Welcome to OTRCAT.com: Old Time Radio Catalog
 > 
  News   Personality  

Alistair Cooke Recordings

British born journalist, his observations of American life and culture were beloved by millions.

10%
OFF

6 old time radio show recordings
(total playtime 3 hours, 28 min)
available in the following formats:

1 MP3 CD
or
5 Audio CDs


Choose your CD format
or order disks individually: Add to Cart
Add to wishlist
Play a sample episode from April 12, 1945:

"Alistair Cooke Special Report"



... or click here to save the Mp3 file to your computer

About this Old Time Radio Show

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

Alistair Cooke was born in Salford, Lancashire, 1908. His father, Samuel, was a metalsmith and Methodist lay preacher and his mother, Mary Elizabeth, was of Irish Protestant extraction. During the Great War, the youngster became a sort of mascot for a group of American soldiers who were billeted in the Cooke home. He eventually won a scholarship to Jesus College at Cambridge, where he achieved honors in English and became heavily involved in the artistic community. He edited the prestigious Granta literary magazine and founded the Mummers, the first theater group at Cambridge to be open to both men and women. (The Mummers gained notoriety for rejecting future Hollywood star James Mason. They advised Mason to "stick to architecture".)

Alistair CookeAfter five years at Cambridge, Cooke received a Commonwealth Scholarship and was invited to study at Yale and Harvard. While in America, he met Ruth Emerson in 1933, a grandniece of poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ruth and Alistair were married on August 24, 1934. Later that year, he spotted a notice that the British film critic, Oliver Baldwin, son of Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, had been fired. Alistair sent a telegram to the network's Director of Talks to be considered for the position, and he was invited for an interview. He hopped on a Cunard liner which arrived in England 24 hours after the interview was scheduled. He was invited to write a film review on the spot and won the job.

While in London, Alistair became a correspondent for NBC and delivered a weekly 15-minute spot entitled London Letter, explaining the life of Englishmen to their colonial brethren. During the King Edward VIII Abdication crisis of 1936, Cooke estimated that he spoke 400,000 words on the subject over ten days.

Cooke returned to America in 1937 and became a citizen of the United States. He tried to sell the BBC on the concept of a London Letter in reverse called Mainly About Manhattan, but the idea was shelved in 1939 when WWII broke out. Cooke did undertake a journey through the whole United States, recording ordinary American's reactions to the War, and produced the manuscript The American Home Front: 1941-1942.

The reverse Letter from London concept was reopened in 1946, this time at the request of the British Broadcasting. Originally commissioned as a 13 installment broadcast, Letter from America would run for 58 years and have 2869 installments, heard the world over on the World Service. Cooke also became a foreign correspondent for Manchester Guardian newspaper from 1947 until 1972. CBS hired Cooke in 1952 to host Omnibus, the first network Television program dedicated to reporting on the arts. Cooke was only yards away from Presidential hopeful Robert Kennedy when he walked through the kitchen of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on the night of June 5, 1968. He witnessed and reported the events as shots rang out and Bobby Kennedy was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan.

PBS began a showcase of the best of British Television for American audiences in 1971 called Masterpiece Theatre, and Alistair hosted the series until retirement in 1992. In 1972, Cooke was awarded a KBE for his "outstanding contribution to Anglo-American mutual understanding", but he was not able to assume the title of Sir Alistair because he had renounced his British citizenship in WWII.

A Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1651 Vine Street honors Alistair Cooke's contributions to Television. The location also hosts stars honoring Greer Garson, Maurice Chevalier, Red Buttons, Broncho Billy Anderson, William Holden, and Stars honoring Eddie Bracken's and Lionel Barrymore's contributions to Radio.

Text on OTRCAT.com ©2001-2017 OTRCAT INC All Rights Reserved. Reproduction is prohibited.

These classic recordings are available in the following formats:
  • MP3 CDs are delivered by mail. These archival quality MP3 CDs are playable in your computer and many MP3 player devices.



    6 recordings on 1 MP3 CD for just $4.50
    total playtime 3 hours, 28 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      6 shows - total playtime 3 hours 28 minutes
      1. Archive Hour Alistair Cooke Celebration.mp3
      2. Biography In Sound 541128 02 Finest Hour Winstin Churchill.mp3
      3. Biography In Sound 560710 55 H L Mencken.mp3
      4. Eddie Condons Jazz Concert 441111 26 Easter Parade.mp3
      5. Special Report 450412 Alistair Cooke.mp3
      6. Un Radio 560000 Friendly Warning Alistair Cooke.mp3
  • MP3 downloads are available instantly after purchase!



    6 recordings on 1 MP3 Collection Download for just $4.50
    total playtime 3 hours, 28 min
    Add MP3 Collection to Cart

    Click here to see disc contents


      6 shows - total playtime 3 hours 28 minutes
      1. Archive Hour Alistair Cooke Celebration.mp3
      2. Biography In Sound 541128 02 Finest Hour Winstin Churchill.mp3
      3. Biography In Sound 560710 55 H L Mencken.mp3
      4. Eddie Condons Jazz Concert 441111 26 Easter Parade.mp3
      5. Special Report 450412 Alistair Cooke.mp3
      6. Un Radio 560000 Friendly Warning Alistair Cooke.mp3
  • Standard Audio CDs are delivered by mail on archival quality media with up to 60 minutes on each CD and play in all CD players



    6 recordings on 5 Audio CDs
    total playtime 3 hours, 28 min

    Alistair Cooke Disc A001

    1. Archive Hour Alistair Cooke Celebration

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Alistair Cooke Disc A002

    1. Eddie Condons Jazz Concert 441111 26 Easter Parade
    2. Special Report 450412 Alistair Cooke

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Alistair Cooke Disc A003

    1. Biography In Sound 541128 02 Finest Hour Winstin Churchill

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Alistair Cooke Disc A004

    1. Un Radio 560000 Friendly Warning Alistair Cooke

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00
    Alistair Cooke Disc A005

    1. Biography In Sound 560710 55 H L Mencken

    Add Audio CD to Cart - $5.00

LISTENERS WHO ENJOYED THESE RECORDINGS ALSO COLLECTED