Wartime Words & Music
|During the war
years, radio was the only medium available for mass communication.
In this seven-part series, original recordings of jazz and popular
music are intermingled with news broadcasts and the speeches
of Chamberlain, Churchill, Hitler, Mussolini, Himmler, FDR, Montgomery,
MacArthur and others, to recreate the atmosphere and times of
the turbulent years from 1933 to 1945, when the world powers
were locked in mortal combat in the bloodiest conflict in history.
Welcome to "Wartime
Words and Music 1933 - 1945"...
The Second World War as a subject for books, movies and television
documentaries has certainly not been neglected but radio... in
my experience... has not really attempted to re-create the programs
of those turbulent years.
During the war years... radio was the only medium available for
mass communication. Broadcasting was part of the war effort...
and propaganda took flight on the wings of radio waves. The first
BBC radio broadcast was on the 14th November 1922... and for
the remainder of the 1920's... dance-band music from the Savoy
Hotel in London was a radio favorite.
Churchill believed in 1926... that radio was an instrument of
such power and importance... that it should be closely controlled
by the government.
In Germany... from 1933 onwards... jazz music was banned from
radio, live performances and recording... because of its Black-American
origins... inherent spirit of freedom... and because some of
the well known jazz personalities were Jewish.
The Americans... under the inspired direction of Glen Miller
and others... used modern sounds and musical arrangements to
entertain the troops... and the BBC... often used the "British
Sense of Humor"... to keep up the spirits of Londoners...
especially during the Blitz... and the trying days of waiting
for the German invasion.
As a psychological strike... the Allies cleverly hijacked the
opening bars of Beethoven's Symphony Number 5... the notes coincide
with Morse code for the letter "V" for Victory... Churchill's
hand greeting on newsreels and public occasions... complete with
hat and cigar.
In this program... I will be presenting original recordings of
music and speeches... to recreate the atmosphere and times of
the years 1933 to 1939.
It is important to understand... when hearing actual speeches
of Hitler and other Nazi leaders... that this program is not
an endorsement of any kind... of National Socialism or Fascism.
On the contrary... the program is dedicated... to the generation
of men and women who were swept up in those perilous years...
and a tribute to the British People... who stood alone until
1941... and in the end... overcame all adversity.
each full 1 hour radio show of famous speeches, music, and commentary
in Real Audio