Way back in the first semester of my freshman year of college, I took a Mass Communication class (and I loved it). It was all about written language, radio, TV, movies, and advertisement. In our radio segment, we got to listen to all kinds of good stuff.
Including the original War of the Worlds radio
First of all, I have to explain how music worked in early radio. It was called "potted palm" music because famous orchestras would play in hotel ballrooms (with potted palm trees everywhere), and it would be broadcasted to the radio station, who would broadcast it to the general public. In the beginning of this particular episode of Mercury Theatre on the Air, there were no commercial breaks--only music (this was before people started "dying" on the air and some audiences panicked).'
As we listened to this music, I actually recognized a song. It was Stardust! I have no idea who it's originally by, but people like Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, and Michael Bublé. The last one is why I even knew what it was. It was pretty exciting.
Also, it should be noted that this broadcast was never meant to be a hoax. It aired on October 30, 1938 as a Halloween episode, and at various times during the show they mentioned that it was just a show. Interesting.
Go here for an mp3 download of the broadcast: http://www.mercurytheatre.info/
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