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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 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 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

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 439 Marian Seldes

Posted in Update on October 10th, 2014

This week on From the Vault we remember the actress Marian Seldes, who passed away October 6, 2014 at the age of eighty-six. Ms. Seldes was a phenomenal presence both on the stage and on the big screen. Her career on the Broadway stage spanned 60 years, in which she appeared in over 24 plays including Tennessee William’s “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore” (1964), three plays by Edward Albee (“Tiny Alice,” (1964), “A Delicate Balance,” (1966) and “Three Tall Women” (1993)), and Terrence McNally’s “Deuce” (2007) alongside Angela Lansbury. She was nominated for five Tony Awards (winning twice) and was the recipient of a 2010 Antoinette Perry Lifetime Achievement Award.

We pay homage to Ms. Seldes by sharing with you a 1974 interview conducted by Bruce Kenyon at Pacifica station WBAI in New York City. Ms. Seldes begins by reading a poem, and then touches on virtually every facet of her craft, in addition to sharing memories of such coworkers as Judith Anderson, John Gielgud, Colleen Dewhurst, and shows such as “Medea,” “Tiny Alice,” and “Equus.”

This interview with Marian Seldes was recently digitized as part of the project American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982, funded in part by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives. At a recent reception for the project held at the Feminist Majority world headquarters in Beverly Hills, California, we recorded comments from guests who had just heard newly restored recordings of anthropologist Dr. Margaret Mead, comedian Lily Tomlin, and author Anais Nin, among others. We proudly share these inspiring comments with you as well.

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 438 Blues Legacies and Black Feminism

Posted in Update on October 3rd, 2014

This episode of From the Vault is all about the blues. The blues are commonly thought of as one of the most important and influential popular music styles originating right here in America. In 1998, Angela Davis focused her pen on three blues legends in her book Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude “Ma” Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. Davis explored the music of these original blues women to illustrate the struggle, heartbreak, and victories of women throughout the 20th century. We’ll hear Davis speak in Los Angeles on a stop in her 1998 book tour.

Then we’ll showcase a special live performance from blues legend Alberta Hunter from 1978. Born in 1895, Hunter began her career in the early 1920′s. A contemporary of “Ma” Rainey and Bessie Smith, Mrs. Hunter became hugely successful with a string of hits like Downhearted Blues and My Man is Such a Handy Man. In 1928 she played Queenie opposite Paul Robeson in the first London production of Showboat. But by the 1950′s she retired from show business and began a career as a nurse. When the hospital forced her to retire in 1977, she began to perform again. Pacifica was there in 1978 to record this Alberta set. Thanks to a grant by the Grammy Foundation we were able to re-master this rare 1978 recording with Alberta Hunter and now present her performance for the first time in many years.

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 437 The Free Speech Movement – 50th Anniversary

Posted in Update on September 26th, 2014

On this edition of From the Vault we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Free Speech Movement with a documentary called Free Speech Movement: Sounds and Songs of the Demonstrations. Assembled from KPFA field recordings made during the 1964-1965 academic year on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, this recording would be released to the public on 12” vinyl in 1965 to critical acclaim. The record includes sounds from the 6,000-plus student sit-in at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Hall, and speakers sharing their concerns and opinions regarding students’ rights and the faculty’s involvement. We’ll also hear the arrest of civil rights activist Jack Weinberg, an early speech by Mario Savio, and a mix of Free Speech Movement songs performed by various artists. But first, we present a recording of one of the principle student leaders, Bettina Aptheker, who reflected on the early days of campus life – before the Free Speech Movement began – in this 1979 recording made in tribute of the 15th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement.

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 436 Suffragette City

Posted in Update on September 19th, 2014

Very few early Suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucrecia Mott, and Lucy Stone lived to see the day when women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. But there was one women, Isola Dodic, who lived long enough to tell her story of her experiences fighting the final battles that lead to the 19th Amendment’s passage on Pacifica Radio in 1978.

On this edition of From the Vault we present two programs that give a glimpse on the struggle and commitment required to succeed in such a massive achievement. The first is a reading of the early suffragists and the 1978 interview with suffragist Isola Dodic, produced by Marjorie DeFazio. Isola Dodic, among other things, was involved in the 1913 picketing of the White House on the day before President Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration, when he would declare his support of the 19th Amendment.

The second program is an overall look at the final ten years in the struggle for the passage of the 19th Amendment in a radio drama format produced in 1958.

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 435 Fanny – the All-female Rock ‘n’ Roll Band

Posted in Update on September 12th, 2014

This week on From the Vault we feature a 1971 program that profiles the all-female rock group Fanny. Interviewed by Gina Blumenfeld, band members discuss the genesis and evolution of their music and the place of women in the music industry. Fanny consisted of June Millington on guitar and vocals, Jean Millington on bass and vocals, Alice de Buhr on drums, and Nickey Barclay on keyboards. Before we dive into this forty-year-old recording, we’ll first listen to June recount her experience growing up in the Philippines and the importance of a maternal family in a September 2014 interview with From the Vault producer Mark Torres.

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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FTV434 The Great Wall of Los Angeles

Posted in Update on September 9th, 2014

On this edition of From the Vault we present a 1984 documentary titled The Writing on the Wall: The Great Wall of Los Angeles, about an ambitious beautification project conceived in 1974 that resulted in one of the world’s longest murals (2700 feet and growing). Under the direction of artist and educator Judy Baca, The Great Wall of Los Angeles began as a beautification project and evolved into a visual journey representing minorities often written out of history: women, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Native American, and gays. This recording, produced and narrated by Helene Rosenbluth and Carol Dix, features interviews with educators and participants who explain the historical significance of different sections of the mural.

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 433 Steve Post Tribute

Posted in Update on August 29th, 2014

This week on From the Vault we pay tribute to a New York radio icon, Steve Post, who was one of a small cadre of radio broadcasters who helped in the creation of Free Form radio at Pacifica Station WBAI in the 1960’s. Many New Yorkers today are familiar with Post from his long stint hosting Morning Music with Steve Post and The NO Show on WNYC beginning in 1982, but few people knew that he began his radio career in 1965 at WBAI. Post, along with his WBAI colleagues Bob Fass, Dale Minor, Julius Lester, Larry Josephson, Neil Conan, Baird Searles among others, helped transform the way we listen to radio.

In this episode, we present two very different programs produced by Post during his time at WBAI. First, we feature a 1969 documentary on the life and work of political activist Abraham Johannes Muste. Then we’ll catch a ride with Steve Post and his colleagues as they venture onto the New York streets in the darkest hours to explore the raw underbelly of the city and document the happenings of the people that are awake while the rest of the city sleeps, in a program from 1970 called In the Shank of the Night.

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 432 Back-to-School National Broadcast

Posted in Update on August 23rd, 2014

This week on From the Vault we present highlights from our Back-to-School twelve-hour national broadcast that supported the Pacifica Radio Archives mission to discover, restore and make accessible the audio treasures in our collection.

- Host Margaret Prescod features Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking on non-violence.

- KPFK host Sonali Kolhatkar and KPFA host Brian Edwards Tiekert play selections for a recording of the 1964 funeral of James Chaney.

- KPFK host Eric Mann plays Malcolm X’s famous speech “The Ballot or The Bullet,” delivered right before the 1964 Presidential election.

- Pacifica Radio Archive Director Brian DeShazor, PRA Grant Advisor Adi Gevins, PRA Archivist Jolene Beiser and KPFK Senior Producer Christine Blosdale discuss the project American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982, and play selections from a recording made by Marcia Tomkins during her infiltration of the Ku Klux Klan 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.

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FTV 431 Edward Said

Posted in Update on August 15th, 2014

This Week on From the Vault we honor one of the great visionary thinkers of our time, Edward Said.

Edward Said was born in Jerusalem in 1935, the son of an American citizen of Christian Protestant Palestinian origins. After earning a bachelor’s degree at Princeton University and a masters and Ph.D. in English Literature at Harvard University, Said became Professor of Comparative Literature at Columbia University in 1963, a teaching post he would hold up until his death on September 25th, 2003.

Edward Said would use his duel heritage to help bridge the gap between the West and the Middle East and to improve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with his acute and sober analysis. Today we will present selections from Pacifica Radio Archive’s thirty-year history with Dr. Said.

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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