ROCKY JORDAN was the title character of one of the better and more exotic radio detective series. In fact, it's one of the best detective series I have ever heard. The series had two separate incarnations. The first, A Man Named Jordan, started as a daily 15 minute show and after about six months changed to a weekly 30 minute show. It took place in Istanbul and the Cafe was described as "a small restaurant in a narrow street off Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, permeated with by the smoke of Oriental tobacco, alive with the babble of many tongues, and packed with intrigue." The second incarnation, Rocky Jordan, was a weekly 30 minute series took place in Cairo - "the gateway to the ancient East where adventure and intrigue unfold against the backdrop of antiquity."
Jordan was a hard-boiled owner of the Cafe Tambourine who spent most of his time solving mysteries that he usually became involved in by accident. During the Cairo-based run, he often encountered Captain Sam Sabaaya of the Cairo police. John Dunning in his On The Air: The Encyclopedia of Old Time Radio describes Jordan as "a rugged hero who each week was confronted by a crime, a mystery, a beautiful woman or a combination of the three. It was a detective show with a difference: the Oriental background was played to the hilt, giving it a sound like no other." The writers worked hard to give it authenticity - actual places and streets in Cairo were often and accurately mentioned. The music score also added to the exoticness of the series. Moyles, a veteran of radio, was much more believable in the role than Raft.
The show was one of the best examples of the so-called "amateur detective" or "unlicenced private investigator" type that were a recurring theme for radio series. It was a common way of putting a different and fresh twist on the basic private detective theme, an extremely popular genre on the radio. The main character had a stated, non-investigative occupation, but he or she always got involved with solving mysteries and crimes. Jordan passes the Chandler test: "trouble" was definitely his "real" business.
Profile by Stewart Wright - May, 1999. And thanks, Kathleen, for keeping us on our toes.
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