Tag Archives: Douglas Edwards

6 June: D-Day On the Air—73 Years Later

Morgan Beatty. (Photo: NBC.)

Morgan Beatty. (Photo: NBC.)

Whether these were old-time radio’s finest hours should be left to those who are there to hear it—surely there remain many among us who were—and to those who will hear, remarkably enough, 73 years to the day later.

It would be remarkable, too, if I could present every last hour of broadcast on this day to that century that came, but the time and space constraints make it impossible at minimum. The entire broadcast days of NBC—6 and 7 June, 1944 (at least, from 0200 hours in NBC’s case)—will survive, miraculously, for the 21st Century listener. So will CBS’s complete coverage of the invasion.

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24 September: Birth of a news notion

Douglas Edwards, when he worked for WSB Atlanta prior to World War II . . .(Photo: WSB)

Douglas Edwards, when he worked for WSB Atlanta prior to World War II . . .(Photo: WSB)

CBS European News and CBS News of the World had a baby during World War II, and its name was World News Today.

Anchored customarily by George Bryan or Larry Elliott (European News) and Harry Mottle (News of the World), the original two news programs established what World News Today would solidify: smart pacing, smart spacing, perhaps the best such pace and space of any World War II regular newscasts. For a nation relying far more often upon radio for immediate war news, it was a game plan that worked.

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Prayer and Pacific: Old-time radio listening, 13 May

World News Today: Celebrating in Europe, Pressing On in the Pacific (CBS, 1945)

Robert Trout. (Photo: CBS.)

Robert Trout. (Photo: CBS.)

President Truman in Washington and the King and Queen of England attend services on a mutually declared Day of Prayer commemorating the end of the European war; a carrier attack on Japan and Japanese air forces trying to answer; Marines continuing their plunge toward the Okinawan capital; Australian troops closing in on liberating New Guinea from Japanese forces; rumours of former S.S. Commander-in-chief Heinrich Himmler being seized.

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An honest (to God) mistake: Old-time radio listening, 24 September

The Harold Peary Show: A Plan to Rename Boomer Park (CBS, 1950)

Harold Peary, who “outsmarted himself and lost the role of a lifetime” in 1950 . . .

The fabled CBS talent raids of 1948-50 didn’t end happily for all the radio stars who jumped in the wake of Jack Benny’s famous 1948 leap. In fact, one of the CBS targets ended up burned, not burnished by the jump in 1950: The Great Gildersleeve himself.

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