Archive for February, 2011

FTV 250 Sacco and Vanzetti

Posted in Update on February 26th, 2011

This week on From the Vault we gain historical perspective on the uneasy relationship between politicians and organized labor in America, turning back the clock almost a hundred years to the 1920’s. At a time when the forty-hour work week was only a dream, the immigrant workforce was feared, and the Courts generally sided with corporate barons, two Italian immigrants named Ferdinando Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for their alleged murder of two men in a robbery of a shoe company in Massachusetts. Many believed that Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent, and overwhelming evidence suggested the same. The fact that these men held radical political beliefs (they were anarchists) was cited as a reason they were so easily tried, convicted, and put to death.

The case of Sacco and Vanzetti garnered international attention, including an essay by H.G. Wells, the 1928 Upton Sinclair book Boston, as well as personal appeals from Albert Einstein and George Bernard Shaw. A massive petition in support of a retrial to introduce new evidence (Celestino Madeiros’s murder confession) found no mercy from presiding judge Webster Thayer, known for his extremely conservative views on free speech (and dislike of anarchists). He quickly refused the retrial, and Sacco and Vanzetti’s fate was sealed.

Today, we present the compelling recording Sacco and Vanzetti: The Case and a Drama, produced by Ed Markman for Pacifica Radio in September of 1990.

From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners.

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 249 James Baldwin: The Fire this Time

Posted in Update on February 17th, 2011

Our celebration of Black History month continues on From the Vault with another treasure from Pacifica’s collection – a recording of author and essayist James Baldwin recently restored through a grant from the American Archive (funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting), in concert with generous support from Pacifica Radio listeners.

In 1963, James Baldwin was traveling America, speaking at churches, high schools, Masonic temples, and universities in promotion of his newly released book, The Fire Next Time. Pacifica Radio was on the scene, recording Baldwin at events in Berkeley, Los Angeles, and New York. Introducing The Free and the Brave, an thoughtful address Baldwin delivered before the congregation of the Second Baptist Church in Los Angeles, in which he proposes a solution to the difficult task of creating a racially just society. Recorded by Lorenz Graham just before the March on Washington and the subsequent murders of four children in a Birmingham church, this recording helps us better understand Baldwin’s moral and spiritual trajectory before those profound events of 1963 solidified the Civil Rights Movement.

LANGUAGE DISCLAIMER: Throughout this recording, Baldwin refers to the African American as “Negro,” and uses the “N” word twice. This audio is presented in its original restored version – unedited – for the sake of historical and contextual accuracy.

From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners.

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 248 Sarah Vaughan and Esther Phillips

Posted in Update on February 12th, 2011

From the Vault continues to celebrate Black History Month with prominent voices from the African American community that graced the airwaves of Pacifica. First we hear from sultry songstress Sarah Vaughan in a 1967 interview recorded in San Francisco, followed by Blues great Esther Phillips interviewed by professor and author Angela Davis. In both cases, the interviews were done in a way that was not typical for that era – they were long format, giving each artist the opportunity to have her say, particularly in Esther Phillips/Angela Davis interview, where we hear an artist emerge above the constraints of racism and sexism.

From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners.

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 247 The Reverend Ralph Abernathy

Posted in Update on February 5th, 2011

We begin our celebration of Black History Month with one of the key architects of the African American Civil Rights Movement, the Reverend Ralph Abernathy. Born in 1926, Abernathy was raised in Alabama and by 1952 was minister for the largest African American congregation in Montgomery. When seamstress Rosa Parks refused to relinquish her bus seat to a white passenger, Abernathy and fellow Montgomery minister Martin Luther King, Jr. joined forces and together organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott. In 1957, He co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which was to become one of the most prominent organizations in the fight for desegregation. Abernathy died in 1990. Today, we feature the sermon that Abernathy delivered to the SCLC on October 18, 1960, and broadcast only on Pacifica Radio – truly a media outlet at the fore front of social justice reporting.

We’ll also present highlights from an event entitled “We Want To Be Free” featuring Dick Gregory, Paul Newman, Dorothy Dandridge, Rev. Wyatt T. Walker, Dr. Ralph Abernathy, and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was recorded at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles on May 26, 1963.

From the Vault is presented through the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, past grants from the Grammy Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners.

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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