Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day in Mind

The 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing naturally brings radio to mind, as that's how so many Americans learned that their loved ones were in the thick of what (then-)General Eisenhower called "a great crusade". For me, the figure that stands out the most is Orson Welles. With all due respect to titans such as Norman Corwin, Jack Johnstone and Wyllis Cooper (to name a few), I firmly believe that Welles was the greatest talent in the history of radio drama. Welles was many things - showman, agitator, lades man (to put it politely) and, yes, genius. What tends to be overlooked is the degree to which he was a patriot in the finest American tradition, something this special broadcast he produced to mark the D-Day landing makes abundantly clear.