The Milwaukee Journal – Jun 10, 1938
Erno Rapee Believes Radio Creates Music Lovers
THE United States, claims Erno Rapee, director of the Radio City Music Hall symphony orchestra, is fast becoming a nation of highly discriminating music lovers, a country in many ways more hospitable to even the most revolutionary in modern music than any to be found in present day Europe.
A few years ago in America, Rapee says, to the average man Tschaikowsky was merely an unpronounceable Russian name; Debussy, a radical French composer whom none but a few of the musically elect were supposed to be able to fathom, and Georges Enesco, modern Rumanian master, an artist in composition as well as in concert completely unknown.
But now the tide has turned. The voice of a people, long frowned on by “friends of music” on the cultured continent, the accredited home of great art, is being culticated, Rapee believes. And more and more America calls for the masterpieces, both contemporary and classic, which a while back this country was supposed not even faintly to understand.
The reason, according to Rapee, is radio!—its concerts and even the swinging of classics have tended to make Americans more familiar with good music. Broadcasting is breaking down the “highbrow” barrier to the classics and is making the average listener a music lover.
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Orson Welles and the Mercury theater have been signed by CBS to present nine one-hour weekly broadcasts starting Monday, July 11, at 7 p. m. The former Kenosha actor-director will write, cast, direct and produce the series, to be called “First Person Singular.” This schedule replaces the rural dramas originally set for that period, now occupied by the “Radio Theater.”
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Break for Actor
Raymond Johnson, another son of Kenosha who is making his mark in radio, gets a real break June 16 when he appears in “Steel” on the Rudy Vallee hour. Arch Oboler wrote the sketch for Paul Muni, but asked Johnson to make a record of it so the Vallee staff could hear it. Johnson agreed—“art for Arch’s sake,” was the way he put it, and the record was sent east. The agency liked his work so much that they decided to sign Johnson to do the sketch on the air instead of Muni. . . .Jack Benny will have Joan Bennett on his show Sunday at 9:30 p. m. (WTMJ). . . . “Win Your Lady” is the title of the drama to replace Tyrone Power in the 7 p. m. spot on NBC Sundays starting July 3. Jim Ameche and Betty Lou Gerson will have leading roles. . . . Fibber McGee has hired the “Four Notes,” three boys and a girl, as regular artists on his Tuesday broadcasts will change sponsors next year when Pat, with John Harrington, will broadcast in behalf of the client who also presents the “Singing Lady.” . . . Bob Crosby and his band at the Blackhawk, Chicago, start a new audience participation show Monday at 10:30 p. m. when “Radio’s Candid Camera” makes its bow. . . .Television tests in New York have closed for the summer months. That certainly leaves those New York stores which advertised receivers holding a very large bag!. . .Russ Winnie will interview Chuck Fenske, ace miler of the University of Wisconsin track team, during the “Sport Flash” at 5:45 tonight.