On December 11, 1991, Salman Rushdie "quietly ventured outside Britain and emerged"  to speak at a Columbia University dinner celebrating the 200th anniversary of the First Amendment. The thunderous applause that greets Mr Rushdie's unexpected appearance sets the tone for his speech.
Between the summer of 1925 and spring 1932, Victor Harrison-Berlitz, the General Manager of 410 U.S. Berlitz language schools, taught French, Spanish, German and Italian over WNYC. The regular classes were a pioneering effort for American radio.
As New Sounds celebrates composer John Cage's 100th birthday, we at the WNYC archives add our own, irreverent archival item to the celebration: a WMCA News Parade program with an eerie premonition of John Cage's famous "silent" piece, 4'33".
From July 1939 to March 1942, conductor and composer Macklin Marrow led the WNYC Concert Orchestra. The 35-piece ensemble was sponsored by The New York City Music Project, a unit of the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA). One of Marrow's earliest assignments at the station was the August 2, 1939, dedication of the WNYC WPA murals when the orchestra performed the scherzo from William Grant Still's Afro-American Symphony (audio above).
From 1940 to 1942 Ralph Berton hosted WNYC's daily foray into jazz called Metropolitan Review, dedicated to "the finest in recorded hot jazz." The program was radio's first serious jazz music show on the air.
The Archives Department celebrates Robert Moog's 78th birthday with this 1980s episode of WQXR's This is My Music. Host Lloyd Moss talks with the inventor and musical pioneer and plays selections from Moog's library of compositions and influences. The program includes a virtuosic performance of Wieniawski's Violin Concerto No. 2 adapted for theremin and piano.
American artist Dan Flavin is well known for his often temporary, site-specific installations composed of fluorescent light tubes. In this 1970 episode of Views on Art, host Ruth Bowman interviews the artist about his work and the roles played by critics, museums and galleries.
Though a working artist for the span of some 80 years, Hedda Sterne may be best known for simply being in a photograph featuring some of the brightest stars of the Abstract Expressionist movement in America. In this interview with Views on Art host Ruth Bowman we gain some insight into the artist behind the photograph, midway through a long and successful career.
Walter James Miller (1918-2010) was Professor Emeritus at New York University and host of WNYC’s Reader’s Almanac (1970-1985) and WNYC-TV’s Book World (1968-1970). He conducted early interviews with writers such as Nadine Gordimer, Erica Jong, Kurt Vonnegut, Dorothy Gallagher and Jerzy Kosinski.
"This microphone is not an ordinary instrument,
For it looks out on vistas wide indeed:
My voice commingles now with northern lights and
asteroids and Alexander's skeleton,
With dead volcanoes and with donkey's ears
It swims with minnows and it's in the Sphinx's jaw.
It drifts among whatever spirits pass across the night.
Here is a thought to fasten to your throat:
Who knows who may be listening? And where?"
The conclusion to Seems Radio Is Here to Stay