In the 1930s and 1940s, the Library of Congress commissioned audio recordings of amateur singers and songwriters throughout the United States. These have come to be called "field recordings," and the recordists travelled the country in search of them. Musician, recording artist, and writer Stephen Wade tells the story of thirteen of these recordings made across the United States between 1934 and 1942 in locations reaching from Southern Appalachia to the Mississippi Delta and the Great Plains. Working 18 years on this project, Wade travelled the country, seeking out the original artists, their families or friends present at the recordings and interviewed more than 200 people for the book. Most of the original artists were amateur singers or musicians who were being recorded for the first and only time; many of their famililes were not even aware that the recordings were made. And yet many of the songs have enjoyed long afterlives, influencing musicians and featuring in films.
Stephen Wade is a musician and writer whose latest album is Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition, out on Smithsonian Folkways Records.
Historian and Geographer David Harvey is a leading theorist in the field of urban studies, whom Library Journal called “one of the most influential geographers of the later twentieth century.”
He is a Distinguished Professor of The Graduate Center, CUNY, and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics, and the author of a number of books. His most recent work is Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution.
David Harvey will give the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities “Revolution” Theme Lecture on November 8, 2012, 7:30 p.m. at Foellinger Auditorium.
Ed Kieser, Meteorologist
Kelly Formoso, Volunteer and Youth Coordinator, American Red Cross, Champaign IL
Jim Angel, Illinois State Climatologist
Host: Craig Cohen
“Super storm” Sandy continues to wreak havoc over the eastern seaboard and mid-Atlantic states. New York’s subways are flooded. The stock exchange closed for two days – the first time that’s happened for a weather emergency since 1888. A blizzard has blanketed portions of West Virginia and nearby states. The death toll continues to rise as a result of the storm, millions are without power, and the cost of damage to homes and businesses from the storm, its high winds, and subsequent flooding, is projected to be in the billions.
While the impact on the Midwest is significantly less, we are feeling Sandy’s effects. Loved ones are stranded, workers and volunteers from the two state region are headed to, or in the states affected.
While we all continue to monitor the damage caused by Sandy, we thought you might like an opportunity to understand, a bit deeper, exactly what happened to cause this “super storm.” So, our old friend, meteorologist Ed Kieser will join us. He’s been monitoring the storm from the moment it developed, and he’ll take your questions about Sandy, how it compares to other storms, and what conditions are necessary to create it. We’ll also be joined by Illinois’ State Climatologist, Jim Angel, to talk about the climate conditions necessary for such a storm, and whether we can characterize Sandy, amid more violent weather conditions of recent years, as a collective demonstration of our changing climate. We will also talk with Kelly Formoso, Volunteer and Youth Coordinator of the American Red Cross in Champaign about local relief efforts and ways to get news about friends and loved ones in the affected areas.
Colin Grant, Historian and Producer for the BBC
Host: David Inge
This is a repeat broadcast from Wednesday, July 13, 2011, 11 am
This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, May 24, 2012, 10 am
Independence Daze: A History of July 4th
In the early days of our nation, July Fourth wasn’t an official holiday at all. In fact, it wasn’t until 1938 that it became a paid day-off. So how did the Fourth become the holiest day on our secular calendar? Historian Pauline Maier offers some answers, and explains how radically the meaning of the Declaration has changed since 1776. James Heintze chronicles early Independence Day Bacchanalia. And historian David Blight reflects on Frederick Douglass arresting 1852 Independence Day speech.
The Statue of Liberty is one of America’s most powerful symbols, yet when it arrived in crates, no one could have imagined just how powerful it would become. We’ll get the story of the small group of French intellectuals who decided to offer a tribute to American liberty and of the uphill fight for American support. Our guest will be historian Edward Berenson, author of the new book "The Statue of Liberty: A Transatlantic Story."
This is a repeat broadcast from Friday, June 29, 2012, 11 am
Toi Derricotte, professor of English at the University of Pittsburgh, is the author of five books of poetry and has won a number of awards for her work, including two Pushcart Prizes. She is also the co-founder of Cave Canem, a workshop and retreat for African-American poets. We’ll talk about her memoir “The Black Notebooks” based on two decades of journal keeping and her most recent poetry collection “The Undertaker’s Daughter,” a book that looks back on her childhood in an abusive home. This interview was recorded on April 4, 2012
This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, May 03, 2012, 10 am
Brian K. Johnson, Professor of Journalism, College of Media, University of Illinois
Host: David Inge
We’ll be taking your questions on cameras and photography as we welcome back to the show Brian Johnson, professor of journalism at the University of Illinois. From time to time he stops by and we talk about the changing technology of picture taking. We can take questions on equipment and also technique. Whether you are a pro or a serious hobbyist, you shoot film or digital, your call will be welcome.
Terry Teachout, Drama Critic of The Wall Street Journal
Host: David Inge
This is a repeat broadcast from Thursday, December 17, 2009, 10 am
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