1947-08-21 The Busman's Holiday

Busman's Holiday is an odd recording because Staats Cotsworth does not appear. It is likely Cotsworth was sick, because they delayed the performance of a new script, Loaded Dice, in favor of a script pulled from the files from two years prior. 1945-01-02 Casey, Press Photographer, "Engagement Ring" was re-worked for Cotsworth's absence and re-titled "Busman's Holiday." This version has expanded Capt. Logan's part to cover Casey's dialogue as well as some of his own, and added a new police character for the leftovers of what would have been Logan's lines. A recording of the 1945 version do not exist, nor does a script. This altered 1947 version was inserted in the schedule after the newspapers had been notified that Loaded Dice would be performed. This was all last minute.

The show sounds strange... it's not a particularly compelling script to begin with... but Cole did a heroic patch job in adjusting for Cotsworth's absence. Why waste a new script to deal with such a contingency when you can re-work an old one that might be better suited to the task? Loaded Dice would be postponed for two weeks, to 1947-09-04. Finally, in this episode, after so many weeks, Bernard Lenrow gets on-air credit as Capt. Logan... they had no choice! In next week's program, he resumes his uncredited performances and returns to well-paid obscurity. Hope he enjoyed his week of radio glory.

I checked various news sources including Variety and Billboard to find some reference to the cause of Cotsworth's absence or to mark his return. There was nothing in the currently available resources. We know that Cotsworth was away visiting family in Pennsylvania. Perhaps he returned sick or he had trouble getting back to New York, or extended the vacation.

There are no continuity notes for this 1947 episode, but these are notes for 1945's Engagement Ring...
A waitress friend of Ann's is disappointed in the ring her fiance gave her because she thinks it is junk, although actually it is part of a very valuable stolen collection of old jewelry. Clifford, the boy friend, has taken it from his cousin Bernie as part payment for money Bernie took from him. When they go to Bernie's room they find the rest of the collection has been stolen. It has been taken by the real thief who came across the court hand over hand by means of a clothes line attached to the shutters.

Compared to the 1945 broadcast, Clifford's name was changed to "Harold" and Cousin Bernie was changed to "Cousin Louie."

Logan is at the Blue Note to start the show. Casey is away, and is said to be on vacation, fishing. Logan asks if Ann would spend the day with him... including going to the beach!

3:00 Ethelbert asks Walter to bring up lemons. No lines for Walter this week.

3:05 This is strange... there is no transitional music to indicate that any time has passed or that the location has changed. Logan says it's around four o'clock and he's hungry, and they may want to go back to the Blue Note. Ann suggests that they should go to Rodney's, where Casey and Ann get lunch now and then. (Does Ethelbert know that they do this? He might be heartbroken!)

9:20 Logan asks Ann if she would join him on a "busman's holiday." Ann says, yes, and that the beach is out.

11:00 Logan is talking to Captain Mallory... the character is clearly played by Ralph Bell, who is uncredited. Bell was a constant presence on CBSRMT which is how so many collectors got to know him best. If it's a New York program, it's likely that Bell was on it at some time. It is likely that Mallory's lines were originally intended for the Logan character. Since Logan's getting all of Casey's lines in this character juggling act, they needed to have some new character play the law enforcement buffoon. Mallory was likely invented for this purpose. We don't know if this was a character that Cole used in other scripts or not. We'll never know for certain unless the 1945 script or a recording of it surfaces...

...and guess what... back at 7:00 Bell doubles as an unhappy Rodney's customer!

19:58 Most of the story has Logan getting re-written lines originally intended for Casey. This particular section of the story seems to have Ann getting some Casey's lines so that Logan does not dominate the scene.

"Busman's holiday" is a mainly British idiom referring to a vacation where you do the same kind of work that you do in your job, for pay. A "busman" is a "bus driver" in US terminology. Prior to air travel, buses would take people to their vacation destinations and on tours. For long trips, the driver would stay overnight with the group, too. In that sense, the bus driver enjoyed their stay and the sightseeing as well, almost as if they were on vacation themselves. For this episode, Logan and Ann have time off, but get caught up in the story and end up solving a case. The term has fallen out of use, but the current word "workcation" has not really replaced it. This new word is getting work done while at a different place of your choosing, with work as the primary objective. The "busman" has no choice about the location of the supposed vacation but literally goes along for the ride.

Clotheslines are practically obsolete nowadays, with so many households having dryers. The idea of running clotheslines between buildings is practically unknown now. The execution of the crime using a clothesline as written would not be possible today, so Cole would need to employ a different method. I doubt it was really possible in 1947, too, as most of these were too flimsy to support a person's weight, especially if they were moving. I could find no news stories involving a clothesline for burglary that might have inspired Cole in this regard. The newspapers from this period, however, had an amazing number of stories about clothing pilfered from clotheslines reported to the police.

Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 3 Busman10

Casey 47-08-21 199 The Busman's Holiday (Cotsworth not on show) UPGRADE.mp3
Degoo https://cloud.degoo.com/e/drive-z9pybk_qslwj
hubiC http://ovh.to/hW7aq9V

The currently circulating copy has some background hum -- I worked on it a bit and I think this is better. (Hat tip: Lasombra at Cobalt Club)
Casey 47-08-21 199 The Busman's Holiday (Cotsworth not on show) UPGRADE-3 PROCESSED.mp3
Degoo https://cloud.degoo.com/e/drive-y9l83vi1yvru
hubiC http://ovh.to/wSBBG9H  

There are no newspaper clippings for the 1945 or the 1947 performances.

This is a news clipping showing that Loaded Dice was originally scheduled. CBS public relations did not have time to get word out about the change in script to newspapers. This makes me believe Cotsworth was unexpectedly ill.

1947-08-21 Des Moines IA Tribune

Casey, Crime Photographer - Page 3 1947-139