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Monday, July 6, 2009

American in England, An


An American in England was the story of Norman Corwin's visit to wartime Britain. He had been asked by CBS to observe and report on the character and hardships of a nation under siege.

The US Government arranged for CBS and the BBC to collaborate on this series, intended to give Americans a better understanding of our Ally, Great Britain. Corwin was sent to Britain to create and produce the programs, to be sent via short-wave and rebroadcast in America over CBS. Edward R. Murrow and the CBS staff in London helped a great deal.

In his four months in England, wrote Corwin,

"I did not once interview a high government official. The main objective of the series was to establish the character of the British people and not disseminate the handouts of the Ministry of Information. The people were soldiers, sailors, workers, miners, the theater manager, the elevator man, Police Officer Gilbert, the Everingtons, the Westerbys, Betty Hardy the actress, Henry Blogg the lifesaver, Mary Seaton the newspaperwoman, the RAF officer who handed me a dish in the mess and explained, 'This sausage is made of two ingredients--paper and sawdust'; the navigator, just returned from Wilhelmshaven, who said wistfully, 'Somehow we're always first in over the target'; the woman in Swansea who went to the Guildhall one morning following a severe blitz and turned in two suits of clothes, both nearly new, saying she had bought them for her two boys, killed in the raid."

Ten shows aired under the AN AMERICAN IN ENGLAND banner, broadcast in 2 series. The first were 6 shows aired from August 3, 1942 through September 7, 1942. They were created in England and were broadcast via shortwave to the US as well as broadcast from US stations. The second series consisted of only 4 shows, produced in the US after Mr. Corwin's return, and aired December 1, 1942 through December 22, 1942. One of those 4 was a repeat from the first run. All shows were approximately 30 minutes in length.

The seventh show of the series, "Cromer", was re-broadcast May 9, 1944 as the 10th show in the Columbia Workshop: Columbia Presents Corwin series.

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An American in England.zip

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References: Old Time Radio Researchers Group, Wikipedia, Frank Passage & Others OTR Logs, Archive.org, Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio by John Dunning, Australian Old Time Radio Group

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