Updated: Aug 7
The radio serial crime queen, Candy Matson, was a dynamic new adventurer when she hit the airwaves in 1949.
The character was a progressive wisecracking private investigator (PI) operating in a male dominated world. For two glorious years she won a legion of fans, while the real world was populated with wives and mothers whose main role in life was to be the ‘little woman’, supporting their husbands and nurturing their children.
You can hear The Drama Merchant's re-enactment of a Candy Matson Episode on in bite sized pieces on The Drama Merchant Facebook only from the 11th - 13th Aug, before the full edit can be found on The Radioplay Hour on 15th August.
But before the show is uploaded The Drama Merchant would like to acknowledge that there were other women who made their mark in areas of life such as entertainment, the arts, sport and indeed almost everywhere. There have been such women throughout history, although all too often they have been lost in the mists of time.
The Drama Merchant would like to offer some examples from the year of 1949, who created some truly glorious moments in their chosen fields. We are calling them the "Super sisterhood of Candy Matson."
Marjorie Jackson (1931-)
This runner, nick named The Lithgow Flash, won gold medals at the Olympic and Commonwealth levels as well as State and National titles. They included gold in the 100 and 200 m. They also included seven British Empire and Commonwealth Games medals. Jackson later became governor of South Australia.
Margaret Osborne du Pont (1918-2012)
World number one American female tennis player who won 37 singles, doubles and mixed doubles Grand Slam titles but never came to play in Australia. Her husband wouldn’t let her. She later divorced him and established a play long partnership with fellow player Margaret Varner Bloss.
Dawn Fraser (1937-)
An Australian freestyle champion swimmer and former politician. She is one of only three swimmers to have the same Olympic singles event three times in her case the women’s 100 metre freestyle.
Entertainment & the Arts & Literature
Jane Wyman (1917-2007)
Often referred to as former president Ronald Reagan’s first wife but was also a Hollywood film and later TV star for more than six decades. In 1949 she won the best actress Oscar for playing a deaf-mute rape victim in Johnny Belinda. She was the first actor in the talkie era to win an Oscar playing a character who never speaks.
Shirley Jackson (1916-1965)
A novelist whose 1949 best seller was The Lottery and Other Stories. A decade later her ghost story The Haunting of Hill House, a supernatural horror story, was widely considered one of the best ghost stories ever written. It has been made into two feature films (both called The Haunting), a play and is the basis of a Netflix series.
Margaret Newton (1887-1971)
A Canadian plant pathologist and mycologist whose pioneering work in stem rust was a boom to agriculture, particularly the wheat industry.
Isabella Aiona Abbott (1919-2010)
An educator, psychologist and ethnologist from Hawaii, The first native Hawaiian woma to receive a PhD in science. She became the leading expert on Pacific alga.
Dame Freya Stark (1893-1993)
An Anglo-Italian explorer who penned more than two dozen books on her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan. She was one of the first non-Arabs to travel through the Southern Arabian Desert.
Louise Boyd (1887-1972)
An American explorer of Greenland and the Arctic who wrote extensively of her explorations and in 1955 was the first woman to fly over the North Pole, privately chartering a DC-4 and crew that included aviation pioneer Thor Solberg.
Two more women will be mentioned in The Radioplay Hour: Candy Matson and the Cable Murder, before being added to this blog. Tune in to find out who they are.
If you feel we have left out a great woman from 1949 who deserves a place in the Candy Matson Trial blazers" leave us a comment as what is written here is just an example.
Written by D.A. Kennedy