“This week, I imagined a radio station in dire financial straits deciding the only way out of its financial difficulties was to take on underwriting sponsorships, like you hear on NPR or PBS. Now I know that’s a completely hypothetical situation, I know that would never happen at a place like this, Pacifica WBAI…”
Here’s a little piece I put together that was broadcast today on WBAI radio’s Arts Express program and on Pacifica affiliates across the country. Just a fun segment about the current craziness, along with some appropriate music for the time.
The radio station I work for, WBAI in NYC, recently was the subject of criminal trespass by a rogue faction of the Pacifica network to which WBAI belongs. With no official authorization (and in violation of court orders) they broke into the station, stole mics and broadcasting equipment, took over our transmitter, commandeered the bank account, and replaced our programming with a godawful inferior feed from the West Coast. This went on for the month of October. It’s a long story that I’d rather not re-hash, but you can find a good account of it here and here.
Well we’re back on the air, and we’re fundraising, and I recorded the little pitch above for our show, which explains why we think our show, Arts Express, and the station is worth supporting. If you’d like to donate you can go to wbai.org and become a supporter. If you do donate, please consider listing Arts Express as your favorite show.
I had long known of Langston Hughes’s poems, but I didn’t know until very recently what a delightful speaker and storyteller he was. In this audio clip he is talking to a group of graduate students in Berkeley about his upbringing. What a lovely man. Click on the grey triangle above to hear.
The audio clip is just the beginning of a one-hour Hughes talk from an astounding collection of over 1300 hours of audio from the archives of Pacifica Radio. The collection is called Voices That Change The World. It’s not cheap, but on the 64GB flash drive (you get two for the price of one) there is an extraordinary range of audio from the most remarkable people of the last fifty years—singers, poets, writers, politicians, artists, scientists, religious figures, audio books. It’s an amazing resource.