found 103 audio documents tagged with History

Studio 360: The Santa Brand

How the Santa brand was created.


Producer: Steven Heller
Program: Studio 360
Playtime: 6 minutes 52 seconds
Date: December, 2002


Design, Religion, History

Inaugural Sound

Great piece with clips of every inaugural address since Calvin Coolidge.  This is from a show (Day to Day) that NPR has canceled.


Producer: Barrett Golding
Program: Day to Day
Playtime: 8 minutes 57 seconds
Date: January, 2009

Rosa Parks Was a Bad Ass

Contrary to her popular image as a meek old lady, Rosa Parks was much more intentional than accidental - someone who "never believed in nonviolence" and was a gun toting radical.


Program: On the Media
Playtime: 6 minutes 42 seconds
Date: January, 2009


Race, History, American Issues

Weird: Only Known Recording of a Castrato

Def.:  A castrato (or castrati) is a man with a singing voice equivalent to that of a soprano, mezzo-soprana, or contralto voice produced  by castration of the singer before puberty.

This is from the "Top 10 Incredible Recordings."  In the olden days, they used to castrate male singers so that their voices would not change.  This is apparently the only recording of one of those singers in existence.  Keep in mind you are listening to a 50 year old man.

The complete top ten is here.  It includes a Russian exorcism and recordings of the infamous Jim Jones from Jonestown.



Weird, History

Only recording of the last Castrati

This is from the "Top 10 Incredible Recordings."  In the olden days, they used to remove the testicles of young male singers so that there voices would not change.  This is apparently the only recording of one of those singers in existence.  Keep in mind you are listening to a 50 year old man.

The complete top ten is here.  It include a Russian exorcism and recordings of the infamous Jim Jones from Jonestown.






40th Anniversary of Beatles Live on the roof

As of Jan. 30 it will be 40 years since the Beatles last performance - an impromptu performance on top of Apples studios.  BBC is airing a documentary later today (which you can stream) that should then be available on this link.



Music, History, Art

Audio News (in case you missed it): Ginsberg to Kissinger in '71 "Let's get naked!"

At the end of last year, transcripts from more Nixon administration audio recordings were released by the National Security Archive.  One of the more entertaining tidbits is a phone conversation between Henry Kissinger and Allen Ginsberg in which Ginsberg proposes that they meet to talk about how to end the Vietnam War.  Kissinger seems surprisingly open to the idea.  But then, kind of out of nowhere Ginsberg makes a strange suggestion.

G: It would be even more funny to do it on television.
K: What?
G: It would be even more useful if we could do it naked on television.
K: (Laughter )

...don't think that meeting ever took place.

The National Security Archive has posted audio of some of Kissinger conversations HERE but, sadly, not this one.


Darwin Turns 200

NPR is running a series on Darwin for his 200th birthday.  Talk of the Nation had his Grandson on Feb.  And last week there was a piece on his early years on Weekend Edition Sunday.


Playtime: 10 minutes 22 seconds


Science, History, Genetic, Education

The History of U.S. Government Surveillance: Didn't start (or end?) with Bush

Here is a website called Tracked in America that tells (with audio from various experts and historians) the history of U.S. Government surveillance going back to the 1798 Alien and Sedition Act - long before the Nixon or Bush administrations were spying on American journalists and citizens.

But Lawrence Wright (one of those  spied-on journalists) was asked on On The Media last week about the Obama administration saying they want more transparency.  He said he had recently made a Freedom of Information Act requests that was denied.  Wright said he "just do[es]n't think that the government is moving in the direction that the president has indicated."  That is - they are not being more open and transparent.


Go Tell it on the Mountain: A History

Soundprint brings a tribute to and history of the spiritual "Go Tell it on the Mountain."


Producer: Jean Dalrymple
Program: Soundprint
Playtime: 28 minutes 31 seconds

Today in History: Mandela Freed, Edison Born

On this day in 1990 Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years of captivity.  Radio Diaries has a 5 part series, Mandela: An Audio History, done by Joe Richman, which includes a cool audio time line.  And here is Richman talking about the project for the (recently canceled) NPR program News and Notes last December.

On this day in 1847. Thomas Alva Edison was born in Milan, Ohio.  "Earliest Voices," an audio gallery from the Vincent Voice Library, has his earliest recording from 1878.  Lots of rare, old recordings in this collection.


Producer: Joe Richman


Race, Politics, History

More Lesbian Separatists

A couple weeks ago we linked to the NY Times audio slide show about a lesbian-only community.  This week the New Yorker takes on the the lesbian separatists of the 70's.  I guess covering radical dykes is suddenly en vogue in the New York press??


Producer: Ariel Levy
Program: New Yorker
Playtime: 11 minutes 35 seconds
Date: March, 2009

Cubicles For Health and Productivity?

That's what the inventors thought.  It is, as cubicle guy Joe Schwartz points out, it's hard to argue with the design's staying power.


Date: May, 2009


History, Design

Phonautograph: Recorded Sound Before Edison

This is really pretty amazing.  In March of 2008, some reseachers at Berkeley found some "recordings" by a French inventor that predated Edison.  Sounds like the guy made a device, called a phonautograph, that recorded detailed visual representation of sound.  These researchers figured out a way to turn those visual recordings into actual sounds.  They've just released a number of new audio.  It's not the best sounding stuff in the world but it's an amazing concept.



Technology, Science, History

From the Vault: Last of the New York Flop Houses [RealAudio Player required]

Heard about this from

Awarding-winning doc. $10 a month flop house on the Bowery - one of the last - profiled on All Things Considered by Story Corps Founder David Isay.


Playtime: 22 minutes 30 seconds
Date: September, 1998


History, Drugs, Crime

Omaha Indian Songs from the American Folklife Center

The American Folklife Center has online collections of American historical recordings like this one - the Omaha Indian funeral song recorded on a wax cylinder in the late 1800's.

"The Omaha had only one funeral song, addressed directly to the spirit of the dead and intended to cheer the spirit on its journey."


History of Alcohol in America

This is from a great (relatively new) monthly show from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities called Back Story (with the American History Guys).  This is a really interesting history of alcohol in the U.S.  The three historians posit that the origins of big government can be found not in the new deal but in prohibition.  The war on drugs and the legislation of morality first came around during prohibition.  But back then, it was considered progressive.


It's nice to hear a southern accent on public radio that is a host and not a subject.  Also interesting in that they take calls.  The callers, in fact are so coherent it makes me wonder how they are screened.


Playtime: 53 minutes

Mormons Educating Indians

This is from a recent episode of Third Coast Festival's Re:Sound.  The third segmant is about how Mormons - who believe Native American Indians are a lost tribe of Israel - took 20,000 Indian children from their reservations and brainwashed them - and how some of them might have been happy to go along with it.


[Story starts a little before 15:00]


Date: May, 2009

Brush Up On Your Iranian History

No better time for this 6 part Audio doc on Iran.



Politics, History

Wisconsin Death Trip on BackStory (sensitive images)

The newish history show from the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities put together this slide show to accompany it's most recent episode.  [Please note they slide show contains pictures of dead people (including children) -- albiet from a very long time ago.]



History, Death

Who is Mousavi?

The Takeaway talks about the history of the, sort of, accidental reformist figurehead in Iran.



Politics, History

Archive: 1930's United States Coup

Did you know there was coup planned by wealthy fascists in 1930's America?  Did you know that Grandpa Prescott Bush was allegedly involved?  Check out this 2007 BBC doc.

It was a time in which the U.S. was in a serious, prolonged recession.  The president was intervening in the U.S economy in ways that the right wing did not approve of.  The White House was trying to empower the poor and working class.  Right Wing fanatics were hinting at revolution and civil war.


Boise Voices

A cool clickable map with audio from the Portland Oral History Project -- "Boise Voices" -- that focuses on a specific neighborhood.  Lots of new residents interviewing older one.  Hyper local!

Heard about this from the Portland Sentinel.



History, Interview, Race

Bob Fass Movie

Forthcoming movie about WBAI's Bob Fass.  This is a very longer trailer.



History, Radio, Film

Did Warhol Just Like Soup or What?

Studio 360 rebroadcast about the iconic Campbell's Soup paintings.


New Moon Landing Audio

NASA recently released some previously... un-public(?) audio from the Apollo 11 mission.


Mike Seeger Interview

Interview with Dylan hero and Pete half-brother who passed away Aug. 7.

Here is the NPR rememberance.



Interview, History, Music

Hearing Jean Shepard

Long time New York Radio personality and voice of "A Christmas Story" on Hearing Voices.



Radio, History, New York


BBC history of the world's favorite metal.



History, Money

Story Corps: Guy who desinged the 50 state flag

He did it as a high school project.  His teacher gave him a B- ...until the president called.  It's a 2 minute story with four minutes of music after it.  Weird.


VINTAGE CBC: How the Beatles Changed the World (1967)

A 1967 CBC Doc about the Beatles.  Humorous intro reflecting on the relevance of the Beatles to those over 30.  Closing words from Leonard Cohen.  Makes reference to "American folk poet Bobby Dylan."  Also, some sort of academic theorist refers to "Lennon and McCarthy."  Good Fun.



Music, History

WaPo Slide Show on Teddy

Washington Post Slide Audio Slide show on the late Edward Moore (Ted) Kennedy.


On the Train With Another Fallen Kennedy

NYTimes audio slide show about Paul Fusco's "RFK Funeral Train" project.  Fusco was a photog for Look Magazine on  board the train carrying Robert Kennedy from L.A. to D.C.  Found as part of Benjamin Chesterton's "Mulitmedia of the Month" series on Resolve: "A collaborative online community that brings together photographers and photo industry professionals of every kind to find ways to keep photography relevant, respected, and profitable."


Thurgood Marshall

42 years ago this week (August 30 1967) Thurgood Marshal became the first African American on the Supreme Court, opening the door for three women and two more minorities subsequently.  American Radio works did this documentary in 2004 called "Thurgood Marshall Before the Court."


NYT Audio Something or Other: Rumsfeld Message Machine '06

Another multimedia piece that skews the lines between visual and audio mediums.  New York Times report on the 2006 tracing the Pentegon's reaction to the 2006 "General's Revolt" in which retired generals started calling for Rumsfeld's ouster.

I still see it as audio documentary because of the de-emphasized of the visual and the independent cohesion of the piece's audio (i.e., it makes sense if you just listen and don't watch).



Did you know there is a podcast called This Week in the History of Psychology?  Well there is.  It's out of York Univsersity. This episode is about the psychograph (pictutred).  The psychograph was based on the idea of phrenology.

You'll have to get past the intro and the overview of the weeks psychology history to get to the discussion of the psychograph.


National Geographic Doc: African Punk

From the site: "explores a forgotten chapter in the history of South African music-the role of punk rock. Originally broadcast in the Czech Republic, the audio documentary Waking The Nation sketches out the fascinating and often overlooked story of punk rock, ska and post-punk music as it played out against the background of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa in the late '70s and 1980s."


Lots of music in this one.



Sound Rich, Race, Music, History

Missing Island In Mexico

BBC with an in-depth documentary on a fascinating story that is apparently of no interest to the North American Press?



Weird, History, Environment

The Gods of Time Square

A vintage doc about New York at the tail end of a now bygone era.  The doc's sounds were recorded in time square in the early nineties - before Disney and Giuliani got to it, before 9-11, before the precipitous drop in crime, before the lawn chairs...  An amazing, sound-rich doc about the religious zealots in the square.


New York is Safer Now. What's a Crime Writer to do?

To find what remains of the gritty New York, NPR takes the Ikea ferry to Red Hook?  Maybe they can find one of those gritty French fusion restaurants that make their own cheese - Chez Gritte?
Kidding aside, a cool story about the history of Red Hook, Brooklyn -- and a broad look at the direction of present Brooklyn.



New York, History, Death, Crime

All the President's Mom

Connor Walsh alerts us to this BBC doc about the mother of President Barack Obama.  Ann Dunham is described as a globe trotting "peacnik." She studied archaeology and anthropology of agricultural blacksmiths.  She got grants from the Ford Foundation and loans from the World Bank and worked to help rural people get loans to start small businesses.


Playtime: 22 minutes 26 seconds
Date: September, 2009

Studs Terkel

Apropos to nothing, really.  I like this 2000 Transom interview with the late Studs Terkel. 
"I'd gone to law school and it was a bleak horrendous experience.  Under no circumstances would I ever practice law."



Interview, Radio, History, Hearing

Peter Bochan's Shortcuts

Hearing Voices recently featured a piece from this series:


      Mixing music, dialogue from soundtracks, press conferences, sound effects and other sources, shortcuts has presented a wide variety of themes over the past thirty years, including programs on growing up, growing old, going crazy, being afraid, alone, in love; shows on music, space, race and politics from Watergate to Whitewater, plus retrospectives featuring the major events of each passing year. Recorded and mixed digitally, shortcuts features no narration, it's message evolves from the careful juxtaposition of the various elements.



Sound Rich, History, Music

The Foreskin of Christ

Connor Walsh sends AD this unbelievable story from the BBC about the constoversial history of the foreskin of Jesus Christ.  Incredible.


[Note:  Fast Forward 18:00 minutes for the Jesus's foreskin Story.]


Is Bilderberg Running the World?

Came across this BBC doc.  Not sure when it is from.  A secret meeting of world movers and shakers is held every year in various locations around the world.  What's the big secret?  Is it okay for big wigs to meet and not say what they talk about?  Do these meetings have some secret, undemocratic sway over world events?



Politics, Interesting, History

WUNC's "The Story"

This is a great show from WUNC.  This episode features a story (about 3/5 of the way through) from a son who witnessed his father, in order to support the family, getting the heck beat out him, in a carnival boxing match, for $25.  Talk about hard times.



Sports, Interview, History, Economy

The Girl at the Window

Producer Anna Yaedell remembers a painting from her childhood, and through it discovers a story exemplifying 20th century Europe. The people of today meet a strong woman who lived through the second world war and far beyond, in Potsdam. A Classic Dox from Radio Netherlands, originally broadcast in 2004.

- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 29 minutes 30 seconds


Interview, History, Art

The Perfect Job

Oleg Kalugin was a KGB agent in Washington DC. And he really lived the life.

- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 11 minutes 30 seconds

26 July – Revolt in Cuba

An old-school radio feature, with actorly presentation and interviews with Fidel Castro, from 1958. Brought to us by CBC's archive programme, Rewind.

- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 51 minutes 3 seconds

Wogan says Goodbye

After hosting the UK's most popular breakfast programme for 27 years, Sir Terry Wogan called it a day, on 18 December 2009. He says goodbye to his hugely loyal and involved listenership, on BBC Radio 2.

- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 52 minutes 43 seconds
Date: December, 2009


Radio, History, Interesting

Saints Alive

A balanced theological look at the concept and implementation of sainthood. Made by RTÉ in 2003.


- Audio Documentary London Bureau.


Playtime: 42 minutes 17 seconds


Religion, History

St Patrick was a Mayoman

Local traditions about St Patrick abound in Ireland, and this RTÉ documentary looked at one, in 1981, with the first visit to a rocky island by humans for hundreds of years.


- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Producer: Dick Warner
Program: Documentary On One
Playtime: 39 minutes 29 seconds

A Simpler Time

An American artist goes to Ireland to fight time. From the classic Radiolab Beyond Time, starting 10 minutes in.


- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 10 minutes 10 seconds

Irish Storytelling

Resonance FM's Voice on Record programme features an hour of Irish storytelling. Part two of three.


– Audio Documentary London Bureau 


Playtime: 59 minutes 53 seconds


Radio, History, poetry, Interesting

The Day a Zeppelin Killed…

A simple, engaging tale of war-time Britain, told by Documentally. Just one of the curios to be found on

- Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 1 minute 43 seconds
Date: March, 2010


History, Interesting

The Sculptress of Sound

A rich profile of Delia Derbyshire, the 1970s electronic musician at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop who created the Dr Who theme. 


– Audio Documentary London Bureau


Playtime: 58 minutes


Sound Rich, Radio, History, Art

The Great Textbook War

Long before the Tea Party movement, the hills of West Virginia were echoing with a cultural clash over textbook content. This 2010 Peabody Award Winner comes from American Radio Works and was produced by Terry Kay and edited by Deborah George.


The First Earth Day

From the Pacific Radio From the Vault series.  Audio from the very first Earth Day in New York 1970.


From the site:


"We’ll begin with Pete Seeger from the Main stage at Union Square in Manhattan, singing with Reverend Frederick Douglas Kirkpatrick. Then, a WBAI reporter with a portable recorder will happen upon Allen Ginsberg sitting in a lotus position holding a daisy amongst the thousands of Earth Day participants… later, Ginsberg would address the masses from the stage, as would Margaret Meade and Odetta."


Playtime: 28 minutes 11 seconds

A Different Kind of Jew

Join Australian author Antony Lowenstein as an ear witness to the Gaza Freedom March and his internal struggle of identity.



Sound Rich, History, Religion

All Things Considered

NPR's All Things Considered just turned 39.  Hard to imagine but it's first day it featured a 24 minute documentary of a war protest.  Click the link to listen.


Kent State Killings 40th Anniversary

May 4 1970 the National Guard opened fired on anti-war protesters at Kent State in Ohio. The Kent State Radio Station WKSU just launched a May 4 1970 audio archive. 

Two years ago newly enhanced audio recordings from the occurance seemed to show an order to fire.  KBOO, WKSU, and NPR had the story then.

If you are interested in a career with the Army National Guard click this link!


AD Exclusive! Up The Cally audio and interview

Francesca Panetta talks to AudioDocumentary.Org

A sound rich journey down one of London's arterial roads, Caledonian Road, from The Guardian. Up The Cally is an engaging mix of local characters, narrator, music and sound. Plus it's available as a clickable map and audio slideshow

In an exclusive interview with, the producer, Francesca Panetta tells how making the piece has affected her.

Since this interview was recorded, Francesca has won Britain's highest award for audio, the Sony Gold Award, for Best Internet Programme Europe



Playtime: 40 minutes 29 seconds

Flower War

A World War II veteran, Gerald Flower, recalls candidly and vividly his time as a tail-gunner. The facts and emotions of bombing raids, and of falling behind the German lines.

From RTÉ's The Curious Ear.


Audio Documentary Europe


Playtime: 15 minutes 4 seconds

Freedom From Fear

Aung San Suu Kyi has turned 65, still under house arrest, 20 years after being elected Prime Minister of Burma. This profile of her captures her symbolism, strength and beauty, in both content and form.


Audio Documentary Europe


Playtime: 22 minutes 41 seconds

How they saw the radio

Frequencies is a four part series that celebrates the power of sound, as represented by radio, in the arts. 


Audio Documentary Europe.


UK Today

While the furrowed brows of the BBC World Service are on holidays, they've let the creatives loose, with great effect. Two engaging documentaries about UK citizens who have been put somewhere difficult. Philip McTaggart's son committed suicide, changing his life. Mary Thida Lun's mom fled the Khmer Rouge, and now has a daughter serving in war zones as a British civil servant. Big topics, in a manner more full of human contradiction and personality than we usually hear on the BBC World Service.


Audio Documentary Europe





Playtime: 22 minutes 29 seconds

Mine rescue, 1936

As the world's media watches the rescue of trapped miners in Chile, we look back to 1936, when the Canadian Radio Commission reported for six days the attempts to rescue three men trapped in a mine at Moose River, Nova Scotia. A selection of the reports, from the CBC Archives. 


Audio Documentary Europe


Playtime: 11 minutes 44 seconds

Escaping and Getting Caught in Vietnam

From AD for Veteran's Day (U.S.):  In war there are winners and losers -- often on the same side. A good example from two comrades fighting to survive a Viet Nam War battle; helping to mark U.S. Veterans Day (Nov. 11).


Playtime: 10 minutes 36 seconds


Violence, Interesting, History

Radio the night John Lennon died

WFMU in New Jersey posts this recording of a sweep across the FM dial in New York, on the night John Lennon died there in 1980.


Rolling Stone magazine has also released audio of an interview with John Lennon, three days before. Listen here. Includes strong language.


Connor Walsh for AD, Brussels



Playtime: 6 minutes


Radio, Music, History, Death

Heel, Toe, Step Together

An octogenarian East Londoner tries to teach a twenty-something to dance. The delightful Heel, Toe, Step Together is one of the most acclaimed British documentaries of 2010. 


Connor Walsh for AD, London.


Playtime: 27 minutes 30 seconds


History, Music, Dance, Interesting

Why Music Matters

Seven snappy and catchy items that do what it says on the tin – why music matters, to the musical, the medical, the military, and the extraterrestrial. 


Why Music Matters is produced by radio KEXP in Seattle, and the Association of Independents in Radio.


Connor Walsh, AD, London. 


Fading away

The people of Ireland's capital, Dublin, are mourning the loss of a sound. Broadcaster Olivia O'Leary doesn't say quite outright what it is, while author Joseph O'Connor paints a time-picture. And for context, this contributor discovers the same, mysterious, sound, 18 months before.


Connor Walsh, AD, London.



Audio from Cairo, charting how the authorities have clamped down on the hundreds of thousands of people calling for political change. Linked in the title, a vivid Audioboo from a woman watching molotov cocktails being thrown at Tahrir Square (via Jan25Voices on Twitter); and here, recordings made over a few days by Heba Morayef, a local expert with Human Right's Watch.

Image: Al Jazeera Creative Commons Repository 

Connor Walsh, AD, London.


Date: February, 2011

A Workin' on the Whalin' O

An engaging insight into the grim world of rural life and whaling in the mid-20th century. In the late 1980s, New Zealander Dan Bergin recounted his tough working life, to producer Jack Perkins. Perkins has himself recently retired, and this story is part of a retrospective on his work.

Connor Walsh, AD, London.


Playtime: 26 minutes 41 seconds

New Sounds of China

The history of underground music in China – with a skip through classic pop to today's rap, rock, and avant-garde. Mixing the music, interviews, and the perspective of a Beijinger, a British music journalist, and old China-hands. Episode one of a new series takes you safely to somewhere new. Also available for stations to buy on PRX.

Connor Walsh, AD, London


Playtime: 58 minutes 58 seconds


Music, History, Asia

A Poet Born on St Valentine's Day

Born on St Valentines day in 1940s Ireland, Flan O'Connor lived a life that fitted in with the romantic ideas of both the day and the grim era of his birth. A combination of drama, poetry, and the voices of family and artists.

Connor Walsh, AD, London


Playtime: 41 minutes 18 seconds


poetry, History, Death

When Wells met Welles

Two years after Orson Welles adapted H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds for radio, causing panic across the United States, the two men met, on the radio.

The result was short, charming, and discussed two of the most influential radio and film dramas ever.

Connor Walsh, AD, London.


Playtime: 7 minutes 27 seconds


Radio, Interview, History, Film, Art

A Woman of No Consequence

Marking International Woman's Day, "A Woman of No Consequence" from the CBC. Told in a simple manner, this story is at times sad, at times reaffirming. The ordinarly-extraordinary story and sonic qualities of the protagonist's voice lift it above a straightforward interview, to something musical and moving.


Connor Walsh, AD, London. 


When An Angel Passes

An update on AudioDocumentary.Org's exclusive blogging of London's radio features shindig last week. Clocks & Clouds was great. The speakers were delightful, and so were their selections of audio. I came away with lots of good new places to look for interesting documentaries, and will be sharing those with you here over the next few weeks. To start us off, When An Angel Passes, a delicious montage of the passion for great radio, by some of its greatest practitioners, which premiered at the conference. Outside the scheduled sessions, producers paid and unpaid, students formal and informal mingled and learned from one another. It was also good to see staff from the BBC World Service, where hundreds of redundancies have been announced, escaping that worry for a day of positivity and encouragement. 

Connor Walsh, AD, London



Playtime: 10 minutes 23 seconds

Awaiting the Royal Wedding

As London prepares for the Royal Wedding on Friday, we look to coverage of another royal event that brought crowds to the streets. In 1992 BBC Radio 4's top-fronted newsarama On The Hour reported on the beheading of Prince Edward, the commemoration, and the news that Prince Harry had split up.  

Note: It's satire. 



Violence, History, Death

The Shuttle blasts off into history

An audio montage of the high and low points of NASA’s 50-year mission of discovery.


Playtime: 5 minutes 28 seconds


Technology, Science, History

Listen to Raymond Carver

From the site: Listen to a 1983 interview with Raymond Carver (30 minutes) or a1986 interview (35 minutes), both conducted by radio broadcaster Don Swaim, courtesy of Wired For Books.

Listen to Raymond Carver reading seven poems ("In a Marine Light near Sequim, Washington", "The Meadow", "Venice", "The Fishing Pole of the Drowned Man", "Cadillacs and Poetry", "Luck" and "Alcohol", 10 minutes) in London, 1987, courtesy of The Bedside Crow.



poetry, Interview, History

Forest to Desert

Forest to Desert by Sarah Boothroyd

Forest to Desert is described best by the producer Sarah Boothroyd: 'An audio doodle about this phrase: "Humankind is preceded by forest, and followed by desert."' Great use of natural, found and sampled sound, composed together to clearly follow that brief. Produced for and featured in the Third Coast Festival's Short Docs Radio Ephemera Challenge in 2008.


Playtime: 2 minutes 35 seconds

The "Wetbacks"

Immigrants flowing across the U.S. border is nothing new. This doc from 1954 is a nostalgic eye-opener to a nearly century-old issue.



Blues for Checkpoint Charlie

On the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall dividing East from West, a human account of the cold war's symbolic "line drawn in the sand."


Playtime: 54 minutes


Sound Rich, History

On a roof in Tripoli

LPC #Tripoli: woman who climbed to the roof to help spot snipers. Very moving ending. (mp3)

As fighting continues in Libya, a woman goes onto the roof of her building in Tripoli. She spots snipers. She talks about fear, and what's happening around her. Gripping.


Playtime: 8 minutes 48 seconds
Date: August, 2011


History, Violence, Politics

Slate: Audio Horror Resurgence

"These days, radio drama is as dead as disco, kept on life support mostly by the BBC. But it shouldn’t be this way. Sound has a way of slithering into our ears and burrowing deep down into the folds and wrinkles of our brains in ways that sight does not."



Radio, History, Hearing, Death

Contemporary Wax Cylinder Recordings

Phonographies Archive by phonographies

Wax Equations is a gem from Resonance FM in London. Aleks Kolkowski uses some of the oldest recording technology, wax cylinders, to make new recordings of speech and music and crazy stuff today. He presents programmes of them on Resonance FM in London. These aren't available to listen to on-demand, so you can dive into the livestream for a serendipituous earfull of the programme, or you can admire the individual recordings and photos of their production on his own website, phonographies



Sound Rich, Radio, History, Hearing, Art

Last Lennon Interview

December 5, 1980, John Lennon did a radio interview for RKO. It aired three days later, hours before he he was shot and killed outside the Dakota. Here are excerpts from what is said to be Lennon's last interview.


Pearl Harbor News on the Radio

Radio Days' collection of the news breaking on various radio stations. In one, the operator seizes the phone line during a live broadcast from Honolulu (which the announcer pronounces HOE-nah-lu-lu).


John Cage Audio on UbuWeb

From UbuWeb, a great collection of John Cage audio.



Music, History

Interactive Documentary: Pine Point

From the Canadian National Film Board and included on the Association of Independants in Radio's (AIR) list of top transmedia projects of 2011, Pine Point is hard to catagorize -- video, photos, sound, text, both temopral and not... It is interactive documentary.


Clearing The Killing Fields

An Irishman rejects a conventional life to save lives and limbs in the most mined country in the world.


Playtime: 39 minutes 8 seconds


Death, History, Asia

London, heard from above.

Sending a radio producer out with the cops for a night may be a trope, but with good reason. In Night Visions, BBC Radio 4 sent a poet out with London's police helicopter for a night. Police, helicopters, London – the result is a delicious contrast with the TV broadcasts of the London riots last summer. 


Playtime: 29 minutes


Sound Rich, poetry, History, Crime

Two Enemies, One Heart

A startling moment of compassion amidst the horrors of war. But that's just the beginning of this story with a 20-year arc and suprising conclusion.


Playtime: 43 minutes 40 seconds


History, Violence, Interesting

This was London – Night Night, Bush House

The BBC World Service has left its famous home, Bush House. For 70 odd years tourists would turn to snap photos of the imposing art deco builing that overseas was known as the home of the BBC. All the while, the the lease was ticking down… 

The staff who work there hold the buildiong in great affection, as suggested by this short feature made oduring night shifts by a sound engineer there.


Playtime: 8 minutes 7 seconds


Radio, History, Sound Rich

Stasi and Google Maps

During the Cold War the East German Secret Service (the Stasi) turned listening in on citizens into an art. Today's creative Berliners have turned it into a tourist attraction.


Playtime: 11 minutes 51 seconds



Ebert On Dylan

via John Barth @PRX



Music, Interview, History, Film, Drugs

via @tinebeat: Alex Graham Bell F-Bomb?

From "You can decide yourself what you think they're saying but it does sound like they're disappointed." [watch to end]


Listen to Nuclear Proliferation

This is not new but I want to include it based on it's elegant use of audio to paint a striking picture.



Multimedia, History, Death

Writers and Radio

We hear from writers who grew up listening to the BBC in the "last radio-age."