Copyright ©2010 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

MICHELE NORRIS, host:

NPR is preparing to celebrate its 40th anniversary. To kick things off, the network today released the long-awaited complete compendium of its fundraising announcements. The box set spans the entire history of NPR programming.

Critic Tom Moon has this review.

TOM MOON: This year, at the�Public Media Underwriting Association�competition, NPR took top honors for on-air sponsorship announcements. After winning the coveted Fundy Award, NPR's top brass decided to finally give in to public demand and make these radio gems available. The result is a comprehensive 20-CD collection that's like nothing else on the market.

(Soundbite of CD clip)

ARTHUR DI FECANTI: Support for NPR comes from the Council for Core Values and the Corporation for Living Legacies and from the Spearmint Association, promoting flavors when flavors are needed.

MOON: You might think that as a loyal listener you've heard all of NPR's funding credits. You would be wrong. The collection includes an entire disc of rarities and outtakes.

(Soundbite of CD clip)

ARTHUR DI FECANTI: Support for NPR comes from Ala Neutral, encouraging apolitical thinking on public policy through indifference. Hammerworld - excuse me let me restrain myself. Hammerworld, makers of humane tools for the...

MOON: At long last, connoisseurs of these tastefully discreet acknowledgments can hear them as they were originally intended. They've been remastered in high-definition 27-bit audio.

(Soundbite of CD clip)

ARTHUR DI FECANTI: Laser Cast, makers of political think tanks for home or office.

MOON: That voice, of course, is the legendary Arthur Di Fecanti. He's been reading the underwriting credits since May 3rd, 1971, when�ALL THINGS CONSIDERED�first went on the air.

(Soundbite of CD clip)

ARTHUR DI FECANTI: NPR programs are supported by the new movie, "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo." By Keuffel & Esser, makers of quality slide rules, helping today's students to become tomorrow's scientists.

MOON: Hearing these fleeting announcements, what you realize is that there's a true art to them. The inflections are just so - the timing, utterly perfect. When necessary, Di Fecanti achieves a tone of Cronkite-ian severity. More often, he's the essence of a gentle soul, calling out the civic works of an agricultural conglomerate in soothing, comforting tones.

(Soundbite of CD clip)

ARTHUR DI FECANTI: Support for NPR comes from Orean and Armstrong Seeds and Seedlings, planting ideas and artichokes. We bring the world to your plate.

MOON: The set represents a massive amount of work. Nothing in recent memory -not the Neil Young archives project or the 31-disc set of Daniel Schorr Commentaries: The Dutch Years, 1940-1953 - comes close. But this isn't merely entertainment. The Funding Announcements Collection serves as an almost complete oral history of corporate America.

(Soundbite of CD clip)

ARTHUR DI FECANTI: NPR programs are supported by Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC. Watching over your investments so you don't have to. And the tourism bureau of the German Democratic Republic. Come see us and stay awhile.

MOON: The box set isn't perfect, of course. There's inevitably some repetition over the years. But hang in there because when you pay attention without the pesky distractions of the news and commentaries, you begin to appreciate these bits as the very bedrock of public radio. They slip past our consciousness almost unnoticed, but they're always there in the background - an ethereal, almost magical presence connecting us to the true spirit of the endeavor.

SIEGEL: That's critic Tom Moon. The CD boxed set is the collected underwriting credits of NPR, volumes 1-20. To hear and see Arthur Di Fecanti perform, go to our Web site, NPR.org.

Copyright © 2010 NPR. All rights reserved. No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to NPR. This transcript is provided for personal, noncommercial use only, pursuant to our Terms of Use. Any other use requires NPR's prior permission. Visit our permissions page for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR's programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.