Archive for January, 2016

FTV 507 Bessie Smith Tribute

Posted in Update on January 28th, 2016

This week on From the Vault we feature a program preserved thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commision at the National Archives as part the Pacifica Radio Archives project American Women Making History and Culture 1963-1982.

Part of November 1976 series called Focus on Women Composers, this recording explores the life of blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-1937) and includes examples of her music and readings from texts about Smith. The original program was presented by Fleur Helsingor and Jane Ayres and produced by Renee Roatcap.

Songs featured in this recording include Gulf Coast Blues, Aggravatin’ Papa, Frankie Blues, among others; readings include excerpts from Chris Albertson’s Bessie Smith biography and a 1947 Jazz Record magazine article.

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.

FTV 506 Frances Emley Tribute

Posted in Update on January 22nd, 2016

This week on From the Vault we pay tribute to social activist Frances Emley, who made Berkeley her home and Pacifica Radio—KPFA the media outlet for her work. Emley passed on December 1st, 2015 at the age of 84.

Perhaps an excerpt from a tribute piece posted on the independent online news site Berkeleyside best honors Emley:

“In the early 1970s, anti-war protesters at Stanford University inspired Frances to pick up a tape-recorder and craft her first radio news report for KPFA. She had no previous radio experience, but wanted people to hear alternative viewpoints in the news. Soon, she was splicing large reels of tape on her kitchen table, editing poignant interviews about farmworkers using the short hoe, Chilean victims of torture, American incarcerated youth, veterans suffering from Agent Orange exposure and Native Americans trying to secure land rights.

Her programs, still archived at KPFA and Pacifica Radio, raised awareness about the plight of others suffering and the importance of speaking out. She loved a story of rebellion.”

Pacifica Radio Archives honors Frances Emley by presenting one of those programs, El Cortito: The Short Hoe, which chronicles the legal battle to ban the use of the short hoe on farms in California. Produced in 1974, the program is a perfect example of Pacifica’s concept of radio for the common good of the community: exposing the back-breaking working conditions in the fields that ensured food on American dinner plates. The manner in which the short hoe was used had horrible consequences to the farmworker: its effective use necessitated stooping in the fields (for up to 16 hours a day), which commonly resulted in chronic spine and lower back injuries.

Thanks to the space that Pacifica Radio provided, the work of Frances Emley was a crucial component in effecting a change in public policy: in 1975, the Supreme Court of California ruled that the short hoe was an “unsafe hand tool” and, therefore, banned under California state law.

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.

FTV 505 Haskell Wexler Tribute

Posted in Update on January 16th, 2016

In this episode of From the Vault we pay tribute to a great human being, a supporter of underrepresented communities, and celebrated cinematographer, Haskell Wexler. A friend of Pacifica Radio throughout his incredible career, Haskell was well-known for his Academy Award-winning work on Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Bound for Glory – Hal Ashby’s film on the life of troubadour Woody Guthrie. Included among the dozens of other films in his filmography are One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, In the Heat of the Night, and Medium Cool – which employed clever blending of actuality from the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago and a fictional storyline. Haskell was credited as the first cinematographer to use the newly invented Steadicam during the filming of Bound for Glory.

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.

FTV 504 Francis Ford Coppola, 1967

Posted in Update on January 8th, 2016

This week on From the Vault, we hear a young and energetic filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, who, while only 27 years old at the time, was already a seasoned industry veteran. Coppola describes how the seemingly impenetrable Hollywood Studio system can be mastered in this restored recording from January 1967.

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.