Sunday, December 28, 2014

25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas: Day 28 - CBS Radio Workshop's All is Bright

Working on sending out one blog entry each day in December to showcase great Old Time Radio for the Christmas season.  Here is a link to all the entries.  Here is day 28 - CBS Radio Workshop's All is Bright.  This is another telling of the story behind Silent Night.  Earlier in December, I shared The Story of Silent Night from the Hallmark Playhouse.  This is from the CBS Radio Workshop, the program from the mid-1950s that was created to honor their great work in the 1930s and 1940s on the Columbia Workshop.

If you have Sirius/XM, you can listen to Greg Bell's Old time radio channel (#82). I heard this for the first time on Greg Bell's XM 82 and always love the variety he plays.  He has a number of great programs available throughout the month of December on his great show.  You can also get a large number of these programs at a variety or resources on the web. One place to find these shows is the 500 OTR Christmas Shows from the Internet Archive. This is a great resources for many of these wonderful radio shows!

CBS Columbia Square (Hollywood, Los Angeles, California) - October 31, 2013

CBS Columbia Square, home of the CBS Radio Workshop
(Hollywood, Los Angeles, California) - October 31, 2013

CBS Radio was the home of some of the most innovative programs on radio.  From the Columbia Workshop days and Norman Corwin, right through the end of big-time programs Gunsmoke and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar, CBS Radio was the innovation leader over the air.  In 1956, CBS returned to the airways with a program that would cement their network as the home for innovation.  And this all happening while television was growing in popularity and affordability in the mid-1950s.

Starting in January 1956, the CBS Radio Workshop would be on the air for 86 episodes through September 1957.  The CBS Radio Workshop was designed not to be commercially lucrative, but to find a place where the network could put on cutting edge works that might not match with a sponsor's goals.  As was said on every episode, the CBS Radio Workshop was "dedicated to man's imagination, the theater of the mind."  I have a number of pieces that I want to showcase in the coming months, including The Storm, Light Ship, and numerous others.

On December 23, 1956, the only Christmas episode of the CBS Radio Workshop aired.  The piece was a accounting of how the song "Silent Night" came into being.  The story takes place on a cruise ship sailing on Christmas Eve, and a famous Austrian conductor interrupts the playing of Silent Night on the ship.  It was being played extravagantly, when in reality it was a simple and modest song.  While he is called up to lead the orchestra in this famous song, he embarks on telling the story on how the song was written and how it became popular.  He then leads the group in a performance the way that it was intended to be played.  Like with all CBS Radio Workshop episodes, the quality of the broadcast is excellent, as are the production values.

All is Bright (December 23, 1956)

Here are some links to programs relating to CBS Radio Workshop:
25 Days of Old Time Radio Christmas:

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