Edgar Farr Russell III receives Stan Cawelti Award
At the January 2005 meeting of the Club, the 2004 winner of the Stan Cawelti Award was announced. The honor was bestowed on a most deserving fellow, Edgar Farr Russell III, whose contributions to the world of old-time radio are myriad and have spanned many years. In his acceptance remarks Edgar was typically warm and gentle, reflecting not so much on his accomplishments as on his gratitude to the supportive nature of his friends in the OTR community.
In recent years Edgar has received accolades for having written two prize-winning scripts which were in turn produced at the Friends of Old-Time Radio convention in Newark, NJ. The 2004 production of his "Triumph and Tragedy in the Air," and "Kiss from a Little Old Lady" in 1997 were memorable events indeed.
Edgar wrote and produced another script locally, "Mr. Lincoln and the Young Ones," and he has ably kept up the Club "road show" tradition of giving talks and demonstrations of old-time radio themes and techniques at different venues in the area.
Perspective can be gained, though, if we reflect on how Edgar has left his mark on OTR in lesser ways. Perhaps the first time he got out of his chair at a meeting years ago was to take the part of the announcer in a script reading we did of "The Shadow." He knew all about voice modulation and how to cup his hand behind his ear just so. We thought we had another Harlow Wilcox in our midst!
During the time that he was stationed in Izmir, Turkey, he wrote a letter to Jack French for "Radio Recall" in which he told how he had emerged triumphant from a local bazaar, having purchased a radio catalog from 1927 France. Vintage, indeed! Edgar says he has a script tucked away somewhere, that he was inspired to write by his year in Turkey.
Edgar is no stranger to the winner's circle. Our editor, Jack French, ran a small contest in "Radio Recall" a few years back, asking for people to write their reflections on why they enjoyed old-time radio. Edgar wrote a nice paragraph about his appreciation of the shows, summing up with this thought, in effect: "All you need to enjoy radio is a vivid imagination and at least one good ear." He won, hands down.
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