NYPR Archives & Preservation
August 26, 2016 - Volume 15  Issue 35
Edition # 724

1949: Northwest Airlines invites WNYC to ride on the Boeing Stratocruiser flight from Idlewild Airport. A WNYC reporter describes the ride.

World War I flying ace and President of Eastern Airlines, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker at the WNYC microphones, December 22, 1940. (PM Photo/WNYC Archive Collections)

Some Early Jersey 'Coverage'
June 29, 1925

"Asbury Hour Over Radio from WNYC in Charming Girl Contest."

"The beauties and advantages of Asbury Park will be advertised the length and breadth of the nation tonight from station WNYC, the great broadcasting plant operated by the City of New York atop the Municipal Building...

"Asbury Hour will be opened by Christie Bohnsack, general manager of WNYC, who will inform the radio world that he has arranged a most unique feature. 'A Phantom Trip to Asbury Park, the Playground of the East.' This will deal with the journey here of 300 charming girls who will arrive Monday, July 6, and remain one week as guests of Asbury Park and The New York Daily Mirror.

"Mr. Bohnsack will give a mental picture of the triumphant parade of the girls down Broadway to the Battery, where they will board a floating palace and start on the pleasure cruise here. He will tell how they are going up the gangway. Then his talk will be broken by the cheers of as many girls who can crowd in the broadcasting studio, the shrill whistles of steamboats and harbor tugs, the firing of salutes from the harbor forts and the 1,001 other noises with which New York will send 300 of her most charming girls away.

"The announcer will then give way to the 'Original Charlestown Orchestra' and occasionally above the sobbing saxophones will be heard the scraping of feet of the happy girl dancers. After this, such of the 300 as can entertain, will sing and then Asbury's Mayor will tell the world just why Asbury Park has become the 'Deauville of America.'..."

Excerpts from: "Broadcast City's Charms Tonight," Asbury Park Press, June 29, 1925, pg. 2.
Editor's Note: This news item is, no doubt, creepy but also somewhat reflective of the zeitgeist. Bohnsack, a newspaper and public relations man, was close to station founder, Grover Whalen. The following day's Asbury Park Press reported a less-than stellar broadcast:
"Static on the ether waves last night caused by thunderstorms spoiled the reception from WNYC of the 'Asbury Hour' through which broadcasting station Mayor Charles E.F. Hetrick had been introduced as the speaker...

"A word picture of the parade of 300 girls down Broadway to the Battery, where they will board a boat for the cruise and sounds denoting the pleasure and excitement that accompanies the trip of the 300 girls, was evidently described, but heard very poorly."

Excerpts from: "Asbury Hour is Marred by Static," Asbury Park Press, June 30, 1925, pg. 4.

WNYC first day of broadcast, July 8, 1924 (Municipal Archives Collection)

December 3, 2016 will be WQXR's 80th anniversary. Listen to the nineteenth episode of WQXR at 50. This is an 83rd birthday tribute to Abram Chasins, a well known composer, pianist, and former Music Director of WQXR. Host Bob Sherman intersperses an interview with Chasins with one of his compositions, Three Chinese Pieces (1926). At the end of the interview, Chasins talks about his book, The Van Cliburn Legend (1959). Sherman also plays an excerpt from a Chasins interview with Van Cliburn at WQXR.

WQXR's Abram Chasins (WQXR Archive Collections)

WNYC celebrated its 92nd anniversary last month. 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: Vintage WNYC Microphone Slide Show.

This week's NEH-funded Annotations blog series features: Anna Kross, Commissioner of The New York City Department of Correction

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WNYC's Way Back series.  

A fond farewell and thanks to Way Back host Soterios Johnson as he departs for California. Take a listen to his many archive offerings at: SOTERIOS.

Yesterday was Leonard Bernstein's 98th birthday! Check out this rare WNYC broadcast of his first appearance with the New York City Symphony at City Center on October 8, 1945.

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