Streams

Sun Ra's Omniverse

Thursday, October 31, 2013

WNYC

Listen to Sun Ra's complete January 7th, 1981 Whitney Museum concert, broadcast on WNYC.

 

Read More

Comments [1]

Zaven 'Doc' Masoomian

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

With sadness we note the passing on October 11th of former WQXR Chief Engineer Zaven “Doc” Masoomian. Doc had visited us here recently and was always available to answer questions about WQXR history. He joined WQXR in May, 1941 as a studio engineer before serving as a B-17 bomber pilot and enduring a German POW camp.* He returned to WQXR after the war and worked tirelessly through till 1986 when, after 44 years at the station, he retired as WQXR's Chief Engineer.

Read More

Comment

"What About This American Music?"

Monday, October 28, 2013

From the May, 1944 WQXR Program guide:

Roy Harris, who is well known to our audience, is a Westerner by birth and upbringing. He resides in Colorado Springs, where he holds the post of Composer-in-Residence to Colorado College. Rated by such publications as Time, Life and The Christian Science Monitor as "America's Leading Symphonic Composer," Harris has written six symphonies and a great deal of choral and chamber music. He has been recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Because National Music Week is celebrated this month, we asked Mr. Harris to write about American music and we feel sure his opinions will arouse your interest in contemporary composers.

Read More

Comment

WNYC Logos through the years

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

From the letterhead of New York City's Municipal Broadcasting System to the new design today, WNYC has gone through a number of logos. While each logo represents WNYC in a specific period of time one thing remains constant: WNYC is "The Voice of the City."

Read More

Comment

Styli over substance

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

WNYC

The recently published National Recording Preservation Plan from the Library of Congress includes a recommendation to "encourage scientific and technical research leading to the development of new technologies to recover, reformat, and preserve audio recording media". Although at first sight this passage seems to refer to high-tech projects such as IRENE, there may be other, more modest ways to advance audio preservation technology. Here is an example.

Read More

Comment

Records Make Music Lovers

Monday, October 21, 2013

From the August, 1944 WQXR Program Guide:

The Conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra tells in this article how music appreciation is spread through the use of records. Though Russian by birth, he has done much to advance the cause of American composers during his years of conducting orchestras in the United States and Europe. This month New York welcomes him as guest conductor at the Stadium Concerts.

Read More

Comments [1]

An Orchestral Conductor Looks at Radio

Monday, October 14, 2013

In 1941 John Barbirolli was the Conductor of The New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society Orchestra. In February of that year he wrote the following for the WQXR Program Guide.

Read More

Comment

Commandments for Commentators

Monday, October 07, 2013

Pioneering news commentator Quincy Howe (1900-1977) was on WQXR between August, 1939 and June, 1942. His essay for the September, 1941 WQXR Program Guide was introduced this way:

Mr. Howe needs no introduction to the WQXR audience for he has been the station's news commentator since the outbreak of World War II. In addition to his radio duties, he is Editor-in-Chief of Simon & Schuster, and is the author of numerous books, the latest being "The News and How to Understand It."

Read More

Comment

Patricia Marx's 1968 Interview with Arthur C. Clarke

Friday, October 04, 2013

WNYC

Recorded just a year shy of the iconic moon-landing, this interview captures a singular moment of prescience and optimism for a world entering into the future.

Read More

Comment

Paderewski

Monday, September 30, 2013

Polish composer, pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski died June 29, 1941. The following tribute was published in the August, 1941 WQXR Program Guide.  Here is its introduction:

Mr. Steinway, President of Steinway & Sons, was an intimate friend of Paderewski. The following is based on a talk he gave over WQXR on the evening of July 1st, 1941 during the broadcast of a program honoring the memory of the great pianist-composer.

Read More

Comments [1]

Like Talking on the Phone but a Thousand Times More Thrilling!

Friday, September 27, 2013

WNYC

Listen to a 1940s five-inch transcription disc recording from the highest coin operated booth in the world - the Voice-O-Graph automatic voice recorder on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building.

Read More

Comment

Latin Americans in Music

Monday, September 23, 2013

[Editor's Note] Composer Aaron Copland wrote the following for the WQXR Program Guide in June, 1942. It was, of course, the early months of the United States' involvement in World War II and the reader should keep that in mind. As well, Copland's use of 'Negro' for 'African' or 'African influenced' was common for the time in which he wrote, as was the phrase, 'serious music' for what is now generally referred to as classical music.  The program guide prefaced the article with this introduction:

Aaron Copland, gifted American composer and writer on music ("Our New Music" and "What to Listen for in Music") writes about the place of Latin American countries in the world's musical scene, and of the increasing influence being exerted by the composers of our sister republics.

Read More

Comment

Brains Have No Sex

Monday, September 16, 2013

WQXR News Commentator Lisa Sergio wrote the following article for the WQXR Program Guide in April, 1943. As a woman in the almost exclusively male domain of news commentary, Sergio distinguished herself as the only woman Variety included in its 1945 analysis of 30 popular radio news commentators. Her essay is a brief reminder of just how far women have come in the field of journalism. The guide prefaced the piece with this introduction:

Because many people wonder how it feels to be a woman radio commentator, we asked Miss Sergio to write the following article. She need no introduction to the WQXR audience, which listens to her regularly at 7 o'clock every evening, Monday through Friday, nor to her morning audience at 10 A.M. on Monday and Friday.

Read More

Comment

So You Think It's Easy!

Monday, September 09, 2013

For the January, 1944 of the WQXR Program Guide, the station's announcers got together and wrote the following:

Have you ever thought: "I could be a radio announcer. My friends say my voice over the telephone is good"? Maybe you could--and then again maybe you couldn't. And after reading this article cooperatively written by members of the WQXR staff--maybe you wouldn't even if you could.

Read More

Comment

Martin Scorsese and the American Underground

Friday, September 06, 2013

WNYC

Listen to a 27-year old Martin Scorsese talk about curating New York City's inaugural Movies in the Park film series, as well as his thoughts on the direction of the New American Cinema.

Read More

Earliest Known Recording of a New York City Mayor

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

As we enter the back stretch of the current mayoral campaign, there have been a lot of competing voices for the city's top spot. For contemporary oratory, what we've heard so far has been fairly standard: frequently finding fault, at times dogmatic, often punctuated with clichés, promising the moon, but always familiar in tone. The candidate, after all, needs to look and sound appealing to win those votes.  Oddly enough, it wasn't always this way. Let's dial back the years to the earliest recording made of a New York mayoral candidate, incumbent Mayor John F. Hylan, in this abridged recreation of his Primary renomination acceptance speech from the fall of 1921. [1]

Read More

Comment

Raymond Asserson, Sr., The Man Who Built WNYC in 1924: Speaking Truth to Power

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

As New York City's Broadcasting Supervisor, Raymond Asserson was charged with designing and building the first WNYC facility by then Commissioner for Plant and Structures, Grover A. Whalen. Generally behind the scenes in bringing WNYC to life, Asserson made his mark publicly before the House Merchant Marine Committee on March 12, 1924. Testifying on behalf of Whalen, the former Navy engineer charged that through its patents, AT&T had stymied New York City's efforts to set up a radio station and had effectively created a radio monopoly.

Read More

Comment

Blazing Maize: Mrs. Gannon's Tamale Pie, 1947

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

WNYC

Frances Foley Gannon was described as “a brisk little woman with a smiling Irish face.” Her advice was two-fold: in her daily five minutes on air, she told mothers what foods were in season and how to use them to plan family meals.

Read More

Comment

Happy Birthday Sylvia Porter

Monday, June 17, 2013

Listen to a 23-year-old Sylvia Porter, the inventor of the personal finance column, on WQXR's Author Meets Critics (1936). 

Read More

Comments [1]

The Evil in Eavesdropping

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

WNYC

Long before FISA and PRISM, New York State politicians struggled with maintaining the delicate balance between personal privacy and public safety.  

Read More

Comment