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[Programming of concerts on radio]

Saturday, October 10, 1953

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seldes speaks about "special interest stations." He particularly speaks about how stations should deal with the intermission period from a live concert: should they stay silent or provide a commentary? The station in question is WGBH, and Seldes reads a statement from the programing director, who believes that the silence will bring audiences back more than "yacking."


He goes on to speak about how he thinks someone should write a Ph.D about "smutty" or "blue" stories. Then talks about a professor who claimed anyone who whistled was a moron.


Seldes speaks about Quincy Howe's "The World Between The Wars," which, in Seldes view, balances the story of the U.S. and Europe with the stories of Asia, India, and Africa.


He goes on to talk about how political cartoons no longer appear in The New Yorker, but speaks positively of "The Talk of the Town" column.


Seldes moves on to Toulouse-Lautrec, who is "very hot right now."


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 70642
Municipal archives id: LT3645

Hosted by:

Gilbert Seldes

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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.

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