Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator.

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar (1949-1962) was a weekly OTR crime and detective series about a freelance insurance investigator with an action packed expense account. Each episode began with Dollar preparing his expense account for the latest case. At the end of the episode, expenses totaled, Dollar concluded by saying, "Yours truly, Johnny Dollar." Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar is significant for its citation as one of the best radio dramas and the last dramatic series offered on network radio.



Total Episodes: 821
Surviving Episodes: 720
Inventory of Episodes

Exemplary Episodes

The first and last three episodes starring Bob Bailey.

The Big Scoop Matter
Episode 513, 11 November 1956
First episode for Bob Bailey. A crusading reporter is murdered before he can expose a national gambling syndicate. Bob Bailey, Virginia Gregg, Les Tremayne, Dan Cubberly (announcer), Russell Thorson, Barney Phillips, Stacy Harris, Larry Thor, Parley Baer (who played Chester Wesley Proudfoot on Gunsmoke).

The Markham Matter
Episode 514, 18 November 1956
A man seems to be slowly poisoning his wife. Bob Bailey, Paula Winslowe, Roy Rowan (announcer), John Dehner, Frank Nelson, Lois Corbett, Virginia Gregg, Bert Holland.

The Royal Street Matter
Episode 515 25 November 1956
A New Orleans antique shop has had a fire, but the owner refuses to file a claim! Why? Bob Bailey, Virginia Gregg, Forrest Lewis, Lou Merrill, Lawrence Dobkin, Frank Gerstle, Dan Cubberly (announcer).

The Bad One Matter
Episode 714 13 November 1960
A juvenile delinquent down south knows the secret of a murder, but refuses to reveal it, and for a good reason! Bob Bailey, Lawrence Dobkin, James McCallion, Forrest Lewis, Russell Thorson, Sam Edwards, John Wald (announcer), Jack Johnstone (writer, producer, director).

The Double Deal Matter
Episode 715, 20 November 1960
The story of "Mickey the Hood" and the famous "Canary Diamonds." What's The connection? Bob Bailey, Jack Johnstone (writer, producer, director), Barney Phillips, Paul Frees, John Wald (announcer), Virginia Gregg, Chester Stratton, Harry Bartell, Jackson Beck (Ex-Lax commercial).

The Empty Threat Matter
Episode 716, 27 November 1960
The last episode for Bailey; The last show in Hollywood, California. Johnny returns from Tahiti with a nervous old man, who is sure that he's going to be murdered. Ben Wright, Bob Bailey, Carleton Young (who starred in Nick Carter, Master Detective (1943-1955), G. Stanley Jones, Harry Bartell, Ralph Moody, Virginia Gregg.


Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar was an OTR crime and detective series about the adventures of Johnny Dollar, "the man with the action packed expense account, America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator." Many of his cases came from Universal Adjustment Bureau, a clearing house for client companies. Others came from private clients who valued Dollar's keen, analytical mind and ability to take care of himself when the case got messy, which it often did. In all his endeavors, Dollar shamelessly padded his expense account. Each episode with Dollar reviewing his expense account from his latest case. "Expense account, item one," he said, and then began a narrative about his experiences. These narratives provided the introduction to each episode.

Both crime and detective stories were popular Old Time Radio (OTR) genres from the 1940s-1950s. This popularity coincided with rising concerns for emerging criminal activities, especially organized crime, and containment efforts at all levels.

The recurring cast included
Johnny Dollar, 18 February 1949-3 February 1950 (Charles Russell)
Johnny Dollar, February 1950-3 September 1952 (Edmund O'Brien(
Johnny Dollar, 24 November 1952-19 September 1954 (John Lund)
Johnny Dollar, 11 November 1956-27 November 1960 (Bob Bailey)
Johnny Dollar, 4 December 1960-11 June 1961 (Robert Readick)
Johnny Dollar, 18 June 1961-30 September 1962 (Mandel Kramer)
Betty Lewis and other female parts (Virginia Gregg)
Producer, director (Jack Johnstone)

Yours truly, Johnny Dollar was first broadcast on the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) as weekly thirty-minute episodes. On 3 October 1955, the format was changed to a fifteen-minute, 5-days a week series starring Bob Bailey. Each week allowed the narrative arc to be developed over five episodes. This continued until 2 November 1956.

On 11 November 1956, the series returned to a weekly, thirty-minute format, still starring Bob Bailey. This continued until 27 November 1960, when Bailey left the show. Mandel Kramer assumed the title roll for the 18 June 1961 episode, and continued until the last episode, 30 September 1962.

Episodes #513-#716, 11 November 1956-27 November 1960, all starring Bailey, are often cited for bringing personality and insights to the character not achieved by other leading actors.


Episodes at Internet archive website
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar radio logs at Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs website
Plot summaries and credits at Radio Gold Index website