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Posts Tagged ‘radio drama

Say what?…

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Trying to master a role in a Tennessee Williams play?  Place someone by their accent?  Steven Weinberger, a linguist at George Mason University can help.  He’s created The Speech Accent Archive, where one can click on a map to hear some native, some non-native English speakers from all over the world– but in each case reciting the same short English paragraph, crafted to contain every sound in the Queen’s Language.

(C.F. also the previously-reported British Library Map of Accents and Dialects.)

As we smooth our sibilants, we might recall that it was on this date in 1938 that Northwestern University conferred an honorary degree on ventriloquist’s dummy Charlie McCarthy (whose “partner,” Edgar Bergen, had attended Northwestern, but never graduated).

Lest we doubt that Bergen and his wooden friend were worthy of the academic accolade, we might note that they have been credited by some with “saving the world”: later that same year, on the night of October 30, 1938, when Orson Welles performed his War of the Worlds radio play, panicking many listeners, most of the American public had tuned instead to Bergen and McCarthy on another station.   (Dissenters note that Bergen may inadvertently have contributed to the hysteria: when the musical portion of Bergen’s show [The Chase and Sanborn Hour] aired about twelve minutes into the show, many listeners switched stations– to discover War of the Worlds in progress, with an all-too-authentic-sounding reporter detailing a horrific alien invasion.

Charlie McCarthy, BA (left), with his friend Edgar Bergen (source)

Taking Time…

click on the image above, or here

From Milk and Cookies, “Tempus II,” an extreme slo-mo revisit of turf that readers have visited before (The Edgerton Collection)…

As we contemplate creative destruction, we might recall that it was on this date in 1930 that The Shadow premiered on CBS Radio.  Originally simply the narrator of a mystery anthology series, the character was so popular that he became the series’ focus, and was given his own pulp and comic series, in which he acquired “the power to cloud men’s minds so they cannot see him.”

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!”

Written by LW

July 31, 2010 at 12:01 am

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