The Shadow was one of the earliest crime dramas on radio. The Shadow knew what evil lurked in the hearts of men and proved, with a sinister laugh, "crime does not pay". The Shadow was the secret identity of Lamont Cranston, a "wealthy young man about town", who learned to cloud people's minds so they could not see him. The show aired on several different anthology series starting with C.B.S.' The Detective Story Hour in 1930. In 1931, The Shadow aired on C.B.S.' Blue Coal Radio Revue and then on C.B.S.' Love Story Hour. It wasn't until 1932 when C.B.S. started to air the show with the title of The Shadow. For a brief seven months, from 1932 to 1933, the show aired on N.B.C. and then returned to C.B.S. until 1935.
The beginning of an episode of The Shadow starts with the famous line "who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men, the Shadow knows" is spoken.
At the conclusion of the show, the Shadow warns listeners "the weed of crime bears bitter fruit, crime does not pay, the Shadow knows."
Listen to how the Shadow learned to "cloud mens' minds" and only Margo Lane knows the true identity of the Shadow is Lamont Cranston, "wealthy young man about town."
One of the long-time sponsors of The Shadow was Blue Coal. Listen to one of the company's radio advertisements.
A radio advertisement from August 1938 for another one of The Shadow's sponsors, Goodrich and the Silver Town tires with "lifesaver tread".
The Mutual Broadcasting System picked-up The Shadow starting in 1937 and the show was again sponsored by Blue Coal. Starting in 1938, Goodrich became the sponsor but Blue Coal resumed sponsorship in late 1938 and until 1949. Other advertisers included Grove Laboratories, the U.S. Air Force, and Wildroot Cream Oil. From 1937 to 1938 Orson Wells was the Shadow and Agnes Moorehead was the "lovely Margo Lane". Other notable actors, who played the Shadow over the show's twenty-five year run, include Bill Johnstone and Bret Morrison. Morrison played the part for ten years until the show's cancellation on December 26, 1954.
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