Jacobs created sound collages often accompanied by images chronicling the 'art of goofing off.'
Hear a parody of Edward R. Murrow's original radio series.
Henry Jacobs is a legend, at least among fans of 1950s radio satire and electronic music. He was a West Coast composer, radio host, and a friend and collaborator of philosopher Alan Watts. His legacy might have existed mostly in the hazy memories of his fans — had not some of his tapes been rediscovered, and just released in a CD/DVD combo.
Beginning in 1953, Jacobs hosted a music program for KPFA in Berkeley, Calif. The Folkways record label later released highlights from this show on an LP, Audio Collage, in 1955. His work represented a patchwork of skits, soundscapes and mock interviews.
Jacobs co-organized the Vortex Experiments, a series of mind-expanding sound and light concerts at a San Francisco planetarium starting in 1957. In 1970, he moved to a stretch of remote coastline north of San Francisco. Now 80 years old, he says he's trying to live as if it's the 19th century — or possibly the fifth.