I LOVE A MYSTERY (Johnny Dollar Style): or "The Bob Bailey Audition Program"
by John C. Abbott, ©2013
(From Radio Recall, June 2013)
When "The Who is Johnny Dollar Matter?" was
PUblished in 2010, I included an entry in Volume III,
Section 7 noting the existence of a Bob Bailey
aUdition program, "The Ellen Dear Matter" In
January 2013 I was asked by a reader just why J
included that program, as most catalogs for YTJD
do not include it. I had to go back to my research
notes to answer this one - after ail, I put it in there
for a reason. As there is no electronically available
program clearly identified as an audition for Bob
Bailey I contacted my most knowledgeable
sources and informants, and here is what can be
First of all, I searched my notes and found a
reference to this program as an "audition" program
on the catalog of YTJD scripts on file at the
Thousand Oaks Library in Thousand Oaks
California. This is the answer to WHY the audition
entry is in the book.
But there are even more questions to answer
because as I searched my collection of script title
pages I found that I had not ONE, but TWO copies
of the title page for "The Ellen Dear Matter" script -
both from the KNX collection at the Thousand Oaks
Library One script is labeled as an "audition" script
and the other is labeled as the "broadcast" script.
(Images of these scripts can be seen at
Now - the mystery begins. The "broadcast"
script is dated January 6, 1957 which is the date
assigned to the program in most catalogs.
However, the "audition" script is dated January 29,
1957 So the first question is, why is the "audition"
script dated 23 days after the program was aired?
While the January 29 script is cleany labeled
"audition", there is not a simple answer as to why.
For example, the title page on the script has two
I) The typed notation "(REVISED)"
2) The addition of a typed, carbon copy
However the most telling difference between the
scripts is the cast members. The "audition" script
has the following cast members:
+ Virginia Gregg as "VI" and "PA"
+ Lawrence Dobkin as "PAT"
+ Harry Bartell as "ART"
+ Jay Novello as "JAC"
+ Jack Edwards as "COR"
+ Barney Phillips as "THOR"
+ John Dehner as "BURR"
The "broadcast" script has the following cast 5
+ Virginia Gregg as "Vi" and "P.A. ANNCR"
+ Lawrence Dobkin as "PAT McCRACKEN"
+ Howard McNear as "ART"
+ Jay Novello as "JACQUES"
+ Jack Edwards as "CORRELO"
+ Barney Phillips as "CAPT THORSON"
+ Raymond Burr as "BURRMAN"
So, the clue to finding the true "audition"
program is to find one with John Dehner as
"Bunman" and Harry Bartell as "Art" Note also that
the "audition" script abbreviates the role name
where as the "broadcast" script does not. But one
of the most telling differences is this: the "audition"
script only has a single date· January 29, 1957
The "broadcast" script has both a "CUT" date
(December 6, 1956) and an "AIR" date (a
handwritten January 6, 1957 covering the original
date of December 30,1956 indicating that for some
reason the program was not aired on the planned
Also, the format of the broadcast script page
also matches the format of all the other 600+ YT JD
script pages I have. I have listened to my audio
copies of "The Ellen Dear Matter" I have three
copies from three different sources, and they are
identical copies of the AFRS version of the
program. These AFRS programs are difference
from most AFRS programs as they retain Bob
Bailey's promo for the next program ("The DeSalies
Matter") and they retain the rundown of the cast -
the cast in the "broadcast" script.
So, in true detective style, I put out a query to
all my research sources and informants. I got one
lead that told me there was a copy of the "audition"
program available from an OTR dealer This
ultimately turned out to be a false lead, as another
informant found a copy of the dealer's "audition"
copy only to discover that is was yet another copy
of the "broadcast" program. So, the "audition"
program probably does not exist.
So, what does all this mean? The correct
answer is not easy to educe, as all those concerned
are no longer with us. So at this point, I am
comfortable with the following "explanation".
The "audition" script for "The Ellen Dear Matter"
was used by Jack Johnstone to "audition" Bob for
the program as a formality the audition was
never recorded the date is wrong, and the
"AS BROADCAST" is erroneous.
I would love to what the "correct" answer is.