Sarah Vowell is a gunsmith’s daughter, in “Shooting Dad,” produced for This American Life (from Lies Sissies & Fiascoes). Sarah’s latest book is The Wordy Shipmates. (Music: “Rebel Rouser” Duane Eddy 1958 Have Twangy Guitar Will Travel, “Burnt Down With Feedback” Phono-Comb 1996 Fresh Gasoline, “Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad” Jonathan Richman 1990 Jonathan Goes Country.)
Joe Frank lets us eavesdrop on a father-son phone call between “Larry and Zachary” Block, from Joe’s hour Karma 3.
Host Larry Massett and several other sons try to get to know their “Lost and Found Fathers,” produced for Soundprint, with help from Barrett Golding, Brian Brophy, Bob Burrus, and Henry Dennis.
Go to school, keep your grades up, go to college. That’s what we tell kids — over and over. What if just leaving your apartment, and walking up the block is risky? What if it feels safer to stay home, play video games, keep a low profile. When you do go out, head somewhere safe, like the teen center, the basketball court. That was the world of African American teenager, Jesse Jean.
Jesse lived a half a block from host Katie Davis in their Washington DC neighborhood. He was lucky enough to get a scholarship to a private boarding school and brave enough to take it. Katie kept in touch with Jesse, as he moved into this new world. We hear three stories covering seven years, starting in summer, 2001.
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).
We’ve been collecting comments in our current Pubradio Survey. Most folk are hooked on HV’s series; a few can’t stand it. We’ve posted a few of the most passionate love — and hate — notes:
“Hearing Voices” is now my favorite of all NPR shows. I appreciate how hard it is to hit a homerun every week in terms of strong topic and strength of pieces. Keep up the great work.
Your sound mixing: distracting! Voice plus a background of found sounds and/or music could be done better- could be more nuanced. I frequently find the mix so ugly that I switch to another station until I think the cacaphony has ended.
I love your show… can’t find enough good things to say about it. I listen to it while lying in bed on Sunday mornings, before my husband or the baby wakes up, and it slowly brings me to the surface from the depths of sleep.
I’ve been a Paramedic/Fire Captain for almost 30 years, Life is in my face. Hearing voices, This American Life, and other programs you produce like this, bring me to tears. So meny times I hear my story being told through them. I am truly transported to another space and time stands still while I listen and relive the moment. I can go no where with out finding your programs to make me feel at home. Thanks for all you do!!!
Thank you for this show, i DEEPLY love it!
I’m not a big fan of HV compared to other series. It’s production is usually too corny, and I hate those pieces that are just mashups of sounds that are supposed to give some sort of ‘portrait’ of something, but are really just annoying and ostentatious.
In 1996 Radio Diaries producer Joe Richman gave “Melissa Rodriguez from New Haven: Teen Mom” a microphone and tape recorder. Melissa was 18 and pregnant. Joe asked her to make an audio journal of her life, for the series Teenage Diaries.
Amy Jo, single mother of two toddlers, is “Surrounded by Lights,” by producer Erin Mishkin of Public Radio Redux and SALT Institute for Documentary Studies.
Myra Dean tells StoryCorps of the day her son was killed by a reckless driver.
Ben Adair takes his mom in search of her mom and “Family Baggage.” Ben heads American Public Media‘s Sustainability and Global Climate Change Reporting Initiative.
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.
If this piece were about blood or bones or lungs, it would have aired on NPR. But because it is about the prostate, and includes a talking penis, it presented problems for broadcast. There’s no equal time for body parts.
Barrett Golding of HearingVoices asked us if we at Transom would be interested. Yes. Cancer is cancer and it makes sense to talk about it openly and personally, wherever in the body it occurs. The piece also presents complex challenges of interest to radio producers. It is based on a stage presentation written by the patient himself, Jeff Metcalf, and performed by Paul Kiernan. It was recorded and produced for radio by the estimable Scott Carrier and Larry Massett. They are present on Transom to talk about this work, its style and content. https://transom.org/?p=1038More…
A nightmare in a city split by three religions, as dreamt by an Jewish soldier, an Arab bomber, and a Mississippi minister; from Joe Frank‘s hour Time’s Arrow. [Music: Air “Alone in Kyoto” Talkie Walkie (2004)].
Growing a tree and understanding on the property of the same family home, in the same family homeland, shared by an Israeli and an Palestinian family; from Sandy Tolan of Homelands Productions. [Music: Dorothy Wang.]
Four years of reports on life in the Mexican border-town of Ciudad Juárez, with poverty and corruption, with daily drug-cartel murders and military violence. Told by photographer/Juarez resident Julián Cardona, author Charles Bowden, and host Scott Carrier.
NPR Alex Chadwick invites America to share their stories of Flexible Flyers and downhill runs in a cross-USA audio Sledding Party, produced by Katie Davis. (Music: “Come to the Meadow” Roger Kellaway Cello Quartet (1974).)
Seven skiers go into the back-country, only six return; the story from the perspective of the survivors: Dave Carter, Dwight Butler, Alan Murphy, Chris Larson, and Larry Olson; in memory of Greg McIntyre.
A training day in the life of three women at the U.S. High Altitude Sports Center in Butte, Montana; with skaters Chantelle Bailey, Tara Laslo, and Mary Doctor, and trainers Michael Crowe and Susan Sandvig.
“Vatnajökull” (excerpts /2003) Chris Watson
And the sounds of Iceland’s largest glacier, captured by field-recordist Chris Watson, on his CD Weather Report(Touch Music).
Watson’s Vatnajökull sounds were also used in this Sigur Rós film, “Heima” (trailer):
After decades together, the Nadeaus find their husband/father has a secret. This story, told by family friend, come to us from Transom, which has a longer version, with photos and family history. [Music: Bach Six Cello Suites performed on viola performed by Patricia McCarty (Ashmont Music), Stravinsky “”Apollo” Three Greek Ballets performed by London Symphony Orchestra (Naxos).]
Steve Fugate roams the roads of America, walking thousands of miles with a sign stuck over his middle-aged head that reads “Love Life” — because of what happened to his son; recorded by Mark Baldwin, produced by ). Follow Steve’s writing and walking at Trail Therapy. [Music: Stravinsky “Agon” Three Greek Ballets performed by London Symphony Orchestra (Naxos), Bach Six Cello Suites performed on viola performed by Patricia McCarty (Ashmont Music), Dolly Parton “Silver Dagger” The Grass Is Blue.]
We follow an evolution of relationships revealed in conversations between Greg Sharrow, his mother Marjorie, and Greg’s husband Bob Hooker, as Marjorie’s dementia progresses. Produced with the Vermont Folklife Center. Transom has the original longer version, with photos. [Music: Karinne Keithley.]
AIR responds to cancellation of Weekend America and Day to Day
AIR Executive Director Sue Schardt today released the following announcement:
These last several weeks have brought some big changes at the networks and with key nationally distributed programs as a result of economic pressures. I speak on behalf of the board and membership of AIR in extending my support and good wishes to those who had to make very tough decisions, and to our colleagues who have lost their jobs. These are trying times, and many of us across the system are bracing for an uncertain road ahead.
The loss of Day-to-Day and Weekend America hits producers especially hard. These two programs were the most reliable outlets for getting independent work to a national audience. These two “farm teams” served a critical function for our industry that many of you are not likely aware of; investing in and cultivating our best, most promising producers whose work extends beyond the two programs, bringing benefit to us all. More…