Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, April 19, 2018


George Valentine, fresh out of the service, had an idea to make money.  He started with an ad:

     Personal notice:  Danger's my stock in trade.  If the job's too tough for you to handle, you've
     got a job for me.  George Valentine.

It worked well enough to maintain Let George Do It for eight years and 416 episodes on the radio, from 1946 to 1954.  In the beginning, the show added a humorous sit-com feel to its private eye background, but -- over the years -- it evolved into a hard-boiled mystery program.

I'm not sure exactly why the program is not better known.  It's star, Bob Bailey, went on to star in the much better-known Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.  Yet, of the two, Let George Do It had a longer run life.  Ah, the winds of fate...

"The show is carried by the performance of George Valentine by Bob Bailey.  Valentine doesn't easily fit in with gruff hard boiled detectives like Marlowe and Spade, nor is he a self-assured intellectual like Sherlock Holmes or Nero Wolfe.  Valentine is good natured and personable, but he carries himself like a poker player.  Valentine plays it close to the vest, then at the end of the episode when he comes up with the solution, you realize he's been carrying a full house."  -- Adam Graham

Valentine's secretary/assistant is Claire Brooks (sometimes referred to as "Brooksie"), played by  veteran actress Frances Robinson.  Occasional members of the cast were Claire's kid brother Sonny (played by Eddie Robinson) and elevator man Caleb (played by Joseph Kearns). 

Let George Do It was produced by Owen and Pauline Vinson and directed by Don Clark.  Scripts were written by David Victor and Jackson Gillis.  John Heistand served as announcer.

The opening episode, "The First Client," was produced as an audition tape on May 14, 1946; the actual pilot program aired on September 20, 1946, on the Don Lee-Mutual Broadcasting Network. (Some sources give the air date as October 18, 1946.)  For this one episode, Shirley Mitchell appeared as Claire; Frances Robinson began her run with the second episode.

George's first client is a famous writer who tells the fledgling detective that someone is trying to murder him, then collapses on the spot.  Things get really interesting when the bopdy disappears.