NYPR Archives & Preservation
June 19, 2015 - Volume 14  Issue 25
Edition # 663


1925: Dr. W. F. Jacobs, Superintendent of Brooklyn's Cumberland Street Hospital, discusses this week's 81st annual convention of the American Institute for Homeopathy.

1945: Block-by-block coverage of the massive Eisenhower Day parade and reception for the homecoming general.

1954: New York City Traffic Commissioner T.T. Wylie answers questions.from budding journalists on this edition of Campus Press Conference.

1973: Artist James Brooks is Ruth Bowman's guest for Views on Art.

1987: John Schaefer hosts 'Piano with Unusual Instruments' on New Sounds.
Announcer Ezra MacIntosh was the host of WNYC's Voice of the Theatre program. He was also Master of Ceremonies for the dedication of the WNYC WPA Federal Art Project murals and sculpture in 1939. (1931 NBC publicity photo/WNYC Archive Collections)

Listener Engagement: 1947 Style

"The Listener Talks Back, a program on which the radio listener will have an opportunity to voice his opinions on the broadcasting art, will make its bow at 9:15 PM Monday, October 27th, over the city's station, WNYC.  The broadcasts will originate from Town Hall and will be part of the Radio Workshop course conducted by Gretta Baker.  Three script writers, Peter Lyon, Priscilla Kent and Hector Chevigny, will be heard on the first program, after which a panel of listeners will have an opportunity to ask questions and offer such praise or criticism of radio as they may choose."  

Source: The New York Times. October 9, 1947.

New York's Got Talent!

Long before the Greene Space's Battle of the Bands, WNYC presented its first Civil Service Talent Hour in May, 1935. Among the performers was the one-man band, Lawrence Miller, a laborer in the Highway Department. With his foot he tapped a bass drum  With his hands he strummed a guitar and with his mouth he played a harmonica and kazoo. Met Opera star Mary Elizabeth Moore, who got her start at WNYC, sent a telegram calling the Civil Service Hour a "grand idea."  (Photo: NYC Municipal Archives)
The Quiz Show: It Started Here

On NBC radio on August 10, 1944 the "Dean" of network commentators H.V. Kaltenborn lauded WNYC for 20 years of public service saying:

"...WNYC has competed successfully for listener interest against the world's best radio programs...Some 18 years ago it was my privilege to put radio's first quiz program on the air over our municipal station...In this, as in many other aspects of broadcasting, station WNYC has been a valiant pioneer...WNYC has been an example and an inspiration for the creation of non-commercial broadcasting stations all over the land. As the man upon whom the mere passage of time has conferred the title, 'Dean of Radio Commentators,'  I salute WNYC, 'Dean of Municipal Radio Stations...' " (Photo: NYC Municipal Archives)
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

The WQXR Great Artists Series

 Chamber Music Blues

" 'It cuts you to pieces,' said a man.  'I'm in pieces,' said a lady, falling over a chair.  It was about 2 a.m. in the Palm Room at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria. For four hours various jazz musicians drifting in from the hotspots had been showing a roomful of bigwig musicians and assorted guests that jazz is serious. At the moment, a hot guitarist, academically introduced as a 'demonstrator of social and protest blues,' was beginning to take effect on listeners like conductor Wilfred Pelletier of the Metropolitan Opera... 

"Only commercial station in the country that devotes 80% of its broadcasting day to classical music, WQXR needed some such catalyst as a 'mad night' at the Waldorf before it could go the whole way in recognizing jazz. The man who engineered the party was WQXR's shrewd musical director, Eddy Brown. A chubby cigar-smoker with bright eyes, he has worked around to hot music slowly...For the serious plunge into jazz…he plans a single program series in which he will use recordings of classic and modern jazz…"

Source: "Radio: Chamber Music Blues," Time Magazine, November 17, 1941.
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: First Jewish Daily Forward Radio Program is on WNYC

A little bit of WNYC's history gets animated.

Just a reminder to WNYC/WQXR producers: When you are here at the station you can always access the archive catalog without logging in by going to:

In case you missed it, WNYC Reporter Steve Nessen made good use of the archives this week in: Nearly 30 Years and $3.5 Billion Later, NYC Gets Its First Filtration Plant.

Did you know that Thomas Edison's 'right hand man' and the inventor of the first portable hearing aid referred to WNYC's music broadcasts as 'transcendent'? Find out more at The Name Dropper.

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 600 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column).
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 571 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 2,600 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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