NYPR Archives & Preservation
October 24, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 41
Edition # 629


1949: President Harry Truman, Carlos P. Romulo, President of the United Nations General Assembly, Secretary General Trygve Lie, President and Mayor William O'Dwyer speak at the cornerstone laying for the U.N. Building.

1954: Representative Jacob K. Javits, Republican candidate for New York State Attorney General, on Campus Press Conference hosted by Gabe Pressman.

1974: Russell Smith discusses Gallic Salt , a new collection of French fabliaux by Robert Harrison. Smith talks about the anti-feminist characteristics of the fabliaux on The Reader's Almanac.

2011: Michael Douglas talks with Alec Baldwin on the first edition of Here's the Thing.
Radio Babes of 1931
August 18, 1931: Acting Mayor Joseph McKee poses on the steps of City Hall with the entrants to the "Third Annual Search for the Most Beautiful Radio Artist in America," being conducted by the upcoming Radio Electrical World's Fair scheduled for Madison Square Garden. Featured are entrants from WMCA, WABC, WOR, and WNYC's own Gladys Walsh in the second row, first on the left, in the large white hat. Gladys was an accomplished concert pianist. (Harold Stein/WNYC Archive Collections)


The Mayor Isn't Happy With Announcers

In September, 1937 Mayor F. H. La Guardia wrote to NBC and CBS seeking advice and guidance regarding the selection of WNYC announcers. He wrote:

"The city has provided a salary of $1800 a year for radio announcers. Frankly, I am dissatisfied with the talent available after a competitive civil service test. Can we expect a good type of announcer for the salary we have established? Would it be asking too much of you to have some of your experts listen in on WNYC and give me your frank opinion of the quality and type of announcers we now have?..."

The networks replied, with CBS providing an in-depth critique of six announcers. In sum, CBS Production Manager John S Carlile wrote:

"I think the staff as a whole should be complimented on their restraint and naturalness. Undoubtedly, someone has urged them to avoid adopting a professional style. There are occasions, however, when I think they can impart a little more enthusiasm for programs that warrant that mood, not by raising their voices but by being themselves genuinely and happily interested and conveying that in their voices. There are times when they seem to give the impression that it's all a little dull."

Source: Correspondence of Mayor F. H. La Guardia, August, 1937 to December, 1937, La Guardia and Wagner Archives CUNY.
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

  WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

A Collector's Radio Program

"Mr. Stephen Fassett, son of the well-known actor Jay Fassett, has arranged  a series of interesting record programs on Thursday nights over New York's WQXR from 8:to 8:30 p.m. These programs, known as the Great Singer Series, will feature the recordings of singers both past and present.

"The series begins on February 2, with the recordings of Mme. Emma Eames, who will appear in person  to comment on her career and records. On February 9, the recordings of Edmond Clement will be featured with Mr. Jay Fassett as commentator. On February 16, the recordings of Emmy Destinn  will be heard and on February 23, the recordings of Francesco Tamangno will  be featured."

Source: The American Music Lover, February, 1939, pg. 358.


WNYC celebrated its 90th anniversary this 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: Ted Cott: WNYC Wunderkind.

Kids are great at using stories to cope with frightening events in their lives. In this audio, excerpted from WNYC's 1979 storytelling festival, we hear some rather creative interpretations of Little Red Riding Hood and Dracula, as well a pretty decent joke about a talking skull.

Take the third and final installment of our 1971 Pan Am walking tours through Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side and Washington Square Park.

"Chenk’s Calypso: The Duke of Iron on the Air"


The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 600 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column) This week:1935.
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 Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 543 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 2,226 followers @wnycarchives. We tweet daily reminders of, and links to, WNYC broadcasts from that day in the past.
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