August 27, 1999 In this latest installment of our Lost and Found Sound series, NPR's Don Gonyea remembers the heyday of powerhouse AM radio. Gonyea grew up in Detroit, where the big station in the 60's and 70's was CKLW. It broadcast from across the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario. It was a loud, glitzy noise-making enterprise. Everything was shouted -- even the news. The 50,000-watt giant spewed rock and roll and hyped-news across 28 states and mid-Canada. Gonyea describes the formula that made CKLW and its imitators successful.
August 20, 1999 As part of our series Lost & Found Sound, Quest for Sound Curator Jay Allison introduces us to a collector of old electric fans. We are treated to solo performances of individual old fans, and an orchestra of fans blowing at once, and learn that in days gone by, a good electric fan was a blessing -- and expensive. Some models cost the average American worker two months pay.
August 13, 1999 Today on Lost and Found Sound, we delve into the audio archives of radio writer and director Norman Corwin. In 1946, while Corwin was working for CBS, producing very popular radio dramas and documentaries, he was the first recipient of the "One World Award." The award was created after presidential candidate Wendell Wilke made a diplomatic world wide tour during World War Two. The prize was a four month flight around the world for Corwin. It resulted in 13 radio documentaries about his travels. Together with producer Mary Beth Kirchner, Corwin re-listens to these tapes and remembers the variety of people he met in his travels; from great leaders such as Nehru, to a young girl in devastated Manila. He returned home with the stories of post-war reality in the outside world. In some cases people had lost entire families. He also found hope for a better world.
August 6, 1999 Today in our continuing series, "Lost and Found Sound," we have two stories about the era of silent movies. Jay Allison, the curator of our Quest for Sound phone line introduces us to listener Bob Borgen, who has discovered tape of silent film star Buster Keaton at a party in 1962. The tape originally belonged to Keaton's wife. Keaton was a child star of Vaudeville with his family--on the tape Keaton sings songs and tells stories from those days. Our second story comes from our movie reviewer Bob Mondello, who pays tribute to the "silence" of early films. He remembers the time when movies were a purely visual medium---the introduction of sound took away some of the grace of what was taken place on the screen--this was most true for the silent film comedy stars.
July 30, 1999 In our year-long weekly feature, Lost and Found Sound, NPR's Kathleen Schalch describes how some old records and tapes gave her a new perspective on her maternal grandmother, a member of the singing group Winken, Blinken and Nod.
July 23, 1999 In our weekly series, Lost and Found Sound, a collaboration between NPR and independent producers, we learn about Eric Byron, a self-appointed disc-jockey of sorts who sets up in the corner of a New York City park on Sundays. He uses a home-made phonograph with a four-foot horn made from a heating duct to play old 78-rpm records, many recorded before 1930.
July 16, 1999 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. As part of our Lost and Found Sound series, Sleeman shares some of his recordings from that time.
July 9, 1999 As part of our year-long collaboration with independent producers, Lost and Found Sound today turns to veteran broadcaster Robert Trout for a look back at CBS Studio Nine. The New York newsroom was the source of much of the century's news for millions of Americans. During the studio's operation from 1938 to 1964, Trout was one of the men who spent the most time there. He recently discovered some of his tapes.
July 2, 1999 Noah talks to Loras Schissel of the Library of Congress about Washington native son John Philip Sousa who wrote the march, "The Stars and Stripes Forever." It was an anthem of the Spanish-American War. Sousa considered it the greatest march ever written and got his wish of hearing it just before he died. We also hear Sousa talking on the radio in 1929, and conducting the great march.
July 2, 1999 As a 13-year-old, NPR's Art Silverman took his first crack at radio. The coordinating producer of Lost and Found Sound anchored and reported the July 4th celebrations in his hometown, Livingston, NJ.
July 2, 1999 We remember Jack Mullin, the California man who brought two German tape recorders back from the Second World War and introduced the technology to America. Mullin was an member of the US Army Signal Corps, and stumbled upon reels of magnetic quarter-inch tape and machines in a town near Frankfurt. He came back and perfected the machines. On Novermber 16, 1946, he demonstrated how they worked to a meeting of audio engineers in his home state of California. Soon Bing Crosby started using them to pre-tape his radio show for ABC. Crosby also pioneered the efforts to make tape recorders and recording tape in this country. Mullin worked for Crosby and later for Ampex. Mullin died last week at his California home at age 84.
June 30, 1999 Noah and Linda escort us through a series of recordings of weddings from the 40s, 50s and 70s. Not many people put their weddings on wire, tape or record -- but some of our "Quest For Sound" callers did. We hear a professionally narrated wedding from Manhattan, a "flower power" wedding from Ohio in the 1970s, a traditional church wedding in Mississippi, and even a wedding on the radio. This story is part of our series LOST & FOUND SOUND, a collaboration between independent producers and NPR.
June 25, 1999 In another installment of our year-long series, "Lost and Found Sound," Quest for Sound Curator Jay Allison takes us behind the scenes, to hear old recordings sent to us by listeners. We learn of the difficulties of finding equipment to play some rare audio formats, and how an expert, Steve Smolian, takes a defective item and tries to extract sounds from it. We hear some home recordings by relatives of listeners who have since passed away. Smolian warns laypeople against trying to listen to old formatted items themselves, for fear the original will be destroyed.
June 18, 1999 Susan Stamberg marks Fathers Day by dusting off 78 rpm home recordings made in 1940 and later by her father. He's been dead three decades. She never had the heart to listen before, feeling his loss was still too near to deal with.
June 11, 1999 As part of NPR's year-long collaboration with independent producers, NPR's Dean Olsher tells us about the increasing common extinction of the world's languages. Fifty percent of the world's languages are spoken by fewer than 10,000 people. Some languages are spoken by just a handful of people. In a century, 95-percent of the language that exists today will be gone -- the result of the commercial and technical advantages of Chinese, English, French and a few others. Linguists are split on whether extraordinary efforts should be made to SAVE languages, versus allowing them to die naturally.
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