Archive for March, 2015

FTV 463: Ethel L. Payne – First Lady of the Black Press

Posted in Update on March 27th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we honor the legacy of Ethel L. Payne (1911-1991), a Washington, DC beltway journalist whose aggressive techniques and tactics as a member of the White House Press Corps during the Eisenhower administration and beyond literally moved Black America’s issues and news from the obituary pages to the front pages. Known as the “First Lady of the Black Press,” Payne was significantly influential in the Civil Rights Movement through the efforts of her work, yet today she remains one of the least known figures of the Civil Rights era. This audio selection is taken from a 1980 interview with Payne by WPFW’s Askia Muhammad, with additional commentary from Payne biographer James McGrath Morris.

In 2002, the United States Postal Service honored Ethel L. Payne with a commemorative stamp.

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 462: Bonnie Morris – Women’s Music Archive Mix

Posted in Update on March 20th, 2015

This week on From the Vault we continue our celebration of Women’s History Month with special guest host professor and author Dr. Bonnie Morris, an adjunct professor of women’s studies at George Washington University, and author of Eden Built by Eves: The Culture of Women’s Music Festivals. Morris gives us a guided tour of the women’s music collection in the Pacifica Radio Archives thanks in part to a grant by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives. Artists featured include Margie Adam, Meg Christian, Kay Gardner, Holly Near, June Millington, Edwina Lee Tyler, Judy Grahn, and the Berkeley Women’s Music Collective.

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 461: Flora Molton and Bessie Jone – Blues, Spirituals and Gospels

Posted in Update on March 13th, 2015

This week on From the Vault, we feature two relatively unknown but important female musicians, Flora Molton (1908-1990) and Bessie Jones (1902-1984).

First we’ll listen to a 1976 interview with Flora Molton, a blind blues street-singer from Washington, D.C, who tells stories of her past, sings and plays slide guitar, and explains why she has chosen to be a performer of the street. Molton, who ultimately recorded three albums, sang what she called “spiritual and truth music,” a combination of traditional religious songs and her own compositions; she often punctuated her style by playing the slide guitar with a knife. The only known recording of Molton speaking about her life, this interview was conducted by Natalie Reuss of Sophie’s Parlor Media Collective at Pacifica radio station WPFW.

Then we settle in with Bessie Jones, an African American gospel and folk singer credited bringing folk songs, games, and stories learned from her grandfather, a former slave born in Africa, to a 20th century American audience. A founding member of the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Jones delivers an amazing live show on April 9, 1977 at the legendary Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California. The performance was recorded and produced by Martha Oelman and Joan Medlin of the Women’s Recording Group at Pacifica Radio’s flagship station KPFA.

These programs are being heard for the first time in decades thanks to our preservation and access grant project “American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982,” funded in part by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration.

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 460: Judy Chicago and Buffy Sainte-Marie

Posted in Update on March 7th, 2015

On this edition of From the Vault we present recordings of two women who were on Pacifica Radio at very important points in their illustrious careers: artist and educator Judy Chicago, and singer-songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie.

In 1979, Judy Chicago, cofounder of the Los Angeles Women’s Building and former KPFK host, sat with KPFK producer Karla Tonella to discuss the enormous undertaking of her landmark art installation titled The Dinner Party. The piece, started in 1974, took six years to complete: 39 place settings arranged into groupings of 13, with the three dining tables arranged into a triangle. It s official debut was at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on March 14, 1979; it has since traveled the world, and now resides in the permanent collection of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Buffy Saint-Marie was featured as a guest in 1975 on KPFK’s program Focus on Feminism, hosted by Pat Denslow – at this point in her career, she had just released her first two albums on MCA Records: Buffy, and Changing Woman (these followed several previous albums on boutique label Vanguard Records). In this interview, Sainte-Marie relays both a feminist and indigenous perspective with regards to her songwriting and its evolution, and her survival as a female musician and writer in the corporate music industry.

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 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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