WYSO

Rediscovered Radio

WYSO’s Audio Archives project began in 2009 when boxes of old magnetic tapes surfaced in a musty storeroom. With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Archive Project and partnerships with the Greene County Library and other local organizations, over 200 hours of broadcasts, most from the 1960s and 70s, were cataloged and digitized. A project to collect oral histories to complement the recordings was also begun.

With support from Ohio Humanities*, the station has been airing this archival content since early 2014. The collection chronicles events at Antioch College, in Yellow Springs, around the Miami Valley and well beyond.

In our first season, we heard the echoes of the civil rights movement as it morphed into many subsequent movements. As we move into a second season, we’ll explore the Vietnam era, with stories about Vietnam vets, peace activists, the Black Power movement, women’s liberation, and more. We’ll continue to sample news reports, interviews, documentaries, concerts, lectures, music shows, and other historic tape. We’ll listen for our collective present in the voices, and sometimes add contemporary commentary as we reflect on our progress (or lack thereof). We’re also launching the WYSO Archives Blog to provide in depth views into this volatile and formative period of our history, and to highlight our historic preservation efforts.

Archives Fellow Jocelyn Robinson and fellow Community Voices producers Dave Barber, Steve McQueen, and Jason Reynolds will explore this audio treasure trove throughout 2016, and share it with listeners. It’s “Rediscovered Radio: Historic Audio from the WYSO Archives.”

*This program is made possible, in part, by the Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Rediscovered Radio: Women’s Voices in the WYSO Archives

May 10, 2017
The early days of the Women's Movement is well-represented in the WYSO Archives
WYSO Archives

Throughout this season of Rediscovered Radio, we’ve heard voices from the 1960s and 70s, from the peace movement, Black Power and Native rights activists.  The early days of the Women’s Movement is well-represented in our collection too.   Producer Jocelyn Robinson gives us a sampling of the women’s voices that can be heard.

Dr. Jonathan Winkler, Chair of the History Department at Wright State University is interviewed by Rediscovered Radio producer Jocelyn Robinson
Will Davis / WYSO

Today on Rediscovered Radio, we return to early May 1971, when huge demonstrations were held in Washington DC, to protest the war in Viet Nam.  The organizers believed that more peaceful protest methods of the past weren’t working.  Theirs was a more radical agenda. 

For three days, protestors blocked intersections and bridges in DC, intending to shut down the federal government.  The Nixon administration reacted with force, and on the third day brought in ten thousand federal troops.  More than 12,000 demonstrators were eventually arrested.

Rediscovered Radio: Clean Gene’s Record Machine

Apr 26, 2017
Clean Gene Lohman and Sherry Novick at the WYSO studios in the 1970s
WYSO Archives

In 1965, a kid named Gene Lohman came to Yellow Springs to attend Antioch College. He brought with him an almost encyclopedic knowledge of popular music, especially R&B. As a child, Gene had been bed ridden with measles, with only a transistor radio for company. That inspired a lifelong passion for artists recording on labels like Savoy, Chess, and Stax.

via wikimedia commons

Today on Rediscovered Radio, we return to the spring of 1969, a year after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.  At that time, many Americans believed that Dr. King’s dream of equality for African Americans had died with him.
 
That spring, the Community Lecture series at Antioch College brought activist Clifton DeBerry to campus.  Producer Jocelyn Robinson has this story about DeBerry’s message to the students – about what he called the shift from civil rights to Black liberation.

Rediscovered Radio: Studs Terkel in the WYSO Archives

Apr 7, 2017
Studs Terkel
via wikimedia commons

In the WYSO Archives, we have many recorded gems, and one of them has recently been unearthed: a rare recording of Studs Terkel, the Pulitzer Prize winning author, oral historian, and Peabody Award winning radio journalist from Chicago.  The WYSO tape has intrigued Rediscovered Radio producer Jocelyn Robinson, and some other radio preservationists working to carry on his legacy.

In 1976, the United States celebrated its 200th birthday, and Studs Terkel gave an interview to a Belgian radio show called Radiorama about America.  
 

Robert Bly: Shaping American Literature

Feb 8, 2017
Robert Bly at Antioch College in 1968
The Record courtesy of Antiochiana / Antioch College

Poet Robert Bly visited Antioch College in 1968, the same year he won the National Book Award for a collection called The Light Around the Body.

courtesy of Antiochiana, Antioch College

Today on Rediscovered Radio, a return to the time when the Civil Rights movement took a more militant turn toward Black Nationalism.  That change can be described best by learning the story of Stokely Carmichael. He was a young activist in the 1960s--one of the youngest jailed during Freedom Summer in 1964.  Later, Carmichael became the national chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, and was an early member of the Black Panther party, too.

The Watts Rebellion & Watts Writers: 1965 & Today

Jan 18, 2017
Watts in the summer of 1965
New York World-Telegram / via wikimedia commons

After the Watts Rebellion in Los Angeles in 1965, something unique happened. An Academy Award-winning screenwriter visited Watts and realized the neighborhood had stories the nation needed to hear.

Archibald MacLeish
Igrimm12~commonswiki / via wikimedia commons

Today on Rediscovered Radio, we meet the American poet Archibald MacLeish whose life spanned most of the 20th century. Bob Dylan described him as a man “who could take real people from history..and with the tender touch of a creator, deliver them right to your door.” Rediscovered Radio producer Dave Barber has the story of a MacLeish visit to Antioch College. Captured on tape, it is now part of the WYSO archives.

Preserving Protest: A Look Back at Blanket Hill

Jan 10, 2017
Bullet hole left in a steel sculpture  at Kent State Universityon May 4, 1970.
Steve Grant / Flickr Creative Commons

Today on Rediscovered Radio, a return to the 1970s – when four students were killed on the Kent State University campus by national guard troops as they protested America’s involvement in the Viet Nam war.   It was one the most memorable events of the late 20th century, and the shootings set off a series of other events:  it changed Americans’ views about staying in the war – and it likely changed how the US government would handle future mass protests.  Community Voices Steve McQueen has the story from the WYSO archives.

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