Sunday, February 21, 2010

Radio and the Voices Heard Around the Country

I am sitting here listening to the radio program "Sherlock Holmes" under the Mystery section of When checking out the site I also listened to a few comedy sketches and some news bulletins. I listened to the news bulletins of the attack on Pearl Harbor and it bothered me that while I was listening to the reporter give news of the attack I couldn't see any images of Pearl Harbor or President Roosevelt giving the report. In the 1940s people couldn't just turn on the TV and check the news the way they can now. Listening to the bulletin reminded me of 9/11 and how my teacher turned on the TV during school so we could see the news report. It made me wonder what it would have been like during the bombing of Pearl Harbor knowing so little about the attack except what could be heard on the radio. It must have made the attack even more frightening for people not knowing the extent of the attack until hours after when a full news report could be made over the radio.

While I'm listening to Sherlock Holmes I am amazed at how simple and creative the sketches on the radio are. The sound effects and the script allow the listener's mind to wander and picture the scene in whatever way they want. The same way Larry King said in the documentary we watched on Wednesday, when someone describes a castle to you, you see a castle in your head which is much more powerful than just showing a castle on TV or in a movie. I remember listening to my parents and my grandparents talk about their favorite radio shows and thinking that I could never be so entertained by something I could only listen to and not actually see. After listening to the sketches on OTR I have come to realize how entertaining they are. The production is well done with the different characters and I am able to imagine Sherlock trying to crack the case of the stolen cadavers. Listening to this old time radio has opened my eyes to not only how far technology has come in a relatively short time, but how radio producers were able to make so much with so little by using their listeners imaginations as the main object for their storytelling.

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