Showing posts with the label 1943

Hello, Americans

This travel show took intrepid listeners into South America, from its mountains to its jungles. It aired in ‘42 and ‘43, each episode running half an hour. Episodes Carmen Miranda The Christ of the Andes Santa Domingo The Alphabet of the Islands (two parts) The Story of Adendgo, the Slave The Bad Will Ambassador Rhythms of the Americas Mexico Romantic Rhythms of the Americas Pan-Americanism

Ceiling Unlimited

Orson Welles completed more projects before his thirtieth birthday that most of us ever will. And his endeavors were quite varied in scope. In addition to creating a series of travel documentaries on South America, Hello, Americans , Welles got in touch with the airplane manufacturer Lockheed and Vega and developed a series of radio vignettes to be sponsored by the company. The resulting series was Ceiling Unlimited , which focused primarily on the role of airplanes in the war effort. Welles hosted the series from Nov. of ‘42 ‘til Feb. of ‘43. After that, a long series of guest hosts took their turn: Ronald Colman , Marlene Dietrich , Cary Grant and more. In all, Welles hosted thirteen episodes. During rehearsal for one, an account exec from an advertising agency dropped in. Witnessing Welles dashing around in a near-fury, barking orders at everyone, the exec asked Welles’ business partner, Jackson Leighter, “how do you handle this man Welles?” Orson’s reply was “young

Command Performance

Command Performance was a radio program for the troops overseas. It aired from 1942-1949, broadcast via shortwave, not on commercial radio. It was a star-studded variety show, with a panoply of American showbiz icons performing at the request of servicemen. The various rosters were filled by Bob Hope , Ginger Rogers , Ella Fitzgerald, Gene Autry , Rita Hayworth , and many others. Welles’s turn came on Dec. 21, 1943. He had just married the gorgeous Rita Hayworth , and was also making forays into geopolitics by writing articles for the journal Free World and by speaking at the Third World Dinner in New York City in October. While he was suffering from both back problems and jaundice, he still found a way to make the guest appearance on  Command Performance . He co-starred with Fred Waring and Kate Smith . Sources Command Performance. Old Time Radio Catalog. Higham, Charles. Orson Welles: The Rise and Fall of An American Genius New York:   St. Martin’s Press. 198

Journey Into Fear

Journey Into Fear was one of the many projects Orson Welles worked on from 1939-’43, though he did not direct the film. He co-wrote the screenplay, produced the movie, and played a small role in it. An action film, Journey Into Fear is densely packed with the dangerous mishaps of its protagonist, Howard Graham, an American armaments engineer collaborating with the Turkish navy. In an Istanbul nightclub, Graham is smitten with a dancer. Meanwhile, a bullet with his name on it accidentally finds its home in the club’s magician. This causes the entrance of Colonel Haki, the chief of the Turkish secret police. Haki arranges Graham’s passage on a steamer to Bakumi, and from there, plot twists abound. Norman Foster, director The circumstances under which Norman Foster was tapped by Welles to direct Journey Into Fear were unusual and a forbidding, and may help explain why the project was not more successful. Foster was an actor with several credits and a longing to direct. Welles g