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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 449 Forty Cents a Ton: Coal Mining in Hazard County, Kentucky

Posted in Update on December 19th, 2014

This week on From the Vault we feature a Pacifica Radio documentary about mining practices in Hazard County, Kentucky that was recorded in March 1963 and broadcast on WBAI on April 6th, 1963. The program shares the voices of residents from all walks of life in Hazard County, who discuss the coal miners’ union, the harassment union miners face from large mining companies, and the unofficial strikes organized in Hazard County. Participants include strike leaders Berman Gibson, Preacher Smith, Graham Noble, retired miner Harley Caldwell, and Mrs. Smith and Mrs. Noble; Mrs. W.P. Nolan and Louise Hatmaker of the Hazard Herald newspaper; C.E. Bean, president of District 30 – United Mine Workers of America; Reverend Aikley and Reverend Carroll of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and Hazard Christian Church, respectively; Drs. Creeley and Potter of the Harlan Miners’ Memorial Hospital; Ed Johnson, a non-union mine owner; Brian Whitfield III, a union mine-owner; Floyd McDowell, president of the Harlan County Coal Operators Association; and Lee Cretchfield, president of the Hazard Chamber of Commerce. This documentary, which was produced by Hamish Sinclair, Bob Heifetz. Engineered by Sam Sanders and Stanley Aronowitzc, also features a song by Pete Seeger and Phil Ochs titled, “Mining Is a Hazard.”

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 448 Julio’s Holiday: Dreidels and Donuts

Posted in Update on December 12th, 2014

This week we continue our long-standing December tradition on From the Vault and present another installment of Julio’s Holiday Special – a collection of original holiday stories produced by KPFK’s Arts and Review host Julio Martinez. You will be hearing three touching holiday stories this year: O’ Henry’s 1905 classic tale The Gift of the Magi, Julio Martinez’s original World War One story Christmas Truce of 1914, and a brand new family tale of Hanukkah titled Dreidels and Donuts.

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 447 John Lennon’s Birthday Celebration

Posted in Update on December 9th, 2014

On October 9, 2010, Pacifica radio station KPFK in Los Angeles produced 12-hour broadcast celebrating John Lennon’s 70th birthday. The idea was the brainchild of KPFK Music Director Maggie LePique, who gathered the support of KPFK programmers, the musical community, and Yoko Ono to put together a fantastic day of programming. In this episode of From the Vault, we present highlights from this historic celebration.

Contributors to the day-long celebration included Jon Wiener, Professor of History at the University of California at Irvine, author of Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon Files, musicians Jackson Browne, John Densmore (The Doors), Quartetto Fantastico, Shiela Nichols, Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine), and longtime Lennon friend and publicist Elliot Mintz.

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 446 Rally to Free Huey P. Newton, 1968

Posted in Update on December 4th, 2014

This week on From the Vault we present a recording of H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael from the Free Huey P. Newton rally at the Oakland Auditorium on February 17, 1968. Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, was arrested for the alleged killing of a police officer in Oakland California under highly controversial circumstances, and following this rally he would be convicted of voluntary manslaughter in September, 1968. The charges would later be reversed by the California Supreme Court, and eventually Newton was released as a free man.

In this recording, H. Rap Brown and Stokely Carmichael implore the audience to organize in solidarity against laws that discriminate against the black community.

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 445 Director Mike Nichols

Posted in Update on November 21st, 2014

In this edition of From the Vault we celebrate the life of director Mike Nichols, who died on Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 at the age of 83. The Pacifica Radio Archives has a gem of an interview with Nichols, recorded while he was in the middle of making his second film, The Graduate, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and earned Nichols the Oscar for Best Director. Conducted by KPFA producer Claire Clouzot in 1967 during a break in filming on the Berkeley set of The Graduate, this historic interview comes alive once again after nearly fifty years in storage, delivering an incredible glimpse into the early artistry of one of most iconic directors in the history of motion pictures.

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 444 The Coltrane Legacy

Posted in Update on November 15th, 2014

On January 12, 2007, Alice Coltrane passed away from respiratory failure in the West Hills of Los Angeles. She was 69.

Alice was a very humble woman, rarely speaking to the press and preferring to speak about John when she did. In July 2005, she was gracious enough to sit down with her friend and KPFK music programmer, Maggie LePique, and Mark Torres from the Pacifica Radio Archives.

The interview is intimate and personal, sticking mostly to John’s life and her life with him, but it is candid and unlike any other interview Alice Coltrane gave. We’re proud to say it only exists here in the Pacifica Radio Archives. This week, on From the Vault, to honor Alice Coltrane and her husband John Coltrane, we air excerpts from the documentary that was made from the original interview, titled ‘Trane Legacy.

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 and purchase copies of 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 443 Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl”

Posted in Update on November 7th, 2014

“I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked …” ~ Allen Ginsberg, from “Howl”

“Howl” by Allen Ginsberg is considered one of the greatest American poems ever written. Its author, not yet 30, joined the ranks of the great poets of the 20th Century, almost as soon as the poem was published. To this day, years after his death, he is arguably the most well known poet the United States has ever produced. He resides with Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and sits next to Bob Dylan.

He personified the “poet” in American minds: rebellious, promiscuous, liberal, intelligent, troubled. As Einstein personifies The Scientist, Ginsberg is The Poet.

This week on From the Vault we look back at the poem that made the man; We look at the poem that got people arrested for its controversial language when first published, and we do it without playing the poem in its entirety – since it is still illegal to air “Howl” on America’s airwaves without language edits.

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 and purchase copies of 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 442 Woody Guthrie: Better World A’Comin’

Posted in Update on October 31st, 2014

Up in the piney woods they were makin’ moonshine.. dodging the government revenuers who hunted them between the trees like wild game. Each dawn the hollers echoed with the news they had survived another night. These cries were set to music. Blue ridge and blue grass. The voice of the people.

Then they headed for the mines. The coal beneath their homes wasn’t going to walk into the daylight by itself. It had to be dynamited loose, hacked out, shoveled out Load by load, man and boy it had to be dragged to the surface.

Down South, meanwhile, it was King Cotton and the chain gang. The songs dripped with sweat this time, and heavy to match the delta heat and boggy fug. At night they plucked the banjo and slapped away the strings of another backbreaking day spent sharecropping another man’s land.

Out in Oklahoma, meanwhile, the folks simply fled. Their land stripped to bare dust, they took to the road, to the rails, to the wind. Like yesterday’s news, they blew along the byways to the four corners of the nation. Always lookin’ for a hand up, sometimes reduced to a hand-out, seeking a melody to match their flat-iron twang, a voice for their homeless lyrics.

Most headed west. One was named Guthrie. Woodrow Wilson Guthrie.

Uprooted from the heartland, Woody would take the pulse of the nation, and set it to the rhythm of the rails. Migrant and restless, hard traveling would tune his senses to the plight of his country and its people. On the anvil of the land he traveled, he would pound the ringing hammer of cold truth and give voice to the very wind that blew them from their homes. From California to New York they were the songs of freedom, and justice… and they would resound from shore to shore.

In this week’s episode, From the Vault delves into the Pacifica Radio Archives collection to find interviews with Woody’s wife Marjorie, longtime friend Will Geer, best friend Beth Lomax Hawes, along with classic music and interviews with Woody himself.

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 and purchase copies of 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 441 Sun Ra

Posted in Update on October 24th, 2014

This week on From The Vault we take a look at one of the most innovative artists and creative forces of our time, jazz musician and composer Sun Ra. Guided by two KPFK – Los Angeles music programmers and Sun Ra admirers, Mark Maxwell and Carlos Niño, we’ll explore some of the more abstract ideas of Sun Ra. The Pacifica Radio Archives has two landmark interviews with Sun Ra, including one of the oldest known recorded interviews conducted by Dennis Irving in 1968, and a 1991 interview with KPFK producer Jay Green titled, “Getting Better than Good, Notes from the Omniverse.” Through these recorded interviews, Sun Ra gives us a glimpse of his unique perspective on humanity’s existence and place in the Universe, and guests Mark and Carlos explain the impact Jazz legends had on Sun Ra… and the impact Sun Ra had on others.

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 and purchase copies of 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 440 Sorry, Wrong Number

Posted in Update on October 17th, 2014

“Operator! Operator! — I — I’m in desperate trouble — I — I don’t dare speak louder. I — There’s someone listening. Can you hear me now? But you’ve got to hear me. Oh — please… You’ve got to help me. There’s someone in this house — someone who’s going to murder me — and you’ve got to get in touch with the — Oh, there it is. Did you hear it? He’s put it down. He’s put down the extension phone. He’s coming up the stairs. Give me the police department. Give me the police. I can hear him. Hurry — hurry AHHHHH!”
~Mrs. Stevenson from Lucille Fletcher’s radio drama Sorry Wrong Number

Radio Drama is on the verge of becoming nothing but a nostalgic memory in the US collective conscience. In the first half of this week’s episode of From the Vault, we will honor the art of radio drama by presenting a recent Pacifica Radio Archives production of one of the most famous plays penned specifically for radio. Sorry, Wrong Number was written by Lucille Fletcher, stars Miss Shirley Knight and Ed Asner, and is directed by Erik Bauersfeld. This broadcast is as creepy today as it was in 1943!

In the second half of this week’s program, we’ll touch on the history of Sorry, Wrong Number and a learn a bit about the author, Lucille Fletcher. We’ll also hear excerpts of the original 1943 broadcast starring Agnes Moorehead, and have a discussion with the director and star of the 2003 radio production, Erik Bauersfeld and Miss Shirley Knight, about radio drama and the behind-the-scenes making of Sorry Wrong Number.

2003 production of Sorry Wrong Number cast and crew list:

Ed Asner
Steve Barker
Samantha Bennett
Maurice Chasse
Denise Dowse
Ana B. Gabriel
Shirley Knight
Sharon Madden
Lynn Marta
Stephen Ramsey

Producer: Brian DeShazor
Director: Erik Bauersfeld
Sound Designer: Jim McKee
Sound advisors: Steve Barker, Randy Thom
Special thanks to: Cristine Blosdale, Tim Forrest, Eva Georgia, Steven Starr, Mark Torres

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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