In 2013 the Pacifica Radio Archives received a grant from the GRAMMY Foundation to preserve and digitize two series of programs that aired on WBAI-FM, Pacifica's NYC affiliate station, back in the 1960s and 1970s: The Free Music Store and the Mind's Eye Theatre. The Free Music Store was a live weekly concert series that took place at WBAI's studios in a deconsecrated church on East 62nd Street. The church's excellent acoustics and the eclectic slate of musicians, which ran the gamut from baroque chamber ensembles to country fiddling to sea shanties to the avant-garde, packed the house week after week. The Mind's Eye Theatre was the brainchild of WBAI programmer Baird Searles, who brought back the idea of radio theatre and infused it with a modern sensibility, incorporating state-of-the-art sound effects and experimental narrative techniques. The cast, largely drawn from NYC's off-Broadway scene, performed original plays, adapted famous plays and stories for radio, and produced scripts submitted by WBAI listeners. These two series are exemplary of WBAI's history of cutting-edge cultural programming. Presented here for the first time in one package are all of the known recordings in PRA's collection from the Free Music Store and the Mind's Eye Theatre.
- The Free Music Store - Includes all of the WBAI Free Music Store concerts that are currently in the PRA collection, including three performances from KPFT-Houston's own version of the FMS
- The Mind's Eye Theatre/99.5 Radio Theatre - Over 40 radio plays and performances that aired on WBAI from 1966-1969
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This project is supported in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation.