Yesterday while I was writing a radio news workshop, I wondered about the origins of the expression: 'The Theatre of the Mind' (TOTM).
I couldn't immediately find the answer on the net, and so I threw it out to the Twitterverse...
I'm delighted to say @simonontheradio from Wave 105 on the south coast came up with the answer - I think.
American Stan Freberg is a real multi-media worker. Wikipedia describes him as a writer, recording artist, cartoon voiceover, comedian, radio star, puppeteer, and advertising creative director!
He's still working today at the age of 83.
Known for his creativity and inventiveness, he presented a satircal show on CBS Radio taking over from the famous Jack Benny in 1957.
What followed you might say was an early attempt at radio podcasting. He released a version of his programme on an album which he called 'pay radio'.
Here's how Wikipedia describes part of this show:
"...through the magic of sound effects, Freberg drained Lake Michigan and refilled it with hot chocolate and a mountain of whipped cream while a giant maraschino cherry was dropped like a bomb by the Royal Canadian Air Force to the cheers of 25,000 extras viewing from the shoreline. That bit became a commercial for advertising on radio."
You can hear it here.
Freberg referred to this way of using radio to visualise something,'Theater (corr) of the Mind'.
If you want to hear more, click here and thanks to Simon Clarke on this one!
@BexLindsay suggested Orson Wells might be the man to credit for TOTM. You know what happened of course - when the martian invasion drama War of the Worlds was broadcast in 1938, presented as news bulletins, listener assumed it was for real.
I can't find a reference to Wells referring to Theatre of the Mind but I stand to be corrected on this. Its certainly a great example of TOTM in action!!