Fifty years ago, CBC Radio devoted 17 hours to the voices and stories of the men who fought in World War One. This summer, to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the war, documentary producer Steve Wadhams and host Beza Seife bring those voices and stories back to life.
Host Beza Seife has spent six years at the CBC working in the newsroom, in the studio and in the field. She's done everything from reporting on human smugglers in St. Stephen, New Brunswick to reading CBC Radio's hourly national news. Beza has also produced several network programs for CBC Radio, including last summer's Intersections and this year's How To Do It: The Guide to Everything Else. Beza's full time gig is producing interviews and stories for CBC Radio's Syndicated Audio Unit.
Producer Steve Wadhams has been in love with radio ever since that day in 1968 when he entered a BBC training studio and realised that here was a 'magic space' offering portals to other places and other times, other minds and other worlds. Since then he's enjoyed a forty year career at CBC Radio and TV producing documentaries and adventurous "audio journeys" ranging from the journalistic to the impressionistic, from one minute miniatures to five hour specials on George Orwell. He has won numerous Canadian and international awards for his work and is in demand as a teacher and mentor of radio storytelling.
J. Frank Willis wrote, narrated and produced the 1964 series "Flanders Fields" together with colleagues Frank Lalor and Joseph Schull. The first person soldiers' accounts of WW1 in "The Bugle and the passing bell" are drawn from this 17 hour series made to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the war. J. Frank Willis was one of Canada's most celebrated early broadcasters. What made him famous was his live coverage of the 1936 Moose River mine disaster in Nova Scotia where he supplied graphic accounts of the rescue attempt to radio stations across Canada and around the world every half hour without a break for 69 hours. This revolutionized people's understanding of what radio could do. Frank Willis died in 1969 at the age of 60.