The Flanagan Brothers were the most popular group of Irish entertainers in New York City between the early 1920's and the late 1930's. Joe, Mike and Louis (who is not pictured here and played harp guitar) were born in Waterford City, Ireland in the 1890's and emigrated to the United States with their parents at the turn of the century. They settled in Albany, New York. The brothers, all self-taught, played at concerts, dances, bars, clubs, and on WNYC. They recorded 160 songs for several labels and their discs sold well across the U.S, Britain and Ireland. Many have since been reissued in anthology collections. Here is an original version of the Kerry Mills Barndance courtesy of the Irish Traditional Music Archive.
Nikola Tesla, the father of alternating current and one of the greatest inventors of all time, died on January 7, 1943 at the New Yorker Hotel. Three days later, WNYC broadcast this memorial to him. The Croatian-born violinist Zlatko Baloković performed Ave Maria live in the studio, as well as a piece known to be a favorite of Tesla's, identified as Therefore Beyond the Hills is My Village, My Native Land. Mayor F. H. La Guardia read a moving tribute to Tesla written by Slovenian-American author Louis Adamic. Announcer Joe Fishler concluded the program this way:
In 1937, WNYC opened a new transmitter site in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Flanked by two 304-foot towers, the site featured massive, illuminated WNYC call letters and a north symbol so that planes flying overhead on a clear night could easily get their bearings. WNYC-AM left the site in 1990, and the towers came down about 10 years later. The 10 Kent Street site is now a project of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, which is in the process of creating WNYC Transmitter Park.
From the mid-1930s to early 1940s, the federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) distributed thousands of transcription discs to hundreds of radio stations around the United States, including WNYC.
WNYC's Chief Engineer Isaac Brimberg, from a 1930s photo. Brimberg was a pioneer in radio broadcasting. He joined WNYC at its opening in 1924 and was named Chief Engineer in 1929. He oversaw the WPA construction of our new studios and our state-of-the-art transmission facilities at Greenpoint, Brooklyn--both opening in October 1937. Brimberg was also responsible for setting up our shortwave facility W2XVP in 1941 and our experimental FM station W39NY, now WNYC-FM. Major Isaac Brimberg was in the Army Signal Corps in 1943 when he died tragically on leave in a car accident at the age of 40.
From May, 1934 to April, 1948 Gladys M. Petch was heard regularly over WNYC talking about Norway. The programs Sunlit Norway Calls, Spirit of the Vikings, and News of Norway were underwritten by the Royal Norwegian Information Service. While most of these broadcasts were aired via transcription disc, it appears that during WWII, Petch was in the WNYC studios, as evidenced by these two 1944 News of Norway broadcasts we found at the National Library of Norway site.
Moscow's Park of Culture and Rest was one of the topics in a controversial series of travelogues aired by WNYC in late 1937 and early 1938. Critics of the station charged the broadcasts were Soviet propaganda meant to gloss over the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin.
Hom Hong Wei (1915-2011) at his WNYC engineering shop workbench in the early 1940s.
WNYC's first Music Supervisor (Music Director) Herman Neuman was a an accomplished conductor and composer and oversaw the department from its beginning in 1924 to 1967. He continued to do his regular "world" music program (classical), Hands Across the Sea into the 1970s.
In a rare appearance behind the microphone, Major Edwin H. Armstrong, the inventor of frequency modulation (FM) broadcasting, addressed the WNYC audience 63 years ago today. The occasion was the launch of WNYC's new FM transmitter.
Col. Charles A. Lindbergh receives a medal of valor from New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker, June 13, 1927. The aviator stood in front of the WNYC and network microphones, having just garnered tributes in Washington, D.C. for his historic non-stop solo flight across the Atlantic.
Dr. John Haynes Holmes addressed tens of thousands at an anti-Nazi rally in Battery Park on May 10, 1933, broadcast over WNYC. The Pastor of the Community Church recalled his earlier protests of the pogroms against the Jews in Czarist Russia and said, Hitler was "more cruel than the Czar."
New York Mayor John P. O'Brien* pinned a gold medal on Wiley Post, 'round-the-world flier' on the steps of City Hall, July 26, 1933. Post's wife Edna Mae is on the right behind the WNYC microphone.
Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia on the steps of City Hall with attorney Allen Wardwell, Chairman of the Greater New York Campaign of Russian War Relief, Inc. launching Russian War Relief Week, June 20, 1942.