“Peabody Decades” explores UGA archives’ vast collection
Noel Holston - 8/17/2013
Twice-monthly screenings to showcase TV, radio shows from 1940s and beyond
Athens, Georgia – The George Foster Peabody Awards and the Peabody Collection at the University of Georgia will launch The Peabody Decades, a unique historical review compiled from the archives’ prodigious store of television and radio programs, with two screenings in September.
“Our series uses the Peabody Awards Collection, the largest broadcasting archives in the Southeast, to tell stories about radio, television and history,” said archivist Mary L. Miller. “The Peabody Collection is like a giant time capsule. The Archive houses not just Peabody Award winners from more than 70 years, but just about everything that has ever been entered in the competition.
Each screening features clips chosen by a UGA undergraduate, who has also curated an exhibit about the period. The September screenings, titled America in the 1940s: More than the Home Front, use children’s programs, news stories, and public service programming from throughout the decade to paint a fuller picture of the World War II era.
The September 10 screening will feature a 1948 installment of NBC’s Meet the Press, with original host and series creator, Martha Rountree (cq); a clip from the classic children’s series Howdy Doody; excerpts from some forgotten shows from that decade, such as Mr. I. Magination, and The Black Robe, an early courtroom drama; and more.
The second September screening, on the 24th, will showcase The Tuskegee Airmen, a Peabody Award-winning made-for-TV movie about the black aviators who overcame racism to become the “Fighting 99th,” the first squadron of African-American fighter pilots in World War II. Laurence Fishburne, Andre Braugher and Cuba Gooding, Jr. head the cast.
All screenings will be presented in the auditorium at the Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library at 300 Hull Street in Athens. They are free and open to the general public as well as UGA students, faculty and staff. There will be event parking in UGA’s Hull Street deck.
All screenings will begin at 7:00 p.m. Each multi-clip screening will be followed by dialogue between a student curator and a graduate of the Grady College of Journalism from the decade being showcased. Single-show screenings will be followed by a discussion led by a UGA professor. The multi-clip events will offer decade-themed refreshments from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m.
September sets the pattern for the entire screening series. Each month will address a different decade – the 1950s in October, the ’60s in November, etc. The 1950s potpourri night will include episodes or excerpts from Edward R. Murrow’s See It Now, The Ed Sullivan Show, and the early sitcom Mr. Peepers. The single program night for the ’50s will feature Requiem for a Heavyweight, the original live-TV version of Rod Serling’s celebrated drama, starring Jack Palance as an aging boxer on the ropes.
The complete schedule will be announced at a later date. With the exception of December, the Peabody Decades series will proceed chronologically, twice monthly, through the spring of 2014.
The Peabody Awards, the oldest in broadcasting, are considered among the most prestigious and selective prizes in electronic media. The awards recognize excellence and meritorious work by radio and television stations, networks, webcasters, producing organizations and individuals. The 16-member Peabody Board is a distinguished panel of television critics, industry practitioners and experts in culture and the arts. Selection is made by the Board following review by special screening committees of UGA faculty, students, and staff. For more information regarding the Peabody Awards program, visit peabodyawards.com.
The Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection is one of the largest broadcasting archives in the country, with over 250,000 titles preserved in film, audio and videotape, and other recording formats. The only public archive in Georgia devoted solely to the preservation of audiovisual materials, the Brown Media Archives holds programs dating from the 1920s to the present day. For more information, see libs.uga.edu/media or visit our exhibit space in UGA’s Richard B. Russell Special Collections Library.
Established in 1915, the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication offers undergraduate majors in advertising, digital and broadcast journalism, magazines, newspapers, public relations, publication management and mass media arts. The college offers two graduate degrees and is home to the New Media Institute and the Peabody Awards, internationally recognized as the most prestigious prize for excellence in electronic media. For more information, see www.grady.uga.edu or follow @UGAGrady and @PeabodyDecades on Twitter.