The series had its beginnings in 1938 on Chicago radio station, WGN. It was created by Robert M. Burtt and Willfred G. Moore, who also created The Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen. Captain Midnight was sponsored by the Skelly Oil Company. The program was syndicated, recorded on 16″ glass discs at a studio in an office building at LaSalle St and Wacker Drive at the ad agency of Blackett, Sample and Hummert. The discs were then regionally distributed to participating radio stations.
In the beginning, “Captain Midnight” was simply an undercover name for Jim “Red” Albright, who regularly piloted cargo and passengers. As an undercover agent, Albright was trying to gather information on a gang of criminals. However, by the end of the first run, ending in a summer hiatus, the Captain Midnight persona was beginning to stick and many knew him only by that name. Captain Midnight was constantly trying to stop the plans of the evil Ivan Shark and his daughter Fury. Shark remained as Midnight’s evil nemesis throughout the length of the radio run.