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This story was published in Radio Recall, the journal of the Metropolitan Washington Old-Time Radio Club, published six times per year.

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A Whimsical Look at the Many Aliases of Jeff Regan
by Stewart Wright. © 2014
(From Radio Recall, February 2015)

Jeff Regan was the title character of a 1948-50 CBS West Coast Network detective series called Jeff Regan Investigator. In an unusual way, the Regan character found his way onto several favorite detective series of the 1940's and 1950's. Before the Beginning: Joe Canto Becomes Jeff Regan

The name of the title character and the series were changed even before the series reached the CBS airwaves. According to E. Jack Neuman, the creator of and first lead writer for the series, "... The name Jeff Regan, Investigator was foisted by a radio executive who felt that the most dramatic heroes must have good, practical Presbyterian names. I preferred "Joe Canto" but that was one of the many losses I have suffered in the radio game..."

Regan Moonlights

Obviously, Regan's pay of "ten a day and expenses" didn't go very far, not even from July, 1948 thru September, 1950. So during this time period, Jeff Regan used previously undisclosed abilities as a master of disguise and mimicry to impersonate other actors and to occasionally moonlight as:

 • Cairo Cafe Owner Rocky Jordan on Rocky Jordan (as Jack Moyles),
 • Chicago Reporter Randy Stone on Night Beat (as Frank Lovejoy),
 • San Francisco P.I. Sam Spade (as Howard Duff), and
 • New York P.I. Richard Diamond (as Dick Powell).

When Jeff Regan, Investigator went off the air, Regan seems to have disappeared. From recently declassified government records, we now know that Jeff Regan became a long-time, highly successful secret agent for the United States. However, Regan demanded that he must be able to use his extraordinary disguise and voice talents to continue to occasionally fill in for some of his actor friends in Hollywood. From late 1952 through mid-1956 he sometimes filled in for his buddies John Lund and Bob Bailey as "The man with the action-packed expense account" on Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar. After that, no further documented instances of Jeff Regan appearing on Hollywood radio are known to exist.

Do the preceding two paragraphs sound far-fetched? Of course they are; remember this is a whimsical look! Here's what actually happened.

A Script-Eating Medium

During the height of the Golden Age of Radio, the medium used up scripts at an incredible pace. Four networks providing entertainment morning, noon, and night required the writing of well over 10, 000 scripts a year for soap operas, children's and musical programming, quiz shows, comedies, and dramas. For much of the Golden Age, reruns of previous broadcasts were the exception rather than the norm. Radio networks did, however reproduce previously used scripts for new broadcasts. There was even a standard contract proviso that if a script was reused within a specified length of time (usually three to five years), the writer would receive additional payment for each reuse.

The Man Behind it All

While the character of Jeff Regan never actually appeared in any of those other series, he did in spirit through reused scripts. The man behind it all was one of the best and in-demand radio writers in Hollywood: E. Jack Neuman. Neuman was an incredibly prolific writer, penning scripts for over two dozen different series including: The Adventures Of Sam Spade; Box Thirteen; Escape; Fort Laramie; The Hallmark Hall Of Fame; Jeff Regan, Investigator; The Line Up; Night Beat; On Stage; Richard Diamond, Private Detective; Rocky Jordan; Rogers of The Gazette; Romance; Suspense; The Whistler; and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar.

Neuman was incredibly adept at rewriting his scripts for reuse. He was the creator and first writer for Jeff Regan, Investigator. Three of his Jeff Regan scripts were later reused on the series. They are:

 • 09/04/1948 "The House by the Sea" later produced as
 • 12/18/1948 "The Man Who Lived By The Sea." Also,
 • 10/09/1948 "The Too Many Mrs. Rogers" - co-written with Larry Roman later produced as
 • 02/08/1950 "Had To, Dead You Know."


 • 10/16/1948 "The Lost Lady" - co-written with Larry Roman later produced as
 • 10/19/1949 "The Lady from Brazil" and as
 • 06/18/1950 "They've got More Than Coffee in Brazil."

Regan and Neuman Branch Out and A Norn De Plume

As early as May, 1949 Neuman-written Jeff Regan scripts were reused on other series, hence the previous references in the article to the names Rocky, Sam, Randy, Richard, and Johnny. At least nine scripts were reused on other series.

Starting in 1955, Neuman used a pen name, John Dawson, when he rewrote radio scripts he had earlier written and when he acted a "script doctor" for rewriting television Have Gun, Will Travel scripts for radio.

Reuse - The When and On Which Series

Here is a listing of Neuman's Jeff Regan, Investigator scripts (in bold) that were reused and the series, broadcast dates, and episode titles of their reuse:

07/17/1948 The Prodigal Daughter
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
06/18 - 22/1956 "The Pearling Matter."

07/24/1948 The Lonesome Lady
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
02/06/1953 "The Chicago Fraud Matter"
12/12-16/1955 "The Lansing Fraud Matter."

07/31/1948 The Lady with the Golden Hair
Rocky Jordan:
05/29/1949 "The Make-Up Man" - edited by Larry Roman & Gomer Cool.
08/07/1948 The Man Who Liked the Mountain
Rocky Jordan:
05/01 /1949 "The fall Guy" - edited by Larry Roman & Gomer Cool.
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
04102 - 06/1956 "The Salt City Matter."

08/14/1948 The Diamond Quartet
The Adventures of Sam Spade:
07/24/1949 "The Tears of Night Caper."
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
05/21 - 25/1956 "The Tears of Night Matter."

08/21/1948 The Man Who Came Back
The Adventures of Sam Spade:
08/07/1949 "The Champion Caper"
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
12/12/1952 "The Elliott Champion Matter",
09/19/1954 "The Upjohn Matter",
02/20 - 24/1956 "The Bennet Matter."

09/25/1948 The Lady With No Name
Richard Diamond, Private Detective:
02/23/1951 The Lady In Distress" - co-written with John Michael Hayes
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
12/19/1952 "The New Cambridge Matter"
03/05 - 09/1956 "The Plantagent Matter"

10/16/1948 The Lost Lady by E Jack Neuman & Larry Roman
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
04/14/1953 "The Madison Matter"
02/06 - 10/1956 "The McClain Matter"

10/12/1949 The Man in the Church
03/04/1951 "Big John McMasters - co-written with John Michael Hayes and combined with
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
11 04/28/1953 "The San Antonio Matter by E. Jack Neuman to produce
Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar:
10/31 /1955 - 11 /04/1955 "The Valentine Matter."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Stewart Wright is an indefatigable OTR researcher and writer in Colorado. He is a frequent contributor to RADIO RECALL with articles based upon his individual Research throughout the U.S.