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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » 70th anniversary of the war of the worlds 'Panic broadcast' (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

thorndyke
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Canada
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This Halloween weekend marks the 70th anniversary of Orson Welles War of the worlds radio broadcast.
When most of my friends were asking for sports equipment or such for Christmas I asked for the two album radio play.
Every year my nerd friends and I would get together and listen to this record in a semi dark room, trying to imagine what it was like for the people of 1938 who had radio as state of the art communication with no visual image but the minds eye.
Even now I find it a fascinating experience to listen.
MagicSanta
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The 'panic broadcast' was actually a panic in a very small area. Since you listen to it you'll note how it was clearly presented as a play. The problem occured in part of New Jersey when the opening was missed due to a power outage and a few people called the police to verify what was going on. It was played up greatly which I've no problem with because it was great for marketing. Thank you for bringing it up, everyone should listen to it.
balducci
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Quote:
On 2008-10-27 22:12, MagicSanta wrote:
The 'panic broadcast' was actually a panic in a very small area. Since you listen to it you'll note how it was clearly presented as a play. The problem occured in part of New Jersey when the opening was missed due to a power outage and a few people called the police to verify what was going on.

National Geographic wrote something up about it a few years back:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/......lds.html

They claim many people missed the opening because they were "tuned into a rival network airing the popular Chase and Sanborn Hour program featuring the ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy Charlie McCarthy. Ten minutes into that show, at a time when its star took a break, many listeners dialed into War of the Worlds instead."

Anyway, whatever, I've always loved listening to Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds.

Which I guess is having its own 30th anniversary:

http://www.thewaroftheworlds.com/

Through the magic of youtube, you can find at least parts of one or more versions of Jeff Wayne's WOTW on-line:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8JLqsbK5V0
Make America Great Again! - Trump in 2020 ... "We're a capitalistic society. I go into business, I don't make it, I go bankrupt. They're not going to bail me out. I've been on welfare and food stamps. Did anyone help me? No." - Craig T. Nelson, actor.
thorndyke
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I am not sure that it was a localized event. The 2005 book compilation that has the original wells book as well as the radio script has various sidebars with quotes from people from around the country who reacted to the show. What is interesting is that there were several WOTW broadcasts done the same way over the years that also produced local panic. This book is a great deal as it also has the Welles broadcast on CD along with various interviews and excerpts from the other panic broadcasts.
I also like Wayne's musical.
rossmacrae
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I recall reading from a little-known source that Wells knew exactly what furor he was trying to create. He directed with a close eye on the clock, and he knew nobody much was listening, but he also knew that his competition - Bergen and McCarthy - had a "hard break" for commercial at a very precise time. Many people would be tuning away for the duration of the commercial, and as planned, that's the moment his show got to the most sensationalistic fake news report. The result: nobody would hear the disclaimers or the "lounge music", many would tune by and be drawn to the news report, and believe it.
MagicSanta
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Thorndyke, my favorite person from El Norte, has a point. I was basing my statement on newspaper articles I read that my father had about it. Since he was in NYC the articles may have been localized. I'm not sure of the range these shows had. I know my dad use to pick up football from Chicago which is why he was a Bears fan. Stil an interesting show, it may be playing on some cool stations.
Steve_Mollett
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My wife and I sit back and listen to it every Oct. 30.
Author of: GARROTE ESCAPES
The absurd is the essential concept and the first truth.
- Albert Camus
NJJ
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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » 70th anniversary of the war of the worlds 'Panic broadcast' (0 Likes)
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