BW – EP105: Sam Spade Comes to Radio (1946 – 1951)

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In Breaking Walls Episode 105 we pour shots and take dictation with The Adventures of Sam Spade.


• Bill Spier’s Musical Beginnings Lead to Suspense
• Howard Duff: Unknown Actor
• How About Now For Sam Spade?
• CBS and ABC compete for Spade
• Spade Versus Bergen & McCarthy
• 1947-48: Radio’s Highest-Rated Season
• Spade Hits Its Stride
• Stop The Music
• June Havoc, Uncredited Spade Actress
• Unamerican Hammett? Unamerican Duff?
• Spade Gets Cancelled—Twice
• Howard Duff: Radio Preservationist
• What’s Next


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The reading material used in today’s episode was:

On the Air — By John Dunning
Network Radio Ratings, 1932-53 — By Jim Ramsburg

As well as articles from the archives of Billboard Magazine, Broadcasting Magazine, Radio Daily, and Variety.


On the interview front:

• Eve Arden, Howard Duff, and Lurene Tuttle were with Chuck Schaden. Hear their full chats at

• Dick Joy, Elliott Lewis, and E. Jack Neuman were with John Dunning for his 71KNUS program from Denver.

• Howard Duff, June Havoc, and Bill Spier were with Dick Bertel and Ed Corcoran for WTIC’s The Golden Age of Radio. Hear their full chats at

• Lurene Tuttle remembered radio with Same Time, Same Station on February 6th, 1972.

• Frank Stanton spoke with CBS in honor of their 50th anniversary in 1977.

• Mary Jane Croft was with SPERDVAC on March 14th, 1992. For more information, please go to


Selected music featured in today’s episode was:

• Fever — By Peggy Lee
• Smoke Gets In Your Eyes — By The Mallett Men
• Young At Heart — By Frank Sinatra
• The Prologue and Main Title piece from High Spirits — By George Fenton
• Atomic Cocktail — By Slim Gaillard


Subscribe to Burning Gotham—the new audio drama set in 1835 New York City. It’s available everywhere you get your podcasts and at


A special thank you to Ted Davenport and Jerry Haendiges: two radio show collectors who helped supply material for this episode. They’re who the large retailers go to.

Ted’s got a Facebook group –
For Jerry, please visit

I’d also like to thank Walden Hughes and John and Larry Gassman of SPERDVAC –


A Special Thank you to:
Tony Adams
Briana Isaac
Ryan Kramer
Barry Nadler
Christian Neuhaus
Aimee Pavy
Terry Wallace


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