The Shadow (partially lost radio series; 1937-1954)

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The Shadow.jpg

Promotional image.

Status: Partially Lost

The Shadow was a radio series that was created in 1937 and lasting until 1957 which followed the character of The Shadow. The series is warmly remembered for originally staring the voice of Hollywood legend Orson Welles as the voice of the main character; however, the character itself is most greatly remembered as the main influence for DC Comic's Batman.


Orson Welles as The Shadow.

The Shadow originally appeared in 1930 as the narrator of the CBC series Detective Story Hour where the character was overlooked until Frank Readick Jr replaced James La Curto, providing a more mysterious and foreboding tone to the character's voice. The character was later used to narrate The Blue Coal Radio Revue. After temporarily transferring to NBC before returning to CBC the series ended due to Street & Smith's demands that the character to be rewritten to more closely reflect the description from Walter Gibson's.

In 1937, Street and Smith signed a new agreement with Blue Coal, beginning a new series following the character that aired on the Mutual Broadcasting System, with Orson Welles to play the main character. Welles eventually left the series in 1938 and was succeeded by Bill Johnstone, Bret Morrison, John Archer, and Steve Courtleigh.


During the time of the series' syndication, archiving broadcasts was not a common practice, resulting in 165 of the series' 665 episodes becoming lost, with seasons 13, 14, 15, 16, and 18 being missing in their entirety.[1] Radio Spirits has recovered many transcription discs that were sent out to radio stations for broadcasting and had them undergo digitization and remastering for their product line of the series.[2]

External Link


  1. List of episodes Retrieved 08 Dec '17
  2. Martin Grams' BlogSpot post about the series Retrieved 31 Dec '17