Saturday, August 6, 2016

On Record: This is the UN

Franchot had a distinctive voice which grew more resonant and authoritative with age. Fortunately, Franchot's voice was captured in many radio programs and used to great effect as narration on records. When I began collecting Franchot-related items, I knew that I wanted to obtain all of the old records featuring Franchot. Currently in my collection I have The Jazz Age of F. Scott Fitzgerald: Readings by Franchot Tone, the full 1963 cast recording of Strange Interlude, and This is the UN: Its Actual Voices. Franchot also appears on the "If Men Played Cards the Way Women Do" skit with Ray Milland, Fred MacMurray and Lynne Overman on the soundtrack album for Star Spangled Rhythm. (If you are aware of another album featuring Franchot's voice, please comment on this post. I may be missing some!)

My copy is a bit worn, but the record plays fine.

This is the UN: Its Actual Voices was a 1950 audio documentary produced by Tribune Productions and written by Saul Carson and Eleanor Gardiner. The documentary was released on 33 1/3 rpm nonbreakable, long playing microgroove under the supervision of the United Nations Department of Public Information. A compilation of 40,000 official recordings, the record highlights historic speeches of world leaders "placed in perspective against the U.N.'s aims and achievements by the sensitive and clear narrative of Franchot Tone." The LP is divided into 10 parts:

1. San Francisco; the Charter
2. Proclaiming Principles
3. Facing Atomic Energy
4. Independence for Indonesia
5. Parade of the Nations
6. Toward Economic and Social Progress
7. Toward Economic and Social Progress (continued)
8. Trusteeship Council
9. Universal Declaration of Human Rights
10. Permanent Headquarters; the Korean Situation

I took a video of Franchot's first track of the album as it played on my record player this morning. If you can't see the embedded video below, you can watch it on Youtube.

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