NYPR Archives & Preservation
April 18, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 14
Edition # 602


1930: Peter Hugh Reed hosts Around the Disc. Note: Reed (1892-1969) was the founder and editor of the longest continuously existing independent critical record magazine in the U.S. Founded as The American Music Lover in 1935 it was later renamed The American Record Guide.

1942: Dr. C. W. Cutler, Junior Chief of Emergency Medical Services in Manhattan, says that New York City may one day become a target of the war and notes the ways the medical profession is preparing itself for an attack on this edition of The Role of Science in War.

1951:On Plan for Survival, Bill Leonard talks to Omar Pancost, Special Consultant of the New York State Civil Defense Commission, about food and water. Pancost says there is very little chance water will be contaminated by radiation.

1966: The eccentric documentarian of utopias Marguerite Young addresses The New York Herald Tribune Book and Authors Luncheon.

2003: On The Media's Bob Garfield talks with Newsday's Matthew McAllester, who covered the war in Kosovo in 1999, about reoprter guilt. In Beyond the Mountains of the Damned, McAllester agreed reporters may have jeopardized the safety of the very people who were helping him report on the war.
Commander Richard E. Byrd in front of the WNYC microphones at City Hall from either June 23rd 1926, July 18, 1927 or June 18, 1930. There were three different ticker-tape parades and receptions for Byrd at City hosted by Mayor Jimmy Walker (to the left of Byrd) and WNYC founder and official New York City greeter Grover A. Whalen (to the right of Byrd). We just don't know which reception this photo is from!  (WNYC Archive Collections)


WNYC's Sexy DJ
"My brother, Philip, and I both listened to Ralph Berton,* a disc jockey on WNYC radio, every day.  Wow, did he play great records.  Blue Note Records--this brand-new jazz label--I'd never heard anything like them, the most profound sounds.  One record in particular featured Frankie Newton, an obscure trumpet player's trumpet player, and 'After Hours Blues,' with guitarist Teddy Bunn, bass player Johnny Williams, Meade 'Lux' Lewis on piano, and the killer swing drummer 'Big Sid' Catlett…And then one night, I’m in bed and my brother calls.  He now has a girlfriend and he's out somewhere with her and I hear him say, 'Get dressed, be downstairs. I got Ralph Berton in the car!'  Man, I jumped up like crazy. Because I was…well, attracted to Ralph Berton, just his voice on the radio.  He stuttered a little.  So sexy..."

Source: Lorraine Gordon, as told to Barry Singer in Alive at the Village Vanguard: My Life In and Out of Jazz Time, Hal Leonard, 2006, pgs. 10-11.

*Note: From 1940-1942 Ralph Berton hosted WNYC's daily foray into jazz called, Metropolitan Review, and he was an integral part of the jazz programming for WNYC's early American Music Festivals.  His daily program was the first serious jazz music show on the air.  The May 11, 1942 edition of Newsweek noted that  "Berton converted listeners by the thousands.  His fan mail pyramided to 8,000 letters, outstripping all other regular shows." Later that year, Berton turned the program over to jazz pianist and educator Art Hodes. On May 3rd, 1940 Ralph Berton launched a special weekly series first called The American Jazz Institute and then, The Jazz Institute of the Air.

Listen to Ralph hosting an American Music Festival program with Leadbelly, Sam Price and Albert Ammons at: BERTON.

It's POETRY MONTH  and we've pulled together a lot of archive material including Dylan Thomas, Connie Converse, Jack Kerouac, Philip Levine, Natasha Trethewey, Marianne Moore, Archibald MacLeish, Robert Pinsky, Robert Frost, Vladimir Nabokov and more!
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924
(Municipal Archives Collection)

    WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

 Airline Dedicates Radio Program to Jungle Hospital in Peru

"Some of the latest recordings of typical Peruvian music will be aired for the first time in this country Friday, January 25th, when Panagra [Airways] dedicates its radio program Nights in Latin America to the staff and patients of the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Pucallp, Peru.

"The program, which features the noted music authority, Pru Devon, and is broadcast over WQXR at 10:05 p.m. every Monday and Friday, will be devoted exclusively to Peruvian music this Friday.  The airline chose the occasion of the 88th birthday of the great German humanitarian and scientist this month to honor his work and that of his followers in Pacallpa..."

Source: PANAGRA (Pan American-Grace Airways) press release from January 23, 1963.

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: Footloose in Greenwich Village, a 1960 documentary.

In January 1941, Swiss pianist, conductor and composer Rudolph Ganz was  conducting the Young People's Chorus of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Society. He was also  a pioneer in the field of children's concerts, having directed such concerts for the past eighteen years. So when WQXR invited him to write a piece for the station's program guide, he produced: Music for American Youth.


Archive Manager John Passmore and Senior Archivist Marcos Sueiro Bal this week traveled to Andover, Massachusetts to deliver a load of broken glass-based WNYC transcription discs to the Northeast Document Conservation Center (NEDCC).

NEDCC recently installed equipment for scanning disc grooves that should allow us to retrieve the content of these broadcasts. For more on the project see: IRENE.  They also paid a visit to our friends at WGBH for a tour of their archive facility and update on the American Archive Project.

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 1920 followers @wnycarchives. We tweet daily reminders of, and links to, WNYC broadcasts from that day in the past.
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WNYC Archives in the…
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