NYPR Archives & Preservation
June 13, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 22
Edition # 610


1946: The Hebrew Culture Council presents a game show quiz.  Among the questions: "Palestine, not including Trans-Jordan, is approximate in size to the state of?  - Answer: Vermont." 

1951: After an atomic attack, experts say there won't be much traffic but there will be ambulance and taxi services. All this and more on Plan for Survival. 

1968: Attorney Martin Garbus talks about integration, Cesar Chavez and the ACLU for this episode of Patricia Marx Interviews.

1988: New Sounds with John Schaefer presents new music for bass including works by Eberhard Weber, Michal Manning, Charlie Haden and others, as well as a live work for processed electric bass performed in the studio by Mark Egan.

2003: The truth about cats and dogs on this edition of The Next Big Thing.
 87 Years Ago Today on WNYC
Parade and City Hall Reception for Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh upon his return from first non-stop solo flight to Paris from New York: WNYC's Earliest Identifiable Recording. Pictured here are Lindbergh and Mayor Jimmy Walker at radio microphones (WNYC Archive Collections)


WNYC and the National Anthem

"Girl About Town--Mrs. Elizabeth Faff upset our Mayor La Guardia the other day with a distracted squawk that our municipal radio station, WNYC, played the national anthem far too often, and at difficult hours.  Mrs. F. wanted to know specifically whether she had to hop from bed or bathtub whenever the speaker gave out the tune. Hizzonner was stumped. Finally the flag association ruled that when sitting in the living room, one should stand--but whenever the action would be forced or unnatural, such as eating at table or when splashing in the tub, one should let it go." 

Source: Alice Hughes, "A Woman's New York" in The Washington Post, October 25, 1938.
WNYC to Hold Off on 'The Hot Stuff'

"When Fiorello H. La Guardia first ran for Mayor in 1933, he called for the elimination of the station as an unnecessary frill.  However, after he took office, he became convinced that it was a municipal treasure.  He sent for Mr. Neuman and said: 'Maestro, we're gonna keep that damn station and you're on the right track with that good music.  Leave jazz to the other stations.  I don't want any hot stuff.' "

Source: Obituary for "Herman Neuman, Early Leader in Classical Music on Radio, 80," The New York Times, May 5, 1976, pg. 43. Note: Herman Neuman was WNYC's Music Supervisor from 1924 to 1967. Actually, between 1940 and 1943, there was quite a bit of 'hot stuff' hitting the WNYC airwaves with Ralph Berton and Art Hodes' Jazz Institute of the Air and Metropolitan Review.

The 1931 Files
A rare aural glimpse of WNYC's early sound through randomly sampled items from the files of the Federal Radio Commission, the FCC's predecessor agency. Listen at: 1931.

'WNYC, in a city where more than 7 million people live in peace and enjoy the benefits of democracy'
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924
(Municipal Archives Collection)

  WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

WANTED: Announcer

"WQXR announcers are picked through auditions from among hundreds of applicants. A candidate is never seen by the selection committee until it is decided that his voice and his reading ability meet station requirements. The voice must be calm, never blaring nor blatant.  It must carry no foreign or provincial accent, no Southern drawl nor Midwest twang.  It must not betray emotionalism (this quality is especially important in news broadcasts where reports might be colored by voice inflection). 

"At the same time, the voice must not be flat, blasé or monotonous.  While an announcer need not be a linguist (though, actually, several are), he must have a knack for proper foreign pronunciations…One candidate in about 200 gets by, for the auditions are rather exacting…”
From an unidentified magazine article about WQXR and its announcers, circa 1955.
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: David Randolph: The Father of Weekly Thematic Music Programming

In the Spring of 1982 The Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York launched a series of sermons on nuclear disarmament for its Sunday service. Among those invited to preach were activist Dr. Helen Caldicott, retired Admiral Hyman Rickover, arms negotiator Paul Warnke, physicist Wolfgang Panofsky, and the writer Kurt Vonnegut.

At the time, Archives Director Andy Lanset covered the Vonnegut sermon as a volunteer for WNYC's News Department, but the entire sermon has never before been available for listeners, until now. Listen at: VONNEGUT.

The WNYC Facebook page has a station timeline (1922-present) with more than 607 milestones, photos, and links to audio. (Right hand column)
Do your friends want to join 880 other people who can't live without this newsletter? Have them sign up at: NEWSLETTERS.
 Check out the @mayorlaguardia Twitter feed straight from the WNYC broadcasts! His Honor now has 541 followers.

The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 2,040 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…
Copyright © 2014 New York Public Radio, All rights reserved.
unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences