The Sorcerer’s Apprentice for Children
Narrated by Milton Cross
Lucy Brown and Norma Dolin, Pianists
Musicraft Album 71 view record label
Total Time: 11:25
Milton John Cross (April 16, 1897 – January 3, 1975) was an American radio announcer famous for his work on the NBC and ABC radio networks.
He was best known as the voice of the Metropolitan Opera, hosting its Saturday afternoon radio broadcasts for 43 years, from the time of their inception in 1931 until his death in 1975.
Born in New York City, Cross started his career just as network radio itself was in its earliest stages. He joined the New Jersey station WJZ in 1921, not just as an announcer but also as a singer, often enaging in recitals with the station’s staff pianist, Keith McLeod.  By 1927, WJZ had moved to Manhattan and had become the flagship station of the Blue Network of NBC’s new national radio network. Cross’ voice became familiar as he not only delivered announcements for the Blue Network but also hosted a number of popular programs. Cross was the announcer for the quiz program Information Please and the musical humor show The Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street, among others.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (German: Der Zauberlehrling) is a poem by Goethe, written in 1797. The poem is a ballad in fourteen stanzas.
The poem begins as an old sorcerer departs his workshop, leaving his apprentice with chores to perform. Tired of fetching water by pail, the apprentice enchants a broom to do the work for him — using magic in which he is not yet fully trained. The floor is soon awash with water, and the apprentice realizes that he cannot stop the broom because he does not know how.
Not knowing how to control the enchanted broom, the apprentice splits it in two with an axe, but each of the pieces becomes a new broom and takes up a pail and continues fetching water, now at twice the speed. When all seems lost, the old sorcerer returns, quickly breaks the spell and saves the day. The poem finishes with the old sorcerer’s statement that powerful spirits should only be called by the master himself.