Friday, November 16, 2012

A Major Precursor To Radio Drama

Edgar White Burrill (1883 -????) was a critic and lecturer on books and the literary scene who organized the 1920s Literary Vespers series held at Aeolian Hall and Town Hall. Burrill was a major precursor to radio drama with his dramatic radio readings during the 1920s and 1930s, and one of these readings led to a milestone in broadcasting.
He gave annual readings of Ida M. Tarbell's He Knew Lincoln on WJZ during the 1920s. His reading in 1923 inspired George Furness of the National Carbon Company to produce The Eveready Hour, the first commercially sponsored variety program in the history of broadcasting.
In 1925, he gave a recitation of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Evangeline on radio with a musical background by Max Jacob's Chamber Symphony Orchestra which was broadcast on Tuesday, November 24, 1925, at 9 pm over WEAF, WEEI, WFI, WCAE, WGR, WWJ, WSAI, WTAG, WOC, WCCO and KSD.

 Cover of a vintage 1937 Easter program of the Buffalo Unity Society. It featured a guest lecture by leader of The Boston Home of Truth Miss Eleanor Mel. From the estate of noted author, spiritualist and leader of the Buffalo Unity Society Dr. Edgar White Burrill.

 EMMET FOX 1936 Western Union Telegram Signed EDGAR W. BURRILL Divine Science AA
EMMET FOX 1936 Western Union Telegram To EDGAR W. BURRILL Alcoholics Anonymous

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