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Arthur Godfrey Reports from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Funeral—April 14, 1945

President Franklin D. Roosevelt passed away on April 12, 1945. Two days later at his funeral, roaming CBS announcer Arthur Godfrey was added to the CBS news team for the special coverage. Choking back tears, he described what he saw on air. Godfrey will be featured in the upcoming Breaking Walls Episode 83: Sarnoff & Paley: Tainted Friendships, Tall Tales, Talent Raids, and TV (1934 - 1952)


On the Korean War Front Line with Soldiers Talking About Their Experience—1952

During the Korean War, NBC sent reporters to talk to the soldiers on the front lines during the conflict. This is some of what they said.


Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis with Guest Marilyn Monroe—02.24.1953

On February 24th, 1953 Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis played host on their radio show to Marilyn Monroe. All three of the entertainers were on the rise. Martin introduced the play she'd perform in as, "Tonight's play is the story of a cold-blooded newspaper editor who has no friends, but who is loved by Marilyn Monroe, entitled, 'So Who Needs Friends?" Both Dean and Jerry were on their game, and Marilyn plays ditzy, sultry, and sensual to the t. Breaking Walls, Episode 83 will feature the era...


Columbia Presents Corwin: Fourteen August—08.14.1945

Seventy-three years ago this day Japan accepted the United States' terms of surrender, officially ending World War II. That evening, Norman Corwin produced a special broadcast commemorating this event. It was a self-aware, fitting epitaph to and from the people of an exhausted nation. Orson Welles was narrator. It was broadcast nationally on CBS.


I Love Lucy: Breaking The Lease—2.26.1952

One of the most successful television shows of all-time, I Love Lucy, starring husband and wife team Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, debuted on CBS television on October 15, 1951. 179 episodes would be produced over the course of six seasons, followed by three additional seasons of thirteen Lusi-Desi Comedy Hour specials. Less known is the audition pilot prepared for a duel radio series version of the show. This pilot was prepared on February 26, 1952. It was sponsored by Phillip Morris and...


NBC Announcer Ben Grauer On Fast News Relays During World War II

For Westinghouse's 50th Anniversary in 1970, Long-time NBC radio announcer Ben Grauer spoke about being on his toes with news relays during World War II.


Douglas Edwards & Charles Osgood On Live Radio Flubs of the 1940s

For CBS's 50th anniversary celebration in 1977, CBS anchors Doug Edwards and Charles Osgood spoke about on-air flubs. Mr. Edwards told a great story about a time he got Edward R. Murrow to lose his composure.


The Story Behind The 1933 Press-Radio War

Back In 1933, in part because of President Roosevelt’s fireside chats, the newspaper publishers decided that radio had scooped the press once too often. They closed their wire services to the networks and demanded the normally free of charge radio schedules all major newspapers carried would now be considered paid advertising. The result was a press war between the radio and newspaper industry. CBS and NBC suddenly found themselves in the business of getting their own news. It forced them,...


An Interview With Best-Selling Author David Shields

I've been fortunate enough to interview David Shields ( for Breaking Walls twice before, The first interview took place in November 2015 and covered his book War Is Beautiful, in which David looked at over 2000 New York Times front-page war photos between 1991 and 2014. David found there to be something alarmingly disingenuous about too many of these front page shots. This interview can be found in Episodes 29 and 30 of Breaking Walls. The second...


The Story Behind Bing Crosby's Lawsuit and Jump From NBC to ABC

In 1945 as World War II ended, Bing Crosby decided that he wanted to pre-record his Kraft Music Hall program on NBC. There’d been disc-transcriptions since the late 1920s, and while the Mutual Broadcasting System had no such restrictions on pre-recorded programs, NBC and CBS forbade the use of them for network shows. Crosby was adamant. NBC and Kraft refused to budge. Crosby walked out. Hear the rest of the story and more on the radio industry between 1932 and 1946 in Breaking Walls...


BW - EP82: Depression, War, And The Birth of ABC (1932 - 1946)

In Breaking Walls episode 82 we focus on the state of the radio broadcasting industry in the late 1930s and early 1940s, as Broadcasting booms while the world goes to War. Highlights: Early days at NBC’s Radio City in New York How Press Associations caused NBC and CBS to launch a news service The Birth of the Mutual Broadcasting System and their Struggles NBC Red and NBC Blue The FCC and US Justice Department Get Involved with Radio The Murrow Boys and Encroaching War in Europe The War...


New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia reads Dick Tracy on Radio—7.1945

In July of 1945 during a newspaper deliveryman's strike, New York City mayor Fiorello LaGuardia took to the air on WNYC and read comics to the kids. Here he reads some Dick Tracy.


CBS Head William Paley on Early CBS Struggles

Head of CBS William S. Paley talks about some of the early struggles he had running CBS in the late 1920s.


D-Day: First radio bulletin on NBC—6.6.1945 3:30AM Eastern War Time

This is the first bulletin to take to the airwaves on the morning of D Day, June 6th, 1945 at 3:30AM Eastern War Time. NBC newsman Robert St. John made the announcement from the New York newsroom: "Men and women of the United States, this is a momentous hour in world history. This is the invasion of Hitler's Europe—the zero hour."


Bing Crosby Explains Why He Left NBC for ABC in 1946

During World War II transcription discs started to become more commonplace after NBC, CBS, and MBS news correspondents stationed in Europe began to use them to send stories back to the networks when no phone lines or short wave connects were available. After the war ended Bing Crosby saw this as an opportunity to tape his own show, The Kraft Music Hall, rather than appear live every week. He approached Kraft and NBC with the idea. They refused. ABC jumped in and signed Bing to star in the...


Edward R. Murrow's Full Report from Buchenwald

On April 15, 1945, Edward R. Murrow reported back to CBS for their World News Roundup about his experience at the Buchenwald concentration camp. This is the full ten minute report. It's not for the faint of heart, but then again what was done at Buchenwald certainly wasn't. If it bothers us to listen, one can only imagine how Murrow, or the men of the 80th Division, felt when seeing the horrors done to people. As Murrow said... people from the countries that made America. Murder had been...


Edward R. Murrow Report from Buchenwald Concentration Camp—4.15.1945

On April 15, 1945, Edward R. Murrow reported back to CBS for their World News Roundup about his experience at the Buchenwald concentration camp. It's a haunting account, and one that only scratches the surface of what he saw. He goes out of his way to mention this to the listening audience, and also exclaims that if his mild account of what he saw offended them, he wasn't the least bit sorry. Breaking Walls Episode 82 will be on the state and growth of the radio industry during the 1930s...


A Man Named Marlowe Episode 6—The Finale: The Windup & The Phoenix

Previously on A Man Named Marlowe: At 4:30 in the morning the woman who hired Marlowe comes to his hotel room in Spokane. She explains what happened and why she lied to Phillip. Her real name is Janice Thomlinson. Marlowe decides he’s still working for her and will try to protect her against Benny Chance and John Moriarity. She stays in his room overnight. The next day he goes to see William W. Powell Jr. who owns mining property around Spokane. He lies about his reasons for the visit and...


Bob Hope on Performing The Night England Entered World War II

For NBC's 50th anniversary broadcast in 1976, Bob Hope spoke about being a performing passenger on the Queen Mary the night that England entered World War II in 1939. Breaking Walls Episode 82 will be on the state and growth of the radio industry during the 1930s and 1940s, and will be available for download beginning on August 1, 2018. Download and subscribe everywhere by searching for "Breaking Walls" or at


Arthur Godfrey Shares How He Began in Radio in 1929

Famed radio & television broadcaster, MC, and entertainer talks about how he got started in radio in 1929. Breaking Walls Episode 82 will be on the state and growth of the radio industry during the 1930s and 1940s, and will be available for download beginning on August 1, 2018. Download and subscribe everywhere by searching for "Breaking Walls" or at