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This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.

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by Stewart Wright, ©2013
(From Radio Recall, June 2013)

Myths and misconceptions abound about this series. My research has turned up information that has resolved the most significant of them.


Over several years, I have spent over 200 hours researching Jeff Regan, Investigator. The research included identifying, acquiring, viewing and/or listening to a large variety of Primary Sources (scripts and network documents, broadcasts, and interviews) and many Secondary Sources.

My Old-Time Radio research projects start with listening to all the episodes of the series that are currently available. I also listened to interviews of the series' first writer and creator' E. Jack Neuman.

I reviewed many Secondary Sources. These included newspaper radio programming listings and notes, trade magazine articles, and oooks on Old-Time Radio. Then, I searched the Internet for additional information sources.

Finally, I traveled from Colorado to a California archive where the printed Primary Sources (scripts, network documents, and other materials) for Jeff Regan, Investigator reside. In order to obtain the most accurate and complete information. travel is a costly, but often necessary step in researching an entire series. It is done by only the most dedicated OTA researchers.

I spent several days at the archive looking at all of the scripts and available CBS documentation for the series. I also viewed the Jeff Regan scripts and associated documents in the E. Jack Neuman Collection. His comments on the series proved to be quite informative.

An on-going activity throughout the research process is information entry and evaluation. I input episode title and broadcast date, cast, crew, and other episodic information into a database. This database also includes fields for my observations and information from all the sources I consult. Information evaluation is an important component of any research project. It is a winnowing process: separating the accurate information (the wheat) from the inaccurate information (the chaff).

The end products of my research are a series broadcast log that contains episodic and other information and articles about my findings. The broadcast log can be found at: http://www.old-time.com/otrlogs2/index.html

My FINDINGS: MYTH: Series Original Title - Joe Canto, Private Eye.

Some newspapers carried a blurb stating a new series on CBS would be called Joe Canto, Private Eye. This erroneous information was probably from a CBS press release that was sent out BEFORE the final name of the series and the lead character's name was decided upon. This title was not used by CBS. For its Entire Run the series was called Jeff Regan, Investigator.

The confusion regarding the initial series name is clarified by series title and lead character name references. Jeff Regan, Investigator, through out the initial script, "The Story of the Doctor Lawyer Indian Chief" also, by the following comment by E. Jack Neuman:

"The name Jeff Regan, Investigator was foisted by a radio executive who felt that the most dramatic heroes must have good, practical Presbyterian names. I preferred 'Joe Canto' but that was one of the many losses I have suffered in the radio game. "

The Joe Canto character does not even appear in the first episode. However he is mentioned and described. Canto actually appears in a single episode, "The Lady With the Golden Hair".

MYTH: Surname Name of Regan's Boss.

The correct spelling of the surname of Regan's parsimonious, officious, and blustering boss IS Lyon and not Lion.


series scripts and also, in a broadcast, Regan says Lyon's last name is spelled with a "Y" When a receptionist asks about his referral, Mr. Lyon, Regan says, "Like In the zoo, only with a "Y".

MYTH: Alternate Series Titles.

Many sources also refer to this series as The Lion's Eye or The Lyons Eye. This is probably because in the opening of each episode Regan mentions he is catled "The Lyon's Eye" before the actuat series title Jeff Regan, Investigator is announced. There is No Indication in any of the scripts and network and other series documentation that either of these so called "alternate" series titles were ever used when the series aired on CBS.

MYTH: National Network Broadcasts.

A November 24, 1949 radio column by Bill Doudna mentioned that, ". Looks like "Jeff Regan. Investigator," CBS whodunit now heard on Pacific coast only, will soon switch to a national hookup. This proposed national airing of the series neyer took place!

The scripts and other netwok documentation have the series as only airing regionatly on the Columbia Pacific Network a.k.a. the CBS West Coast Network. Additionally, no newspaper radio programming listings outside the coverage area of the Columbia PacifiC Network have programming listings for the series.

Misconception : Did A Last Episode Air On September 3, 1950? If, So What Was Its Title?

On Saturday, September 2. 1950, Frank Graham, the series lead, committed suiCide over a failed romance. Sources disagree on whether a last episode of Jeff Regan, Investigator aired the next evening in its normal 8:30 PM time slot and if one did, its title.

Starting in May, 1950. all but two of the episodes were transcribed: that is pre-recorded prior to their broadcast. The last two episodes were transcribed on the same day in early August, 1950. They were: "Gentlemen Prefer Horses" and "The British Are Coming: These episodes were initially scheduled to be aired on August 20th and 27th respectively. However, Jeff Regan, Investigator was pre-empted on August 20th by CBS special programming: "Miracle of America Week."

A broadcast copy survives of "Gentlemen Prefer Horses." The episode was aired on August 27 1950,

While a broadcast copy of "The British Are Coming" is not known to be in circulation, there is an indication that it was aired on September 3rd. The episode ending reminder to tune in next week to Jeff Regan, Investigator is struck out on the script in red grease pencil; probably an instruction to the engineer not to play this last portion of the transcribed broadcast. This strikeout is a strong indication that "The British Are Coming" was the last episode of Jeff Regan. Investigator to air.

Thank You! ------------------------------------------------------------------

Three people were instrumental in assisting with this research project. They are:

Jeanette Berard and Klaudia Englund, Special Collections Department of Grant R. Brimhall Library at Thousand Oaks, CA
Jerry Haendiges of The Vintage Radio Place at http://www.otrsite.com