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Pete Kelly's Blues - Old Time Radio
Vintage Radio: Crime-Detective

Pete Kelly's Blues

Pete Kelly's Blues, broadcast shortly in 1951 on NBC, was a crime drama that showcased as much Jazz music as crimes. Jack Webb starred as Pete Kelly, a player of a cornet. Meredith Howard as Maggie Jackson, a singer in the pub. Jack Webb reached stardom with his excellent portrayal of Sergeant Joe Friday in Dragnet. Jack Webb was not only the lead actor, but also the producer for Both Dragnet and Pete Kelly's Blues. His approach had a distinctive style of realism. Indeed, Webb told Time Magazine once, "We try to make it as real as a guy pouring a cup of coffee. The only drawback about this superior Webb production was that it was only aired for 12 weeks.

The world of Pete Kelly is a smoke-filled speakeasy in Kansas City of the mid-1920s. Influenced by the hardboiled fiction, the plots in Pete Kelly's Blues relate to crimes and mysteries, many of them about the bootleggers in the 20s.

However, what's unique about Pete Kelly's Blues is the New Orleans style, blues-tinged jazz riff flowing in and out of the narrative. The stories may be on the thin side, but the atmosphere enveloping the story is sure rich and tantalizing.

Show Name Date Aired
Vita Brand July 11, 1951
Little Jake July 25, 1951
Gus Trudeau-Rehearsal August 21, 1951
Gus Trudeau August 22, 1951
Zelda September 5, 1951
June Gould September 12, 1951
Dr. Jonathan Budd September 19, 1951

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