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From The Archives

The Leonard Lopate Show

From the Archives: James Cameron and Bill Paxton on "Ghosts of the Abyss"

Friday, April 13, 2012

In April 2003, Leonard spoke to director James Cameron and actor-director-producer Bill Paxton about "Ghosts of the Abyss," a 3-D documentary that explores the wreck of the Titanic. They describe going down to the wreck in submersibles and filming inside the ship.

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From The Archives

Tony Schwartz, National Treasure

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Renowned sound documentarian and audio-visual pioneer Tony Schwartz believes people should use tape recorders as much as cameras to capture meaningful events. Over the years he has recorded more than 30,000 sound portraits of New York City life, like the keeper at Central Park Zoo telling how he feeds lions, a Macy's elevator operator calling out floors and merchandise, children singing nursery rhymes, taxi drivers gabbing about their fares, musicians, politicians, and everyone in between, all without ever leaving his postal district.

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From The Archives

Cool School: Miles Davis & Stan Getz

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

In this selection from a February 18, 1950 WNYC broadcast, trumpet player Miles Davis and tenor saxophonist Stan Getz perform "Conception" live from the famous Birdland nightclub. Davis' arrangement for this number would later appear on his seminal "Birth of the Cool" album under the title "Deception," a nod to the song's composer George Shearing who recorded it a year earlier.

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From The Archives

Play it again, Tennessee

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Before finding success on Broadway, playwright Tennessee Williams worked a number of odd jobs in New York City. He wrapped packages at Gotham Book Mart, ran an all-night elevator in an East Side hotel and waited tables in Greenwich Village.

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From The Archives

The Taming of Robert Moses

Friday, June 01, 2007

Shakespeare in the Park has been a beloved--and free--summer institution for more than 50 years. If Robert Moses had gotten his way though, that might not be the case.

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From The Archives

The Modernist Style of Lester Young

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

A major influence on the musicians of his day, tenor saxophonist Lester Young is remembered as much for his music as for his eccentricities, playing his horn at an awkward 45 degree angle, inventing his own personal slang and inspiring much of the hipster ethos that has come to be associated with jazz.

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From The Archives

Frank Lloyd Wright's Plan for Iraq

Sunday, April 01, 2007

In 1957, Iraq's King Faisal II asked venerable American architect Frank Lloyd Wright to design an opera house for downtown Bagdhad. Not satisfied with the small plot assigned to him, Wright lobbied to build on an undeveloped island in the Tigris instead. He dubbed it "The Isle of Edena," and greatly expanded the commission to include museums and bazaars, a landscaped park with monuments and waterfalls, a botanical garden and zoo, and a new campus for Baghdad University.

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From The Archives

Dylan's Personal Mythology

Thursday, March 01, 2007

At the start of his career, Bob Dylan often took creative liberties with his biography, telling reporters and friends that he'd been a hobo, an orphan, a hitchhiker and a railroad worker before arriving in New York City. He said he was a descendant of the Sioux Nation and that he turned tricks in Times Square to make ends meet. He also claimed to have lived everywhere from California to South Dakota, and swore that "Dylan" was a family name. None of which was true.

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From The Archives

We Love People Who Love Brooklyn

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's a documented fact that in 1942, radio stations, newspapers and magazines maligned the borough of Brooklyn no less than 2,623 times. And that's not even counting movies. Fugheddaboudit!

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From The Archives

Kerouac vs. The Squares

Monday, January 01, 2007

In what would turn out to be a major cultural event for the under-30 crowd of the day, Brandeis University hosted a debate on the question "Is There a Beat Generation?" November 6, 1958.

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From The Archives

Radio from The Twilight Zone

Friday, December 01, 2006

During his freshman year at Antioch College, Rod Serling worked as an unpaid intern at WNYC. Although his newsroom and script-writing duties kept him mostly off the air, Serling's unmistakable voice can be heard in the station's public service series Toward Return to Society, produced in cooperation with the New York City Department of Correction.

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From The Archives

Eleanor Roosevelt's Hidden Talent

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

To generate interest in a series of talent shows benefiting the 1957 March of Dimes, Eleanor Roosevelt tried her hand as an amateur disc jockey on WNYC. "I think I'm beginning to get the feeling of my new career," the former First Lady remarked. "Just sitting down, saying nothing and spinning records is extremely peaceful for a change. Is this all I have to do?"

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From The Archives

The Dustiest Dustbowler of Them All

Sunday, October 01, 2006

From 1940-1941, folksinger and former ward of Angola State Penitentiary Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter hosted a weekly radio show on WNYC. "Folksongs of America" featured regular appearances by Leadbelly's good friend Woody Guthrie, who had lobbied station management to put the "King of the 12-string" on the air.

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From The Archives

Poor Little Annie!

Friday, September 01, 2006

During the 1945 newspaper deliverymen's strike, Mayor Fiorello La Guardia kept the children of New York City up to date on the adventures of Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie by reading the Sunday comics over WNYC's airwaves.

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