Published on September 8th, 2012 | by Kevin


Episode #1: Sound Check

We’re Live!

This podcast has been in the works since last spring, so we are delighted to finally kick things off. In our very first episode (streaming above and also available on iTunes), we give you a very brief introduction to who we are and what (we think) we’re up to. But the best way to introduce ourselves is to dive right in, which we do by bringing you a piece produced by Kevin Gotkin called “Operation Crossroads.

“Operation Crossroads” tells the story of a CBS Radio special broadcast in 1946. It was produced by Robert Lewis Shayon and included Albert Einstein, among many notable intellectuals. The broadcast paired everyday Americans with major military officials, politicians, and scientists to talk about the role of atomic power in the world, not even a year after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Professor Joseph Turow, the Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication at the Annenberg School, speaks about working as a student of Shayon’s in the early 70s at Annenberg. The piece is a reflection on Shayon’s pioneering work in radio and, by proxy, his legacy at the Annenberg School. It tells a history of our faculty, but perhaps more importantly, it tells the history of sound on the vanguard.


Like the music you hear on3620? Here are links to each of the songs we used on today’s episode.

“Nunca” by TRAILS AND WAYS (0:00)

“Symphony” by Freddy Martin (2:17)

“Imitosis” by Andrew Bird (5:12 & 9:24)

“Cashanet (produced by Brian Eno)” by Akron/Family (6:09)

“Born to Die (Clams Casino Remix)” by Lana Del Rey (7:22)

“I’m God (Clams Casino Remix)” by Lil B (7:47)

“Knorrpromenade” by Alaska in Winter (8:28)

“The World is Our ___” by This Will Destroy You (11:56)

“Fate (Houses Remix” by Young Man (13:47)

“Radio” by Beyoncé (16:23)


We’ve set up a remembrance page for Robert Lewis Shayon. Please visit and leave comments!

The idea for today’s story came from speaking with Joe Turow and reading the autobiography of Robert Lewis Shayon.

Some of the archival audio in the episode came from the “Operation Crossroads” broadcast in the Henry A. Wallace collection at the University of Iowa. The Oregon State University also has a full transcript of the broadcast.

Einstein’s peroration on the show is also on a CD anthology about Einstein called “Verehrte An- Und Abwesende.”


Prof. Joe Turow, Scott Hazlett, Emily Farris, Min Zhong, the staff of the Oregon State University Special Collections, Barbara Wolff of the Einstein Archives, Greg Prickman and Jacque Roethler of the University of Iowa.

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88 Responses to Episode #1: Sound Check

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    Interesting topic to begin with. Congratulations!

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    To borrow from ER Murrow: Podcasting has come of age.

    Thank you for your profoundly moving retrospect on this vital issue.

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