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RIP Norman Corwin, 1910 - 2011

The L.A. Times reported today the death of Norman Corwin. Back in the 1930s and 40s, when radio ruled, Corwin made a name for himself as a writer of drama. He won numerous awards and the unanimous praise of those who worked with him. I think of two pieces when I think of him.

First, and foremost, there is On a Note of Triumph - first broadcast May 8, 1945 to celebrate the Allied victory in Europe. It shows up on many lists as the single greatest program created for radio . . . ever. With music by Bernard Herrmann, it's a prose poem in praise of the allies. As the narrator says at the beginning, "Take a bow, G.I. Take a bow, little guy. The superman of tomorrow lies at the feet of you common men of this afternoon." You can hear it here via NPR.

It's an hour long.


Much more lighthearted is "The Undecided Molecule," which you can hear here. A "fantasy in rhyme" featuring Groucho Marx, Vincent Price, and other notable voices. First broadcast on July 17th, 1945, it's a scientific tale of a molecule unable to figure out what it wants to be. Its pro-individualism and loaded with clever linguistic twists. Half an hour, and well worth your time.



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kevinlauderdale
kevinlauderdale

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