Friday, May 27, 2011
By Andy Lanset : Director of Archives, New York Public Radio
Former Metropolitan Opera star Frieda Hempel in the WNYC studio with station head (NYC Commissioner of Plant and Structures) Frederick J. H. Kracke, July 9, 1934. This photo marks the first in a series of broadcast performances over WNYC by Hempel. A week earlier she had generously offered to sing over the station "in appreciation of the happiness she has found in this city" and added that radio tended to neglect the works of great composers. There was, she commented, too little of this music on the air. Mayor La Guardia said he could not find the words to thank her and had directed Commissioner Kracke to arrange the concerts at Hempel's convenience.