One World Flight

Lost and Found Sound: Norman Corwin's 1946 Trip

Norman Corwin in a sound studio, narrating his One World Flight series in 1947.

hide captionNorman Corwin narrating "One World Flight" series, 1947.

In 1946, legendary radio dramatist Norman Corwin was named the first recipient of the "One World Flight" Award. His prize— a 4 month, around-the-world trip patterned after the historic diplomatic flight of Statesman Wendell Willkie. Later recipients would include Albert Einstein and New York Mayor, Fiorello LaGuardia. Corwin used his global journey to produce a series of thirteen radio documentaries for CBS — recording over a hundred hours of voices, collected over four months, covering 37,000 miles.

Armed with a heavy, and temperamental wire recorder Corwin spoke with politicians, street sweepers, spiritual leaders, housewives, students - reaching out to the famous and non famous - recording their thoughts on the meaning of World War II and the possibilities for peace and humanity in the future. Corwin recorded not only these conversations, but the ceremonies, rituals and sounds of the cities, towns and villages that he passed through on his "One World Flight."


Of Corwin's mission, playwright Jerome Lawrence observed, "It was good to send a poet around the world. He has a way of listening to the rhythms of tomorrow."

Produced by Mary Beth Kirchner.

Over fifty years later, at age 89, Corwin revisits this global odyssey with award winning producer Mary Beth Kirchner for Lost and Found Sound, playing excerpts and providing commentary about his CBS programs, which were a personal view of a battle-weary post-war world

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