Norman Corwin is, to me, literally a bust in a museum. I was reminded of the radio legend early Monday morning when I heard a promo for that afternoon’s “All Things Considered.” The program featured a segment in honor of Mr. Corwin’s 100th birthday. A couple of hours later when I checked the links on my Twitter feed, I was impressed by my friend Ken Mueller’s blog entry, which also celebrated Mr. Corwin.
The Corwin bust is in the radio studio at The Paley Center for Media, which was called the Museum of Television & Radio back in the days when I would hang out there. Corwin’s influence is wide, as illustrated in this paragraph from the Paley Center’s entry about Rod Serling:
Serling’s “television playwrighting” had been heavily influenced by Norman Corwin, a major figure during the Golden Age of Radio in the 1930s and ’40s, who was one of the first producers to regularly use entertainment to tackle serious social issues. But by the mid-fifties, when McCarthyism and the Cold War chilled the broadcast air, Serling’s Corwinesque scripts, tackling controversial subjects like race, war, and politics, put him at loggerheads with the censors of the nascent industry, and its de facto censors: TV’s financial sponsors, the advertisers and their agencies who exerted an inordinate amount of control over the content of its clients’ programs like Kraft Television Theater and United States Steel Hour, named for their patrons like today’s stadiums bear the names, and logos, of their corporate benefactors.
Curious to learn more about Norman Corwin, I clicked around the Internet a bit and found a website hosting petitions to honor Mr. Corwin with either the Congressional Gold Medal or the Presidential Medal of Freedom. The site has a Facebook page with many Corwin-related links and some video clips from an interview with the man. Another article directed me to a 1996 documentary that aired on PBS.
When I went online to listen to the “All Things Considered” feature, I discovered that I could create a podcast feed of NPR stories about the media. I immediately added the feed to My Podcasts at Reciva.com. Of course I couldn’t stop there. I added podcast feeds for stories about food and pop culture as well as Robert Krulwich’s science reports and Will Shortz’s Sunday puzzles.