The Freedom Singers, and the three simple words that gave strength to a movement
It was the early days of the civil rights movement. Across the South, black students staged sit-ins, marches, demonstrations and protests that were violently repressed. In this podcast, two voices from the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) talk about the song “We Shall Overcome” – three simple words that became an anthem of strength and conviction for their movement. Bernie Lafayette remembers hearing the song in February 1961 during 14 nights of demonstrations to enter the movie theaters of Nashville, Tennessee. Cordelia Jackson first heard the song in March of that year at a sit-in at the Jackson, Mississippi public library. "In my heart, when I was worried about my friends in jail, and how they might be pulled out and lynched or anything, I heard those voices saying: 'We Shall Overcome.'" These interviews were conducted in 1962 in Chicago on the occasion of a concert there by the Freedom Singers. The newly-formed quartet was touring the country in support of civil rights and the...
Friday, October 2, 2015
Zero Mostel and the truth of the absurd
When Zero Mostel was under trial by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in 1955, the committee asked what he was doing at an anti-HUAC meeting. Mostel replied: "What if I did an imitation of a butterfly at rest? There is no crime in making anybody laugh." In this Popcast, hear about Mostel's dedication to the absurd. He exposed real life absurd situations of the McCarthy era by talking back, and brought out the human truth to absurd characters like Eugene Ionesco's "Rhinoceros" on stage. This episode was produced by Samara Breger with archival audio from the Studs Terkel Radio Archive from the WFMT Radio Network in Chicago. (Visit them at www.studsterkel.org.) You can find the original recording, and hundreds of other Terkel interviews at popuparchive.com/explore. Music from the Free Music Archive.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015
When the Negro was in vogue
At the Cotton Club, Harlem's premier nightclub of the 1920s and 30s, 16-year-old Lena Horne performed as a chorus girl alongside legends like Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington. The only catch? The audience was whites-only. In Popcast, hear Horne talk with mixed emotions about her time at the Cotton Club with clips from a 1966 recording from the Pacifica Radio Archives. Produced by Emma Hammond.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Seamus Heaney and the Long Dead
How do you write a love poem to a 2,000 year old stranger? On Popcast, hear about Northern Irish poet Seamus Heaney's obsession with "bog bodies." These centuries-old human remains were found in boglands of Northern Europe, and were often killed in violent, ritualistic ways – something that resonated with Heaney, living in war-torn Belfast. Bioarcheologist Andrew Chamberlain and Heaney scholar Stephen Enniss of the University of Texas at Austin weigh in on the science and symbolism of bog bodies in Heaney's work. This week's Popcast was produced by Audrey McGlinchy, a writer and radio journalist based in Austin, Texas. The archival audio used in this episode comes courtesy of the Pacifica Radio Archives. Visit them at pacificaradioarchives.org or call 1-800-735 0230. You can also find their archival radio show, "From The Vault," at fromthevaultradio.org. Find this podcast, along with thousands of archival recordings, at popuparchive.com/explore