The second half of my interview with 100 year old Norman Corwin begins with his description of Orson Wells’ narrating “We Hold These Truths,” which Norman wrote to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights and which was rebroadcast 50 years later on NPR to celebrate its 200th anniversary. Hear him tell the story of the program he created for Election Eve, the year that FDR ran against Thomas Dewey, and his unwillingness to be paid for it because of his concern that he would “not be safe” at CBS if he declared himself a Democrat. Norman’s story continues with the description of his relationship with actor Charles Laughton and how this relationship lead to a career in Hollywood and the writing of screenplays for films such as “Lust For Life,” the Vincent Van Gogh story which he wrote for director Vincent Minnelli and starred Kirk Douglas. Finally hear a portion of his radio play “Between American’s” – also narrated by Orson Wells.
And listen next week for the full airing of “We Hold These Truths.”
I’m interrupting the airing of my Bonnie and Clyde The Musical interviews to dedicate the next 3 shows to what I believe is the last interview given by Norman Corwin who died on 10/18/11 at the age of 101. I interviewed Mr. Corwin at his home shortly before his 100th birthday. Propped in his wheelchair, with little capacity to move his ancient body, Mr. Corwin was nonetheless lucid, erudite, and remembered virtually everything about his 70 plus year career. After the interviews I will rebroadcast one of his most beloved radio plays “We Hold These Truths.”
Norman Corwin has been called “the poet laureate of radio,” the Bard of Broadcasting, a “citizen of the world” “and “to radio what Shakespeare was to theater.” He is truly a national treasure. Listen to the hilarious “accidents” which propelled his career. Hear the story of his interview with world’s greatest ashcan roller, (who could roll an ashcan faster and further than anyone without spilling an ash,”) and was the very first interview ever broadcast on radio, to the production,”On a Note of Triumph.,” written to mark the end of the war in Europe, which then president FDR had alerted him was soon to come, so that he could have the piece ready in time.
The Plot to Overthrow Christmas
Orson Welles performs “Between Americans” by Norman Corwin 1 of 3
Orson Welles performs “Between Americans” by Norman Corwin 2 of 3
Orson Welles performs “Between Americans” by Norman Corwin 1 of 3continue reading