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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 507 Bessie Smith Tribute

Posted in Update on January 28th, 2016

This week on From the Vault we feature a program preserved thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commision at the National Archives as part the Pacifica Radio Archives project American Women Making History and Culture 1963-1982.

Part of November 1976 series called Focus on Women Composers, this recording explores the life of blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-1937) and includes examples of her music and readings from texts about Smith. The original program was presented by Fleur Helsingor and Jane Ayres and produced by Renee Roatcap.

Songs featured in this recording include Gulf Coast Blues, Aggravatin’ Papa, Frankie Blues, among others; readings include excerpts from Chris Albertson’s Bessie Smith biography and a 1947 Jazz Record magazine article.

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 506 Frances Emley Tribute

Posted in Update on January 22nd, 2016

This week on From the Vault we pay tribute to social activist Frances Emley, who made Berkeley her home and Pacifica Radio—KPFA the media outlet for her work. Emley passed on December 1st, 2015 at the age of 84.

Perhaps an excerpt from a tribute piece posted on the independent online news site Berkeleyside best honors Emley:

“In the early 1970s, anti-war protesters at Stanford University inspired Frances to pick up a tape-recorder and craft her first radio news report for KPFA. She had no previous radio experience, but wanted people to hear alternative viewpoints in the news. Soon, she was splicing large reels of tape on her kitchen table, editing poignant interviews about farmworkers using the short hoe, Chilean victims of torture, American incarcerated youth, veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure and Native Americans trying to secure land rights.

Her programs, still archived at KPFA and Pacifica Radio, raised awareness about the plight of others suffering and the importance of speaking out. She loved a story of rebellion.”

Pacifica Radio Archives honors Frances Emley by presenting one of those programs, El Cortito: The Short Hoe, which chronicles the legal battle to ban the use of the short hoe on farms in California. Produced in 1974, the program is a perfect example of Pacifica’s concept of radio for the common good of the community: exposing the back-breaking working conditions in the fields that ensured food on American dinner plates. The manner in which the short hoe was used had horrible consequences to the farmworker: its effective use necessitated stooping in the fields (for up to 16 hours a day), which commonly resulted in chronic spine and lower back injuries.

Thanks to the space that Pacifica Radio provided, the work of Frances Emley was a crucial component in effecting a change in public policy: in 1975, the Supreme Court of California ruled that the short hoe was an “unsafe hand tool” and, therefore, banned under California state law.

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 505 Haskell Wexler Tribute

Posted in Update on January 16th, 2016

In this episode of From the Vault we pay tribute to a great human being, a supporter of underrepresented communities, and celebrated cinematographer, Haskell Wexler. A friend of Pacifica Radio throughout his incredible career, Haskell was well-known for his Academy Award-winning work on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Bound for Glory – Hal Ashby’s film on the life of troubadour Woody Guthrie. Included among the dozens of other films in his filmography are One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, In the Heat of the Night, and Medium Cool – which employed clever blending of actuality from the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and a fictional storyline. Haskell was credited as the first cinematographer to use the newly invented Steadicam during the filming of Bound for Glory.

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 504 Francis Ford Coppola, 1967

Posted in Update on January 8th, 2016

This week on From the Vault, we hear a young and energetic filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who, while only 27 years old at the time, was already a seasoned industry veteran. Coppola describes how the seemingly impenetrable Hollywood Studio system can be mastered in this restored recording from January 1967.

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 503 Charlene Teters and Wounded Knee

Posted in Update on December 30th, 2015

This week on From the Vault, we remember the 125th anniversary of the Wounded Knee Massacre with a 1998 Pacifica program commemorating the 25th anniversary of the American Indian Movement’s (AIM) occupation of three buildings on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The occupation was an attempt to force the United States government to relinquish Indian lands guaranteed in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie; after a 71-day standoff, AIM leaders surrendered to federal agents in return for a promise to establish a commission to negotiate land issues and to address other Native American concerns.

The archival footage begins with Voices of Pacifica series narrator Kathy Still introducing the program as a special Thanksgiving program broadcast in 1998… then we’ll hear a 1998 California State University, Fullerton address by Charlene Teters, a member of the Spokane Indian Tribe in Washington State and a leader in the national fight to eliminate the use of racist Native American Indian caricatures. At that time, Teters was the Senior Editor of Indian Artist Magazine, a professor at the University of American Indian Art, Santa Fe, and a founding board member of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and Media. The program closes with actuality of a Wounded Knee Massacre commemoration concert from February 1998 featuring the late John Trudel performing “Shoot out a Jumping Bull and Great Spirit or Great Lie;” Steve Emery performing “Hoka Blues;” the Lakota Student Alliance Welcome with Corrie Trimble; “Redbird” Dave Baker, performing “From the East Come Freedom;” and Redsoul performing at Wounded Knee in 1973.

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 502 Marsha Hunt

Posted in Update on December 24th, 2015

This week on From the Vault, we visit with Marsha Hunt – actress, humanitarian and longtime-activist for a variety of social causes including education, homelessness, and world hunger. In 2015, the film documentary Marsha Hunt’s Sweet Adversity premiered on the festival circuit, commanding plenty of attention and winning awards to boot; produced and directed by Roger C. Memos, this film about Ms. Hunt’s life prominently features a 1962 sound recording from Pacifica Radio Archives in which Hunt, the Reverend John Simmons, and the Reverend Brooks Walker discuss the dangers presented by the rise of reactionary political groups in the United States. Along with an excerpt from that 1962 recording, we’ll listen in on an interview Hunt gave to KPFK programmer Dorothy Nasatir in the 1990’s, where Hunt discusses her Hollywood blacklisting and the pervasive Red Scare that spread throughout the movie industry in the late 1940’s. Rounding out our sound experience, we share a wide-ranging conversation between Hunt, documentary producer Memos, and Pacifica Radio Archives Director Brian DeShazor that was recorded in August 2015 at Hunt’s home in Los Angeles.

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 501 Julio’s Holiday Special

Posted in Update on December 18th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we present our annual Julio’s Holiday program – a collection of original radio dramas produced by KPFK’s Arts in Review host Julio Martinez. In this edition, we present two of Julio’s classic stories and a dash of vintage holiday music: “Keeping Christmas Well” (a radio drama based on A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens), “Dreidels and Doughnuts” (a holiday tale of the origins of Chanukah), and a rare collection of holiday songs from Mexico recorded in 1964.

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 500 Tribute to John Trudell

Posted in Update on December 12th, 2015

This week, on the 500th episode of From the Vault, we pay homage to John Trudell, one of the greatest champions of Native American rights, who passed away on December 8th, 2015.

Trudell, an acclaimed poet, recording artist, actor and activist, has been connected with Pacifica Radio since 1969. Pacifica audiences first became familiar with Trudell in his capacity as the communications director of the All Nation’s occupation of Alcatraz Island, where on December 22, 1969, he began hosting regular broadcasts of Radio Free Alcatraz, which were first heard on Pacifica station 94.1 FM in Berkeley, and then broadcast across the Pacifica Radio Network. Trudell would go on to become the Chairman of the American Indian Movement from 1973 – 1979. When a fire of unknown origin killed his wife, three daughters, and mother-in-law in 1979, Trudell turned to poetry to help deal with his grief, and he would eventually begin touring internationally to read poetry and perform music.

In this episode we present recordings of John Trudell live on Alcatraz Island in 1969, in Long Beach, California in 1992, and on the campus of California State University – Hayward in 1994. Also sampled is audio from a benefit for the Indians on Alcatraz Island recorded at Stanford University on December 12, 1969 featuring Malvina Reynolds and Buffy Sainte-Marie, as well as music from John Trudell’s 2002 release Bone Days. First, though, we’ll start with a recording of the former president of the Southern California chapter of the ACLU, Steve Rohde, reciting a poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller, “And Then They Came For Me,” about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis’ rise to power and the subsequent purging of their chosen targets, mainly Jews and homosexuals.

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 499 Dalton Trumble

Posted in Update on December 4th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we salute one of America’s greatest screenwriters and novelists, Dalton Trumbo, who is known as much for his Academy Award-winning scripts as he is for being one of the infamous “Hollywood Ten,” a group of Hollywood film industry professionals blacklisted for publicly denouncing the tactics of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in the late 1940’s.

In 1971, Trumbo sat down for an interview with Pacifica’s Larry Bensky to discuss the film adaptation of his award-winning 1939 novel Johnny Got His Gun. Dalton also explores his thoughts on the Attica Prison uprising, and reminisces on the days of McCarthyism and blacklisting in America.

We’ll also hear archival recordings from our collection of Trumbo’s contemporaries who knew him best, including Ring Lardner Jr. (a fellow member of the Hollywood Ten), communist activist Dorothy Healy, and actor Kirk Douglass.

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 498 History for the Holidays, Part 2 of 2

Posted in Update on November 27th, 2015

This week on From the Vault, we feature the first of a two-part special titled History for the Holidays, which highlights poems and songs from Pacifica Radio Archives, and includes excerpts from Music for the Holidays, a compilation of holiday tunes donated by prominent musicians. In this episode, we’ll hear from Robert Frost (in a 1956 reading), the New York Kantorei (Free Music Store Concert from 1972), Dorothy Day, and music from Jackson Browne, El Vez, Gaby Moreno, and Holly Near with Brian Lane Green.

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.