"Yo, who remembers my episode of MTV Cribs? You remember that guy who was asleep on the floor?" An oral history of the infamous Redman episode.
Why read lengthy articles on the history of Atari when you can hear stories first-hand? Hear Nolan Bushnell (and a few others) tell all about how a little company named Syzygy became Atari, in clips both new(ish) and old; tune in for four episodes of Once Upon Atari, featuring Atari staff reminiscing about the good times and bad; and visit Alamogordo, New Mexico, home of rocket sled land-speed records and the grave of Ham, the first chimp in space, with Zak Penn as he digs for the truth behind the legend of the buried E.T. cartridges in Atari: Game Over with fans and Howard Scott Warshaw, the man who made the Atari E.T. game in five weeks. [more inside]
An oral history of The Littlest Hobo, Canada's greatest TV show.
"My second episode was a few years later, as a DEA agent who was tracking some drug smuggling that was going on in a movie unit. So I was undercover as a vampire in this movie. And the dog was helping me unearth the bad guys."
An Oral HistoryOf ‘Mad Men’ - as recounted to Clickhole by Matthew Weiner and the cast. May contain spoilers and inaccuracies.
"Don Draper lived on hard drives for half a decade before anybody paid him any notice. In 1999, Matthew Weiner, then an unfulfilled writer on CBS' Ted Danson sitcom Becker, spent his every off-hour doing research on the 1960s: what people wore, how they decorated their offices, what they ate and drank -" The story of how Mad Men went from a risky pitch to an unknown network to one of the most popular and celebrated dramas of the decade. (Hollywood Reporter) Bonus: Ten Mad Men Characters we need to see again. (Vulture)
I kept a memory book/photo album of everyone I knew that died of AIDS. It's quite large to say the least. Who were these guys? These were the people I had planned to grow old with. They were the family I had created and wanted to spend the rest of my life with as long as humanly possible but by the time I was in my late 40's, every one of them was gone except for two dear friends of mine.Redditors share memories of having lived through the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the early eighties. [more inside]
“So you have six years of pretty expensive schooling here, and it's going to be burritos and tacos?"
Terms of Service is a a graphic novella about privacy and surveillance in the Internet age, by Josh Neufeld and Michael Keller, and presented by Jazeera. It combines elements of oral history, opinion journalism, and diary comics. The comic also advertises Pulp, a free and open-source library for webcomic layouts, maintained by AJAM.
The Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training has an extensive archive of oral histories by and about individuals in the foreign service and also about countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
The Italian Garden Project Old world gardening know-how, traditions, recipes, memories and more... The mission of The Italian Garden Project™ is to celebrate the joy and wisdom inherent in the traditional Italian American vegetable garden, preserving this heritage and demonstrating its relevance for reconnecting to our food, our families, and the earth. For several years Mary Menniti has been documenting through video and oral history how her some of her first generation Italian immigrant neighbors have adapted traditional Old World gardening techniques and plants to Western Pennsylvania's less forgiving climates. One the gardens has even been included in the Smithsonian's Archive of American Gardens.
On the occasion of Speed's 20th anniversary, Hitfix presents an oral history of the movie, as told by the people on the bus.
The Making of Led Zeppelin's 'Whole Lotta Love'. An oral history from guitarist Jimmy Page and the engineers who helped place Robert Plant's vocals at the top of the charts.
'West Wing' Uncensored: Aaron Sorkin, Rob Lowe, More Look Back on Early Fears, Long Hours, Contract Battles and the Real Reason for Those Departures
Hack-a-Shaq, inconsistent officiating, poisoned room service, and the road to the last NBA three-peat: Grantland's oral history of the 2002 Western Conference finals. [more inside]
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Heathers. The hellscape of Westerburg High was the setting for a dark comedy about teenage cruelty, murder, and suicide (or rather, the media glorification of it). While the initial release was a commercial flop, critics praised the film. "Heathers may be the nastiest, cruelest fun you can have without actually having to study law or gird leather products,” wrote Desson Howe, and Janice Maslin likened the film to a “demonic sitcom.” [more inside]
"Anthony McIntyre made one thing clear: The project had to remain absolutely secret. If Boston College wanted him to interview former members of the Irish Republican Army, he needed that guarantee.... In those heady, early days, when talk of reconciliation dominated public discussion in Northern Ireland, no one imagined their project would get caught up in an international criminal investigation into a four-decade-old murder. How that happened is a tale of grand ambitions undermined by insular decision-making and careless oversight."
So Money. An oral history of Swingers.
Pavement's album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was released twenty years ago next month. Stereogum has the oral history.
Don't fight it. It's the year of the oral history. If there hasn't yet been an oral history on your favorite pop culture phenomenon, it won't be long. In the meantime, for your reading pleasure, how about starting with an oral history of Captain Marvel: The Series? Or perhaps you'd rather read about The Telluride Bluegrass Festival? If your taste runs more toward technology, check out an oral history of Apple design. More reading inside! [more inside]
The oral history of Sir Mix-a-Lot's "Baby Got Back."
After the title character died at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's fifth season (a season that included the death of Buffy's mom), the writers knew that the show had to be a little less dark in its sixth year. Hence the formation of The Trio, a triad of nerds who acted like they thought villains should act, got in way over their heads, and ended up, in the words of writer Drew Z. Greenberg, "tear[ing] the family apart in a way they’ve never been hurt before."
In 1984, Mike Lazaridis, an engineering student at the University of Waterloo, and Douglas Fregin, an engineering student at the University of Windsor, founded an electronics and computer science consulting company called Research In Motion, or RIM. For years the company tinkered in obscurity, until it focused on a breakthrough technology: an easy, secure, and effective device that allowed workers to send and receive e-mails while away from the office. They called it the BlackBerry.
The Hunt's Donuts Story Hunt’s Donuts was a thorn in the side of the police at the heart of a neighborhood that has always been a thorn in the side of the police. . [more inside]
From Texas Monthly, a brief oral history from Austin of The Most Important Taco of the Day (there is a recipe included!) At Slate, L.V. Anderson comments on the article noting, "Valera’s and Vasquez’s memories are proof that the mainstreaming of Mexican cuisine happened because Mexican immigrants worked hard in the face of racism, not in the absence of racism." The authors' website, Taco Journalism, has taco-related interviews and reviews.
When We Held Kings: The oral history of the 2003 World Series of Poker, in which an amateur named Moneymaker turned $39 into $2.5 million and the poker boom was born.
Joe Moran reflects on the 1980s: "We like to give decades a uniform character as they retreat into history, safely burying the past by turning it into retro kitsch. The Observing the 1980s project is valuable because it does not treat the decade like this, as a story we already know the ending to. Instead it becomes an era of still-to-be-decided tensions and possibilities - one in which people sincerely people that David Steel might be prime minister (“my pin-up!” says one Mass Observer), that Margaret Thatcher might lose an election, or that the neo-liberal economic revolution might still be reversed. How I miss that sense of earnestness – and I mean that without a trace of irony." [more inside]
The Making of 'Pulp Fiction' as told by Quentin Tarantino and the cast. Plus ephemera, a QT death chart, and Marvin.
"TVGuide.com talked to stars John Noble (Dr. Walter Bishop), Joshua Jackson (Peter Bishop), Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham), Jasika Nicole (Astrid Farnsworth), Lance Reddick (Phillip Broyles), Blair Brown (Nina Sharp), Mark Valley (John Scott), series co-creator Abrams, executive producers J.H Wyman, Jeff Pinkner and Bryan Burk, Warner Bros. President Peter Roth and Fox's Chairman of Entertainment Kevin Reilly about the bumpy road to the series finale, starting with the conception of the show. This is the first in a four-part series. Check out Part 2 and Part 3." (Part 4 is pending.)
"From the beginning, we thought that everything about the show should be painfully, painstakingly real."
My friends and I weren’t popular in high school, we weren’t dating all the time, and we were just trying to get through our lives. It was important to me to show that side. I wanted to leave a chronicle—to make people who had gone through it laugh, but also as a primer for kids going in, to say, “Here’s what you can expect. It’s horrifying but all you should really care about is getting through it. Get your friends, have your support group. And learn to be able to laugh at it.”The Oral History of Freaks and Geeks [more inside]
"I have never, ever, ever admitted to being a member of the I.R.A. — never — and I’ve just done it here."
As reported in this article in the Guardian, a US appeals court recently ruled that confidential oral history interviews given by former members of Northern Irish paramilitary groups to researchers from Boston College are not confidential. [more inside]
The Indian Memory Project "is an online, curated, visual and oral-history based archive that traces a personal history of the Indian Subcontinent, its people, cultures, professions, cities, development, traditions, circumstances and their consequences." See for example, Sarees, or Migration.
During WWII, nearly 6 million women joined the workforce. Metafilter's talked about "Rosie the Riveters" previously, but we've never heard from these women in their own words.
The Family Hour: An Oral History of The Sopranos
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EDIE FALCO (Carmela Soprano): After we shot the pilot, David said, “Well, that was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, no one will ever watch this show, but you guys have been great.” And that was the end. Or so we thought.
Quest for the Perfect Bourbon: Voices of Buffalo Trace Distillery is a documentary from the Buffalo Trace Oral History Project, part of the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History at the University of Kentucky Libraries.
Tobar an Dualchais will keep you busy for awhile. It's a collection of over 26,000 oral recordings made in Scotland, from the 1930s onward. Folklore, songs, music, history, poetry, oh my. Includes some fascinating material from Belle Stewart, the McPake Sisters of Peebles and John the Bard.
When we did "Beat It," Michael came in the van with us to scout locations. I remember saying, "I'm hungry, let's stop for a pizza." Michael said, "Oh good, I've never had a pizza." This is a 25-year-old man who'd never had pizza. Now he wasn't accessible like that. He was a superstar, but then he became a deity.I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution is a hugely readable and fun new oral history of the first decade of MTV. Veteran music writers Craig Marks and Rob Tannenbaum interviewed many of the era's major players, putting a microscope on the biggest, weirdest, and most memorable videos of the time, and [Pitchfork is] thrilled to present the following excerpt.
"Driving Jersey represents and reflects the most misunderstood and misrepresented place and people in all of America." In this series of calmly paced, short documentaries featuring profiles, atmosphere, landscape, and interviews, filmmakers Steve Rogers and Ryan Bott travel 21 counties to capture some of the true character and cultural nuance of the Garden State. [more inside]
As Wikipedia expanded to lesser known languages it ran into a problem: What is knowledge for Wikipedia purposes? Traditionally knowledge has been defined by citations, but many languages don't have a lot of written material, greatly limiting what could be created on Wikipedia. The solution (NYT) may be that People are Knowledge (45min), a project funded by a Wikimedia Foundation grant.
Images of a People's Movement - more than 18 pages of photos and dozens of first-hand narratives, interviews & recollections of the 1951-1968 Southern Freedom Movement by the Civil Rights Movement Veterans. (These are just samplings - it's a deep and rich site.) [more inside]
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