Radio Show

Challenge of the Yukon Radio Program

Challenge of the Yukon began as a 15-minute serial, airing locally on Detroit radio station WXYZ from 1938 until May 28, 1947, when the program acquired a sponsor, Quaker Oats, and the series, in a half-hour format, moved to the networks. The program aired on ABC from June 12, 1947, to December 30, 1949. It was then heard on The Mutual Broadcasting System from January 2, 1950, through the final broadcast on June 9, 1955. In November 1951, the title changed to Sergeant Preston of the Yukon.

Each episode has Sergeant Preston and Yukon King battling a new crisis, whether it be tracking down a murderer, a gang of thieves, or claim jumping miners. Yukon King, is, at times, a central character, with several episodes revolving around an event centering on him. During the course of the series, Preston successfully puts down a rebellion, and captures assassins.

The most prominent radio actors to play the role of Sergeant Preston were Paul Sutton and Brace Beemer. The barks, whines, and howls of Yukon King were supplied by one of the station’s sound effects men, Dewey Cole, and following Cole’s death, by actor Ted Johnstone.

The theme music for both the radio and television series was Emil von Reznicek’s overture to Donna Diana. The show’s episodes ended with the official pronouncement, “Well, King, this case is closed.”

12 thoughts on “Radio Show

  1. Does anyone remember the contest that was held to name King’s offspring? I remember sending in the name “Ike.” Does anyone remember who won? And did Sgt Preston say: “On King, on, you huskies,” or am I imagining that?

    • The puppy contest was well before my time, I’ll post any information I come across though. Yes, part of the opening of each radio show was Sergeant Preston issuing the command “On King, on you huskies.” If you go to the radio episodes page and click on one of the episodes, it’s in the first minute or so.

      • Loved it. Sgt. Preston of the Yukon and his Wonder Dog Yukon King.
        “On King, on you huskies”.
        “Ok King, I’ll go in the front door. You go around the back and stop their escape. “Bark, Bark”
        ” You watch em King while I get the cuffs”.
        “OK King this case is closed”

    • I was on the radio show – always playing young good guys. Yes, Paul Sutton did say “On King – on you Huskies”
      dave Parker

      • Hi Dave, When did you act on “Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon” aka “The Challenge Of The Yukon?”Also were you in the original stock company of actors who also starred in “The Green Hornet” and “The Lone Ranger” at WXYZ?”Also, did you play young “Dan Reid”, the nephew of “The Lone Ranger,” sometimes?

  2. There are several dealers on the Internet that have quite a few ” Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon “aka “The Challenge Of The Yukon” radio shows! Here are two of them: OTRCAT and OTRNOW!

  3. Does anyone out there know where I might find any Photos of the Radio Announcer and Narrator on”Sergeant Preston Of The Yukon”in the late 1940’s and early 1950s”, Jay Michael in close-up? I only saw two, and you can hardly make them out! Jay had a very unique, pleasant voice like Fred Foy did for “The Lone Ranger!”He was the original Sergeant Preston in the very late 1930’s and early 1940’s! Also any Photos of Paul Sutton?

  4. I have been told that Rube Weiss played the bad guy on many of these programs. He was a noted commercial voice in the Detroit area.

  5. My very first experience of listening to the radio show Sgt Preston of the Yukon began around 1950! I remember sitting in front of our rather large tube filled radio! I loved this series and am happy to have all the episodes for listening to them even today! Personally I believe Paul Sutton was one of the great voices of radio! The theater of the mind is a greater experience then seeing it on TV! Keep these shoes alive!!!

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