NYPR Archives & Preservation
October 4, 2013 - Volume 12  Issue 38
Edition # 576

1939: Mayor La Guardia joins host Gene Buck for the  ASCAP Music Festival.

1945: Luncheon at the Metropolitan Club for Colonel James Devereaux, recently released from a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

1959: Edwin C. Fancher, publisher of the Village Voice, discusses the tensions and problems facing New York's Greenwich Village, on this edition of Campus Press Conference.
Sen. JFK on WNYC From Community Center

Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy speaking at the dedication ceremonies for the Lieut. Joseph Kennedy Jr. Memorial Community Center at 34 West 134th Street, May 10, 1954.
(Photo courtesy of the New York Times)


Behind the Scenes...

"Here I was, 20 years old and still talking on the periphery of New York City radio.  I'd take anything, and that's what I go.  A job at WNYC, the city's own radio station (before there was NPR). I traded Sinatra for Sibelius, was the erudite co-host of a talk show on FM (only) called For Doctors Only. I asked physician guests prescripted questions which hinted that I was at least an intern: 'So that if hemoglobin ratios are to be maintained during the onset of leukemia...?' "
"Also introduced David Randolph, who was to become Conductor of the St. Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra some 13 years later.  Then, he was known as the leader of the David Randolph Singers, whose genuine musical genius was matched by a penchant for condescension.  On WNYC, he hosted the program 'Music for the Connoisseur.' He had, as I remember entering the studio before airtime to open his show, the reedy voice of easily exasperated royalty.
" 'I'm David Randolph.  Please keep in mind that the word is pronounced con-oh-syur, and not con-oh-sewer...not sewer.'  'Ah, we must have had the same French teacher...'
"54 years later, the place must be different.  Then it was sedate, leaning towards fussiness. There was an exception: Tommy Cowan. He was the first radio announcer. In the world. Really. Elderly. A delightful old sprite of a man by the time I met him. An opera lover whose Monday at 8 PM performances, recorded by the world's greatest artists, were legendary.  Each was preceded by a totally ad-libbed description of the evening's opera, highlight of the libretto and critiques (mostly positive) of the singers.  These expositions which might take 10 to 15 minutes, were delivered with verve and humor and love for the music.  But no script. I learned much from Cowan, listening to him and grasping at the wonder of how his mind advanced the narrative, sometimes logically, sometimes not, but always pulling his audience forward and into the opera's legend or fable or myth. However, as much as Tommy loved opera, he could easily denounce other disciplines.  He disdained, for instance, what he called 'chamber-pot music'.  Of popular music, he knew nothing, or at least nothing he'd admit to..."
Source: Lee Murphy, writing in Get That Kid Outta Here...!, Author House, 2009, pgs. 199-200.
WNYC First day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924. 
Municipal Archives Collection.

       WQXR at 75

          (2 Years Ago)
Inventors on the Air

"Through the microphones of broadcasting station WQXR in New York City, amazing amateur inventors describe their new devices to radio listeners in a regular weekly program aptly named Can It Be Done?  In addition to placing their ideas before a potentially large audience, they benefit by the criticisms and suggestions of an advisory board of manufacturers, merchandisers, and business executives. A phonograph recording made before the broadcast protects each inventor in his claim to prior conception. Although comparatively new, the novel radio feature is said to have resulted in the sale of several inventions to manufacturers."

Source: "Inventors on the Air," Popular Science Monthly, November 1937, pgs. 40-41.

News & Notices:


WNYC's 90th year of broadcasting is upon us. (The actual anniversary is next July 8th.) In this space we'll be linking to various WNYC champions and milestones. This week: Macklin Marrow and the WNYC Concert Orchestra.

Released this week on the web: Woody Allen on WNYC in 1964, Colin Davis in 1967,  Arthur C. Clarke in 1968, William Golding in 1963, Mort Sahl in 1964, Al Hirschfield in 1968, Thomas Schippers in 1962, and Jacques Cousteau in 1964, all with host Patricia Marx.

When Polish composer, pianist and statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski died on June 29, 1941, WQXR invited his friend Theodore E. Steinway, President of Steinway and Sons, to pay tribute to the musical giant. He did two days later and his remarks were then reprinted in the August, 1941 WQXR Program Guide. Read them at: STEINWAY.

Archive tape used in this week's news feature on the end of the New York City Opera.

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 607 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column)

We're also working on the WQXR Facebook timeline. (1929 - present)

Do your friends want to subscribe to this newsletter? Have them sign up at: NEWSLETTERS.

Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 464 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1,410 followers @wnycarchives. We tweet daily reminders of, and links to, WNYC broadcasts from that day in the past.
We’ve got a Tumblr page too! More than 5,000 followers. Check it out at:
WNYC Archives in the…
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