Hear It Now

Edward R. Murrow's documentary series of the "actual sound of history in the making"
from archive.org

The show had a "magazine" format. It sought to include a variety of sounds from current events such as an atom smasher at work or artillery fire from Korea. It was the artillery fire that produced one of the show's more poignant moments as it backdropped the words of American soldiers fighting the Korean War. The entire premise of the show was to include the "actual sound of history in the making," according to Murrow. Some of the show's audio was what Time Magazine called "fairly routine" in 1950. Such soundbites as Communist China's General Wu and Russia's Andrei Vishinsky along with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Warren Austin were included among those routinely used. But Time also lauded the "vivid reality" created by the aforemention artillery clips, comments from wounded U.S. Marines or Carl Sandburg's recital of his The People, Yes.

The legwork involved in producing the program often exceeded the amount of programming culled from the reporting. For an hour and a half of interviews in Koto the duo was able to use 21 seconds of the material on the air. The program also shied away from the traditional use of string music common to many radio shows of the time period. Instead the show relied on composers such as David Diamond and Lehman Engel to produce its music.

Murrow anchored the show with news and editorial commentary but Hear It Now also featured regular oral columns and features.

Red Barber: covered sports
comic Abe Burrows: covered drama
Don Hollenbeck: covered the media
Bill Leonard: covered movies
The show wrapped up each week's broadcast with a four to ten minute "closeup." An example of the subject matter of the closeup was General of the Army Douglas MacArthur.

  1. no title (54.8Mb)
  2. no title (54.7Mb)
  3. no title (54.7Mb)
  4. no title (54.7Mb)
  5. no title (54.7Mb)
  6. no title (54.7Mb)
  7. no title (54.8Mb)
  8. no title (54.8Mb)

MP3 files hosted by archive.org.