Candy Matson Tribute

Candy Matson Tribute

Candy Matson Tribute
15 November 2021

13:00-14:00 PT
Program Guide for Candy Matson Tribute
Re-Imagined Radio pays tribute to Candy Matson, a popular female detective series. Candy Matson runs her private investigation business from a penthouse atop Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, California. Sidekicks Rembrandt Watson (eccentric photographer) and Lieutenant Ray Mallard (San Francisco Police detective and love interest) assist as she solves murders and mysteries in her own intelligent and witty style. Candy Matson is significant because it was a ground-breaking female investigator anthology series with a strong lead character, featured local San Francisco locations and references, included gay and Asian characters, provided a compelling alternative to the popular male detective radio genre, and was the best of the popular female detective programs.

Broadcasts and streams by our local, regional, and international partners. Archival recordings available for on demand listening below.

Listen

Optimized for radio broadcast.

Credits

     Sound Design by John Barber
     Post Production by Marc Rose of Fuse Audio Design
     Promotional Graphics by Holly Slocum Design
     Social Media by Regina Carol Social Media Management
     Produced and Hosted by John Barber

Background

Crime and detective radio series were popular from the 1940s to the 1950s, perhaps due to rising concerns for emerging criminal activities at all levels. A number of detective radio series responded to this interest. Candy Matson (1949-1951) was a weekly radio drama series noted for its strong female protagonist. She was a compelling alternative to the popular male detective radio genre, and the best of the popular female detective programs.

Candy Matson was developed by husband and wife Monte and Natalie Masters. They planned their radio series with a male lead, but Natalie's mother persuaded them to cast Natalie as the female protagonist. The series was changed to highlight Candy Matson as a strong lead character, an intelligent, no-nonsense female detective, driven, relentless, and disarming. Monte wrote, produced, and directed each episode. Natalie voiced the role of Candy Matson in each episode. The writing and acting, along with its local focus, quickly made Candy Matson a favorite of listeners.

As voiced by Natalie Masters, Candy Matson was an intelligent, no nonsense detective. She was driven, relentless, and disarming. Rather than a seedy office, she ran her business from a Telegraph Hill penthouse in San Francisco, California. She worked with Rembrandt Watson, an eccentric photographer, and sparred with Lieutenant Ray Mallard, a San Francisco Police detective, and her love interest. San Francisco actors, musicians, and colorful locales often played supporting roles.

The series was broadcasted by KNBC in San Francisco, 30 June 1949-20 May 1951, and quickly became the standout of the popular female investigator programs. The recurring cast included . . .
Natalie Masters as Candy Matson
Jack Thomas as Rembrandt Watson, an eccentric photographer
Henry Leff as Lieutenant Ray Mallard, a San Francisco Police detective and Matson's love interest.

Guest spots were cast by the Masters from professional San Francisco actors. Sometimes they used local musicians. Each episodes featured references to local streets, buildings, events, or culture. These associations, along with the quick and creative scripts, made Candy Matson a favorite of audiences west of the Mississippi River.

Constant changes to broadcast times by NBC, and the lack of a sponsor, ultimately led to a cancellation of the series after ninety one episodes, 20 May 1951. A reprise of the series, as Candy Matson, YUkon 38309 was attempted 21 October 1952 without success.

This Re-Imagined Radio Candy Matson Tribute highlights the first and last episodes, "The Donna Dunham Case" and "Candy's Last Case." The first episode, "The Donna Dunham Case," was broadcast 30 June 1949. In this episode Candy investigates a jealous-lover murder and nearly falls victim herself. The final episode, "Candy's Last Case" (AKA "The Cape Hatteras Diamond") features a double murder and a missing diamond. Both lead indirectly to Mallard proposing marriage to Candy. Both episodes showcase Candy Matson as a ground-breaking female detective series with a strong lead character, local references, and a cast of characters representing diversity and inclusivity. Both demonstrate the appeal and power of radio storytelling and how it engages listeners' imaginations.

Resources

Inventory of episodes
Episodes at Internet Archive website
Candy Matson, Yukon 28209 radio logs at Jerry Haendiges Vintage Radio Logs website
Plot summaries and credits at Radio Gold Index website
The Definitive Candy Matson at Digital Deli Too website

Promotion

Responses

Wonderful show! I hadn't heard of Candy Matson until now. She's becoming a new favorite of mine. Thank you for putting this on!
—Kathleen Zoller

I can't wait to listen to Candy! She's one of the inspirations for my own detective Phillipa Graves!
—Jack Ward
The Sonic Society
The Mutual Audio Drama Network

Graphics

Candy Matson Tribute web poster by Holly Slocum, Holly Slocum Design (240 x 356)
Candy Matson: Tribute web poster 2021

Candy Matson Tribute cover poster by Holly Slocum, Holly Slocum Design (820 x 356)
Candy Matson: Tribute cover poster 2021

Candy Matson Tribute social media poster by Holly Slocum, Holly Slocum Design (2000 x 2000)
Candy Matson: Tribute social media poster 2021

Candy Matson Tribute full poster by Holly Slocum, Holly Slocum Design (2000 x 3000)
Candy Matson: Tribute poster 2021