Stars and Bars(HV-018)
Celebrating America with Flags and Festivals, featuring: Recitations and reflections on “The Pledge” of Allegiance and “War vs. Peace.” The annual “Rainbow Family” migration into the Montana forest on July Fourth — their day of prayer for peace. A town that covets their title of the “Armpit of America” — welcome to Battle Mountain, Nevada. Mississippi moonshine, barbecued goat and old-time Fife & Drum at “Otha Turner’s Afrosippi Picnic.” Stories by Joe Frank, Barrett Golding, host Larry Massett, and Ben Adair.
For Independence Day, Old Abe, the Civil War, and its still-present aftermath: NPR recreates the “Gettysburg Address.” An archival recording of Walter Rathvon, who heard that speech live. Musings by poets Langston Hughes and Carl Sandburg. In the 1950s Tony Schwartz recorded an NYC voxpop “Portrait of Lincoln.” Radio Diaries of the last “Civil War Widows,” one Union, one Confederate. Producer Jake Warga goes to battle with “Civil War Re-enacters.” Performance artist damali ayo sits on our city sidewalks collecting “Reparations.”
The first moon man, launched July 16, landed July 20 1969: Astronauts communicate from beyond earth in “Zero G, & I Feel Fine” and “Last Man on the Moon.” President LBJ and Commander Scott Carpenter have a helium-infused confusing phone conversation. Sonic transmissions from deep in our solar system are sent back by Voyager I and II. The Sun and “space weather” emit “Natural Radio” sounds. Christine Lavin laments the loss of planetary status of “Planet X.” And Laurie Anderson relates a “Night Flight from Houston.”
Sounds of Summer
Host Josh Darsa of NPR spends nine days with rodeo riders in a rural Wyoming town: Cheyenne Frontier Days is “The Daddy of ’em All.” This classic 1980 radio doc from the NPR archives also presents the history of the “Cowboy,” underscored by the wild-west symphonies of Aaron Copland.
Self-propelled travels: We walk five thousand miles with a Fanatic Reactionary Pedestrian. We pedal thru Yellowstone and Teton Parks. And we trek with the Queen of Bhutan to remote villages, promoting what-they-call Gross National Happiness. (“The Queen’s Trek” is an Outer Voices production — they were first foreign journalists allowed to accompany a Bhutanese monarch on the trek, and the first to interview the Queen.)
Life on the Mississippi(HV-019)
A Tour of the River Towns: Hannibal, Missouri, birthplace of Mark Twain; a day on a tugboat; St. Louis showboats; and changing the course of mighty rivers. A downstream trip through the history and mystery of the Big Muddy, with Larry Massett and Scott Carrier.