Who is Candy Matson?

Updated: Aug 7, 2020

In a time dominated by male detectives, where women are often relegated to the roles of femme fatales. The Drama Merchant decided to search for a female equivalent to add to The Radioplay Hour season of "Murder and Hope... but Mostly Murder" and came across Candy Matson and The Cable Car Murder.

The show will feature special guests, Cat Deller and Seanny Millar, who form the band Auras like Auroras , who will join series regulars Peta Simeon, Kent Lee, Bailey Seymour Smith and The Drama Merchant in this recreation of a show which was ahead of its time.

But who was Candy Matson?

Candy Matson first saw the light of day on the US’s West Coast radio network, which ran from June 29, 1949, to May 20, 1951, introducing audiences to a feisty no nonsense female detective ‘without a trace of squeamishness.’

In that post war era, when the average woman was returning to the home front having been in the workforce while many men were away at the war, Candy was a fairly revolutionary character.

The program also boasted a veiled gay character in Candy's best friend Rembrandt Watson and a single love interest for her in the shape of detective Ray Mallard.

(Special Guests: Auras like Auroras and

The Drama Merchant ponder "Who is Candy Matson?")

Candy, who is also blessed with wry sense of humour and a penthouse on Telegraph Hill in San Francisco, was the brainchild of writer, director and producer Monte Masters.

Masters had originally conceived the character as a male PI, to be played by himself, but the story goes that his mother-in-law persuaded him to create a female lead.

The result was that the part went to his actress wife, Natalie Masters, who helped the show achieve an award winning status by 1950.

At the end of one 1950 episode the show ended with Candy crashing her plane into a lake, while she recites the Twenty-third Psalm. A newspaper report at the time reckoned the ‘Radio City switchboard lit up like a Christmas tree,’ as around 800 distressed fans demanded to know what happened to their much loved heroine.

Today only 14 of the 92 episodes survive, including the 1949 audition show.

Natalie Masters (1915-1986), who was born Natalie Parks, had a busy career as a TV performer in 1950s and ‘60s shows such as Dragnet, The Patty Duke Show and Gunsmoke.

Monte Masters (born 1912) also had an active career. The couple married in 1943, had one child, and stayed together until his death in 1969.

If you would like to find out more information on Candy Matson visit The Definitive Candy Matson Radio Log or San Francisco's Finest

In The Radioplay Hour's recreation of a Candy Matson adventure we journey back to the year 1949, when The Cable Car Murder was aired.

The show will be split into two bite sized parts and shared on The Drama Merchant Facebook only. Part 1 will be released 11th Aug & Part 2 will be released on 12th Aug 2020, before being taken down Midnight on the 13th.

A full edit will found on The Radioplay Hour on 15th August.

Auras like Auroras will time travel with us and debut an original song, "Blue like the Blue Sky" and will perform a cover of "Stop Dragging my Heart Around" originally written and performed by Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty.

Show runtime: 45min

Vocals in order of appearance.


The Drama Merchant - Your Host

Kent Lee - Giles Pendlebury

The Cast:

Peta Simeon - Candy Matson

Seanny Millar - Detective Mallard / Roger Ellsworth

Cat Deller - Rembrandt Watson / Mrs Ellsworth

With Additional voices by Kent Lee and Baily Seymour Smith.

Music by Kevin Mcleod

Improv piano by Baily Seymour Smith

Soundeffects by The Drama Merchant

Blog written by Douglas Kennedy and Nathan Schulz

Catch up on past blogs:

Interview with photographer Catalina Garzón

Interview with Special Guests on The Radioplay Hour: Auras like Auroras

Interview with photographer: Beatriz Castanheira

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