Monday, November 26, 2007

WBAI mines Pacifica Radio Archives' rich 50,000 tape library


Monday, November 26th 2007, 4:00 AM

Radio history, like so much of our popular culture history, has been destroyed far more often than it's been preserved.

That makes the Pacifica Radio Archives particularly valuable, and the five Pacifica stations, including WBAI (99.5 FM), will spend Tuesday broadcasting a small, rich sample of the 50,000-tape archive.

Yes, since it's Pacifica, it will be history as told by alternative and sometimes unpopular voices, like the Black Panthers. And yes, the 19-hour broadcast, 4 a.m.-9 p.m., will be yet another in WBAI's seemingly endless round of fund-raisers, because broadcasting alternative voices means getting minimal support from traditional sources.

But one of the things that's striking about the sixth annual Archives special is how many of the voices that seemed radical and even threatening a few years ago now sound as if they are only asking for what's fair and just.

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