A Christmas Carol with Richard Diamond! (Retrocast) (#31.1)
(It’s Christmas Eve, 1949, and Detective Dexter Roland needs to sober up. So he decides to take in a show with Richard Diamond, Walt & Otis of the local PD.)
(This episode was originally podcast on 22 December 2015.)
It had been a long day, and Detective Dexter Roland had found himself in strange places, listening to strange stories during the strangest time of the year. So, how in the hell did he find himself on a Sound Stage, with the singing detective himself, Richard Diamond, and his cast of oddballs, Walt & Otis of the local police precent? He’s not entirely sure, but he’s arrived at just the right time to catch their rendition of the Dicken’s classic, “A Christmas Carol.”
Richard Diamond was not on the air long, in either his radio or television incarnation, and yet during the seven total years he was a detective for all three of the big networks (he ran, at various times, on ABC, NBC & CBS), and was portrayed by at least three different actors, though Dick Powell was most well known for playing the sleuth. While the character was “The Singing Detective” on the radio (belting out a tune at the end of each show), by the second season of the TV show, Richard found himself playing a more Noir-like character, and fit in better with the Sam Spade / Phillip Marlowe style detective. While this particular show – where they re-enact a play – is not at all the usual form for this program, it fits perfectly into our Holiday Theme, and gives Dexter someone else he can pal around with.
The radio broadcasts were certainly a “lighter” kind of detective than you found elsewhere, and this could have added to the reasons why he didn’t last as long on the air. But even still, Richard Diamond produced 77 TV episodes, and over 160 radio broadcasts, something impressive by modern standards. And, as this is a Holiday broadcast, it only makes sense to have a “lighter” program close to Christmas.
These detective shows are a lot of fun to put together, and I always enjoy bringing out Dexter when it’s appropriate. There’s only one more in this series, where he meets with Phillip Marlowe for a New Year’s Eve story that you won’t want to miss. Until then:
A Christmas Carol with Richard Diamond!
Side A: At Our Fireplace
01.) Romanian Christmas Carols, Sz. 57 * György Sándor / Béla Bartók * Complete Solo Piano Music
02.) At Our Fireplace * Deek Watson & The Brown Dots * Black Christmas
03.) Worksong * Grails * Red Light
04.) Nonsense * Telepathys * Sui Ken – Japanese Punk and Hardcore
05.) So Long * Tiger High * Catacombs After Party
Side B: Merry Christmas
06.) Hard Times * Danny & The Other Guys * Garage Punk Unknowns – Part 1
07.) Merry Christmas * Blake Xolton * Homework #5
08.) It’s A Secret * Regular Guys * Teenline Vol. 1
09.) God Only Knows * The Beach Boys * Pet Sounds
10.) Romanian Christmas Carols, Sz. 57 * György Sándor / Béla Bartók * Complete Solo Piano Music