Category: Allison, Jay/Archives

HV116- Homeless

Man with sign in rain on interstate entranceHearing Voices from NPR®
116 Homeless: Living on the Streets
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2012-09-19 (Originally: 2011-06-01)

“Homeless” (52:00 mp3):

The voices of people who were or are homeless:

“My Name Is” (2:22) The Land of 10,000 Homeless

Land of 10K Homeless is a Minneapolis music-audio documentary project by Voices of the Streets, “An Artistic Portrayal of Homelessness in Minnesota.” Thier “website of artistic activism provides a space for the disadvantaged to share their stories.” Producer Danny Burke created this mix of the main theme, blended with interviews with individuals staying at a family shelter in Minneapolis.A couple shelter residents under the bridge

The string arrangement was written and produced by Brian J. Casey and Danny Burke of the Skeptics, and performed by the Arlington String Quartet (Matthew Knippel, cello; Conor O’ Brien, violin; Gabriel Platica, violin).

“George Hill” (2008 / 1:51) StoryCorps

After leaving the Marines, George Hill became addicted to drugs and alcohol. He soon found himself on the streets of Los Angeles, homeless for 12 years. But the kindness of another homeless man changed everything. Hill is now off the streets, working for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and pursuing a computer information systems degree at Cal State University. Recorded in Santa Monica, CA; part of StoryCorps’ Griot Initiative.

“Crazy John” (1996 / 6:03) Carmen Delzell

A portrait of the self-named, Crazy John, who lives on the streets of Austin, Texas. He tells writer Carmen Delzell about his life. Carmen was homeless for a couple of years in the early 1990s. This piece was made after she got on her feet and was living in Austin. Produced by Jay Allison (PRX).

Bill with Nanette, two shelter residents“Bill Speaks” (2008 / 2:24) The Land of 10,000 Homeless

An interview with Bill, recorded near the Dorothy Day Center homeless shelter, St. Paul MN. Andrew Turpening, the Land of 10K Homeless Artistic Director, composed the music and produced the piece.

“Gospel Mission” (1983 / 4:56) Scott Carrier

The producer spends a night at a church homeless shelter in Washington DC.

“Miracle On The Streets” (2009 / 2:25) Dmae Roberts

A profile of life on the streets for homeless youth told through the experiences of 21-year-old Miracle Draven, Portland OR. Original music by Craze MC. (Longer version at PRX).

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HV140- John Cage

John Cage composing at pianoHearing Voices from NPR®
140 John Cage: September 5 1912 – August 12 1992
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2012-08-29

“John Cage” (52:00 mp3):

A tribute to the composer on his 100th birthday:

“The City Wears A Slouch Hat” (1942 / 2:04 & 1:42 excerpts) John CageKenneth Patchen

From a half-hour radio play, commissioned by CBS, written by poet Kenneth Patchen and scored by Cage. Broadcast May 31, 1942 on WBBM radio station (Columbia Broadcasting System in Chicago), as part of their Columbia Workshop series. Performance by Xenia Cage, Cilia Amidon, Stuart Lloyd, Ruth Hartman, Claire Oppenheim and John Cage conducting.

“Who’s John Cage (Silence)?” (1992 / 2:25) Barrett Golding

A voxpop variety of folk answer the musical question: “Who’s John Cage?”

Sheet music cover to Jahn Cage's composition 4:33

“Imaginary Landscapes” (2008 / 5:07) Echoes

Few contemporary composers had the influence of John Cage. From experimental music to minimalism, Brian Eno to George Winston, echoes of John Cage continue to resound to this day, more than 6 decades after his “Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano” were first published. John Cage was a conceptualist of sound who turned even silence into music as he did with his famous piece, 4 minutes and 33 seconds. John cage died from a stroke in August of 1992. But we hear his thoughts in sound from a 1987 interview. From the series Echoes with John Diliberto, part of their Thoughts in Sound specials.

“In A Landscape” (1994 / 2:07 excerpt) Stephen Drury

Pianist Stephen Drury performs a 1948 Cage composition; the title track of the album In a Landscape

“Cunningham Stories (At the Age of Twelve…)” (1993 / 1:44) Laurie Anderson

From the collection A Chance Operation: The John Cage Tribute (this UbuWeb link has free downloads of the entire CD set).

“Cage, Cunningham: Collaboration” (1983 / 5:27) Jay Allison

An impressionistic illustration of synchronistic artistic cooperation, in the words of Cage and choreographer Merce Cunningham. Interviews by Katie Davis, from Jay Allison’s series Living in the Arts.

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HV015- Father Figures

Kids playingHearing Voices from NPR®
015 Father Figures: For Father’s Day
Host: Jay Allison of Transom.org
Airs week of: 2012-06-13 (Originally: 2008-06-11)
Father Figures (54:00 mp3):

Paternal praise, pride, disappointment and love:

Scott Carrier gives his son Milo a “Ski Lesson.”

From Animals and Other Stories we hear “Reflections of Fathers,” aka, Bugs & Dads (producers: Jay Allison & Christina Egloff, music: Ben Verdery & Rie Schmidt).

Comic strip artist Lynda Barry wishes her divorced dad a “Happy Father’s Day.”

A doctor tells his daughter about her granddad in “StoryCorps Dr. William Weaver.”

“Grilling Me Softly” is how host Jay Allison describes his daughter’s questions about his love life.

Dan Robb’s family remembers the day “Dad’s Moving Out” (from Jay Allison’s Life Stories).

Doc Merrick” and daughter Viki go through some girl problems.

David Greenberger tells David Cobb’s story “Because of Dad” (music performed by Bangalore, composed by Phil Kaplan).

Deirdre Sullivan’s father advises “Always Go to the Funeral” (from This I Believe).

And Dave Masch wants to be “A Better Father” (produced by Viki Merrick).. Photo © Scott Carrrier.

HV108- Making Music

Hearing Voices from NPR®
108 Making Music: For a Living, For a Life
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2012-03-28 (Originally: 2011-01-19)

“Making Music” (52:00 mp3):

Making music, for a living, for a life:

“The Story of Rose Maddox” (1996 / 13:36) Ginna Allison

The Maddox Bros. & Rose were America’s Most Colorful Hillbilly Band. In the 1930s, 40s & 50s, the four brothers and sister/singer Rose paraded thru America in their colorful Cadillacs and cowboy outfits. “Their costumes make Liberace look like a plucked chicken,” said Tennisee Ernie Ford.

Born to sharecroppers in Boaz, Alabama, they rode the rails and hitch hiked to California in 1933, where they formed the band. Their sound was both old-timey and western swing; their rhythms helped plant the roots of rockabilly. Ginna Allison’s sound-portrait features interviews with Rose Maddox, Tennesse Ernie Ford, Cliffie Stone, and her co-prodcuer on this piece, TJ Meekins of KVMR-Nevada City CA. (Images: Maddox Bros. & Rose: Myspace, Rockin’ County Style)

“EZ Malone” (1996 / 7:24) Carmen Delzell

A preacher’s son, met in a North Carolina thrift shop, comes over the house to play guitar, and talk Jesus, G chords, and Gilligan’s Island. Carmen’s grandmother would not approve. Produced by Jay Allison for This American Life (PRX).

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HV100- Stories of Transformation

Miles/Megan as a little girlHearing Voices from NPR®
100 Stories of Transformation: Character and Change
Host: Jay Allison of Transom
Airs week of: 2012-02-22 (Originally: 2010-09-29)

“Stories of Transformation” (52:00 mp3):

Two audio diaries of people documenting their own personal transformation, a Transom Radio special:

“Finding Miles” (27:11) Sarah Reynolds

Miles has the wrong body. He was born a woman, Megan. After 15 years of serious depression and confusion about his place in the world, at age 28, he decided to make a change. He chose the name Miles and began his slow, difficult transition into manhood. All along the way, he carried an audio recorder with him. This is his story. Produced for Transom (available at PRX); edited by Jay Allison.

“Running From Myself” (17:50) Louis & Anthony Mascorro

For most of his high school career, Louis robbed people: for money, and for thrills. He never got caught. Then, in his senior year, he decided to stop. Louis talks to friends and family, and to himself, about why he was a criminal, and why he needs to change. Produced for Transom (also at PRX) and the 826NYC writing center.

HV052- Circus Blood

Circus posterHearing Voices from NPR®
052 Circus Blood: Under the Big Top
Host: John Dankosky of Connecticut Public Radio
Airs week of: 2012-02-01 (Originally: 2009-02-25)

Circus Blood (52:00 mp3):

A world-class troupe of audio daredevils and media magicians:

Host John Dankosky takes us to the circus in “Hershey Park Arena, Hershey Pennsylvania. I was 10 years old, and very, very worried.”

SF Chronicle journalist Jon Carroll interviews his daughter Shana as she hang upside down on her “Trapeze”, ready to fly away; from the Life Stories series by Jay Allison. (Shana started swinging with the Pickle Family Circus, about which her dad co-authored a book. She now flies for Les Sept Doigts de la Main.)

Joe Frank loves the lady “Lion Tamer,” an excerpt from his hour “The Dictator- Part 2” (show details).

Adam Rosen mixes a medley of the many versions of “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, The Tokens, The Nylons, Miriam Makeba, Robert John, and Manu Dibango).

Circus posters

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HV099- Polk Street Stories

Polk Street sign, photo by Thomas HawkHearing Voices from NPR®
099 Polk Street Stories: San Francisco USA
Host: Joey Plaster of Transom
Airs week of: 2012-01-04 (Originally: 2010-09-22)

“Polk Street Stories” (52:00 mp3):

An oral history of San Francisco’s premiere queer neighborhood, told by those who’ve called it home:

“Polk Street Stories” (52:00) Joey Plaster

Public Historian Joey Plaster spent a year gathering 70+ interviews from people experiencing Polk Street’s transition from a working class queer neighborhood to an upscale entertainment district. Polk Street’s scene predates the modern gay rights movement. It was a world unto itself, ten blocks of low rent hotels, bars and liquor stores, all sandwiched in between the gritty Tenderloin, City Hall, and the ritzy Nob Hill: a home invented by people who had no other home.

For decades, the street had been a national destination for queer youth and transgender women, many of them fleeing abusive or unwelcoming homes. But by the mid-1990s, the last of the working class bars that formed the backbone of the Polk community were being replaced by a new bloc of mid-income businesses and residents.

Long-term Polk residents were incredibly emotional about these changes. Many considered the neighborhood to be their first real home. Now they saw their family’s gathering places evaporating. The conflict was sometimes dramatic: owners of one gay bar claimed that the new business association forced them off the street. A gay activist group made national news when they plastered the street with “wanted” posters featuring a photo of the new association’s president.

These intense reactions suggested a rich history, but I found that it had not been recorded. I feared it would be lost with the scene. I had prior experience as an oral historian. This was my first effort to find overlap with radio, which I’ve long felt is the best medium for broadcasting intimate, personal stories from “marginal” populations.
—Joey Plaster

This hour is a Transom radio special (PRX), produced with Jay Allison and Viki Merrick. It’s part of GLBT History Polk Street: Lives in Transition exhibition.

Photo © Thomas Hawk.

HV095- Inside the Adoption Circle

Jackie Lantry with her sonHearing Voices from NPR®
095 Inside the Adoption Circle: Adoptees, Birth Parents, Adoptive Families
Host: Samantha Broun of Transom
Airs week of: 2011-11-23 (Originally: 2010-08-11)

“Inside the Adoption Circle” (52:00 mp3):

First-person voices accounts from adoptees, birth parents, and adoptive families:

“Inside the Adoption Circle” (52:00) Samantha Broun & Transom

Voices from all sides of adoption. Stories about living with questions and searching for answers. We hear from birth families (mothers, siblings and a father), adoptees (both kids and adults), and various adoptive families including open adoption and international adoption (China).

Produced for Transom.org by Samantha Broun and Viki Merrick (also on PRX ), with help from Jay Allison. Photo above: Jackie Lantry and her son; © 2006 Nubar Alexanian.

HV125- City of Angels

scene from the film Hearing Voices from NPR®
125 City of Angels: An Ode to Old L.A.
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-11-02

“City of Angels” (52:00 mp3):

We’re occupying the streets of Los Angeles; our demands: bring us stories…

“Pilgrim Land” (2005 / 0:43 excerpt) Tom Russell
“Old America” (3:32 excerpt)
“Bukowski #2 on the Hustle=” (2:08 excerpt)
“Honky Jazz” (4:14)
“Swap Meet Jesus” (4:21)

From the album Hotwalker: Charles Bukowski & A Ballad for Gone. An Americana ode to old L.A., the music, the culture, from beat outsiders to religious revivals to long gone radio sounds; with stuntman, circus midget, and actor Little Jack Horton.

Hotwalker is the best Sam Peckinpah movie since Peckinpah died. It’s a ghostly jubilee, an audacious slab of Blue America. Narrated aby noir cowboy, Tom Russell, it is a singular recording, bound to be controversial — it’s not only going to ruffle feathers, but leave feathers scattered on the ground.”
—novelist-poet Luis Urrea

A couple web extras…

Tom Russell’s ‘Hotwalker’ Influences,” an inteview by NPR’s Alex Chadwick:

“WLS Radio Interview w/ Tom Russell” (10:21 mp3):

“Man on the Street” (1995 / 8:11) Joe Frank

From Joe’s “Streetwise” hour, and the CD collection Joe Frank Team Favorites: an interview with an anonymous homeless man on the streets of Los Angeles. Music: Thomas Newman “Rock Hammer” The Shawshank Redemption: Soundtrack.

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HV124- Walk in the Park

Lisa Miller descending Angel's LandingHearing Voices from NPR®

124 Walk in the Park: National Parks, Neighborhood Parks

Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices

Airs week of: 2011-10-19

“Walk in the Park” (52:00 mp3):

Yellowstone, Zion, the Everglades, and William Pierce Park in DC:

“Bobby’s Park” (2003 / 2:26) Katie Davis

From the series Neighborhood Stories– Park Life, profiling the daily life of a community’s urban oasis: “Country Bobby” Lowry is the guardian of Walter Pierce Community Park in Washington, D.C. He’s been keeping an eye on the park for almost three decades, and knows more about how it than any city official — he knows the trees, the plants and the kids. In the first of four stories about the park, we meet this transplanted farm boy who never takes shortcuts in his work. See NPR’s has great photo gallery.

“Angel’s Landing” (4:47) Scott Carrier

Utah’s Zion National Park draws 2.7 million visitors a year, and a major attraction for hearty hikers is a trek along the Grotto trailhead to Angel’s Landing. From the banks of the Virgin River, the yellow-and-red sandstone sides of Zion Canyon rise 2,000 feet. It feels like being inside a huge body. The canyon walls are the rib cage spread open and Angel’s Landing is like the heart.

Take an Angels Landing eHike. Photo gallery at NPR.

“Leah’s Doing Hair” (1:05) Katie Davis

Mural from Pierce Park, Leah doing hair next to the courtFrom Neighborhood Stories– Park Life: An ode to Leah at Walter Pierce Community Park, who braids hair by the basketball court while the guys play 5 on 5.

“A Long Walk” (1:00 excerpt) Jill Scott

Music from Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds, Vol. 1

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HV102- Lost Critters

Australian racing camelHearing Voices from NPR®
102 Lost Critters: Dogs, Cats, a Pig, & 1M Camels
Host: Larry Massett of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-09-21 (Originally: 2010-10-20)

“Lost Critters” (52:00 mp3):

Some Dogs, Some Cats, One Pig, and a Million Camels:

“Camels in the Outback” (2006 / 5:10) Larry Massett & Jake Warga

On the race track and on the grill, competing and eating wild camels in the Northern Australia Territories. (Camel photo: Jake Warga)

“Cross my Path” (1988 / 7:56) Jay Allison

Leo Grillo locates lost pets in Los Angeles. He cares for animals, thousands of them. Today, his organization, D.E.L.T.A Rescue (Dedication and Everlasting Love to Animals), is the world’s largest animal rescue shelter.

Produced by Jay Allison with Cristina Egloff for their series Animals and Other Stories; funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Piggles” (2010 / 8:00) Larry Massett

A pig is spared the butcher block but lost in the wilds of Washington DC. Blame the Air Force?

“Mama Chaos, the Wild Dog of Los Alamos” (1995 / 24:15) Larry Massett & Scott Carrier

A mid-90s visit to Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Everyone knows this one of the places where the government developed the first atom bomb during World War II. But our host was interested in Chaos Theory, an elaborate mathematical description of turbulent systems like the weather, and possibly the stock market, and who knows what all else. Chaos Theory was all the rage in Los Alamos then. Along with the theory, it turned out there was also real chaos in Los Alamos. It was slinking up and down the streets late at night in the form of a feral dog. Produced for the radio series SoundPrint.

Lost Pig reward poster

HV094- Working with Studs

Studs smoking cigarHearing Voices from NPR®
094 : America’s Greatest Listener
Host: Sydney Lewis of Transom
Airs week of: 2011-07-27 (Originally: 2010-08-04)

“Working with Studs” (52:00 mp3):

A Transom.org tribute to the great broadcaster and author Studs Terkel (1912-2008):

“Working with Studs” (52:00) Sydney Lewis & Transom

For many years, Transom.org editor, Sydney Lewis, worked side by side with Studs on his radio show and his books. For this remembrance, a blend of documentary and reminiscence, she brings together a crew of Stud’s co-workers. They share great stories and wonderful previously-unheard tape of Studs himself. Sydney Lewis co-authored Studs’ book Touch and Go: A Memoir.

Studs Terkel: Conversations with America

Studs @ Transom: Special Guest | Radio Special | PRX Piece

HV059- War Memorial

Photo of Lance Corporal Baronowski in VietnamHearing Voices from NPR®
059 War Memorial: Return to Vietnam
Host: Alex Chadwick of Interviews 50 Cents
Airs week of: 2011-05-25 (Originally: 2009-05-20)

“War Memorial” (52:00 mp3):

For Memorial Day, two stories recorded in Vietnam, one after the war, and one during:

In 1966, a young Lance Corporal carried a reel-to reel tape recorder with him into Vietnam. He made tapes of his friends, of life in fighting holes, of combat; and he continued to record until, two months later, when he was killed in action. Friend and fellow marine, Tim Duffie, remembers him in “The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski,” produced by Jay Allison and Christina Egloff for Lost & Found Sound. NPR: story | response | credits/links; American RadioWorks: transcript; Lance Cpl Baronowski: Memorial.

Host Alex Chadwick first went to Southeast Asia was as a soldier in the Sixties. Two decades later, he made a “Return to Vietnam” as a journalist, on the anniversary of the Tet offensive, to find what had and hadn’t changed since the war (producer: Art Silverman, engineer: Flawn Williams).

HV114- Psychological

Hearing Voices from NPR®
114 Psychological: States Of Mental Health
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2011-04-20

“Psychological” (52:00 mp3):

Three Diagnoses– Depression, Amnesia, Mental Breakdown (image: Rorschach test Card VI):

“Sit with Me” (7:29) Michael Bernstein

12-year-old Cameron Ledoux’s father doesn’t work, because of his deep depression. Cameron dialogs with his dad about the condition. Produced at The Salt Institute for Documentary Studies; broadcast by All In The Mind; podcast on Saltcast, with thie follow-up, “Sit With Me Again.” (Music: “Leaves Falling” by Lullatone from We Will Rock You… To Sleep: An Introduction to Lullatone).

“Finding Amnesia” (15:01) Scott Carrier

A quest for amnesia victims — it happens a lot more in movies, books and TV shows than real life. An attempt to find someone who has really had amnesia, to give someone amnesia, and to get it. Aired on This American LifeGet Over It!” and “The Friendly Man.”

“Breakdown and Back” (25:47) Marjorie Van Halteren, Lou Giansante & Jay Allison

A sonic journey documenting one woman’s loss of reality and descent into mental breakdown; a first-person account, with the voices of her friends who witnessed her collapse. Available as an audiobook: “Breakdown and Back.”

“Mad World” (3:03) Michael Andrews & Gary Jules

A cover of the Tears for Fears song, arranged for the Donnie Darko by composer & pianist Michael Andrews, sung by Gary Jules (video by filmmaker Michel Gondry).

Finding Miles

Megan/Miles as a young girlLast night on NPR ATC, “Becoming Miles: The Journey Of Changing Sexes:”

Megan Taylor grew up feeling she was living in the wrong body. In her 20s, she decided to do something about it. First, she changed her name to Miles. Miles began taking testosterone, scheduled a double mastectomy — part of sex reassignment surgery — and began changing his body into one that felt right. The hardest part was telling his parents. Through it all, he kept an audio diary.

“Becoming Miles” (13:00 mp3):

Produced by Sarah Reynolds, with Jay Allison and Transom.org, which has the full version of this piece (airing this month on an HV episode.)

The Moth

Producer Jay Allison on the new pubradio series PRX » The Moth, stories told unscripted and live before an audience:

HV051- Dog Tales

The dog Nippy looking towards the Rocky MountainsHearing Voices from NPR®
051 Dog Tales: Barks, Bites, Best Friends
Host: Barrett Golding of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2010-04-07 (Originally: 2009-02-18)

“Dog Tales” (52:00 mp3):

A canine compilation — the dogs have their day:

“Blind Dog” (4:22) Scott Carrier

The producer plays frisbee with a sightless German shepherd.

“Dogs” (3:50) Kevin Kling

This commentator can’t connect with his family’s canine, off his collection of Stories off the Shallow End.

“Dogs in the Yard” (1:20 excerpt) Steven Vitiello

A musician mixes a multi-bark audio art composition.

“Dog’s Dreams” (1984 6:50) Jay Allison

In 1984 people told producer about their dogs and their dog’s dreams, produced with Christina Eggloff for their series Animals and Other Stories, with funds from the New York State Council for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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HV021- Tony Schwartz

Tony Schwartz recording childrenHearing Voices from NPR®
021 Tony Schwartz: Documenting Life in Sound
Host: Barrett Golding & Kitchen Sisters of Hearing Voices
Airs week of: 2009-10-07 (Originally: 2008-07-23)

“Tony Schwartz” (52:00 mp3):

Tony Schwartz, media pioneer, audio documentarian, and the most famous radio person you probably never heard of, died June 2008. We hear:

The Kitchen Sisters‘ Lost & Found Sound-portrait, “Tony Schwartz, 30,000 Recordings Later.”

And the Tony Schwartz-inspired verite documentary of the town he lived in and loved, “New York City: 24 Hours in Public Places” (thanks to Transom.org).

HV061- Educating Esme

Esme Codell in the classroom with studentsHearing Voices from NPR®
061 Educating Esme: A Teacher’s Diary
Host: Alex Chadwick of Interviews 50 Cents
Airs week of: 2009-6-10

“Educating Esme” (52:00 mp3):

During her first year teaching fifth grade in a Chicago public school, Esmé Codell kept a journal. This radio hour is based on her book Educating Esmé: Diary of a Teacher’s First Year. Produced by Jay Allison with Christina Egloff for their Life Stories series and Chicago Public Radio. (This version is slightly edited for time; the original is at PRX.)

Esmé Raji Codell: Planet Esme | Blog | Amazon | Audible | WBEZ 848 | LOC Webcast.

Jennie’s Secret

Jennie Hodgers or Albert Cashier? The story of a Civil War veteran is the new Transom Show: Jennie’s Secret. This her-history of a women in a man’s world, produced by Linda Paul with Jay Allison, spans half the 19th Century.