In the 1930s, radio played a part in stemming the tide against crime - and never more so than in Calling All Cars, one of the earliest and most influential police procedural shows. Dramatizing true crime exploits and introduced by real-life law enforcement officials, Calling All Cars offered the gritty details of criminal activity in true "ripped from the headlines" style. Led by writer/director William N. Robson, the weekly series gave listeners the audio equivalent of a tough, down in the streets Warner Brothers crime drama, complete with car chases, low-life gunmen, high-crime bosses, frightened victims, and criminal cases that often hit very close to home. Kidnappings, petty thefts, murders, prison breaks, bunco schemes...all were raw materials for the creators of each show and details of all these crimes and more were used as the basis for the realistic dramas presented.
The influence of Calling All Cars extended far beyond its six-year run, acting as a blueprint for such later-day radio series as Dragnet and This is Your FBI. And, although this seventy-year-old series may seem a bit primitive to modern-day audiences, listening to the programs today instantly brings to mind such timeless movie classics as The Public Enemy, Little Caesar, and Scarface.
This is the second issue in the Dusty Ayres series. “The President’s son will be returned if you send us Captain Ayres in exchange.” From the enemy camp came this message. And as Dusty answered, he knew he was starting on the greatest mission of the war, was going to play a lone hand against the Black Invaders, who sought to crush America beneath their barbarous wings! Captain Dusty Ayres, ace pilot for the U.S. Air Defense flies in the Silver Flash, an advanced craft of his own design. With his two pals Curly Brooks and Biff Bolton, they battle some of the most diabolical mad scientists and their weirdest inventions. These exciting stories took over the Battle Birds magazine from June 1934 through the July/August issue of 1935, changing the magazine name to Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds. And now Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds is back, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.
Beginning in 1932, Battle Birds brought readers a thrilling main story, referred to as a “novel”, that featured a rotating cast of main characters like The Three Mosquitoes and Smoke Wade. After nineteen issues, just over a year and a half after its debut, the magazine began to feature the air adventures of Dusty Ayres, and the magazine became officially titled Dusty Ayres and his Battle Birds. This lasted until the summer of 1935 when the magazine folded after thirty-one issues. But Battle Birds wasn't finished; it would return. In early 1940, Battle Birds reappeared on the newsstands. But now the focus of the stories was on the conflict that would soon be known as World War II. This resurrected Battle Birds lasted for 26 issues until May 1944. And now Battle Birds is back, reissued for today’s readers in electronic format. $2.99.