On Ron’s Amazing Stories the Blog we will look at the life of Jack Webb. I thought that since this week’s podcast features Pat Novak, we should learn about the man who played him. So, I have created some true and false statements about Mr. Webb and you get to play along. Don’t peek ahead to the answers!
Q1: He was born as Jackson Lee Webb in Sure Foot, Alabama?
False: John Randolph Webb was born in Santa Monica, California, to Margaret Smith and Samuel Chester Webb. His father left home before he was born and Webb would never know him.
Q2: Jack Webb smoked three packs of cigarettes day even though he had asthma?
True: Webb suffered from acute asthma from age six until adulthood, somewhat surprising for a man whose cigarette intake reached three packs a day at its peak. Not unexpected he died from a massive heart attack on December 23, 1982 at only 62-years-old.
Q3: It was his love of movies that brought him to make Dragnet?
True: Webb’s greatest love was movies, and his dream was to direct them. He began in radio, first as a disc jockey then as host of a comedy show (Believe It or Not!), finally as “Pat Novak, Private Eye”, his first true success. A small role in the film nor classic He Walked by Night (1948) led to the creation of Dragnet. During production, Webb befriended a LAPD police consultant assigned to the film and became fascinated with the cases he told. Jack successfully pitched the idea of a radio series to NBC using stories drawn from actual LAPD files. Dragnet first aired over NBC radio on June 3, 1949 and then came to TV on December 16, 1951.
Q4: Jack Webb was responsible for an increase in EMT/paramedics graduations.
True: In 1971 Webb’s production company Mark VII Limited Launched Emergency! This was a spin-off from his other TV series Adam-12. The show focused on Station 51 Rescue Squad. One of Los Angeles’s first paramedic units. The show inspired thousands of kids to become EMT/paramedics for generations, perhaps Webb’s greatest legacy.
Well there you have a bit about Jack Webb. He was truly an exceptional person and everything he did, he did well. He left a legacy of television programs that probably will never be equaled. He helped mold television as we see it today. Thank-you Jack!
This Week’s Podcast:
On the podcast this time we we have the one-liner King of Detectives, Pat Novak. If you like scripts that sting, don’t miss this one. Also, we have a strange story sent in by a listener from Bradbury, County Durham, England. So, tune this Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on TuneIn Radio or listen on your radio Friday night at 8pm Eastern time. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.
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May 12, 2016 – RAS Replay of Episode #200.
May 19, 2016 – Debra Yates – Woman of Many Names (RAS245)
May 26, 2016 – John St. John (RAS246)
June 02,2016 – (RAS247)