April 8, 2018

Happy Birthday, Harry Morgan!

Old-time radio host Greg Bell is famous for saluting actors’ birthdays on his Sirius XM Radio channel Radio Classics. Every year, he celebrates Peter Lorre's birthday the week of June 26 with a "Love for Laszlo" two-hour block of four of Peter's radio shows.

And the week of April 8 to 14, 2018, Peter's co-star Harry Morgan gets the birthday star treatment with four programs – two episodes of Mystery in the Air, "The Black Cat" (Sept. 18, 1947) and "The Marvelous Barastro" (Aug. 7, 1947); followed by two episodes of This Is Your FBI, "Floating Stickup" (Dec. 8, 1950) and "Backstage Shakedown" (Nov. 10, 1950).

The Morgan tribute will air these dates and times –

Sunday, April 8, 2018 ~
5 am Pacific, 8 am Eastern

Tuesday, April 10 ~
7 pm Pacific, 10 pm Eastern

Thursday, April 12 ~
11 pm Pacific

Friday, April 13 ~
2 am Eastern

Satellite radio providers Sirius and XM air Radio Classics over channel 148. Subscribers may also listen to the programs over the internet. Log-in with your User ID and password. Not a subscriber? A free 30-day trial is also available through the Sirius XM radio website.

As "The Voice of Mystery", Harry Morgan acted as narrator on Peter Lorre’s radio series Mystery in the Air, a replacement series for The Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Show in the summer of 1947.

Mystery in the Air presented tales of suspense "culled from the four corners of world literature", adapted from such famous tales as Alexander Pushkin's "The Queen of Spades" and Edgar Allan Poe's "The Black Cat", as well as original radio dramas.

Morgan hosted all 13 episodes, beginning with "The Tell-Tale Heart" on July 3 and continuing to the final program, "Crime and Punishment", adapted from Peter's 1935 Columbia Studios film, on Sept. 25.

In the image above, Morgan (in black suit) stands, looking over Hans Conried's shoulder at his script, with Peter Lorre at the microphone.

On March 14, 1979, author Stephen Youngkin took an interview with Harry Morgan for his Lorre biography, The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre, published in September, 2005, through University Press of Kentucky. Morgan recalled working with Lorre on Mystery in the Air, describing the intensity of Peter's performances as he played to the microphone, not the studio audience.

The Lost One: A Life of Peter Lorre is available in both soft-bound and hard-bound editions, as well as the Kindle and Nook.

Purchase The Lost One through Amazon.

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