Webley Edwards

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Webley Edwards (November 11, 1902 – October 5, 1977) was a World War II news correspondent and Hawaiian radio personality.

Early life and education[edit]

Edwards attended Oregon State University where he became the first student manager of campus radio while also joining the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity.

Career[edit]

Initial radio career[edit]

In 1928 Edwards relocated to Hawaii where he became an auto salesman. It was during this time he developed a keen interest in native Hawaiian musical traditions. In 1935 he became a producer for a radio show which showcased authentic island music. The show, named Hawaii Calls debuted on July 3 of that year. The show struggled financially for the first several years.

The war years[edit]

Edwards was the first radio announcer to broadcast the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. It was he who said on air: "Attention. This is no exercise. The Japanese are attacking Pearl Harbor!....All Army, Navy and Marine personnel to report to duty". After the attack, Edwards worked as a reporter for CBS Radio. Among his most notable experiences was landing the first interview with Colonel Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay which dropped the atomic bomb over Hiroshima. Edwards, of CBS, was one of only two broadcast journalists aboard the USS Missouri during the surrender ceremony at Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. He was the "chief announcer" for the ceremony, Merrill Mueller of NBC was the "narrator." Edwards has the distinction of being the only broadcaster to witness the very beginning and end of the United States' involvement in WWII.

Radio career after the war[edit]

Edwards returned to radio broadcasting Hawaiian music. Hawaii Calls ran for 37 years. He wrote lyrics (with Leon Pober) to the popular song, "Pearly Shells" recorded by Burl Ives, Don Ho, Billy Vaughn and Hank Snow, to name a few. Edwards' popularity was evident in that he was also elected to the state legislature. He died of a heart attack in 1977

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