News

Big Band Museum

Apr 10, 2009
Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum

A museum, opened in 2010, commemorates musical legend Glenn Miller at his birthplace in Clarinda. We visited the birthplace prior to the new museum's groundbreaking ceremony. Our story features historic audio from the Big Band era, recorded around the U.S. and in England. Courtesy of Cary Hahn and Marvin Negley, the sound clips date from 1939 to 1944.

Early Grant Wood

Mar 24, 2009
Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

This coming Sunday is the final chance to see 'American Gothic' at the Des Moines Art Center. Meanwhile, just down the road, some of Grant Wood's early paintings are being discovered at a most unlikely place. Iowa Public Radio's Rick Fredericksen takes us on a Radio Field Trip to Dunn's Funeral Home.

78s Galore

Mar 12, 2009
www.claxtonola.com


An Iowa City man who has been collecting 78 rpm recordings most of his life, is now at 7,000 and counting. His phonograph collection is equally impressive. We sample the recordings from the record vault of Dan Daly. Sounds from early to mid 1900s, recorded across America.

A trip to a garage sale leads to a mysterious batch of old private recordings. The plastic, metal and vinyl records are in terrible condition, but we were able to piece together a partial story of lost voices. The recordings were found in a box of cowboy folklore music at a garage sale in Ames. Sounds from circa 1940s, recorded at unknown locations.

Surf Ballroom

We conclude our series from the Surf Ballroom and the corn field where Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper and pilot Roger Peterson were killed in a plane crash in 1959. Sounds from the late '50s in California, New York, and unknown recording studios. Historic audio is from YouTube. (Part One is posted below)

It was 50 winters ago when the fledgling rock and roll world was stunned by the deaths of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. We remember their last live performance at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Sounds from the late '50s in New York, Denver and unknown studios. Historic audio is from YouTube.

Veronica Guyader

The Woolstock home where actor George Reeves was born has reached the point of no return. The owners plan to raze the building. We present the highlights of this legendary Iowan's career. Recordings from You Tube and a private collector. Sounds from 1939 to the 1950s, in California. Note: The birthplace house was torn down in 2011.

JFK Library

Sounds from the 1960s, recorded in Washington, Greenfield and Des Moines. Forty-five years after the slaying of President John F. Kennedy, we hear the voices of several Iowans whose professional lives were touched by the assassination. Recordings courtesy of WHO Radio and private collector Bill Sherman.

Summer may be over, but it's always time for ice cream at the Candy Kitchen in Wilton, which calls itself "the oldest, ongoing ice cream parlor in the world."

Candy Kitchen

Sep 16, 2008

It's always time for ice cream at the Candy Kitchen in Wilton. The family business claims to be "the oldest, ongoing ice cream parlor in the world." Now nearing 150 years old, the confectionery is having its best year ever.

  

The U.S.S. Iowa

Sep 4, 2008
USS Iowa Veterans Association

Sounds from 1945 to 1991, from around the world. The USS Iowa was the first of the mighty "Iowa Class" battleships that projected America's global military power for more than a half century. Their potent, 16-inch guns made them the greatest fighting ship of all time. She opened as a museum in 2012 at the Port of Los Angeles. Historic sound from the State Historical Society and You Tube.

Amana Colonies

Aug 20, 2008
Amana Heritage Society

A Tri-Centennial is approaching for a breakaway sect of the Lutheran Church in Germany. Since its 1855 arrival, the religious settlement has evolved into one of the Iowa's most popular tourist attractions, but continues to honor its heritage every day. Sounds from 1934 to 1962, recorded around Amana.

Wildlife Care Clinic

Jun 29, 2008

They save orphans, repair terrible injuries and, sometimes, must resort to euthanasia. We visit the Wildlife Care Clinic at Iowa State University's College of Veterinary Medicine.

Classic Cars, Classic Diner

Jun 9, 2008

Classic car owners are paying record gas prices like everyone else and now, they are also facing the loss of a favorite gathering place. We visit Porky's Diner. Editor's Note: Porky's is now gone.

Wire Recordings

May 7, 2008

Wire recorders were the hi-tech machines used to capture voice and sound recordings during, and immediately after, World War II. Listen to legendary Iowa jazz pianist Speck Redd on wire, as well as a field report from Germany with the sound of artillery in the background. Jazz recordings came from collector Don Moon and Herb Plambeck's war report is from the Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge. Sounds from 1954 and 1945 recorded in Des Moines and Nuremburg, Germany.

The Isiserettes

Mar 26, 2008

The Isiserettes Drill and Drum Corps, which descended from the Shriner's, is preparing to host their first national competition in Des Moines. We attend a practice session and a performance.

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