Aired: 1943 - 1945
An anthology of war stories, "told by the men and women who have seen them happen."
Produced in cooperation with the Council on Books in Wartime, Words at War promised "stories of the battlefronts, of behind-the-scenes diplomacy, of underground warfare, of the home front, of action on the seas." Each show was to be "a living record of this war and the things for which we fight."
Words at War was a 30 minute dramatic anthology series dealing with stories condensed from books written about World War II. The series started in the middle of the war and at the most crucial time of the war for the allies, somewhat heightening it's debut. Not only that, it was supported by Johnson's Wax in the Fibber McGee and Molly time slot as Jim and Marian Jordan went on vacation. And if that wasn't enough, the music for the series was done by NBC's own Frank Black, a master at orchestration and the shows were often directed by Anton M. Leder of Suspense fame. Adding to all of that is the fact that most all - if not all - of the series is available today for our listening pleasure and the sound is above average.
Done in a docu-drama style with Black's music as the background gave often stark, sobering realism to these stories penned by different authors. While not all of the shows are winners, many are far above average and many remind me of the writing of Arch Oboloer. Not that these plays are anti-war (just the opposite) but most of these stories pack a powerful, though-provoking wallop, especially when dealing with subjects that are hard to comprehend, like the taking of innocent civilian lives. As Billboard Magazine wrote in 1943, "Muddled, cloying ideas of war romantics were washed away in a clean sweep." No truer words can be spoken about some of these dramas.
With anthologies you often have some good and some bad because each author has his own strengths and weaknesses. However, all seem to have a quality worthy of this fine radio series.
- Radio Shows
Please enjoy these 87 old time radio episodes:
|07.10.1943||words at war (03) they call it pacific||
+Program #3. "They Call It Pacific". A well-done series of vignettes about the blows absorbed by A...
|07.17.1943||words at war (04) the last days of sevastopol||
+Program #4. "The Last Days Of Sevastopol". A very well-done dramatization about the seige of this...
|07.24.1943||words at war (05) the ship||
+ Program #5. "From The Land Of Silent People". An exciting story about the escape of American new...
|07.31.1943||words at war (06) from the lands of silent people||
+Program #6. "The Ship". An exciting narrative about the British cruiser H.M.S. Artemis as she bat...
|08.07.1943||words at war (07) prisoner of the japs||
+Program #7. "Prisoner Of The Japs". The story of an American woman journalist in Hong Kong on the...
|08.14.1943||words at war (08) love at first flight||
+Program #8. "Love At First Flight". A musical and funny portrait of the making of a naval aviator...
|08.19.1943||words at war (09) the last days of sevastopol||
+Program #9. "The Last Days Of Sevastopol". A repeat broadcast of a very well-done dramatization o...
|08.21.1943||words at war (10) malta spitfire||
+Program #10. "Malta Spitfire". A well-written story of a young pilot who only lives to fly, and t...
|09.02.1943||words at war (12) dynamite cargo||
+Program #12. "Dynamite Cargo". An exciting story of the life of a sailor in "Torpedo Alley", the ...
|09.16.1943||words at war (14) since you went away||
+ Program #14. "Since You Went Away". Using a script that was later made into an all-time classic ...
|09.23.1943||words at war (15) they shall not have me||
+ Words At War the series that brings you radio versions of the leading war books brings today a sam...
|09.30.1943||words at war (16) battle hymn of china||
+ The story of a woman who has lived and worked with the guerrilla armies of China The Battle Hymn o...
|10.05.1943||words at war (17) eighty three days||
+ At about 4.30 in the afternoon of November 2nd 1942 a fast Dutch cargo ship was torpedoed and sunk...
|10.12.1943||words at war (18) paris underground|
|10.19.1943||words at war (19) shortcut to tokyo|
|10.26.1943||words at war (20) who dare to live|
|11.02.1943||words at war (21) here is your war|
|11.09.1943||words at war (22) to all hands||
+ This is an unusual story a day to day record reported to the hundreds of men below deck on a certa...
|11.23.1943||words at war (24) escape from the balkans||
+ Escape from the Balkans was written by Michael Paddap, former correspondent in Bulgaria for the Lo...
|11.30.1943||words at war (25) hail caesar (el duce)||
+ With Hail Caesar, Words at War has given a radio treatment to the disease known as fascism inspire...
|12.07.1943||words at war (26) book of war letters||
+ Program #26. "A Book Of War Letters". Dramatizations of letters sent home by G. I.'s on duty ove...
|12.14.1943||words at war (27) mother america||
+ Program #27. "Mother America". How our country treated the Philippines after taking possession o...
|12.21.1943||words at war (28) log book british merchant marine||
+ Program #28. "Log Book". A very well-done story about an average British sailor and his experien...
|12.28.1943||words at war (29) ninth commandment invasion of holland||
+ Program #29. "The Ninth Commandment". A young German boy is saved from starvation by a Dutch fam...
|01.04.1944||words at war (30) they shall inherit the earth||
+ Program #30. "They Shall Inherit The Earth". What are we doing to the children of the world? A s...