radio days: V-E day @ 70; orson welles @ 100


Welles on March 1, 1937 (age 21), photographed by Carl Van Vechten. PD.

Welles on March 1, 1937 (age 21), photographed by Carl Van Vechten. PD.

This week Culture of Protest commemorates 2 anniversaries. In recognition of the 7th anniversary of V-E Day, we’ll hear some excerpts from one of the great radio programs of all time, Norman Corwin’s on ON A NOTE OF TRIUMPH broadcast to 60 million people on the night of the Nazi surrender.

Orson Welles was born 100 years ago this week. Welles is being remembered for his career as a film director. Largely overlooked was his intense involvement in radio in the heyday of the medium. We’ll listen to two of his broadcasts: on August 14, 1945, when Japan surrendered and the war ended, Corwin wrote another major radio piece for Orson Welles to recite. Soon after the end of the war, Welles began a weekly 15 minute commentary program. We’ll hear the most famous of these—his expose of the vicious beating of a black GI in South Carolina by white police. The case of Isaac Woodard, now largely forgotten, was a major episode in the civil rights struggle because of Welles passionate broadcasts. It’s resonance with current happenings makes it enormously worth hearing.  And all of this will make you see Orson Welles in new ways.

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culture of protest thurs 5/13/15 6 pm pdt kcsb 91.9fm