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The Biography In Sound Radio Program

Dee-Scription: Home >> D D Too Home >> Radio Logs >> Biography In Sound

Biography In Sound garnered the prestigious Peabody Award for Radio Education in 1956
Biography In Sound garnered the prestigious Peabody Award for Radio Education in 1956




Ernest Hemingway

Gertrude Lawrence

Carl Sandburg

Stan Kenton

George Bernard Shaw

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Leo Durocher

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Babe Ruth

George Gershwin

Franklin P. Adams

Thomas Wolfe

Jerome Kern

Albert Schweitzer

Grantland Rice

George M. Cohan

W. C. Fields

Connie Mack

Frank Lloyd Wright

Robert Benchley

Fred Allen

Grandma Moses

Mary Martin

Alexlander Woollcott

Arturo Toscanini

George C. Marshall






R.J. Reynolds helped NBC pick up the tabl for Biography In Sound beginning in 1956 with their Kool Cigarettes brand
R.J. Reynolds helped NBC pick up the tabl for Biography In Sound beginning in 1956 with their Kool Cigarettes brand


Background

As the Golden Age of Radio began to wane, the major networks were still attempting to maintain the upper hand in Radio while exponentially expanding their Television offerings. The effort spanned every level of Network Radio programming. The CBS, NBC and ABC Radio networks were the major contenders for Radio share by the mid-1950s and beyond.

The 1950s saw some of Radio's most ambitious and prestigious programming efforts by CBS and NBC especially. The CBS Radio Workshop (1956-1957) set the bar even higher with a series of 'experimental' Radio broadcasts the equal of any of their landmark Columbia Workshop programs of the 1930s and 1940s. Many of these 'special' flagship programming efforts sprang from the respective Radio News Divisions of the two network giants.

NBC countered CBS' flagship efforts with its own special News programs, documentaries and, beginning in 1954, with its Biography In Sound series which ran from 1954 through 1958. One of the special presentations from the Biography In Sound canon was a salute to Radio entitled, Recollections At Thirty. The Recollections At Thirty episode spun off a run by the same title. Recollections At Thirty--followed by, simply, Recollections--ran from 1956 through 1957.

Biography In Sound and Recollections At Thirty were produced by NBC's Radio News Division. Documentary in nature, both programs were well suited to the background and experience of NBC's Radio News Division. While Biography In Sound documented American celebrities throughout American History, the concentration was on contemporary or recently lost leaders, entertainers, artists and writers of the 20th Century. Recollections At Thirty, by contrast, provided a weekly retrospective of NBC's own programming history over the years.

Biography In Sound debuts as NBC News Documentaries

During the Fall programming season of 1954, NBC's News Division began airing a series of highly produced, intimately detailed biographies of high-profile celebrities, beginning with Sigmund Romberg and Sir Winston Churchill. The initial two documentaries received such wide acclaim that NBC News aired a subsequent documentary on Ernest Hemingway, the first broadcast to be characterized as a Biography In Sound, first airing on December 19, 1954.

Having attracted an audience for the Sunday night timeslot, NBC News Division was given the weekly Sunday slot for both their Biography In Sound productions as well as other topical documentary specials: the documentaries Show Biz and They Lived With The Atom Bomb.

Seeking a broader audience, NBC moved NBC News' documentary programming timeslot to Tuesday evenings, beginning on June 14, 1955. The move to the Tuesday slot met almost immediately with even greater critical and popular acclaim. Here's an article from the Time Magazine issue of July 11, 1955:

Radio: Biography in Sound

"It was as if all his story described a big dance to which he had taken the really top girl, and as if he stood at the same time outside the ballroom, a little Midwestern boy with his nose to the glass, wondering how much the tickets cost and who paid for the music."

With these perceptive lines, punctuated by the frayed, nostalgic jazz of the 1920s, NBC-Radio News last week opened an hour-long Biographies in Sound (Tues. 9 p.m., E.D.T.) of F. Scott Fitzgerald. It proved to be a poignant re-creation of the tragic life and happy times of one of the most gifted American writers of the 20th century. It also showed off radio at its nonvisual, imaginative best. In the same field, television, with all its gaudy resources, might have distorted a story that simple words and music truly evoked. Biographies, a sustaining show with a tiny budget of $500 per program, started as a one-shot with a biography of Winston Churchill. It was so good that the show went on a regular basis last December and has been going strong ever since.

Alabama Beauty. In the Fitzgerald story, Editor William Hill recaptured the flavor of the flapper era and of the man who recorded and personified it, by simple and authentic means: period jazz (Chicago and New Orleans styles), Fitzgerald's own words and the varied voices of his friends reminiscing about him. The voices of Fitzgerald's friends were what gave this thumbnail radio biography a unique intimacy.

Cecil Reed, a boyhood friend in St. Paul, told how young Scott lay awake nights talking of his ambition to go to Princeton. Judge John Biggs Jr., a Princeton roommate, told how, fresh from St. Paul, Fitzgerald "had the advantage of being a superb writer, [but] his knowledge of spelling and punctuation was almost rudimentary." Gerald Murphy, an intimate friend of later years, described Zelda Sayre, the Alabama beauty Fitzgerald loved: "She had rather a powerful, hawklike expression, very beautiful features, not classic, and extremely penetrating eyes, and a very beautiful figure, and she moved beautifully. She had a great sense of her own appearance and wore dresses that were very full and very graceful . . . Her mind worked in a most interesting way. She almost never said anything indifferent or certainly nothing ever silly, and her angle of vision and her perception were very personal."

Ritual Orgies. Fitzgerald married Zelda on the $5,000 advance royalties of his first novel, This Side of Paradise, and they set off on a mad fling that was to span the decade, cover a couple of continents, and wind up with Scott an inveterate alcoholic and Zelda a hopeless schizophrenic. Fitzgerald's literary agent, Harold Ober, told radio listeners where the money came from: short stories, at $4,000 a story. Friendly Critic Malcolm Cowley defined the double vision that helped Fitzgerald command such prices: "He was a man of the 1920s who took part in the ritual orgies of the time, but he also kept a secretly detached position, regarding himself as a pauper living among millionaires . . . a sullen peasant among the nobility."

A friend told of Fitzgerald's generosity to a writer who was then unknown: "After Scribners showed a reluctance to publish Ernest Hemingway, [Scott] issued an ultimatum. All that I recall of it was that it ended, 'or else.' " Henry Wales, an American correspondent in Paris, told how Fitzgerald did battle one night in an elegant Montmartre nightclub against six Argentines armed with champagne bottles, with the damages in broken glassware alone amounting to $500. Two close friends, Millionaire Gerald Murphy and oldtime Cinemactress Lois Moran, spoke as the original models of Dick Diver and Rosemary, two of Fitzgerald's principal characters in Tender Is the Night.

Cracked Plate. Arthur Mizener, Fitzgerald's biographer (The Far Side of Paradise), told how Scott and Zelda expected nothing but joy out of life and quarreled bitterly when they were disappointed. "We grew up founding our dreams on the infinite promises of American advertising," Zelda once said. "I still believe that one can learn to play the piano by mail, and that mud will give you a perfect complexion." After Zelda became ill, Fitzgerald said. "I left my capacity for hoping on the little road that led to Zelda's sanitarium." He wrote her: "Do you remember before keys turned in locks, when life was a closeup and not an occasional letter, that I hated to swim naked from the rocks while you liked absolutely nothing better? Still stupid with grief, I find these are the only quarrels I remember." And Zelda could only reply: "Oh Dodo, Dodo, I love you anyway, even if there isn't any me or any love, or even life, I love you."

When the sanitarium caught fire, Zelda died in the flames. At 39, Fitzgerald "suddenly realized that I had prematurely cracked, cracked like an old plate." He recovered enough to write part of a novel about Hollywood, The Last Tycoon, which might have been his masterpiece. But when he had reached the middle of chapter six, a heart attack ended his life at 44. Almost nobody came to the bare funeral home where his body lay. But his old friend Dorothy Parker did. Her hard-boiled epitaph, too strong for last week's radio show, echoed Fitzgerald's own tag line to The Great Gatsby. Looking at the corpse, she said, "The poor son of a bitch."

(Copyright 1955 Time Magazine, Incorporated)


Note that the Time Magazine article cites the Sir Winston Churchill Tribute as the first of the series, characterized by, presumably, both NBC-Radio News and Time Magazine as a 'one-shot' effort. While most contemporary vintage Radio collectors tend to cite the Sigmund Romberg Tribute as the first in the Biography of Sound series, there's as yet no factual or historical proof to substantiate that claim. Both Sigmund Romberg and Arturo Toscanini had been long-standing composers and conductors for NBC over the years. It's more likely that the Sigmund Romberg Tribute might more accurately be characterized as an isolated NBC-Radio News tribute rather than a component of the Biography of Sound canon that followed the Sir Winston Churchill tribute broadcast.

Even more remarkable in the Time Magazine article above, is the citation of a $500 per episode budget for the series. Given that the NBC-Radio News Division was providing much of the manpower, recorded interviews and stock recordings, it's quite plausible that the figure is accurate. But it's all the more amazing that NBC consistently produced such an outstanding production with such a nugatory budget.

From June 1955 through April 1957, NBC-Radio News provided its Biography In Sound documentaries interspersed with other special News documentaries and specials in that Tuesday night, prime-time slot. When NBC debuted its Nightline series, hosted by Walter O'Keefe, the then renamed Biographies In Sound became a component of the Nightline series, reduced in format from its previous 55 minutes to 50 minutes.

The Biography In Sound format, as an NBC-Radio News programming effort, initially aired in a 55-minute format, owing to NBC News utilizing the first--or last--5 minutes of its timeslot for either a Network news bumper or its Travel Bureau program hosted by Horace Sutton. Indeed, until the Nightline series began hosting Biographies In Sound, the overwhelming number of documentaries in that Tuesday night timeslot were of 55 minutes in duration.

It was with the first broadcast of 1956 that NBC renamed the series Biographies In Sound and acquired a sponsor for the series--the R.J. Reynolds Company and its Kool Cigarettes brand. Between 1956 and 1957 NBC used its 'bumper' time to either promote other NBC programming or for up to the minute news capsules, interchangably.

There's no way to characterize each and every one of these broadcasts as other than absolutely outstanding. Without exception, these were some of the finest documentaries ever to air over Radio--then or since. Indeed, many of them couldn't possibly be assembled today as succinctly and intimately as they were edited together in the late 1950s.

The theme of the overwhelming majority of these portraits was from the perspective of people who actually knew the personalities depicted. In most cases, the interviewees were contemporaries of the personality being honored. One can only imagine how many sound clips the production crew had to sift through to select only the most illustrative and intimate observations of the personalities involved. The clips had to number in the tens of thousands over the course of the run.

Some Personal Observations

Imagine sitting in your home, or perhaps at a local watering hole, simply reminiscing with a group of close friends. A particularly well liked or respected common character, friend or acquaintance, perhaps recently passed, comes up in the conversation. The following 40 minutes, an hour, or more, is then spent recounting and sharing favored anecdotes or personal remembrances about the person.

That's very much the feeling of each of these wonderful documentaries--very personal, precisely reflective of the personality involved, and intimate in both detail and personal remembrance. NBC News had the extraordinary advantage of access to tens of thousands of recordings, interview clips, historic soundbites, and resources from which to draw to assemble these hour-long portraits. It goes without saying that the subjects of Biography In Sound were amazingly accomplished people. The genius of Biography In Sound is how viscerally the series brings these personalities alive. Seen through the prisms of both their closest friends and most severe critics, the series humanizes each of these personalities in ways not even the most prosaic eulogy or obituary ever could. Indeed, even Serge Rubinstein, in spite of his life of personal and business scandals, was accorded the Biography In Sound treatment.

The surviving subjects of the biographies were accorded a balance and respect for their accomplishments rarely heard over Radio, seen over Television or read in gossip, sports, entertainment or politics columns of the era. These were fresh views of living, breathing human beings, as opposed to 'celebrities.' And though their accomplishments were what elevated them to be subjects of the biographies in the first place, the NBC production staff managed to put flesh and bones and souls into the living subjects. No longer viewed in the abstract, the surviving subjects are seen as fallible, introspective human beings dealing with the same Life dynamics as the vast majority of the listening audience.

As historic time capsules alone, these recordings capture some of the most important and influential personalities of the 20th Century. The extraordinary personalities the production selected came from virtually every area of human endeavor during the course of the production. Authors, artists, politicians, Presidents, sports figures, and military personalities were equally represented. The Algonquin Roundtable is particularly well represented, with intimate and fascinating biographies of H.L. Mencken, Alexander Woollcott, Robert Benchley, Franklin P. Adams (F.P.A.), and Heywood Broun. Though not one of the biographies herself, Peggy Wood makes many contributions to the background of the Algonquin Roundtable members. The only other missing members of note in the series were Rex Stout and George S. Kaufman.

The directors and sound editors who pieced together these fascinating biographies were the undisputed heroes of the production. It becomes clearer with each new portrait that the editors were enthusiastically involved with each new project. We've listened to every circulating exemplar of this series and each one of them completely envelopes the listener.

The engineering for the entire series is also outstanding. From the soundbites, to the interstitial scoring, to the recorded music employed in most of the entertainers' biographies, the passages are bell-clear throughout the entire run. Having listened to the entire circulating run, we're at a loss to recall even one poorly recorded or engineered exemplar of an intact recording.

There's no question that this canon of recordings represents the finest traditions of what made The Golden Age of Radio 'golden.' From concept, to production, to execution, Biography In Sound is at once one of the finest exemplars of Radio production from NBC's history, as well as a national cultural treasure of some of the most fascinating and influential personalities of the 20th Century. With the recently renewed interest in what's commonly referred to as The Greatest Generation, a complete listening of this series simply underscores why that generation in particular so well earned the designation.

Series Derivatives:

Biography In Rhythm; Biographies In Sound; AFRTS IED 475 'Biographies In Sound'; Recollections At Thirty
Genre: Anthology of Golden Age Radio Biographical Documentaries
Network(s): NBC
Audition Date(s) and Title(s): None
Premiere Date(s) and Title(s): 54-12-19 01 Meet Ernest Hemingway
Run Dates(s)/ Time(s): 54-10-24 to 64-10-20; Ninety-five, 50-minute or 55-minute programs; Sunday evenings, then Tuesday, then Thursday evenings
Syndication: NBC; The AFRTS
Sponsors: Kool Cigarettes
Director(s): Executive Producer: James L. Holten
Producers: Bill Weinstein, Robert Wogan, Kenneth MacGregor, Jack Wilson, Jerome Jacobs, Pat Kelly, Bill Hill, Joseph Meyers, Russ Tornabene, Don Cameron, Bert Every
Directors: Robert Wogon, George Voutsas, Lawrence Cirillo
Principal Voices: Ralph Richardson, Lynne Fontanne, Franklin Roosevelt, Paul Reynaud, Anthony Eden, Bennett Cerf, Alistair Cooke, Laurence Olivier, Laten Rollins, Mrs. Horace Gray, Pierrepont Morgan Hamilton, Leopold Stokowski, Carl Sandburg, Harvey Bright, Harry Hanson, Carol Murphy, Ben Hecht, Bob Casey, Vincent Starrett, Judith Waller, Charlie Krantz, Alice Henderson, Quincy Wright, Edward steichen, Ralph Newman, Alan Nevins, Leonard Lyons, Adlai Stevenson, William Saroyan, Robert SHerwood, Tallulah Bankhead, Hy Gardner, Rocky Graziano, Arthur Miller, Uta Hagen, Jackie Cooper, Barbara Ashley, Grant Gaither, Robert Clary, Hortense Powderbaker, Peter Ustinov, Alfred Hitchcock, Helen Hayes, Dick Maney, Ralph Bellamy, Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore, Ralph Richardson, Jose Ferrer, Walter Kerr, Katherine Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Alexander Woollcott, John Barrymore, Claudette Colbert, Arthur Hopkins, Dudley Digges, Lucille Watson, Billie Burke, Herbert Bayard Sw ope, Eleanor Roosevelt, Cedric Hardwicke, Rebecca West, Bertrand Russell, John Mason Brown, Lady Astor, Norman Thomas, Louis Palmer, John Nance Garner, Leon Henderson, Herbert Lehman, James Farley, Richard Harkness, Earl Godwin, Alf Landon, Winston Churchill Chester Bowles, Frances Perkins, George Palmer, Branch Rickey, Toots Shor, Leo Durocher, Charlie Dressen, Pee Wee Reese, Horace Stoneham, Russ Hodges, Barney Clemento, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, Larry MacPhail, Laraine Day, Alvin Dark, Don Gillis, Leith Stevens, Stan Kenton, Romney Weaver, Frank Bourgholtzer, Cecil Reed, John Biggs Jr., Robert Beekner, Gerald Murphy, Dick Washington, Harold Ober, Malcolm Cowley, Henry Whales, Lois Moran, Arthur Mizener, Edwin Mayer, Bud Schulberg, Everett Sloane, Bill Henry, Albert Warner, John L. Lewis, Saul Walinsky, Fred Perkins, Matthew Nealy, Barbara Aldrich, Radie Harris, Vinton Freedley, Gertrude Lawrence, Mary Margaret McBride, Stanley Marcus, Richard Aldrich, Andre Charlot, Beatrice Lillie, Jesse Matthews, Winthrop Aldrich, Johnny Green, ALan Claxton, Lt Gen Leslie Groves, Hanson Baldwin, David Woodbury, Robert A. Lewis, Kyoshi Tanemoto, Tex McCrary, Chet Huntley, George Thomas Folster, Edwin Newman, Romney Wheeler, Richard Harkness, Lewis Straws, John Rich, Bertrand Russell, Pauline Fredrick, Charles Laughton, Paul Gregory, Walter Schumann, Russell Crouse, Sigmund Spaeth, Margaret Case Harriman, Helen Woodward, Newman Levy, Mabel Hill Souvaine, Ken Nordine, Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Irving Caesar, Paul WHiteman, Todd Duncan, Fred Astaire, Robert Russell Bennett, Edna Ferber, Oscar Hammerstein II, Vaughn Monroe, Tony Baine, Joseph Myron, Guy Bolton, Edward Lasker, P.G. WOdehouse, Otto Harbach, charles Winninger, Andre Kostelanetz, Dorothy Fields, Howard Reinheimer, Quinn Ryan, Norman Thomas, Irving Stone, Roger Baldwin, T.V. Smith, James daniels, Slim Brundage, William L. Carlin, Paul Muni, Clifford Richards, Gene Tunney, Red Smith, Rube Goldberg, Bill Corum, Hank Greenberg, Will Rogers Jr.,Guinn Williams, Homer Troy, Hal Roach, George M. Cohan, Will ROgers, Carl Miller, Herb McSpaden, Susan McClellan, Theda Blake, Bascom Timmons, Sam Rayburn, Mike Monroney, Paula Love, Bruce Quisenberry, Ben Pitty, W.C. Fields, Ed Wynn, Maurice Chevalier, Mack Sennett, Leo McCarey, Norman Taurog, William LeBaron, Robert Louis Taylor, Jim Harkins, John William Rogers, Melville caine, Cornelius Traeger, Jimmy Durante, Michael Romano, Marc Connelly, Deems Taylor, Peggy WOod, Al Jolson, Arch Oboler, Arturo Toscanini, Ben Bernie, Bernadine Flynn, Bert Silan, Bill Stern, Bob Elliott, Charles Correll, Clarence Hartzell, Clem McCarthy, Cliff Hall, Don Bell, Don McNeill, Freeman Gosden, Groucho Marx, H.V. Kaltenborn, Harry Truman, Huey Long, Jack Pearl, Jim Jordan, Jimmy Durante, Little Jack Little, Marian Jordan, Ralph Howard Peterson, Ray Goulding, The Kansas City Nighthawks, Walter Damrosch, Westbrook Van Voorhis, Kitty Hughes, Mrs. George Kuramoto, Errol Flynn, Rae Dooley, Ronald Leroy Overarcher, Lester Cowan, Ann Ronell, Edgar Bergen, Theodore Keller, Elder Olsen, Talcott Williamson, Robert Hutchins, Jed Harris, Tyrone Guthrie, Harrison Smith, Florence Reid, Mrs. Theodore Keller, Norman Unger, Ross Parmenter, Andy Cokely, Michey Cochran, Mrs Eddie Collins, Jack Barry, Connie Mack, Jimmy Foxx, Howard Emke, Ford Frick, Will Harridge, Frederick M. Manfred, Kenny Delmar, Doc Rockwell, Jack Benny, Herman Wouk, Jim Harkins, Francis Spellman, Peter Donald, Bill Mullen, James Mason, Goodman Ace, Henry Tugan, Joe DeGray, Mike Jakes, Minerva Pious, Fred ALlen, Herb Shriner, Clifton Webb, George Jessel, John Royal, ROger White, Pat Weaver, Harry Von Zell, John Crosby, Stanley Trabilinsky, Morton Green, George Foster, Su Chan, Max Asgur, Alan Reed, Fiorello La Guardia, H.L. Mencken, Lawrence SPivak, William Manchester, Ernest Hemingway, James T. Farrell, Sidney Franklin, Marlon Brando, Charles Fenton, Cornelia Otis Skinner, John Mason Brown, Max Eastman, Edward Scott, AL Capp, Robert Manning, Malcolm Calley, Woodrow Wilson, John Foster Dulles, Jinx Falkenburg, Joshua Logan, Mary Martin, Vinton Freedley, Wally Westmore, Danton Walker, Orson Welles, Richard Nixon, Lillian Gish, Grandma Moses, Leif Eid, Frank Lloyd Wright, William Zeckendorf, Don Gillis, Jack Costello, Howard Taubman, Alben Barkley, Bob McElwaine, Larry Kaye, Lou Eisen, Sylvia Fine, Phil Goldfarb, Dave Harvey, Eddie Dubov, Dinah Shore, Sammy Prager, The Archbishop of Canterbury, Eugene Ormandy, Maurice Pate, Danny Kaye, Mrs. Gifford Pinchot, Mrs. Richard Derby, Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Herman Hagadorn, Lerned Hand, John Lord O'Brien, Stanley Isaacs, Mrs. Kermit Rooseveltl, Avery Andrews, Henry Fletcher, Fairfield Osborne, Roy Watkins, Mrs. William Loeb, Mrs. Francis Cole, Theodore Roosevelt, Mrs. Theodore Roosevelt Jr., Truby Davidson, Ernie Pyle, Mary Bales, Mrs. Harold Russell, George C. Bales, Charles Halleck, John Stemple, Hoagy Carmichael, Lee Miller, Lowell Millett, Lynn WOodworth, Nita Woodworth, Mrs. Joseph Goodman, Merrill Mueller, Don Whitehead, Omar Bradley, Lindsey Nelson, Dwight Eisenhower, Arthur Godfrey, Adolphe Menjou, Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Stewart, David Brinkley, Dean Acheson, George Marshall, Harry Truman, Ray Scherer
Recurring Character(s): None
Protagonist(s): None
Author(s): Abel Green, Joe Laurie Jr., F. Scott Fitzgreald
Writer(s) Editors: Chet Hagen, Gloria Kaye, Paul Cunningham, John Kieran Jr., Bill Hill, Rex Gold, Arthur Wakelee, Sumner Weiner, Joseph Dembo, Jerome Jacobs
Writers: Pat Tracy, Earl Hamner, Joseph Dembo, Jerome Jacobs, Robert Cenedella, Bill Hill, James Harper, Don Cameron, James L. Holten
Music Direction: Norman Leyden, Morton Gould
Musical Theme(s): Unknown
Announcer(s): Hosts: Ed Herlihy, Oscar Hammerstein II, Ben Grauer, Clifton Fadiman, Deems Taylor, Frank Blair, John Chapman, Walter O'Keefe, Don Ameche
Narrators: George Jessel, Dave Garroway, Morgan Beatty, Vincent Sheean, Leon Pearson, Paul Cunningham, Frank Frisch, Frank Sinatra, Kenneth Banghart, Oscar Hammerstein, Arthur Wakely, Mel Allen, Paul Gregory, Gene Hamilton, Arthur Schwartz, W.W. Chaplin, Bill Henry, Tom Manning, Fred Allen, Garson Kanin, Lindsey Nelson, Bennett Cerf, Nathaniel Benchley, Horace Heidt, Jack Haley, Grover Whalen, Chet Huntley, Leon Pearson, Walter O'Keefe, Robert McCormick, Ray Henley
Announcers: Gene Hamilton, Fred Collins, Jack Costello, Bill Wendell, Bill Rippe, Radcliff Hall, Ken Carpenter, Ed Herlihy, Ray Quinn
Estimated Scripts or
Broadcasts:
95 [Includes Rebroadcasts and Specials]
Episodes in Circulation: 55
Total Episodes in Collection: 56 [Includes Specials and AFRTS]
Provenances:

RadioGOLDINdex, Hickerson Guide.

Notes on Provenances:

The most helpful provenances were the log of the radioGOLDINdex and newspaper listings.

Biography In Sound is one of the productions we'd wanted to document for some time now. We kept putting it off simply because we began to realize that it's one of the most adulterated, misrepresented, and inaccurately documented series of historic recordings in vintage Radio history. It's all the more a shame that a canon of recordings of such cultural and historic importance should have become the target of nothing other than commercial otr greed. There's simply no other way to characterize it.

We'd always prized our Biography In Sound holdings as some of the most representative of the very finest traditions of Network broadcasting. But as our documentation efforts proceeded, it became clear that there were two primary sources of the wide dissemination of the majority of the mislabeled--and intentionally misrepresented recordings: one shamefully deceptive commercial supplier and one major, influential group of otr collectors. We traced the source of virtually all circulating misrepresented and mislabeled recordings to these two sources alone. Indeed, it's safe to say that the one group alone is responsible for disseminating tens of thousands of mislabeled and mischaracterized recordings from the Biography In Sound canon.

Digital Deli Too RadioLogIc


OTRisms:

  • Editing out critical sections of the recordings that would identify them
  • Misrepresenting rebroadcasts
  • Misrepresenting AFRTS exemplars as 'as broadcast' recordings or transcriptions
  • Misrepresenting recordings as members of the canon that weren't
  • Omitting representative recordings of the canon that should have been included.
  • Misrepresenting many of the actual recording dates of the canon.
  • Fashioning representative titles out of whole cloth.

There's little point in itemizing the anomalies we uncovered. The supplier in question has a huge, long-standing following. At $10 a CD, the full Biography In Sound canon would sell for at least $100. Given that almost half of those recordings are bogus, we can't begin to imagine how much money has been involved in that one fraudulent set alone--it has to be in the tens of thousands over the years. Nor is it any coincidence that the reseller in question and the group in question both employ the identical bogus log to further their aims.

Suffice it to say that at least a third of the circulating exemplars are utterly bogus for any combination of the above reasons. We've reconstructed as accurate a log as we could, given the existing exemplars. As always, when more genuine exemplars surface we'll modify the logs below appropriately. We'd venture to say that virtually every collection of Biography In Sound in private hands now contains at least thirty fraudulent exemplars. Our final count of the actual, verifiable exemplars in current circulation is fifty-two--fifty-six if one includes circulating AFRTS exemplars. And, indeed, two of those exemplars are recordings we've digitized and added to the circulating canon ourselves.

We provide this information solely to inform those who've been duped over the years to closely reexamine their current Biography In Sound holdings based in part on the information supplied below.

A final, cautionary note: At least three of the possible members of the Biography In Sound canon remain in doubt. We caution anyone employing the log below to first examine their own holdings before making a retagging or relabeling commitment. We feel the log below reflects the best and most accurate current accounting of the series, but with three outstanding anomalies yet to be resolved we can't--and won't--represent the following log as anything but the best, currently supportable episode and date sequence available. When we can improve it even more, we'll post the updates here.


What you see here, is what you get. Complete transparency. We have no 'credentials' whatsoever--in any way, shape, or form--in the 'otr community'--none. But here's how we did it--for better or worse. Here's how you can build on it yourselves--hopefully for the better. Here are the breadcrumbs--just follow the trail a bit further if you wish. No hobbled downloads. No misdirection. No posturing about our 'credentials.' No misrepresentations. No strings attached. We point you in the right direction and you're free to expand on it, extend it, use it however it best advances your efforts.

We ask one thing and one thing only--if you employ what we publish, attribute it, before we cite you on it.

We continue to provide honest research into these wonderful Golden Age Radio programs simply because we love to do it. If you feel that we've provided you with useful information or saved you some valuable time regarding this log--and you'd like to help us even further--you can help us keep going. Please consider a small donation here:

We don't pronounce our Golden Age Radio research as 'certified' anything. By the very definition, research is imperfect. We simply tell the truth. As is our continuing practice, we provide our fully provenanced research results--to the extent possible--right here on the page, for any of our peers to review--or refute--as the case may be. If you take issue with any of our findings, you're welcome to cite any better verifiable source(s) and we'll immediately review them and update our findings accordingly. As more verifiable provenances surface, we'll continue to update the following series log, as appropriate.

All rights reserved by their respective sources. Article and log copyright 2009 The Digital Deli Online--all rights reserved. Any failure to attribute the results of this copywritten work will be rigorously pursued.

[Date, title, and episode column annotations in
red refer to either details we have yet to fully provenance or other unverifiable information as of this writing. Red highlights in the text of the 'Notes' columns refer to information upon which we relied in citing dates, date or time changes, or titles.]







The Biography In Sound Radio Program Log

Date Episode Title Avail. Notes
54-10-24
--
Salute to Sigmund Romberg
Y
54-10-24 New York Times
7-8-
Sigmund Romberg Tribute-WRCA.
54-11-28
--
Sir Winston Churchill Birthday Tributes: 'His Finest Hour'
Y
54-11-28 New York Times
7-8--
Sir Winston Churchill Birthday Tributes: "His Finest Hour," documentary of his famous speeches and address by West German Chancellor Adenauer, French Premier Mendes-France, Sir Anthony Eden, Lady Astor, Sir Laurence Olivier, others--WRCA;
8-9--Speeches from 1918 to the present--WABC
54-12-19
1
Meet Ernest Hemingway
Y
[1st 'Biographies In Sound' broadcast]

54-12-19 New York Times
7-8--
Meet Ernest Hemingway: Documentary tribute, with James T. Farrell, Mickey Spillane, Gary Cooper, Al Capp, Leland Hayward, Marlon Brando, Cornelia Otis Skinner, others--WRCA
55-01-16
--
Show Biz
Y
55-01-16 Washington Post
7:00 p.m.--WRC--Show Biz

55-01-16 Cumberland Times
7:00--WTBO--"
Show Biz" with George Jessel
55-01-23
2
Meet Gertrude Lawrence
Y
[2nd 'Biographies In Sound' broadcast]

55-01-23 New York Times
7-8--
"I Knew Gertrude Lawrence": Documentary tribute, with 'recorded scenes from her plays; Oscar Hammerstein 2d, Helen Hayes, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Ambassador Winthrop Aldrich, Bea Lillie, Richard Stoddard Aldrich, othersWRCA.
55-02-06
3
They Knew Serge Rubinstein
N
[3rd 'Biographies In Sound' broadcast]

55-02-06 New York Times
8-9--"
They Knew Serge Rubinstein": Documentary, with Rabbi Julius,Mark. Fred Cook, Leslie Gould, Frank Farrell -and others-WRCA.
55-02-20
4
Meet Carl Sandburg
Y
55-02-20 New York Times
7-7:55-
Meet Carl Sandburg: Documentary, with William Saroyan, Robert - E Sherwood, Adlai Stevenson, Ben Hecht, Bruce Catton-WRCA.
55-02-27
5
Eddy Arnold
N
55-02-27 New York Times
7-7:55--Profile--Eddy Arnold; With Perry Como, Eddie Fisher, Dinah Shore, Pee Wee King; Tennessee Governor Clements, host-WRCA,
55-03-06
6
'The Actor'
Y
55-03-06 New York Times
7-7:55--Profile--"
The Actor": A composite picture, with Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivian Leigh; Lionel, Ethel and John Barrymore; Tallulah Bankhead, Mike, Todd, Willilam Saroyan, Leonard Lyons, Rocky Graziano, others (Recorded)--WRCA.

55-03-13
7
The Kenton Era

Y
55-03-13 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Stan Kenton: Frank Sinatra narrates the jazz maestro's life; comment by Leith Stevens, Don Gillis and others--WRCA.
55-03-20
8
Meet Ethel Barrymore
Y
55-03-20 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Ethel Barrymore: With Alfred Llunt, Lynn Fontanne, Katharine Cornell, Talllulah Bankhead, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Somerset Maugham, Alexander Woolcott, Bernard Baruch, Spencer Tracy, Katherine Hepburn--WRCA.
55-03-27
9
They Knew Bernard Shaw
Y
55-03-27 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--George Bernard Shaw: WIth Lord and Lady Astor, Norman Thomas, Hesketh Pearson, Vincent Sheean, Leonard Lyons--WRCA.
55-04-03
10
Meet Ernest Hemingway
Y
[Contrary to the newspaper announcements below, it would appear upon listening to the closing announcement that the Meet Ernest Hemingway episode was rebroadcast on this date. See Provenances section above]

55-04-03 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Leo Durocher: With Laraine Day, Larry McPhail, Branch Rickey, Horace Stoneham, John Kiernan, Dizzy Dean, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Pee Wee Reese, others--WRCA.

55-04-03 Washington Post
7:00--WRC--
Leo Durocher Tribute

Announces They Knew Franklin Roosevelt "next Sunday, April 10th"
55-04-10
11
They Knew President Franklin Roosevelt
Y
55-04-10 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Franklin D. Roosevelt: With Mrs. Roosevelt, Alf Landon, James A. Farley, Henry A. Wallace, Senator Herbert Lehman, Frances Perkins, Grace Tully, others--WRCA.

55-04-17
12
Leo the Lip
Y
55-04-17 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Leo Durocher: With Laraine Day, Larry McPhail, Branch Rickey, Dizzy Dean, Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays--WRCA.
55-04-24
--
--
--
55-04-24 New York Times
7-7:55--"
They Lived With the Atom Bomb"--Documentary of the soldiers, scientists and weather men who test the bomb's effectiveness, with Morgan Beatty narrating--WRCA.
55-05-01
13
'The Actor'
N
55-05-01 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--"The Actor": With Sir Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, Ethel, John an Lionel Barrymore, Tallulah Bankhead, others (Rebroadcast)--WRCA.
55-05-08
14
Meet Helen Hayes
N
55-05-08 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Helen Hayes: With Charles MacArthur, John Mason Brown, Ben Hecht, Bethel Leslie, Margaret Webster, Lawrence Langner, Theresa Hepburn--WRCA.
55-05-15
15
They Knew Bernard Shaw
N
55-05-15 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--George Bernard Show: Lord and Lady Astor, Norman Thomas, Hesketh Pearson, Vincent Sheean, others; Leon Pearson, narrator (Rebroadcast)--WRCA.
55-05-22
16
Will Rogers of Oklahoma
N
55-05-22 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Will Rogers: With Rep. Sam Rayburn, Billie Burke, Fred Allen, Sen. Mike Monroney, Will Rogers Jr., Carl Sandburg, Dorothy Stone and others--WRCA.
55-05-29
17
Meet Carl Sandburg
N
55-05-29 New York Times
7-7:55--Profile--"
Meet Carl Sandburg": With William Saroyan, Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur and others (Rebroadcast)--WRCA.
55-06-05
18
The Kenton Era
N
55-06-05 New York Times
7-7:55--
Profile--Stan Kenton: The jazz musician's life, times and beliefs; Frank Sinatra is narrator (Rebroadcast)--WRCA.





55-06-14
19
Meet Gertrude Lawrence
N
[Moves to Tuesdays for 60 minutes; Airs and Announces as Biographies In Sound]

55-06-14 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies In Sound:
Gertrude Lawrence, repeat performance--WRCA.
55-06-21
--
--
--
55-06-21 New York Times
9-9:55--
Ten Troubled Years: A review of U.N. accomplishments and failures; Harry S. Truman, Harrison Salisbury, others--WRCA.
55-06-28
20
This Was F. Scott Fitzgerald
Y
55-06-28 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound:
Story of the late F. Scott Fitzgerald will be told by those who knew him: John Held Jr., Arthur Mizener, Budd Schulberg, Hank Wales--WRCA.
55-07-05
21
George Washington: The Man Nobody Knows
Y
55-07-05 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: Story of "
George Washington: The Man Nobody Knows," told in documentary fashion (Recorded)--WRCA.

The following News broadcast cites
400 deaths on the preceding July 4th holiday weekend, a three-day weekend in 1955
55-07-12
22
Labor's John L. Lewis
Y
55-07-12 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: "
John L. Lewis"--Documentary in which friends and critics discuss the labor leader (Recorded)--(WRCA).
55-07-19
--
--
--
55-07-19 New York Times
9-9:55--"
Geneva 1955: Pendulum of Peace"--Report on the Big Four Conference, with James F. Byrnes, Harold E. Stassen and a panel of newsmen--(WRCA).
55-07-26
--
Biography In Rhythm
Y
55-07-26 New York Times
9-9:55--Explorer in Sound: Documentary history of jazz, tracing its development from primitive African rhythm to the present--Art Wakelee is narrator--(WRCA).

The following news broadcast addresses
Air Force Secretary Talbott's difficulties over alleged ties to defense contractors. Talbott resigned later in 1955.
55-08-02
--
--
--
55-08-02 New York Times
9-9:30--Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild Scholorship Awards Dinner--(WRCA)
55-08-09
--
The Atom: Menace and Promise
Y
55-08-09 New York Times
9-9:55--The Atom: Menace and Promise: a sound panorama; Lt. Gen. Leslie R. Groves, Hanson W. Baldwin, David O. Woodbury; Arthur Wakelee, narrator--(WRCA)
55-08-16
23
The Legend of 'The Babe'
Y
55-08-16 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: "
Babe Ruth Story." James A. Farley, Tom Meany, Waite Hoyt, Paul Carey, James T. Farrell, Dr. Lubbert Pruitt, Branch Rickey, Ben Grauer, others; Mel Allen, narrator--(WRCA).
55-08-23
--
Meet Leopold Stokowski
--
55-08-23 New York Times
9-9:55--"Night of the Hunter," narrative recitation by Charles Laughton--(WRCA).

55-08-23 Los Angeles Times
9:00 p.m.--KFI-Bio In Sound

55-08-23 Provo Daily Herald
7:00 p.m.--KDYL-Biography In Sound
55-08-30
24
The Serious Gershwin
Y
55-08-30 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: "
The Serious Gershwin," Arthur Schwartz, host and narrator; Morton Gould Orchestra; Irving Caesar, Max Dreyfus, Todd Duncan--(WRCA).
55-09-06
25
Meet Ethel Barrymore
N
55-09-06 New York Times
9-9:55--Biography in Sound:
Story of Ethel Barrymore will be rebroadcast; with Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontaine, Billie Burke, Tallulah Bankhead, Eleanor Roosevelt, Somerset Maugham, Katharine Cornell, others; Vincent Sheean, narrator--(WRCA).
55-09-13
26
Darrow: 100 Years Later
Y
55-09-13 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: "
They Knew Clarence Darrow," with Paul Muni, Nathan Leopold, others--(WRCA).
55-09-20
27
This Was F. Scott Fitzgerald
N
55-09-20 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: "
They Knew F. Scott Fitzgerald," Bennett Cerf, Lois Moran, Everett Sloan, Herbert Agar, Malcolm Corlevy, John Held Jr., Arthur Mizener, Cecil Reed (Repeat performance)--(WRCA).
55-09-27
28
F. P. A.: His Column and His Friends
Y
55-09-27 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: Discussion of
Franklin P. Adams by Ethel Barrymore, Harpo Marx; Russel Crouse, Herbert Bayard Swope, Sigmund Spaeth, Deems Taylor--(WRCA).





55-10-04
29
Leo The Lip
N
[Series moves to one Tuesday every four weeks]

55-10-04 New York Times
9-9:55--Biographies in Sound: "
Leo Durocher," former manager of New York Giants baseball team; Frankie Frisch, Laraine Day, Jackie Robinson, John Kieran, Toots Shor, others--(WRCA).
55-10-11
--
--
--
55-10-11 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: Herbert Marshall, host; "The Informer," with Victor McLaglen; drama of a man who betrayed fellow-members of the Irish Republican Army--(WRCA).
55-10-18
--
--
--
55-10-18 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: "There Shall Be No Night," with Fredric March, Florence Eldridge; story of the heroic resistance of a Finnish scientist and his American wife--(WRCA).
55-10-25
--
--
--
55-10-25 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: "On Borrowed Time," with Parker Fennelly, Mildred Natwick. A grandfather defies relatives and death--(WRCA).
55-11-01
30
A Portrait of Thomas Wolfe
Y
55-11-01 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "
They Knew Thomas Wolfe," Charles Laughton, host; with Mrs. Mabel Wheaton, Fred Wolfe, Edward Aswell, John Hall Wheelock, Mrs. Kathleen Hoagland, Theodore Ehrsam--(WRCA).
55-11-08
--
--
--
55-11-08 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men," with Burgess Meredith and Anthony Quinn--(WRCA).
55-11-15
--
--
--
55-11-15 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: Herman Melville's "Moby Dick," with Fredric March, others. Vincent Price is host--(WRCA).
55-11-22
--
--
--
55-11-22 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: "Lost Week-end," with Joseh Cotten, Joan Banks--(WRCA).
55-11-29
31
Jerome Kern: The Man and His Music
Y
55-11-29 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies In Sound: "
Jerome Kern: The Man and the Music," told by those who knew him; Edna Ferber, Oscar Hammerstein, Edward Laske, Joseph Miron, Dorothy Fields, Otto Harbach, others--(WRCA).
55-12-06
--
--
--
55-12-06 Washington Post
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: "Death of A Salesman," with Broderick Crawford--(WRC).
55-12-13
--
--
--
55-12-13 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: "Double Indemnity," with Marilyn Maxwell, story of a young wife who plots her husband's death--(WRCA).
55-12-20
--
--
--
55-12-20 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theatre: "Miracle of the Bells," with Jeff Chandler--(WRCA).
55-12-27
32
A Portrait of Albert Schweitzer
Y
55-12-25 New York Times
Tuesday 9:05 WRCA: Biographies in Sound:
Life of Albert Schweitzer.





56-01-03
--
--
--
[From 1956 on, the program is referred to as Biographies In Sound]

56-01-03 New York Times
9:05-10--Radio Theater: "The Snake Pit"; a mental patient fights her way back to sanity; with Agnes Moorehead--(WRCA).
56-01-10
--
--
--
56-01-10 New York Times - 9:05-10--Radio Theater: "Angel Street," with Vincent Price, Judith Evelyn, Melville Cooper; Herbert Marshall, host--(WRCA).
56-01-17
33
Breath Of Life
N
56-01-17 New York Times - 9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Breath of Life," story of Rugh Begun, a young mother who was stricken with polio--(WRCA).
56-01-24
34
Mister John: The Golden Story
Y
56-01-24 New York Times - 9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Mister John--The Golden Story," story of the noted producer John Golden; with Helen Hayes, Victor Borge, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Vincent Sardi, George Abbott, others--(WRCA).
56-01-31
35
Will Rogers Of Oklahoma
N
56-01-31 New York Times - 9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Will Rogers of Oklahoma" (Repeat Performance)--(WRCA).
56-02-07
36
Courage To Live
N
56-02-07 New York Times - 9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Courage to Live," story of Emil Ober, Publicity Director of the New York Heart Association--(WRCA).
56-02-14
37
They Knew Grantland Rice
Y
56-02-14 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound:
story of Grantland Rice by those who knew him--Fred Russell, Bill Corum, John Kiernan Sr., Gene Tunney, Red Smith, others--(WRCA).
56-02-21
38
George Washington: The Man Nobody Knows
N
56-02-21 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "George Washington: The Man Nobody Knows"--(WRCA).
56-02-28
39
Magnificent Rogue
N
56-02-28 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: Life of W.C. Fields by Edgar Bergen, Maurice Chevalier, Errol Flynn, Ed Wynn, Mack Sennett, others; also excerpts from recordings--(WRCA).
56-03-06
--
--
--
56-03-06 New York Times
9:05-10--Politics and Primaries--Dateline: New Hampshire: Herb Kaplow, narrator; series on state primaries (Premiere)--(WRCA).
56-03-13
--
--
--
56-03-13 New York Times
9:05-10--Politics and Primaries--Dateline: Minnesota, the state primary--(WRCA).
56-03-20
40
They Knew George M. Cohan
Y
56-03-18 New York Times
Tuesday 9:05 WRCA: Biography in Sound: George M. Cohan, with Joe Franklin, Ward Morehouse, Mary Ramsey, Al Smith, others.

Intro announces
Susan Hayward as nominee for the Academy Award
56-03-27
41
Thornton Wilder: Keeper of the Time Capsule
N
[AFRTS Only]

56-03-27 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: Personality portrait of Thornton Wilder; Garson Kanin, narrator; voices of Isabel Wilder, Gene Tunney, Jed Harris, others--(WRCA).
56-04-03
--
--
--
56-04-03 New York Times
9:05-10--Politics and Primaries: Dateline: Illinois and Wisconsin--(WRCA).
56-04-10
42
Mr. Baseball: The Story of Connie Mack
Y
56-04-08 New York Times - 9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Connie Mack," remembered by Jimmy Foxx, Mickey Cochrane, Jack Barry, Arnold Johnson, Ford Frick, Will Harridge, Red Smith--(WRCA)).
56-04-17
--
--
--
56-04-17 New York Times
9:05-10--Politics and Primaries: Dateline: Pennsylvanie and New Hampshire--(WRCA).
56-04-24
43
They Knew Sinclair Lewis
Y
56-04-24 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound:
Life of Sinclair Lewis by those who knew him: with Harrison Smith, Harry Maule, Melville Cane, Mark Shorer--)WRCA).
56-05-01
--
--
--
56-05-01 New York Times
9:05-10--Politics and Primaries: Dateline: Ohio and Indiana--(WRCA).
56-05-08
44
The Wonderful World of Robert Benchley
Y
56-05-06 New York Times
Tuesday 9:05 WRCA: Biography in Sound:
Robert Benchley.
56-05-15
45
Recollections At Thirty
Y
[National Radio Week Special]

56-05-13 New York Times
Tuesday 9:05 WRCA: Biography in Sound: Salute to Radio--
H.V. Kaltenborn, narrator.
56-05-22
--
--
--
56-05-22 New York Times
9:05-10--Politics and Primaries--Dateline: Florida: Portions of Stevenson-Kefauver debate; interviews--(WRCA).
56-05-29
46
A Portrait of Fred Allen
Y
56-05-27 New York Times
Tuesday 9:05 WRCA: Biography in Sound:
Portrait of Fred Allen--Cardinal Spellman, Sylvester L. Weaver Jr., Herman Wouk, Goodman Ace, Jack Barry, Others; Jack Haley narrates.
56-06-05
--
--
--
56-06-05 New York Times
9:05-10--Politics and Primaries: Dateline California; series on state primaries--(WRCA).
56-06-12
47
They Knew Thomas Wolfe
Y
56-06-12 New York Times
9:00-10--Biographies In Sound: "
They Knew Thomas Wolfe," with the voices of Mrs. Mabel Wheaton, Fred Wolfe, Edward Aswell, John Hall Wheelock, others (Repeat)--(WRCA).
56-06-19
48
Heywood Broun
N
56-06-19 New York Times
9-10--Biographies in Sound: Friends of the late
Heywood Broun tell what they remember best about the noted journalist; with Quentin Reynolds, Morris Ernst, others; Heywood Hale Broun is the narrator--(WRCA).
56-06-26
49
Fiorello La Guardia: The Little Giant of Gotham
Y
56-06-26 New York Times
9-10--Biographies in Sound: "
Fiorella La Guardia--Little Giant of Gotham, narrated by Grover Whalen; word-portrait by friends and associates of the late New York Mayer--(WRCA).
56-07-03
50
They Knew George M Cohan
N
56-07-03 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: Repeat presentation of "
They Knew George Cohan"--(WRCA).
56-07-10
51
H. L. Mencken: The Bitter Byline
Y
56-07-10 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "
H.L. Mencken--The Bitter Byline," a word-portrait with Chet Huntley, narrator; with Alfred Knopf, Alistair Cook, others--(WRCA).
56-07-17
--
--
--
56-07-17 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Conflict in the Middle East: Documentary exploring major problems; Arthur Wakelee, producer and narrator--(WRCA).
56-07-24
52
They Knew Bernard Shaw
N
56-07-24 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "George Bernard Shaw," repeat episode. With Lady Astor, Norman Thomas, Hesketh Pearson, Vincent Sheean, Lawrence Langner, Leonard Lyons, others (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-07-31
--
--
--
56-07-31 New York Times
9-9:30--Scholarship Awards Dinner of Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild. Charles F. Kettering, speaker; others--(WRCA).
56-08-07
53
Meet Frank Lloyd Wright
Y
56-08-07 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "
Frank Lloyd Wright"--William Zeckendorf, Bruno Zevi, Douglas Orr, H.C. Price and others. Morgan Beatty is narrator--(WRCA).
56-08-14
--
Biography in Rhythm
--
56-08-14 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "
Biography in Rhythm," the history of jazz from its origins in Africa to the present--(WRCA).
56-08-21
--
Preempted
--
[Preemption for RNC Convention]

56-08-21 New York Times
6:30
Republican National Convention (WRCA, WOR, WABC, WCBS).
56-08-28
54
F. P. A.: His Column and His Friends
N
56-08-28 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biography in Sound:
Personality portrait of Franklin P. Adams; with Russell Crouse, Herbert Bayard Swope, Sigmund Spaeth, Clifton Fadiman, others; Deems Taylor, narrator (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
56-09-04
55
America's Grandma
Y
56-09-04 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biography in Sound: "
America's Grandma," story of Grandma Moses; Vice President Richard M. Nixon, others in tribute on the artist's ninety-sixth birthday anniversary--(WRCA).
56-09-11
56
They Knew Rockne
Y
56-09-11 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "
They Knew Knute Rockne," word picture of the great Notre Dame coach; with Don Miller, Elmer Layden, Harry Stuhldreher, Jim Crowley, others (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-09-18
57
Darrow: 100 Years Later
N
56-09-18 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "
Clarence Darrow for the Defense," repeat broadcast of the story of the lawyer, told by Norman Thomas, Irving Stone, Paul Muni, Prof. T.V. Smith, others (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-09-25
58
Magnificent Rogue: The Adventures of W. C. Fields
Y
56-09-25 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: Personality portrait of the late W.C. Fields; with Ed Wynn, Maurice Chevalier, Mack Sennett, Norman Taurog, others (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-10-02
59
Woodrow Wilson: Portrait of A Peacemaker
Y
56-09-30 New York Times
Tuesday 8:35 WRCA: Biography in Sound:
Woodrow Wilson--Secretary of State; John Foster Ouiles, Massachusetts Governor, Christian Herter, Norman Thomas Mrs. Eleanor McAdoo, Jonathan Daniels and others (Rebroadcast)
56-10-09
--
Preempted
--
[Preempted for President Eisenhower speech]

56-10-09 New York Times - 8:35-9--Suez and World Security: Deals with the U.N. Security Council debate; narrated by Pauline Frederick--(WRCA).
56-10-16
60
Meet Mary Martin
Y
56-10-16 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "Meet Mary Martin," a word portrait; with Oscar Hammerstein 2d, Joshua Logan, others; Frank Blair, narrator (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-10-23
--
--
--
56-10-23 New York Times
8:35-9:30--X Marks the Choice: First of two pre-election programs; Morgan Beatty and Alex Dreier, narrators--(WRCA).
56-10-30
--
--
--
56-10-30 New York Times
8:35-9:30--X Marks the Choice: Program on campaign issues and the men involved; with Morgan Beatty and Alex Dreier--(WRCA).
56-11-06
--
Preempted
--
[Preempted for Election results]

56-11-06 New York Times
8:30--Election Coverage: With Merrill Mueller, H.V. Kaltenborn, others--(WRCA)
56-11-13
61
An Impression of Alexander Woollcott
Y
56-11-13 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound:
Word portrait of the late Alexander Woollcott; with Mrs. Franklin D. Rooseveltl, Rebecca West, Orson Welles, Ben Hecht, Danton Walker, Charles Brackett (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-11-20
62
A Portrait of Albert Schweitzer
N
56-11-20 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound:
Repeat of "Dr. Albert Schweitzer" (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-11-27
63
Mister John: The Golden Story
N
56-11-27 New York Times
8:40-9:30--Biographies in Sound: Repeat of tribute to John Golden--(WRCA).
56-12-04
64
Ticket to The Moon
Y
56-12-04 New York Times
8:40-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "Ticket to the Moon," Arch Oboler, Ray Bradbury, Willie Ley, others (Recorded)--(WRCA).
56-12-11
65
The Wonderful World of Robert Benchley
N
56-12-11 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "The Wonderful World of Robert Benchley," Nathanial Benchley, narrator (Rebroadcast(--(WRCA).
56-12-18
66
A Portrait of Fred Allen
N
56-12-18 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: Word portrait of the late Fred Allen, narrated by Jack Haley (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
56-12-25
--
--
--
56-12-25 New York Times
Hungarian Relief Show: Vice President Nixon and stars of Broadway, Hollywood and TV--8:30-9:35--(WRCA).
57-01-01
--
--
--
57-01-01 New York Times
8:35-10--Voices and Events of 1956: Chet Huntley, commentator--(WRCA).
57-01-08
67
Meet Frank Lloyd Wright
N
57-01-08 New York Times
8:35-9:30--Biographies in Sound: "
Meet Frank Lloyd Wright," word picture narrated by Morgan Beatty (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-01-15
68
Fiorello La Guardia: The Little Giant of Gotham
N
57-01-15 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "The Little Giant of Gotham."
Fiorello H. La Guardia is the subject; Grover Whalen, narrator (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-01-22
69
Arturo Toscanini: The Man Behind The Legend
N
[Scheduled program below was preempted for a Toscanini Tribute]

57-01-22 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: The life and career of
Thornton Wilder, narrated by Garson Kanin--(WRCA).
57-01-24
70
Arturo Toscanini: The Man Behind The Legend
Y
57-01-24 New York TImes
9:05-10--Tribute to Toscanini: Reminiscences about the conductor and recordings of some of his rehearsals, in memoriam. With guests Samuel Chatzinoff, Howard Taubman and others (
Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-01-29
71
They Knew President Franklin Roosevelt
N
57-01-29 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: Franklin D. Roosevelt is subject of word portrait; with Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Samuel Rosenman, Robert E. Sherwood, others (Repeat Broadcast) (Recorded)--(WRCA).
57-02-05
72
Thornton Wilder: Keeper of the Time Capsule
Y
57-02-05 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Thornton Wilder--Keeper of the Time Capsule"; Garson Kanin, narrator (Rebroadcast--(WRCA).
57-02-12
73
Courage to Live
N
57-02-12 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Courage to Live," based-on-fact account of Emil Ober, who was dangerously ill with a heart ailment (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-02-19
74
This Was F. Scott Fitzgerald
N
57-02-19 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: The late novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-02-26
75
Will Rogers Of Oklahoma
N
57-02-26 New York Times
9:05-10--The late humorist Will Rogers (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-03-05
76
They Knew George M. Cohan
N
57-03-05 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: George M. Cohan (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-03-12
77
America's Grandma
N
57-03-12 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "
America's Grandma," the story of Grandma Moses (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-03-19
78
Meet Ernest Hemingway
N
[AFRTS Only]

57-03-19 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: Subject--
Ernest Hemingway (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-03-26
79
Meet Carl Sandburg
N
57-03-26 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: Tonight's study is the poet, author and historian
Carl Sandburg, who will be heard reading excerpts from hisown works. In addition, participants include Adlai Stevenson, Ben Hecht and the late Charles MacArthur (Rebroadcast--(WRCA)
57-04-02
80
The Wonderful World of Robert Benchley
N
57-04-02 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "
The Wonderful World of Robert Benchley," with Benchley's son Nathaniel as narrator. Other participants include Deems Taylor, Irving Berlin, Jimmy Durante, Mike Romanoff, Marc Connellly, Herbert Marshall and Gluyas Williams--(WRCA).
57-04-09
81
They Knew Grantland Rice
N
57-04-09 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound:
Subject is Grantland Rice. Participants include former heavyweight champion Gene Tunney; two of Notre Dame's "Four Horsemen," Don Miller and Jim Crowley; golfer Tommy Armour; baseball executive Hank Greenberg, and columnists Red Smith, Bill Corum and Frank Graham (Rebroadcast--(WRCA).
57-04-16
--
Preempted
--
[Preempted for Senate Hearings]

57-04-16 New York Times
9:05-10--
Senate Hearings: Highlights of the proceedings of the Senate Select Committee on Improper Practices in the Labor and Management field, on the expected investigation of the building trades (Recorded)--(WRCA).
57-04-23
82
An Impression of Alexander Woollcott
N
57-04-23 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound:
The life and times of Alexander Woollcott will be discussed by Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Rebecca West, Orson Welles, Ben Hecht, Danton Walker and Charles Brakett (Rebroadcast)--(WRCA).
57-04-30
--
--
--
57-04-30 New York Times
8:30-10--Nightline: An amalgam of music, news, interviews, human interest features and remote pick-ups to be presented nightly, Tuesday through Thursday. Walter O'Keefe is host (Premiere)--(WRCA).





57-07-09
83
The Life of Alben W. Barkley
Y
57-07-09 - New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound:
The life and times of Alben W. Barkley, former Vice President and Senator from Kentucky. Among the voices heard will be former President Harry S. Truman, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, Senators Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma and Walter George of Georgia. Morgan Beatty is narrator--(WRCA).
57-09-10
84
A Visit Into the World of Danny Kaye
N
[AFRTS Only]

57-09-10 New York Times
9:05-10--Biography in Sound:
Portrait of Danny Kaye limned by the voices of Dinah Shore, Sam Goldwyn, Leo Durocher, Max Liebman, Eugene Ormandy and others--(WRCA).
57-11-14
85
They Knew Theodore Roosevelt
Y
57-11-14 New York Times
8:05-9--Biographies in Sound:
Tribute to Theodore Roosevelt with members of the Roosevelt family, Hermann Hagedorn, Stanley Isaacs, Judge Learned Hand and others--(WRCA).
58-01-16
86
Ernie Pyle: Typewriter In A Foxhole
Y
58-01-16 New York Times
8:05-9--Biographies in Sound: "
Ernie Pyle--Typewriter in a Foxhole," with the vioces of Gen. Omar Bradley, Don Whitehead and others--(WRCA).
58-04-10
87
Captain Eddie: The Iron Eagle
N
[AFRTS Only]

58-04-10 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "
Captain Eddie--The Iron Eagle," the life of Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker, flying ace and airline executive, told by Laurence Rockefeller, Alfred P. Sloan, Col. Fred Ordway and others. Walter O'Keefe narrates--(WRCA).
58-05-22
88
Darrow: 100 Years Later
Y
58-05-22 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "Clarence Darrow for the Defense," revised from a previous broadcast as a tribute to the famous trial lawyer. With the voices of Meyer Levin, author of the book "Compulsion"; Norman Thomas; Prof. T.V. Smith of Syracuse University, and others. The Leopold-Loeb case will be the focal point of the program--(WRCA).

Announces
George C. Marshall as next on July 3
58-07-03
89
George C. Marshall: Architect of Victory
N
58-07-03 New York Times
9:05-10--Biographies in Sound: "
Gen. George C. Marshall--Architect of Victory." A word portrait of the man who served as United States Army Chief of Staff during World War II and Secretary of State in 1947. 49 Tributes and personal recollections by President Eisenhower, Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dean Acheson, Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, and others (Recorded)--(WRCA).
58-10-23
90
They Knew Theodore Roosevelt
Y
58-10-23 New York Times
8:05-9--Biographies in Sound: "
They Knew Theodore Roosevelt. " The life of the twenty-sixth President as recalled by his relatives, friends and associates--(WRCA).
64-10-20
91
A Tribute to Herbert Hoover
Y





AFRTS IED 475 'Biographies In Sound' Transcription Log

Date Trans. No. Title Avail. Notes
2
The Kenton Era
N
15
Biography In Rhythm
N
55-03-20 Meet Ethel Barrymore
N
55-04-10 They Knew President Franklin Roosevelt
N
55-08-23 Charles Laughton: Actor and Director
N
55-09-27 F. P. A.: His Column and His Friends
N
55-11-01 They Knew Thomas Wolfe
N
56-02-07 Courage To Live
N
56-02-14 They Knew Grantland Rice
N
56-03-27
Thornton Wilder: Keeper of the Time Capsule
Y
56-04-24 They Knew Sinclair Lewis
N
56-06-19 The Life of Heywood Broun
N
56-10-16 Meet Mary Martin
N
56-12-25 Grandma Moses
N
57-01-08 Meet Frank Lloyd Wright
N
57-03-19
Meet Ernest Hemingway
Y
57-09-10
A Visit Into the World of Danny Kaye
Y
58-04-10
Captain Eddie: The Iron Eagle
Y









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