Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, July 26, 2018


Richard Benson, "The Avenger," first appeared in September 1939, headlining in his own pulp magazine from Street and Smith, publisher of the successful Doc Savage and The Shadow pulp magazines.  Benson was a wealthy adventurer who gave up a life of risk for domestic bliss until his wife and child were killed in an airplane crash -- the horror of which left Benson with a horribly contorted face (at least for his early adventures).  For twenty-four novel-length adventure, through to September 1942, the Avenger battled some of the most dangerous criminals the world had ever seen.  The stories, appearing under the house name "Kenneth Robeson," which had been used by Lester Dent to create (and write most of the adventures) of the Shadow, were written by pulpster Paul Ernst.  After Paperback Library had reprinted all twenty-four novels in the early Seventies, author Ron Goulart was commissioned to write an additional twelve novels as "Robeson."

The Avenger made its way to the radio waves on July 18, 1941 on New York City's WHN.  Evidently the program ended on November 3, 1942.  Because the program was syndicated, it aired erratically and was often preempted and episodes were rebroadcast.  It's estimated that about twenty-six episodes were ever produced; at least twenty-three of these episodes survive.  The show continued to air on various stations at least until 1945.  Two sources on the internet that carry the episode below
give the air date as 1945 (June 15 in one case; November 1 in the other).

Despite The Avenger's confusing radio history, it's a pleasure to listen to one of the great pulp heroes strut his stuff.

I think you'll like this one.

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