CKWW to Air 'War of the Worlds' tonight - Page 2
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Thread: CKWW to Air 'War of the Worlds' tonight

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by CTListener View Post
    As are mine, although my father was fortunate to have spent the war at Fort McClellan in Alabama, lettering signs and illustrating training manuals, his unit never getting the call to battle. But there was no war on in 1938 and I'm sure some people who would later fight for their country fell for the Welles tale that October night. That didn't make them idiots.
    Actually there were several "wars" underway in 1938. The Japanese had invaded Manchuria in 1931 and China in 1937. Both were still underway. The invasion of China was the event that would result in the US embargo of war materiel to Japan and indirectly cause the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

    Belief that far away celestial beings could journey to Earth parallels that of religious 'faith' that has virtually nothing on which to base it.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    Before you pass judgment on the intelligence of people in the 30s, you should look at your own. And do some homework.
    7. This was a time of great tension. People had been through nine years of depression and a second world war was heating up in Europe with Germany invading it neighbors. It was not unreasonable to hear something out of context and think something terrible was happening.
    Germany did not invade Poland until September 1939.
    Illegitimi non carborundum

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oscar Madison View Post
    Oh, no! Is that myth still alive? Radio people love it and are addicted to repeating this patently false story. I guess it makes radio types feel important, powerful and influential and reinforces their view that the audience is gullible and easily (mis)led. Orson Welles built his career on this fable, so it's not surprising that he liked it.
    A repeat of the broadcast, in Spanish, was done in Latin America (remembering that CBS and NBC/Blue/Red had both shortwave and acetate-based distribution to Latin America at the time).

    A Spanish language script of the original, little-heard, shortwave broadcast survived. It was performed locally about a decade later on Radio Quito in Ecuador with these results:

    "The year was 1949, the date February 12th and the place Quito, the Ecuadorian capital city and home at the time to some 250,000 people. It should have been just another routine dramatic broadcast by the city's principle radio station, but by the end of that evening, the local newspaper office (home to the radio station) would be a smouldering ruin and at least six people dead at the hands of an enraged mob. But just how did this horrific tragedy come about'"

    More at http://www.war-ofthe-worlds.co.uk/war_worlds_quito.htm

    I knew some of the people involved, as the son of the owner of the station and the newspaper was a classmate of mine in high school and I was already involved in radio. The story as reported is fairly accurate, and the burning of the newspaper building and the station is well documented. The part about prior reports about aliens being seeded in the paper was denied by my friend's father, who was the owner and publisher of the paper, who also said that the reports of the show not being announced as a dramatization were untrue.

    And, considering that NBC operated two separate radio networks Red and Blue in 1938, when comparing ratings with CBS one has to look at all three webs individually; CBS does quite well in that comparison. And Mutual, a loose cooperative of independent stations, was a rather distant fourth.

    Looking at NBC, we have to remember that just a few years later it would be deemed a monopoly and ordered to divest one of the webs, which became ABC Radio.

    By 1935, in fact, CBS had more affiliates than either NBC web individually.

    The drama was also run at WKAQ in San Juan, with resulting damage to the station facilities and the El Mundo newspaper plant. I heard this story narrated by the station owner as a feature during a Puerto Rico Broadcaster's Association meeting in the late 60's as part of a session about "Responsibility and Ethics".
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  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna View Post
    Germany did not invade Poland until September 1939.
    But they invaded Austria in March, 1938, 6 months prior to the War of the Worlds broadcast. Tensions were running high because of the German occupation, by international accord, of Sudetenland, the German speaking area of Czechoslovakia... and event that occurred just a month prior to the broadcast.
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  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by landtuna View Post
    Germany did not invade Poland until September 1939.
    Pay attention there will be quiz: Germany invaded the Sudetenland, October 1st, 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain met with Hitler in Munich to try to make a peace deal. The US networks gave the Czech crisis extensive coverage and CBS launched the "World News Round-up." The Sino-Japanese War and the Spanish Civil War were well underway. People were very afraid of another war.

  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by CTListener View Post
    Now THERE were the idiots! Listening to a ventriloquist act on radio!

    Apparently you never heard Bergen and McCarthy so it's idiotic to call people who enjoyed the show "idiots." Maybe CKWW should run the Chase and Sanborn show heard that evening. Bergen wasn't a very good ventriloquist and so didn't really make it on television (although his daughter did). But Bergen - McCarthy was/were funny. And the show attracted most of the biggest names in show business. W.C. Fields was a regular for a time. Don Ameche was the announcer for several seasons. Mae West was banned from radio after a risque (for the time) exchange with Charlie. Most of the top singers also appeared. And it was not uncommon for radio actors to play multiple characters on a show and to have interactions with "themselves."

    The War of the Worlds does not hold up well. The alien landing is only a brief segment. Most of the show is an extended monologue by Welles. Bergen and McCarthy are still funny.

  7. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by DavidEduardo View Post


    But they invaded Austria in March, 1938, 6 months prior to the War of the Worlds broadcast..
    Some invasion! They were met by cheering crowds, girls throwing flowers and Nazi salutes. Most Austrians -- like Hitler himself -- were ethnic Germans and ecstatic to be "real" German Germans again.

  8. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by CTListener View Post
    Some invasion! They were met by cheering crowds, girls throwing flowers and Nazi salutes. Most Austrians -- like Hitler himself -- were ethnic Germans and ecstatic to be "real" German Germans again.
    You miss the point. Not all Austrians were happy. And this - along with all the other instances of German aggression - created a lot of fear and concern in the US. People in the US had not gotten over the war with German that ended 19 years earlier and did not want another one. It was a tense time in the US.

  9. #19
    So, did anyone tune into the broadcast? I thought CKWW presented it well.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by umfan View Post
    So, did anyone tune into the broadcast? I thought CKWW presented it well.
    I first heard it on the late, great WABX years ago. What did they do besides play the recording?

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