For immediate release |
January 15, 1999
The Century's Lost & Found
Heard on NPR
Beginning Friday, January 29, and continuing on
Fridays through January 2000, NPR's® All Things Considered
® presents "Lost & Found Sound," a
series of stories and sonic snapshots that capture
American 20th century life through recorded sound.
Additional special features will air on NPRs new
weekly program Anthem®.
[Please contact your local NPR station for broadcast
A collection of richly layered stories, "Lost & Found Sound" explores the ways recorded sound captured and changed the course of history, and how the sound of daily life has changed over the last hundred years. The series includes:
- a look at how the spirit, the inventions and the
recordings of the near-deaf inventor Thomas Alva
Edison continue to permeate our culture;
- a profile of Tony Schwartz, an innovative and
inspired sound gatherer, recording the sounds of
America since 1945. A man who will venture no
further than his postal zone, Mr. Schwartz has
made more than 30,000 home recordings in the
streets, delis, cabs, playgrounds and stoops of
his New York neighborhood;
- the story of Amelia Earharts final flight
and radio transmission;
- Armed Forces Network broadcasts of WWII
soldiers requests for sounds from
home-sizzling steak, the fog horns of San
Franciscos harbor and Johnny
Weissmullers Tarzan yell;
- audio chronicles of life in Memphis. Before
Elvis, before Sun Studios, Sam Phillips and his
Memphis Recording Service recorded weddings,
funerals, proms and cotton carnivals. Across
town, R.A. Coleman, a black photographer,
moonlighted recording weddings and church
services in his community;
- recorded conversations from space to earth;
- and a "Quest for Sound." Listeners will be asked to dig into their closets, attics and personal archives to search for their family audio history. Radio stories will be created with their findings and broadcast over the coming months.
"Lost & Found Sound" features endangered sounds, vanishing voices, the merging of languages, stories of people possessed by sound and music, and the soundtrack of the streets of the future. The series examines what we Americans choose to capture in our radio broadcasts, home recordings and sonic obsessions, and how this reveals what we value, notice and preserve. Stories provide glimpses of the century caught in the sounds and personal reflections of everyday life, and great moments in history.
"Lost & Found Sound" is a collaboration of NPR, Americas finest independent radio producers, creative artists, individual stations and listeners. The project is led by Executive Producers Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva (The Kitchen Sisters) and Jay Allison, and NPRs Art Silverman. Funding for "Lost & Found Sound" is provided by The National Endowment for the Arts and The Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
NPR, a membership organization of 607 public radio stations nationwide, is radios leading provider of high-quality news, information, and cultural programming worldwide. NPR produces and/or distributes the award-winning programs Morning Edition®, NPRs Performance Today®, Jazz Profiles® and Car Talk®.