Radio Days

Since I was little I have fallen asleep to the sounds of someone talking in my ear.

When I was very young, probably too young, and until middle school, that voice was the legendary Boston radio host Larry Glick. Searching the internet for other “Glicknicks” as his fans are called, I came across this funny story about another 80s/90s kid who calls Larry’s radio show and volunteers his father for an interview. Read the story HERE.

I had the good fortune in the mid-90s to meet the man himself. My former babysitter was working with him and told Larry that he had a young fan (I was maybe 14 years old at the time). He welcomed me into his home and we spent an amazing afternoon chatting and looking at his impressive collection of memorabilia, including photos of Larry with other celebrities. At the end of our visit, he autographed an 8 x 10 glossy for me with the words, “To Marisa, my favorite Glicknick.” That 8 x 10 glossy had a proud place in my bedroom until I left for college and I’m sure it is still somewhere in storage.

So, you can say that I’ve been a radio fan from way back. When I got to be a little older, my father introduced me to another radio legend, Norman Corwin. I’ve always been told that I’m a bit of an anachronism, enjoying the music, literature, fashion, and art from yesteryear, and hearing Corwin’sOn a Note of Triumph” tapped right into that. This radio play was broadcast to commemorate the end of World War II in Europe and can be heard on the NPR website along with a documentary about the broadcast.

I can’t possibly attempt to describe the many talents of master storyteller Mr. Corwin, you’ll just have to listen to him yourself. If you search the blogosphere or Old Time Radio podcasts, you’re sure to find some more of his radio plays like “The Undecided Molecule,” another one of my favorites. You can listen to the entire broadcast of “The Undecided Molecule” HERE.

Norman Corwin is still alive at 100 years old and continues to tell stories. What an inspiration!

I love storytelling in all of its many forms but the medium of radio is very special to me. It resonates because of its intimacy, the ability to make the listener feel like the voice on the other end is speaking directly to him or her. Radio forces us to use our imaginations and to populate each of the stories with our own set of characters, sets, and costumes. In this way, it is the most collaborative of the popular media because it invites the listener to be an active participant.

While I continue to listen to talk radio (NPR mostly), there is something so special about the classics. If you’ve never experienced the early days of radio, I highly recommend downloading a free podcast from the Old Time Radio Network. You will be transported and transfixed.

And now I leave you with the closing prayer from “On a Note of Triumph.” Peace, Mari

“Lord God of test-tube and blueprint
Who joined molecules of dust
and shook them till their name was Adam,
Who taught worms and stars how they could live together.
Appear now among the parliaments of conquerors
and give instruction to their schemes;
Measure out new liberties so none shall suffer
for his father’s color or the credo of his choice.
Post proofs that brotherhood is not so wild a dream
as those who profit by postponing it pretend.
Sit at the treaty table and convoy the hopes
of the little peoples through expected straits,
And press into the final seal a sign
that peace will come for longer than posterities can see ahead,
That man unto his fellow man shall be a friend forever.”

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