From the Library of Congress album Folk Music and Song, “Chorus and Dance,” rung and played by Rais Mahamad ben Mohammed and ensemble, musicians of the Haha tribe in Tamanar; recorded by Paul Bowles in Essaouira, Morocco, August 8, 1959 (1:11 mp3): More…
An expert on both Russia and insurgency offers the definitive guide on activities in Southern Russia, explaining how the Russian approach to counterinsurgency is failing and why the conflict will continue to escalate.
The unique geopolitical characteristics of the North Caucasus has made it a site of conflict for thousands of years. It was, in many ways, the testing and training grounds for today’s conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Understanding this volatile region is especially important now in light of President Obama’s effort to “reset” the relationship between Russia and the United States.
The Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus: From Gazavat to Jihad is an exhaustive treatment of the 400-year period leading up to the present. Thematically organized, it cuts through the rhetoric to provide a contextual framework through which readers can understand the conflict in the region.
The book is part of the Praeger Security International series. Some early praise for Schaefer’s work:
“Incisive, insightful — in short, invaluable.” – Liz Fuller, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
“A must-read for anyone who wants to understand the nuances of the conflict in Caucasus.”
– Brian Glyn Williams, Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth
“Demystifies our longest running graduate-level conflict…” – Col. Andrew N. “Nick” Pratt, USMC (Ret.), Director, Program on Terrorism and Security Studies and Professor of Strategy and International Politics, George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies
For Veterans Day, Vietnam, Korean, and World War Two vets, recorded by StoryCorps, along with a Marine Sergeant’s recent “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” discharge. And we plug into the iPods of active-duty troops in Iraq (photo gallery), asking them what they’re listening to, and what their lives are like:
Bob Harlee served as an Army Chaplain for 18 years. In 1965, Harllee was sent to Vietnam, and he had to leave his wife and three children behind. One of those children, Carol, now 47, recently asked her father about his life in those days. As part of the 101st Airborne out of Fort Campbell, Ky., Harllee had to reconcile his role as a spiritual guide within a unit whose job it was to destroy the enemy. Still, Harllee says, his task was clear: “to encourage everybody to keep their faith strong, even though they’re in the midst of the most terrible thing that mankind can bring upon itself.” Bob Harllee died in Charlottesville, Va., several months after his interview session. He was 73.
Soldier Soundtrack, Iraq- Song: “Send in the Clowns” by Barbara Streisand from The Broadway Album. “They’re not really geared towards a democratic or republic sort of society… the biggest issue will be trying to keep Iran or Syria from moving into the power vacuum when we leave…”
Lennon’s life, in own words, from his hundreds of interviews. Accompanied by music, outtakes, antics and poetics — singing, talking, and testifying about peace, family, and art.
Produced at KGLT-Bozeman with mix help from Colter Langan. Archive recordings are courtesy of Yoko Ono, the BBC, the CBC, Chicago’s Museum Of Broadcast Communications, Group W Productions, Rolling Stone Magazine, Apple, Capital, EMI, and Polydor Records.
WONSAPONATIME there was two Ballons called Jock and Yono. They were strictly in love-bound to happen in a million years. They were together man. Unfortunatimetable they both seemed to have previous experience — which kept calling them one way oranother (you know howitis). But they battled on against overwhelming oddites, includo some of there beast friends. Being in love they cloong even more together man — but some of the poisonessmonster of outrated buslodedshithrowers did stick slightly and tey occaasionaly had to resort to the drycleaners. Luckily this did not kill them and they werent banned from the olympic games. They lived hopefully every after, and who could blame them… —Lennon, Skywriting By Word of Mouth
Members of the generation jolted by Lennon’s death recall how they heard the news and how deeply this ex-Beatle’s life affected theirs (where were you when you heard?)
Voices: Scott MacNichol, Daniel Callis, Martin Goldsmith, Jane Blume, Mark Weber, Jim Palmer, John Scariano, Bonnie Renfro, Mary Oishi, Rob Raucci, and Emily Zambello. Produced at Cedar Creek Studios and KUNM-Albuquerque. PRX has a half-hour version of “The Day John Lennon Died.”
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
JOHN 1968: “‘A Day in the Life’ –that was something. I dug it. It was a good piece of work between Paul and me. I had the ‘I read the news today’ bit, and it turned Paul on. Now and then we really turn each other on with a bit of song, and he just said ‘yeah’ –bang bang, like that. It just sort of happened beautifully, and we arranged it and rehearsed it, which we don’t often do, the afternoon before. So we all knew what we were playing, we all got into it. It was a real groove, the whole scene on that one. Paul sang half of it and I sang half. I needed a middle-eight for it, but Paul already had one there.”
that was co-written. The orchestra crescendo and that was based on some of the ideas I’d been getting from Stockhausen and people like that, which is more abstract. So we told the orchestra members to just start on their lowest note and end on their highest note and go in their own time… which orchestras are frightened to do. That’s not the tradition. But we got ’em to do it.”
PAUL 1988: “Then I went around to all the trumpet players and said, ‘Look all you’ve got to do is start at the beginning of the 24 bars and go through all the notes on your instrument from the lowest to the highest– and the highest has to happen on that 24th bar, that’s all. So you can blow ’em all in that first thing and then rest, then play the top one there if you want, or you can steady them out.’ And it was interesting because I saw the orchestra’s characters. The strings were like sheep– they all looked at each other: ‘Are you going up? I am!’ and they’d all go up together, the leader would take them all up. The trumpeters were much wilder.”
A century ago the six Crow Reservation Districts came together for a cultural gathering with other Great Plains tribes. Every third weekend of August the Crow Fair honors that tradition in a “giant family reunion under the Big Sky.” Five days of celebration in southeastern Montana, with a parade, Pow Wow, rodeo, and traditional and fancy dancing.
In 1977 a team of NPR producers and recordists spent a week collecting sounds and interviewing people at this annual event. This early ambient sound-portrait breathes with the arts and activities of the Crow people: the Apsaalooke Nation.
RSA is the (deep breath) Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. They’ve been animating excerpts from their series of talks. Nary a note on who the artist is, tho, but it seems these whiteboard wonders are from Cognitive Media.
Eighty years ago, on the courthouse square in Marion, Indiana, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith were murdered by a mob of townsfolk. A photo of the lynching prompted the poem by Bronx schoolteacher Abel Meeropol, “Strange Fruit,” which became lyrics to a well-known Billie Holiday song.
Decades later, a box of recordings was found in a basement with recollections of people who witnessed — even took part in — the murders. This riveting Radio Diaries premiered this week on NPR…
On Aug. 7, 1930, Lawrence Beitler took this photograph of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, lynched in the town center of Marion, Ind., for allegedly murdering a white factory worker, Claude Deeter, and raping his companion, Mary Ball. But the case was never solved.
Southern trees bear strange fruit,
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
Black body swinging in the Southern breeze,
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.
Pastoral scene of the gallant South,
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth,
Scent of magnolia sweet and fresh,
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh!
Here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
Here is a strange and bitter crop.
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.
Chief Mountain Hotshots, Nicole Meeso and Aldon Wells, Powell Campground ID — Getting ready for a day’s work in the Clearwater Forest with the Blackfeet wildland firefighters, known as some of the best in the world.
Sister Carol Ann and the Bendictine Sisters, St. Gertrude Monastery, Cottonwood ID — Land stewardship is a matter of faith in these sisters’ rural Catholic perspective. We walk thru the woods of the monastery; 800 acres which the sisters have had to learn how to manage.
Lois & Betty, Patterson Restaurant, Patterson WA — Sipping coffee and surveying farm life from the breakfast tables of a small town cafe.
Louis Butler and family, Walla Walla River WA — Four Generations Fishing: A retiree from Hanford Nuclear Reservation goes catfishing with his daughter, grand-daughter and great-grandsons.
Ken Karzmiski, Archeologist, Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, The Dalles WA — Looking for lost Lewis & Clark legacy, and the artifacts and languages of native cultures drowned by the Columbia River dams.
USCG Duty Surfman Kyle Betts, now Chief Boatswain’s Mate and Executive Petty Officer, Cape Disappointment U.S. Coast Guard Station WA — The USCG Search and Rescue team pulls boats and people out of treacherous West coast waters along the Columbia River bar, where the river meets the ocean: “the graveyard of the Pacific.”
An earlier pedal over the same route, from the Rocky Mountains, down the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean, interviewing whoever crosses our path: wind surfers, church organists, forest service employees, and “we’ve been talking to as many loggers as we can, to try and find out if they don’t see bicyclists, or they just hate us.”
The first movement in From the Journals of Lewis and Clark, a symphonic work for orchestra and choir based on the expedition’s journals. Montana’s Great Falls Symphony commissioned University of Idaho music professor Dan Bukvitch as the composer. The text is President Jeffersons’s instructions to Captain Lewis in 1803.
Biking & Mic-ing the Modern Lewis & Clark Trail; part one of two, up the Missouri River into the Rocky Mountains. Barrett Golding and Josef Verbanac, a radio producer and an English professor, a Jew and a Souix, bicycle from Missouri to Montana, enduring floods, war, worms, mud, and myriad Lewis & Clark festivals:
Prep: Cross-country preparations, then and now, from Penis syringes and Indian presents, to AAA and GPS. “Your observations are to be taken with great pains and accuracy, for others as well as yourself” –Jefferson’s Instructions to Lewis, 1803.
Flood: Missouri floodwaterss, a frog symphony, a million worms, bowfishing a beanfield, and in Marthasville MI little league it’s Lemke Trenching and Excavating vs. Miller Funeral Homes. Don Sherman, a retired Chrysler worker, who now volunteers his time taking care of the city park in the flood-prone landmark rural town — which, in Lewis & Clark’s time, was the last outpost of white society. And we go bow-fishing for in a bean field.
Rendezvous: Biking and mic-ing the Missouri River. Captain Lewis’ Aria, surveyor-stalking cougars, black powder bursts, cave wall Manitous, and Edens lost. Explorers express emotions and the Expedition breaks into song, in “Corps of Discovery: An Opera in Three Acts” produced by music professor Eric Dillner and the University of Missouri’s Show-Me Opera. Geographer James Harlan maps the Two Missouris, the Missouri Territory now and two centuries ago, using an 1815 Land Office survey and Clark’s field-notes. James Denny, Historic Interpreter, for Missouri’s Department of Natural Resources, points out where pictografs on a cliff were a landmark of the Lower Missouri, until the railroad blew ’em up; we tour through the tunnel of the ex-Manitous.
Wars: No Home on the Range, Chief Joseph’s Race Track, and Brothers Buddha and Brahma. Farrell Adkins, Campground Host at Arrow Rock MO sings the little known second verse of “Home on the Range.” Matt Nowak, Natural Resources Director at Fort Leavenworth Army Base KA describes this places part in the death and desctrution of the Nez Perce people.
Indian County: Daily pow-wows, casino economies, and Lewis’ birthday gloom. Neil Phillips, Penobscot tribal member and former canoe racer paddles from Maine to Montana, experiencing life on the river, a little-seen view of America. Joe Verbancec Sr. tours us thru the Standing Rock reservation.
The Strenuous Life: Bruce Kaye, Chief Naturalist at Theodore Roosevelt National Park recounts Teddy Roosevelt’s time in North Dakota. His ideas about conservation developed in the badlands, then get expressed in the acts of the President of the United States and the start of the National Park system.
Re-enaction: At Coal Banks Landing, on Missouri River “Breaks” in Montana, we encounters the re-reactors, traveling up-river using the boats, clothes, food, guns and knifes of the Lewis & Clark era.
Camp: Lewis and Clark made 600 campsites on their expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific and back. So far, the exact location of only one has been identified. For 13 years, archaeologist Ken Karsmizki has been digging at Lower Portage camp of the Great Falls, on the Missouri River in Central Montana, and finding fire pits, butchered bones, wooden stakes and other artifacts, all dating to Lewis and Clark’s time.
Orchestration: “From the Journals of Lewis and Clark” is a symphonic work for orchestra and choir based on the expedition’s journals. Montana’s Great Falls Symphony commissioned University of Idaho music professor Daniel Bukvich as the composer, whose job was to make Art imitate History.
Attended the 2nd day of Shavuot ceremonies yesterday. Major Talmudic Mojo: anniversary of Commandments10.0, Jewish people becoming nation, etc.
Especially loved the Yizkor prayer. Gotta love a G-d who, after a hard day of spilling blood and crushing heads “over a vast area,” carves out some personal me-time to sip from the stream…
Let there be known among the nations, before our eyes, the retribution of the spilled blood of Your servants. And it is said: For the Avenger of bloodshed is mindful of them; He does not forget the cry of the downtrodden. Further it is said: He will render judgment upon the nations, and they will be filled with corpses; He will crush heads over a vast area. He will drink from the stream on the way; therefore Israel will hold its head high.
In 1945, Willie McGee was accused of raping a white woman. The all-white jury took less than three minutes to find him guilty and McGee was sentenced to death. Over the next six years, the case went through three trials and sparked international protests and appeals from Albert Einstein, William Faulkner, Paul Robeson, and Josephine Baker. McGee was defended by a young Bella Abzug arguing her first major case. But in 1951, McGee was put to death in Mississippi’s traveling electric chair. His execution was broadcast live by a local radio station. Today, a newly discovered recording of that broadcast provides a chilling window into a lost episode of civil rights history. Narrated by granddaughter Bridgette McGee, this documentary follows a her search for the truth about a case that has been called a real-life To Kill A Mockingbird.
TAL crossed the 400th episode line with an hour of “Stories Pitched by Our Parents.” Among them was one Nancy Updike did with her dad about the Erie Canal, featuring this addictive original ditty she co-writ w/ musician Dave Hill:
The first all-girl radio station in the nation, WHER-Memphis, went on-air in 1955. It was the brainchild of sound legend Sam Phillips, who created the groundbreaking format with money he raised from selling Elvis Presley’s Sun Studios contract. Women almost exclusively ran the station. They read the news, interviewed local celebrities, and spun popular records. They sold and produced commercials, directed and engineered programming, and sat at the station’s control boards.
NPR’s Susan Stamberg hosts this one hour special on WHER, produced for the Kitchen Sisters’ series Lost and Found Sound. Mixed by Jim McKee of Earwax.
President Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act, November 7, 1967
The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. “Independent producers” and “independent production” are mentioned sixteen times, including, “a substantial amount shall be distributed to independent producers and production entities…”
Some of my other favorite phrases:
The Congress hereby finds and declares that —
It is in the public interest to encourage the growth and development of public radio and television broadcasting, including the use of such media for instructional, educational, and cultural purposes;
Expansion and development of public telecommunications and of diversity of its programming depend on freedom, imagination, and initiative on both local and national levels;
It is in the public interest to encourage the development of programming that involves creative risks and that addresses the needs of unserved and underserved audiences, particularly children and minorities;