Today's edition of Stories for Sunday is a little different than usual. Instead of a short story, I am highlighting a script for an episode of Richard Diamond, Private Detective, a radio show that ran from 1949-1953 (and was later a television series). The radio version starred Dick Powell and was written by Blake Edwards. Last night I was lucky enough to catch a live performance of one episode, "Danny Denver" (#98, originally broadcast May 11, 1951), at my favorite bookstore, Partners and Crime. Once a month, they present W-WOW! Radio, a performance of old time radio mysteries complete with music, sound effects, and vintage commercials - all done live in-store. It's really a treat to see, if you're ever in the city you should definitely try to catch a performance.
In "Danny Denver," Richard Diamond is hired to commit a murder, but the victim isn't your typical soon-to-be-corpse. It is Danny Denver, a ventriloquist's dummy who has already been destroyed several times, and keeps coming back. Diamond reluctantly takes on the case, and soon finds himself amidst a screwy acting troupe who all think Danny is not only real, but also responsible for a murder, which means that Diamond now has two mysteries to solve.
The script, courtesy of Old Time Radio Researchers Group, includes handwritten notes meant for the final performance. It is certainly a unique and insightful historical document, as well as an entertaining read. For more information on the show, check out these comprehensive notes on the history of Richard Diamond, Private Detective by Frank Passage.
Read "Danny Denver" by clicking here.