WDEL Blog: Eclectic Hobbies with Allan Loudell

Incredible archive excerpts from Czech Radio over 90 years

If you're into European history and/or international radio, you may want to listen to a podcast from Radio Prague in late May.

May 18th marked the 90th anniversary of radio broadcasting in what was then Czechoslovakia.

Czech Radio has a gigantic audio archive from the late 1920's onwards.

U.S. students from the Anglo-American university listened to a bunch of recordings in English, most of which had not been listened to in more than half a century.

Here is their compilation - in under half a hour - in which the contemporary students' insights and observations are interweaved with some of those vintage broadcasts, which included U.S. students in Prague a couple of years before the start of World War II.

Some highlights: Early Czech Radio sign-ons; Czechoslovakia's pre-war feminist Frantiska Plaminkova (later executed by the Gestapo); "Old Gravel Voice" General Harmon as he prepares to leave Plzen (my dad was in the U.S. Army band that marched into Plzen); a friend of Charlotte Masaryk, the U.S. wife of Czechoslovakia's first president, recalling their friendship; and near the end, the Czechoslovak Radio correspondent Karel Kyncl interviews James Meredith, the first African-American to attend classes at the University of Mississippi. (A big story in then-communist eastern Europe, which gave inordinate attention to the social inequalities in the United States.)

Radio Prague - with its chief platform now on the internet - even fired up some old shortwave transmitters to carry this broadcast.

Anyway, here's the podcast. If you're into this sort of thing, enjoy!


Posted at 7:31pm on June 4, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Fri, Jun 7, 2013 8:33am
Rats! I can't get it to play. I could only listen to the cut promoting the program.

Allan Loudell
Fri, Jun 7, 2013 3:27pm
Jim H---

Try "Listen" rather than "Download" the MP3.

Allan Loudell

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