April 30, 2005 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 to an informal oral history of our lives.
April 23, 2005 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 telegrapher.
April 21, 2005 In 1966, a young Marine took a reel-to-reel tape recorder with him into the Vietnam War. For two months, until he was killed in action, Michael Baronowski made tapes of his friends, of life in foxholes, of combat. And he sent those audio letters home to Norristown, Pennsylvania. More than 30 years later a comrade brought those tapes to Lost amd Found Sound.
April 16, 2005 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, 2005 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.
March 26, 2005 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 24, 2005 Producer Yair Reiner introduces Jack Foley, the man behind movie sound effects.
March 12, 2005 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.
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March 5, 2005 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.
March 4, 2005 In 1967, the Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steelband caught the ear of one of the most popular entertainers of the day: Liberace. The flamboyant pianist was so taken by this new, luminous sound that he took the renamed Trinidad Tripoli Steelband on tour with him for two years.
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February 25, 2005 Thirty years ago, Guy Tyler, an amateur ethnographer, 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.
February 19, 2005 It’s a remarkable, bittersweet goodbye by a famous man to his boyhood home. Listener and media producer Reverend Dwight Frizzell grew up in Truman’s 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, 2005 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, 2005 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, 2005 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 1927.
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