Hi Everybody! Sorry it took so long to get a new post up, but it was pretty hectic with the short weeks during the holidays. Well, now things are getting back to normal, so I am hoping to get a blog post up each week now for you to enjoy.


The world of radio drama which flourished during the era of what is today called the “Golden Age Of Radio” lost the last of the all-time giants with the passing last week of Norman Corwin at the age of 101!  Born into a Jewish family in Boston in 1910, he entered the newspaper business upon his graduation from college. In the late 1930’s, as dramatic radio grew in popularity, he took his writing talents to CBS in 1936.  His first major script was a whimsical story called “The Plot To Overthrow Christmas” which was broadcast in 1938 and was very well received. In 1940 he was commissioned by CBS to produce a series of his own scripts for a series called “Twenty Six By Corwin” broadcast during the 1940 season. He quickly became one of network radio’s foremost writers.  In 1941, he wrote a program for the 150th anniversary of the Bill Of Rights called “We Hold These Truths”.  It was narrated by the famous actor Jimmy Stewart and was broadcast simultaneously on all four commercial radio networks five days after the attack on Pearl Harbor.  This was unprecedented in radio broadcasting and brought Corwin immense fame and recognition.  During the war years he wrote for several programs including “The Columbia Workshop”.

In 1945 as victory in Europe was imminent, CBS commissioned Corwin to write a program celebrating the day of victory.  This program was his all-time masterpiece called “On A Note Of Triumph”.  The program centered around the victorious soldiers who had questions about “who have we beaten”, “what did it cost to beat him”, “what have we learned” and “will it happen again”.  The writing was truly extraordinary and listening to it, even now 66 years later, one is mesmerized by it. It is a truly incredible program. It was narrated by Martin Gabel, who was a member of Orson Welles legendary Mercury Theater.  It was broadcast on May 8, 1945 the day Germany surrendered. Five days later, owing to the tremendous reception the program received, it was rebroadcast on all four commercial radio networks. Over 80 million people heard the show on that day (remember the population of the U.S. at the time was only 130 million).  Perhaps the finest tribute to the show comes from Billboard magazine who said, “We can truly say that ‘On A Note Of Triumph’ is the greatest, and we use that word in its fullest meaning, radio program ever produced.’ ”  I recommend it highly to you. Although we play some excerpts from it in this week’s program, just Google “On A Note Of Triumph” and you will be easily able to hear it. It is incredible!!

Upon the surrender of Japan in August of 1945, Corwin produced a program called “Fourteen August”, also very powerful. On this show the great Orson Welles was the narrator and it was broadcast the day Japan surrendered, August 14, 1945.

Corwin continued to write for radio and then as dramatic radio began to fade in the 1950’s he turned to motion picture writing and began to teach which he did for many years.  Corwin’s family was blessed with great longevity and he remained active into his 90’s teaching at UCLA, Stanford and other institutions.

Norman Corwin was the last giant of dramatic radio and he will always be remembered by students and lovers not only of radio but of fine writing. May his memory always be for a blessing.



The broadcast for this week (October 30, 2011) has lots of great music for you to enjoy:

Chemdat Yamim (The Choicest Of Days)-Shovovei Tzion Group-Israeli Chassidic Festival-1975

L’Koil Z’Man (Koheles)-Yeedle Werdyger-1998

Habdallah Al Baruch Jamili-Shlomo Artzi-Israeli Song Festival-1974

Jerusalem Is Mine-Kenny Karen-1976 Original 45 rpm recording-very rare!!

Noah And The Ark-Safam-1976 from their first album

Halleluyah (Psalm 150)-Cantor Udi Spielman-from his new album

Also the opening and closing segments of the aforementioned “On A Note Of Triumph”

The Cantorial feature has two very nice selections by Cantor Saul Hammerman (1926-2008) who was a famous chazzan in Baltimore for many years:

V’Haarev No (Sweeten The Words)-1958

V’Al Yedei Avodecho (By The Hands Of Thy Servants)-1968


Ben has some very nice selections as well: Boaz Mauda singing “Nafshi”, Berry Weber recorded LIVE at a wedding, Yaakov Shwekey and “Yehi Shalom”.  Also a great song from the 1979 Israeli song festival “L’Olam B’Eikvot Hashemesh” (I will follow the sun) sung by Sherry, the Yeshiva Boys Choir “Ato Kidashto” (You Are Holy) and Eitan Masuri singing “Elokim Natan L’Cho B’Matenah” (Gd has given you a present).

Matt’s song of the week is the famous song from the 1979 Israeli song festival “Halleluyah”. The boys had the 1979 Israeli song festival on their minds, it was and is great music so a pleasure to have it on the show.

Well, that’s it for this week. Enjoy the show, and if you can, write and comment on the show and the blog. We love to hear from you!! Also don’t forget to tell your friends about the program!!