NYPR Archives & Preservation
April 1, 2016 - Volume 15  Issue 14
Edition # 703


Colonel James Churchward delivers another in a series of talks about the quixotically challenged inhabitants on the lost continent of Mu. (Pronounced: "MOO")

1936: Mayor F. H. La Guardia decries renegade WPA puppet shows in the city parks as a corrupting influence on young children.

1944: WNYC Director Morris Novik launches a new series of social hygiene broadcasts, aimed at sailors on leave, called See Something? Say Something.

1956: NYC Civil Defense Coordinator Simon Sezs calls for more lead in house paint to help shield New Yorkers from atomic radiation in the event of a Soviet attack.

1969: Patricia Marx interviews Daniel Ellsberg and then marries him.

1997: John Schaefer features the Ocarina Orchestra of Budapest on this edition of New Sounds.

Veteran radio man Cyril Jansky is a guest on Curmudgeons I Know, with host Steve Post. 

April 2, 1927

WNYC - Home to the Mutt & Jeff of Radio Announcers

Radio's tallest and shortest announcers are Truman Wintergreen (6'3") and Lambdin Bobka (5' 2"). The uneven pair host WNYC's morning and afternoon slots, respectively, for 1927-1928. Both are protégés of Milton Cross (NBC Blue) and hail from Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn.(Photo: WNYC Archive Collections)

April 1, 2000
WNYC-FM Will 'Jam' Signal to Non-Members
But Fundraising to be Loud and Clear--New Bach/Buck Format Promises Dollars and Controversy
 As of May 3rd listeners to WNYC-FM, New York's premiere outlet for classical music and NPR news will need a special 'black box' to receive programming fare. The station, 93.9 on the FM dial, will supply the converters free to members who donate $40 or more. Non-members without converters will hear a new, all-fundraising channel year round.  According to WNYC President and CEO Laura Walker, blocking the signal to non-members became an economic necessity after the station achieved independence from the City of New York. The station has an $8 million operating budget and must raise more than $10 million to complete the purchase of its radio licenses. "We simply can't afford to give our product away for free any longer," said Walker. "But why subject our loyal members to increased levels of fundraising?" 
Walker has cancelled all future fund drives on the traditional programming side of the station. The new all-fundraising channel will play brief segments of WNYC programming to entice listeners to join, including fragments of symphonies, portions of newscasts and partial short stories. "Technologically, we've made the listeners an offer they can't refuse," explained WNYC Engineer Joe Curcio, who designed the signal scrambler. Curcio's 'black box' can distinguish WNYC's fundraising and programmming much the way a standard receiver can interpret a stereo signal.  "If the President can rent out the Lincoln bedroom, we can leverage our assets," said Betsy Gardella, WNYC's Vice President of Development, who devised the plan.
Source: WNYC Press Release, April 1, 2000 as reprinted by The Daily Veracity.

*Editor's Note: The archives has a reputation to uphold and its staff was concerned that some readers may not be able to readily discern fact from fiction and vice versa on this national day of mirth. To our quick-witted steady readers, however, we offer this challenge: the missive before you contains a finite number of untruths. The first person to accurately call them out (or come the closest) will win an archives mix tape of our staff picks.
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)
Inventor Breaks New Ground
"Radio engineer and WQXR founder John Vincent Lawless Hogan says he has recently discovered a method for isolating, recording and interpreting electrical impulses in the brain. The inventor of single dial radio tuners announced yesterday he will soon publish his findings and provide a thorough explanation over WQXR.

"Last January, while at work on the facsimile transmission of text by radio, Hogan literally stumbled into this little researched area of science. In the basement archives of Manhattan's General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, Hogan tripped and fell head first into the long-lost notebooks of Edsel Zeitgeist, the 19th century Austrian-born mystic and electrical engineer. "These notebooks," said Hogan, "contain the key link between thought and mere static." Scientific leaders around the country anxiously await his broadcast and publication."

Source: Mortise, Lionel, "Inventor's Fall, Science's Gain?" The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 16, 1937, pg. 9. 

Sex, Drugs, and Boogie Woogie Rock QXR Studios

"The blue-blood decorum of 'good music' station WQXR was up-ended yesterday when rival classical station WNYC played excerpts from a recording of a depraved studio party. The secret transcription disc cut in the WQXR control room revealed less than professional activities carried out over the sound of boogie-woogie records by the likes of Sam Price, Meade Lux Lewis and Albert Ammons. The recording was leaked to WNYC by a disgruntled WQXR engineer.

"WQXR, owned by The New York Times and mainstay of sober long-hair high-culture types, issued a statement saying such music and behavior would not be tolerated and that the personnel involved had been dismissed." 

Source: Whiplash, Marvin, The New York Journal American, October 18, 1946, pg.8.

Note:The New York Journal American was, in its day, very much like the New York Post is today.
WNYC celebrated its 91st anniversary last July. Just think, 8-and-a-half short years to the big centennial. In this space we'll be linking to various historical WNYC champions, broadcasts and milestones celebrating nearly a century on the air in the public interest. This week: This is the Truth!

This week's NEH-funded Annotations blog series features: Fleur Cowles' Literary Takedown of Eva Perón and Federal Music Project Mixtape: Black Voices on the Air.


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This week on WNYC's Way Back series: That Time WNYC Used a Ghost to Tell People to Conserve Water.

Poetry Month is here! Check out our compilation of major holdings at: POETRY
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