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Great Beginnings: Mr. District Attorney February 19, 2007

Posted by William Spear in >> Great Beginnings, >> Radio Drama.
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From 1939 through 1953, listeners tuned into the crime-busting exploits of Mr. District Attorney. Inspired by the efforts of New York City’s high-profile DA, Thomas E. Dewey, radio’s Mr. District Attorney was often at, or near the top of the ratings.

The show began with a burst of energy. The Announcer, performed by Maurice Franklin and later by Jay Jostyn, were the “Voice of the Law” and detailed the role and purpose of the District Attorney. Peter Van Steeden composed the theme and his orchestra performed the music.

The opening was as follows:

. . .

ANNOUNCER: (WITH GUSTO) Mr. District Attorney, champion of the people, defender of truth, guardian of our fundamental rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

MUSIC:  QUICKLY UP AND ESTABLISH: VAN STEEDEN’S THEME. SLOWLY UNDER TO BED.

ANNOUNCER: (WITH ECHO) And it shall be my duty as District Attorney, not only to prosecute to the limit of the law, all persons accused of crimes perpetrated within this county, but to defend with equal vigor the rights and privileges of all its citizens.

MUSIC:  THEME: UP AND SLOWLY OUT.

. . .

The series drew upon real-life crime and war news for its stories and developed a huge audience. It was later adapted to television with many of the radio cast members reprising their roles. Nonetheless, whether on radio or television, it broke up con games, solved spousal murders and captured burglars.

Now, about my traffic ticket from last year, . . .

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