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.
October 22, 1999 Our series Lost & Found Sound remembers the explosion of transistors radios for the first time in the early 1960s. Washington lawyer Jonathan Cuneo recalls how every kid had to have one when they first became small enough to carry around in a pocket. With portable radios, sports like the World Series could be listened to in school - and on the school bus ride home. Cuneo tells how the final game of the 1960 World Series was a highlight of his life -- thanks to his transistor and where he heard the game.
October 8, 1999 Eighty-five-year-old Don Hunter plays us a few of his acoustic "trophies" from a lifetime of recording the sounds of his Pacific Northwest. The Eugene, Oregon man has been making stereo recordings of his region since the late 1950s -- and has been interested in sound since he was a boy. We hear a "planer," fog horns and a Douglas Fir being cut down.
October 1, 1999 In this week's installment of "Lost and Found Sound," Quest for Sound curator Jay Allison presents audio found by a listener in Newton Massachusetts. David Gullette found the disk at a flea market. It turned out to include the recorded voice of one of this country's most important broadcast producers at a young age. The disk featured 1941 Mutual Broadcasting System coverage of the inauguration of the Quonset Naval Marine Air Station in Rhode Island. The announcer is none other than the great Fred Friendly, who died just last year.
September 24, 1999 As part of our series "Lost & Found Sound," we present an un-narrated story about R. A. Coleman, a black man who recorded the sound of African-American weddings and other events in Memphis during the same period that Sam Phillips was recording those of the white people of the city. Coleman was originally just a photographer, but he began to provide recordings to enhance the memories of couples. He even recorded at funerals. He's remembered by his friends and family.
September 17, 1999 The year long series, Lost and Found Sound, presents the story of Sam Phillips, the man who founded and ran the Memphis Recording Service. Phillips was a rural boy with the dream of capturing songs of poor Southern people on records. He started in radio. Then, in the late 1940's, he opened a studio in Memphis. The sound he captured has helped shape rock and roll and American music ever since. We hear from Phillips, his family, friends, music experts and some of his recording talent, as they recall the years when Phillips came to realize his dream.
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.
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.
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.
May 21, 1999 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. Maurice Crane presides over a vast repository of the recorded voice. We learn that among the mass of recordings, there are treasures and trash.
May 7, 1999 As part of our year-long Friday feature collaboration between NPR and independent producers highlighting this century's recordings, we present two anniversaries that fall on this date. Quest for Sound Curator Jay Allison tells us about Derby, Connecticut, Boy Scout Troop 3. Every year for 75 years the troop has performed a "Gang Show" on this date. We hear excerpts from the recordings the Boy Scouts there made. Today is also the 54th anniversary of the day Germany surrendered to Allied Forces in W.W.II. We hear Winston Churchill and a home recording of a woman reflecting on the end of the war.
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 As part of ALL THINGS CONSIDERED's year-long Friday series, we travel to the world of the Carnival Talker. Many call them "Barkers," but they dislike that term. There's a talent and skill that these sideshow pitchmen use as they try to lure people into shows to spend their money. The Talkers use language to amuse and raise curiosity; but they never give their audience time to think. We learn that the pitches are carefully constructed, and made up of distinct sections, designed to catch people's attention. (12:30).
April 2, 1999 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.
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