HEARING VOICES: Modulating a Revolution has acquired the International Documentary Association (IDA) as its fiscal sponsor. All funds donated to this film project are tax deductible since the IDA is a 501(3)(c).
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Broadcasters, for over half a century, were required to serve the public interest (defined as promoting localism, diversity, and competition) in order to keep their licenses; then, in 1981, that requirement completely vanished. Hearing Voices is a documentary feature film about voices allowed and voices denied, probing the connection between serving the public interest, or lack thereof, and the current state of our polarized society.
The centerpiece of the story is radio. It was our first true mass medium and set the pattern for everything that followed. It’s noteworthy that the idea of broadcasters serving the public interest originated with radio, but the issues raised in this documentary will lead us directly to the Internet and its inevitable future. Hearing Voices not about the past; it’s about the world we live in right now.
Interviews are still being done for this film but already include radio legends Larry King, Wink Martindale, Art Linkletter and Norman Corwin. Washington Post senior editor Marc Fisher appears, as do blacklisted performers Norman Lloyd, Marsha Hunt and Ivy Bethune. This film, in addition to its strong social theme, will prove to be the definitive history of American radio.
Interview participants include:
Famous for 25 years on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Larry was an important part of radio history. In 1978 he began hosting the first nationwide call-in radio show over the Mutual Broadcasting System. In fact, he won the prestigious George F. Peabody Medal for “The Larry King Show” in 1982. The award recognized Larry’s body of work for the entire radio series up to that time.
Longtime veteran of Los Angles radio, Frankie can currently be heard as host of “The Quiet Storm” weeknights on 94.7 The Wave, KTWV-FM. He is most associated with his long tenure at Stevie Wonder’s station KJLH-FM, also in Los Angeles.
Best remembered for his role on television’s “St. Elsewhere,” films such as “Dead Poets Society,” Hitchcock’s “Saboteur,” and Chaplin’s “Limelight,” Norman Lloyd also worked on radio as a regular on the “Cavalcade of America” and shows by Norman Corwin. Lloyd was also blacklisted in the 1950s until Alfred Hitchcock put him back to work.
Although best remembered as an actress who was one of MGM’s stars in the heavens, Marsha frequently appeared on radio and, significantly, is the last remaining person from the famous October 1947 flight of movie stars, writers, and artists, (including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, Ira Gershwin) who journeyed to Washington DC to publicly protest the House Un-American Activities Committee’s witch hunt. Their broadcast, “Hollywood Fights Back,” is an important moment in radio history.
Game Show host extraordinaire, Wink began his career as a Memphis disc jockey on WHBQ and witnessed the birth of Elvis-mania when DJ Dewey Phillips played Presley’s demo record “That’s All Right Mama” over the airwaves for the first time. The phone lines lit up and the rest is history. Wink has worked on Los Angeles radio over KFWB and KMPC, among other stations.
A very popular radio personality on Mega 96.3, KXOL-FM, in Los Angeles, Sandra has enjoyed a radio career since 2000 at both English and Spanish language stations ranging from San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Sandra provides insight into today’s multi-ethnic radio landscape and hopes for the future.
Senior editor at the Washington Post, Marc is the author of the book “Something in the Air: Radio, Rock and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation” (2007). He also the author of “After the Wall: Germany, the Germans and the Burdens of History” (1995), a look at the reunification of Germany during the early 1990s.
As Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice, based in Oakland, CA, Malkia has been a leader in the fight for Net Neutrality. She is also co-founder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, national network of 175 organizations working to ensure media access, rights, and representation for marginalized communities.
Writer-Producer-Director of the CBS series “Norman Corwin’s Words Without Music,” “Twenty-Six by Corwin,” “An American in England,” “Columbia Present Corwin” and special broadcasts such as “We Hold These Truths” (the first four-network broadcast) and “On A Note of Triumph.” Corwin passed away in 2011. www.normancorwin.com
Legendary radio and television personality, author, and businessman, he not only created the game of “Life,” but also revolutionized the medium of radio with his innovations. With business partner John Guedel, he created “People Are Funny,” “House Party” and Groucho Marx’s radio and television hit “You Bet Your Life.” He passed away in 2010.
Blacklisted as a Communist (which she was at the time), Ivy nonetheless persevered and kept working on radio. She was even a regular cast member on the “Superman” radio series starring Bud Collyer, a leading member of the Anti-Communist crusaders.
A well-known and distinguished actor whose television fame began with “The Addams Family,” John’s early career included small parts on network radio drama originating from New York during the 1950s.
Dick Van Patten
Although best known for television and film work, the star of “Eight is Enough” began his career on the Broadway stage and in radio. Beginning in the 1930s, Dickie Van Patten appeared with stars such as Kate Smith and Eddie Cantor. He was a regular on “Let’s Pretend,” “Duffy’s Tavern” and “Theater Guild on the Air.” Dick worked on over 600 broadcasts.
A prolific television and film actor, usually cast as the villain, Jan co-starred on the radio and television series “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” on ABC. He is an Emmy-winning writer and a novelist whose works include “Ainoko” and “The Paid Companion of J. Wilkes Booth.”
A member of Jack Webb’s troupe of actors, Peggy appeared in “Dragnet” and “Pete Kelly’s Blues” along with many other shows such as “Escape.” In 1983 she founded the California Artists Radio Theater (CART) and continues to provide quality radio drama. www.cartradio.com
One of the busiest child actors in radio, Tommy was a favorite of Arch Oboler’s and frequently performed in his shows. Among his best-remembered roles were as Little Beaver on “Red Ryder,” Junior on “The Life of Riley” and Alexander on “Blondie.”
Best remembered for her role as Harriet Conklin in both radio, television and film versions of “Our Miss Brooks,” Gloria also appeared on “The Lux Radio Theater,” “The Jack Benny Program,” and “Meet Corliss Archer.”
Best-known for his work behind the camera as executive producer of the 26-hour mini-series “Centennial” for NBC and as creator of the television series “Spenser: For Hire,” John began his career as a child actor in radio. He appeared on series such diverse shows as “The Jack Benny Program,” “Gunsmoke,” “Amos ‘n’ Andy,” “Dragnet,” and was billed as the youngest emcee on “The Abbott & Costello Kids Show.”
Best remembered as Jughead on “Archie Andrews,” Hal had a successful career as a child actor, followed by a career as a TV commercial director. Hal passed away in 2007.
Ted Reid’s radio career began on “The March of Time” working alongside Orson Welles. He soon found himself in The Mercury Theater on Broadway and on radio. He appeared in “Escape,” “Suspense,” “The Adventures of Sam Spade,” and later on “The CBS Radio Mystery Theater.” Ted passed away in 2013.
A veteran television and film actor best known for his roles in “McHale’s Navy,” and “The Poseidon Adventure,” Bob began his radio career on “The National Barn Dance” before starring in “Archie Andrews.” Bob passed away in 2014.
A highly regarded and prominent Old-Time Radio author and historian, Jim’s books include “Say Goodnight, Gracie: The Last Years of Network Radio,” “American Radio Networks: A History,” and the recently published “Radio Journalism in America.”
Martin Grams, Jr.
One of the most prolific authors and experts on the subject of Old Time Radio, Martin’s numerous books include “The CBS Radio Mystery Theater,” “Gang Busters,” “Inner Sanctum” and “The Green Hornet.” Martin also runs the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention held each year in Maryland.
A writer-director-musician and sound effects expert, Tony is an active advocate for modern audio theater. He teaches the art of radio drama at the Paley Center both in New York and Los Angeles and has worked with United Nations Radio. www.ruyasonic.com
A well-known and respected novelist, Dennis is the writer of the “Twilight Zone” radio series produced by Carl Amari and hosted by Stacey Keach. http://twilightzoneradio.com
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