AWMHC on From the Vault

The following From the Vault episodes have used materials that were preserved in the American Women Making History and Culture: 1963-1982 grant project:


FTV 408: Anais Nin interviewed by Judy Chicago (broadcast date: March 7, 2014)

This week on From the Vault we highlight a historic conversation between two radical and influential women from the Feminist Era of the 1970's, artist Judy Chicago and writer Anais Nin.

FTV 409: A Retrospective on Radical Feminism (broadcast date: March 14, 2014) 

This week on From the Vault, guest host Lynn Ballen, producer of Feminist Magazine heard on KPFK in Los Angeles, introduces A Retrospective on Radical Feminism, produced in 1980 by Moira Rankin and co-produced by Deborah George for Sophie's Parlor Collective, the oldest women's radio collective on the air at Pacifica's youngest station, WPFW in Washington D.C. A Retrospective on Radical Feminism is composed of interviews, actuality, and music, and includes:

    • Alix Kates Shulman, activist and author of "Memoirs of an Ex-Prom Queen" is interviewed and reads from her book, "Burning Questions."

    • A woman from the Emergency Brigade recounts the 1937great general motor sit down strike in Flint, Michigan.

    • Fannie Lou Hamer, founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic party recalls the physical abuse she suffered in prison in a 1966 KPFA interview.

    • Leslie Cagan, then-Chair of the New York University Committee to End the War of Vietnam describes the beginning of an autonomous women's movement that grew out of the anti-Vietnam war movement.

    • Joan Byron, a member of the Furies, one the first radical lesbian separatist groups describes, their reasons for organizing.

    • Betty Friedan renounces her position on the lesbian issue and supports the sexual preference resolution at the 1977 United States International Women's Year conference in Houston, Texas.

    • Carol Downer, one of the founders of the Los Angeles Feminist Health Clinic speaks about the need for women to control their own bodies and have access to abortions.

    • Edith Barksdale Sloane, Executive Director of the National Committee on Household Employment, is interviewed about the need for basic services for women.

    • Donna Keck, a founder of Women: A Journal of Liberation, speaks about race within the women's movement.

    • Activist Cynthia Washington speaks about all the aspects of oppression including racism, classism, elitism, sexism, and ageism.

      FTV 410: Woman to Woman: Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (broadcast date: March 21, 2014)

This week on From the Vault we continue our celebration of Women's History Month with a radio docudrama from Pacifica's flagship station KPFA in Berkeley. Taken from a seven-part 1980 series called Great Women, this episode, titled Susan B. Antony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, was broadcast on Saturday, July 19th 1980 at 1:00pm following a tribute to Sojourner Truth. Together, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded equal rights and suffrage associations across America. This program, produced by Joanna Brouk and Dorothy Gilbert, traces the lives, friendship, and work of Anthony and Stanton, and includes readings of some of their remarkable letters and lectures.

We'll also feature an excerpt from the 1959 KPFA documentary series, The American Woman, that focuses on a reading of Elizabeth Cady Stanton's new declaration of independence for women delivered on July 18th, 1848 at the first convention for women's rights in Seneca Falls New York.

FTV 411: Germaine Greer at the National Press Club, 1971 (broadcast date: March 28, 2014)

As the efforts by women during Second Wave of Feminism began paying dividends, one of the long standing barriers came crumbling down: on May 18, 1971, the National Press Club, which was founded in 1908, would finally open its doors to women. Fitting, then, that Germaine Greer, the firebrand writer of the bestselling book The Female Eunuch (1970), was the first woman to address this distinguished press corps. This week, on From the Vault, we listen to a recording of that historic address, in which Greer took the opportunity to implore the Press Club audience to respect their power to report and make news, and was quick to point out the inequality of news coverage of Women's issues.

FTV 414: Women's Music and Poetry from the Coffeehouse, 1977 (broadcast date: April 18, 2014)

On April 18, 2014 From the Vault presented one of the previously digitized recordings from the AWMHC collection, Women's Music and Poetry from the Coffeehouse, 1977, featuring live musical performance by recording artist Suni Paz with cellist Martha Siegel and a poetry reading by Pulitzer prize winning author Alice Walker. This program was broadcast by the five Pacifica sister stations and 35 Pacifica affiliate community radio stations including KAOS Olympia, WA, WOMR Provincetown, MA, KHOI Ames, IA, KZGM Cabool, MS, and CJUM in Winnipeg, MB.

FTV 420: Maya Angelou (broadcast date: May 30, 2014)


On May 30, 2014, on the occasion of the recent passing of poet Maya Angelou, From the Vault presented a tribute program using two previously digitized programs from the AWMHC collection, An Evening with Maya Angelou, 1975 and Our Sheroes and Heroes, 1982. This program was broadcast by the five Pacifica sister stations and 31 affiliate stations including KSVR Mount Vernon, WA, WDRT Viroqua, WI, and WYAP in Clay, WV.

FTV 421: Survival Sunday II - 35th Anniversary (broadcast date: June 6, 2014)

In June, 2014 From the Vault presented two programs from the previously digitized recordings that are part of the AWMHC collection.On June 6, 2014, From the Vault marked the 35th anniversary of the Hollywood Bowl Survival Sunday, 1979 featuring speakers Lily Tomlin and Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, and music from the group Sweet Honey in the Rock. This program was broadcast by the five Pacifica sister stations and 32 affiliate stations including KBRP-LP Bisbee, AZ, KMUD, Redway, CA, WRFI Ithaca, NY, and WXOJ Northampton, MA.

FTV 422: Lady Day: Billie Holiday (broadcast date: June 13, 2014)

On June 13, 2014, From the Vault featured a 1963 dramatic reading of Billie Holiday's 1959 autobiography, "Lady Sings the Blues" mixed with recordings of Holiday's music. This program was broadcast by the five Pacifica sister stations and 35 affiliate stations including WPRR am Grand Rapids, MI, KPVL, Postville, IA, and KXCR Oregon Central Coast Community Radio.

FTV 426: The Changing United Nations (broadcast date: July 11, 2014)

This week on From the Vault we journey back with Pacifica flagship station KPFA in Berkeley to October 27th, 1961 and listen to the brilliant public affairs director Elsa Knight Thompson introduce an extraordinary group of speakers gathered to evaluate the importance of the United Nations in international politics, as part of United Nations Week. The interviews were recorded by Urban Whitaker, then-President of the San Francisco chapter of the American Association of the United Nations. Speakers include former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt; Clarke Eichelberger, executive secretary of the American Association for the United Nations; attorney Benjamin B. Cohen; Adlai Stevenson, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; and Dr. Urban Whitaker, San Francisco State College.

FTV 428: The Ku Klux Klan, Race, and Prejudice in America (broadcast date: July 25, 2014)

This program features Marcia Elizabeth Tomkins, a Pacifica Radio WBAI staffer and native of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, who secretly recorded a Ku Klux Klan meeting for a landmark Pacifica Documentary in 1964, a recording which was digitized as part of the NHPRC project.

FTV 429: Sojourner Truth: Being a Sign Unto the People (broadcast date: July 31, 2014)

This week on From the Vault we present a program on the life of Sojourner Truth. Produced in 1979 by Darcell King, Sojourner Truth: Being a Sign Unto the People takes you with Truth as she travels around the country on foot telling others how she was abused as a slave, how she was sold and exploited, and how she gained her liberty. On her travels, Truth gained massive support for the anti-slavery movement and she was an inspiration to all who saw her. She left her mark in many places, and many artifacts which producer King dutifully researched and culled from libraries, court records, personal writings, and accounts from family, friends, colleagues, and detractors to craft a completely unique and thorough story of Sojourner Truth.

FTV 430: Twenty Days in Santa Rita (broadcast date: August 8, 2014)

This week on From the Vault we journey back to 1968 in celebration of Pacifica Radio's strong and enduring tradition covering the anti-war protests and interviewing anti-war protesters. In the recording Twenty Days in Santa Rita, legendary Pacifica Radio-KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson interviews two women who were detained for twenty days in the Santa Rita Jail in Alameda County, California for protesting the Vietnam War. Just released from the Santa Rita Rehabilitation Center, Emily Lewis, public health nurse and wife of a Berkeley doctor, and Lillian Rubin, research assistant in sociology at the University of California, spoke at length with Elsa Knight Thompson about their experiences in jail, which was the result of their war-protest activities at the Oakland Induction Center in December 1967. The Santa Rita Jail became widely-known for holding the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Joan Baez, and others who participated in the anti-war movement and draft resistance movement during the 1960's.

FTV 434: The Great Wall of Los Angeles (broadcast date: September 9, 2014)

On this edition of From the Vault we present a 1984 documentary titled The Writing on the Wall: The Great Wall of Los Angeles, about an ambitious beautification project conceived in 1974 that resulted in one of the world's longest murals (2700 feet and growing). Under the direction of artist and educator Judy Baca, The Great Wall of Los Angeles began as a beautification project and evolved into a visual journey representing minorities often written out of history: women, Jews, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Native American, and gays. This recording, produced and narrated by Helene Rosenbluth and Carol Dix, features interviews with educators and participants who explain the historical significance of different sections of the mural.

FTV 435: Fanny the All-Female Rock 'n' Roll Band (broadcast date: September 12, 2014)

This week on From the Vault we feature a 1971 program that profiles the all-female rock group Fanny. Interviewed by Gina Blumenfeld, band members discuss the genesis and evolution of their music and the place of women in the music industry. Fanny consisted of June Millington on guitar and vocals, Jean Millington on bass and vocals, Alice de Buhr on drums, and Nickey Barclay on keyboards. Before we dive into this forty-year-old recording, we'll first listen to June recount her experience growing up in the Philippines and the importance of a maternal family in a September 2014 interview with From the Vault producer Mark Torres.

FTV 436: Suffragette City (broadcast date: September 19, 2014)

Very few early Suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucrecia Mott, and Lucy Stone lived to see the day when women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th Amendment on August 18, 1920. But there was one women, Isola Dodic, who lived long enough to tell her story of her experiences fighting the final battles that lead to the 19th Amendment's passage on Pacifica Radio in 1978.

On this edition of From the Vault we present two programs that give a glimpse on the struggle and commitment required to succeed in such a massive achievement. The first is a reading of the early suffragists and the 1978 interview with suffragist Isola Dodic, produced by Marjorie DeFazio. Isola Dodic, among other things, was involved in the 1913 picketing of the White House on the day before President Woodrow Wilson's inauguration, when he would declare his support of the 19th Amendment.

The second program is an overall look at the final ten years in the struggle for the passage of the 19th Amendment in a radio drama format produced in 1958.

FTV 438: Blues Legacies and Black Feminism (broadcast date: October 13, 2014)

This episode of From the Vault is all about the blues. The blues are commonly thought of as one of the most important and influential popular music styles originating right here in America. In 1998, Angela Davis focused her pen on three blues legends in her book Blues Legacies and Black Feminism: Gertrude "Ma" Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Billie Holiday. Davis explored the music of these original blues women to illustrate the struggle, heartbreak, and victories of women throughout the 20th century. We'll hear Davis speak in Los Angeles on a stop in her 1998 book tour.

Then we'll showcase a special live performance from blues legend Alberta Hunter from 1978. Born in 1895, Hunter began her career in the early 1920's. A contemporary of "Ma" Rainey and Bessie Smith, Mrs. Hunter became hugely successful with a string of hits like Downhearted Blues and My Man is Such a Handy Man. In 1928 she played Queenie opposite Paul Robeson in the first London production of Showboat. But by the 1950's she retired from show business and began a career as a nurse. When the hospital forced her to retire in 1977, she began to perform again. Pacifica was there in 1978 to record this Alberta set. Thanks to a grant by the Grammy Foundation we were able to re-master this rare 1978 recording with Alberta Hunter and now present her performance for the first time in many years.

FTV 439: Marian Seldes (broadcast date: October 10, 2014)

This week on From the Vault we remember the actress Marian Seldes, who passed away October 6, 2014 at the age of eighty-six. Ms. Seldes was a phenomenal presence both on the stage and on the big screen. Her career on the Broadway stage spanned 60 years, in which she appeared in over 24 plays including Tennessee William's "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" (1964), three plays by Edward Albee ("Tiny Alice," (1964), "A Delicate Balance," (1966) and "Three Tall Women" (1993)), and Terrence McNally's "Deuce" (2007) alongside Angela Lansbury. She was nominated for five Tony Awards (winning twice) and was the recipient of a 2010 Antoinette Perry Lifetime Achievement Award.

We pay homage to Ms. Seldes by sharing with you a 1974 interview conducted by Bruce Kenyon at Pacifica station WBAI in New York City. Ms. Seldes begins by reading a poem, and then touches on virtually every facet of her craft, in addition to sharing memories of such coworkers as Judith Anderson, John Gielgud, Colleen Dewhurst, and shows such as "Medea," "Tiny Alice," and "Equus."

FTV 457: The Collected Speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer (broadcast date: February 13, 2015)

This week on From the Vault we listen to the speeches of Fannie Lou Hamer, the iconic civil rights activist and leader of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, in a collection mixed by Terabu Betsuri in 1989 celebrating the 40th anniversary of Pacifica Radio. Included are excerpts from a 1965 interview by Colin Edwards in Berkeley, the documentary "The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer," a speech at the Vietnam Moratorium rally at U.C. Berkeley, and a selection from "Profiles of Movement Activists II : Voices of the Civil Rights Movement." But before we hear Ms. Hamer in her own words, we first highlight how these preserved recordings are finding new life and utility, in an interview with documentary filmmaker Robin N. Hamilton.

In celebration of Women's History Month, From the Vault distributed the following programs:

FTV 460: Judy Chicago and Buffy Sainte-Marie (broadcast date: March 7, 2015)

In 1979, Judy Chicago, cofounder of the Los Angeles Women's Building and former KPFK host, sat with KPFK producer Karla Tonella to discuss the enormous undertaking of her landmark art installation titled The Dinner Party. The piece, started in 1974, took six years to complete: 39 place settings arranged into groupings of 13, with the three dining tables arranged into a triangle. It s official debut was at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on March 14, 1979; it has since traveled the world, and now resides in the permanent collection of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum.

Buffy Sainte-Marie was featured as a guest in 1975 on KPFK's program Focus on Feminism, hosted by Pat Denslow - at this point in her career, she had just released her first two albums on MCA Records: Buffy, and Changing Woman (these followed several previous albums on boutique label Vanguard Records). In this interview, Sainte-Marie relays both a feminist and indigenous perspective with regards to her songwriting and its evolution, and her survival as a female musician and writer in the corporate music industry.

FTV 461: Flora Molton and Bessie Jones - Blues, Spirituals and Gospels (broadcast date: March 13, 2015)

First we'll listen to a 1976 interview with Flora Molton, a blind blues street-singer from Washington, D.C, who tells stories of her past, sings and plays slide guitar, and explains why she has chosen to be a performer of the street. Molton, who ultimately recorded three albums, sang what she called "spiritual and truth music," a combination of traditional religious songs and her own compositions; she often punctuated her style by playing the slide guitar with a knife. The only known recording of Molton speaking about her life, this interview was conducted by Natalie Reuss of Sophie's Parlor Media Collective at Pacifica radio station WPFW.

Then we settle in with Bessie Jones, an African American gospel and folk singer credited bringing folk songs, games, and stories learned from her grandfather, a former slave born in Africa, to a 20th century American audience. A founding member of the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Jones delivers an amazing live show on April 9, 1977 at the legendary Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse in Berkeley, California. The performance was recorded and produced by Martha Oelman and Joan Medlin of the Women's Recording Group at Pacifica Radio's flagship station KPFA.

FTV 462: Bonnie Morris - Women's Archive Music Mix (broadcast date: March 20, 2015)

This program featured Dr. Bonnie Morris, Adjunct Professor of Women's Studies at George Washington University, and author of Eden Built by Eves: The Culture of Women's Music Festivals, selecting and contextualizing noteworthy recordings of women's music recordings of the 1970's from the American Women project. Artists sampled are: Margie Adam, Meg Christian, Kay Gardner, Holly Near, June Millington, Edwina Lee Tyler, Judy Grahn, and the Berkeley Women's Music Collective.

FTV 464: Holly Near (broadcast date: April 3, 2015)

This featured a KPFK Los Angeles 1973 live, in studio interview and performance with singer, songwriter Holly Near and a March, 2015 discussion between PRA director Brian DeShazor and Near about the AWMHC wherein Ms. Near comments, "It's important to leave a trail. The most important thing is for historians to be able to go back and find what they need to find when they need to find it. So if we can leave a trail of what took place in our lives, now that we are elders in training, if we can leave that material to be discovered down the way; that is a great service."

FTV 467: Violeta Parra (broadcast date: April 24, 2015)

In February, 1973, Carlos Hagen turned his attention to Violeta Parra, the highly influential Chilean musician who, beginning in the 1950's, scoured the Chilean pueblos, to document traditional Chilean songs for all occasions. Violeta Parra would reconstitute what she learned from her travels into a new folkloric music, or Nueva Cancion, to help tell the stories of contemporary Chilean society. She would influence musicians in her own country (such as Victor Jara) as well as musicians here in the United States and beyond: her most popular song, "Gracias a La Vida" was covered by artists such as Argentinean Mercedes Sosa, Mexico's Chavela Vargas, and American Joan Baez. In this program, we'll hear Hagen present incredibly rare Violeta Parra recordings from his personal collection and share wonderful insight into each song, translating important passages and context into English for his American audience.

FTV 468: Live Poetry Slam Special (broadcast date: May 5, 2015) 

This week on From the Vault, Pacifica Radio Archives and the Get Lit Players Organization present an hour of live poetry mixed archival recordings of poets from the Pacifica Radio Archives. Get Lit live poets include Marqueesha Babers, Walter Finnie, Rhiannon McGavin, Diego Sanchez, Kyland Turner; selections from Pacifica Radio Archives includes Sonia Sanchez, Langston Hughes, and Audre Lorde. We'll also hear from Diane Luby Lane, the founder of the Get Lit Players organization, Grace Cavalieri, host of the nationally syndicated program The Poet and the Poem, and Steven Reigns, Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, California.

FTV 469: The Poetry of Alta (broadcast date: May 8, 2015)

This week on From the Vault, we listen to work of artist Alta Gerry (simply known as Alta in the poetry world), an award-winning poet credited with opening one of the early feminist press houses in 1969. Alta's Shameless Hussy Press created space for women's voices at a critical point in the movement known as second-wave feminism, publishing work from authors like Susan Griffin, Pat Parker, Mitsuye Yamada, and Alta's own first collection of poetry, Freedom's in Sight. She also published the first edition of Ntozake Shange's Obie Award-winning work, Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.

In the recording featured in this episode, Alta reads her poetry accompanied by classical guitar, and discusses poetry with Ruth Rosen and Isabel Welsh from Pacifica KPFA studios on November 12, 1972.

FTV 470: Harriet Tubman: Great Women Series (broadcast date: May 15, 2015)

This week on From the Vault we feature a recording about the life of Harriet Tubman, taken from a series called Great Women, which was produced at KPFA in Berkeley by Darcell King in 1980. Preserved for our American Women Making History and Culture project (funded by a grant from the National Archives), this program examines Tubman's life as an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the Civil War. Tubman, who was born into slavery but escaped to North, found her calling by returning to the South nineteen times, risking her life to lead over three hundred slaves to freedom on the underground railroad; her heroism is being championed in the ongoing campaign to have her image replace Andrew Jackson's on the twenty dollar bill.

FTV 473: Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism, Part 1 of 2 (broadcast date: June 5, 2015)

This week on From the Vault we feature the first part of a two-part 1981 program on the lesbian movement called Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism. In this episode, we'll hear an oral history of lesbian life and activism in the United States, with a particular emphasis on 1969-1981; movements and events are described with relevant songs, music, and actualities interspersed throughout. This two-part program was, in part, celebrating the 1981 opening of the West Coast Lesbian Collections in Oakland, which was moved six years later to Los Angeles and renamed the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives in honor of June Mazer, a community activist and an invaluable supporter of the collection.

This program was produced by Susan Elisabeth and Ginny Berson, and engineered by Susan Elisabeth; production assistance from Amber Hollibaugh of the Lesbian and Gay History Project, and Lynn Fanfa at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

FTV 474: Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism, Part 2 of 2 (broadcast date: June 12, 2015)

This week on From the Vault we feature the second part of a two-part 1981 program on the lesbian movement called Twelve Years of Lesbian Activism. In this episode, we feature a panel discussion on issues facing lesbians in the 1980's, interspersed with music. Topics include the state of the lesbian movement and its leadership, the role of culture and separatism, the importance of the ERA and pro-choice issues, measurement of progress, and the strategy to deal with threats from the New Right. The panel discussion is hosted by Barbara Price, and the panelists include Ginny Berson, Pat Parker, Meg Christian, and Barbara Cameron.

This program was produced by Susan Elisabeth and Ginny Berson, and engineered by Susan Elisabeth; production assistance from Amber Hollibaugh of the Lesbian and Gay History Project, and Lynn Fanfa at the Lesbian Herstory Archives.

FTV 475: Jean Ritchie - An American Treasure (broadcast date: June 19, 2015)

Upon the death of American folk musician Jean Ritchie, we presented a recently digitized AWMHC program of Ritchie in 1978 performing live in studio and in discussion with Howard and Roz Larman of Folkscene at KPFK in Los Angeles.

FTV 484: The Population Bomb (broadcast date: August 21, 2015)

An interview with Stanford Professor Paul R. Ehrlich (noted population biologist and author of the book titled "The Population Bomb,") and Professor Dennis Parnell (Catholic scientist and biologist at California State College at Hayward).

FTV 487: Women's Studies Professor Bonnie Morris (broadcast date: September 14, 2015)

A discussion with Professor Bonnie Morris, Professor of Women's Studies at George Washington University with archival clips featuring musical performances by Meg Christian (1975), The Berkeley Women's Collective (1974), Amparo Ochoa (1984), Witchazel (1975), and The Rubber Band (1976), spoken word recordings that include Selma James and Adrienne Rich.

FTV 489: Dorothy Day (broadcast date: September 25, 2015)

In this interview, conducted for KPFA by Eugene Boyle on May 3rd, 1960 (and being rebroadcast for the first time now), Day discusses the Catholic Worker's Movement's campaign for world peace since its inception in the 1930's. We'll also speak with Blase Bonpane, host of the radio show World Focus (KPFK) and director of the Los Angeles-based Office of the Americas, which focuses on human rights issues and the identification of illegal and immoral aspects of United States government policy. Bonpane and Day worked side by side on many issues over the years.

FTV 490: Feminist Author and Artist Kate Millett (broadcast date: October 2, 2015)

This program explores two recordings featuring one of the leading voices of feminism, author and artist Kate Millett, whose body of work in art, literature and activism has been instrumental in shaping second-wave feminism. Millett is probably best known for her doctoral thesis turned 1970 best-selling book Sexual Politics - one of several influential books she has written.

FTV 496: Edith Piaf Memorial Tribute (broadcast date: November 13, 2015)

This week on From the Vault we present an early 1970's biographical tribute to French singer, songwriter, and actress Edith Piaf. Produced by Ruth Hirschman, this documentary takes us from Piaf's difficult childhood in a working-class neighborhood in Paris to her rise to fame and stardom, her relationship with the boxer Marcel Cerdan, her struggle with drug addiction, and her early death at the age of 47 from liver cancer - all beautifully tied together with selections of her music. We conclude this episode with an excerpt from another radio profile on France's 'national diva' (as Piaf was affectionately known), courtesy of veteran Pacifica producer Carlos Hagen in 1974.

FTV 502: Marsha Hunt (broadcast date: December 24, 2015)

This week on From the Vault, we visit with Marsha Hunt - actress, humanitarian and longtime-activist for a variety of social causes including education, homelessness, and world hunger. In 2015, the film documentary Marsha Hunt's Sweet Adversity premiered on the festival circuit, commanding plenty of attention and winning awards to boot; produced and directed by Roger C. Memos, this film about Ms. Hunt's life prominently features a 1962 sound recording from Pacifica Radio Archives in which Hunt, the Reverend John Simmons, and the Reverend Brooks Walker discuss the dangers presented by the rise of reactionary political groups in the United States. Along with an excerpt from that 1962 recording, we'll listen in on an interview Hunt gave to KPFK programmer Dorothy Nasatir in the 1990's, where Hunt discusses her Hollywood blacklisting and the pervasive Red Scare that spread throughout the movie industry in the late 1940's. Rounding out our sound experience, we share a wide-ranging conversation between Hunt, documentary producer Memos, and Pacifica Radio Archives Director Brian DeShazor that was recorded in August 2015 at Hunt's home in Los Angeles.

FTV 506: Frances Emley Tribute (broadcast date: January 22, 2016)

Pacifica Radio Archives honors Frances Emley by presenting one of those programs, El Cortito: The Short Hoe, which chronicles the legal battle to ban the use of the short hoe on farms in California. Produced in 1974, the program is a perfect example of Pacifica's concept of radio for the common good of the community: exposing the back-breaking working conditions in the fields that ensured food on American dinner plates. The manner in which the short hoe was used had horrible consequences to the farmworker: its effective use necessitated stooping in the fields (for up to 16 hours a day), which commonly resulted in chronic spine and lower back injuries.

FTV 507: Bessie Smith Tribute (broadcast date: January 24, 2016)

Part of November 1976 series called Focus on Women Composers, this recording explores the life of blues singer Bessie Smith (1894-1937) and includes examples of her music and readings from texts about Smith. The original program was presented by Fleur Helsingor and Jane Ayres and produced by Renee Roatcap. Songs featured in this recording include Gulf Coast Blues, Aggravatin' Papa, Frankie Blues, among others; readings include excerpts from Chris Albertson's Bessie Smith biography and a 1947 Jazz Record magazine article.

FTV 513: Ntozake Shange (broadcast date: March 12, 2016)

This week on From the Vault we present a 1982 recording of award-winning playwright, poet, and novelist Ntozake Shange. Produced and narrated by longtime KPFA producer Ginny Z. Berson, this outstanding program includes Shange reading selections from her first novel, Sassafrass, Cypress & Indigo, at Cody's Bookstore in Berkeley, California, and a conversation between Shange and Berson. Recorded by Pam Scola.

FTV 518: Illeana Douglas Introduces Helen Gahagan Douglas (broadcast date: April 15, 2016)

This week on From the Vault we welcome actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and Turner Classic Movies host Illeana Douglas, who introduces us to a 1973 interview with her grandmother, Helen Gahagan Douglas, and shares some touching personal stories.