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FTV 025 Adi Gevins: The Fairy Godmother of Community Radio

“This is ‘A Chicken Ain’t Nothing but a Bird,’ the radio program that dares to explore the long and intimate relationship between humans and chickens… For reasons that I don’t really understand, I’m fascinated by chickens. But I’ll confess that it’s an affection from afar. I’ve never really had a special relationship with particular chickens.”
~Adi Gevins, narrating the opening to her program “A Chicken Ain’t Nothing but a Bird.”

Every week when producing From the Vault, we comb through hour after hour of historic audio looking for the perfect sound to incorporate into the show that week. Certain names seem to appear time and again on some the very best audio we discover: Elsa Knight Thomspson, Mike Hodel, and Dale Minor, among many others. We thought it was nigh time to celebrate the contributions of these Pacifica producers, starting with a tribute to the ‘Fairy Godmother of Community Radio,’ legendary producer Miss Adi Gevins.

Adi Gevins has produced more that 70 programs that are preserved within the Pacifica Radio Archives vault, and many of those have won awards. In fact, Adi has won virtually every major award given for radio documentary production: an Ohio State Award, an American Bar Asoociation Silver Gavel, numerous Golden Reels form the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and two George Foster Peabody Awards- considered the highest accolade one can receive in journalism. This week we’ll explore a few of her programs that have generated so much critical praise.

The first half of the program will feature audio from the Ohio State Award winner One Billion Seconds Later, a mind-bending sound experience documenting the invention, rise, and appeal of LSD. And, we’ll explore the world of chickens, taken from “A Chicken Ain’t Nothing but a Bird,” a deliciously bizarre and funny documentary produced by Adi all about the feathered farm fowl. Finally, we’ll come full-circle with clips from the critically-acclaimed programs The Voices Inside Our Head and Me and My Shadow– a documentary about Cointelpro. While it was difficult trying to narrow our choices, because all of Adi’s 70 or so programs are so masterfully produced, we feel these four recordings are the most diverse and representative of her body of work.

The second half of From the Vault will find ourselves in conversation with Adi Gevins herself. Adi discusses the art of producing audio documentaries with a razor and tape, before the age of digital editing, and how the standard of ‘perfection’ within audio production has transformed over the years. Adi Gevins truly proves her claim to the title ‘The Fairy Godmother of Community Radio’ with her wonderful insight and understanding into the world of radio as art.

Archival recordings used in this week’s episode, Adi Gevins – The Fairy Godmother of Community Radio:

BC2215a-b One Billion Seconds Later: The Social History of LSD MORE INFO

SZ0467 A Chicken Ain’t Nothing but a Bird MORE INFO

SZ0543.01 The Voices Inside Your Head MORE INFO

BC2700 Me and My Shadow MORE INFO

Click here to 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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