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Dragnet, Volume 1 - 10 hours [Download] #RA102D
Dragnet, Volume 1

10 hours - Digital Download

Our Price: $19.99

Availability: Available for download now
Product Code: RA102D


Volume 1

Jack WebbA precedent-shattering radio landmark that became a national institution -- its influence is with us yet. And now Radio Archives is proud to take you back to the very beginning, with an exciting collection of broadcasts from the very first season of 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 dick" genre of crime programs. An ordinary policeman just doing his job had little chance against the legions of smart-mouthed gumshoes parading across the ether during the postwar years.

But inevitably, that genre collapsed under the weight of its own clichés -- and when "Dragnet" premiered in 1949 it was a breath of fresh air. No wisecracks, no impossibly exaggerated characterizations, no too-purple-for-belief 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 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 collection are from first six months' of the program's run, beginning with the second broadcast of the series. Although Walter Schumann's famous theme music doesn't appear until Episode 3, the essential feel of the series is there from the very beginning of the run: 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 supporting players are drawn from the ranks of top radio talent, including such performers as Frank Lovejoy, Parley Baer, Hans Conried, and Raymond Burr, and the production values -- layering sound upon sound -- are of astonishing proficiency.

It's a collection that shows you 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.

#2 Homicide
Friday, June 10, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#3 The Werewolf
Friday, June 17, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#4 Homicide
Friday, June 24, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#5 Helen Corday
Thursday, July 7, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#6 Red Light Bandit
Thursday, July 14, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#7 City Hall Bombing
Thursday, July 21, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#8 Big Missing
Thursday, July 28, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#9 Benny Trounsel
Thursday, August 4, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#10 Homicide
Thursday, August 11, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#11 Sixteen Jewel Thieves
Thursday, August 18, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#12 Police Academy-Mario Koski
Thursday, August 25, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#13 Myra - The Redhead
Thursday, September 1, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#14 Eric Kelby
Saturday, September 3, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#15 Sullivan Kidnapping-The Wolf
Saturday, September 10, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#16 James Vickers
Saturday, September 17, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#17 Brick-Bat Slayer
Saturday, September 24, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#18 Tom Laval
Saturday, October 1, 1949 - NBC, sustaining

#26 Mother-In-Law Murder
Thursday, November 24, 1949 - NBC
Sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes & Grainger Pipe Tobacco

#27 Spring Street Gang
Thursday, December 1, 1949 - NBC
Sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes & Grainger Pipe Tobacco

#28 Jade Thumb Rings
Thursday, December 8, 1949 - NBC
Sponsored by Fatima Cigarettes & Velvet Pipe Tobacco

Average Customer Review: Average Customer Review: 5 of 5 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 1 Write a review

  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Jack Webb's service to law enforcement August 3, 2011
Reviewer: John Roach from Kingston, IL United States  
Once again Radio Archives out does themselves in the meticulous art of digital restoration. Imagine Jack Webb and the gang that considered this show their way of thanking law enforcement for the day to day job of keeping the peace, but sounding like they might have been recorded in the 70's or 80's! This is beautiful stuff and I am so happy with all four volumes in "my custody". Thanks again Radio Archives!

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