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Quest for Sound Stories

  • Read and Listen to more about The Quest for Sound.

    Here is a listing of Quest for Sound Stories that have been broadcast to date:

    April 21, 2000
    The Vietnam Tapes of Lance Corporal Michael A. Baronowski
    The Vietnam Tapes of Lance Corporal Michael A. Baronowski Michael Baronowski was a 19-year-old Marine when he landed in Vietnam. He took a reel-to-reel tape machine with him and made some remarkable recordings before he was killed in action in the fall of 1967.

    October 1, 1999
    "1941 Slam Poetry": Fred Friendly at Quonset
    Before he was dean at the Columbia University School of Journalism, before his legendary collaboration with Edward R. Murrow, before he produced CBS' "See It Now," Fred Friendly gave a speech for the opening of the Quonset Naval Air Station in Rhode Island.

    August 20, 1999
    Lovers of Lost Fans
    Old electric fans are the passion of listener Willard Mayes and fellow members of the American Fan Collectors Association. Mayes called our Quest for Sound phone line to tell us about his love for the machines. Quest curator Jay Allison takes us to Andover, Kansas, to hear fans hum, and sometimes, whistle.

    August 6, 1999
    Sound of a Silent Star
    Sound of Silents

    Silent film star Buster Keaton is always seen more than he is heard. But through our Quest for Sound phone line and listener Bob Borgen, we hear Keaton sing at a party. Also, NPR film critic Bob Mondello takes us back to the days of silent films and reminds us that there was a time when we weren't supposed to hear anything in the movies.

    June 30, 1999
    Bride, Groom & Microphone
    In celebration of the Spring marriage season, an audio album of weddings curated from the Quest for Sound. The brides and grooms are wed in ceremonies reflecting their different times, lives, traditions and the recording mediums of the era.

    June 25, 1999
    Sound Restoration
    We learn about what old sounds can and can't be restored. Sound restorer Steve Smolian demonstrates how he goes about his job using materials provided by Quest for Sound line callers. From listener Laurie Baker's little sister singing "All Things Bright and Beautiful" to listener Martha Platt's grandmother speaking in Swedish - Smolian uses his talent and specialized equipment to bring back long lost voices.

    June 4, 1999
    Sound-Crossed Lovers
    A story of two children with different accents: one British, one Spanish. Now they are adults who are engaged to be married, and have lost their accents. But they each discovered tapes of themselves as children, each singing "Old MacDonald Had A Farm."

    May 21, 1999
    Lindbergh, Collie, and Me
    On May 21, 1927, Minnesotan Xandra Kalman and her husband Collie were on vacation in Paris. It was her wish to be at Le Bourget Field when Charles Lindbergh landed there that day...and she was. She later told the story to her children and grandchildren and recorded it on audio cassette. Her step-grandson, Mark Orton submitted it to our Quest for Sound™.

    May 14, 1999
    CIGAR STORIES: El lector - He Who Reads
    Actor Andy Garcia narrates a story about the "readers" who made life in cigar factories tolerable. This story, produced by The Kitchen Sisters -- Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva -- in collaboration with Laura Folger and Tina Pacheco, tells the story of the men who were paid to read aloud to men and women rolling cigars in Tampa and Ybor City, Florida at the beginning of the century and into the 1930s. Listener Henry Cordova brought it to our attention through the Quest for Sound.

    May 8, 1999
    Meet the Beatles
    In August 1964 at the age of 19, Judy Vulliet and her friend met the Beatles. They reported on the Beatles American tour for a Washington, DC radio station. But they recorded and saved only one interview, which Ms. Vulliet told us about on our Quest for Sound™ phone line.

    April 2, 1999
    Extinct Tongues: South African Language
    A linguist in Flagstaff, Arizona, Bonny Sands, told us about her colleague from South Africa Tony Traill. Traill took some old wax cylinders and documented a lot of the now extinct languages of South Africa. He has now put out a CD copy of the original, which was recorded in 1936. We hear excerpts.

    March 19, 1999
    Mr. Watson, Come Here, I Want You!
    Thomas A. Watson, assistant to Alexander Graham Bell, was the recipient of the first telephone call ever. Watson's description of that historic event comes to us via his grandson, Dr. Bill Winternitz of Alabama.

    March 4, 1999
    Harmonica Lessons
    As a child, listener Jonathan Mitchell received a cassette sent to him by his grandfather. He never knew his grandfather very well, and listening to the tape evoked some mixed feelings for Jonathan.

    February 19, 1999
    Harry Truman: Center of the World
    Itís a remarkable, bittersweet goodbye by a famous man to his boyhood home. Listener and media producer Reverend Dwight Frizzell grew up in Trumanís hometown of Independence, Missouri. Several years ago he went to the Truman presidential Library and found this transcription of a groundbreaking. With the help of a musician friend, Michael Henry, he added music.

    February 15, 1999
    Gettysburg Eyewitness
    A unique recording: the voice of William V. Rathvon, who as a nine-year-old boy watched and listened to Abraham Lincoln deliver his address at Gettysburg in November 1863. The story was told in 1938 and recorded on a 78 r.p.m. record.

    February 5, 1999
    Response to the Quest
    Listen with Real Audio in 14.4 or 28.8 flavors.

    January 29, 1999
    Introduction to the Quest
    Listen with Real Audio in 14.4 or 28.8 flavors.


    "Quest for Sound," is curated by Producer Jay Allison with help from NPR's Art Silverman, Viki Merrick, Darcy Bacon, and Kate Volkman.

    Copyright © 1999 The Kitchen Sisters