In this episode of From the Vault, we profile an John Trudell, an acclaimed poet, recording artist, actor and activist who has been connected with Pacifica Radio since 1969. Pacifica audiences first became familiar with Trudell in his capacity as the communications director of the All Nationâ€™s occupation of Alcatraz Island, where on December 22, 1969, he began hosting regular broadcasts of Radio Free Alcatraz, which were first heard on Pacifica station 94.1 FM in Berkeley, and then broadcast across the Pacifica Radio Network. Trudell would go on to become the Chairman of the American Indian Movement from 1973 - 1979. When a fire of unknown origin killed his wife, three daughters, and mother-in-law in 1979, John turned to poetry to help deal with his grief, and he would eventually begin touring internationally to read poetry and perform music. The Pacifica Radio Archives presents recordings of John Trudell live on Alcatraz Island in 1969, in Long Beach, California in 1992, and on the campus of California State University - Hayward in 1994. Also sampled is audio from a benefit for the Indians on Alcatraz Island recorded at Stanford University on December 12, 1969 featuring Malvina Reynolds and Buffy Sainte-Marie, as well as music from John Trudellâ€™s 2002 release Bone Days.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project.