Power, Looks and Brains in “Candy Matson YU2-8209”

Candy Matson was the creation of writer, Monty Masters. Masters had a long established career in radio and his wife was a successful actress in the theater. Monty Masters had originally created the private investigator series for a male lead, but his mother-in-law convinced him it was time to introduce a female P.I.

Candy Matson YU2-8209 premiered as a pilot episode in March 1949 on the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) network. The role of Candy was played by Masters wife, Natalie Parks. She immediately attracted an audience with her soft, sultry and sexy voice. At the beginning of each episode, Candy sensually answers the phone with “Candy Matson YU2-8209.” Candy takes the calls out of her San Francisco apartment and the cases take her all over the Bay Area. The blonde pistol-packing bombshell of a P.I. never gives in to intimidation.

The program aired only in 30-minute segments and did not have a sponsor. Although the show was popular, most advertisers were attracted to the new marketing tool, known as television. Candy was a busy and strong woman, but she was not without a love life. Lt. Ray Mallard. Mallard and Candy often worked the same cases at the same time and their work relationship developed into a love relationship, which was finalized during the final episode of the show on May 21, 1952.

In addition to promoting the value of women in the non-traditional workplace, the show also seemed to bring out the hidden side of San Francisco. Not allowed to broach the subject on the air, Masters scripts suggested that Candy’s partner was gay. Played by Rembrandt Watson, the character of Jack Thomas was portrayed as an opera loving photographer with a passion for fashion, leaving the audience to question his sexuality.

Unfortunately, the show only lasted two years. Candy Matson was a casualty of television. One thing is certain; Candy Matson reflected the changing attitudes toward women and work. Candy proved that women could be just as effective and successful as men could.

Enjoy listening to Candy’s crime solving skills in this episode, The Donna Dunham Case, compliments of Old Time Radio, at:

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3 Responses to Power, Looks and Brains in “Candy Matson YU2-8209”

  1. Jim Kason says:

    I fondly recall that when I was a grade school kid living in San Francisco, I used to dash over to the local NBC radio studio on Taylor and O’Farrell to catch the weekly broadcast of “The Masters” comedy show. Later, “Candy Matson” originated from there.

  2. Sid says:

    Candy Matson was a great show. By far, the best woman detective on the air waves ever. If you have heard a show, listen and yopu will want them all.

  3. Michael F Dewees says:

    I too listened to “Candy Matson” back then (Natalie Masters was a relative). One correction to the narrative: the character Rembrandt Watson was played by Jack Thomas instead of the other way around. I’m almost certain Mr Thomas (John Cedric Thomas was full name) was Natalie’s uncle.

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