NYPR Archives & Preservation
December 12, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 48
Edition # 636


1940: Woody Guthrie sings "The Ballad of Tom Joad" and others on Leadbelly's show, Folksongs of America. This is one of many joint appearances by the two folk legends on WNYC.

1965: David Randolph interviews Peter Mennin, composer and President of Juilliard School of Music.

2003: Two of the more intriguing minds in the piano world join host John Schaefer on Soundcheck. French pianist Pierre Laurent Aimard is a master of modern music, but unlike the many new-music specialists around New York, his playing has a refreshing sense of brilliance and flair. Also on the show is Alexander Toradze, the Russian-born pianist and director of the famed Toradze Piano Studio.
Original Armchair from WNYC Studios
Art deco, machine-age furniture populated the WPA-revamped WNYC studios of 1937. This classic Warren McArthur chair was used as part of the Brooklyn Museum exhibition Machine Age in America from October, 1986 to February, 1987.*


 From WNYC's FBI File

"On October 8, 1969, ______ _______[of] Radio Station WNYC,  Municipal Building, New York City provided the following information:  It is not known to ____how Radio Station WNYC first received taped programs from Radio Moscow.  In this respect ___does not know whether WNYC initiated the action or whether Radio Moscow initiated the action.  ____believes that possibly WNYC first began receiving taped programs from Radio Moscow as a result of some cultural exchange program.  This relationship began approximately four years ago and when it became known to _____ _____ WNYC, that Radio Moscow would make taped programs available, ____made it known to Radio Moscow that WNYC would be glad to receive any taped programs that Radio Moscow wanted to make available.  Programs based on tapes from Radio Moscow are not presented on a regular basis. Tapes are received from Radio Moscow on an irregular basis.  As a practice, WNYC does not present any taped programs from Radio Moscow which are news commentary. These are automatically discarded by WNYC.  For the most part, programs received from Radio Moscow deal with information regarding trade unions and in the field of culture, especially art and music.  When programs are received from Radio Moscow they are edited by the staff from WNYC and information known to be false, a distortion of the truth, or pure propaganda in nature, is edited out before being presented to the listening public…"

Source: WNYC's FBI file. The blanks represent redacted or 'blacked-out' material. WNYC came under fire for its airing of Radio Moscow programming following the May 14, 1969 publication of an article in Laiks, an anti-Communist Latvian language newspaper based in Brooklyn. The story, "Moscow Propaganda on the New York City Radio Station," took issue with, (among other things),  a WNYC broadcast of a Radio Moscow program that said Soviet rule in Latvia had been established in 1917 and called fighters for a free Latvian state "counter-revolutionaries."  For more see: Happy Cosmonautics Day and Other Fascinating Moments From Radio Moscow.
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

  WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII


The Saturn Logo
The logo above was featured in the WQXR program guide for more than ten years.  It was based on a similar one from the station's previous incarnation as W2XR.  It first arrived on the scene in August 1936, along with the partnership between W2XR owner John V.L. Hogan and advertising executive Elliott Sanger.  This partnership, The Interstate Broadcasting Company, brought about a subsequent call letter change in December of that year. 

The January, 1937 program guide was the first to feature the above graphic.  Although the station was purchased by The New York Times in 1944, and had soon thereafter initiated a new logo for its letterhead, Planet WQXR continued to grace the cover of the program guide until June, 1946.

Did having a saturnine logo mean the station was cold and steady in mood?  Was it slow to act or change or did it have a gloomy or surly disposition?  We don't think so, but it looks cool..  

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: Ready or Not, Listeners Hear John Cage Composition Over WNYC in 1945.

Another in the Voices at the New York Public Library series from the Celeste Bartos Forum: Wallace Stegner and The Art of Fiction.

Long-Silent Voices of Poets Recovered with IRENE


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:1942.
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 550 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 2,281 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 9,500 followers. Check it out at:

*Editor's Note: We have three Warren McArthur chairs (without arms) and one small table in our collection. The chair featured above is on long-term loan from the City of New York to the Brooklyn Museum.

WNYC Archives in the…
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