NYPR Archives & Preservation
March 21, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 10
Edition # 598


1927: The Flanagan Brothers perform Irish favorites in the studio.

1943: Mayor La Guardia reports from Gracie Mansion on rationing and the black market for Talk to the People.

1961: Lewis Mumford talks about the decline of American cities at The New York Herald Tribune Books and Authors Luncheon.

1995: The News Department reports that New York City has agreed to sell WNYC AM and FM to the WNYC Foundation for $20 million. See: WNYC
Name That Performer
Can you identify this woman? The photo is from the 1950s and we believe she was singing at an event sponsored by the Salvation Army in front of City Hall. If you can correctly name her, there is an archives coffee mug in your future. (WNYC Archive Collections)


 What Could He Have Said ?
Among the recent finds in the Thomas Cowan papers at the University of Wyoming is a May 24, 1949 letter from WNYC Director Seymour N. Siegel to Gerald E. Martin of Orangeburg, New York. Siegel writes:

"All of our collective ears at WNYC are somewhat reddened by your note of May 23rd. I am passing your letter on to our entire staff with the sincere hope that there will be a definite improvement in some of the presentations that you mention.

"The announcer to whom you refer is Mr. Thomas Cowan, who is the oldest* announcer in radio broadcasting. All of our announcers are appointed on the basis of competitive civil service examinations...

"...All I can do is to ask you to forgive us our sins, and I hope that you will witness a distinct improvement in the not too distant future. In closing, let me say that I am personally grateful for the spirit which prompted you to write, and I hope you will continue to remain one of our regular listeners..."

*Editor's note: While Tommy Cowan wasn't the oldest announcer in broadcasting, he was certainly one of the oldest. Before coming to WNYC, Tommy began his career with WJZ, the New York metropolitan area's first commercially licensed station. Read more at: Radio Pioneer Tommy Cowan Announces a Parade of History.
WNYC First day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924. 
(Municipal Archives Collection).

    WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

Reisenberg, Salmond, Glenn and List on WQXR Summer Series

"Contrary to the radio habit of popular shows leaving the air for the summer, WQXR will introduce an all-star series of recitals by such well-known artists as Carroll Glenn, Eugene List, Nadia Reisenberg and Felix Salmond as summer replacements for the WQXR String Quartet,which will be off the air during July.

The series will get under way on Sunday, July 11, from 6:05 to 7 p.m. with pianist Nadia Reisenberg and Felix Salmond, cellist, the featured artists…"

Source: WQXR Program Guide, July, 1948.


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: Morris S. Novik: Public Radio Pioneer.

WQXR co-founder Elliot Sanger crunched the numbers in 1942 to find out just who was listening to classical music on the radio. You may be surprised.  Read more at: Who Likes Good Music?

WNYC's Senior Archivist Marcos Sueiro says audio archiving is just like listening to the radio. Read more at: Hello Past, I Can Hear You!

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

March is  Women's History Month Check out what we've pulled together.

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 534  followers.
The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1875 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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