I don’t know if I can do this, but I’m going to give it a try. I recently came across an episode of the 1940s Ellery Queen radio program that I hadn’t heard before, and maybe I can make it available to you here. The sound isn’t very good, but I think it’s listenable.

   Clicking on this link should start it playing. You can also download it and play it later. If all goes well.

[UPDATE] 03-18-07. Not having been informed of any difficulties, I’m assuming that everyone who’d like to has been able to listen. I shall, more than likely, do this again. For example, I’ve just come across an Australian radio series called Carter Brown Mysteries. As part of the introduction to the first story, interviewed is none other than Carter Brown himself. I’ll make it available here as soon as possible.

   As for “The Income Tax Robbery,” here is what Francis M. “Mike” Nevins, the world’s leading expert on Ellery Queen, has had to say, as excerpted from a couple of emails:

    “I won’t be able to listen to that EQ radio play till the next time I go in to school, but the original air dates were March 12 and 14, 1942. I was told years ago that a cassette copy was available for listening at the Library of Congress. That copy I assume is the source of whatever you came across.”

   During 1942, the Ellery Queen program was broadcast twice, the earlier date for West Coast listeners, the second date for those on the East Coast. The stories were the same but different “armchair detectives” were used, either in the studio or on call by telephone. The programs stopped before the ending so that these guests could be asked to solve the crime at the same time that Ellery did. (They were often correct.) Scripts were by Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee. The cast included Carlton Young as EQ, Santos Ortega as Inspector Queen, Ted de Corsia as Sgt. Velie, and Marian Shockley as Nikki Porter.

   Here’s Mike again, in an email I received today:

    “I came down to school for a while this morning and played ‘The Income Tax Robbery.’ What you have is clearly the East Coast version, broadcast March 14, 1942. The full name of the mayor who served as guest armchair detective by telephone was Howard W. Jackson.”

[UPDATE] 07-22-07. I never did get around to transcribing that on-the-air interview with Carter Brown. This morning, though, Toni Johnson-Woods came to my rescue. She posted a comment to this blog entry which I’ve upgraded to a new post of its own. You’ll find it here, along with MP3 links to the complete first story of the series, a four-parter called “Call for a Columnist.” Toni also supplied me with a link to another episode entitled “Swimsuit Sweetheart.” Go take a look. And listen.