First Show: Jun 26, 1952
Last Show: Jun 18, 1961
Number Shows: 480 shows, 2 auditions, 5 hour tribute
Audition Shows: Jun 11, 1949, Jul 13, 1949
Gunsmoke is one of those long-running classic Old-Time Radio shows that everyone knows and remembers. It's also one that is still respected for its high values, in all aspects. Gunsmoke first aired on the CBS network on April 26, 1952, billed as the first adult western. It was set in Dodge City, Kansas in the 1870's.
The main character, Matt Dillon, was played by William Conrad. On August 6, 1951, William Conrad played the lead in a show entitled "Pagosa" in the series Romance, where he played the part of a reluctant sheriff in a tough Western town. Although not a true audition, Conrad's character role is very close the that of Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke. It was one of the "stepping stones" toward the production of Gunsmoke.
The series featured top-notch acting and well-developed scripts that set it apart from many other shows, not only Westerns; however, it was the sound effects that stood out the most. Listen carefully and one can hear many levels of sound that really helps transport the listener back to the old west.
Besides the US version, there was an Austrailian production of Gunsmoke. It began sometime in 1955, transcribed under the Artransa label, and aired Mondays at 7:00 PM on the Macquarie network. It is not known how many shows aired or how long the series ran.
From the Old Time Radio Researcher's Group. See "Note" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
If you are interested in preserving old time radio, you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Yahoo.
This is the Single Episode Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.
Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
Relax, listen, and enjoy!
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that is Certified Accurate indicates that all the episodes are properly identified and labeled but that the series does not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that is Certified Complete is the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implies that all the files in the series are Certified Accurate but also indicates that the series is as complete as possible – it includes all extant episodes.
August 5, 2019 Subject:
Episode 45 Needs a Title Change
It should be called "Reputation." "Going" just means "thief" in Yiddish. It doesn't have anything to do with this episode.
Other than that, I'm enjoying every minute of every episode. A really great radio drama, it holds up as well now as it did when it was on the air. Thanks to the people who saved these to the Archive! They have kept an important part of our popular culture history alive!
July 10, 2019 Subject:
What I find impressive is that they found all the Gunsmoke Radio Episodes, I find that impressive
May 11, 2019 Subject:
Love Gunsmoke. Never get tired listening to the shows. Each of the actors sound so convincing in their roles. All in all great wholesome entertainment.
September 22, 2018 Subject:
The Paramount of Westerns on Radio & TV
First off Researchers folks deserve huge kudos putting them together. What's fun is listening to the radio side, then dvd side from 1955-60 say, Mac and Meston gives one to pick as Meston did variations to his tv side both became plus multipliers. Most the radio side guests went on to the tv side also, fun doing both, masters of work of quality, no wonder tv side lasted 20 years, Bill Conrad was never outta work, became famous voice of the fugitive series intro.
September 19, 2018 Subject:
It gets no better
The best western on the radio, hands down. William Conrad was excellent as Matt Dillon.
Just as a side note, 2rubywithlove, John Dehner played Paladin on the radio version of Have Gun, WIll Travel. Richard Boone played him on TV.
Dehner played on all of the best western shows, and had a long career, nonetheless.
August 20, 2018 Subject:
The Rolls Royce of Westerns
Too bad William Conrad was too heavy to play Matt Dillon on TV. William Conrad was Matt Dillon, and Gunsmoke was the best radio western of them all, and is high on the list of best radio series of all time too. I have listened to almost all of them, and don't mind listening to some of them over and over again. Did it follow a formula? Yes. Can you think of a series on radio or TV that doesn't?
July 10, 2018 Subject:
Listening to an Actor Grow & Mature
John Dehner went from an acting company participant to an actor ready for the lead roll of Paladin on TV’s Have Gun, Will Travel. Out of nearly 450 episodes here, Dehner can be hear on around 100. You can track his own life experience participation in this Western. Timing, and Voice Management are interesting to hear as he didn’t know but we do, what happens in his life as he acts his way through time.
February 7, 2018 Subject:
This was my first time listening to any sort of radio series and I thought it was pretty interesting. The way they incorporated the sounds makes you really feel like your there with the actors, but the lack of visuals forces you to use your imagination to build the scene and I think that's pretty cool. The sounds of the horses and the hoofbeats was a way to make us set the scene ourselves. They basically gave us the outline and we had to fill in the other information for ourselves. Other than that, I'm generally not a fan of the Wild West stories which is why I don't think I enjoyed it too much. Realistically I think I'd find myself watching an episode of a Netflix show over this :/.
December 21, 2017 Subject:
I highly recommend it
William Conrad is an ace. Never a dull moment. Unique stories every time and it all unfolds nicely in the minds eye.
December 4, 2017 Subject:
I only started listening to the show because Conrad was in it, I recently listened to an radio interview where he spoke of his radio work, he did over seven thousand five hundred shows, I wonder if anyone else even come close to that figure.About this show, it's so so, he plays a really very aggressive person who is to quick on the gun, not as good as Fort Laramie, that's my humble opinion.
Update 4th December 2017.
I've changed my mind it's better now that I've reached episode 321; and as always Conrad is good, even bought his TV series Jake and the Fatman as an early Xmas present. I also really like John Dehner in this series which led me to Have Gun Will Travel which is another good one.
November 6, 2017 Subject:
Gunsmoke radio show
i never smoked but damn those Chesterfields or L&Ms sound really good. Those commercials are very persausive. In regards to Gunsmoke..i didnt appreciate Willam Conrad when he was alive. That whole core of actors along with great writing, left a unsurpassed body of work.
June 29, 2017 Subject:
A Podcast Introduction/Breakdown of Gunsmoke
In Episode 3 of Our Show of Shows Podcast we talk about the great 1950s radio western, Gunsmoke (and, as much as possible, we avoid talking about the mediocre TV version). Gunsmoke was the first radio western made strictly for adults, and its creators originally intended Marshall Matt Dillon to be as a sort of Philip Marlow of the Old West, but the show quickly grew into a complex, often dark drama that went to some really harrowing places. We veer off topic into the original Maltese Falcon prop (which sat on Gunsmoke star William Conrad’s mantle for years) and the cast’s connections to Rocky & Bullwinkle, Star Trek, and the Keebler cookies, but we eventually circle back to talk about the curse of being Matt Dillon, why Fort Laramie is no Gunsmoke, and we discuss the pioneering disabled woman who wrote 80 of the last 200 episodes of the show, Marion Clark. And Dan still doesn’t have a good tag line.
September 10, 2016 Subject:
Tobacco Ads vs Historical Revisionism
I live in a neighbourhood that has an exceptionally high amount of alcohol consumption, and here are some things I've noticed:
1 - No one ever wanted to beat me up because they'd just polished off eight cigarettes, resulting in an inflated ego.
2 - No one ever plowed their car into a bus shelter because they smoked too much, then got behind the wheel.
3 - No one ever smoked enough to consider someone's presence to be consent to sex.
4 - No one ever puked in my front yard because they smoked too much, then ate a pizza.
5 - No one ever smashed a window by polishing off their cigarettes and throwing the empty pack at a house.
So is it possible for a pooled effort to cut booze ads off TV and The Archive?
Aw, screw this; c'mon Chester, let's go for a smoke.
May 22, 2016 Subject:
Gunsmoke "Bloopers" available
"Gunsmoke" is simply the very best radio western. Recently, I found some GREAT Gunsmoke radio bloopers & gags, with William Conrad and cast. They would make a great addition here, and the audio quality is excellent, too. Let me know and I'll share them . . . . Approx. 8 yrs ago, I discovered "Old Time Radio." I'm still amazed at the time and effort put in by producers, directors and actors (at least on the most popular shows) and such high quality entertainment they provide. There must be a way to get the best series (such as Suspense, Escape, Gunsmoke, and many of the "Theaters") introduced to new generations, and what great entertainment they are missing! During my working career, I was in advertising, marketing and creating promotions. I have several ideas as to how to promote this "genre" but don't have the means. If you share the passion, have a good PC,, I can design websites and the like on paper, and you can do the actual construction online. Of course, there's no money in it, (although I have thought of a way that WOULD make it profitable) I would need to partner up with the right person, one who is honest, trustworthy, and has a little money (to pay for copyrights and the like) Also, it would leave a legacy for your name and mine forever. I can't leave an address here, but it would end in gmail "dot" and then "com" It starts with my one of my screen names: charlie351c4v - get it? Please respond only if you share the above mentioned qualities.
March 31, 2016 Subject:
Great show, wonderful recordings!
Love the show, and the recordings are exceptional. Thank you!
February 14, 2016 Subject:
A Great Series
Thanks for the shows :)
February 5, 2016 Subject:
thank you nicholashansgary, for your hard work. I know these shows are the very best and have downloaded soooooo many. Keep up the efforts to bring good quality "old time" radio and the gunsmoke series to all of us who appreciate your time and talent.
January 14, 2016 Subject:
A simple thank you
I am a night custodian and go stir crazy if I forget my mp3 loaded with classic episodes of Gunsmoke and all of the other OTR programs offered here. I was the manager of a small market radio station also, so have a love for radio. DO NOT CHANGE A THING PLEASE!! These episodes are how they were presented. This is what my mom, dad, grandma and grandpa listened to. Now, since they are gone, I get to experience the same entertainment they enjoyed before television. If you find these offensive, I understand. But OTR is historic and you can't change history no matter how hard you try. THANK YOU FOR THESE!!
December 30, 2015 Subject:
I LOVE this program and everything that goes with it. Yes, that means the vintage commercials as well!! Those commercial are almost as entertaining as the show and I wouldn't want to have them cut out in fact I personally would just like a few more added. I get to liten to this at work and I really enjoy being able to listen to something that isn't all sexed up and riddled with profanity!!
December 1, 2015 Subject:
This reveiw is for all the butt-hurt people leaving reviews! Get the hell out of here and go feed the homeless or serve food too the poor or donate time ringing a bell for the Salvation Army! If you don't like history too bad don't try to change it to you're politically correct view. If people want too listen they come here to find shows they grew up with or to just relax. All of you people who want so badly to make everything right and good go out and start doing that todayy and 50 years from now maybe the old shows will suit you. If you don't like it turn it off and get the hell off this site. It's not your type of entertainment!
November 19, 2015 Subject:
it wasn't just the commercials
Muskratbill- it wasn't just the commercials that the 2 previous reviewers wanted cut. They wanted the parts that portrayed people eating meat, the violence that was done to the indians, AND all the gunplay that they want cut out of the Gunsmoke episodes too. I'm not trying to get anyone's hackles up, but a few of the other reviewers were trying to have OTTR cut out what they found offensive too. The point I'm trying to make is simple; if there is any material that people find offensive, the listener can simply stop listening. OTTR is trying to give us shows as they were THEN and not to chop up the audio shows so that the few can now "safely" listen to what THEY want to hear NOW. I just don't understand why they are picking on Gunsmoke when there is worse things out there that people listen to every day that is so much worse than Matt Dillon and Chester eating a steak at Delmonico's or defending themselves in a FICTIONAL setting!
November 14, 2015 Subject:
Editing out commercials on Gunsmoke
I agree with jennijanzen 100%. I must say that I was shocked and angry that anyone would even suggest such a thing. I was hoping that those reviews were meant as a joke but in these days of "political correctness" I tend to doubt that. Those commercial spots are part of our cultural history for God's sake! For me it is always a huge bonus to find a radio show with the original commercials included. Gunsmoke is truly an outstanding radio show.
One of the best of all times. Still enjoying this. Regards, Karel Koes Hiranjgarbh Missier Paragh
August 4, 2015 Subject:
Bill Conrad - the BEST Dillon!
Even though the TV series was good, nobody could beat Bill Conrad. He was tough and took no crap from anyone.
June 18, 2015 Subject:
Gunsmoke is by far my favorite radio series ever. I first heard it on Sirius Radio.
There is definitely a reason it ran so long on TV and Radio.
Cannot decide which Marshal Dillon I like most, both men had commanding presence in their respective genre.
I am so happy I found this website.
June 2, 2015 Subject:
I can hear a story was my grandpa child haha
May 29, 2015 Subject:
A Powerhouse Production!
I have listened to Gunsmoke for a while and I am struck by the sound effects. This is something that today's generation is missing...imagination. Because when you listen to these series, you forget that these are just people standing in front of a microphone, with a sound effects guy/team. Your imagination views it as a full on production...just like a movie. I am old enough to have watched the series on TV and I have to say, there is NO comparison at all. The radio production is far superior. The only character I find superfluous on this radio show is Kitty. Her character doesn't really add anything to the show...you could remove her and the series would still be good. Thank you Internet Archive and all the people who see the value of preserving gems like this!
May 24, 2015 Subject:
My all time favorite radio show!
William Conrad, as Matt Dillon does a superb performance and is a joy to listen to and really carries the show with the excellent supporting cast of characters and the interplay between Matt, Chester, Doc and Kitty along with some great guest stars and such is unique among radio shows old time and otherwise. I just love the show so much that I am about to finish my second time listening through all the episodes and expect it will not be too long before I listen to them a third time and many more times to be sure.
May 20, 2015 Subject:
This sets the bar for OTR. I have yet to find anything that comes even close to the quality of Gunsmoke.
Actually, I'm not against the 2nd amendment or anything, but I do find all the gunplay in Gunsmoke questionable.
Also not wild about native American portrayals. Also there are Pepsi ads, which contain sugar and that makes people fat. Also some savings bonds ads that has a wife henpecking her husband. Women's rights and all. Some of the characters hunt and eat steak. As a vegetarian I find this objectionable.
Is it possible for a pooled effort to cut these references and create a new collection?
April 27, 2015 Subject:
Who is for Cutting Out the Cigarette Ads?
This is such a magnificent collection.
I'm not against advertising or archival advertising, but I do find the tobacco ads objectionable.
Is it possible for a pooled effort to cut these out and create a new collection?
March 9, 2015 Subject:
Great intro to Western OTR
I am old enough to remember the Gunsmoke television series in my early childhood, but was never attracted to the genre and only lately have begun to come around to Westerns by way of Italian Westerns... and the Gunsmoke radio series. The production values of the series gave a sense of realism to episodes that were often very well-written, with a leisurely pace and a lot of scope for character-driven drama and human interest. Marshall Dillon is not a cardboard hero like the Lone Ranger, but a somewhat shop-soiled and weary lawman who takes an interest in his community and in the lives of his neighbors. His sense of justice is tempered with tolerance and respect. To some extent the stories solve problems with fists or gunplay, but not always. Gunsmoke was part of an evolution of the genre from pure action and the frequently negative aspects of the genre (the attitudes about native peoples, the violence, the cardboard villains and the Great White Heroes) to a more subtle and nuanced understanding of the genre, and is also great entertainment value. I'm glad OTRR and Archive.org are making these programs available for all of us to discover.
December 20, 2014 Subject:
I usually listen to OTR to cover up city traffic and my loud-a$$ neighbors.
I have never listened to Gunsmoke or watched it on TV either. I like old TV channels for the nostalgic effect, but Gunsmoke was before my time and seemed even slower than the 70s shows I look at every once in a while. They're just too slowly-paced to keep my attention. I know my grandma always has that channel on when I visit.
But, I gave OTR Gunsmoke a chance because it's rated most popular and I was desperate for something interesting to hear. Well, I am pretty impressed, as these shows definitely held my attention. Also, I do love the Western genre (to read and the great classic movies), so the beginning of the Gunsmoke series was v. interesting for me bc it is in a time when the West was not settled yet, the Civil War wasn't long over, and people claimed land just by stepping on it. The sheriff in the series is somewhat like Wyatt in other series -- def. honorable but not as ornery.
I really like this series, at least the first 10 episodes or so. That is all that I have listened to. I've traveled onto to try other series since, so I guess the stories became a little repetitive for me or I got antsy. We'll see if I make it back to hear more.
November 19, 2014 Subject:
Gunsmoke SINGLE episodes IDENTICAL to OTRR certified CDs episodes?
I have downloaded the torrent versions of Gunsmoke SINGLE episodes. For several (at least) episodes of the singles I detect an audio quality significantly inferior to those on the OTRR certified CDs episodes.
Are the Gunsmoke SINGLE episodes presented as being IDENTICAL to those contained in the eleven (?) OTRR certified CDs episodes?
I.e. are the SINGLE Gunsmoke episodes equally certified by OTRR (i.e. are identical) or do the singles originate from a separate (non-OTRR certified) source?
I would appreciate some authoritative opinion on this question.
September 11, 2014 Subject:
Pretty violent, some good episodes...
Some of you probably aren't going to like me, because of this review. Don't get me wrong, I've listened to about every episode of Gunsmoke, and it is undoubtedly one of the best otr shows ever produced, along with Dragnet. It has some really good episodes to listen to. I think my favorite is the episode about the German blacksmith who is getting a hard time from 3 of the townspeople, at least one won't pay him, and complains about his work, even though his work is fine. He puts up with it until his German mail order bride shows up. Then they start messing with her, and he won't take that, and beats the tar out of them - all with Matt's blessings. And, it has some good episodes, like that one. But, one morning I was thinking about the show and I got to thinking, man, living in Dodge would have been like living in the bad place (the opposite of heaven). I mean, it seemed like hardly anyone liked anyone else, guys would ride into town and start trouble right out of the blue. You'd only be about a second away from eternity as so many people got gunned down and stabbed and even though I liked Matt a lot, he gunned down a lot of people. It was usually justified, but I'll bet he won about 300 gunfights. I don't have any idea of what the old west was really like. I've heard it was nothing like the TV shows and radio shows about it. Well, I hope Dodge was nothing like the radio show. If it was, who'd want to live there? They said on a couple of the episodes that Abilene wasn't as wild - I'd go live there. And, I'm really surprised, with the censorship back then, that they allowed the violence of Gunsmoke to get through. The pros about the show - Matt is a good moral marshall who believes in the law, though sometimes he has to carry out the sentence himself. Kitty, Doc (Howard McNear), and Chester are all good characters, many of the episodes are interesting, with interesting mysteries. The quality is pretty good with pretty even audio throughout the collection, etc. The cons - the main con definitely has to be the violence. In one episode an indian boy's tongue is cut out, to give an example, numerous gunfights, it is far more violent and really not much like the popular TV show that it spawned, the numerous necktie parties, and just the general way people treated one another. I mean, I know there are still horrible places to live in the world. But, the way that people treated each other in Dodge, who'd want to live there? It is depressing. I don't know - that is my 2 cents worth. If I listen to any more episodes (which I probably will). I'm going to try to find the ones that aren't real violent and where people treat one another in a decent manner, with a good mystery to it. Again, I don't see how the violence in this show got past the censors back then, but it sure did. Even though it gave birth to a TV show, I don't think it would have ever got past the censors had they done the TV show like the radio show, with the blood and gore, shootings, knivings, and murders, and just horrible things that people did to other people. That's my 2 cents worth. Please don't get mad at me. I love old time radio, and was really surprised that I liked Gunsmoke at all, as it really wasn't my type of western. I like the more light hearted ones - the kind with guys like Roy Rogers and Red Ryder in them. Hope you all have a good day.
April 19, 2013 Subject:
So Good to Sleep With
As a person who has sleep disorders listening to Gunsmoke and other old radio shows on helps me to eventually get some sleep. The characters in Gunsmoke were so great and the background sounds made the shows seem more realistic. The writing was tremendous then and held the listener's attention as listened to the radio of the mind.
March 17, 2013 Subject:
Gunsmoke Follows Same Pattern
Gunsmoke was a great radio show and later a poorly made TV show. However the radio shows followed an annoying repetition of characterization. You can predict how the bad guys are going to act, and they all act like morons. Can always spot John Dehner with his "I never done that mar-shul" type moron character. Of course, the west never was like this anyway. Best I can say about these Gunsmoke shows is that the audio levels are quite consistent from show to show.
November 18, 2012 Subject:
After getting my first taste of OTR After buying a iPhone I have to say nothing eats up my data more (-: I have my iPhone memory full of my favorite episodes of gunsmoke dragnet and X MINUS ONE, and only wish I could hold them all ... Thank you audio.org and Internet archive for bringing this back forever I hope people donate often to keep your bills paid (-:
And BTY KITTY ISN'T A PROSTITUTE AS SUGGESTED SHE WAS OWNER OF THE LOCAL SALOON AND PERHAPS A MADAM BUT ALL THE SAME WE LOVED HER ANYWAY
Reviewer:Capt. Lee Quince
June 23, 2012 Subject:
This is classic otr...Bill Conrad is a great Matt Dillon and a wonderful contribution to all other otr programs. Alas, all good things come to a end...having finished the series without more to come I feel as if I lost a very good friend.
Got a h00t out of "meshugah" and "gonif" as titles for a two Gunsmoke episodes. Were those the producer shortcut names of the shows or did the Archive cataloger add some old country descriptions? HA! There are spelling variations of those low German terms. Meshugah or meshuggah means crazy. And a gonif is a bad guy.
We have fun with names, too. In one of our old west movies, we made up a "Meshunggeneh Falls" sign over a hazardous waterfall because you'd be crazy to try to ride the waters. :)
December 16, 2011 Subject:
William Conrad's contribution
After listening to the radio series, it is hard to imagine how avid listeners in that era, could have made the transition between William Conrad and James Arness. William Conrad's had contributed so much to the fictional character Matt Dillion, that it would be almost next to impossible to make the transition without missing the baritone husky voice that made him a legion.
September 6, 2011 Subject:
My Favorite Episode
I've listened to nearly the entire series and some of the episodes many times. The one that always touches me the most is The Round-Up. The raw emotion displayed by William Conrad coupled with the bittersweet ending makes this my hands down all-time favorite. A very close second would be Bloody Hands (Alafrganza).
February 14, 2011 Subject:
Have been a fan of OTR for a while but never got around to listening to the Western style shows until last year .... fell totally in love with "Have Gun Will Travel" and wanting to hear more of John Dehner, I moved on to the Gunsmoke series and boy am I glad I did!
Took a little bit to appreciate the character of Matt Dillion but he grew on me. To truly appreciate the series, all the shows should be listened to and not necessarily in order. Multiple listenings will give you an appreciation of the chemistry between the main characters and repeat supporting characters, old west phrases & terminology, social & cultural differences and a peak at the hardships of frontiersmen & women.
Great series would highly recommend.
November 27, 2010 Subject:
If I was going to listen to one episode...
First, for those that aren't already fans of the series or familiar with the characters:
William Conrad was one of the last actors who auditioned for the role of Marshal Dillon. He had a powerful, distinctive voice and was one of radio's busiest actors (he is believed to have appeared in more old time radio episodes than any other performer). After the series was created, writer John Mesten wanted him for the role of Matt Dillon, but director Norman MacDonnell thought Conrad might be overexposed because of being heard so frequently on other shows. During his audition, however, Conrad won over MacDonnell after reading only a few lines. Dillon as portrayed by Conrad was a lonely, isolated man, toughened by a hard life. Meston relished the upending of cherished Western fiction clichés and felt that few Westerns gave any inkling of how brutal the Old West was in reality. In Meston's view, "Dillon was almost as scarred as the homicidal psychopaths who drifted into Dodge from all directions."
Chester's character had no surname until Parley Baer ad libbed "Proudfoot" during an early rehearsal. The character was usually described as Dillon's "assistant," but the December 13, 1952 episode "Post Martin," Dillon described Chester as Dillon's deputy. (The TV series changed Chester's last name to Goode.)
Doc Adams was iconoclastic and grumpy, but McNear's performances became more warm-hearted. In the January 31, 1953 episode "Cavalcade," Doc Adams' backstory is revealed: His real name is Calvin Moore, educated in Boston, and he practiced as a doctor for a year in Richmond, Virginia where he fell in love with a beautiful young woman who was also being courted by a wealthy young man named Roger Beauregard. Beauregard forced Doc into fighting a duel with him, resulting in Beauregard's being shot and killed. Even though it was a fair duel, because Doc was a Yankee and an outsider he was forced to flee. The young woman fled after him and they were married in St. Louis, but two months later she died of typhus. Doc wandered throughout the territories until he settled in Dodge City seventeen years later under the name of "Charles Adams."
Georgia Ellis appeared in the first episode "Billy the Kid" (April 26, 1952) as "Francie Richards," a former girlfriend of Matt Dillon and the widow of a criminal. "Miss Kitty" did not appear on the radio series until the May 10, 1952 episode "Jaliscoe." Kitty's profession was hinted at, but never explicit; in a 1953 interview with Time, MacDonnell declared, "Kitty is just someone Matt has to visit every once in a while. We never say it, but Kitty is a prostitute, plain and simple." (The television show portrayed Kitty as a saloon proprietor, not a prostitute.)
While there are numerous excellent episodes to listen to, one that's not a great one in my view, but completely different, and excellent in its own way, is Cavalcade (described above). If I was going to listen to one episode a second or third time, or would recommend an episode to a fan who hadn't listened to many episodes, I'd probably suggest Cavalcade.
November 25, 2010 Subject:
I couldn't possibly thank you enough... I used to listen to these in a special show every Sunday night in the Washington DC area. I moved away some time ago and I've always wanted to listen to these again... awesome collection, including my favorite episode of all time.
November 18, 2010 Subject:
The top tier of Old time Radio
mikefromgeorgia (below) is correct that it's a tough call between Dragnet and Gunsmoke (although you could consider other shows, such as Jack Benny, Amos 'n' Andy, Lights Out, X Minus One, and others, Dragnet and Gunsmoke were 'reality'); their longevity alone speaks for their quality. They simply wouldn't have lasted as long as they did, nor sustain their large audiences, were the writing and the acting not excellent. What both had, of course, was continuity; the main character was created, developed, and had excellent supporting characters who also were developed.
What both shows had, of course, were premier leading actors. All of Jack Webb's shows before Dragnet were of high quality and seem to lead to his role Joe Friday; Bill Conrad estimated that he was in 7,000 roles in radio, as either a leading or supporting actor.
One can't go wrong with listening to either collection, Dragnet or Gunsmoke. Both will make you appreciate the magic of old time radio, which provided something that neither television show could; the use of your imagination, enabling you to see "what really happened to Joe Friday and Matt Dillon".
July 1, 2010 Subject:
The series is iconic in radio! I've listened to radio for almost 70 years and "Gun Smoke" does all that good radio drama should, truly 'theater of the mind.' "The Medicine Man" show needs some enhancement, not real steady. If you haven't heard "Frontier Gentleman" go there too, it is 'neck and neck' with "Gun Smoke" as is "The Six Shooter."
May 24, 2010 Subject:
Gunsmoke the King OTR
Dragnet is great, but Gunsmoke is the best radio program of all time. I'm not a hugh fan of western themed radio (except Six Shooter which is pretty good too!)TV or Movies but Gunsmoke was so real and smart. I've often finsihed listening to a pretty raw, real episode come acrossed amazed that they did this program in the 50's. One episode a man cuts the tongue out of a young Indians mouth and his racist remark was so difficult, but Matt Dillion was the voice of reason and justice prevailed. I could name dozens of outstanding episodes but If you interested at all, do yourself the favor and download all of them. These shows have given me hours and hours of listening pleasure. Then give Dragnet, Jack Benny Program, Our Miss Brooks, Great Gildersleeve,Yours truly Johnny Dollar and Phil Harris/Alice Faye Show a try these are favorites.
January 20, 2010 Subject:
Long live marshall dillon
I am a big fan of this show. I recently found it online with all the episodes listed here and have them all in my ipod. Now I cannot go to sleep without having it playing in my ear. I can honestly see the town in my mind as the episodes play. The funny thing is that I can't really get into the tv show, but I love the otr broadcasts. You can almost smell the gunsmoke when marshall dillon puts one of the bad guys down. I recommend this show to anyone who has never enjoyed the theater of the mind.
November 2, 2009 Subject:
Gunsmoke: Missing Episodes
Of the 480 broadcast episodes of GUNSMOKE only six are missing, including five of the first ten episodes broadcast in 1952.
Look for the threads starting with
Plotline For Missing Episode:
June 26, 2009 Subject:
Tied for First
I am indeed listening to every single episode of Gunsmoke, but I would suggest two other OTR shows which I consider tied with Gunsmoke for first place. The first is Night Beat, with Frank Lovejoy, and the other is Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar........very specifically a particular period of Johnny Dollar shows: the five part, weeklong, 15 minute installment shows from the mid fifties with Bob Bailey as Johnny Dollar.
May 21, 2007 Subject:
Gunsmoke is the greatest radio show of all time
It is a very tough call between Dragnet and Gunsmoke, but I guess the incredible sound effects and the high quality writing, along with the talented cast of regular and guest supporting actors give Gunsmoke a decided edge in my own humble opinion. William Conrad had such a wonderful voice for radio and he also was a better actor in every respect than James Arness. Conrad's only drawbacks to playing Marshal Matt Dillon in the television version of Gunsmoke were his height and especially weight. Many people probably don't even know that he was a fighter pilot in World War II. He made the role of Matt Dillon his own on radio and I don't think Arness could ever have held a candle to him. I have watched the t.v. series many times for years before ever hearing the radio version and I definitely think the radio version is far superior in every respect. On t.v. both Dillon and the other regular characters (Doc Adams, Miss Kitty Russell and Chester Proudfoot (Goode on t.v.) and also (later Festus Haggan on t.v.) were seen less and less as the years went by and more guest stars were primarily given the reins and on-screen time. Matt Dillon was out-of-town far too much in the later t.v. episodes, often leaving Dodge City in the highly questionable hands of Festus and Newley, the town's blacksmith. While the t.v. show is a great classic, no question, as proven by the length of the time it was on the air, the radio show was consistently better in keeping Matt Dillon in Dodge City where he always belonged.
April 29, 2007 Subject:
One of the best of U.S radio
I have heard no other OTR program that leaves me eager to listen to every episode.