[78-L] War of the Worlds broadcast [was Here's another even more oddball 78 album]

Elizabeth McLeod lizmcl at midcoast.com
Tue Oct 29 09:53:03 PDT 2013

The song in question was "Two Sleepy People," one of the big hits of the
moment -- not a bad version, either. But if people *had* tuned out then,
they would have ended up in the middle of Carl Phillips' description of the
meteor impact site.

The only actual support for the "tuneout" story is in Hadley Cantril's book
-- which, in turn, is based on a personal survey he performed after the
broadcat. He sent out 846 survey cards to people who had heard at least part
of the Welles broadcast. 518 cards were returned, and of those, 18 percent
of those said they had also heard part of the Chase & Sanborn program.
Sixty-two percent of that 18 percent said they had tuned out of Chase &
Sanborn at the conclusion of Bergen's first routine -- which led into
Lamour's song. That's all the hard evidence that exists for the tuneout
story -- and if you do the math, it doesn't come to an awful lot of people.

As Mike noted, Nelson Eddy wasn't just some random guest star -- he was a
headliner, one of the most popular male vocalists in the country in 1938 --
*the* most popular according to Radio Guide's annual poll -- and blaming him
for driving listeners away from the program is a sign that the one doing the
blaming has no idea what they're talking about.


On 10/28/13 6:14 PM, "Julian Vein" <julianvein at blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

> r to the BBC programme suggested that the people who may
> have panicked may have tuned in late. He suggested that many were
> listening to Ed Bergen and Charlie McCarthy on another network, and when
> Dorothy Lamour started singing a boring song (which they played), they
> started channel hopping, and this would have tuned in just as the
> "panic" announcement came on.

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