Columbia Workshop was a radio series that aired on the Columbia Broadcasting System from 1936 to 1943, returning in 1946-47.
The series began as the idea of Irving Reis. Reis had begun his radio career as an engineer and developed a fascination with the possibilities of the relatively new medium. His idea was to use experimental modes of narrative to enhance the way a narrative was conveyed over the radio. Reis had isolated attempts to experiment on the radio: Before the Columbia Workshop's debut, he had directed at least a few radio dramas. For Reis, the Columbia Workshop was a platform for developing new techniques for presentation on radio as noted in the debut broadcast:
- The Columbia Workshop dedicates itself to the purposes of familiarizing you with the story behind radio, both in broadcasting, as well as in aviation, shipping, communication and pathology, and to experiment in new techniques with a hope of discovering or evolving new and better forms of radio presentation, with especial emphasis on radio drama; to encourage and present the work of new writers and artists who may have fresh and vital ideas to contribute.
Early shows on the Workshop exemplified Reis's penchant for experimentation through narrative and technical means. The second program, Broadway Evening followed a couple as they meandered down Broadway during an evening. A subsequent show had at least 30 characters functioning within a half-hour drama. Among the technical demonstrations were sound effects, the use of various kinds of microphones to achieve various aural effects and voice impersonators (including sound effects produced by voice).
Reis called upon others to try their hand in writing new or adapting existing material for the experimental nature of the Workshop. Orson Welles did a two-part adaptation of Shakespeare's Hamlet (mentioned along with the Workshop in the fictitious film Me and Orson Welles), as well as a 30-minute condensation of Macbeth. Irwin Shaw contributed one show, and Stephen Vincent Benét adapted several of his short stories. Reis also experimented with readings and dramatizations of poetry, including works by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Masefield and Edgar Allan Poe. One of the most notable presentations of Reis's tenure was Archibald MacLeish's original radio play, The Fall of the City. With a cast that included Burgess Meredith, Orson Welles and 300 students, the play was notable for its portrayal of the collapse of a city under an unnamed dictator, a commentary on fascism in Germany and Italy.
Reis recognized music as an important part of radio presentation. As part of CBS's commissioning of five classical composers to write original works for radio, Deems Taylor narrated a concert (November 7, 1936) which demonstrated the possibilities of idiomatic music composition for radio by playing orchestrations of three works by staff arranger Amadeo de Fillipi.
Among the most significant musical contributions Reis made was appointing Bernard Herrmann music director of the Workshop. Herrmann had previously worked on CBS primarily as a conductor. He had composed his first radio drama for the Workshop, but it was only after his second program, Rhythm of the Jute Mill (broadcast December 12, 1936) that the appointment was made. Thereafter Herrmann composed many radio shows himself, also conducting the music of others and even proposing a show entirely devoted to music composed for the Workshop.
Other significant musical contributions during Reis's directorship include Paul Sterrett's and Leith Stevens's score for a two-part presentation of Alice in Wonderland in which music took the place of all sound effects, and Marc Blitzstein's half-hour musical I've Got the Tune, which similarly tried to convey sound effects and long-distance travel through purely musical means.
William N. Robson
On the broadcast of December 23, 1937 (the first of a two-part dramatization of Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking Glass), it was announced that William N. Robson had succeeded Irving Reis as director of the Columbia Workshop. Reis moved to Hollywood and continued his career in the film industry. Though the Workshop continued some experimentation, Robson placed greater emphasis on good dramatic adaptations, rather than didactic explanations of radio techniques.
Robson was not averse to experimentation. His San Quentin Prison Break, originally broadcast prior to the Workshop on January 16, 1935 was based on an actual incident. To achieve a sense of realism, the dramatization was a combination news report or documentary. Unlike most radio dramas, there was no narrator involved. This was later rebroadcast as part of the Workshop on September 10, 1936.
Under Robson's aegis, the Workshop was able to broadcast a number of notable shows. Known more as a film director, Pare Lorentz wrote and directed Ecce Homo, a story concerning the relationship of man and technology. Both Irwin Shaw and Archibald MacLeish were invited back to write and direct shows as they had done under Reis's leadership. The Workshop extended its experimental mode by preceding the new MacLeish play, Air Raid with a broadcast of its rehearsal. Stephen Vincent Benèt continued to write for the Workshop, and author Wilbur Daniel Steele made his own adaptations of his previously written short stories. Arch Oboler, known for Lights Out! series, contributed one script, as did Thornton Wilder and budding writer Arthur Laurents.
At times, Robson reached beyond the typical crop of radio authors, selecting at least one script (Anita Fairgrieve's Andrea del Sarto), from his class in radio writing at New York University as well as soliciting scripts on the air from the listening audience.
With Bernard Herrmann continuing as music director, Robson (probably at Herrmann's insistence) included a few extended musical works and opera on the Workshop. Frederick Delius's Hassan, and two operas by Vittorio Giannini, Beauty and the Beast and Blennerhasset, were among those heard. Robson apparently stepped down sometime in mid-1939, after which the Workshop was somewhat adrift. Brewster Morgan and Earle McGill are credited as being those responsible for continuing the series.
- see main article Norman Corwin
Norman Corwin had been a rising star at CBS for a few years, and had even some of his work aired on the Workshop as early as 1938, when his adaptation of Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage aired. But his sense of social justice again changed the direction of the Workshop into one frequently addressing current issues. By the fall 1940, Corwin was leading the Workshop, and in 1941, the series was giving the subtitle 26 by Corwin, attesting to the author's seemingly indefatigable energy. Given Corwin's strong interest in issues of the day, it is ironic he left the Workshop just one month prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
It is not entirely clear who led the Columbia Workshop during 1942, but interest in the program was clearly waning. There were a few significant programs (historically the most interesting of them is probably the airing of John Cage's and Kenneth Patchen's The City Wears a Slouch Hat). There are only a few references to shows in 1943. The show had a revival in the 1946-47 season. When it was revived in 1956, it was retitled the CBS Radio Workshop.
The Columbia Workshop gave authors, directors, sound engineers and composers many opportunities to experiment with the use of sound as a device for enhancing narrative.
Buck Rogers was broadcast from a 21st-floor studio that had been troubled with air conditioning noises. At a bend in a duct the air gave a whoosh that had been difficult to dampen. Later, when it became necessary to suggest a rocket traveling through outer space, someone remembered the duct and put a microphone in the bend. Whenever Buck Rogers was on the move, the microphone was opened, producing the sound of a spaceship. This was the first development in sound filters.
Filters developed upon the need for radio directors to find a way to portray a voice over the telephone. The filters were generally small boxes through which a microphone circuit could be shunted. The box had dials on its surface. Its inner mechanism could remove upper or lower tones or a combination of them to give an incomplete reproduction, as given by a telephone. The dials allowed the engineer to vary the effect, creating varieties of incompleteness. It became common for radio personnel to play around with the filters to find new sounds, and then having radio shows based upon their discoveries.
Many of the staff who worked on the Columbia Workshop would continue with CBS and work for television.
- Bernard Herrmann, composer
- Earle McGill, writer, director
- Irving Reis, writer, director
- William N. Robson, writer, director
- Leith Stevens, composer
- Guy Della-Cioppa, writer
List of Columbia Workshop programs
This is a list of all the Columbia Workshop programs, giving known information about authors, adaptors, directors/producers, composers. Occasional remarks have been included. Gaps in dates usually refer to programs that were pre-empted. Information for the years 1942-43 is difficult to come by.
Date Title Writer Adaptation Director/Producer Music Remarks July 18, 1936 A Comedy of Danger Richard Hughes - Myron Safler - First show The Finger of God Percival Wilde July 25, 1936 Broadway Evening Leopold Proser - Irving Reis - - August 1, 1936 Technical Demonstration - - Irving Reis - - Cartwheel Vic Knight August 8, 1936 Experiment Mary Parkington - Irving Reis - - Highway Incident Brian J. Byrne August 15, 1936 Case History Milton M. E. Geiger - Irving Reis - Fantasy of pilot in airline crash August 22, 1936 Dance of the Molecules Orestes H. Caldwell (FCC commissioner) - Irving Reis - Demonstration of how radio works There Must Be Something Else Helen Bergovoy September 5, 1936 San Quentin Prison Break William N. Robson - William N. Robson - Explanation of a show originally broadcast January 16, 1935 September 12, 1936 Voyage to Brobdingnag Jonathan Swift Leopold Proser Irving Reis - - September 19, 1936 Hamlet, Acts 1-2 William Shakespeare Orson Welles Orson Welles - - September 26, 1936 The Dream Maker Charles Burton - Irving Reis - Fantasy of how dreams are made Shadows That Walk In - Ghost analysis October 3, 1936 St. Louis Blues October 10, 1936 Sound Demonstration October 17, 1936 Dauber John Masefield Burke Boyce Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann October 24, 1936 Letting the Cat Out of the Bag - - - - Interview on vocal sound effects with Brad Barker and Madeleine Pearce November 7, 1936 Music for Radio Narration by Deems Taylor - Davidson Taylor Debussy: Golliwogg's Cakewalk, Schumann: Traumerei, Bizet: Farandole (from L'Arlesienne Suite)
orchestrated by Amadeo di Fillipi
To illustrate idiomatic use of radio orchestration for the Columbia Composers' Commission November 14, 1936 Hamlet, acts 3-5 William Shakespeare Orson Welles Orson Welles - November 21, 1936 The Use of Theaters for Broadcasts E. E. Free - Irving Reis - Electrical demonstration 2000 Were Chosen E.P. Conkle - November 28, 1936 The American Patent System Irving Reis - Irving Reis - Honoring 100th Anniversary of the U.S. Patent Office December 12, 1936 Rhythm of the Jute Mill William N. Robson - William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann - December 19, 1936 The Gods of the Mountains Lord Alfred Dunsany - - Bernard Herrmann - December 26, 1936 The Happy Prince Oscar Wilde - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - January 2, 1937 Public Domain Eustis Wyatt - Earle McGill - Fantasy of PD characters yearning for release from stories January 9, 1937 Interview with a Control Engineer, part 1 van Voorhees, control engineer - - Clyde Borne, singer Control sound engineering A Voyage to Lilliput Jonathan Swift (Irving Reis?) Irving Reis - January 16, 1937 Interview with a Control Engineer, part 2 - - - - microphone mixing An Incident of the Cosmos Paul Y. Anderson - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann Extraterrestrials witness the end of Earth January 23, 1937 The Signal-Man Charles Dickens - Irving Reis and Earle McGill - - January 30, 1937 Evolution of the Negro Spiritual - - Irving Reis arrangements by Clyde Barry & Helen Bergeron - February 6, 1937 Rime of the Ancient Mariner Samuel Taylor Coleridge Leopold Proser Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - February 13, 1937 Sound and the Human Ear Narrated by Dr. John Steinberg - Irving Reis(and pro.) - demonstration of pitch perception February 28, 1937 Macbeth William Shakespeare Orson Welles Orson Welles Bernard Herrmann - March 7, 1937 - - - - (unidentified show) March 14, 1937 Split Seconds Irving Reis - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann Script first broadcast in 1931 March 21, 1937 Danse Macabre Helen Bergeron, George Zachary - Irving Reis Camille Saint-Saëns - March 28, 1937 Eve of St. Agnes John Keats Edward A. Byron Edward A. Byron - - April 4, 1937 Big Ben John Mossman - John Mossman - - April 4, 1937 Crisis Roy Winsower - Roy Winsower - - April 11, 1937 The Fall of the City Archibald MacLeish - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - April 18, 1937 R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots) Karel Capek - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - April 25, 1937 St. Louis Blues Irving Reis - Irving Reis Blues by W.C. Handy Orig. written in 1932; first play for radio about radio; First heard on the Workshop Oct. 3, 1936 May 2, 1937 Drums of Conscience - - Irving Reis - - May 9, 1937 Supply and Demand Irwin Shaw - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann Worthington Minor, "director of dialogue and staging" May 16, 1937 Paul Revere Stephen Vincent Benét - Bernard Herrmann - May 23, 1937 A Night at an Inn Lord Alfred Dunsany - Irving Reis Debussy, conducted by Bernard Herrmann - May 30, 1937 Discoverie Merrill Denison - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - June 6, 1937 Downbeat on Murder Charles Tazewell - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann voices change into musical notes June 13, 1937 The Young King Oscar Wilde - Irving Reis - - June 20, 1937 Red-Head Baker Albert Maltz - Joseph Losey Bernard Herrman - June 27, 1937 Babouk Guy Endore Lester Fuller Edward A. Blatt, Irving Reis Bernard Herrman - July 4, 1937 Mr. Sycamore Robert Ayre Leonard Proser - Bernard Herrmann - July 11, 1937 The Tell-Tale Heart E. A. Poe Charles Tazewell Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann Used sounds of real heartbeats July 18, 1937 Fifty Grand Ernest Hemingway - Bernard Herrmann - July 25, 1937 A Matter of Life and Death Leopold Atlas - Irving Reis - - August 1, 1937 Daniel Webster and the Sea Serpent Stephen Vincent Benét Sheldon Stark Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - August 8, 1937 An Incident of the Cosmos(rep) Paul Y. Anderson - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - Last Citation John Whedon August 15, 1937 Escape (part 1) John Galsworthy Leopold Proser Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - August 22, 1937 Escape (part 2) John Galsworthy Leopold Proser Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - August 29, 1937 The Half-Pint Flask Dubose Heyward Irving Reis William N. Robson (Victor Young?) - August 30, 1937 Twelfth Night William Shakespeare Orson Welles Orson Welles, director, John Houseman, producer - Includes readings by Pepys, Manningham, Mazlitt, and Brandes September 5, 1937 S.S. San Pedro James G. Cozzens Betsy Tuttle William N. Robson Charles Paul James Gould Cozzens September 12, 1937 Death of a Queen Hilaire Belloc Val Gielgud Val Gielgud - Originated from BBC in London September 19, 1937 Riders to the Sea John Millington Synge - Irving Reis - Originated from Dublin, Ireland September 26, 1937 Alice in Wonderland, part 1 Lewis Carroll William N. Robson William N. Robson Paul Sterrett - October 3, 1937 Alice in Wonderland, part 2 Lewis Carroll William N. Robson William N. Robson Paul Sterrett and Leith Stevens - October 10, 1937 Meridian 7-1212 Irving Reis - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - October 17, 1937 The Killers Ernest Hemingway Irving Reis Irving Reis - - October 17, 1937 Illusion Georgia Backus - Georgia Backus - - October 24, 1937 I've Got the Tune Marc Blitzstein - Marc Blitzstein - October 31, 1937 Sweepstakes Irving Reis & Charles Martin - Irving Reis & Charles Martin Bernard Herrmann - November 7, 1937 The Horla Guy de Maupassant Charles Tazewell Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - November 14, 1937 Mr. Justice Irving Reis - - - November 21, 1937 Georgia Transport John Williams Andrews - Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann Repeat from Sept. 27, 1937 November 28, 1937 First Violin Norman Davey Sally Russell Irving Reis - - December 2, 1937 - - - - - (unidentified show) December 9, 1937 Marconi - Orrin Dunlap - Bernard Herrmann - December 16, 1937 Metzengerstein E. A. Poe Charles Tazewell Irving Reis Bernard Herrmann - December 23, 1937 Alice Through the Looking Glass, part 1 Lewis Carroll William N. Robson William N. Robson Paul Sterrett and Leith Stevens Robson succeeds Reis as head of Columbia Workshop December 30, 1937 Alice Through the Looking Glass, part 2 Lewis Carroll William N. Robson William N. Robson Paul Sterrett and Leith Stevens - January 8, 1938 The Ghost of Benjamin Sweet, part 1 January 15, 1938 The House That Jack Didn't Build Alfred Kreymborg William N. Robson Experiment in drama January 16, 1938 Mr. Whipple is Worried Bernard Herrmann January 22, 1938 Robert Owens Bernard Herrmann January 29, 1938 Madame Curie Eve Curie William N. Robson William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann February 5, 1938 Andrea del Sarto Anita Fairgrieve Earle McGill Bernard Herrmann Author was NYU student February 12, 1938 Be Prepared Guy Della Cioppa & Richard Linkroum George Zachary Bernard Herrmann Boy scouts & demo of audio montage February 19, 1938 The Well of the Saints John Millington Synge George Zachary George Zachary Bernard Herrmann Use of sound in delineating elements of supernatural fantasy February 26, 1938 Night Patrol Stuart Hawkins March 5, 1938 The Ghost of Benjamin Sweet, part 2 Pauline Gibson & Frederick Gilsdorff Nila Mack Bernard Herrmann Use of microphone filters March 12, 1938 Hassan James Elroy Flecker Constance Brown Earle McGill Frederick Delius (Bermard Herrmann, conductor) opera March 19, 1938 The Wedding of the Meteors Leslie Roberts & Joel Hamill William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann March 26, 1938 J. Smith and Wife Charles Tazewell William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann No sound effects used April 2, 1938 Seven Waves Away Richard Sale Margaret Lewerth William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann April 9, 1938 The Broken Feather Michael Carroll William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann April 16, 1938 The Terrible Meek Charles Rann Kennedy William N. Robson April 23, 1938 Never Come Monday Eric Knight Stephen Fox William N. Robson Charles Paul Repeated June 25, 1938 April 30, 1938 Fours into Seven Won't Go Val Gielgud, Stephen King-Hall Val Gielgud May 7, 1938 The Fisherman and His Soul Oscar Wilde [William N. Robson?] William N. Robson May 14, 1938 Melodrams various [poems read by David Ross] William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann music composed 1934-35 May 21, 1938 Ecce Homo Pare Lorenz Pare Lorenz Bernard Herrmann May 28, 1938 Bury the Dead Irwin Shaw William N. Robson William N. Robson June 4, 1938 Tranga Man, Fine Gah John S. Carlisle John S. Carlisle & William N. Robson June 11, 1938 Surrealism Ernest Walsh & George Whitsett Davidson Taylor Bernard Herrmann Also music by Erik Satie & Virgil Thomson June 18, 1938 Reunion John Hines Jr. & Guy Della Cioppa William N. Robson Columbia Univ. Singers conducted by Lyn Murray June 25, 1938 Never Come Monday Eric Knight Stephen Fox William N. Robson Charles Paul & Bernard Herrmann Repeat from April 23, 1938 July 2, 1938 The Constitution of the US William N. Robson July 9, 1938 The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane Margaret Lewerth Norman Corwin Charles Paul Corwin's debut on CBS July 16, 1938 The National Headliners William N. Robson July 23, 1938 Murder in the Cathedral T. S. Eliot George Zachary George Zachary Bernard Herrmann July 30, 1938 Tristam Edwin Arlington Robinson Stella Reynolds William N. Robson Wagner (Cond. BH) August 6, 1938 The Devil and Daniel Webster Stephen Vincent Benét Charles R. Jackson Earle McGill Bernard Herrmann August 13, 1938 August 20, 1938 (unidentified show) August 27, 1938 Pelleas et Melisande September 1, 1938 (unidentified show) September 8, 1938 (unidentified show) September 15, 1938 Outward Bound Sutton Vane Charles R. Jackson Martin Gosch Bernard Herrmann September 22, 1938 He Doubles in Pipes Hilda Cole William N. Robson September 29, 1938 The Lighthouse Keepers Paul Cloquemin Norman Corwin October 13, 1938 Brushwood Boy Rudyard Kipling Eustace Wyatt Earle McGill Bernard Herrmann October 20, 1938 The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden Thorton Wilder October 26, 1938 Air Raid (Rehearsal) Archibald MacLeish William N. Robson October 27, 1938 Air Raid Archibald MacLeish William N. Robson November 3, 1938 Poetic License Norman Corwin Norman Corwin November 10, 1938 A Drink of Water Wilbur Daniel Steele Max Wylie Martin Gosch Bernard Herrmann November 17, 1938 Luck Wilbur Daniel Steele Margaret Lewerth Martin Gosch;
Betsy Tuttle, producer.
Bernard Herrmann November 24, 1938 Beauty and the Beast Robert A. Simon (libretto) Vittorio Giannini
(Howard Barlow, conductor)
opera December 1, 1938 The Giant's Stair Wilbur Daniel Steele Charles R. Jackson Earle McGill Bernard Herrmann December 8, 1938 Man With a Gun/
Experiments in Music/
Fall of Jericho
Sound engineer: Al Span Charles Vanda Simeone, music director 3 pop songs in 2nd half of show December 15, 1938 A Trip to Czardis Edwin Granberry James & Elizabeth Hart Bernard Herrmann December 22, 1938 Bread on the Waters Arch Oboler Earle McGill Alexander Courage Sound: D. Gaines December 29, 1938 Crosstown Manhattan Travis Ingham, Norman Corwin William N. Robson Alfred Newman,
January 5, 1939 Orphan Ego Arnold Manoff Leslie Ubrach William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann January 9, 1939 Forgot in the Rains William Merrick Brewster Morgan Bernard Herrmann January 16, 1939 Mr. Whipple is Worried James Frederick Brewster Morgan Bernard Herrmann January 23, 1939 Prophecy Bernard Herrmann January 30, 1939 Now Playing Tomorrow Arthur Laurents William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann February 6, 1939 Do Not Open For 5000 Years William N. Robson William N. Robson February 20, 1939 Nine Prisoners William March Brian J. Byrne Earle McGill Bernard Herrmann February 27, 1939 Jury Trial Elizabeth & James Hart William N. Robson March 6, 1939 The Winged Victory David Redstone Brewster Morgan March 13, 1939 In the Train Frank O’Connor Hugh Hunt Brewster Morgan Bernard Herrmann March 20, 1939 A Letter from Home Charles R. Jackson Nila Mack Bernard Herrmann March 27, 1939 Pepito Inherits the Earth April 3, 1939 Rendezvous with Kit Carson correct date? April 10, 1939 They Fly Through The Air With The Greatest of Ease Norman Corwin Norman Corwin April 17, 1939 Ear Essay On Broadcasting April 24, 1939 Seems Radio Is Here to Stay Norman Corwin Norman Corwin Bernard Herrmann May 1, 1939 Wet Saturday Lee Anderson play based on short story by John Collier (writer) Margaret Lewerth William N. Robson Bernard Herrmann May 8, 1939 Wild Man May 15, 1939 Law Beaters May 22, 1939 May 29, 1939 Private Throgg June 5, 1939 Highboy June 12, 1939 Handful of Dust June 19, 1939 Journalism in Tennessee Mark Twain Norman Corwin June 19, 1939 Salesmanship Mary Ellen Chase Norman Corwin July 6, 1939 The Half-Pint Flask Dubose Heyward Irving Reis William N. Robson [Victor Young?] July 13, 1939 Never Come Home July 20, 1939 John Brown's Body Stephen Vincent Benét Norman Corwin Norman Corwin Leith Stevens One hour broadcast July 27, 1939 A Trip to Czardis August 3, 1939 The Ghost of Benjamin Sweet August 10, 1939 Radio Play William Saroyan August 17, 1939 A Drink of Water August 24, 1939 Meridian 7-1212 Irving Reis Irving Reis August 31, 1939 Apartment to Let September 7, 1939 So This is Radio September 14, 1939 The Use of Man Bernard Herrmann September 21, 1939 Now It's Summer Arthur Kober Earle McGill September 28, 1939 The Fall of the City Archibald MacLeish Irving Reis [no music] repeat broadcast from California using 500 University of Southern California students October 12, 1939 Wake Up and Die Frank Lovejoy Story of alarm clocks October 19, 1939 William Ireland's Confession Arthur Miller November 2, 1939 Blennerhasset [Conductor: Howard Barlow] Libretto by:Philip A. Roll & Norman Corwin Vittorio Giannini opera November 16, 1939 A Letter From Above Florence & Ben Vine November 23, 1939 A Circular Tour W. W. Jacobs November 27, 1939 The Half-Pint Flask Dubose Heyward Leith Stevens Repeat from August 29, 1937 November 30, 1939 The Wonderful Day Frank Gould Earle McGill Alexander Semmler December 7, 1939 As You Like It December 14, 1939 Story in the Dogtown Common Joseph Liss Alexander Semmler December 21, 1939 Mr. Cohen Takes a Walk December 28, 1939 Higher Than A Kite Brewster Morgan [Brewster Morgan?] January 11, 1940 My Heart Is In The Highlands January 18, 1940 Fannie Kemble Joseph Liss and Louis Lantz January 25, 1940 Heavently Rest Milton Wayne Earle McGill February 1, 1940 Coals to Newscastle from J. P. Marquand’s “Timothy Dexter” Charles Monroe Brewster Morgan February 15, 1940 Double Exposure Maurice Level, Étienne Rey Alexander Semmler Adaptation of Grand Guignol play February 22, 1940 An Autobiography of an Egotist February 29, 1940 The Great Microphone Mystery; Ellery Queen Mystery: The Case of the Mysterious Leap Year February 29, 1940 Leaping Out of Character From CBS Program book: “Announcers are to be singers; singers and directors turn actors; actors take a hand as musiciansî March 7, 1940 My Client Curley Norman Corwin Raymond Scott Repeated April 4, 1940 March 14, 1940 Three Original Playlets by KNX staff Writing, acting, producinto and music has been placed in the hands of elevator operators, ushers, stenographers, tourist guides, receptionists, mail clerks and other employed in the non-glamorous jobs connected with radio. March 21, 1940 The Taming of the Shrew Shakespeare Joseph Gottlieb and Irvin Graham Phil Cohan “specially written modernized-musical”; music & lyrics by Gottlieb & Graham April 4, 1940 Sunset Boulevard William N. Robson William N. Robson April 18, 1940 Three Strikes, You’re Out Vernon Delston Brewster Morgan April 25, 1940 America Was Promises Archibald MacLeish George Zachary Nicholas Nabokov May 5, 1940 The Honest Captain Knowles Entrikin, Howard Breslin Earle McGill Charles Paul (organ) Workshop switched to Sundays May 12, 1940 A Day in Manhattan A. M. Sullivan Earle McGill May 19, 1940 Carlos Chavez conducts a program of Mexican music Carlos Chavez,various June 2, 1940 The Dark Valley W. H. Auden Brewster Morgan Benjamin Britten June 9, 1940 No Complications June 16, 1940 pre-empted June 23, 1940 In April Once June 30, 1940 The Man With the One Track Mind July 7, 1940 The Cock-Eyed Wonder About baseball July 14, 1940 The Fish Story Joseph Gottlieb & Irvin Graham Phil Cohan musical July 21, 1940 Canvas Kisser July 28, 1940 Carmilla Sheridan Le Fanu Lucille Fletcher Earle McGill August 18, 1940 The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins E. B. White-Dr. Seuss Nila Mack & Stuart†Aynes Nila Mack Charles Paul August 25, 1940 I Followed The Seals September 1, 1940 Alf, The All-American Fly Lucille Fletcher Earle McGill Bernard Herrmann September 8, 1940 The Major Goes Over The Hill September 15, 1940 Mr. Charles September 22, 1940 Well Look Who’s Here September 29, 1940 The Pussy Cat And The Expert Plumber Who Was A Man Arthur Miller Brewster Mogran Charles Paul October 6, 1940 They Also Serve October 27, 1940 Fulton Fish Market November 3, 1940 The Constitution November 10, 1940 Bela and Dita Bartok Bela Bartok November 17, 1940 I Get The Blues From Revues November 24, 1940 The Dynasts Thomas Hardy W.H. Auden? Benjamin Britten December 1, 1940 And To Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street Dr. Seuss Nila Mack production December 8, 1940 The Trojan Women Euripides Edith Hamilton, translator Virgil Thomson December 15, 1940 The Symptoms of being 35
In The Fog
December 22, 1940 The Plot to Overthrow Christmas December 29, 1940 Dr. Johnson in Scotland January 5, 1941 Love In 32 bars January 12, 1941 Cassidy and the Devil January 26, 1941 This Is From David Meridel Le Sueur Draper Lewis, Jack Fink Clinton Johnston Alexander Semmler February 2, 1941 Help Me Hannah February 9, 1941 Dress Rehearsal February 16, 1941 A Crop of Beans Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Draper Lewis Guy della Cioppa February 23, 1941 Wings of an Eagle March 2, 1941 Roadside March 9, 1941 Still Small Voice March 16, 1941 Cassidy and the Devil March 23, 1941 Out of the Air March 30, 1941 The Creation
April 6, 1941 The Rocking-Horse Winner DH Lawrence ad. Auden & James Stern Guy della Cioppa Benjamin Britten April 13, 1941 Glory Machine/The House/Brooklyn Cantata April 20, 1941 The Reluctant Dragon Nila Mack April 27, 1941 Jason Was A Man May 4, 1941 26 by Corwin: Radio Primer Norman Corwin Lyn Murray May 11, 1941 26 by Corwin: Log of the R-77 Norman Corwin Lyn Murray May 18, 1941 26 by Corwin: The People, Yes Norman Corwin Earl Robinson May 25, 1941 26 by Corwin: Lip Service Norman Corwin Larry Adler June 1, 1941 26 by Corwin: Appointment Norman Corwin Lyn Murray June 8, 1941 26 by Corwin: The Odyssey of Runyon Jones Norman Corwin Alexander Semmler June 15, 1941 26 by Corwin: A Soliloquy to Balance the Budget Norman Corwin June 22, 1941 26 by Corwin: Daybreak Norman Corwin Lyn Murray June 29, 1941 26 by Corwin: Old Salt Norman Corwin Lyn Murray July 6, 1941 26 by Corwin: Between Americans Norman Corwin Alexander Semmler July 13, 1941 26 by Corwin: Ann Rutledge Norman Corwin Norman Corwin Alexander Semmler Ann Was An Ordinary Girl July 20, 1941 26 by Corwin: Double Concerto Norman Corwin Paul Berlanger August 3, 1941 26 by Corwin: Descent of the Gods Norman Corwin August 10, 1941 26 by Corwin: Samson Norman Corwin Bernard Herrmann August 17, 1941 26 by Corwin: Esther Norman Corwin Lyn Murray August 24, 1941 26 by Corwin: Job Norman Corwin Deems Taylor August 31, 1941 26 by Corwin: Mary and the Fairy Norman Corwin Lud Gluskin September 7, 1941 26 by Corwin: Anatomy of Sound Norman Corwin [no music] September 14, 1941 26 by Corwin: Fragments from a Lost Cause Norman Corwin Alexander Semmler September 21, 1941 26 by Corwin: The Human Angle Dore Schary Norman Corwin Norman Corwin September 28, 1941 26 by Corwin: Good Heavens Norman Corwin Lyn Murray October 5, 1941 26 by Corwin: Wolfiana Thomas Wolfe Norman Corwin Norman Corwin Alexander Semmler October 12, 1941 26 by Corwin: Murder in Studio One Norman Corwin Alexander Semmler October 19, 1941 26 by Corwin: Descent of the Gods Norman Corwin Perry Lafferty [no original music] repeat due to Corwin illness October 26, 1941 26 by Corwin: Odyssey of Runyan Jones Norman Corwin repeat performance November 2, 1941 26 by Corwin: A Man with a Platform Norman Corwin Lyn Murrary November 9, 1941 26 by Corwin: Psalm for a Dark Year Norman Corwin Alexander Semmler November 16, 1941 Gator Boy November 23, 1941 The Life of a Careful Man Virgil Thomson November 30, 1941 Double Ugly December 14, 1941 Citizen For Tomorrow 150th anniversary of Bill of Rights December 21, 1941 Miracle In Manhattan Duffy’s Tavern December 28, 1941 Who Wants To Be Born These Days? New Years show – baby organization January 4, 1942 The Fish on the Bathroom Floor January 11, 1942 Free Speech January 18, 1942 At The Sign Of The Lark “rare books” January 25, 1942 The Man Without A Shadow Werner Mishel Charles Vanda Alexander Semmler Lurene Tuttle plays all 7 female parts February 1, 1942 Jenny, The Bus Nobody Loved Perry Lafferty Bus rebellion February 8, 1942 Portrait of Jennie Robert Nathan George D. Griffin Earle McGill Lehman Engel Santos Ortega February 15, 1942 Opus For A Lute And A Liar Nila Mack Nila Mack February 22, 1942 Plot for Mr. Greenberg March 1, 1942 When the Bough Breaks March 8, 1942 The Test James Driscoll March 15, 1942 A Child’s History of Hot Music March 22, 1942 Green Receipt March 29, 1942 Solomon and Balkis Bernard Rogers opera April 5, 1942 Miracle of the Danube April 12, 1942 He Should Have Stood In Elba Nathan Van Cleave Ted de Corsia April 19, 1942 Play Ball Louis Hazam May 3, 1942 Looking For Susie May 10, 1942 Flight To Arras May 17, 1942 Good Morning Mr. Crumb May 24, 1942 Midnight Blue James Caleb Beach Perry Lafferty Nathan Van Cleave About blues May 31, 1942 The City Wears a Slouch Hat Kenneth Patchen Les Mitchel John Cage June 7, 1942 The Little One June 12, 1942 Ritchie The Great Jerome Lawrence, Robert E. Lee John Dietz James Monks, Joan Allison June 19, 1942 It Couldn’t Happen To A Nicer Kid June 26, 1942 History Is On The March/1812 July 3, 1942 Tag number 1-184-463 Skip Homier July 6, 1942 Broadcast from the Year 1812 July 13, 1942 Let Me Tell You About My Operation July 20, 1942 Someone Else Lucille Fletcher Earle McGill Bernard Herrmann Arr. of music by Couperin July 27, 1942 Reveille Pass August 3, 1942 Laughter For The Leader August 10, 1942 Music Of The Mountains August 17, 1942 All Out For Comedy August 24, 1942 Hold ‘Em Yale August 31, 1942 All Out For Comedy – Columbia Sketchbook September 7, 1942 Café Society – Stars September 14, 1942 Portrait of Jennie Robert Nathan September 21, 1942 My Kid Brother September 28, 1942 Florrie And The Country Green October 12, 1942 Rebirth of Barrow’s Inlet October 19, 1942 Remodeled Brownstone Lucille Fletcher John Dietz Martin Gabel November 8, 1942 Proclaim the Morning July 25, 1944 El Capitain and the Corporal March 23, 1946 Act of Faith Irwin Shaw Charles S. Monroe John Dietz Alexander Semmler April 13, 1946 Joe Peabody's Dream Betty Todd Charles Paul April 21, 1946 The Playroom Howard Rodman John Dietz Norman Lockwood, conducted by Fred Steiner April 28, 1946 A Study in Bells Bogart Carlaw - Albert Ward Norman Lockwood, conducted by Fred Steiner The House André Maurois May 19, 1946 The Trial Franz Kafka Davidson Taylor Guy della Cioppa(&pro) Bernard Herrmann September 15, 1946 The Last Delegate Margaret Lewerth John Dietz Robert Stringer September 21, 1946 The Midnight Town Is Full of Boys Fletcher Markle Albert Ward Fred Steiner October 5, 1946 Studies in Jealousy Irving Hopkins Alexander Semmler October 12, 1946 Brewsie and Willie Gertrude Stein Richard Sanville Robert Stringer November 2, 1946 Lee Fountain Comes of Age Joseph Ruscoll Werner Mishel Alexander Semmler November 23, 1946 The Tin Whistle Richard Burdick Carl Beyer Everett Helm November 30, 1946 It Shouldn't Happen to a Man Madelyn Pugh William N. Robson Maurice Carlton, conducted by Wilbur Hatch December 7, 1946 The Parade Morris Markey Margaret Lewerth Richard Sanville Robert Stringer December 14, 1946 Alice and the Echo Jean L. Meyer John Becker Alexander Semmler January 11, 1947 The Surreal Marriage Elwood Hoffman Werner Mishel Alexander Semmler January 25, 1947 The Natural History of Nonsense Bergen Evans Joseph Ruscoll Albert Ward Ben Ludlow
- Bannerman, R. LeRoy. Norman Corwin and Radio: The Golden Years. University, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1986. ISBN 978-0817302740
- Barnouw, Erik. A History of Broadcasting in the United States, v. 2. The Golden Web: 1933 to 1953. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968. ISBN 978-0195004755
- Coulter, Douglas, editor. Columbia Workshop Plays: Fourteen Radio Dramas. New York, London: Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1939.
- Kosovsky, Robert. Bernard Herrmann's Radio Music for the Columbia Workshop. Ph.D. dissertation, Graduate Center, City University of New York, 2000.
- McGill, Earle. Radio Directing. New York: McGraw-Hill Co., 1940.
- Wylie, Max. Radio Writing. New York: Farrar and Rinehart, 1939.
- ^ Much of the information in this article is drawn from Robert Kosovsky's Bernard Herrmann's Music for the Columbia Workshop
- ^ Reis, Irving. Excerpt from script of the Columbia Workshop premiere broadcast.
- ^ As announced on the show of December 12, 1936.
- ^ The suggestion is made by the announcer at the end of the Melodrams show of May 14, 1938, but it never took place.
- ^ Barnouw, Erik (1969). The Golden Web: A History Broadcasting in the United States, p. 65.
- ^ This list is drawn from a variety of sources, in particular the catalog of the Paley Center, and many old time radio lists.
- Columbia Workshop in The Internet Archive's Old-Time Radio Collection
- Columbia Workshop: "Meridian 7-1212" (rebroadcast of August 24, 1939)
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