OLD TIME RADIO - 2 CD-ROM - 76 mp3
Total Time: 38:13:37
Scriptwriter Richard Durham and The Chicago Defender had already partnered with CBS affiliate station WBBM to bring it's award-winning Democracy USA program to the air in 1946. Durham had also contributed to Radio's first, successful Negro-performed serial melodrama, Here Comes Tomorrow (1947), a three-a-week offering of Radio station WJJD, Chicago. In addition, two other moderately successful retrospective drmatizations, New World A'Coming (1945) and Freedom Train (1947) had preceded Destination Freedom by as many as five years.
The unfortunate, albeit starkly realistic, element of this fine early Negro-produced, directed, written and performed programming was that they were invariably aired only over either regional or local networks.
WMAQ and the Chicago Defender launched Destination Freedom on June 27, 1948, airing on Sunday mornings at 9 a.m., either before or immediately after church for much of midwest America. The timing was appropriate. Negro churches of the era were one of the few venues for Negroes to safely assemble and address both religious and social issues. Chicago itself, famous for a rich, deep Negro social movement since the turn of the 20th century, was an ideal audience for the series.
Picking up the general theme from 1945's remarkable New World A'Coming series, Destination Freedom narrowed the format to concentrate exclusively to Negro leaders and historical figures. Richard Durham scripted all ninety-seven unique scripts for the original series, several of which were rebroadcast over the course of the following two years.
The Chicago Urban League partners with WMAQ
The first seventeen [or eighteen] broadcasts of Destination Freedom were co-sponsored by The Chicago Defender and Radio station WMAQ. Beginning with Episode No. 19, Echoes of Harlem, the production continued sustained by WMAQ until Episode No. 73. Beginning with Episode No. 74, the Chicago Urban League co-sponsored the series through at least Episode No. 79, Brotherhood Begins at Home, a special presentation honoring Brotherhood Week in Chicago. The production continued, sustained, by WMAQ until August 13, 1950.
Destination Freedom introduces Paul Revere and its 'patriotic format'
Richard Durham's participation with Destination Freedom ended with Episode No. 99, Sing A Song For Children, a tribute to Pruth McFarlin, for a total contribution of ninety-seven unique scripts. The series aired three more rebroadcasts throughout the broadcast range of WMAQ until August 13, 1950. Beginning on October 15, 1950 Destination Freedom dramatically altered its presentations to a version it referred to as its 'patriotic format'.
The new format of Destination Freedom sought to provide a third person retrospective on significant patriotic events and personalities throughout American history and an overarching "interest in human freedom the world over." Narrated by Maurice Copeland portraying Paul Revere, the series' premise has the spirit of Paul Revere returning to 1950s America and making observations and reflections on America's progress during the intervening 132 years since Revere's death in 1818.
The revised format recorded an estimated thirty-nine episodes. As introduced with Episode No. 1, Introduction to the Patriotic Format, 'the Freedom Bell' provided the central metaphor for the revised presentation. The new format employed a weekly colloquy between Paul Revere (Maurice Copeland) and the narrator or central figure, as they framed, reviewed, or dramatized specific developments in both domestic and international freedom between the American Revolution and 1950s America.
Recalling the 'voices' of proponents of human freedom throughout world history, the new series hoped to both reflect on freedom movements throughout history, as well as sounding the Freedom Bell as a cautionary warning to America to never forget or abandon its founding principles. Thomas Jefferson's oft-quoted "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance" frames the remainder of the broadcasts.
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Destination Freedom 48-06-27 - 001 The Knock-Kneed Man
Destination Freedom 48-07-04 - 002 Railway to Freedom
Destination Freedom 48-07-11 - 003 Dark Explorers
Destination Freedom 48-07-18 - 004 The Denmark Vesey Story
Destination Freedom 48-07-25 - 005 The Making of a Man
Destination Freedom 48-08-01 - 006 The Key to Freedom
Destination Freedom 48-08-08 - 007 The Heart of George Cotton
Destination Freedom 48-08-22 - 009 Arctic Biography
Destination Freedom 48-08-29 - 010 The Story of 1875
Destination Freedom 48-09-05 - 011 The Poet of Pine Mill
Destination Freedom 48-09-12 - 012 The Father of the Blues
Destination Freedom 48-09-19 - 013 Boy With A Dream
Destination Freedom 48-09-26 - 014 Shakespeare of Harlem
Destination Freedom 48-10-03 - 015 Citizen Toussaint
Destination Freedom 48-10-10 - 016 Little David
Destination Freedom 48-10-17 - 017 The Boy Who Was Traded for a Horse
Destination Freedom 48-11-07 - 019 Echoes of Harlem
Destination Freedom 48-11-14 - 020 One out of Seventeen
Destination Freedom 48-11-21 - 021 The Rhyme Of The Ancient Dodger
Destination Freedom 48-11-28 - 022 Investigator For Democracy
Destination Freedom 48-12-05 - 023 Autobiography of a Hero
Destination Freedom 49-01-02 - 027 Maiden Speech
Destination Freedom 49-01-09 - 028 The Boy Who Beat the Bus
Destination Freedom 49-02-20 - 034 Peace Mediator
Destination Freedom 49-03-13 - 037 Up from slavery
Destination Freedom 49-03-20 - 038 Black Boy
Destination Freedom 49-03-27 - 038 Transfusion
Destination Freedom 49-04-17 - 042 Before I Sleep
Destination Freedom 49-05-01 - 044 Help the Blind
Destination Freedom 49-05-15 - 045 The Ballad of Satchel Paige
Destination Freedom 49-05-29 - 047 The Saga of Melody Jackson
Destination Freedom 49-06-05 - 048 Anatomy of an Ordinance
Destination Freedom 49-06-12 - 049 Negro Cinderella
Destination Freedom 49-06-19 - 050 Ghost Editor
Destination Freedom 49-06-26 - 051 Harriets Children - First anniversary program
Destination Freedom 49-07-03 - 052 Norfolk Miracle
Destination Freedom 49-07-17 - 053 The Legend of Stackalee
Destination Freedom 49-07-24 - 054 The Legend of John Henry
Destination Freedom 49-07-31 - 055 The Trumpet Talks
Destination Freedom 49-08-07 - 056 The Long Road
Destination Freedom 49-08-14 - 057 Black Hamlet Part I
Destination Freedom 49-08-21 - 058 Black Hamlet Part II
Destination Freedom 49-08-28 - 059 Segregation, Incorporated
Destination Freedom 49-09-04 - 060 The Saga of Senator Blanche K Bruce
Destination Freedom 49-09-11 - 061 The Tiger Hunt
Destination Freedom 49-09-25 - 063 A Garage in Gainesville
Destination Freedom 49-09-25 - 064 A Garage in Gainesville
Destination Freedom 49-10-09 - 065 Father to Son
Destination Freedom 49-10-16 - 066 Of Blood and the Boogie
Destination Freedom 49-11-06 - 069 The Man Who Owned Chicago
Destination Freedom 50-01-15 - 075 The Birth of a League
Destination Freedom 50-03-12 - 083 Premonition of the Panther
Destination Freedom 50-03-26 - 085 The Liberators Part I
Destination Freedom 50-04-09 - 087 The Buddy Young Story
Destination Freedom 50-04-16 - 088 The Fifth District Crime Fighter
Destination Freedom 50-04-23 - 089 The Dance Anthropologist
Destination Freedom 50-06-11 - 094 The Shy Boy
Destination Freedom 50-06-25 - 096 The Angel of Federal Street
Destination Freedom 50-07-02 - 097 Kansas City Phone Call
Destination Freedom 50-07-09 - 098 Mr Jericho Adjusts a Claim
Destination Freedom 50-08-13 - 103 Last Letter Home
Destination Freedom 50-10-15 - 104 Patriotic Format
Destination Freedom 50-11-12 - 108 The Golden Circle
Destination Freedom 50-12-17 - 113 United Nations
Destination Freedom 50-12-31 - 115 John Alma Johnny and Myra
Destination Freedom 51-01-07 - 116 Nathan Hale Story
Destination Freedom 51-01-21 - 118 Anna's Story
Destination Freedom 51-02-18 - 122 Forced Confession
Destination Freedom 51-03-04 - 124 Benjamin Drake Story
Destination Freedom 51-03-11 - 125 Dick Draper Story
Destination Freedom 51-03-18 - 126 Thomas Wright American Citizen
Destination Freedom 51-03-25 - 127 Citizen Whitney
Destination Freedom 51-04-08 - 129 The Jones Family
Destination Freedom 51-04-15 - 130 Fred Custer Story
Destination Freedom 51-04-22 - 131 Reverend Brown's Half Acre
Destination Freedom 51-06-02 - 142 Russell Thomas Story