Blank on Blank

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Famous Names, Lost Interviews

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Innocence, Innovation and Future Shock

March 6th, 2017

16:08

Alvin Toffler and Margaret Mead, an author and an anthropologist who endeavored to understand the impact of scientific invention. In this episode of …

Peanuts, Atlantis, and Colorblindness

February 12th, 2017

20:44

Oliver Sacks, Jacques Cousteau, and George Washington Carver. Our podcast returns with lost interviews featuring this trio on self, sight, and deep-sea diving. The three icons had the imaginations and daring to go where …

Carl Sagan on Extraterrestrials *

March 29th, 2016

12:53

“The evolutionary record is clear that extraterrestrials would be very different from us” – Carl Sagan in 1985, as told to Studs Terkel.  

The …

Dame Stephanie Shirley on Survival Code *

March 15th, 2016

16:34

“I have to make my life worth saving, and each day you spend as if it would be your last” – Dame Steve Shirley in 2010

Dame Stephanie …

Temple Grandin on Search Engines *

March 2nd, 2016

11:46

“Everything in my mind works like a search engine set for the image function.” – Temple Grandin in 2008

This rarely heard oral history with the autism activist, author, and professor of animal science, was uncovered …

Frank Lloyd Wright on Arrogance *

February 16th, 2016

11:11

“Any man who really has faith in himself will be dubbed arrogant by his fellows” – Frank Lloyd Wright in 1957, as told to Mike Wallace

Architect …

Sally Ride on Dumb Questions *

February 2nd, 2016

11:59

“I wish that there had been another woman on my flight. I think it would have been a lot easier.” – Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, …

Garrison Keillor on Humor *

December 15th, 2015

8:25

“My family was shocked when I came home with a volume of Hemingway … There was a price to be paid for being interested in fiction.” – Garrison …

Nina Simone on Shock *

December 1st, 2015

8:52

“It’s a good time for black people to be alive. It’s a lot of hell. A lot of violence, but I feel more alive now than I ever have in my life. I have …

Kurt Vonnegut on Man-Eating Lampreys *

November 11th, 2015

9:08

“Nothing means anything — except the artist makes his living by pretending, by putting it in a meaningful hole, though no such holes exist.” – Kurt …

Bill Murray on Being Obnoxious *

October 27th, 2015

9:04

“I‘m just an obnoxious guy who can make it appear charming, that’s what they pay me to do.” – Bill Murray in 1988 as told to T.J. English

This …

Patty Hearst on Reasonable Doubt *

October 13th, 2015

11:28

“I‘m a coward, I didn’t want to die” – Patty Hearst in 1982, as told to Larry Grobel.

Larry Grobel told us the story about a time back in the early …

Tom Waits on Everything and Nothing *

September 29th, 2015

9:05

“I don’t know what the ‘big time’ is” – Tom Waits in 1988 as told to Chris Roberts

Imagine what would happen if you sat down on a couch next to Tom …

Hunter S. Thompson on Outlaws *

July 28th, 2015

9:57

“I keep my mouth shut now. I’ve turned into a professional coward.” – Hunter S. Thompson in 1967 with Studs Terkel.

The interview was recorded shortly after the release of Thompson’s book, Hell’s Angels: A Strange and …

Dustin Hoffman on Duplicity and Famosity *

July 14th, 2015

9:31

“I carried a knife taped to my leg. I never used it but it was there.” – Dustin Hoffman in 1971.

Listening to this interview tape from the Pacifica Radio Archives, we were drawn to this idea of the struggles that pop up …

Ayn Rand on Love and Happiness

June 9th, 2015

7:18
Interview by Mike Wallace

The interview originally aired on Wallace’s television show, The Mike Wallace Interview, on February 25, 1959. The show

Joni Mitchell on Illusions

May 21st, 2015

8:16
Interview by Joe Smith

Joni Mitchell was interviewed on November 3, 1986. Joe was writing Off the Record–his oral history of rock and roll.

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John Coltrane on Giant Steps

May 8th, 2015

6:24
Interview by Frank Kofsky

One afternoon in November 1966, Frank Kofsky took the train out to Long Island. He was about to spend a day with John …

Ray Bradbury on Madmen

April 27th, 2015

6:34
Interview by Lisa Potts and Chadd Coates

In the autumn of 2012, Lisa Potts rediscovered — literally, behind her dresser — a taped cassette of a …

Dolly Parton on Getting Dirty

April 10th, 2015

6:51
Interview by Lawrence Grobel

This conversation was recorded on March 13, 1978, for a profile Grobel was writing for Playboy. Dolly would appear on …

Richard Feynman on What It Means

March 30th, 2015

9:03
Interview by Charles Weiner

Richard Feynman sat down for several hours of interviews in Altadena, California in June 1966. The conversations covered his life, thoughts on physics, and more. We uncovered this oral …

Jane Goodall on Instinct

March 24th, 2015

8:33
Interview by Ira Flatow

This conversation originally aired in 2002 on Ira’s long running radio show, Science Friday.

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The Animated Transcript

Ira Flatow is the host of  Science Friday® on Public Radio …

Buckminster Fuller on The Geodesic Life

March 16th, 2015

9:23
Interview by Studs Terkel

We discovered two interviews with Buckminster Fuller that Studs Terkel recorded in 1965 and 1970. They’re part of the

Lou Reed on Guns and Ammo

February 16th, 2015

6:31
Interview by Joe Smith

Lou Reed was interviewed by phone on March 20, 1987. At the time, Joe Smith was writing Off the Record–his oral history of …

B.B. King on The Blues

February 2nd, 2015

7:50
Interview by Joe Smith

Joe sat down with B.B. King in September 1986. He was writing Off the Record–his oral history of rock and …

Elliott Smith on Freaks

January 20th, 2015

6:34
Interview by Barney Hoskyns

Barney sat down with Elliott Smith in New York City in 1998. This was shortly after Smith’s memorable performance at the …

Tom Robbins on Jitterbugs

December 16th, 2014

7:01
Interview by Tod Mesirow

The extended interview with Tom Robbins was originally recorded on camera in 1994 for a film that has yet to be …

Robin Williams on Masks

December 2nd, 2014

7:07
Interview by Lawrence Grobel 

We put together this Blank on Blank using excerpts from two interviews Larry recorded on microcassette with Robin Williams in 1992. Read his related story that ran in Playboy.

Larry has a …

Wayne Coyne on Living with Death

November 11th, 2014

6:09
Interview by Jennifer Van Evra

Jennifer interviewed Wayne Coyne in 2002 for the CBC. “When I picked up the phone to interview Wayne Coyne, the last thing I expected was a conversation about death, ” she said.

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Maya Angelou on Con Men

October 28th, 2014

7:01
Interview by Studs Terkel

Studs had Maya Angelou on his radio show on WFMT-FM in Chicago on March 13, 1970. Angelou had just released her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

The Animated Transcript

Liberace on Peacocking

October 13th, 2014

7:24
Interview by Jay Kent Hackleman

Liberace appeared on Hackleman’s radio show on KTRH in Houston in 1968. Hackleman’s granddaughter, Liss LaFleur, preserved her grandfather’s reel-to-reel tapes and we helped bring this …

Bette Davis on The Sexes

September 23rd, 2014

7:27
Interview by Shirley Eder

This interview was recorded Bette Davis’s home in 1963 and originally aired on Eder’s syndicated radio show.

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The Animated Transcript

 

Shirley Eder was a longtime showbiz …

Michael Jackson on Godliness

September 15th, 2014

7:45
Interview by John Pidgeon

This interview was recorded in Los Angeles in January 1980. Michael Jackson required John to ask his questions to then …

Meryl Streep on Beauty

June 23rd, 2014

6:24
Interview by Christine Spines

Christine recorded her conversation with Meryl Streep in 2008 for a profile she wrote for Entertainment Weekly.

Read More

The Animated Transcript

Christine Stines is a Los …

Philip Seymour Hoffman on Happiness

June 3rd, 2014

7:07
Interview by Simon Critchley

This conversation was recorded on December 17, 2012 before a live audience at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, as part of the Happy Talk series.

Read More

The Animated …

David Bowie on Ziggy Stardust

May 20th, 2014

6:35
Interview by Joe Smith

The conversation was recored on June 3, 1987 during the writing of Off the Record–Smith’s oral history of rock and roll. …

Gene Wilder on The Truth

May 6th, 2014

6:22
Interview by Letty Cottin Pogrebin

This conversation was recored on March 25, 2007 at the 92Y in New York City. Watch the full interview at 92Y On …

John Lennon on Love

April 22nd, 2014

6:58
Interviews by Howard Smith

For this episode, we used two of the five interviews Smith did with John Lennon and Yoko Ono between 1969-71. One took place at John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s apartment in the West Village in New …

Johnny Cash on The Gospel

April 8th, 2014

7:03
Interview by Barney Hoskyns

Barney interviewed Johnny Cash in October 1996. You can hear the full interview at Rock’s Backpages.

Read More

The …

Heath Ledger on Role Playing

March 4th, 2014

6:42
Interview by Christine Spines

Christine interviewed Heath Ledger while walking through his Brooklyn neighborhood in the fall of 2005. It was recorded on microcassette. Christine’s profile of Heath Ledger ran in

Stan Getz on Wasted Years

February 18th, 2014

6:43
Interview by Joe Smith

Joe Smith interviewed Stan Getz on August 7, 1986 during the writing of Off the Record–his oral history of rock and roll. …

Jimi Hendrix on The Experience

February 4th, 2014

7:12
Interview by Keith Altham

Keith Altham sat down with Jimi Hendrix in London on September 11, 1970. This would turn out to be Hendrix’s final …

Barry White on Making Love

January 7th, 2014

6:18
Interview by Joe Smith

Joe interviewed Barry White in Los Angeles on April 3, 1987 during the writing of Off the Record–his oral history of rock and …

John Updike on Family Affairs

December 17th, 2013

6:06
Interview by John Freeman

John interviewed John Updike in New York City in spring 2002. He recorded the conversation on microcassette.

Read John’s profile of Updike in his book How to Read a Novelist.

The Animated …

Tupac Shakur on Life and Death

December 3rd, 2013

6:26
Interview by Benjamin Svetkey

Benjamin interviewed Tupac in a restaurant in Hollywood in March 1994. He was writing a profile that ran in

Grace Kelly on JFK

November 18th, 2013

6:40
Interview by Paul Gallico

Paul interviewed Princess Grace on June 19, 1965 at the Palace of the Principality in Monaco.

The interview was part of …

Jerry Garcia on The Acid Tests

November 5th, 2013

7:07
Interview by Joe Smith

Jerry Garcia was interviewed by phone on May 23, 1988. At the time, Joe was writing Off the Record–his oral history of rock …

Kurt Cobain on Identity

October 22nd, 2013

6:19
Interview by Jon Savage

Jon interviewed Kurt Cobain in a hotel room in New York City on July 22, 1993. He recorded the interview on cassette tape. …

Ray Charles on Singing True

October 8th, 2013

6:30
Interview by Joe Smith

Joe interviewed Ray Charles on June 3, 1987 during the writing of Off the Record–his oral history of rock and roll. …

Janis Joplin on Rejection

September 23rd, 2013

5:21
Interview by Howard Smith 

Howard interviewed Janis Joplin by phone on September 30, 1970. This turned out to be the last interview Janis ever did. She died on October 4, 1970. Howard was writing for the Village Voice.

Fidel Castro 1959: The Lost Interview

July 18th, 2013

9:33
Interview by Clark Hewitt Galloway

Clark Hewitt Galloway interviewed Fidel Castro in Havana in 1959 in the midst of the Cuban revolution. His story …

Farrah Fawcett on Stiletto Power

July 8th, 2013

7:27
Interview by Lawrence Grobel

Larry interviewed Farrah Fawcett in Hollywood in 1994. He recorded the conversation on microcassette tape.

Read More

Louis Armstrong on Keeping His Chops

June 25th, 2013

7:35
Interview by Michael Aisner and James R. Stein

Michael and James brought their reel-to-reel tape recorder up to Ravinia outdoor music venue in suburban Chicago to record their interview with Louis Armstrong on June 24, …

Maurice Sendak on Being a Kid

June 10th, 2013

7:12
Interview by Andrew Romano and Ramin Setoodeh

Andrew and Ramin interviewed Sendak at his home in Connecticut in September 2009. Their original story ran in Newsweek. They made a digital recording of this previously …

James Brown on Respect

May 28th, 2013

6:32
Interview by Rocci Fisch

Rocci recorded the interview in James Brown’s dressing room before a concert in Washington D. C. in 1984. Rocci held onto that cassette tape since that night. Portions of this interview …

Wilt Chamberlain on Tall Tales

May 13th, 2013

6:12
Interview by Ann Liguori

The interview originally aired on the syndicated “Sports Innerview with Ann Liguori” in 1992. Hear Ann’s entire collection …

Beastie Boys on Being Stupid

April 30th, 2013

8:11

Interview by Rocci Fisch

Fisch interviewed the Beastie Boys — Mike “Mike D” Diamond, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz, and Adam “MCA” Yauch — on May 31, 1985 in a hotel room Washington, D.C. It was recorded on cassette tape and …

Jim Morrison on Why Fat is Beautiful

April 2nd, 2013

5:51
Interview by Howard Smith

The interview was recorded on a reel-to-reel tape recorder in November 1969. Howard Smith was writing for the Village Voice. We uncovered this interview as part of the Smith Tapes project, …

Larry King on Getting Seduced

March 19th, 2013

4:56
Interview by Cal Fussman

Cal interviewed Larry King for one of his regular “What I’ve Learned” pieces in Esquire. The conversation was recorded …

Muhammad Ali on Going to Mars

September 18th, 2012

7:20
Interview by Michael Aisner and James R. Stein

Michael and James were still in high school back in the summer of 1966 when they interviewed Muhammad …

Dave Brubeck on Fighting Communism

May 16th, 2012

Interview by John Dankosky

John got to interview Dave Brubeck on stage during the Litchfield Jazz Festival in the fall of 2008. The extended interview originally aired on Dankosky’s show, Where We Live, which airs on …

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