NYPR Archives & Preservation
November 29, 2013 - Volume 12  Issue 46
Edition # 584

1959: Professor Hanson Blatz, Director of Radiation Control for the NYC Department of Health, discusses the dangers of radiation in New York City on Campus Press Conference.

1965: Jules Feiffer and Alfred Kazin address The New York Herald Tribune Book and Authors Luncheon.
Early W2XR/WQXR Microphone

Of course we'd love to say this was in our collection. But alas, it does have a good home at the Bob Paquette Microphone Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Former WQXR engineer Robert Cobaugh sold the Shure Model 5B double button carbon mic and a WQXR Brush Soundcell Model G2P2S (circa 1935) to Paquette in 1973. The Soundcell was one of the earliest high quality, high fidelity crystal microphones. (Photo courtesy of Jim Hawkins Radio and Broadcast Technology page).


From the Producer's Memoirs…
"One day in 1940, I received a letter from Woody Guthrie, urging me to put Leadbelly on the air.  Woody wrote: 'Life hasn't been so smooth with Huddie, and what makes him good is that he simply wants to sing and tell how it has treated him, and what he has learned from it, and he wants to be honest about it, without any pretty put on.  I honestly believe that of all the living folk singers I've ever seen that Leadbelly is ahead of them all.'
"We gave Leadbelly his own 15 minute weekly spot called Folk Songs of America. He always arrived on time.  I could set my clock by his arrival, neatly dressed in a double-breasted grey suit, white shirt and dark bow tie.  We would sit in my office and plot out a skeleton script.  Once on the air, Leadbelly would ad lib commentaries about his life, his youth on Fanning Street, a red-light district, his experiences with cocaine, backbreaking field work, his sexual exploits and disappointments, and his years on prison farms.  He would recall the time spent as the 'eyes' of the great bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson, leading him through southern streets to play for nickels and dimes.  After each broadcast Leadbelly would ask me, 'Did you understand everything I said?  Folks up north don't understand southern talk, and I want them to know what I'm talking about.'  But he really had no cause to worry; the meanings of his songs were never in question.  Each program had its own theme.  I would listen, enthralled, to rough ballads like 'John Henry,' 'Frankie and Albert,' and 'Railroad Bill.' "
Henrietta Yurchenco writing about her tenure as a producer at WNYC  in Around the World in 80 Years: A Memoir, Music Research Institute Press, 2002, pgs. 48-49.

WNYC First day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924. 
(Municipal Archives Collection).

       WQXR at 75

          (2 Years Ago)
From WQXR's Program Policy File-Circa 1947

"Make every program either educational, cultural, informative or interesting (or a combination of those features).

"Never tell the audience that the program  is educational or cultural.

"Put the emphasis on good music (of any kind) and avoid trashy 'popular' music heard on many other stations.

"Address all programs to people of intelligence and appreciation; never 'talk down' to the audience, and never underestimate its education or culture."


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: Ireene Wicker and Radio for Children.

In April, 1937 WQXR invited Evan Roberts, the Managing Director of the WPA Federal Theatre Project Radio Division, to talk about the challenges and wonders of radio and radio drama. While we don't have the audio, we do have his script, which you can read at: Twentieth Century Magic.

In the October, 1941 WQXR Program Guide NBC's 'Tune Detective' Dr. Sigmund Spaeth puts on his more serious hat as music critic, commentator and the President of the National Association of American Composers and Conductors. In his essay, The American Composer, he announces his new series over WQXR.

All of the WQXR Program Guide essays, once appearing on the web on Mondays, are also found on the WQXR Essay cluster page at: WQXR Essays.

Penn Station turned 103 this week. See Transportation Nation's blog for some great photos. We found them some vintage train announcements from the 1950s, too.


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.

A reminder to in-house NYPR staff: The Archive catalog/database can be accessed at: If you need to access the catalog outside of the station please contact the Archives Dept.

Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 496 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1,569 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 7,200 followers. Check it out at:
WNYC Archives in the…
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