Archive for August, 2009

FTV 173 Black August – The Confessions of Nat Turner

Posted in Update on August 28th, 2009

This week on From the Vault we continue to celebrate Black August by presenting a discussion of one of the most controversial novels of the 1960’s, The Confessions of Nat Turner.

Written in 1967 by William Styron after years of research, The Confessions of Nat Turner weaves fiction into the life Nat Turner, an African American who led a rebellion against slave owners in August of 1831. The novel would immediately draw criticism from Black writers and intelligentsia for Styron’s lack of understanding of the slave experience and misrepresenting one of the heros of the slave era. Despite this outrage, the book would go on to win the 1968 Pulitzer Prize and would begin pre-production as a film by director Norman Jewison, who had just won an Academy Award for his film In The Heat of the Night. Also in 1968, William Styron’s longtime friend James Baldwin would moderate a discussion on the controversy surrounding this book with writer and activist Ossie Davis And Styron himself. The Pacifica Radio Archives is proud to present a recently restored recording of this amazing discussion.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.

Source recordings used in this episode:

BB4833 The Confessions of Nat Turner 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.

Click here to send an email to From the Vault.

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FTV 172 Black August – George Jackson

Posted in Uncategorized, Update on August 20th, 2009

This week on From the Vault we celebrate Black August, an informal log of events in African American resistance from slavery to the present, by examining the last two years in the life of George Jackson.

Arrested at the age of 18 for allegedly stealing $70.00 from a gas station, Jackson spent the last eleven years of his life in the California prison system, where he was killed on August 21, 1971 at the age of twenty nine. George Jackson wrote two books while in solitary confinement in those last two years, Soledad Brother and Blood in My Eye, both of which critiqued conditions inside prison, and effectively helped spark the Attica Prison riots and the modern prison reform movement.

Through our audio journey, we hear commentary by Mumia Abu Jamal which highlights some of the events which help define Black August. We’ll listen to Bill Northwood of Pacifica Station KPFA in Berkeley explain the circumstances in which George Jackson and two other inmates were removed from the normal prison population in January of 1970 and placed into solitary confinement. Legendary KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson weighs in and Pacifica Producer Max Bloom travels to San Quentin Prison on July 28th, 1971 to speak with George Jackson with his trial less than a month away.

“Sent him off to prison
For a seventy-dollar robbery.
Closed the door behind him
And they threw away the key.
Lord, Lord, They cut George Jackson down.
Lord, Lord,
They laid him in the ground.”
~Bob Dylan

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.

Source recordings used in this episode:

BC0669 The End of the Soledad Brothers Trial MORE INFO

BB2609 Soledad Brother: The Prison Letters of George Jackson MORE INFO

BC1564 George Jackson 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.

Click here to send an email to From the Vault.

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FTV 171 Les Paul – The Original Guitar Hero

Posted in Uncategorized, Update on August 13th, 2009


RIP Les Paul 1915 – 2009

This week on From the Vault, we enter the field of music as one of the great expressions of the creative spirit. We honor the life and legacy of the music mastermind Les Paul, who died on Thursday August 13, 2009.

KPFK Music Director Maggie LePique interviewed then-92 year old Les Paul before his weekly performance at the Iridium Club in New York City on April 7th, 2008. On a chilly Monday afternoon before his first set, Les was in great form: what started out as a friendly conversation becomes a whirlwind overview of this legendary guitar player and inventor. From his early hard body electric guitar invention to the Les Pulverizer to his first ever multi-track recording to his blistering guitar technique, Les Paul is the original Guitar Hero.

The Pacifica Radio Archives extends its heartfelt sympathy to the family and friends of Les.

From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.

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.

Click here to send an email to From the Vault.

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FTV 170 Plain Speaking: A Counter History of the United States, Part Five

Posted in Update on August 7th, 2009

This week on From the Vault we revisit selections from a ten-part series called Plain Speaking: A Counter History of the United States that was produced in 1976 by Pacifica radio station KPFA in Berkeley. Produced for the country’s bicentennial celebration as an alternative to traditional American history taught in public schools, the series traces the nation’s history form the arrival of Christopher Columbus, through the various social movements of our first 200 years, giving voice to the many unheralded people who fought for equality and justice and who helped facilitate change so that all could prosper.

Part Five covers the Civil Rights Movement, The Free Speech Movement, The Vietnam War and the organizing efforts of The United Farm Workers Union.

From the Vault is proudly presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.

Source recordings used in this episode:

AZ0033.01-10 Plain Speaking: A Counter History of the United States 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.

Click here to send an email to From the Vault.

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