NYPR Archives & Preservation
May 2, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 16
Edition # 604


1951: Edward F. Cavanagh Jr., Commissioner of the Department of Marine and Aviation, talks about water-borne transportation in the event of an atomic attack.

1979: Poet Samuel Menashe discusses his poetry with Walter James Miller on The Reader's Almanac. Menashe reads some of his poems, including "Promised Land," "Walking Stick," "Western Wind," "Achilles," and "To Open."

1987: Amy Goodman interviews poet and essayist Adrienne Rich and airs segments on border babies and women in boxing on this edition of Speaking for Ourselves.

2003: Cindy Rodriguez reports from Vieques, Puerto Rico on the U.S. Navy's exodus from the island and a celebration by islanders  gaining access to the land.
Pete Seeger behind a WNYC microphone - we know not where nor when. Do you?  All we know is that the Weavers played the same gig. (Photo by Hanneli Plemmons,WNYC Archive Collections)


Reporting From the World's Fair
"We visited the World's Fair the other day and looked in on the sumptuous quarters assigned to WNYC, the municipal station, in the City of New York Building. They are positively the last word in modernity and you can take our word for it. The studios are right in the heart of the fair under the shadow of the Trylon and Perisphere. Several decent-sized studios have been constructed on the mezzanine floor and there is also an auditorium studio on the main floor which seats 285 persons. The upper floor studios are so constructed that visitors can observe the broadcasts from specially built windows. The city station is the only broadcasting organization at the fair with complete studio facilities…"
Source: Jo Ranson's daily column "Radio Dial Log," in The Brooklyn Eagle, March 13, 1939.
"WNYC, the city station, will use special new [back] pack transmitters to cover the World's Fair activities. The apparatus was designed by WNYC Engineer James Berry under the direction of Isaac Brimberg, Chief Engineer of the city station. These transmitters are so practical that CBS and WOR will employ similar ones on the Fair grounds…"
Source: Jo Ranson's daily column "Radio Dial Log," in The Brooklyn Eagle, April 26, 1939.
"Metropolitan stations will do a good job of covering the World's Fair this semester. WNYC will reopen its studios in the City of New York Building and Russ Johns will once again serve as its 'World's Fair Reporter.' The station will also offer a daily calendar of events at the Fair…Nat [Nathan] Berlin, masquerading under the romantic name of Mel Eliot, will describe the Fair's activities over WNEW daily starting tomorrow at 8 p.m. Berlin served as one of WNYC's ambassadors on the Fair grounds last year and turned in a creditable job…"
Source: The Brooklyn Eagle, May 10, 1940, p. 28

This week we marked the passing of Paul Robeson Jr. by posting two WNYC programs with him and hosted by David Sear in 1976. You can listen to them at: Robeson.
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924
(Municipal Archives Collection)

    WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

WQXR: Inspiration for 'Bubbles' Bartok

""During this convalescence [Ernie] Kovacs' lifelong love of classical music began. Someone gave him a radio to keep him company in the hospital and he spent hours listening to WQXR, New York's classical radio station. Later he would often write comic pieces set to the music of composers he called 'Ricky' Strauss, 'Hank' Haydn, and 'Bubbles' Bartok, among others.

"He began his 1959 special 'Kovacs on Music' by explaining: 'I have never really understood classical music, so I would like to take this evening to explain it to others.' Ernie was being modest, for he had an uncanny, instinctual sense of the rhythms and shadings of classical music. He exalted and demystified the works of great composers for his television audience."

Karin Adir, writing in The Great Clowns of American Television, McFarland & Co., 1988, p. 62.

WNYC's 90th year of broadcasting is upon us. (The actual anniversary is this July 8th.) In this space we'll be linking to various WNYC champions and milestones. This week: "Where More Than 7 Million People Live in Peace and Enjoy the Benefits of Democracy."

Erwin Edman, Columbia University philosophy professor and WQXR fan, ruminates on musical themes and the responsive chords within us for the May, 1944 WQXR Program Guide in: Remembrance of Themes Past.

WNYC Reporter Jim O'Grady has won a 2013 Regional Edward R. Murrow award for his obituary of Ed Koch. And we helped!

This week we had a visit from Rob Hudson, Associate Archivist at the Carnegie Hall Archives and Preservation Specialist Frances Harrell with the Northeast Document Conservation Center. Also passing through were Wendy and Alister Sanderson who recently donated the Pru Devon collection of WQXR scripts, broadcasts, photos and fan mail.

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)

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Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 541 followers.
The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1956 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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