501 e350 Big Scrapbook
Dragnet 560508 e351 Big Carney
Dragnet 560515 e352 Big Joke
Dragnet 560522 e353 Big False Move
Dragnet 560529 e354 Big Gun Part 1
Dragnet 560605 e355 Big Gun Part 2
Dragnet 560612 e356 Big Will
Dragnet 560619 e357 Big Lilly
Dragnet 560626 e358 Big Revolt
Dragnet 560918 e359 Big Ham
Dragnet 560925 e360 Big Bop
Dragnet 561002 e361 Big Lift
Dragnet 561009 e362 Big Cab
Dragnet 561016 e363 Big Slip
Dragnet 561023 e364 Big Flight
Dragnet 561030 e365 Big Present
Dragnet 561106 e366 Big Odd
Dragnet 561113 e367 Big Pick
Dragnet 561120 e368 Big Brink
Dragnet 561127 e369 Big Steal
Dragnet 561204 e370 Big Listen
Dragnet 561211 e371 Big Switch
Dragnet 561218 e372 Big Bill
Dragnet 561225 e373 Big Little Jesus
Dragnet 570101 e374 Big Bid
Dragnet 570108 e375 Big Filth
Dragnet 570115 e376 Big Broad
Dragnet 570122 e377 Big Sucker
Dragnet 570129 e378 Big Pipe
Dragnet 570205 e379 Big TV
Dragnet 570212 e380 Big Cup
Dragnet 570219 e381 Big Rod
Dragnet 570226 e382 Big Mustache
Dragnet 921121 SPERDVAC Dragnet
Dragnet 921121 SPERDVAC Tribute to Jack Webb
Dragnet Bob Hope Show with Jack Webb
Dragnet Christmas Parody Freberg
Dragnet Martin & Lewis with Jack Webb



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