NYPR Archives & Preservation
April 4, 2014 - Volume 13  Issue 12
Edition # 600


1927: In an effort predating MOOCs Dr. Victor Harrison Berlitz deliver free German language lessons.

1948: Violinist Joseph Szigeti and pianist Artur Schnabel perform works by Beethoven and Mozart at the Frick Collection.

1954: Cultural critic Gilbert Seldes talks about the second annual WNYC Book Festival on The Lively Arts.

1961: Pete Seeger is featured on A Journey into Folksong, with host Jacqueline Steiner.

1988: John Schaefer of New Sounds presents an hour-long suite of excerpts from Philip Glass's Akhnaten, an enigmatic work based on the life of the pharoah Akhnaten and surviving texts from his reign. Dennis Russel Davies conducts the Stuttgart State Opera Orchestra and Chorus, and Paul Esswood is the featured soloist.

Sydney Biddle Barrows, the 'Mayflower Madam,' talks to Leonard Lopate of New York and Company about her book Just Between Us Girls: Secrets About Men from the Madam Who Knows.

2003: Remember 1977, NASA put a gold-plated record of earth’s sounds, voices and music on board Voyager 1? Or when New York City’s Meatpacking District really was a meatpacking district? Or when Marines went to Iraq to take on Saddam Hussein – in 1991? The Next Big Thing. explores the not-so-distant past from the vantage point of the not-so-comforting present.
 Play Ball! 
The Fire and Police Department baseball teams paraded up Broadway to sell the Mayor the first ticket to the Polo Grounds baseball game on September 27, 1931. The game was a benefit for the unemployed of New York. Mayor Jimmy Walker (in the light suit) is at the WNYC microphone, flanked by the department commissioners on the steps of City Hall. (Acme News Photo/WNYC Archive Collections)


Playing It Safe
"NEW YORK, Oct. 13--Walter Butler is a short, dapper man with a faint Continental accent. He formerly was an engineer at a small Southern station. Some months ago he moved North and took a low-paying job riding gain at WNYC, the New York muni station, so that he could be near his family. To supplement his income he tried to get a part-time job as a mail handler at the New York Post Office. Last week, on [Admiral] Nimitz Day, Butler walked up to the desk of Sylvia Davis, assistant to Morris Novik, head of the station. He was wearing a Homburg hat and carried a small leather attache case.
'Miss Davis,' he announced, 'I am leaving WNYC.'
'Really" she asked,' did you get that job at the post office?'
'No, I am going to Berlin for six months to be a legal advisor to the War Crimes Commissioner. By the way, when I come back, can I have my old job?' "
Source: Billboard, "Playing It Safe," October 20, 1945, p.6.



Talented Would-Be's on WNYC

"WNYC has kept its door open to everyone and anyone who wanted a chance at radio and who showed some talent and promise...To the list of men and women who have acted, sung or worked in WNYC's year round 'summer theater' could now be added Betty Garrett, now in Call Me Mister; Regina Resnick, dramatic soprano for the Metropolitan Opera; Melvin Elliott, news commentator at WOR; Susan Reed, folksinger; and at least one Guggenheim Fellowship winner, Elaine Lambert Lewis, who produced Songs for the Seven Million on WNYC. Station Director Seymour Siegel said, 'We feel it is definitely part of our function here to give talented would-be's a chance to crack the tough and often intimidating field of radio.' "

Source: The New York Herald Tribune, August 3, 1947.

The Cold War is Over - Not...or What the New Cold Warriors Could Learn from the Old Ones?
WNYC First day of broadcast, July 8th, 1924. 
(Municipal Archives Collection).

    WQXR - 'Long Reads' from WWII

  WQXR Advisory Committee

In 1945 WQXR created an Advisory Committee of listeners who would agree to answer specific questions asked by the station from time to time. The station picked at random 3,200 among the subscribers to its Program Guide.They were invited to serve on this committee.

A total of 2,496 accepted. WQXR also added by invitation more than 2,000 non-subscribers to the advisory panel, so that the committee now numbers about 4,500 families who listen regularly to WQXR.

Source: Descriptive material circa 1946 from the WQXR Advisory Committee file in the WQXR Archives Collection.

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: Macklin Marrow and the  WNYC Concert Orchestra.

The United States was less than a year into World War II and the it seems that everyone and everything is going into the war effort. This includes music. Read more from the WQXR Program Guide of October, 1942 at: Music - A War Essential

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! 

Voices at the New York Public Library was a WNYC series of Celeste Bartos Forum talks airing in 1993. It's slowly going to make its way to the web. We're starting with the late Paul Fussell on The Poetry of Three Wars: World War I, World War II and Vietnam.

Thanks go out this week to Robert Arkus for donating another load of his father Al Arkus's WNYC scripts. The one linear foot (1946-1949) of paper includes the children's shows, The Music Maestro and Here's Heidy as well as the drama workshop series One Night Stand and The House I Live In. Also included are scripts from programs that aired on both WNYC and WNYE, Know Your City and Westward to Freedom.

Next Thursday, April 10, the Archivists Roundtable and the Society of American Archivists present an event at Pratt Institute called Sound Practice: Aspects of Managing Archival Audio Collections, featuring archivists from StoryCorps, New York Public Library, and New York Public Radio. For more information, see: AUDIO COLLECTIONS.

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 537 followers.
The WNYC Archives is on Twitter with 1886 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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