On October 30 1938, Orson Welles triggered a national panic with a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion, based on H.G. Wells' "War of the Worlds."

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Odd_News/2011/10/30/The-almanac/UPI-81351319959800/#ixzz1cGJQLQsH
A groundbreaking radio biography set to air on the 73rd anniversary of the infamous WAR OF THE WORLDS Martian hoax is bringing a wealth of rare broadcast recordings by legendary CITIZEN KANE filmmaker Orson Welles back to the airwaves -- many for the first time in over 60 years.

AIRBORNE: A LIFE IN RADIO WITH ORSON WELLES is a new, full-length work by documentarian R. H. Greene. The show will air twice in Los Angeles over the 2011 Halloween weekend via 89.3 KPCC (89.3 FM), one of the nation's premiere news stations. A special podcast edition of the program, with 20 minutes of additional material, will be posted to the KPCC website at KPCC that same week.

According to Greene, Welles' vast body of radio work has been reduced in public memory to his single 1937-38 season voicing the popular radio superhero THE SHADOW and to Welles' legendary broadcast of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, a docudrama adaptation of the H. G. Wells "Martian invasion" classic that caused widespread panic when it first aired as a Halloween prank in 1938. Culled from over 400 vintage radio recordings, Greene's new documentary showcases the eclectic nature of Welles' radio achievements.

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Orson Welles - War Of The Worlds - Radio Broadcast 1938 - Complete Broadcast.

The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds.
The first two thirds of the 60-minute broadcast were presented as a series of simulated "news bulletins", which suggested to many listeners that an actual alien invasion by Martians was currently in progress. Compounding the issue was the fact that the Mercury Theatre on the Air was a 'sustaining show' (it ran without commercial breaks), thus adding to the program's quality of realism. Although there were sensationalist accounts in the press about a supposed panic in response to the broadcast, the precise extent of listener response has been debated. In the days following the adaptation, however, there was widespread outrage. The program's news-bulletin format was decried as cruelly deceptive by some newspapers and public figures, leading to an outcry against the perpetrators of the broadcast, but the episode secured Orson Welles' fame.

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