Jewish Journal

AUDIO: Norman Corwin, Radio Zionist—‘Tel Aviv’ (1944)

by The Web Guy

Posted on Jul. 14, 2008 at 3:17 am

It's 1944 and the Columbia Broadcasting System announcer gives time-checks in Eastern War Time. On Columbia Workshop, it's time for a half hour by Norman Corwin, the star hyphenate writer-director-producer of 30s and 40s radio drama. Corwin, says Wikipedia, 'was among the first producers to regularly use entertainment -- even light entertainment -- to tackle serious social issues.'

While Corwin describes himself as an anti-Facscist in this broadcast, he is Mr. Hasbara, America's Number One Radio Zionist. Framed as a visit to Tel Aviv in British Mandate Palestine, Corwin's script highlights more positive talking points than a JNF appeal!

We learn:

  • Yiddish is not Hebrew
  • anti-Semitism is a racket
  • Jews treat German prisoners humanely
  • Palestinian Jews love the Allies (The United Nations)
  • Christians can worship freely
  • Everything in Tel Aviv is neat and clean and was built by humble Jewish labor
  • Jews pioneered the observation of Sabbath
  • Folk dancing is hard
  • Aviva Har-Zahav means 'Springtime Goldberg'
  • It is so totally cool that 'shalom' means hello, goodbye and peace

This episode aired on May 23rd,1944. It's Part 3 of the "Unusual Cities" series. With Myron McCormick, Paul Mann, Joseph Julian, June Alexander, Robert Harris, Olive Dearing, Mortiki Krossover, Margaret Foster, Maurice Wolfser. From the series 'Passport for Adams.' Music: Bernard Hermann.

Columbia Presents Corwin was a CBS radio show which aired 30 episodes between March 7, 1944 and August 21, 1945. Norman Corwin was considered by many to be the "Bard of the Golden Age of Radio". Fans recognized as for his great talents and in 1941, CBS devoted an entire block of the prestigious Columbia Workshop series for his works, known by the title Twenty Six By Corwin.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Corwin

Corwin screenshot from http://www.normancorwin.com/ Tracker Pixel for Entry


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