NYPR Archives & Preservation
November 4 , 2016 - Volume 15  Issue 45
Edition # 734

1963: B.H. Haggin, the music critic for The Hudson Review and the recordings critic for The New Republic, tells WNYC's Patricia Marx there aren't any great conductors in the music world. While he does see great talent in conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Colin Davis, and William Steinberg, he doesn't believe any of them have announced themselves as the next Toscanini.

1988: Mark Isham, David Byrne, and Scott Johnson talk about 'how music from the films is born' on this edition of New Sounds, with John Schaefer.

Mayor William O'Dwyer accepts a bronze decoration from the Belgian government for placement on the American memorial to the European Jews killed during World War II, October 21, 1948. (PM Photo/A. Lanset Collection)

"Bottle Washer Writes on Paine for Broadcast"
" 'Please listen in tonight,' a correspondent urged some weeks ago, 'to WNYC's new Hall of Fame dramatic series. The cast is, of course, unpaid, and the script writer --myself--also unpaid. The subject of the broadcast is Thomas Paine.' The writer is a bottle washer by trade.
"Such simple pen and ink notes sandwiched into the daily stack of high-powered, expertly prepared publicity material remind us of the thousands trying to find a place in the radio sun. WNYC, the municipal station which gave our bottle washer his first chance, has done that favor for many others. It has gained such a reputation for its activities that many young actors auditioned by the networks are directed by them to WNYC for training under Ted Cott, the station's talented young drama director.

"Among his authors, Ted boasts a truck driver who writes delicate poetic dramas and a lawyer for the Legal Aid Society specializing in social plays...

"Radio drama is an expensive proposition and WNYC hasn't any money for that purpose. Instead it has managed to gather a faithful hard-working group of authors and actors who, working without pay, turn out some remarkably good work. The station now has four regular weekly dramatic productions, the most ambitious being the Saturday Radio Playhouse, an experimental air theatre using only original scripts. Others are the Monday Hours of Destiny show, the Hall of Fame on Thursdays, and Let Freedom Ring on Fridays.

"If none of the WNYC group has yet gone on to sensational success in radio, a number of graduates have made the grade in fair fashion...Included in the WNYC dramatic troupe are a number of actors who won't let their real names be used. They are announcers for all networks who want to keep a hand in dramatics, and find Ted Cott's organization the only one open to them."

Excerpts from: Carlton, Leonard, "Bottle Washer Writes on Paine for Broadcast," The New York Post, October 18, 1938.
WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

December 3, 2016 will be WQXR's 80th anniversary. In this episode from the Great Artists series, Bob Sherman talks to composer Samuel Barber, whose Third Essay for orchestra will be premiered by the New York Philharmonic under Zubin Mehta.

A very special thanks to NYPR donor Jamie Rigler for making it possible for the archives to acquire 709 original WQXR reels of The Listening Room, Young Artists Showcase and WQXR on Broadway programs from the 1970s through the 90s. And a very gracious tip of the hat to Vina Orden, Patrick Daughtry, Matt Abramovitz, Alexandra Spinks, and Michelle Halliburton for making it all so seamless.

Also a special thanks this week to John and Carrie Hamilton for donating their father William Hamilton's personal collection of 285 field recordings to the archives. 'Willy' Hamilton was an expert recording engineer who worked for Bob and Joan Franklin's Cinema Sound and was chief audio engineer for Audio Fidelity Records.
WNYC celebrated its 92nd anniversary this past July. Just think, less than 8 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: Pioneering monologist Cornelia Otis Skinner.

This week's NEH-funded Annotations blog series features: A Mid-Century Look at the American Film Industry

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