The War Of The Worlds -Orson Welles RadioAmerica Sunday Program
Summary: click here Visit the Radio America Store web site. Buy your 50 mp3 for &5.00 Affordable Web Hosting $5.99 A month The most famous radio broadcast of all time is still considered to be "The War of the Worlds", by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the Air, October 30, 1938. Produced by John Houseman, it caused a near-panic, and lots and lots of press coverage. It also spurred legislation banning the "news" format from radio drama for years following. And although Orson Welles himself said they had no idea they were causing such an uproar, he actually knew it was happening and was thrilled with all the attention. The script, by the late Howard Koch (who also won an Academy Award for the screenplay of "Casablanca"), was actually titled "The Invasion From Mars", but was based on H.G. Wells' novella. The story goes like this: That October evening most Americans tuned in to the "The Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy Show", which was the most popular radio show of the time. Twelve minutes into the show they went to their usual musical break. At that point many people changed the channel, and came upon reporter Carl Philips in the field near Grover's Mills, New Jersey. By the time the break came, with the announcement that this was just a play, most of them had already gone off screaming. The "War" became famous, and the Bergen-McCarthy Show opposite it seems to have vanished. "The War of the Worlds" story itself has been performed on radio many times since 1938, in a variety of formats. Gordon Payton claims to have 25 different audio versions of the story. The NBC Network anthology series Dimension X and X Minus One each offered a few alien invasion stories. (See "The Embassy", "The Seventh Order", "The Last Martian", and "Zero Hour", for example.