True Or False With Dick Powell

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Dick Powell
Richard Powell’s publicity shot circa the 1940s.

On this edition of Ron’s Amazing Stories the blog, we look at Dick Powell. Who was he? Why Was he? We will attempt to fill your brains with knowledge.  How we will do it? Let’s play, True and False with Dick Powell.

Q1: Let’s Start with Dick Powell Truth?

True: Richard Ewing Powell was an American singer, actor, film producer, film director, and studio executive. Powell came to stardom as a musical comedy performer. However, wanting to break the mold he successfully transformed into a hardboiled leading man.

Q2: Dick Powell was the first actor to portray the private detective Philip Marlowe on screen?

True: Murder, My Sweet was the first adaption to hit the big screen. It was released in 1944 and was directed by Edward Dmytryk. It starred Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, and Anne Shirley. The film was based on Raymond Chandler’s 1940 novel Farewell, My Lovely.

Q3: Dick Powell Got his start touring the country with a swing band he formed?

True: Powell sang in church choirs and local orchestras until he started his own, The Royal Peacock Band, which toured throughout the Midwest. Later, he joined the Charlie Davis Orchestra, based in Indianapolis where he recorded a number of records for the Vocalion label in the late 1920s. In April 1930, Warner Bros. bought Vocalion and loved Powell’s voice.  He became a solid star.

Q4: Dick Powell Directed John Wayne?

True: Powell directed The Conqueror in 1956. It starred John Wayne as Genghis Khan. The exterior scenes were filmed in St. George, Utah, downwind of U.S. above-ground atomic tests. The cast and crew totaled 220 people. Interesting fact; 91 of them developed some form of cancer.  By 1981 forty-six had died of cancer including both Powell and Wayne. This cancer rate is about three times higher than one would expect in a group of this size. Many believe that radioactive fallout was the cause.

Q5: Dock Powell was married to Hollywood Sweetheart, Grace Kelly?

False: Out of his league? Naw, he was married to Hollywood sweetheart June Allyson in 1945 until his death in 1963. If you don’t know who June Allyson is shame on you! They had two children, Pamela (adopted) and Richard Powell, Jr.

There you have a brief look at the life and times of Dick Powell. He had an amazing career cut short by cancer.  You can listen to a compilation of his music on iTunes. Search for Dick Powell or follow this link. Thank you for reading!

This Week’s Podcast: On the podcast this week we will feature a story from Dick Powell, talk about snakes, and much more. Come give us a listen on Thursday at Ron’s Amazing Stories, download it from iTunes, stream it on Stitcher Radio or on the mobile version of Spotify. Do you prefer the radio? We are heard every Sunday Night at 8:00 PM (PST) on AMFM247.COM. Check your local listing or find the station closest to you at this link.

Ron’s Amazing Stories is produced and hosted by Ronald Hood:
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