October 29, 1999 A story about radio station WHER in Memphis, billed as the first "All-Girl Radio Station" in the nation. It was started by Sam Phillips of Sun Studio fame in 1955 - just after he sold Elvis Presley's contract to Colonel Parker. Phillips gave women a chance to work both on the air, and in the sales department. It lasted 17-years. Independent producers Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson located 14 of the 40 women who worked at WHER.
September 10, 1999 In this week's installment of Lost and Found Sound, "Quest for Sound" Curator Jay Allison introduces David Greenberger. Greenberger made a strange tape recording back in 1981 of a man who sang 129 songs in 45-minutes. The singer was a gentleman named Jack Murdurian, who renders popular music items one after another in the same careless, toneless cadences. The recording and Jack's memory are both "lost and found."
September 3, 1999 Lost and Found Sound presents a story about present-day uses of the most ancient of recording technologies: the wax cylinder. On the occasion of this month's release by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis's album of wax cylinder recordings, we hear what it is about wax that appeals to some. For Marsalis it's the authentic sound, which reminds him of the jazz greats of the past. Also featured: Les Paul and the band They Might be Giants. John Flansburgh of the "Giants" learns that to get recorded, he has to stick his head into a brass cone and sing in a very pronounced way.
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 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 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 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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