“Hello . . . YUkon 2-8209 . . .yes, this is Candy Matson!”
Those words, followed by the Johnny Mercer song “Candy” played on a pipe organ, opened each episode of the series featuring one of old time radio’s best-known female private eyes, Candy Matson. The series aired on NBC’s West Coast network from 1949 to 1951. An audition show was recorded in 1952 for possible national network broadcast, but the show was not picked up.
“Candy Matson” was the creation of Monte Masters, who also produced. His wife, Natalie Parks (Masters), starred as Candy.
Candy operated out of her plush Telegraph Hill penthouse in San Francisco, California. “I used to be a model”, she says in one of the early shows. “I’ve been told I have the proper . . displacement . . for such a career”. She gave up modeling to become a detective because, as she says later, “A girl has to eat, and maintain a nice apartment on Telegraph Hill. Besides, you meet a nicer class of people!”
Frequently, her reliable but erratic sidekick, photographer Rembrandt Watson (played by Jack Thomas), assisted Candy in her various cases. Lieutenant Ray Mallard (played by Henry Leff) was her connection to the San Francisco Police Department, and her sometime love interest.
The shows are intelligent and fast-paced. Candy has a snappy, woman-of-the-world delivery (there's a definite Lauren Bacall influence), and it’s rare that anyone gets the better of her. Once in a while she gets into a tight spot, but usually a bit of quick thinking gets her out. When even that doesn’t work, Lt. Mallard somehow arrives on the scene just in time and the case gets neatly wrapped up.
A total of fourteen shows have survived:
“The Donna Dunham Case” (04-04-49)
“The Cable Car
in the Deep Freeze
“Valley of the Moon
“Eric Spaulding Concert
“The Fort Ord
“San Juan Bautista
“Candy’s Last Case” (05-21-51)
“The Fortune Teller
” (09-21-52) (the audition
show for the proposed new series)
Many of the Candy Matson shows can be heard online (as MP3s) at http://www.radiolovers.com/pages/candymatson.htm.
They’re also available from various old radio show vendors; I found a CD copy of the shows on eBay.
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