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From the Vault is looking for a few dedicated volunteers to help with scheduling, research, digitizing, transcribing, website support, and more. If you're interested, please contact From the Vault.

FTV 476 Gay Pride Month – Diminished Capacity

Posted in Update on June 26th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we celebrate Gay Pride Month with a 1979 documentary titled Diminished Capacity, about the social impact of the voluntary manslaughter conviction of San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White, who killed San Francisco Mayor George Mascone and fellow City Supervisor Harvey Milk on November 27, 1978. According to his lawyer, White, who was overly distressed about losing his position on the Board of Supervisors, acted without malice, deliberation or premeditation – the necessary conditions for a first-degree murder conviction in California. White’s legal team argued for acquittal of first-degree murder charges (and instead conviction of much less severe voluntary manslaughter charges) on the concept that White was afflicted with the condition of “diminished capacity.” White would serve only five years of a seven-year sentence before his release. The original documentary Diminished Capacity was produced by Greg Gordon, longtime host of the international LGBT radio magazine This Way Out, who also interviewed Milk in 1978 shortly after his election to City Supervisor. We conclude this episode of From the Vault with that interview.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

FTV 475 Jean Ritchie – An American Treasure

Posted in Update on June 19th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we celebrate the life of Jean Ritchie, an American folk treasure who died June 1, 2015. Born in Viper, Kentucky on December 8th, 1922, Ritchie was the youngest of fourteen children who became known as the “Singing Ritchies of Kentucky.” Eventually, Jean would pack her bags and move to New York City in 1947, to begin a career as a social worker. In the course of work, she would teach traditional folk songs she knew to the children; word of her music education efforts came to the attention of folklorist and field recording collector Alan Lomax, who would record her for the Library of Congress.

Ritchie – who could sing a capella and play the mountain dulcimer and autoharp – performed alongside legends such as Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Dave Van Ronk, as well as the underground folk masters of New York and beyond. Her creative efforts not only popularized the Appalachian folk tradition, but also raised awareness of the hazards of strip mining and coal mining in her beloved mountains of Kentucky.

In this 1978 interview on Pacifica Station WBAI in New York City, Ritchie sat down to sing and chat with producer Lynn Schoenfeld about music, family,and life in her home town.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

FTV 474 Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism, Part 2 of 2

Posted in Update on June 12th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we feature the second part of a two-part 1981 program on the lesbian movement called Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism. In this episode, we feature a panel discussion on issues facing lesbians in the 1980’s, interspersed with music. Topics include the state of the lesbian movement and its leadership, the role of culture and separatism, the importance of the ERA and pro-choice issues, measurement of progress, and the strategy to deal with threats from the New Right. The panel discussion is hosted by Barbara Price, and the panelists include Ginny Berson, Pat Parker, Meg Christian, and Barbara Cameron.

This program was produced by Susan Elisabeth and Ginny Berson, and engineered by Susan Elisabeth; production assistance from Amber Hollibaugh of the Lesbian and Gay History Project, and Lynn Fanfa at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

FTV 473 Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism, Part 1 of 2

Posted in Update on June 5th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we feature the first part of a two-part 1981 program on the lesbian movement called Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism. In this episode, we’ll hear an oral history of lesbian life and activism in the United States, with a particular emphasis on 1969-1981; movements and events are described with relevant songs, music, and actualities interspersed throughout. This two-part program was, in part, celebrating the 1981 opening of the West Coast Lesbian Collections in Oakland, which was moved six years later to Los Angeles and renamed the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives in honor of June Mazer, a community activist and an invaluable supporter of the collection.

This program was produced by Susan Elisabeth and Ginny Berson, and engineered by Susan Elisabeth; production assistance from Amber Hollibaugh of the Lesbian and Gay History Project, and Lynn Fanfa at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

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FTV 472 Walk to Freedom (1961-Albany, GA)

Posted in Update on May 29th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we will hear an extraordinary documentary about the events that transpired in Albany, Georgia in November, 1961. Produced by Alan Lomax, renowned folklorist and field sound collector, and Guy Carawan, longtime music director of the Highlander Research and Education Center in Tennessee, this program masterfully weaves field recordings and narrative to tell the story of the residents of Albany and their efforts to eliminate segregation in their city through the voter registration movement. Civil Rights scholars recognize that while not every goal of the Albany campaign was successful, the protests in Albany did achieve the primary goal of desegregating the town, and there is general agreement that the Albany movement was a formative learning experience and critical benchmark in the career of Martin Luther King, Jr., who participated in the protests at the invitation of local city leaders. The 1961 Albany march is now credited with educating and energizing the Civil Rights Movement for future actions in Birmingham (1963), Washington (1963), Mississippi (1964), and Selma (1965), to name a few.

Our special guest is Mr. W. Frank Wilson, Executive Director of the Albany Civil Rights Institute, who comments on the Albany campaign in relation to the national Civil Rights movement at the time.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

FTV 471 Robert Frost Reads His Own Poetry

Posted in Update on May 22nd, 2015

This week on From the Vault we present a 1956 reading with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost.

Born in San Francisco in 1874, Frost would spend his early years in urban Massachusetts, and then working on a family farm in New Hampshire, where he found plenty of inspiration for his poetry from rural observation, but little financial success in either farming or poetry. Discouraged, he moved to England in 1912 with the hopes of finding a new market for his literary talents; there, Frost finally found a publisher for his first collection, and subsequently built friendships with poets Ezra Pound and Edward Thomas – who offered Frost advice, inspiration, and encouragement. When Frost eventually returned back to the United States, he found that publishers were now more than happy to work with him, resulting in prosperity and, ultimately, four Pulitzer Prizes.

Then, in his 80’s, Frost made his way back to Berkeley, California to give a poetry reading, which was broadcast on Pacifica Station KPFA on June 11, 1956. From this incredible and insightful reading we are left with an amazing historic recording, which we proudly feature in this episode of From the Vault. Frost, on occasion, stops mid-poem to offer up insight and witty anecdotes about his intentions and creative motivations, making for an exceptionally unique and authoritative study of the poets own work.

This particular recording was brought to our attention thanks to an inquiry by KPFK Program Director Alan Minsky; we start with his story about what motivated him to seek out this jewel in our collection.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

FTV 470 Harriet Tubman – Great Women Series

Posted in Update on May 15th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we feature a recording about the life of Harriet Tubman, taken from a series called Great Women, which was produced at KPFA in Berkeley by Darcell King in 1980. Preserved for our American Women Making History and Culture project (funded by a grant from the National Archives), this program examines Tubman’s life as an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the Civil War. Tubman, who was born into slavery but escaped to North, found her calling by returning to the South nineteen times, risking her life to lead over three hundred slaves to freedom on the underground railroad; her heroism is being championed in the ongoing campaign to have her image replace Andrew Jackson’s on the twenty dollar bill.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

FTV 469 The Poetry of Alta

Posted in Update on May 8th, 2015

This week on From the Vault, we listen to work of artist Alta Gerry (simply known as Alta in the poetry world), an award-winning poet credited with opening one of the early feminist press houses in 1969. Alta’s Shameless Hussy Press created space for women’s voices at a critical point in the movement known as second-wave feminism, publishing work from authors like Susan Griffin, Pat Parker, Mitsuye Yamada, and Alta’s own first collection of poetry, Freedom’s in Sight. She also published the first edition of Ntozake Shange’s Obie Award-winning work, Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.

In the recording featured in this episode, Alta reads her poetry accompanied by classical guitar, and discusses poetry with Ruth Rosen and Isabel Welsh from Pacifica KPFA studios on November 12, 1972.

Alta’s collection of poetry, The Shameless Hussy, won the American Book Award in 1981.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

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FTV 468 Live Poetry Slam Special

Posted in Update on May 5th, 2015

This week on From the Vault, Pacifica Radio Archives and the Get Lit Players Organization present an hour of live poetry mixed archival recordings of poets from the Pacifica Radio Archives. Get Lit live poets include Marqueesha Babers, Walter Finnie, Rhiannon McGavin, Diego Sanchez, Kyland Turner; selections from Pacifica Radio Archives includes Sonia Sanchez, Langston Hughes, and Audre Lorde. We’ll also hear from Diane Luby Lane, the founder of the Get Lit Players organization, Grace Cavalieri, host of the nationally syndicated program The Poet and the Poem, and Steven Reigns, Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, California.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

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FTV 467 Chilean Folk Legend Violeta Parra Presented by Carlos Hagen, 1973

Posted in Update on April 24th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we celebrate the godmother of Chilean New Folklore Movement (Nueva Canción), Violeta Parra, through her music and the stories of prolific Pacifica Radio producer Carlos Hagan.

In February, 1973, Carlos Hagen turned his attention to Violeta Parra, the highly influential Chilean musician who, beginning in the 1950’s, scoured the Chilean pueblos, to document traditional Chilean songs for all occasions. Violeta Parra would reconstitute what she learned from her travels into a new folkloric music, or Nueva Cancion, to help tell the stories of contemporary Chilean society. She would influence musicians in her own country (such as Victor Jara) as well as musicians here in the United States and beyond: her most popular song, “Gracias a La Vida” was covered by artists such as Argentinean Mercedes Sosa, Mexico’s Chavela Vargas, and American Joan Baez. In this program, we’ll hear Hagen present incredibly rare Violeta Parra recordings from his personal collection and share wonderful insight into each song, translating important passages and context into English for his American audience.

Some of Violeta Parra’s music included in this week’s program:
La Refolosa (Popular dance in Chile)
Nina Hichicera (Bewitching Girl)
La Petaquita (The Little Purse)
La Jardinera (The Gardening Girl)

La Cueca Larga de los Meneses (Poem by her brother Nicanor Parra “The Large Chilean Dance La Cueca of the El Palomo (The Male Dove)
Ausencia (Absence – Sad Love Song)

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.

PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.

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