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Somebody bawl fo' Beulah

The backstory to The Beulah Show. "After Beulah was cancelled, the three networks and independent television producers, fearful of being accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes, stopped casting Blacks in their shows almost entirely for the next fifteen years."
posted by unliteral on Jun 14, 2010 - 15 comments

Who is Don Alverzo, and why does he have so many tweezers?

One Hen. One Hen, Two Ducks. One Hen, Two Ducks, Three Squawking Geese.
posted by usonian on Jun 9, 2010 - 20 comments

Don't forget to STAAAAAY DEEE-EE-EE MENTED!

End of an Era / Mental Health Care Announcement: Doctor Demento is retiring from the airwaves after 40 years in the looney biz. If you're one of his patients, that's the bad news: "He has come to agree with his manager and his family that it's necessary. The broadcast has been losing money for some time."   The good news is that he'll continue producing shows for his own website's visitors every week for $2 a pop, for all you junk music junkies.
posted by not_on_display on Jun 8, 2010 - 57 comments

Web Radio

A WebSDR is a Software-Defined Radio receiver connected to the internet, allowing many listeners to listen and tune it simultaneously.
Websdr.org offers a list of such SDRs,
such as this one at the University of Twente Amateur Radio Club in Enschede, NL.
Tune in! The 80-meter AM band is currently hopping over there, the Germans are talking about oil spills and XYLs.
posted by dunkadunc on Jun 5, 2010 - 23 comments

Kids told him the darndest things

He was abandoned on a door step in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in 1912. He hosted House Party and People are Funny on radio and TV. A segment became the hugely popular Kids Say the Darndest Things. He co-hosted the opening of Disneyland (with Ronald Reagan). His daughter Diane killed herself by jumping from a window; he blamed LSD and became an outspoken anti-drug crusader. Art Linkletter has died at the age of 97.
posted by evilcolonel on May 26, 2010 - 59 comments

Togas optional, no advanced degree required.

"Why? Philosophical Discussions" about everyday life may be the world's first call-in philosophy show. Its mission is to create a large-scale conversation between philosophical professionals and the general public.

WHY? radio, from the University of North Dakota's Institute for Philosophy in Public Life, is a monthly, call-in radio show hosted by philosophy professor Jack Russell Weinstein. "...the show was created to illustrate how day-to-day life is steeped in deep philosophical commitments and to provide a venue for exploration of those same commitments." Shows feature notable guests such as Martha Nussbaum, Amelie Rorty, and Amartya Sen.
posted by Lutoslawski on May 17, 2010 - 12 comments

Stationed at the abandoned drive-in

Cult Radio A-Go-Go. "Our radio crew, including your hosts Terry & Tiffany, Cragg our drive-in movie gargoyle and Wicked Kitty, welcomes you to our world of exploration into the very bizarre genre of ultra rare B - pop culture in comedy, parody. horror, sci-fi, exploitation, sexploitation, T.V., Old Time Radio & drive-in movies! We are stationed at the abandoned drive-in near death valley where we are broadcasting our pirate internet radio signal to you, for the audio pop culture junkies needing a fix!" [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses on May 5, 2010 - 1 comment

Loooooong Gone

Ernie Harwell, long time voice of the Detroit Tigers and previously the Baltimore Orioles, has died at age 92. Previously here. MLB's commissioner's statement.
posted by JoeXIII007 on May 4, 2010 - 50 comments

Beloved Herring Maven, RIP

Actor, Playwright, Artist, Comedian, Magician, "Man of A Thousand Voices" (including Mighty Mouse,) "Beloved Herring Maven"
Mr. Ira Stadlen (Stage name: "Captain" Allen Swift) has passed away at the age of 87. Throughout his career, Mr. Stadler voiced characters in more than 30,000 television and radio commercials, as well as cartoons such as Underdog, Tom and Jerry and Diver Dan, but some might remember him most as the man who saved Howdy Doody. His nephew has posted a remembrance on his blog, which includes a link to a "novelty 45" mp3 recording of Swift's "Are You Lonesome Tonight." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Apr 28, 2010 - 13 comments

The Man in the Red Checkered Shirt

Working With Studs is a radio documentary about Studs Terkel. You will like it. Good production and tech notes, courtesy of Transom.org
posted by timsteil on Apr 27, 2010 - 14 comments

Short urban exploration documentaries

Uneven Terrain is a series of short documentaries about urban exploration, about 10-15 minutes long each. There are six so far, about monumental ruins in New York, Centralia, the Pennsylvania town where an underground coalseam has been on fire since the 1960s, abandoned missile silos in the US and how they're being turned into homes, oil drilling in Los Angeles, the Teufelberg listening station and the abandoned bunkers under Tempelhof Airport in Berlin and pirate radio in London and on the old Redsand sea forts. Each short doc has a different presenter. All have accompanying photo galleries. [These are produced for the bootmaker Palladium, but it's pretty low-key]
posted by Kattullus on Apr 7, 2010 - 7 comments

...and a twang of salt

How to Eat Watermelon - life lessons from Petey Greene's Washington, 1982. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive on Mar 28, 2010 - 20 comments

"50 jobs (and 500,000 watts) in 50 years"

Meet Powell Crosley Jr., lifelong American inventor and entrepreneur. After making a mint in auto parts, Crosley started in on phonographs and radios. Like many radio manufacturers of the time, Crosley stepped up demand by building a radio station; a BIG radio station. At 500,000 watts it was both the largest-ever commercial radio station with potential coverage of most of the country. With that much throw, it seemed a natural fit for the fantastical: radio facsimile machines. Crosley would later get into appliances, sports, and eventually back into his first love, automobiles.
posted by Ogre Lawless on Mar 23, 2010 - 17 comments

And She's Climbing the Stairway to Heaven

I've been to Oʻahu several times but until now had never heard of the Haʻikū Stairs, also known as the Stairway to Heaven or Haʻikū Ladder. I'm heading to Oahu in 2011; I think I'll go get some photos. But for now, these will have to do. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Mar 20, 2010 - 17 comments

Longest Mixtape Ever

On February 3, 2010, Autechre celebrated the month-early release of their new album Oversteps with a 12-hour netradio broadcast. [more inside]
posted by mkb on Mar 18, 2010 - 42 comments

Great Minds (Do Not) Think Alike: A Relationship Gone Wrong

Two Icons of American Indie Culture And Their Shortlived Romance--Summarized in a Comic Strip by Lynda Barry. Inimitable Lynda Barry's "Head Lice and My Worst Boyfriend" story. Jeez, who WAS this guy? Oh...I see...
posted by The ____ of Justice on Mar 11, 2010 - 47 comments

Yo La Tengo Is Still Mudering the Classics

Yo La Tengo's annual request show on WFMU has become something of a Metafilter tradition (2002, 2006 2007 2008 2009). Listen live tonight at 8 pm Eastern time. [more inside]
posted by roll truck roll on Mar 5, 2010 - 55 comments

Hear genius.

The David Foster Wallace Audio Project, a still-growing collection of interviews, radio profiles, and readings (including staged ones of Brief Interviews with Hideous Men).
posted by auralcoral on Feb 26, 2010 - 21 comments

The Big British Castle

BBC Radio 6 Music, home of amongst other things the Adam and Joe show, is facing the axe. Phil Jupitus on why this sucks. (Previously, previously, previously, previously)
posted by Artw on Feb 26, 2010 - 36 comments

Truckin' My Blues Away

Truckin' My Blues Away is an hour long audio documentary on older Southern blues singers featuring Little Freddie King, Captain Luke, and others. It promotes the work of the Music Maker Relief Foundation which supports traditional musicians (previously). There is an accompanying slide show and the producers are working on another documentary, Still Singing the Blues.
posted by maurice on Feb 14, 2010 - 3 comments

Music and subculture in the Nation's Capital

Dissonance is a biweekly show on D.C. micropower FM station Radio CPR featuring interviews and guest DJ sets from longtime local punk musicians, artists, and activists. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard on Feb 9, 2010 - 9 comments

The Interview

The Interview is a programme from the BBC World Service. Each episode is a 30 minute in-depth question and answer session between the journalist – usually Carrie Gracie or Owen Bennett-Jones – and the subject. Over the past few years it has covered everything from literature – for example, Martin Amis and Seamus Heaney – to the nexus between neurology and music, with Oliver Sacks, and what it's like to be a sprinter with no feet. [more inside]
posted by Len on Feb 7, 2010 - 7 comments

In Our Time - 440 archived programmes

You guys know about BBC Radio 4's In Our Time, right? Each week, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg hosts a 45-minute discussion on some aspect of culture, history, philosophy, religion or science. His guests are always three academics with expert knowledge of the chosen subject, and the tone is serious and detailed but never inaccessible. By respecting his audience's intelligence, Bragg delivers a programme of unrivaled interest, depth and educational value. The topics covered this year alone include The Frankfurt School, The Glencoe Massacre, Silas Marner and Ibn Khaldun. Eclectic, yes, but never less than fascinating. The good news is that the programme has just redesigned its website, making all 440 episodes to date available for your listening pleasure in its eminently browsable archive. In the dumbed-down 21st Century, it's a miracle that a programme like this still exists, so let's all make the most of it while we can.
posted by Paul Slade on Feb 4, 2010 - 59 comments

A kind of living nightmare in the chill out room feel

Jon Ronson On "Each week in a series of interviews, short location reports, scripted monologues, phone calls etc, Jon Ronson delves into a world of personal stories surrounding the central theme which all shed light on the human condition." You can download all the episodes here.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Feb 2, 2010 - 15 comments

radio radio

Antique radio tuning dials [flash] from Michael Feldt's collection. [via]
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse on Jan 26, 2010 - 20 comments

All we hear is radio ga ga.

Audiophoolery: Pseudoscience in Consumer Audio. You might think that a science-based field like audio engineering would be immune to the kind of magical thinking we see in other fields. Unfortunately, you would be wrong [...] As a consumerist, it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy-looking wire that’s no better than the heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store. Or magic isolation pads and little discs made from exotic hardwood that purport to “improve clarity and reduce listening fatigue,” among other surprising claims. The number of scams based on ignorance of basic audio science grows every day. Via.
posted by amyms on Jan 11, 2010 - 209 comments

Audio Darwinism

DarwinTunes is an experiment in using genetic algorithms to create music. [more inside]
posted by mkb on Jan 11, 2010 - 13 comments

She Blinded Me with Science!!!!!!!

Randy Moller is the radio announcer for the Florida Panthers. In the tradition of Jack Brickhouse's "Hey Hey", and Harry Caray's "Holy Cow", Moller, tends to get exuberant. [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Jan 10, 2010 - 18 comments

creative dissatisfaction, that elusive fire in the belly

MAN is one of a number of animals that make things, but man is the only one that depends for its very survival on the things he has made. That simple observation is the starting point for an ambitious history programme that the BBC will begin broadcasting on January 18th in which it aims to tell a history of the world through 100 objects in the British Museum (BM). A joint venture four years in the making between the BM and the BBC, the series features 100 15-minute radio broadcasts, a separate 13 episodes in which children visit the museum at night and try to unlock its mysteries, a BBC World Service package of tailored omnibus editions for broadcasting around the world and an interactive digital programme involving 350 museums in Britain which will be available free over the internet. The presenter is Neil MacGregor, the BM’s director, who has moved from the study of art to the contemplation of things. “Objects take you into the thought world of the past,” he says. “When you think about the skills required to make something you begin to think about the brain that made it.” via The Economist [more inside]
posted by infini on Dec 30, 2009 - 36 comments

Flying wingtip to wingtip, it was called... "The Shepherd"

On December 24th, 1979, radio personality Alan Maitland started a tradition on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's program As It Happens. That Christmas Eve, Maitland read a Frederick Forsyth story that featured the unlikely meeting of a Vampire and a Mosquito. His telling has been re-aired every year since. [more inside]
posted by Decimask on Dec 25, 2009 - 7 comments

Dit-Dit-Dit Dah-Dah-Dah Dit-Dit-Dit

Just because those amateur radio operators on the Jay Leno show can out-text Ben Cook, former world SMS champion (160 chars in 57 seconds or about 33 wpm), doesn't mean that you can't try to beat them by joining them: iDitDahText lets you input Morse code on your iPhone with a software iambic keyer at up to 50 words per minute, no sleeve garters or green-visor required.
posted by autopilot on Dec 24, 2009 - 10 comments

Radio from Coast to Coast to Coast

The Third Coast International Audio Festival recognizes excellence in audio documentary, and the 2009 awards have been announced. You can listen to all of the winners' work as well as a two hour broadcast of the highlights.
posted by Lutoslawski on Dec 23, 2009 - 3 comments

The last announcer plays the last record. The last watt leaves the transmitter. Circles the globe in search of a listener.

The end of (big) radio? Citadel, the 3rd largest in the US, announced chapter 11 bankruptcy today. Even Clear Channel, the largest US broadcaster is seeing a huge decline in revenue. Failed innovation and an increasing disenfranchised listenership coupled with massive revenue declines are increasingly showing the decline of the medium as a whole.
posted by wcfields on Dec 20, 2009 - 96 comments

Radio Show Syndication on Vinyl LPs

In 1975 and again in 1984-1992 Dr. Demento was distributed on LP vinyl records. There was a history of distributing shows on transcription discs, but this and other shows are now found all over the internet along with other forms of "bootlegs" thanks to digital recording and LP record players co-existing. [more inside]
posted by morganw on Dec 9, 2009 - 14 comments

War of the Worlds and the Power of Mass Media

WNYC's Radiolab took a look into Orson Welles' 1938 radio production of H.G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds, which caused mass panic in the United States when listeners mistook a radio drama for actual reporting. They then explored the question of whether such hysteria could be recreated in a similar way, recounting stories from Quito, Ecuador in 1949 and Buffalo, New York in 1968. (There was one other attempt in Santiago, Chile in 1944 which is not mentioned in the Radiolab synopsis.)
posted by ichthuz on Nov 30, 2009 - 22 comments

The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft -- a new old time radio production

The Call of Cthulhu by H. P. Lovecraft -- a new old time radio production [part one, part two]
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 17, 2009 - 37 comments

Talking about Type

Type Design on the Radio. TTBOOK (previously) does an hour-long program about typography (podcast here, RM stream here). Segments include interviews with Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones of Gotham fame (they say their "Obama Font" worked best of those in the campaign; others agree), a Verdana-centric interview with Matthew Carter (he comments on the IKEA kerfluffle), and interview Kitty Burns Florey, author of Script and Scribble: The Rise and Fall of Handwriting . [more inside]
posted by Mngo on Nov 1, 2009 - 18 comments

Radio Is A Sound Sensation

Comparemyradio.com analyses the playlist data from all the major UK radio stations. If you want to know who's playing the current number one, what's the overlap between Radio One & Two or whether you should bother checking out Radio Six, this is the site for you.
posted by Hartster on Oct 27, 2009 - 6 comments

WKBW halloween night 1973

WKBW aired a night of Halloween Goodies on Halloween Night 1973. Its quite worth the listen,especially the intro to the entire night. More within..... [more inside]
posted by wheelieman on Oct 25, 2009 - 14 comments

Radio Fail

"I leave with a heavy heart as part of the changes that have, in my humble opinion, destroyed the station that I helped to set up 29 years ago."
Radio Fail documents (mostly UK) radio bloopers and cock-ups.
posted by hnnrs on Oct 21, 2009 - 11 comments

John Humphrys on the move

BBC Streams has rekindled my love of all things BBC Radio 4, now I can listen to The Today Programme on my iPhone whilst on my commute.
posted by nam3d on Oct 17, 2009 - 21 comments

myQSL

"QSL cards confirm either a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. They can also confirm the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a third party listener. A typical QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail as such." Here's a substantial collection of them.
posted by dersins on Oct 7, 2009 - 43 comments

Guiding Light Extinguished

This Friday, the longest-running scripted program in broadcasting history comes to an end.
posted by Joe Beese on Sep 16, 2009 - 59 comments

"Our greatest primary task is to put people to work."

Bridge to Somewhere: Lessons from the New Deal, an American RadioWorks documentary, chronicles Roosevelt's recovery-through-work programs (the CCC, the WPA, and the PWA) and their lasting impact on America's infrastructure. Rich with oral histories and actualities.
posted by Miko on Sep 8, 2009 - 18 comments

Japan's Media Environment

Japan -- Media Environment Open; State Looms Large (August 2009, PDF) [more inside]
posted by armage on Sep 1, 2009 - 8 comments

Old Time Radio Revival Round-up

Old-time radio (often abbreviated as "OTR," also known as the Golden Age of Radio) refers to a period of radio programming in the United States lasting from the proliferation of radio broadcasting in the early 1920s until television's replacement of radio as the dominant home entertainment medium in the 1950s, with some programs continuing into the early 1960s. The origin of radio dramas in the United States is hard to pin down, but there is evidence of a remote broadcast of a play in 1914 at Normal College (now California State University at San José), and the first serial radio drama was an adaptation of a play by Eugene Walter, entitled "The Wolf," which aired in September 1922. Given the age of the programs and the fact that home reel-to-reel recording started in the 1950s (followed by Philips "compact cassettes" in 1963), it might be surprising that quite a few of these old shows have survived. Thanks in part to original radio station-sourced recordings made on aluminum discs, acetates, and glass recordings and other unnamed sources, many radio dramas and newscasts from decades past are available online, and more are being digitized and restored to this day. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Aug 25, 2009 - 53 comments

The films of Jam Handy

Back of the Mike | Around the Corner | Behind the Bright Lights | Sky Billboards | Just a Spark [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good on Aug 9, 2009 - 6 comments

Erik Davis'

Expanding Mind - "This week's guest is Dennis McKenna, ethnobotanist, expert in the pharmacology of ayahuasca and other visionary plants, and brother of legendary mushroom bard Terence McKenna." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Aug 9, 2009 - 32 comments

Putting a 14-year-old in a "lie detector" - what did you expect would happen?

Sydney radio station 2dayFM earned the ire and backlash of the Australian public - rape counsellors, Australian media, and Community Services ministers - after an on-air stunt by morning crew Kyle and Jackie O went horribly wrong. During their regular "lie detector" segment, a 14-year-old girl was interrogated by the hosts and her mother over her sexual history, against her will, and revealed that she had been raped at 12 on air (warning: possibly triggering audio clip embedded in news article). [more inside]
posted by divabat on Jul 29, 2009 - 131 comments

Detroit schools urban exploration & reclamation.

Urban exploration has been featured here once or twice before, but Jim Griffioen's site photo-documenting his discoveries in and around Detroit deserves a look. Griffioen was recently interviewed [direct mp3 link] on the American Public Media radio program The Story. [more inside]
posted by item on Jul 25, 2009 - 14 comments

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