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Mr. District Attorney Show Summary

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Mr. District Attorney Show Summary Empty Mr. District Attorney Show Summary

Post by Seamus on 3/23/2019, 5:53 pm

Folks a new show summary written by greybelt.

Mr. District Attorney was a production of Gangbusters creator Phillips H. Lord. It began in 1939 as a daily serial but became a weekly half hour primetime production soon thereafter. Jay Jostyn assumed the role a few months later and would hold it for more than a decade. Mr. DA always had very high ratings because of its superb cast, writing, and overall production values. While the program was known as a crime drama (its head writer was always studying newspapers to find schemes, scams, and events to weave into plotlines), the series tackled social problems such as prejudice and received awards from social organizations for its efforts. The program ended in 1951, and was followed by a syndicated version produced by Ziv. That effort starred film actor David Brian who played the role on Ziv's syndicated TV version. The Jostyn series was intended for family listening, but the Ziv programs were more violent and grittier. Unfortunately, much of the Jostyn series is missing, which means that most OTR collectors and some researchers judge the series based on listening to the Brian shows. They should rather be considered as separate series since the casts, writers, and productions were so different. The Jostyn years on ABC were the best offering under the "Mr. District Attorney" name. Mutual radio network attempted to bring the Mr. DA series with Jostyn back to the airwaves in late 1953. These episodes did not have the production values of the 1941-1951 series that seared the name "Mr. DA" into the American radio vocabulary, and made Jay Jostyn one of radio's highest paid actors, along with co-stars Vicki Vola and Len Doyle. The show's opening, read by an announcer in a mild echo, could be recited by listeners of all ages: "Mr. District Attorney! Champion of the people! Defender of truth! Guardian of our fundamental rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!" There were also Mr. DA movies (with a different cast) and a long-running comic book series.

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Collecting the Show

The Cobalt Club has an active swap post running for Mr. District Attorney. Primarily run by greybelt and kdmarket who are working hard to provide clean source material. Upgraded shows are being posted daily and a lot of great articles and newspaper clippings from the era added to provide that historical context for the show. An amazing resource for any collector.

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