Raymond Burr's characters were quiet and sullen, and in his early career, villains and heavies. While people essentially think he is Perry Mason, he has a very long resume of television, stage, film, and radio roles.
Burr began playing roles of gruff customers in the films Raw Deal, Love Happy, and A Place in the Sun before beginning his accomplished TV career. He appeared in several occasional roles, and it was in 1957 that he began playing the title role in Perry Mason. He worked on the series until 1966, and returned for roles in made-for-TV specials from 1985-1993.
But there was also radio. As he was becoming a known quantity in Hollywood, he was also becoming a star in the radio cosmos. He appeared in Pat Novak For Hire and was a regular on Dragnet as the Chief of Detectives.
There, his cast mates were Harry Morgan, Ben Alexander, and, of course, Jack Webb. The show was known for its gritty and fearless realism, tackling sex and drug addiction. It ran from 1949 to 1957 and goes down as one of the best-known radio shows of any genre. Its catch phrases and style points have pervaded American pop culture.
If Jack Webb insisted on strict realism for Dragnet, it was equally true that the creator of the series Fort Laramie did so. This series, which ran for most of 1955, featured Burr in a starring role as Captain Lee Quince, head of the cavalry. The show featured cerebral writing, delving into the psychologies of the characters. This qualified it as an "adult Western," a sub-genre also included Have Gun, Will Travel, and Frontier Town. One thing that enhanced this great writing is that the writers were veterans of Gunsmoke.
Burr's Captain Quince led his second cavalry troop across hundreds of miles of frontier land in the Northwest U.S. He was in turn compassionate and fired up with resolve.
Collected here are radio programs featuring the man who would also enter America's households as televison's Perry Mason. Pull up a chair and enjoy!