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.

Schedule of events for the April 1965 Vietnam Colloquium at Antioch College
courtesy of Antiochiana

In 1965, as increasing numbers of American troops were sent to Vietnam, and an American bombing campaign grew, public forums were organized on college campuses across the country. They were known as “teach-ins”   The idea was to study the war and the draft in depth.  In April of 1965, the Vietnam Colloquium, was held over three days on the Yellow Springs campus of Antioch College.

Courtesy of Diana Tomas

Rediscovered Radio returns to the Viet Nam war period – when a Yellow Springs resident, inspired by his Quaker beliefs, took part in a dramatic war protest. The Quaker community he was a part of continues a tradition of active pacifism.

Forty nine years ago this spring, the war in Viet Nam was escalating. Nearly half a million American troops were in South Viet Nam at the time, supporting the government in its war with the North.

courtesy of VVAW

On the last installment of Rediscovered Radio, we heard from Barry Romo, who spoke at Antioch College in 1973 as a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. But Romo wasn’t always against the war. He volunteered for the Army out of high school, became an officer, led men in battle, and earned a Bronze Star for valor. In short, Romo was a model solider, so when he spoke out against the war, people paid attention.

This is the story of Romo’s second wartime trip to Vietnam, when he went back as a civilian.

Going Back to Vietnam

courtesy of Barry Romo, VVAW

In this installment of Rediscovered Radio, you’ll meet a soldier who was deeply changed by what he saw and did in the Vietnam War. Barry Romo spoke at Antioch College in 1973, when students around the country were involved in anti-war activities. And a warning, this story contains language that some listeners might find disturbing.

A Model Soldier

Exploring Milestones In WYSO's Audio Archives

Nov 16, 2015
Martin Luther King's 1965 commencement speech at Antioch College
courtesy of Antiochiana

Today WYSO brings back Rediscovered Radio, our series exploring the past through the station’s historic audio collection. We’re approaching the 50-year mark on many significant events documented in our digital Audio Archives, and so we are beginning a new season of stories. WYSO Archives Fellow Jocelyn Robinson has a preview of what’s to come.

Celebrating Black Women Writers

Feb 26, 2015
courtesy of the Central State University Archives

In the mid to late 1970s, WYSO broadcast the voices of three remarkable black women writers, and these tapes are preserved in the WYSO Archives. The work of Maya Angelou, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Alice Walker still resonates today. Rediscovered Radio’s Jocelyn Robinson reflects on these writers and their work.

One of my first tasks as the WYSO Archives Fellow was to listen to hours of digitized historic tape in order to mine the collection for hidden jewels, like a recording of the unmistakable voice of Maya Angelou reading her poem Harlem Hopscotch.

Bob Moore with Faith and John Morgan in the WYSO studios. arthur morgan
Jocelyn Robinson / WYSO

A few years back, Bob Moore of Yellow Springs took his kids to the public library where he found a shelf of books by local authors. There he discovered the writing of Arthur E. Morgan. Morgan’s creative and original thinking, reflected in these volumes, aroused Bob’s curiosity; he wondered about the voice of this man who had so much influence on the history of Yellow Springs and the Miami Valley, if there were any recordings of him speaking. Bob put the question to WYSO Curious. Hear the radio broadcast here:

courtesy of Antiochiana / Antioch College

Almost 50 years ago, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Yellow Springs and Antioch College to address the graduates at his wife Coretta’s alma mater. WYSO News was there to cover the event, and this tape is one of the most significant recordings in the WYSO Archives.

Rediscovered Radio: Harold Wright's "Christmas Leaves"

Dec 24, 2014
Harold Wright in 1974
courtesy of Antiochiana / Antioch College

One of the best things about the WYSO Archives is the sheer variety of recordings we have. There are news reports, documentaries, radio dramas, and concerts, many from the early years of WYSO. Jocelyn Robinson of Rediscovered Radio brings us yet another holiday special, this one recorded over three decades ago, about a boy looking forward to celebrating the holidays with great anticipation.

Robert de Gast / courtesy of Antiochiana (Antioch College)

Many families have Christmas traditions that are passed from one generation to the next. From deep within the WYSO vault comes one family’s holiday ritual to share with our listeners once again: a reading of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”

Dylan Thomas was a colorful and influential writer of the mid 20th century, and 2014 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the Welsh poet’s birth. Archives Fellow Jocelyn Robinson brings us a look at one of his most famous literary works.

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