Albion Historical Notebook

GWEN DEW VOICE RECORDING

GWEN DEW VOICE RECORDING

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I’ve recently discovered a voice recording of Albion’s famous writer/photographer/journalist Gwen Dew (1903-1993) on the internet. I’ve previously written about Gwen numerous times in this column.

I’ve recently discovered a voice recording of Albion’s famous writer/photographer/journalist Gwen Dew (1903-1993) on the internet. I’ve previously written about Gwen numerous times in this column. If you’re interested in reading them, go to the www.albionmich.com website, type in her name in the site search engine, and you’ll get the list of articles I’ve written which you can choose to read by clicking on the titles.

In 1936 and 1937, Gwen traveled around the world, writing articles and taking photographs for the Detroit News about her experiences as she went from place-to-place. Her weekly articles were read by thousands of persons. She returned in Michigan in July, 1937.

On June 13, 1938, the Lux Radio Hour Theatre featured a drama entitled “Theodora Goes Wild,” starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant. Irene had starred in the movie version of the same title by Columbia Pictures in 1936. 59:47 minutes long, this radio version was produced by Cecil B. DeMille, the famous movie director. At 34.52 after the clapping ends and the intermission begins, DeMille’s voice is heard introducing Gwen Dew, whom he then interviews. Imagine—a 1920 graduate of Albion High School being interviewed on national radio by Cecil B. DeMille!

Gwen begins a scripted synopsis of her experiences at 35:28, which continues to 39:20. In her story, Gwen relates how Lux Flakes helped keep her clothes fresh during her travels around the world. She ends her narration by stating, “For those of you who are listening to me tonight and have read my stories while I was gone, I offer a thousand thanks, for it was you who gave the world to me.”

To access this production, on Google in the search engine, type in “Lux Radio Theatre Theodora Goes Wild.” It is episode 180. In the list of choices, choose the You Tube (Old Time Radio) version and use the aforementioned timing information to get to Gwen’s portion.

Gwen subsequently returned to the Far East, and was hired by the United Press as a special correspondent, also writing for the Detroit News, and Newsweek magazine. In October, 1941 she arrived back in Hong Kong and stayed at the Repulse Bay Hotel. It was here that the most dramatic portion of her journalistic career occurred in December, 1941 when the Japanese invaded Hong Kong, and Gwen was captured and placed in an internment camp.

From our Historical Notebook this week we present the classic photograph of Gwen arriving back in Detroit at the City Airport on July 16, 1937, holding one of the dolls she collected while overseas. A “heads up” to my readers of this column: Coming up on Saturday, September 24 at 3:30 pm, yours truly will be giving a presentation talk about Gwen Dew as part of the Historical Society of Michigan annual conference which is being held here in Albion that weekend. You’ll want to attend this. I’ll provide more details in this column as we move closer to that date.

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