NYPR Archives & Preservation
May 1, 2015 - Volume 14  Issue 18
Edition # 656


1951: William Bendix, Bing Crosby, Kirk Douglas, Billy Exdine, Rhonda Fleming, Bob Hope, John Herbert Lund, Ray Milland all take part in a spot announcement campaign to help children with cerebral palsey.

1969: Tracy Atkinson, Director of the Milwaukee Art Center, discusses the ways in which the Art Center in Wisconsin differs from its big city counterparts

1978: Kurt Vonnegut joins L.J. Davis in a lively conversation with Walter James Miller on The Reader's Almanac.

Musicologist and author Sigmund Spaeth in a publicity shot as NBC's 'Tune Detective' show in the 1930s. (Photo: Courtesy of NYPL Digital)

'Tune Detective' Comes to WNYC

"The highly entertaining and instructive Dr. Sigmund Spaeth starts a new weekly series tagged "Let's Write Songs" over the municipal station WNYC, tomorrow. He'll be heard at 5:30 p.m.  The 'tune detective' will analyze current hit tunes very carefully to show the stuff of which they're made, and then tell listeners how to compose their own tunes. This department predicts that he'll have at least seven million citizens writing tunes in another week. He's that successful as a teacher via the kilocycles. Dr. Spaeth describes his new series as a kind of  "A-B-C of popular song writing."

"Among other things, Dr. Spaeth is almost baldheaded and president of the National Association of American Composers and Conductors."

Source: Ranson, Jo, "Sigmund Spaeth In WNYC Series," The Brooklyn Eagle, September 27, 1939, pg. 26.

Editor Note: During World War II Spaeth was also heard on the WQXR program Dr. Sigmund Spaeth and His Record Library and was the author of two essays published in the WQXR Program Guide: The American Composer from October, 1941 and.Consider the Interpreters from November 1942.
Giving Thanks

The NYPR Archives would like to thank the National Endowment for the Humanities for again granting us funds to continue our digitization work on the Municipal Archives WNYC lacquer discs and tapes. Beginning this September we will embark on the two-year project to add another 588 hours of material to the 700 already at There will also be an additional 100 blog articles as part of the project. See: NEH regarding our previous grant.

The NYPR Archives would also like to thank the Metropolitan New York Library Council, Brooklyn Historical Society and Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for awarding us one of five National Digital Stewardship Residency positions in New York for the 2015/16 season. Our digital resident will aid in the creation of a robust digital preservation roadmap and help create recommendations for long-term, institution-wide digital curation policies. For more on the program see: METRO.

WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)
Most WQXR Smokers Smoke Chesterfields

"There has been no appreciable decline from a year ago in the number of men or women smokers among either WQXR listening families or non-WQXR listening families, according to the fourth annual comparative survey of brand preferences made by Pulse, Inc…These facts were evident in the latest WQXR study…Chesterfield is still the leader in Metropolitan New York but has lost much ground in both sizes-apparently to filter-tip brands.

"However, filter-tips do not have as great acceptance among men as women smokers in the WQXR sample. With the exception of the long-established Pall Mall, king-size cigarettes have not made gains locally that they have nationally. Pall Mall made an astounding gain of 80.2 percent among WQXR men, ranking third to Camel."

Source: WQXR Press Release, "No Decline in Smokers Indicated in WQXR's Annual Cigarette Survey Although Women Show Preference for Filter Tip Brands," October 22, 1954.

Editor's note: The 1960 WQXR survey of listener smoking habits indicates the peak year for smoking was 1955 for men and 1956 for women before the number of smokers begins to gradually decline. At that time smokers were choosing between twenty-three different brands with eight of these brands having seventeen different sizes and filters to choose from. 

WNYC celebrated its 90th anniversary last year. We're now officially a nonagenarian radio station. In this space we'll be linking to various historical WNYC champions and milestones. This week: Raymond Asserson, Sr., The Man Who Built WNYC in 1924: Speaking Truth to Power.

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 600 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column).
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Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 561 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 2,530 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 10,000 followers. Check it out at:
WNYC Archives in the…
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