I first became interested in old time radio (OTR) programs when I was a senior in college. I had driven to Syracuse, New York, to see a movie and was returning to my apartment in Ithaca, New York. I flipped on the public radio station and they were playing an episode of Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. I was immediately drawn in to the “theater of the mind” that is classic radio drama.
Shortly thereafter, I discovered that Napster (a file sharing service that, at the time, primarily facilitated illegal downloads of music) had a decent collection of OTR available. This is when I began my OTR collection, downloading from Napster and other sites far more than I could ever listen to.
As a neurology resident, I had to do a month of night float, in which I covered new consults and admissions that came in after 10 PM. This gave the person on a 30 hour call the opportunity to catch up on their work and, hopefully, get some rest. On a slow night, I would try to catch some sleep in the hopes that I could be awake for, and enjoy more of, my time between night float shifts. It was often difficult to sleep under such circumstances, and I would listen to OTR programs deep in the bowels of the hospital as I tried to drift off.
It was around this time that I must have loaded Pat Novak onto my mp3 player. This selection must have occurred quite by chance, as I had hundreds of CDs worth of OTR to choose from. Regardless, I had never heard a program quite like Pat Novak before. It beautifully infuses the listener’s mind with the dark world we are familiar with from film noir movies. The protagonist, Pat Novak (often affectionately referred to as Patsy) is full of witty one-liners in the truest parlance of the hard boiled detective. His side-kick, Jocko Madigan, a nihilistic doctor turned drunkard, has some of the best lines in the series.
I eventually discovered that there are no transcriptions of Pat Novak available on the web. I see this as a transgression against great literature, and have taken it upon myself to try to transcribe all of the episodes. This is a slow process as I do not have much time to devote to it, but I’m making steady progress. If you find any errors in my transcriptions, or if you would like to help in the transcription process, please feel free to email me at email@example.com