Cavalcade of America - The Arts, vol. 1


These historical dramatizations of humanitarian progress are true American hero tales featuring vintage music, intriguing interviews, and even Broadway & Hollywood adaptations.


Compass Classroom is delighted to present The Arts, vol. 1 as part of The Cavalcade of America series for use with Dave Raymond’s American History course or as a standalone resource for your homeschool.

These historical dramatizations of humanitarian progress are true American hero tales featuring vintage music, intriguing interviews, and even Broadway & Hollywood adaptations. Be sure to check out The Arts, vol. 2 for even more exciting historical re-imaginings!

The Cavalcade of America was produced by the DuPont Company to burnish its motto of “Maker of better things for better living through chemistry.” The programs originally aired on CBS radio from 1935-1953, and on television from 1952-1957.

Included in this download:

  • 49 30-min MP3 files tagged for use in iTunes or similar music database



Access the materials at “Downloadable Products” in your Compass Classroom store account, and unzip the file to a location on your hard drive.

Once the files are unzipped, you can play the files directly on your computer. Alternatively, you can upload the files to any device which will play .mp3s. If you use iTunes or a similar music database program, you can drag the unzipped folders to the program icon and they will organize automatically by disc, which corresponds to lesson in the curriculum.

These audio files were obtained in the public domain and are provided as-is. If you have questions, get help at

Episode List

  1. Songs That Inspired The Nation, Originally broadcast 03/04/1936. Many years ago a philosopher named Andrew Fletcher wrote, “If a man were permitted to make all the ballads he need not care who should make the laws of the nation”. Truly music has been a vital factor in our national life since our puritan forefathers sang their d song of thanksgiving in the New England wilderness. But it was many years before any American writer of songs rose to fame. It is the year 1826 and a 4th of July celebration is being held in a small town near Pittsburgh and the mayor is introducing the speaker of the day…
  2. Winning Fame For American Literature, Originally broadcast 04/01/1936. Literature is an important index of a countries progress whether the work of its authors be critical or inspirational their writings must furnish the guide to each succeeding generation on the customs, traditions and ambitions of a race. It is 1845 near the small sleepy village of Hannibal Missouri. In that typical American Village lived Sam Clemens later to be called Mark Twain. As a small boy he had his best times swimming in the river Mississippi.
  3. The Artistic Impulse, Originally broadcast 05/06/1936. In this episode of Cavalcade of America we hear of the mothers of two famous American artists and for Mothers Day the Dupont Cavalcade Orchestra plays as an overture a special arrangement of Dvorak “Songs my Mother Taught Me” and “Brahms Lullaby”.
  4. American Journalism, Originally broadcast 07/01/1936. “The Story Of Horace Greely.” “The Story Of Henry Mortimer Stanley.” The orchestra plays selections from, “Maytime.” Cavalcade presents two dramatic stories about a part of American life that touches all of us nearly every day, Journalism. From early colonial days America had newspapers but in the middle of the nineteenth century she was to develop real journalists who served as definite inspiration in her progress.
  5. Victor Herbert – Master Of Melody, Originally broadcast 07/08/1936. A musical biography of the famous composer.
  6. Development Of Band Music In America 1, Originally broadcast 07/15/1936. Program #1 of a summer series. Music popularized by (John Phillip) Sousa, Gilmore and (Arthur) Pryor. The first selection of, “Semper Fidelis.” The Cavalcade of America sponsored by Dupont inaugurate a special summer series and welcomes as its musical conductor the world’s foremost bandmaster, Arthur Prior. With his famous band he brings you the first chapter in the origin and development of orchestral and band music.
  7. Development Of Band Music In America 2, Originally broadcast 07/22/1936. Program #2 of a summer series. “The Development Of Band Music In America.” The first tune is, “Washington Post March.” During the period affectionately termed “The Gay Nineties” (1890’s that is) the two-step was America’s most popular dance and Souza marches especially the Washington Post were in great demand. In Europe the Washington Post march became such a symbol of that particular dance that the dance step itself was known as a Washington Post. At the worlds fair in Chicago in 1893 Theodore Thomas, famous orchestral conductor was named as director of music and during the spring and summer Sousa’s band was engaged to play at that famous exposition.
  8. Development Of Band Music In America 3, Originally broadcast 07/29/1936. Program #3 of a summer series. “The Development Of Band Music In America.” The first tune is, “El Capitan March.” Arthur Prior with his famous band is here again continuing the summer music series Cavalcade of America sponsored by Dupont bring you another program with fine band music.
  9. Development Of Band Music In America 4, Originally broadcast 08/05/1936. Program #4 of a summer series. “The Development Of Band Music In America.” The first tune is, “Will Rogers, America’s Cowboy Philosopher.” The program includes a playing of “My Country ‘Tis Of Thee” on a set of squeeze bulb horns, as a seal would perform it. No indication is given as to whether a real animal or a human performer is used. The program ends with the most famous band tune, “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Arthur Prior with his famous band is here again continuing the summer music series Cavalcade of America sponsored by Dupont bring you another program with fine band music.
  10. The Evolution Of Dance Music In America, Originally broadcast 08/26/1936. A musical survey from 1834 to the latest in “swing.” The first tune is, “Turkey In The Straw.” “America has always been a dancing nation from the days when the old fiddle and the concertina played for the rollicking barn dance to the present day with its hundreds of dance orchestras beating out their rhythms on roof gardens high up to the clouds. Dance rhythms of today give us a smooth pattern of restful tones or a brilliant flash of rhythmic design. Phonographs and radios made the varying styles of different dance orchestra familiar to Americans from coast to coast. How did it all happen? Let us turn the calendar back to the 1880’s and look in on an old fashioned square dance…”
  11. Development of Band Music in America 6, Originally broadcast 09/02/1936. Program #6 of a summer series. “The Development Of Band Music In America.” The first tune is, “Tell Me Pretty Maiden.” The Princes’ theatre New York 1917 three men with good imaginations, P.G Wodehouse, Guy Bolton and Jerome Kerne began writing one successful musical comedy after another, “Oh Boy”, “Very Good Eddie”, “Have a Heart”, “Leave it to Jane” and a lot more. Their pattern was different; more liberties were taken with the plot, there was more dancing and comedy.
  12. The Orchestra Of Today And How It Grew, Originally broadcast 09/16/1936. The first tune is, “Let’s Face The Music and Dance.” A well-done portrait of how the “modern” pop music orchestra has evolved in the last fifteen years, and how radio has contributed to these changes. The program has an interesting and prophetic DuPont commercial. The Orchestra of Today and how it grew is the title of this chapter of the Cavalcade of America in music presented by Dupont featuring Don Voorhees and his distinguished orchestra. To begin with Don Voorhees and his men do a number that gives the orchestra full scope in a 1936 arrangement of a 1936 hit, Irvin Berlin’s Let Face The Music And Dance.
  13. Music Of The Movies, Originally broadcast 09/23/1936. A survey of the high points of movie music in the first eight years of sound films. Another chapter in the Cavalcade of America In Music presented by Dupont featuring Don Voorhees and his distinguished orchestra. Music Of The Movies is the title of this story and what progress the movies have made; better writing and music, superior direction and acting and greater technical skill. All of which combine to give us the excellent entertainment provided by motion pictures today (1936).
  14. Edward Macdowell Pioneer In American Music, Originally broadcast 10/28/1936. The story of a pioneer in American music, Edward MacDowell, who lived from 1860 – 1908. Also to say a few words is the widow of the composer musician Mrs. MacDowell.
  15. Songs Of Sentiment, Originally broadcast 11/25/1936. Songs of sentiment have long reflected true American characteristics love of home and family, of old familiar things, of memories and dreams. This Cavalcade of America story presented by Dupont tells in tales and music the stories behind some of the good old tunes that have marched down through the years starting in 1830.
  16. A Tribute To Ernestine Schumann Heink, Originally broadcast 12/23/1936. The Cavalcade of America pays tribute to one of the most beloved women of all time, Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink, a great artist and a great humanitarian. Although born in Prague, Austrian-Hungary Madame Schumann-Heink became an American citizen and adopted America as her own land. The discovery that young Ernestine Roessler had been endowed with a remarkable voice came while the young girl was a student in the Ursuline Convent in Prague. In 1887 when she was 16 years of age her first great opportunity came. The famous tenor Labot impressed with her voice arrange an appointment for her to sing for the director of the imperial opera in Vienna.
  17. Winning Prestige For The American Stage, Originally broadcast 01/06/1937. Prior to the American Revolution English players held a monopoly of theatrical entertainment in America. One of first Americans who dared to assist in the theory that American folk life and characters were worth portrayal on the stage was Joseph Jefferson America’s first great comedian whose name is synonymous with his most famous characterization, Rip Van Winkle. It is the story of Jefferson that is dramatized in this episode of Cavalcade.
  18. Songs Of The Sea, Originally broadcast 01/20/1937. In this episode Dupont bring a story of songs of the sea and of the men who sang them in the golden age of sail.
  19. Winning Recognition For American Singers, Originally broadcast 02/24/1937. Lillian Norton was born on May 12th, 1859 in the little village of Farmington, Maine. Her exceptional voice was discovered when she was a child and her parents moved to Boston to give her the advantages of a musical education. When she was 17 years-old she had been engaged as a church soloist in Boston which in the opinion of her parents and of her preacher grandfather was the pinnacle of success for the young girl…
  20. James Fenimore Cooper First American Novelist, Originally broadcast 03/17/1937.
  21. Songs Of The Gay 1890s, Originally broadcast 04/14/1937. The songs of no other decade picture so vividly the tempo of their time and because these songs were first heard in the theaters, music and concert halls of New York, you are invited to turn back the clock and join a group of young people, a city pair and a country couple as they are making their way to the Broadway of the 1890’s.
  22. Songs Of The South, Originally broadcast 05/05/1937. The Dupont Cavalcade of America presents a tribute to National Music Week. Probably no part of the country has inspired a greater wealth of melody than the South and its music, which can be heard in this episode, is sung, played and enjoyed by all America.
  23. Songs Of The American Indian, Originally broadcast 05/26/1937. The Cavalcade of America salutes in songs and story the Indians, the original American. Music has always played an important part not only in his ceremonials but also in every event of his daily life.
  24. Music Of Irving Berlin, Originally broadcast 07/07/1937. In it’s summer Cavalcade of Music Dupont is pleased to present this tribute to Irving Berlin’s genius. It is in his first and lovely melodies that you will now hear that he will live, for on your piano or in your music shop you will notice that it always says, “words and music by Irving Berlin.”
  25. Music Of George Gershwin, Originally broadcast 07/14/1937. On the 11th of July 1937 shortly before his 39th birthday musical composer George Gershwin died of a brain tumor. Dupont’s Summer Cavalcade of Music were scheduled to feature Gershwin’s music the following week but as a special tribute to the young man whose tunes brought joy to America, this show was broadcast on the 14th July 1937. Gershwin lifted our popular music to a new level as the leading interpreter for what was called the Jazz idiom. Not all great Americans were born long ago. Time is impervious to genius and genius is never confined to any period in history. In our own time lived a young man who will be remembered long after our generation have passed away. It seems only yesterday that he sat at his piano and composed the melodies that the nation sings today. He devoted himself and the passionate fire of his heart to American music and American music was enriched because of him. His name recalls first a chord, then a tinkling tin pan ally tune and finally an opera, Porgy And Bess. His name – George Gershwin…
  26. Music Of Richard Rodgers, Originally broadcast 07/21/1937. In writing two successful shows for Columbia University in New York, Richard Rodgers and his lyric writing partner Lorenz Hart startled blasé critics of light music by showing Broadway something new. Working as a team they later wrote the score for the first intimate type of musical revue The Garrick Gaieties (1925). Here you can listen to a selection of Rodgers great early pieces.
  27. Music Of Vincent Youmans, Originally broadcast 07/28/1937. For the Dupont summer Cavalcade of Music the music of American popular composer and Broadway producer Vincent Youmans is featured, including such hits as , Without A Song, Time On My Hands and Great Day.
  28. Music Of Rudolf Friml, Originally broadcast 08/04/1937. Rudolph Friml has composed the music for many a successful operetta including The Vagabond King and you will hear his famous Song Of The Vagabonds. In 1917 Friml wrote the score for a musical called and a successful number was the title song itself and for Cavalcade Don Voorhees and the Dupont Cavalcade Orchestra play it along with many other of Friml’s compositions.
  29. Music Of Sigmund Romberg, Originally broadcast 08/11/1937. This program features the music of Sigmund Romberg a man whose name appears on any list of those whose compositions have enriched the music of America. Who’s Who of the theater lists him as having composed all or part of the music for 55 stage presentations through 1935.
  30. Music Of Arthur Schwartz, Originally broadcast 08/25/1937. Arthur Schwartz was the writer of the musical score of the 1937 music romance called Virginia and now you can hear Don Voorhees and his orchestra and the soprano voice of Miss Franshaw White perform some of his music.
  31. Music Of Victor Herbert, Originally broadcast 09/01/1937. The program begins with a melody from one of Victor Herbert’s 41 Operettas, the Waltz from Sweethearts.
  32. Music Of Nacio Herb Brown, Originally broadcast 09/08/1937. Many years ago few people dreamed that the movies would talk and sing and that music would be specially written for the film and that Hollywood would have a tin-pan-ally all of its own. But it happened and one of the composers who climbed to the top via the movies was a young man named Nacio Herb Brown. Born in Los Angeles Brown simply moved a few blocks and went to work in Hollywood Studios writing tunes that quickly caught the national fancy and established him as a top flight composer of light music.
  33. Music Of Cole Porter, Originally broadcast 09/15/1937. Dupont Cavalcade of Music presents the music of Cole Porter one of our most ingenious composers of light music with singing by Conrad Tebo and Don Voorhees and his orchestra. Includes songs such as An Old Fashioned Garden and Night and Day.
  34. Don Voorhees Own Program, Originally broadcast 09/22/1937. Cavalcade of America presents a program in honor of their musical director. This show has been prepared by Don Voorhees who has also written the script and who will make his own announcement.
  35. Edwin Booth Pioneer American Actor, Originally broadcast 09/29/1937. The story of Edwin Booth who at the time was called by many the greatest of American actors. Through his continued efforts and his international reputation the stage in America was elevated to its rightful prominence in the English-speaking world.
  36. Clara Louise Kellogg, Originally broadcast 10/27/1937. Cavalcade of America tells the story of America’s first prim Dona Clara Louise Kellogg who was also the first American singer to defy tradition by obtaining all her music training in her native land. She was the first American to achieve worldwide recognition in the field of opera and through her pioneering efforts she blazed a trail for other talented American singers to follow.
  37. Songs Of Stephen Foster – An American Legend, Originally broadcast 04/09/1940. The life of the great American composer, told in a story and his music. The first of Mr. Foster’s songs heard is, “Beautiful Dreamer.”
  38. Short Cut To Tokyo, Originally broadcast 05/28/1940. The Cavalcade of America presents Shortcut To Tokyo adapted by Isabelle Layton from Corey Ford’s bestseller of the same title. It is an eyewitness report of the progress of the battle of the Aleutians in Mr Ford’s own words and starring Ralph Bellamy in the role of Corey Ford.
  39. John Sutter, Originally broadcast 06/04/1940. The story of the man from Switzerland who owned the entire Sacramento Valley until gold was discovered on the site of his saw mill. This is an original radio play set in California in the year 1839 and inspired by the life of John Sutter and the California gold rush starring Edwin Jerome in the lead role.
  40. The Lost Colony, Originally broadcast 10/02/1940. Since its first performance on Roanoke Island, North Carolina on July 4th 1937 The Lost Colony has taken a prominent place among the annual dramatic festivals of the nation. This specially written radio version is a story of a woman in that valiant band of colonists Eleanor Dare whose daughter Virginia was the first English child born in the American colonies. Based on the novel by the Pulitzer Prize novelist Paul Green (1937). Loretta Young as Eleanor Dare, Jeanette Nolan as Queen Elizabeth.
  41. The Battle Hymn Of The Republic, Originally broadcast 12/04/1940. A superb time-travel journey back in time to November, 1861, to a nation at war. The story of how Julia Ward Howe came to write the title hymn; excellent radio writing.
  42. The Green Pastures, Originally broadcast 12/25/1940. The first radio dramatization of the story, based on the Pulitzer prize winning play. The story of the old testament, retold in simple terms from a Negro point of view.
  43. Wait For The Morning, Originally broadcast 01/22/1941. The biography of poet Emily Dickenson and of her great love. Today the Cavalcade players present an original play with verse, about the life and romance of Emily Dickenson, the New England poet whose voice speaking for all lovers left an authentic American imprint upon the literature of the world. With her small beautiful face, and her eyes turned inward upon her soul, and her voice with the quality of angels, she left a record of her heart for all to read.
  44. Edgar Allan Poe, Originally broadcast 02/26/1941. A well-done biography of the somber, unhappy life of the poet and writer. Karl Swenson stars as Edgar Allan Poe in this story inspired by the life of Edgar Allan Poe the brooding genius whose stories and poems left an authentic American imprint upon the literature of the world. Especially written by Norman Rosten based on research on the life of Edgar Allan Poe.
  45. I Sing A New World, Originally broadcast 03/19/1941. I Sing A New World is a fantasy about Walt Whitman written for the Cavalcade of America by Robert Tallman.
  46. Down To The Sea, Originally broadcast 03/26/1941. The story of Herman Melville’s adventures in the South Seas, aboard whaling ships and surprisingly ending his days as a New York Customs Inspector.


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