October 31, 2013 |
In what has become an annual celebration of Halloween, EGN is posting the 1938 broadcast of the Mercury Theater's "War of the Worlds" produced and directed by Orson Welles. This year marks the 75th anniversary of that seminal radio and mass media event.
The original Welles and Mercury group's performance of WOTW famously duped millions of people into believing that Earth was actually being invaded by Martians. WKBW in Buffalo did the same thing in 1971. To that end, we are posting that broadcast too.
While the 1938 broadcast is excellent, it is dated in some ways. The 1971 radio play is worth listening to if for no other reason to hear the booming DJ voices of the time, music from Cher, Santana, Rod Stewart and Three Dog Night and of course the constant commercials for Kehoe's Fashions (Seymour Kehoe - A Man's Man, the ads bare!) at University Plaza selling and touting their full stock of double knit polyester pants! We are not sure if the ads were real or the director was just being ironic in a future looking sort of way.
What was noteworthy of WKBW's broadcast was they had heavily promoted that it was a radio play in the days leading up to the broadcast and even during the program reminded listeners as it was airing it was a play. In spite of that, they inadvertently duped thousands of people and even the Canadian government.
It is worth noting how people will believe what they are told without questioning or curiosity. Something to keep in mind as we listen to governments on every level.