THE OHIO LANDSCAPE SERIES
I learned my radio production skills in an analog, pre-computer world. You recorded interviews, music and natural sounds on cassette or reel-to-reel, cut and spliced the tape, and then mixed the program. As in my newspaper and TV work, I always preferred long form radio (features and documentaries) though I did some news. At KANU, the NPR affiliate in Lawrence (University of Kansas), Ev Grimes, who has many NPR credits, shared her knowledge and production skills. Over two years, I produced a series on performers at the Kansas Folklife Festival, a documentary on the Russian folk singer Bulat Okudzhava, and numerous features and essays.
My major project was The Kansas Immigrants, a series of 30 five-minute radio programs on the role of immigrants in the history and culture of Kansas. I write the grant proposal to the Kansas Committee for the Humanities (KCH), researched, wrote and produced the series, and distributed it to commercial stations in the state. The series was aired by 25 stations, with 15 repeating it. The program scripts were published by the University of Kansas Division of Continuiung Education, and serialized in several newspapers. This was the first of three grants to KANU from the Kansas Committee for the Humanities. In 1982, a second Kansas Immigrants series was produced, followed in 1983 by a series on Kansas in the Great Depression.
My radio credits probably helped when I applied for a faculty position at Ohio University in 1980 because I was hired to teach audio production. Over the next decade, I worked on series and single programs for public radio and non-broadcast audiences as well as on recordings of traditional Appalachian music. LINK
The Homeplace (1981):
This 13-part public radio series used interviews and traditional music to examine the ethnic and cultural diversity of West Virginia. I worked with folklorist Michael Kline, who received a state humanities grant to produce the series. My work included editing interviews, scriptwriting, recording and mixing. The series was aired on the West Virginia Public Radio Network, on WOUB-FM (Athens) and on public stations in Boston, Pittsburgh, and Juneau, Alaska. The final program, on the 1978 Mannington Mine Disaster, was aired on NPR's All Things Considered on November 13, 1981.
A Union in Revolt (1982):
A series of four one-hour radio programs documenting the reform movement in the United Mineworkers of America in the late 1960s and early 1970s. I worked with Robert L. Hunt, a labor historian at West Virginia Wesleyan College, who had received a state humanities grant to produce the series. My work consisted of editing interviews, field recordings and archival material, writing narration, consulting on program content and structure, recording and mixing. The series was aired on the six stations in the West Virginia Public Radio Network, WOUB-FM (Athens) and WNKU-FM (Northern Kentucky.)
A Living From Wood (1982):
I produced the audio tracks for a 20-minute slide/tape program on the history of the lumber industry in southeastern Ohio. The presentation was part of an oral history exhibit at Hocking College's Paul Bunyan Day. It has also been shown to the Forest History Society, the Athens County Historical Society, and other groups.
Say Amen (1983):
A series of five 15-minute radio programs on folk and cultural traditions in southeastern Ohio, produced for the Ohio Arts Council. My work involved consulting on program structure, editing field recordings, and mixing. The series aired on WOUB-AM and FM (Athens), WPAY (Portsmouth), WYSO (Yellow Springs), WKSO (Gambier), and WAUP (Akron).
The Play of Amish and Mennonite Children in Ohio (1984):
I produced the audio track for this 30-minute slide/tape program, funded by the Ohio Joint Program in the Arts and Humanities. My work included recording narration, editing field recordings, and mixing. The program has been presented to community groups in Ohio and is made available through the Ohio Humanities Resource Center at Capital University in Columbus.
We're Here To Take You Out! (1985):
A one-hour documentary on the efforts of communities in rural West Virginia to resist a dam project by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Interviews were conducted by Michael Kline; other research was done by attorney Hugh Rogers. I helped them to plan the structure of the program, edited most of the interviews, recorded the theme music and mixed the program. It has been played at environmental conferences, and for community groups.
Traditional Music of the Mahoning Valley (1988):
I edited and mixed two 30-minute programs in this radio series for the Fine Arts Council of Trumbull County (with folklorist Jack Shortlidge.) The series was aired on three stations in the Youngstown area.
Hey, Do You Want to Talk About It? West Virginia Flood Narratives (1989):
I edited and mixed a 100‑minute audio documentary on the physical and emotional experiences of residents of Tucker County, West Virginia, in the 1985 flood that devastated the region. The interviews were conducted by Michael Kline, an oral historian and folklorist who was engaged in the relief efforts in the county. The documentary forms the text for a book of flood narratives and pictures by Kline, which was locally published. The documentary was premiered for an audience of about 100 at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, West Virginia, in July 1989, and has been played at a number of conferences and community meetings in Appalachia and the Eastern United States.
TRADITIONAL MUSIC RECORDINGS
I have worked as recording engineer on seven albums and cassettes of traditional music. All were multitrack projects, for which I recorded original tracks in the studio, did a rough stereo reference mix, edited selections and did a final mix for the master tape.
Granny, Will Your Dog Bite? (1990)
A children's cassette of traditional music and folk tales from West Virginia, released by Alfred A. Knopf (New York) to accompany an illustrated children's book. The project was produced and directed by traditional musician and folklorist Gerry Milnes, who played all the instruments--fiddle, banjo, guitar, lap dulcimer and mandolin. The vocals were by two West Virginia natives--Sonja Bird and Homer Fleming.
Pathway to West Virginia (1989):
A cassette release by West Virginia traditional artists Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice (vocals, guitar, banjo.)
Taking Yesterday Along (1989):
A cassette release by West Virginia traditional artist Ron Mullennex (banjo, fiddle, mandolin) with Tom King (guitar.)
Boatin' Up Sandy (Marimac Recordings, 1989):
A cassette release of string band music from West Virginia traditional fiddler Wilson Douglas with Kim Johnson (guitar) and Mark Paine (banjo.)
Banjo Legacy (Augusta Heritage Records, 1988):
An anthology album of banjo music by ten West Virginia musicians, showing a variety of traditional styles of music and playing.
Just A Dream (Augusta Heritage Records, 1988):
An album of West Virginia coalfield blues by vocalist and guitarist Nat Reese, with bass back-up by Ralph Gordon, formerly of the band Trapezoid.
Flatfoot in the Ashes (Augusta Heritage Records, 1987):
An album of string band music featuring 80-year-old fiddler Harvey Sampson with the Big Possum String Band. The album was included in the 1987 Library of Congress Selected List of Folk Albums.
Nova Domovina/A New Homeland (1987):
I did editing and mixing for an album of traditional Balkan music from northeastern Ohio, released by the Ohio Arts Council.
Back Memories (Augusta Heritage Records, 1984):
I coordinated studio production for an album of traditional guitar tunes by West Virginia musician Blackie Cool.
Buck and Does (Flying Clouds Music, 1982):
I coordinated studio production for an album of hammer dulcimer music by traditional musician Sam Rizzetta.