Monday, October 26, 2009

2003 War of the Worlds Radio Documentary

With the 71st anniversary of the infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast coming up this Friday, October 30, I thought I'd post a link to audio of a 30-minute radio documentary I produced for the 65th anniversary in 2003.

I hosted this program live early on the morning of October 31, 2003 on KBCS-FM in Bellevue, WA (preempting the first half-hour of a delightfully titled program called "Nerd Rock"), and preceded by an airing of the complete original 1938 recording (without permission from the Koch estate, I must now belatedly admit).

Featured are contextual audio cuts, such as Herb Morrison describing the 1937 Hindenburg crash; audio "highlights" from the September 1938 Munich Crisis (including Adolf Hitler and Neville Chamberlain); as well as Ed Murrow a few years later from London during the Blitz.

My favorite part of the show are the cuts from a phone interview I did with Albert Frank, who passed away a year or so ago. Mr. Frank spent his entire life in Concrete, WA (about two hours from Seattle) and was there when the War of the Worlds broadcast and a poorly timed power outage conspired to send at least one woman screaming into the streets (which Mr. Frank witnessed). Concrete was written up in newspapers everywhere at the time for mass hysteria among its residents, and it was a joy to hear about the episode from someone who was actually there.

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