OLD TIME RADIO - 1 CD-ROM - 26 mp3
Total Time: 6:21:28
Sidney S. Fox, who by 1935 had acquired pioneering radio station K-D-Y-L--and who still owned Miracle Diamonds, Incorporated, soon realized the value of his syndicated series as a promotional vehicle for a jeweler's firm. Soon after taking control of KDYL, Fox licensed the series to the Davidson and Licht Jewlery Company. The Gruen Watch Company had also expressed an interest in sponsoring the series, as they'd already begun a campaign sponsoring other Radio programming. The deal was struck and the series aired a second time, nationally, with considerably greater promotion and fanfare--the promotion and fanfare it deserved.
The 1935 run was broadcast from 50,000 watt KLX Radio in Oakland, a station owned by the Oakland Tribune--hence our rationale for employing the Tribune's spot ads and radio listings for provenancing our log below. Davidson & Licht had been a major advertiser for the Oakland Tribune for almost nine years. 1935 was the 16th anniversary of Davidson & Licht. The sponsorship of Diamond Dramas was therefore a natural centerpiece of a combined 16th anniversary promotional campaign that also included weekly, full-page ads, donations of various silver trophies and silver plate to local sports tournaments in the Oakland area, and prominent spot articles about Davidson & Licht's long association with the City of Oakland and the Oakland Tribune, itself.
For Davidson & Licht and the Oakland Tribune, the promotional spots and articles for all twenty-six episodes of the series were lavishly illustrated and detailed with each installment. As can be seen in the sidebar, all of the installments were promoted with a spot ad synopsizing the drama for the week, accompanied by a prominent article about that episode on the same page.
This was also a win-win situation for both the Oakland Tribune and their Radio station, KLX. The series was a popular local feature, heard from Oregon to Southern California and as far away as Salt Lake City. Gruen Watch Company of Cincinnati's involvement was apparently limited to the context of their promotional, on-air announcements. We have yet to hear any of the actual commercial announcements since the only circulating exemplars of Diamond Dramas were encoded direct from a set of the original electrical transcriptions--sans commercial spots, bumpers or station identification.
The fourteen and a half to fifteen-minute transcriptions themselves contain 90 seconds of music fill at the beginning for inserting a commercial message, an eleven-minute drama, then approximately two minutes of musical fill for an ending commercial message. This was a fairly common format for the 1930s and eleven minute programming was one of early Radio's most common formats, for both syndicated programs and live, locally produced, or chain-produced programs of the era.
We make a point of explaining the limited, eleven-minute format to underscore the tightly scripted, yet highly informative--and compelling--docudramas contained within each installment of the series. Given the longer history of many of these historic diamonds, a few of the more notorious histories extend to two or even three subsequent installments throughout the run.
Davidson & Licht chose to break up the original twenty-six episode run into two 'seasons' of thirteen installments each, separated by a Summer 1935 break of thirteen weeks. KLX aired Anita and Orosco, a 'novelty' guitar duo, in the Diamond Dramas timeslot.
Once the 1935 broadcasts had run their course, it was nine years before Diamonds Dramas aired in syndication again. Beginning in March 1944, both Salt Lake City [KDYL] and San Antonio, Texas [KTSA] aired the complete, twenty-six episode run. Subsequent runs aired in Iowa and Massachusetts in 1945 for local sponsors.
Diamond Dramas: Fascination with history's famous gems.
There's no question that these vignettes about insanely valuable diamonds captured the interest of listeners in every market in which they aired. It's also interesting that the two periods during which the series aired were post-catastrophe eras--The Depression and World War II. Perhaps it was pure escapism or fantasy. Perhaps it was simply a calculated attempt by jewelers throughout the country to kick-start sales of their gems after a national economic down-turn. Whatever the rationale, the series remains the only series in Radio history to focus on the great diamonds of civilization--and their often violent and sordid, but invariably romantic histories.
Diamond Dramas leads off its series with The Great Mogul, the 787 carat rough diamond first discovered in 1650, at the Kollur Mine in the Golconda region of southern India. The Great Mogul Diamond reportedly became part of the spoils of war when India was invaded and Delhi sacked by the Persian ruler Nadir Shah. After Nadir Shah's assassination in 1747, the stone disappeared. The most popular legends as to its ultimate fate appear to be that it was either further cut to form the famous Koh-i-noor diamond, the lesser known Darya-ye-noor diamond, or most plausibly, the source of the equally famous Orlov diamond, which is reportedly similar in color and orginal cut to the fabled Great Mogul. The less romantic theory is that the giant stone was ultimately cut into hundreds of smaller diamonds worth far more in commerical value than the original source diamond.
As might be discerned from the hypothetical history of The Great Mogul, many of the subsequent diamond histories in the series represent similarly romantic, violent, adventurous, or ironic waypoints in the history of individual diamonds that could quite plausibly trace their own origins to The Great Mogul. The series also provides a historical vignette about the Koh-i-noor and the Orloff [Orlov], which might well have been cut from the original Great Mogul. Remember that this series was produced in 1926. At that time, accounts of each of these famous diamonds treated each of these diamonds as distinct, separate discoveries with their own unique histories.
Text from Digital Deli Too
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350401 01 The Great Mogul
350408 02 The Austrian Yellow Diamond
350415 03 The Kohinoor Diamond
350422 04 The Diamond Ransom
350429 05 The Diamond Medallion
350506 06 The Miniature Diamond
350513 07 I Still Have the Diamond
350520 08 The Mighty Akbar
350527 09 My Son
350603 10 The Diamond Studs
350610 11 The Casket of Diamonds
350617 12 Diamond of Caesar Borgia
350624 13 The Three Diamonds
350930 01 The Blue Diamond
351007 02 The Little Gift
351014 03 The Pitt Diamond
351018 05 The Eugenie Diamond
351021 04 The Orloff Diamond
351104 06 Highwayman's Diamond
351111 07 The Mad King of Bavaria
351118 08 The King's Astrologer
351125 09 The Queen's Diamond Charm
351202 10 The Yellow Eye
351209 11 The Diamond Smuggler
351216 12 The Sancey Diamond
351223 13 Dreams of Empire