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Old Time Radio> Detective
  Next Detective Show (Magic Collection) >>

THE LINEUP

 Lineup

2 MP3 CDs - 64 episodes


ADD TO CART $10.00


Or order the disks separately:
Lineup (DISK 1 ONLY)
Lineup (DISK 2 ONLY)



LISTEN TO A SAMPLE EPISODE [Help]
"Green Cap Case"
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ABOUT THIS OLD TIME RADIO SHOW:
All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2014 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Police Drama (July 6, 1950 – February 20, 1953)

The Lineup is a realistic police drama that gives radio audiences a look behind the scenes at police headquarters. Bill Johnstone plays Lt. Ben Guthrie, a quiet, calm-as-a-cupcake cucumber. Bill JohnstoneJoseph Kearns and later Wally Maher (1951 to 1953) plays Sgt. Matt Grebb, a hot-tempered hot plate who is easily bored.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2014 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved-Reproduction is prohibited.

The director and script writer often rode with police on the job and sat in on the police lineups to get ideas for The Lineup. They also read dozens of newspapers daily and intermeshed real stories with those that they used in the show.

Police procedural dramas can be the most entertaining form of crime story. Their protagonists may lack the quirky peculiarities we see in a traditional whodunit, but the stories hit closer to home for the audience. The story placed less emphasis on the brilliance of the crook who often thought that they have committed the perfect crime. In the procedural, the focus is on the cops who work to protect their communities from the bad guys.

Radio used police procedurals for a long time. Gang Busters was an over the top example, but Phillips H. Lord recognized that real cops going after real crooks would be a hit with the audience. Police Headquarters, The FBI in Peace and War, Calling All Cars, Border Patrol 1941 and Broadway Is My Beat all focused on cops doing their jobs. The police procedural got its biggest boost after a radio actor named Jack Webb had a small role in the film He Walked by Night (1948).

While filming, Webb struck up a friendship with LAPD Detective Sergeant Marty Wynn, a technical advisor on the film. Wynn helped Webb develop the idea which would become "the most famous procedural of all time", Dragnet. When Dragnet premiered and became a hit in 1949, other producers were quick to put together shows which would imitate Dragnet gritty realism.

1950s LineupThe line-up is a common plot device in police procedurals; even Dragnet used it on occasion. The cops round up the suspects on a stage, the eyewitnesses look them over, hoping to pick out the crook and say "That one officer! That’s the man I saw running away". What they neglect to tell us is that eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

However, the procedure made a nice hook for one of CBS's Dragnet imitators, The Line Up.

The original idea for Gang Busters had been to use actual FBI cases for story inspiration, but it became obvious that Lords and FBI director J Edgar Hoover did not see eye to eye. Hoover was better satisfied with the treatment given by The FBI in Peace and War beginning in 1944. When the time came for Peace and War to take a summer break at the end of the 1950 season, CBS decided to try and win some of the Dragnet audience with The Line Up. The assignment was given Elliot Lewis, whose multiple talents had earned him the nickname "Mr. Radio".

Elliott LewisLewis had the connections to put together just about anything in radio. He was involved with more than 900 radio productions. As an actor, he was best known for playing the trouble making guitar player Frankie Remley on The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show. He also took a turn as Nero Wolfe’s legman Archie Godwin. As one of CBS’s regular players, he made many appearances on Suspense, and occasionally wrote scripts for the William Spier directed program. Lewis would eventually be given the helm as producer/director of Suspense, but first he cut his teeth directing Broadway Is My Beat during the 1950 regular season, which he followed up by creating The Line Up.

It is tempting to discount The Line Up as an imitator riding the coat tails of Dragnet, but Lewis’s creation was very much its own show. Dragnet paints a very realistic picture of the grittiness of LA in the fifties. The Line Up is every bit as realistic, but placing the action in the foggy hills of San Francisco softened much of the grit. Just as Dragnet used cases from the LAPD for scripts, San Francisco police files were story sources for The Line Up. Instead of building the whole show around a single dedicated (if one dimensional) Detective Sergeant like Webb’s Joe Friday, the cases were shared by Lt. Ben Guthrie, voiced by former Shadow actor Bill Johnstone and Sergeant Matt Greb, played by Wally Maher.

The Line Up did well enough during the 1950 summer season to get called back in the fall, but before the summer was over Elliot Lewis was ready to move on to other things, namely taking Suspense into what many critics consider its most creative period. Jaime del Valle was tapped to take over directing.

1952 Plymouth Ad-a sponsor of The Line-UpDuring the fifties, CBS radio was largely a development ground for programs which would make the transition to CBS TV, and The Line Up was no exception. After the radio version was cancelled after the season, CBS retooled the program for the small screen, where it remained popular for six seasons. The TV version was more closely aligned with its San Francisco setting, even though it was filmed at Desilu Studios in Los Angeles. The Line Up eventually made it to the big screen in 1958, and the film version was shot at several iconic San Francisco locations.

Although often billed as a Dragnet imitation, OTR fans listening to The Line Up for the first time will be better reminded of another popular procedural drama, Gunsmoke. The Western drama owes much of its realism to the sound effect geniuses at the CBS studios, and the development of that genius is a big part of The Line Up.

Although The Line Up had only a short life on commercial radio, it was picked up and popularized on AFRS, becoming a popular diversion for our boys serving Cold War duty overseas. When these GI’s came home to the land of Television, many of them kept their taste for radio, and were among the first hobbyists to begin collecting and trading original OTR recordings.

With Dragnet a smash hit, realism in police dramas was popular at the time this show aired. Don't be caught without this old time radio show in your collection!

See also the true crime story series: Dragnet, Did Justice Triumph, Official Detective, Tales of the Texas Rangers, Border Patrol, Up for Parole, Calling All Cars, Call the Police, and Unit 99

All text on OTRCAT.com are ©2014 OTRCAT INC - All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.



MP3 DISK CONTENTS: [Help]
Volume 1: 32 shows - total playtime 15 hours 10 minutes

LineUp 500720 Eddie Gaynor Framed For Murder
LineUp 500803 Two Young Girls Killed By Hit And Run
LineUp 500923 Gas Station Robbery
LineUp 501116 The Candy Store Murder
LineUp 501123 The Topaz Earring Case
LineUp 501130 The Cop Killer
LineUp 501207 The Jersey Parallel
LineUp 501221 The Holsteder Case
LineUp 501228 The Elsner Case
LineUp 510104 The Case of Frankie and Joyce
LineUp 510111 The Mad Bomber
LineUp 510118 Yudo in Ypsilanti
LineUp 510201 The Grocery Store Matter
LineUp 510208 The Senile Slugging Case
LineUp 510215 The Cigar Box Boys Case
LineUp 510222 The Silver Swan Case
LineUp 510227 Stefano And Haddock
LineUp 510306 The Check Killer Case
LineUp 510612 The Harrowing Handball Haggada Case
LineUp 510619 Lieutenant Guthrie Kidnapped
LineUp 510626 The Mad Bomber
LineUp 510705 The Syncopic Sweazy Sweat Out Case
LineUp 510905 The Pointless Pierson Polemic Palarity Case
LineUp 510912 The Senile Slugging Case
LineUp 510926 The Fur Flaunting Floozy
LineUp 511004 The Wild Wild Woman Case
LineUp 511011 The Frivolous Forger Fracas
LineUp 511018 The Nicely Nixed Nixon Case
LineUp 511101 The Jolted Justice Job Case
LineUp 511108 The Pixie Picker Pickle Case
LineUp 511122 The Keenly Clipped Kenovak Case
LineUp 511129 The Railroad Roundhouse Roundup Case

Volume 2: 32 shows - total playtime 14 hours 51 minutes

LineUp 520205 The Potting Peter Case
LineUp 520304 Murdering Mercers Malingering Case
LineUp 520318 The Mirthless Moonshiners Methyl Murders
LineUp 520325 The Bakery Bandits Bad Blooper
LineUp 520506 Babs the Baggy Bungling Brunette Bombshell
LineUp 520610 Lobdells PoodleCut Tomato Case
LineUp 520617 The Pitiful Patricide Case
LineUp 520624 The CutieCalling Culprit Case
LineUp 520701 The Guided Gang Case
LineUp 520708 The Lugar Lugging Laddie Case
LineUp 520715 The Twitching TwistsTwentyTwo Tweaking Case
LineUp 520722 The Drinkler Kidnapping Case
LineUp 520729 The Charles Crocked Clobbering Case
LineUp 520805 The Karger Kops a Klinker Case
LineUp 520910 The Jane Doe Case
LineUp 520917 The Fresno Break Case
LineUp 521001 The Poker Party Killings
LineUp 521008 The Teachers Pet
LineUp 521015 Bentleys Boo Boo Case
LineUp 521022 The Green Cap Case
LineUp 521029 The Sobbing Singer Saga
LineUp 521105 The BeBop Bandits Bungling BangBang
LineUp 521112 The Buggered Bunco Boys
LineUp 521119 The Modern Sounds Case
LineUp 521126 The MatthewsMurray Mish Mosh Case
LineUp 521212 The Gasoline Bandit Case
LineUp 521219 The Two Tough Thugs Thing
LineUp 530102 Cowardly Castro
LineUp 530109 Once Upon a SnowPlow
LineUp 530211 Good Enough to Eat
LineUp xxxxxx Boots Kracov Killing
LineUp xxxxxx Hansen's Body In Stone Quarry


 


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