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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 485 Joseph Jackson, Jr. and the Tougaloo Nine

Posted in Update on August 29th, 2015

In this edition of From the Vault we look at one of the early actions of the Civil Rights Movement, as a 23-year-old Joseph Jackson, Jr. decided to challenge the Jim Crow laws in 1961, in Jackson, Mississippi. Joseph Jackson, Jr. was elected Youth Council President for the local chapter of the NAACP while he was a student at Tougaloo College, the all-Black Christian school in Jackson, Mississippi; he and his fellow students wanted to do something about the racist laws still on the books throughout the South, and after much thought they agreed on a plan of action. On March 27th, 1961 Jackson, Jr. and eight other students – Meredith Anding, Samuel Bradford, Alfred Cook, Geraldine Edwards, Janice Jackson, Albert Lassiter, Evelyn Pierce and Ethel Sawyer – went into the white-only Jackson Public Library to do research for their school papers. National attention, and eventually a national dialogue would be the result.

On May 31, 2015, from his home in Southern California, a now 78-year-old Jackson, Jr. sat down with From the Vault producer Gabriel San Roman to reflect back on those early days growing up in the South and his efforts to end racial segregation. We now present 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 484 The Population Bomb

Posted in Update on August 21st, 2015

This week on From the Vault we present a 1968 interview with Stanford Professor Paul R. Ehrlich (noted population biologist and author of the book titled “The Population Bomb,”) and Professor Dennis Parnell (Catholic scientist and biologist at California State College at Hayward). They talk with Al Silbowitz about the drastic measures called for by the increasingly critical population explosion, and about Pope Paul’s encyclical opposition to birth control. This program was originally broadcast during KPFA’s “Open Hour.” We’ll follow this 1968 interview with a 2015 update from Paul Ehrlich himself, as we ask him the question, “So what can we do?”

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 483 Watts Rebellion 50th Anniversary Concert and Mixtape

Posted in Update on August 14th, 2015

Pacifica Radio Archives and From the Vault radio joined forces with the Grand Performances Summer Concert Series in Los Angeles to present a 50th Anniversary remembrance of the 1965 Watts Rebellion, in which social unrest over unemployment and police discrimination gripped this Southern California neighborhood for seven days resulting in 34 deaths and tens of millions of dollars in property damage. The evening was designed to combine poetry, music, and history in a positive way to gain an understanding and appreciation of underrepresented communities. On this episode of From the Vault, we’ll revisit the July 10th, 2015 WATTS50 concert, with its stellar lineup, including Jimetta Rose performing “America,” Watts Prophets performing “Hey World,” and Dead Prez performing “Police State.” We also debut the Watts50 Mixtape created by hip hop aficionado and Lyricist Lounge co-founder Ant Marshall using the historic audio from the Pacifica Radio Archives. Marshall blends audio from the historic 1965 recording The Fire This Time with hand selected music tracks.

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 482 Hiroshima

Posted in Update on August 7th, 2015

“What has kept the world safe from the bomb since 1945 has not been deterrence, in the sense of fear of specific weapons, so much as it’s been memory. The memory of what happened at Hiroshima.”
~John Hersey, writing in “Hiroshima.”

August 6th is the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. Pacifica Radio Archives commemorates the anniversary every year with a live recording of the radio adaptation of John Hersey’s Hiroshima, arguably the most famous work of the Pulitzer Prize winning novelist and reporter. An account of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945 as told from the perspective of six survivors, it is written in a stark, objective voice that manages to be precise and all the more vivid for its understatement of events. A profoundly influential work, Hiroshima has long since been established as one of the classic accounts of the Second World War. This week, on From the Vault, we’ll here excerpts of Pacifica Radio Archives radio adaptation of John Hersey’s masterpiece.

The original radio adaptation of John Hersey’s Hiroshima stars Tyne Daly, Ruby Dee and Roscoe Lee Brown, Daniel Benzali, Roscoe Lee Browne, Esther K. Chae, Michael Chinyamurindi, Tony Plana, Jeanne Sakata, Chris Toshima and John Valentine. Produced by Brian DeShazor and Mark Torres, in association with Artists United and The Feminist Majority. Adapted for radio by John Valentine. Directed by Michael Haney. Music by Mark Snow.

But first we begin with an excerpt of a Boston University speech by Howard Zinn from November 11th, 2009 on American “Holy Wars.” In this talk, Zinn scours the American war record in search of a “good war” or “justifiable war.”

*The Pacifica Radio Archives’ recording of John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” received a National Federation of Community Broadcasters Special Merit Award in the Radio Drama category.

Archival recordings used in this week’s episode, Hiroshima:

PZ0546a-b John Hersey’s “Hiroshima” MORE INFO

Related archival recordings in the collection:

BB3035 The Atomic Bombers MORE INFO

BB0597 On Nuclear Morality / Lord Bertrand Russell MORE INFO

KZ1272 Shigeko Sasamori addresses Physicians for Social Responsibility MORE INFO

AZ0660.02 Hiroshima Witness / Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto MORE INFO

AZ0545 A Walking tour of the Hiroshima Peace Museum MORE INFO

BB0136 Fallout and Disarmament / Linus Pauling and Edward Teller MORE INFO

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 481 Dustin Hoffman, 1971

Posted in Update on July 31st, 2015

This week on From The Vault we take a trip back to 1971 and listen to a conversation with the actor Dustin Hoffman. Before we get to the archival recording, though, we are proud to present a six-minute special edit of the 82-minute interview by Quoted Studios, a nonprofit dedicated to uncovering, preserving and re-imagining the American interview, for their signature series Blank on Blank, which is produced in collaboration with PBS Digital Studios.

In 1971, when this conversation was recorded, Hoffman was receiving accolades for his work, including his 1967 breakthrough performance in Mike Nichols’ The Graduate, John and Mary with Mia Farrow (1969), and his iconic role as “Ratso Rizzo” in Midnight Cowboy. His film Little Big Man was in theaters and he had already signed on to be the lead in Sam Peckinpah’s current project Straw Dogs.

What we love about this recording is its informality. It isn’t about selling a film… it’s not part of a film press junket… but simple conversation about the craft and experience of acting. In addition to talking about the cinematic art form, being a Pacifica station, the conversation always includes the politics of times… which in 1971 included the Vietnam War, the Kent State killings, the youth movement in general and the role of social/political movements such as the Young Lords and The Black Panthers. Hoffman also comments on the Black Panther Party and Young Lords, who designed breakfast programs and education and health centers to help their 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.

FTV 480 Townes Van Zandt – A Houston Songwriting Legend

Posted in Update on July 24th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we feature some rare and outstanding live music performed in Pacifica station KPFT’s studios, from one of the great Houston songwriters. Special From the Vault guest host Roark Smith (host of Wide Open Spaces on KPFT) takes us on a musical adventure to celebrate Townes Van Zandt, one of the most important musicians hailing from Texas in the late 60’s and 70’s, among peers Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith, Vince Bell, Lyle Lovett, Robert Earl Keen, and Eric Taylor.

Townes Van Zandt was as tragic a figure as he was talented. In the early 1960’s, he was diagnosed as manic depressive and underwent a controversial insulin shock therapy procedure which erased much of his long term memory. Van Zandt subsequently fought a continuous battle with substance abuse with alcohol and narcotics his entire life that ended at the age of 52 in 1997. Although his lifestyle kept him, as he said, “living out of a suitcase and singing for his meals,” Van Zandt’s songwriting remains some of the most beautiful and highly influential to this day.

While living in Houston, Townes Van Zandt made several visits to the one station that appreciated good songwriting, Pacifica Radio KPFT 90.1 FM. In this episode of From the Vault, we’ll listen to classic sets recorded at KPFT in 1972 and 1973, which includes some of his most well-known songs like “Pancho and Lefty” and “To Live is Fly.”

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 479: A Picture of Oscar Wilde, Part 2 of 2

Posted in Update on July 17th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we feature the conclusion of a two-hour documentary dramatizing the life of Irish author, playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, written, produced and broadcast in 1963 on KPFK by Ruth Seymour (then Ruth Hirschman). A Picture of Oscar Wilde was broadcast as a month-long tribute to Oscar Wilde that included airings of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “The Ballad from Reading Gaol”, and “De Profundis”.

These source materials were used to create the original audio documentary:
The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde, edited by Rupert Hart-Davis, 1962
Famous Trials Oscar Wilde, H. Montgomery Hyde, 1962
Oscar Wilde and Myself, Lord Alfred Douglas, 1914
Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions, Frank Harris, 1916
My Father Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan Holland, 1954
Oscar Wilde: A Present Time Appraisal, St. John Ervine, 1951
The Importance of Being Oscar, written and performed by Michael MacLiammoir, 1960

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 478: A Picture of Oscar Wilde, Part 1 of 2

Posted in Update on July 13th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we feature the first part of a two-hour documentary dramatizing the life of Irish author, playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, written, produced and broadcast in 1963 on KPFK by Ruth Seymour (then Ruth Hirschman). A Picture of Oscar Wilde was broadcast as a month-long tribute to Oscar Wilde that included airings of “The Picture of Dorian Gray”, “The Importance of Being Earnest”, “The Ballad from Reading Gaol”, and “De Profundis”.

These source materials were used to create the original audio documentary:
The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde, edited by Rupert Hart-Davis, 1962
Famous Trials Oscar Wilde, H. Montgomery Hyde, 1962
Oscar Wilde and Myself, Lord Alfred Douglas, 1914
Oscar Wilde, His Life and Confessions, Frank Harris, 1916
My Father Oscar Wilde, Vyvyan Holland, 1954
Oscar Wilde: A Present Time Appraisal, St. John Ervine, 1951
The Importance of Being Oscar, written and performed by Michael MacLiammoir, 1960

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 477: Watts Rebellion 50th Anniversary – The Fire This Time

Posted in Update on July 10th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Watts Rebellion by featuring a documentary titled The Fire This Time, which draws from Pacifica Radio’s coverage of the events as they unfolded, including actuality from events in the streets, community leaders, educators, residents, aid workers, police, radio commentaries and listener call-ins. The Fire This Time was produced by Trevor Thomas.

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 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.