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Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security
Public Service Announcements (PSAs): Gerald Mohr, the King of Atomic Cool)

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (PSAs)



$212 Fallout Shelter: Dennis James (Announcer); Leo Hoegh (Civil Defense Director) [1959]
It is oddly appropriate that the government chose Dennis James, a popular television game show host of the era, to introduce...

640-1240: Mitzi Gaynor [1959]
Sunny and cheerful singer/actress Mitzi Gaynor, perhaps best known for her role in the 1958 film musical 'South Pacific,' tells the audience to "live and learn"...

Alert Today, Alive Tomorrow: Unknown Announcer [1953]
This PSA is yet another friendly suggestion from the government to "plan now" for possible "emergency action"...

Singer and actress Connie Francis (Who's Sorry Now) reinforces gender stereotypes...

CONELRAD 'Test Announcement': Unknown Announcer [1956]
This announcement was played throughout the country on July 20, 1956 as part of the second annual national civil defense drill known as 'Operation Alert'...

CONELRAD Radio Alert 'Real Thing' (WBEN AM, Buffalo, NY): Unknown Announcer (but probably Ward Fenton) [1953]
Thankfully, this 1953 recording sat unused for half a century at the transmitter site of a Buffalo radio station before an observant engineer discovered it sitting in a dusty drawer...

CONELRAD, Sounds Pretty Complicated: Unknown Announcer [1953]
The radio engineering feat known as CONELRAD was rather difficult for the average listener to comprehend...

Every Living Thing: Joni James [1959]
With the youthful sound of this particular celebrity announcer, this track could almost be subtitled "Gidget Goes Nuclear"...

Excellent Chances: Groucho Marx [1953]
The secret word is atomic. Groucho Marx, a certifiable comic genius and cultural icon, was an ill-suited choice to impart deadly serious civil defense information...

Family Fallout Shelter Booklet: Fred MacMurray [1959]
When movie and television star Fred MacMurray (‘Double Indemnity’ and ‘My Three Sons’) wasn't busy trying to steal Lucy Riccardo's uranium...

Help Ourselves: Johnny Cash [1959]
The Man in Black...

Another panic-inducing PSA courtesy of the federal government...

How Much Time Do We Have (Keep Working): Unknown Announcer [1953]
Some early Cold War civil defense public service announcements (PSAs) are reminiscent of the World War II-era entreaties for public support for the military...

In Time Of Emergency (Basic Supplies): Unknown Announcer [1968]
The announcer in this spot suggests some supplies to be taken to the public fallout shelter...

After this announcer runs down the litany of different places one can seek improvised shelter (car, tree, ditch…)...

 
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