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  Dragnet, Volume 4 - 6 hours [Download] #RA680



 
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Dragnet
Volume 4



Jack Webb A precedent-shattering radio landmark that became a national institution -- its influence is with us yet. And now Radio Archives is proud to present a fourth volume of exciting broadcasts from Jack Webb's police procedural classic "Dragnet." 

Police procedurals go back long before "Dragnet's" 1949 premiere -- with an especially strong heritage in Los Angeles. Private Investigator Nick Harris presented dramatizations drawn from his own true-life case files as far back as the 1920s, and the Los Angeles Police Department itself collaborated closely with Don Lee Network producer William N. Robson for the long-running 1930's series "Calling All Cars." But these formats fell from favor by the 1940s, with the advent of the "hard boiled" detective genre of crime programs. An ordinary policeman just doing his job without flash, fanfare, or femme fatales had little chance against the legions of quick-with-a-quip gumshoes parading across the ether during the postwar years. But inevitably, that genre collapsed under the weight of its own clichs -- and when "Dragnet" premiered in 1949 it was a breath of fresh air. No wisecracks, no exaggerated characterizations, no purple dialogue, just a dedicated law enforcement officer, determined to do his job as completely and as thoroughly as possible. Joe Friday is one of radio's great Everyman figures -- just another workaday guy in a cheap suit, trudging thru his daily routine -- but in Webb's hands, the characterization takes on a fascinating edge of realism. The deliberately-low-key direction, the documentary-like staging of the scenes, and the stylized flat-voiced delivery of the supporting cast adds to this downbeat, it's-really-happening style, giving "Dragnet" a feeling and a mood unlike that of any other radio program of its era.

Programs included in this fourth Radio Archives collection are from the second season of the program's run and date from October of 1950 thru February of 1951. By this time, the feel of the series was well established and the actors, both leads and supporting players, have long since mastered the ability to portray characters that are often as mundane and average as they are true to life. There's the quiet byplay between Friday and his partner Ben Romero (expertly played by radio veteran Barton Yarborough), the meticulous documentation of the unfolding case, and the careful pacing of each episode as it builds slowly but steadily to a climax. The casts are drawn from the ranks of top radio talent - Webb was quick to form what amounted to a stock company of reliables whom he would call upon regularly - and the production values, layering sound upon sound, are of astonishing proficiency. What's more, police departments, civic organizations, and the general public have come to both appreciate and recognize the program for its consistent level of quality; hardly a week goes by that the program isn't mentioning a new award or honor that it has recently achieved. This six hour collection offers twelve of the very best early episodes of the series, demonstrating just how powerful, just how creative, and just how fascinating American radio drama could be when it found itself in the hands and mind of a master.

#69 The Big .38
Thursday, October 5, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#70 The Big Quack
Thursday, October 12, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#72 The Big Meet
Thursday, October 26, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#73 The Big Church
Thursday, November 2, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#74 The Big Mother
Thursday, November 9, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#75 The Big Parrot
Thursday, November 16, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#76 The Big Betty
Thursday, November 23, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#77 The Big Car
Thursday, November 30, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#78 The Big Picture
Thursday, December 7, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#82 The Big Holdup
Thursday, January 4, 1951 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#85 The Big Tomato
Thursday, January 25, 1951 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

#86 The Big Children
Thursday, February 1, 1951 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes

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