ABC Digital Radio streams the Orson Welles radio play of War of the Worlds for 48 hours only!

Posted on Oct 30, 2013 in Fun Melbourne, Radio

War of the Worlds by Orson Welles

“The chances of anything coming from digital radio are a million to one,” he said…

Hey, digital radio enthusiasts – want to hear a piece of radio history?

It’s the 75th anniversary of the broadcast of The War of the Worlds by the Mercury Theatre of the Air. It’s the broadcast that you know about because it caused panic in the streets when broadcast on October 30, 1938; or you know about how it didn’t really cause panic in the streets at all, since that was a media beat up – but either way, it made Welles’ career, gave him the cachet to make Citizen Kane and then lose all that cachet when the film kinda flopped, and so on and so forth.

But: the fact remains that this broadcast was an amazing piece of art, a brilliant parody of the emerging conventions in the then-new medium of broadcast news, and a vital moment of 20th century history that you’d probably heard a lot about but never actually heard. So the fact that the ABC have set up a pop-up digital radio station purely to play the broadcast on loop (interspersed with other bits and pieces, including Jeff Wayne’s ludicrously over-the-top 1978 rock opera. It’s the best Halloween present EVER.

It’s only up until midnight Thursday, so either look for the ABC Digital Radio Extra on your fancy digital radio machine, or tune in over the web.

Alternatively, this. Stay classy, 1978!