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  Philo Vance, Volume 2 - 10 hours [Audio CDs] #RA164



 
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10 hours - Audio CD Set


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Description
 
Philo Vance
Volume 2



Screen Vance meets Vance's creator: William Powell and S. S. Van Dine publicizing "The Canary Murder Case" in 1929. (Photo courtesy Raymond G. Cabana, Jr.)"Philo Vance" , the creation of S. S. Van Dine (pseudonym of author, editor, and critic Willard Huntington Wright), first appeared in a 1926 murder mystery, and, as later stated by its publisher, "it was at once obvious that something original and exciting had happened to the detective story." Eleven more books followed in the series before their author passed away in 1939. When, in the late Fifties, Charles Scribner's Sons was considering reissues of the Vance books, a publisher's note stated that the combined sales of the original editions totaled more than half a million copies - an impressive figure for its day. There had also been magazine serializations, a play, major motion picture adaptations - and spoofs, both in print and on celluloid, so well known had the "Philo Vance" character become (perhaps the most outlandish parody - published as "The Green Canary Murder Case", as by one "U. S. S. Van Dine" - featured the famous detective, "Yello Pants"!). Even the Three Stooges got into the act when, in the 1938 short "We Want Our Mummy", Curly appeared as self-proclaimed super sleuth "Philo Pants" (to Moe's "Charlie Chin" and Larry's "Sherlock Bones"). As late as 1975, in the movie satire "The Black Bird", George Segal (as Sam Spade, Jr.) sarcastically responds to an inept hotel detective: "A regular Philo Vance!" Aside from the aforementioned, Van Dine had penned true-crime articles, forewords to the works of other authors, product endorsements, and book reviews - as well as the original scripts for a dozen two-reel mysteries and a feature-length film, all for Warner Bros. in the early Thirties.

After the author's death, his detective remained before the public in additional "Philo Vance" movies; references made of the sleuth in other than Vance films; a comic-book series; and in numerous hardbound and paperback reprints (four of the Van Dine titles were reissued by Pocket Books in 1942 alone!). It is perhaps indicative of the character's fame that, when 20th Century-Fox was preparing "The Four Star Murder Case" in the early Forties, the lead detective in the script was Philo Vance - with Charlie Chan, Mr. Moto, and Michael Shayne assuming secondary roles, this despite the fact that they were all successful properties of that very studio! (The project, alas, never reached fruition.)

In 1948, Frederick W. Ziv brought the Philo Vance character to radio in a program of that name, as one of his then-novel syndicated series; stations airing these programs inserted local advertising. Veteran radio announcer and actor Jackson Beck had the title role, and the weekly half-hour entries ran well into 1950. There had been previous efforts with Vance on the airwaves - established thespians John Emery and Jose Ferrer had each essayed the role earlier in the Forties - but neither succeeded beyond summer-replacement status.

Ziv's syndicated "Philo Vance" was enacted at a large New York City studio right off Broadway - the same studio where the ubiquitous "elevator music" was also produced. The facility was leased for five or six hours per session; the longer the time booked, the less expensive it became, and it often happened that two programs would be recorded (on vinyl platters) between approximately 5 and 10:30 PM. Jeanne K. Harrison directed most of the shows; the writers were Robert J. Shaw and Kenny Lyons; and Henry Sylvern provided the incidental organ music. The case included George Petrie as "District Attorney Markham"; Joan Alexander and Frances Farras, respectively, as Vance's secretary "Ellen Deering"; and Humphrey Davis as "Sergeant Heath". The production staff included a couple of sound-effects men, using both live and prerecorded noises. If a blooper occurred that was too pronounced, the entire program had to be redone because the recordings couldn't be edited.

Jackson Beck had seen some of the older "Philo Vance" movies and particularly remembered William Powell in the role (the originator of the character on film); he had also read a few of the Van Dine books. He was familiar with Jose Ferrer's short-lived radio portrayals of the sleuth and was determined to avoid any similarities while admitting that no one had a voice like Ferrer's. Beck saw Vance as a wealthy intellectual who became an amateur detective; and he tried to give his speech a slight British intonation (all in keeping with Van Dine's concept). The scripts were read once or twice to get the timing down. The show was, according to Beck, "easy to do."

"Philo Vance" was considered for television early on, back when many other fictional detectives were appearing in that medium; the screen rights to the character, however, had passed through so many studios that they were seemingly inextricably tangled. Even in 1960, Van Dine's original publisher, Scribner's, had to negotiate with six legatees of the Clare R. Wright estate - she having been the widow of S. S. Van Dine - in order to do a reprint of an early "Philo Vance" novel. And as of this writing, the first three William Powell "Vance" films (two released in 1929; a third in 1930 - all Paramount productions) have been out of circulation for decades, lingering in some kind of legal limbo.

How fortunate that a similar fate did not befall the longest-running of the "Philo Vance" radio programs, those of the Ziv company. More fortunate still, Radio Archives has acquired many of the original transcription discs, and the present collection represents the second in a planned series to be offered to collectors.

How very fortunate indeed!

Liner notes written by Raymond G. Cabana, Jr.


#25 The Rhumba Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#26 The Magic Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#29 The Idol Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#30 The Golden Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#31 The Flying Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#32 The Butler Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#33 The Herring-Bone Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#34 The Listless Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#35 The Curtain Call Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#36 The Million Dollar Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#37 The White Willow Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#38 The High Hat Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#39 The Movie Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#40 The Green Girls Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#41 The Cardinal Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#42 The Cipher Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#43 The Masters Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#44 The Meanest Man Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#45 The Butterfly Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

#46 The Hurdy Gurdy Murder Case
1948/49 - 30:00 - Frederic W. Ziv syndication

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