Sofia Coppola, center, with her parents, director Francis Ford Coppola and Eleanor, at the Governor's Ball following the 76th annual Academy Awards in Hollywood. Sofia Coppola won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for "Lost in Translation," which she wrote and directed. Photo: Corbis
February 27, 2004
From the Archives: Sofia Coppola
As the Academy Awards approach, we unearth a gem from the Lost & Found Sound archives from 1977 -- a home recording of 5-year-old Sofia Coppola. Coppola is being interviewed by her father, Oscar winner Francis Ford Coppola, who asks his daughter to talk to her future adult self. Sofia, who is up for two awards, is the first American woman ever nominated for a best-director Oscar, for her film Lost in Translation.
(Post-Awards Note: Coppola won the Oscar for best original screenplay.)
October 3, 2003
Green Street Mortuary Band
Sundays in San Francisco, the Green Street Mortuary Band winds its way through the busy streets of Chinatown , with a "picture" car, a hearse, and a stream of mourners trailing behind. Spirit money floats through the air. Cymbals crash, scaring off evil spirits. Onlookers bow their heads in respect as the brass band blows a dirge.
The Green Street Mortuary Band traces its roots back nearly 100 years to the Cathay Chinese Boys Band, the first marching band in Chinatown. For more than 50 years, this amateur band performed for its community at every big event -- Chinese New Year's, the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge and the neighborhood's elaborate funeral processions. Today, Green Street, a union band from the old Italian mortuary in neighboring North Beach, continues this Chinatown tradition of a last musical send-off.
August 15, 2003
Home Movie Day
Sigmund Freud shot some. So did Groucho Marx, Desi Arnaz, your Aunt Molly and your Dad. Home movies. Moving slices of time. Film archivists, collectors and enthusiasts around the world have declared Saturday, August 16, "Home Movie Day" -- a day of celebration and preservation. Lost and Found Sound presents a cross-country portrait of some of the individuals and inspirations behind the first annual Home Movie Day.
March 3, 2003
Liberace and the Trinidad Tripoli Steelband
The steel drum musical instrument was first created in Trinidad, hammered from biscuit boxes, brake drums and oil barrels. One of the biggest "steel pan" bands of the 1960s was the Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steelband, who gained worldwide fame when an unlikely patron heard their act and took them on tour. Lost and Found Sound presents a story of calypso music, steel drums and flamboyant pianist Liberace.
September 10, 2002
A September Story
We set up a phone line, and hundreds of you left your testimony and remembrances, poems, music, on-site recordings, small shards of sound. From this collection, and from dozens of interviews done by producers across the nation, the Sonic Memorial Project has created "A September Story," an intimate and historic radio documentary marking the anniversary of 9/11.
July 29, 2002
The Building Stewardesses at the WTC 1968 -- '71
Lost & Found Sound's Sonic Memorial Project explores the life and history of the World Trade Center through the little-known stories of the the "building stewardesses" -- young, pretty women who acted as guides as the twin towers began to rise over lower Manhattan.
July 1, 2002
Walking High Steel
The Empire State Building, the George Washington Bridge, the World Trade Center -- for six generations, Mohawk Indian ironworkers have helped shape New York City's skyline, working the "high steel" of skyscrapers and bridges. Hear their stories and learn of their legacy at the WTC's Twin Towers, as part of the Sonic Memorial Project.
June 3, 2002
Manhattan's 'Radio Row'
As part of Lost & Found Sound's Sonic Memorial Project, we take a look back at the people and stories of "Radio Row," the neighborhood that was demolished to make room for the World Trade Center in 1966. Metro Radio, Blan the Radio Man, Cantor the Cabinet King -- a six-square-block area in lower Manhattan was home to these and other businesses, forming the largest collection of radio and electronics stores in the world.
February 14, 2002
Weddings at the WTC
Some of the most surprising contributions to the Sonic Memorial project were the many tales of romance and marriage that took place at the top of the World Trade Center. We share some of those tales for Valentine's Day.
February 4, 2002
WTC Sonic Memorial
The "Sonic Memorial" project is a collaboration by a team of independent producers in New York City and around the country, led by The Kitchen Sisters, WNYC, and NPR News.
November 30, 2001
Back in 1919, listening to radio was more like a science experiment than entertainment. There were no professional radio stations, and most radio receivers were homemade.
December 29, 2000
The Loon Call
When I was growing up my Dad used to call my brother
and me for dinner using a loon call, a sound he made
by holding his hands together in two big C's and
blowing between his thumbs. Somehow, I'm the only man
in my family who can't do it. So, about a year ago, my
Dad sat down and finally tried to teach me...
November 24, 2000
PAN AMERICAN BLUES: Radio Stories from Nashville
Lost & Found Sound marks the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of The
Grand Ole Opry with a story inspired by a letter from a listener in
He told us that no series about the sounds of the 20th century would be
without the sound of The Pan American train passing the WSM Radio Tower
in Nashville. In searching out that sound - The Kitchen Sisters were led to this story.
October 20, 2000
Persuading the Dead: The Persuasions Sing the Grateful Dead
The a cappella group The Persuasions decided to do an album of Grateful Dead songs. As "The Dead" have been icons of sub-culture since the mid 60's, and have inspired more than one generation of devotees (Deadheads), they knew that covering the harmonies would not suffice. They would have to rediscover AND reinvent the music - both for themselves, and the audience.
October 5, 2000
A Man Tapes His Town: The Unrelenting Oral Histories of Eddie McCoy
A self-made historian, since 1979, Eddie has done some 140 interviews and knows just about every detail of the life and lore of Oxford. His neighbors, his friends and total strangers. Eddie records the who, what, when, where, why of slavery times, of sharecropping, the civil rights era, who poured the first concrete in Oxford.
September 8, 2000
Remembering the Galveston Storm of 1900
In 1900, the once vibrant port city of Galveston, Texas was hit with with a hurricane that has been recorded as the worst natural disaster in U.S. history. Over 6,000 people perished, and the infrastructure of Galveston was virtually destroyed. Producer John Burnett revisits the voices of those who survived.
July 28, 2000
Voices from the Dust Bowl
60 years ago, refugees from the Great Plains Dust Bowl set out to California to start a new life. As part of a New Deal program to accommodate and document their migration, a team of sound recordists--equipped with a fifty pound disc recorder--was commissioned to capture these new communities in sound.
June 30, 2000
The Mother Ship
Writer Tracy Johnston from Oakland, California brings us a fragment of tape she once recorded that she likes to listen to from time to time. It's a sound that protects something she is afraid of losing. She calls it The Mother Ship.
May 26, 2000
Atencion: Seis Siete Tres Siete Cero: The Shortwave Numbers Mystery
For at least 40 years, shortwave listeners have been stumbling across the
eerie sound of unidentified stations transmitting only voices chanting
numbers. Speculation on their purpose has ranged from UFO landing
coordinates to international espionage. We explore the mystery of the
shortwave numbers stations through the recordings compiled by hardcore
April 28, 2000
French Manicure - Tales from Vietnamese Nail Shops in America
A story of memory and manicuring . What sounds do you lose when you leave your country ? What sounds teach you how to live in a new home ? Vietnamese manicurists tell their stories and the soundtracks, lost and found of their lives.
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.
March 24, 2000
Jack Foley: Feet to the Stars
Just in time for the Academy Awards, producer Yair Reiner introduces Jack
Foley, the man behind movie sound effects.
February 25, 2000
House of Night:The Lost Creation Songs of the Mohave People
Thirty years ago, Guy Tyler, an amateur ethnographer from Los Angeles drove out to the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Parker, Arizona with his portable reel-to-reel tape recorder and began recording Emmett Van Fleet, the last of the Mojave Creation Song Singers. Over the course of several years, Tyler spent his weekends and holidays meticulously recording the 525 song cycle that recounts the legend of the creation and origin of the Mojave people. These recently rediscoverd recordings have been unheard for decades.
December 31, 1999
Big Mamma Revisited
Quest for Sound curator Jay Allison reviews our year in listener
contributions, which all were entered into a database we called "Big Mamma."
December 24, 1999
Twentieth Century Wars on Tape
Over 37 million men and women have served in the armed forces and fought in the major wars this century. They bequeathed us a legacy of recorded sound that captures the breadth of experience of war, as Quest for Sound Curator Jay Allison demonstrates.
December 24, 1999
Vermontís Archive of Folk Songs
In the 1930s a prominent woman named Helen Hartness Flanders was asked to document the stateís musical past as a way to preserve its rural folk culture. The year-long project became a 35-year career in which she collected more than 4000 songs.
December 17, 1999
Walkin' Talkin' Bill Hawkins
Disk jockey William Allen Taylor went looking for the sound of the voice of
the father he never knew. He learned late in life that his father was Bill
Hawkins, Cleveland's first black disk jockey.
December 10, 1999
West Virginia Steam Trains
The trains still roll through West Virginia, but the change from
steam to diesel left ghost towns behind, and memories of lonely whistles in
the night. NPR's Noah Adams finds old train stories and sounds.
December 3, 1999
The Partridge Family's Grand Tour
In 1968, the four-member Partridge family hauled themselves and a UHER tape
recorder back from Asia overland by car and train -- and by boat with a
detour through Africa. This year NPR's Marika Partridge discovered all the
recordings from the trip that was made when she was a teenager, and presents
memories of the journey.
November 26, 1999
Aimee Semple McPherson - An Oral Mystery
Radio evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson was not seminary-trained, but when
she preached, hundreds of thousands listened. People did more than listen,
people embraced Sister Aimee and her message of God's love and healing
November 19, 1999
Obsessed With TV Sound
That Was The Week That Was
Phil Gries has recorded the sounds of television since 1958, and has
captured many historic and now lost moments in the process. Similarly, Art
Chimes was fascinated with the short-lived NBC show of the 1960s "That Was
The Week That Was" which he recorded and shares with us.
November 12, 1999
Mental Hygiene Films
In the years following World War II, students across America watched
instructional films on social guidance and attitude enhancement called
"mental hygiene" films.
November 5, 1999
WHER 1000 Beautiful Watts - Pt. 2
In the second part of our story about WHER, the nation's first all-girl
radio station, we hear how the station evolved from all-music to a more
news and talk driven format, as the world changed around them.
October 29, 1999
WHER 1000 Beautiful Watts
They went on-air October 29, 1955, in Memphis, Tennessee, and
stayed there for 17 more years -- WHER: The First All-Girl
Radio Station in The World.
October 22, 1999
The Transistor on the School Bus
In the fall of 1960, 8-year-old Jonathan Cuneo had his first
transistor radio. This allowed something new to happen: he could hear his
beloved New York Yankess play in the World Series as he rode the school bus
home. The Yankees lost that year -- and there were unforeseen consequences
on the bus.
October 15, 1999
LBJ & the Helium Filled Astronaut
Producer Larry Massett has been playing a strange piece of tape to people
for over 20 years: President Lyndon Baines Johnson talking to a
squeaky-voiced Scott Carpenter who was in a special decompression chamber
after 30 days undersea.
October 8, 1999
The Man Who Loves Sound
85-year old Don Hunter of Eugene, Oregon plays us a few of his acoustic
"trophies" from a lifetime of recording the sounds. We hear a "planer,"
foghorn and the felling of a Douglas Fir.
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 radio dedication speech for the opening
of the Quonset Naval Air Station in Rhode Island--at age 25. An NPR
listener found it on a 78 rpm record at a flea market.
September 24, 1999
R.A. Coleman's "Electronic Memories"
The second of the Lost & Found Sound Memphis trilogy presents a glimpse
of life through the recordings of African American photographer RA
Coleman, making his living by documenting the black community in the
September 17, 1999
We Record Anything-Anywhere-Anytime: Sam Phillips & the Early Years of the Memphis Recording Service
We present the first of our Lost & Found Sound Memphis trilogy with this
portrait of the early years of Sam Phillips and his legendary Memphis
Recording Service. Interviews with Sam, his family, Ike Turner and
others are interwoven with the remote recordings he made of talent
shows, funerals and proms to support his passion for recording the raw
unrecorded music of the 1950s South.
September 10, 1999
Downloading the Repertoire
Jack Mudurian loves to sing. He once claimed that he knew more songs than
Frank Sinatra. So David Greenberger challenged him, and recorded the
results on the back porch of the Duplex Nursing Home in Boston.
September 3, 1999
21st Century Cylinders
Thomas Edison's music room went unused since the days when he was using it
to record the famous at the turn of the century. Lately, some top names have
been back there in West Orange, New Jersey, making modern-day wax cylinders,
which use no microphone, no electricity.
August 27, 1999
The Hits Just Keep on Coming
Shouting DJs and shock news were the hallmarks of radio station CKLW outside
Detroit in the 1960s and 70s, where NPR's Don Gonyea grew up.
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
August 13, 1999
One World Flight
Radio dramatist Norman Corwin and producer Mary Beth Kirchner review his
1946 around the world trip which resulted in a series of 13 documentaries
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.
July 30, 1999
Wynken, Blynken and Nod
A singing trio in Chicago in the 1920s, NPR's Kathy Schalch recently
discovered her grandmother Gay was Wynken and her Aunt Lu was Blynken to a
series of Nods.
July 23, 1999
A Man with a Horn
Walk through Washington Square Park in New York City one summer Sunday and
you'll hear songs of another time. Eric Byron plays them on his phonograph
with a homemade horn.
July 16, 1999
Radio Free Georgetown
In the late 1960s and early 1970s young, mostly left-wing students and
radicals found a voice on FM community radio across the country. Ken
Sleeman was the general manager of one such station, WGTB-FM in Washington
DC. He shares some of his recordings from that time.
July 9, 1999
Farewell to Studio Nine
When CBS closed its main news studio -- Studio 9 -- 35 years ago veteran
broadcaster Robert Trout went on the air to recall some of the biggest
stories that were anchored from there. Now he recalls that farewell program
and the fellow broadcasters who worked with him.
July 2, 1999
The Fourth of July
Thirty-six years ago this Independence Day, NPR's Art Silverman produced his
first radio piece on his hometown's holiday festivities. And 103 years ago
John Philip Sousa wrote what became the official march of the United States
of America - The Stars and Stripes Forever.
July 2, 1999
Ribbon of Rust
A tribute to Jack Mullin, the engineer who introduced German tape recorders
to America after World War II. Soon thereafter Bing Crosby started using
them to pre-tape his radio show on ABC.
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
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 18, 1999
Her Father's Voice
Since his death 30 years ago, NPR's Susan Stamberg hadn't heard her father's
voice. She knew it was on a record somewhere in her home, so she went
searching for it and found a reminder of her childhood.
June 11, 1999
There are over 6,000 languages in the world today. Some experts say the
majority are on the verge of disappearance. NPR's Dean Olsher considers the
rapid deaths of many of the world's languages -- like Papua New Guinea's
Arapesh -- and reports on the debate in the linguistic community over the
need to intervene and save them.
June 4, 1999
Mark Twain's Guitar
Mark Twain was more than one of America's literary legends. According Hank Risan he was also a passionate guitarist and singer, playing gospel, blues, love songs and political satire. Risan believes that the guitar was built by the legendary guitar maker C.F. Martin.
June 4, 1999
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 28, 1999
One night Tennessee Williams and his buddy Pancho walked down to 131
Street in New Orleans to the Pennyland Arcade, sat in a Voice-O-Graph
recording booth and made eight cardboard acetate discs. These 1947
recordings are intertwined with a return to the Penny Arcade today, as
well as conversations with
actress Kim Hunter, the original Stella in "A Streetcar Named Desire",
Tennessee's brother Dakin, and his biographer Lyle Leverich among
May 21, 1999
Diamonds in the Dung Heap
The Vincent Voice Library at Michigan State University houses recorded
speeches, performances, lectures, interviews, and broadcasts by over 50,000
persons over the last 100 years. NPR's Don Gonyea took a tour of the
library and talked to its collector.
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
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.
May 7, 1999
Boys to Men: Troop 3 & VE-Day
Two pieces from our Quest For Sound phone line trace this day in
history for two different groups of men in uniform. Boy Scout Troop 3
performs its annual Gang Show - a compilation of skits and songs from the
1920s right through the nineties. And on the 54th anniversary of VE-Day,
NPR listener Ken Dunn shares a recording of his mother's feelings on the
April 30, 1999
Portrait of An Artist as An Answering Machine
The telephone answering machine is each person's own domestic preservation
device -- a virtual cedar chest of treasured messages -- collections of
monologues and small self portraits, that when listened to closely add up
an informal oral history of our lives.
April 23, 1999
Ode to the Code
The Tale of Two Twitching Fingers
The telegraph served generations as a communications device this century,
but now it's nearly extinct. NPR's Jonathan Kern recalls how the device
and its Morse Code were an important part of his childhood -- a language
that united him with his father. And producer Gregory Whitehead of
Nantucket, Massachusetts remembers his grandfather, a professional
April 16, 1999
NPR's Art Silverman, as part
of our year-long collaborative venture between NPR and independent producers,
explores the sonic landscape saved by the AT&T archives. Among the artifacts
at the Warren, New Jersey site are thousands of hours of movies, radio shows,
and other sound that what was once our nation's near-monopoly telephone company
made to portray itself. The strong, confident image of what came to be called
Ma Bell was supported by dramatic rendering of service and community service.
AT&T Historian Sheldon Hochheiser serves as tour guide.
April 9, 1999
Those guys at carnivals who try to lure you into the freak shows call themselves Carnival Talkers - never "barkers." Their pitches are carefully structured attempts to part you from your money. Independent producers Jay Allison and Rachel Day bring us into the world of the people who get you to pay good money to see The Lobster Boy and the Geeks.
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
March 26, 1999
Listening to the Northern Lights
We experience the
sounds of the Aurora Borealis through the ears of sound recorder Steve McGreevy.
Very low radio frequencies accompany the Northern Lights and at the equinoxes,
when the signals are strongest, McGreevy heads north to listen. He hears the
chirps, pops and choruses that play out when the Earth's Magnetic Field
interacts with the Sun.
March 19, 1999
Mr. Watson, Come Here, I Want You!
You Say Hello, I Say Ahoy
Sounds of Movies
Three stories for the price of one. NPR listener Dr. Bill Winternitz of Alabama sends us a rare recording. It's the voice of his grandfather, Thomas A. Watson, telling us the remarkable story of March 10, 1876 when he received from Alexander Graham Bell the first telephone call ever.
Also, an exploration of the origin of the use of the word "Hello" as a telephone greeting, and film critic Bob Mondello explores the history of sound in the movies.
March 12, 1999
New Yawk Talk
All Things Considered host Robert Siegel visits University of Pennsylvania
linguist William Labov. Labov studies regional accents in the United States
to see how they change over time and over class. We focus on his 40-year
study of the various accents of New York City.
March 4, 1999
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 26, 1999
Tony Schwartz: 30,000 Recordings Later
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.
February 19, 1999
Harry Truman: The 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
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 12, 1999
The machines that capture sound generally fall apart much sooner than the
media on which the sound is captured. Think of that 8-Track tape player in
your attic. That turns those wires and tape into "dead media"; the sound is
trapped, perhaps never to be heard again. We resurrect sound from Dead
Media, like Oscar Hammerstein recording his thoughts on a dictabelt.
February 5, 1999
The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Thomas Alva Edison - Part II - Edison and the Competition
One of the wonders of recorded sound is indeed that it is recorded, and one
can access it whenever one wants. In part two of the story of Thomas Alva
Edison, we explore the first ever recorded sounds to diamond discs cut in
January 29, 1999
The Rise and Fall and Rise and Fall and Rise of Thomas Alva Edison - Part I
Thomas Alva Edison founded recorded sound. He invented the repeating
telegraph and the phonograph, among others. He was known as "The Wizard of
Menlo Park," his hometown in New Jersey.
February 5, 1999
Response to the Quest
Listen with Real Audio in 14.4, 28.8, or G2 SureStream.
January 29, 1999
Introduction to the Quest
Listen with Real Audio in 14.4, 28.8, or G2 SureStream.
January 1, 1999
Introduction to Lost & Found Sound
Listen with Real Audio in 14.4, 28.8 or G2 SureStream.
Copyright © 2001 The Kitchen Sisters