As part of the year-long collaboration between independent producers Jay Allison, The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva) and NPR, we present this Friday's installment of the series about recorded sound this century.
Today's story is about a man who records and uses sound in remarkable and effective ways. Tony Schwartz is a New Yorker with a fear of travel. He has spent his life listening to and capturing street sounds: kids talking, music and other events. He's more than a sound-effects man, however. He's a sound artist who claims to have introduced Harry Belafonte to Calypso music through his recordings.
Schwartz produced a famous TV spot for Lyndon Johnson in 1964 in which a little girl is counting the petals of a flower, which morphs into a nuclear countdown. The spot raised fears — sublimally — about the Cold War saber-rattling of presidential opponent Barry Goldwater.