NYPR Archives & Preservation
January 17, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 03
Edition # 591

1949: Hiram Bingham, the man who 'discovered' Machu Picchu in 1911, talks about his adventures.

1958: Robert Frost speaks at a Poetry Society dinner in his honor.

1966: Mayor Lindsay addresses the transit strike at press conference.

1977: Jerry Gillies, author of Friends: The Power and Potential of the Company You Keep, speaks with Reader's Almanac host Walter James Miller.
Celebrity Sportscaster Graham McNamee on WNYC
On April 28, 1927, The Brooklyn Standard Union reports "Graham McNamee, the premiere sports announcer, will be at the microphone this afternoon at 2:45 o'clock during the Boost Brooklyn Day program to be broadcast by station WNYC from Ebbets Field. Mr. McNamee will give a play-by-play description of the game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Nationals." (Photo: WNYC Archive Collections)


Back-Handed Praise from the Post

"This is a brief for amateurism, for fumblers and bumblers, for the organized failures of this world.  The voice of amateurism around our house usually comes from radio station WNYC, a kind of monument to non-professionalism in a professional milieu…I remember one announcer we used to call The Groaner, and another The Voice of the Turtle, and another The Tongue Tied One--the names of foreign composers gave him fits…In the evening, WNYC was always signing off when all other stations were just getting into their prime--like a child who is hustled off to bed before the party guests arrive…

…Or just when we'd be warming up to the 'Midday Symphony,' they would interrupt to bring us a complete broadcast of the latest window repair ceremonies at City Hall or the annual merit award presentations of the Dept. of Water Supply, Gas and Electricity. The announcers were always apologetic about it, but after all, WNYC is your city station. They're still bumbling along there in their amiable exasperating way…But I'm not complaining, WNYC is almost the last station where you can find any human failings. This brings it a lot closer to my head, heart and bones than those great monsters of omniscience known as 'the networks' could ever be."

Source: David Gelman from a column titled, 'The Human Sound,'  in The New York Post, March 20, 1962.

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

    WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

The Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor

"In New York radio station WQXR switched its Gilbert and Sullivan program from The Mikado to H.M.S. Pinafore in honor of the Royal Navy."

Source: Josephine Powell writing in Tito Puente: When the Drums Are Dreaming, Author House, 2007,  p.79

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: Communist Propaganda or Capitalist Commercial? A 1930s WNYC Broadcast is Mired in Controversy.

The great Russian-born composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff died at the end of March, 1943 at the age of 70. Charles O'Connell, then RCA Victor's Music Director, composed a personal tribute for the May, 1943 WQXR Program Guide. Read it at: Some Reflections on Rachmaninoff and His Music.

A must-read for any fan of WNYC History: Peter H. Darrow's Going Public: The Story of WNYC's Journey to Independence.

Jim O'Grady: a WNYC reporter who dives into the archives to make yesterday aural fodder for today. Listen! LINDSAY/De BLASIO

Interested in seeing the WQXR Program Guides from September, October and December, 1939? Someone has gone to the trouble of scanning them and putting them on-line at: WQXR Program Guide. Thanks to Walt in NJ.

A very worthwhile collection of interviews with writers and poets done by Charles Ruas in the 1970s is now available on-line at: RUAS.

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 520 followers.
The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1707 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 9,100 followers. Check it out at:
WNYC Archives in the…
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