In he met the woman who would become his second wife, Joan Vaczek , in a class on The Short Story while attending Columbia University. Joan Vaczek was the daughter of a Hungarian diplomat and a budding science-fiction writer in her own right.
During the same year that he met his future writing partner, David Kogan , with whom he eventually wrote and produced his first radio show, Dark Destiny History has shown that this was simply another of the numerous, shameful union-busting attempts by the HUAC. Their basic aim was to link a growing collective bargaining movement with Communism, so as to benefit the Radio, Television and Film industries by keeping their employees from forming collective-bargaining units--or unions. The Supreme Court of the United States, in , had ruled the National Labor Relations Act to be constitutional, but when ultra-conservatives came to power during the Cold War years, they determined to find other ways to undermine the collective bargaining provisions of the Act.
The HUAC's naked fear-mongering tactics succeeded for several of the most shameful years in American history.
The Committee's sham hearings were eventually brought down by the very industries they were attempting to benefit-- Radio and Television. The Mysterious Traveler had consistently been rated among the top sixteen most popular Radio programs of the era. Robert Arthur, Jr. After , Arthur worked as a co-producer for ABC's radio show Mystery Time as well as continuing to write and publish pulp fiction. In , he moved to Hollywood where he worked in television, writing scripts for The Twilight Zone.
He also worked as a story editor and script writer for Alfred Hitchcock's long-running Alfred Hitchcock Presents for television.
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He moved back to New Jersey in , where he lived with his father's aunt, Margaret Fisher Arthur , until his death in at the age of Among pulp fiction fans and Golden Age Radio fans alike, Robert Arthur's stories and scripts remain some of the most rivetting, compelling fiction from the Golden Age. He and his partner, David Kogan, continue to acquire new fans with every passing generation through the enduring magic of Golden Age Radio. Conway, June This town, and particularly the vicinity of Reed's Bridge, should enjoy complete immunity from crime, for the areasis now under the capable protection of Michael Shayne, red-headed, two-fisted, cognac-drinking private detective, who has solved hundreds of criminal dilemmas since he was first introduced to an enthusiastic detective mystery reading public by the distinguished crime author, Brett Halliday, some 10 years ago.
NEW YORK UPI --You may wonder why many a big-name author sells an outstanding property to television but doesn't do what seems logical by going along to write the scripts from material that he knows better than anyone else. A one-hour weekly filmed series with his name for title makes its bow at 10 p.
Friday on the NBC network. You simply have to bring in outside writers. Davis Dresser was born Chicago, but raised for the most part in West Texas. An accident with a length of barbed wire took the sight of his left eye when he was just a boy. Dresser reportedly ran away from home at the age of 14, enlisted in the U. Upon completing his military service, he reportedly returned to Texas to finish high school. Davis subsequently toured the Southwest taking adventurous odd-jobs whereever he found them, ranging from muleskinner to short-order cook and everything in between.
He apparently attended the Tri-State College of Engineering, gaining a Civil Engineering degree, after which he worked as a surveyor for several years. Davis Dresser was certainly a colorful character in any case--perhaps not quite the equal of his various western and detective noir genre protagonists, but certainly a character in his own right.
Dresser reportedly began writing in earnest in , learning his craft, accepting the rejection slips as they came, and starting a young family with his first wife, Kathleen Rollins and her two daughters by a previous marriage. Those first eight years of attempting to be a successful writer ultimately paid off in , with the printing of Dresser's first Michael Shayne novel.
Written under the nom de plume, Brett Halliday, Dresser's dashing dark looks, and eye patch in place on the back cover of many of his novels clearly created the aura of mystery that Dresser hoped might be associated with all of his Michael Shayne mysteries. Dresser's Mike Shayne character was soon translated to the big screen with an initial seven Michael Shayne films starring Lloyd Nolan. The Radio arm of the Michael Shayne franchise ran from through , over a total of four distinct and separate incarnations and five separate actors in the lead role.
Dresser continued to actually pen some of the Michael Shayne stories and novellas until about , by which time Dresser stopped writing as Brett Halliday altogether, leaving that end of the franchise to a long line of ghost-writers. Indeed, when the Television series became a viable project, as indicated in the article above, Davis Dresser was happy to invest in the productoin and maintain story supervision, but that's where his interest in the Television incarnation began and ended.
Dresser married the equally successful fiction writer, Helen McCloy [Dresser's second marriage] in Also a highly successful Western author, it's estimated that Davis Dresser was responsible for over originally published works over his fifty-year writing and publishing career.
Murder is My Business by Brett Halliday | His Futile Preoccupations
From the February 7, Berkshire Eagle:. He was His family announced the death Saturday and said no funeral services would be planned. Born in Chicago in , Dresser worked as a farmhand, mule skinner, gravedigger, oil tanker deckhand and shortorder cook throughout the South before beginning his writing career in His first Shayne novel, there were 50, was written in and rejected by 22 publishers before it finally was printed.
Each novel sold more than a million copies and was translated into eight to 12 languages for distribution abroad. Dresser also wrote about 60 other novels using 12 different pen names. He later became a publisher. Dresser leaves his widow, Mary Savage, also a novelist; a son, Halliday, and a daughter, Chloe Johnson.
The " Edgar Allan Poe Award " for the " best radio program of a mystery nature ," awarded annyally by the Mystery Writers of America, has been earned this year by Mutual's " Murder By Experts " program heard Mondays at 8 p. The presentation was awarded last Thursday. The awards, known as " Edgars ," are made annually in six different fields, all dealing with mystery or detective-adventure writing.
The organization is composed of of the nation's foremost mystery writers. Arthur and David Kogan whose "Mysterious Traveler" has been a radio favorite for the past several years, debuted as a network feature on June 13 last year with John Dickson Carr as the narrator-host. Mystery writer Bret Halliday , the " Michael Shayne " creator, is the current host for the series.
Official presentation of the award by Lawrence G. Blochman, executive vice-president of the MWA, will take place during tonight's " Murder By Experts " program when the unusual story of a " Conspiracy " will be dramatized. Two Mutual network mystery dramas and their producers-directors have been cited by the Mystery Writers of America for " outstanding achievement in producing, directing and writing radio mystery shows.
Both programs are produced and directed by Robert A. Arthur and David Kogan. Official presentation of the award, made annually by the MWA, will be made during tonight's " Murder by Experts " broadcast. The dramatization will present a master criminal who thought he could outwit the government for a cool lmillion dollars in cash. The title is "Th e Dead Can't Testify. Notes David P.
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Kogan, c. David Dresser as Brett Halliday circa Two-fisted Mike Shayne, Davis Dresser's most famous detective protagonist, downed a bottle of Martell cognac a day, according to his author. Shayne was reportedly simply emulating his successful author's real-life drinking habits. Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine from Will Live in Town.
Michael Shayne took up permanent residence in the quiet suburbs of Conway on May 17 when the Davis Dressers--better known to some 10,, detective thriller fans as Brett Halliday and Helen McCloy--brought him along when they established residence in a year-old former mill-house which overlooks a tumbling mountain stream on the outskirts of the sleepy little town.
The Dressers are convinced that they have found a perfect permanent home. Its seclusion will give them the opportunity to work out the intricate counterpoint of mystery plots with little interruption by an inquisitive outside world. It will give them the first home they have really been able to call their own since they were married at Islip, Long Island, in The Dressers' new home will also provide a permanent hearthstone for their three-year-old daughter Chloe who is as delighted as any small fairy with her new romping grounds.
So much so that she never fails to say "good morning, Mr. River" to the merry mountain stream which capers along beside the house before she does anything else when she awakes in the morning. Prolific Writers. Diminutive Chloe certainly has a distinguished mother and father.
Her daddy has authored some 75 novels under a dozen different pseudonyms. Her mother is considered one of the outstanding mystery writers in her field and has penned a dozen highly successful novels since she wrote her first best-seller "Dawns of Death," published in Dresser--Helen McCloy--produces one book and one novelette each year.
Dresser--Brett Halliday--turns out a much heavier volume of work in order to keep up with the demands of millions of fans all virtually interested in the adventures and future of red-headed Shayne, the enduring hero of his mystery tales. Shayne enthusiasts will be interested to know that the fast-moving provate eye is not entirely a figment of Mr. Dresser's imagination. The author actually met the original Michael Shayne several years ago in a Tampico bar where he and a group of sailor companions became embroiled in a waterfront brawl. The then as yet unrecognized budding author was slugged on the head with a gun butt and lay helpless under a table when a very real Michael Shayne came to his rescue.
As Dresser tells it:. Half a dozen men fell before his accurate fists before he reached me and heaved me bodily through the door. He remained inside, fighting alone. Second Meeting. It was many years later before Mr. Dresser saw the competent fighting man again. On this second occasion, broke and jobless, he had wandered into a New Orleans Rampart St.
The first person he laid yes on in the room was the same burly character who had probably saved his life in hte Tampico brawl of many years before. The setting was almost exactly the same. The only difference being that the rangy Irishman was drinking cognac instead of tequila. Dresser introduced himself to his former benefactor who immediately recalled the T ampico incident and insisted on staking the youth to a good meal and a night's lodging. It was a name he never forgot.
Shortened to "Michael Shayne" it became the symbol of diamond-in-the-rough gallantry and efficiency to millions of Mr. Dresser's readers. It is also a familiar name to followers of the Michael Shayne movie series and plans are afoot for its presentation to television audiences.
Choice of Pen Name.