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  Richard Diamond, Private Detective, Volume 1 - 10 hours [Audio CDs] #RA039



 
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10 hours - Audio CD Set


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Richard Diamond, Private Detective
Volume 1




Dick Powell"If trouble is around, yours truly will most likely get a chunk of it."

"Richard Diamond, Private Detective" proved to be the perfect radio vehicle for actor-singer Dick Powell, combining his tough-guy image, showcased in the 1944 film "Murder, My Sweet" and the 1945-46 radio series "Rogue's Gallery," with his tremendous talent for a song, as all those 1930s Warner Brothers/Fox musicals will bear out. The detective series, created by an aspiring screenwriter named Blake Edwards, featured a hard-boiled detective who rarely took himself too seriously; Edwards, the future director of the "Pink Panther" film series, conceived the Diamond character as an ex-cop who had decided to hang out his own shingle in the investigation business.

Richard Diamond bore a not-unintentional resemblance to another wisecracking detective of the airwaves, namely Sam Spade (as in "The Adventures of"). Both shamuses - Powell as Diamond, Howard Duff as Spade - demonstrated a breezy insouciance that added a much-needed touch of levity to the type of detective show that was often in danger of sinking under the weight of its own clichés. (On one memorable broadcast from December 3, 1949, Powell is heard to crack "This is the hokiest case I've ever been on -- even the dialogue is bad.") The lighthearted tone of "Richard Diamond" was even evident in the program's weekly opening, which featured Powell whistling a jaunty "Leave it to Love." It was not uncommon, after cracking each weekly case, for "the singing detective" to sit down at the piano in the penthouse apartment of Helen Asher, his wealthy, red-headed love interest played by Virginia Gregg and also Frances Robinson, and serenade her with a number from the Hit Parade. In-jokes were rampant on the show; Richard would often make reference to other detectives (notably Sam Spade) and he had a particularly pronounced fondness for actress June Allyson -- in real life, Mrs. Dick Powell.

Just as Spade had a love-hate relationship with Lieutenant Dundy, Diamond shared a similar bond with his contact on the force, homicide detective Lieutenant Walt Levinson (played at various times by Ed Begley, Ted de Corsia, Alan Reed, and Arthur Q. Bryan). The sarcastic badinage between the detective and his easily agitated cop pal provided many a memorable moment on the series. Diamond reserved his suffer-no-fools disdain for Sergeant Otis Ludlum, a cop who had such a force field of stupidity surrounding him that you just know he had to have a relative at City Hall looking after his job. Otis was played by actor Wilms Herbert, who also doubled on the show as Francis, Helen's faithful retainer; Francis had an uncanny, mood-killing knack of barging in at the most inopportune times, like when Diamond and Helen were getting ready to turn down the lights and pour the wine...if you know what I mean.

"Richard Diamond, Private Detective" debuted over NBC Radio on April 24, 1949 as a sustaining series, but picked up a sponsor in Rexall Drugs (complete with announcer Bill "Whistler" Forman and your Rexall family druggist) in June 1950. Camel Cigarettes picked up the tab as of January of 1951, just before the show moved to ABC, but by June the show was back with Rexall again, which continued its sponsorship until the program left the airwaves on June 27, 1952. (The series would return briefly during the summer of 1953 for CBS, recycling earlier scripts from the 1950-51 season.)

Like so many of his radio contemporaries, Richard Diamond later tried his luck on television in a series that ran sporadically from 1958 to 1960. Powell served as the show's producer but, since he was too busy to play the title role, he hired a young actor named David Meyer for the part - and then suggested he change his last name to Janssen. David Janssen was certainly game, but he simply didn't possess Powell's charm and joie de vivre -- even then he looked as if he was "The Fugitive," on the run from Barry Morse. If the TV series is remembered at all today, it's for the early exposure of actresses Barbara Bain and Mary Tyler Moore, with Moore playing "Sam," the telephone operator at Diamond's answering service -- a role which featured only her sexy voice and her gorgeous legs. Old Time Radio fans know, though, that their fix of Richard Diamond can only be satisfied by tuning in the one-and-only Dick Powell...and what better way to start than with these twenty fully restored half-hour broadcasts, courtesy of RadioArchives.com.

The Ralph Chase Case
Sunday, May 15, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

Stolen Purse and Counterfeit Ring
Sunday, May 22, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Betty Moran Case
Sunday, May 29, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Rene Benay Protection Case
Saturday, October 22, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The John Blackwell Case
Saturday, December 17, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

A Christmas Carol
Saturday, December 24, 1949 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Doug Saxon Case
Sunday, January 15, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

Timothy the Seal
Sunday, February 5, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Elaine Tanner Case
Sunday, February 12, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Jewel Thief
Sunday, February 19, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Cop Killer
Sunday, February 26, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Louis Spence Case
Sunday, March 5, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The Joyce Wallace Case
Sunday, March 12, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

The George Phipps Case
Sunday, March 26, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

Death and the Package
Wednesday, April 5, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sustaining

Pete Rocco Breaks Jail
Wednesday, October 4, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

The Nancy Lang Case
Wednesday, November 8, 1950 - 30:00 - NBC, sponsored by Rexall

The Marilyn Connors Case
Friday, January 12, 1951 - 30:00 - ABC, sponsored by Camel Cigarettes

A Man with a Scar
Friday, January 19, 1951 - 30:00 - ABC, sponsored by Camel Cigarettes

The Rollins Case
Friday, January 26, 1951 - 30:00 - ABC, sponsored by Camel Cigarettes


Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 | Total Reviews: 2 Write a review

  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
Another great set February 9, 2011
Reviewer: Ty from IN United States  
The sounds is so clear just like the day it was recorded thanks for the hard work putting this together it was worth it.

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  0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:
 
Wow! I Was in Heaven September 18, 2009
Reviewer: Jim Gaudet  
Wow! I was in heaven listening to every episode of "Richard Diamond, Private Detective"! More please? But, thanks sincerely for the ones we have. I have been re-watching some old Busby Berkeley musical comedies from 1933, etc, and Dick Powell is certainly different than in these radio shows and in "Murder, My Sweet" (yes, a favorite of mine).

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