I'd like to extend a special "thank you" to GL Mercer this week. He sent me a couple of transcriptions from the series "Hopalong Cassidy" for my collection. Mercer puts together a "multimedia" Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio as a set of cds that includes information on series, such as logs and photos, and examples of programs in mp3 format. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info on the set.
In this entry, program 22 in the "Hopalong Cassidy" series, "The Letter from the Grave", featuring William Boyd and Andy Clyde. Hopalong gets a mysterious letter from an old friend that's in trouble - but the letter was mailed fifteen years ago! Hoppy finds murder and stolen gold when he investigates.
William Boyd had an interesting career. He was a major star in silent films, appearing as a romantic lead by directors like Cecil B. Demille. Later, in the sound era, he wound up making "B" Westerns and it seemed his career had pretty much wound down. But, with the coming of television, Boyd bought the Westerns and syndicated them to stations eager for new shows. They were a tremendous hit, spawning all manner of merchandise and kicking off interest in Westerns with a whole new generation.
Boyd set up a company, Commodore, specifically for creating a radio series based on Hopalong Cassidy and the funds from that venture, along with the returns from television syndication of his old Westerns, made him pretty well off in his later years. In the photo above, Boyd looks pretty happy being "Hoppy" to all those kids out there.
Funny how these guys in Westerns, like William Boyd, Gene Autry, and Roy Rogers had a keen business sense. I guess that's what happens when you ride horses, lead a clean life, and have an amusing, crusty sidekick to keep you company.
Our program was transferred from an original red vinyl Commodore transcription set, matrix numbers V-2163-22-1-R and V-2163-22-2-R. Goldin dates the show to November 15, 1948.