Wednesday, November 14, 2012
The Archives Department celebrates the life of artist Will Barnet with this WNYC interview from 1972, precisely 40 years ago today. Last year, at the age of 100, Barnet had a widely acclaimed retrospective at the National Academy. The show highlighted a long and prolific career for an artist whose worked spanned - and survived - every important artistic movement in the 20th century. Barnet passed away yesterday.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
David Durk, the New York police detective who teamed up with officer Frank Serpico to breach the aptly named 'blue wall of silence' died yesterday. His testimony before the Knapp Commission investigation into police corruption in 1971 made for some of the most moving public testimony ever broadcast. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, WNYC Director Mary Perot Nichols said it was largely thanks to Durk's persistence and contacts that their campaign against police corruption became a matter of public record. Above is an excerpt from his remarks on December 21, 1971.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
In 1989 National Public Radio commissioned me to produce a Veterans Day documentary piece on General Smedley Butler, the consummate American soldier.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
“I guarantee, that if I am elected, I will take over the White House, hang out, shoot pool, scratch my ass, and not do a damn thing. Which is to say, if you want something done, don't come to me to do it for you; you got to get together and figure out how to do it yourselves. Is that a deal?” - Utah Phillips
"Never blame a legislative body for not doing something. When they do nothing, that don't hurt anybody. When they do something is when they become dangerous." - Will Rogers
Thursday, September 27, 2012
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.
Friday, September 14, 2012
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.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
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".
Friday, August 03, 2012
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).
Friday, July 13, 2012
Morris S. Novik was appointed by Mayor F. H. La Guardia to be the first Director of the Municipal Broadcasting System on February 9, 1938. During the nearly eight years he oversaw WNYC, he tirelessly worked to make the station an innovative and model public broadcaster. In fact, Novik laid claim to coining the phrase "public broadcasting" while at WNYC.
Friday, June 01, 2012
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.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012
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.
Friday, May 18, 2012
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.
Monday, May 07, 2012
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.
Friday, May 04, 2012
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.