Barrie Craig, Confidential Investigator

barrie lg.jpgOriginally aired October 31, 1951 Barry Craig, Confidential Investigator is one of the few detective radio series that had separate versions of it broadcast from both coasts. Even the spelling changed over the years. It was first "Barry Crane" and then "Barrie Craig". NBC produced it in New York from 1951 to 1954 and then moved it to Hollywood where it aired from 1954 to 1955. It attracted only occasional sponsors so it was usually a sustainer. William Gargan, who also played the better known television (and radio) detective Martin Kane, was the voice of New York eye BARRY CRAIG while Ralph Bell portrayed his associate, Lt. Travis Rogers. Craig's office was on Madison Avenue and his adventures were fairly standard PI fare. He worked alone, solved cases efficiently, and feared no man.

As the promos went, he was "your man when you can't go to the cops. Confidentiality a speciality." Like Sam Spade, Craig narrated his stories, in addition to being the leading character in this 30 minute show. Nearly sixty episodes are in trading circulation today William Gargan as a Detective (and an actor) If William Gargan brought an air of authenticity to his roles as a private detective, there were some good very reasons. His father was a bookmaker, so Gargan learned a lot about the gambling world and met a lot of interesting characters from across the spectrum of society. The main reason why Gargan was so convincing as a detective was that he was probably the only actor of his time who had actually been a private detective. He first worked as a credit investigator and collection agent for a clothing firm. Once Gargan was shot at when he attempted to get a deadbeat customer to pay his overdue account. Next, he worked for about a year as a private detective with a New York agency for "$10.00 a day and expenses." Gargan did many of the usual detective jobs: guarding payrolls, tailing possible suspects, conducting stakeouts, and protecting clients with valuables. He was fired when he lost track of a diamond salesman he was supposed to be protecting. As an actor, William Gargan had played Ellery Queen in three movies, before being cast as Kane. After he left Martin Kane, Gargan landed on his feet. He signed a million dollar, seven year contract with MCA for the radio show Barry Craig, Confidential Investigator on NBC. The final spelling used for his character's first name, Barrie, was the same as that of Gargan's oldest son. Gargan eventually got throat cancer, had a laryngectomy and campaigned vigorously (and rather ironically) against smoking for The American Cancer Society for the last twenty years of his life).

Episode Number Episode Title Aired Datesort descending
4 Microfilm in the Fishtank Wednesday, October 24, 1951
6 The Case of the Borrowed Knife Wednesday, November 7, 1951
10 The Paper Bullets Wednesday, December 5, 1951
11 Death and the Purple Cow Wednesday, December 12, 1951
15 Murder Island Wednesday, January 9, 1952
21 Motive for Murder Wednesday, February 20, 1952
150 Mid-Summer Lunacy Tuesday, August 17, 1954
161 The Sneak Assassin Sunday, November 21, 1954
176 Corpse on the Town Wednesday, March 9, 1955
189 Sucker Bait Thursday, June 9, 1955