WRVR Jazz NY – Alberta Hunter

Reaching back to the early days of WRVR, when broadcasts originated from Riverside Church in upper Manhattan,  famous events and iconic speakers were captured on the local airwaves. These broadcasts were so historically significant that they have been preserved by the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Excerpt from the blog of the AAPB (American Archives of Public Broadcasting)

Funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Council on Library and Information Resources’ Digitizing Hidden Collections program supports the creation of digital representations of unique content of high scholarly significance. This award will support the preservation and digitization of over 3,502 recordings representing 4,000 hours of programming from WRVR from the 1960s and early 1970s. Owned and operated by The Riverside Church from 1961-1976, WRVR was the first station to win a Peabody for its entire programming, in part for its coverage of the Civil Rights movement in 1963 Birmingham. In addition to featuring progressive religious and philosophical discussions with Riverside clergy, theologians, and scholars, such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., WRVR programming included culturally significant topics, speakers, and performances, such as Langston Hughes’ “Jericho-Jim Crow” directed by Alvin Ailey, and interviews and readings by Robert Frost, John Ashbery, and Allen Ginsberg. The station also featured the program “Just Jazz with Ed Beach,” which collection currently resides at the Library of Congress.

Read more: american-archive-of-public-broadcasting/

Our featured song from the old WRVR playlist is A Good Man is Hard to Find performed by Alberta Hunter. The amazing Miss Hunter, from Memphis, Tennessee, had a career that spanned 70 years, from the origins of Jazz up until her death in 1984 at the age of 89. In between, she enjoyed a fulfilling 20-year career in health care, which she launched by creating a high school diploma and enrolling in a nursing program. When Goldwater Memorial Hospital on Roosevelt Island in NYC forced her to retire, thinking she was 70, they discovered she was actually 82. Hunter then returned to her singing career, much to the delight of her fans.
Alberta Hunter


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