The Kitchen Sisters Present

The Kitchen Sisters Present

By The Kitchen Sisters & Radiotopia

The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. Deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse NPR producers The Kitchen Sisters (The Keepers, Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, and Fugitive Waves). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced in by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

Episodes

Linda Ronstadt Day

San Francisco officially declared July 15th Linda Ronstadt Day. In her honor, The Kitchen Sisters Present this story about her book, Feels Like Home, about her family, and the food, culture and music of the borderland of Arizona and Mexico where she is rooted.  Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands is an historical, musical, edible memoir that spans the story of five generations of Linda’s Mexican American German family, from the Sonoran desert in Mexico to the Ronstadt family hardware store in Tucson to the road that led Linda to LA and musical stardom. Intimate and epic, "this is little Linda, Mexican Linda, cowgirl Linda, desert Linda."The book, written in collaboration with New York Times writer Lawrence Downes, is a road trip through the Sonoran Borderlands, from Tucson to Banámichi, Mexico — the path Linda’s immigrant grandfather took at a time when the border was not a place of peril but of possibility.We went to see Linda at home to ask her about the journey.This story was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) and Evan Jacoby in collaboration with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Mixed by Jim McKeeThanks to Lawrence Downes, John Boylan, Bill Steen, Janet Stark and The PRX Podcast Garage. And to the team at Heyday Books: Steve Wasserman, Kalie Caetano & Megan Beatie and to Putamayo Music who just released Feels Like Home: Songs From The Sonoran Borderlands, Linda Ronstadt’s Musical Odyssey.Special thanks to Linda Ronstadt for opening her home and her vault to this story.
15/07/2430m 20s

Traveling Route 66 — The Mother Road

Route 66—The Main Street of America— the first continuously paved highway linking east and west was the most traveled and well known road in the US for almost fifty years. From Chicago, through the Ozarks, across Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, up the mesas of New Mexico and Arizona, and down into California to the Pacific Ocean. The first road of its kind, it came to represent America’s mobility and freedom—inspiring countless stories, songs, and even a TV show.Songwriter Bobby Troup tells the story of his 1946 hit “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” Mickey Mantle says, “If it hadn’t been for US 66 I wouldn’t have been a Yankee.” Stirling Silliphant, creator of the TV series “Route 66” talks about the program and its place in American folklore of the 60s.Studs Terkel reads from The Grapes of Wrath about the "Mother Road," and the great 1930s migration along Highway 66. We hear from musicians who recall what life on the road during the 1930s was like for them, including Clarence Love, Woody Guthrie, and Eldin Shamblin, who played guitar for Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.We travel the history of the road from its beginnings through caverns and roadside attractions, into tourist traps and bunko joints, through the hard times of the Dust Bowl, Depression and the “Road of Flight,” and into the “Ghost Road” of the 1980s, as the interstates bypass the businesses and roadside attractions of another era.Produced by The Kitchen Sisters and narrated by actor David Selby. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of podcasts created by independent producers.
02/07/2458m 59s

Laying the Groundwork: Women in American Architecture, Spring 1977

In 1977, a cavernous, rarely used sculpture gallery in the Brooklyn Museum was filled with drafting tables, their tops tilted to display collages of the work and under-told stories of women working in architecture in the United States.We revisit this first significant effort to publicly tell the little known stories of American women in architecture: “Women in American Architecture: A Historic and Contemporary Perspective.” On view at the Brooklyn Museum from February-April of 1977, the groundbreaking exhibition and simultaneous book, curated and edited by Susana Torre, clearly defined the state of play for women in the architecture profession. Alienated by the profound hostility expressed by the AIA, women architects came together and found an accepting cohort at the Architectural League of New York. They organized. They canvassed. They raised their consciousnesses. The project team identified subjects so previously obscured as to be unknown, and then with the energy and drive of a furious mob, they broke through and laid the groundwork for scholarship, social change, and recognition of women architects for the next fifty years.  Produced by Brandi Howell, for the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation's podcast New Angle Voice.Special thanks to Susana Torre, Andrea Merrett, Suzanne Stephens, Cynthia Rock, Deborah Nevins, and Robert AM Stern. Editorial advising from Alexandra Lange and production assistance from Virginia Eskridge and Aislinn McNamara. Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Graham Foundation.The Kitchen Sisters Present, part of PRX's Radiotopia network, is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. For more stories and information visit kitchensisters.org. 
18/06/2426m 33s

A Floating City Vision - Mirabeau Water Garden, New Orleans

As this year's hurricane season ramps up, we go to New Orleans for a kind of biblical reckoning. A story of science and prayer, with a cast of improbable partners—environmental architects and nuns—coming together to create a vision for living with water in New Orleans. Mirabeau Water Garden, one of the largest urban wetlands in the country designed to educate, inspire and to save its neighborhood from flooding.New Orleans. Surrounded by The Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, besieged by hurricanes and tropical storms, permeated with man made canals, levees, pumping stations …. Water is a deep and controversial issue in New Orleans. What to do with it? Where to put it? How to get rid of it? How to live with it?David Waggonner, of Waggonner & Ball architecture and environment firm has been thinking and dreaming about these questions for years. One of the primary architects behind the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, David envisions floating streets, pervious pavement, planting bioswales—“living with water” rather than pushing it down and pumping it out.In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the Sisters of Saint Joseph convent in New Orleans was under eight feet of water. A year later, on a clear blue day, the building was struck by lightning. The Sisters prayed for a sign. And in walked David Waggonner with a vision.The Mirabeau Water Garden will become one of the largest urban wetlands in the country and a campus for water research and environmental education, demonstrating best practices for construction and urban water management in the city's lowest-lying and most vulnerable neighborhoods.The 25-acre parcel was donated to the City of New Orleans by the Sisters of Saint Joseph on condition that it be used to enhance and protect the neighborhood to “evoke a huge systemic shift in the way humans relate with water and land.”Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton & Brandi Howell. For more stories and information visit kitchensisters.org
04/06/2417m 45s

Dissident Kitchens

On February 16, 2024 Russian dissident Alexei Navalny died under unexplained circumstances in a penal colony in the Russian Arctic just weeks before the election that enthroned Vladimir Putin for another six years of near-absolute power. Within days of Navalny’s death his wife Yulia Navalnaya rose up, spoke out and vowed to continue her husband’s struggle. A decade ago The Kitchen Sisters were in Moscow reporting for our NPR series Hidden Kitchens: War and Peace and Food. We were at lunch with writer, television journalist and government critic, Victor Erofeyev and asked what his hidden kitchen was. “Dissident Kitchens,” he said. “The Soviet Union fell apart because of the kitchen.” We started digging. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, millions of people poured into Moscow from the countryside, many living crammed together in the appropriated grand apartments of the wealthy — a single, communal kitchen shared by the ten or so families squeezed together under one roof. Spaces were crowded, food scarce, privacy nonexistent. After Stalin’s death in 1953, Nikita Khrushchev came to power. His new Soviet government built hundreds of huge standardized apartment buildings with single family units, each with their own kitchen. These new, private kitchens became hotbeds of politics, forbidden music, literature – "dissident kitchens" where the seeds of ending the Soviet Union were sewn. Just as Victor Erofeyev told us over lunch. Today, in honor of Alexei Navalny and in honor of Victor Erofeyev, who fled Russia with his family after the invasion of Ukraine, The Kitchen Sisters Present: Dissident Kitchens.
21/05/2415m 39s

Eleanor Coppola: Notes on a Life

On April 12, 2024, Eleanor Coppola, artist, filmmaker, mother and wife of director Francis Ford Coppola, died at her home in the Napa Valley surrounded by family. She was 87 years old and had lived a most remarkable life.Shortly before her death, Eleanor had completed her third memoir. In it she wrote:“I appreciate how my unexpected life has stretched and pulled me in so many extraordinary ways and taken me in a multitude of directions beyond my wildest imaginings.”On May 6, 2008, on the occasion of the release of her second memoir, Notes on a Life, Eleanor and Davia sat down together at The Commonwealth Club of California and had this conversation before a live audience.Our thanks to The Commonwealth Club of California for sharing this 2008 recording. This conversation was part of their Good Lit Series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation.The Kitchen Sisters' San Francisco studio is located in Francis and Eleanor's Zoetrope building in North Beach. Ellie has been a part of our lives since the day we came here some three decades ago. Our love goes to the many generations of the Coppola family.
07/05/2452m 43s

Cool Hair, Great Smile: Remembering Knox Phillips

Over the years, The Kitchen Sisters have zeroed in on Memphis, Tennessee in a big way. The inspiration for that and the inspiration for some of our favorite stories is Knox Phillips. Davia met Knox in 1997 in Memphis when she was doing casting for Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Rainmaker. She was on the set standing next to a guy. Cool hair, great smile. During the long set up between takes they started talking. About Memphis, about music, about radio. She told him about a new series we were starting to produce for NPR — Lost & Found Sound. Stories about sonic pioneers and people possessed by sound. The guy with the cool hair listens. “Girl, I think you better come over to the house and meet my parents. My dad, Sam, started the Memphis Recording Service and Sun Records. He recorded Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison, Howlin’ Wolf.... When he sold Elvis’ contract he and my mother, Becky, used the money to start the first all-girl radio station in the nation, WHER: 1000 Beautiful Watts.”Nikki was on a plane to Memphis the next day and we drove to the Phillips family house that night. Knox, Sam, Becky and Sam’s girlfriend Sally were all there and the stories started pouring out. We walked in at 7:00 and left after midnight, recording the whole time. Those interviews became the basis of some of the most groundbreaking Kitchen Sisters pieces. Knox Phillips — producer, promoter of Memphis music, Keeper of his family's legacy, died in April 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic, and never really got his due. His massive spirit, love and music live on.
16/04/2440m 2s

The Romance and Sex Life of the Date

In 1898, the United States Department of Agriculture created a special department of men, called “Agriculture Explorers,” to travel the globe searching for new food crops to bring back for farmers to grow in the U.S. These men introduced exotic specimens like the mango, the avocado, and the date. In 1900, the USDA sent plant explorer, Walter Swingle, to Algeria to study the date. As Swingle took temperature readings and soil temperature, he realized that the conditions were very much like those in California’s hot, arid Coachella Valley, sometimes referred to as the American Sahara. In order to market this new fruit and promote the region, date growers in the Coachella Valley began capitalizing on the exotic imagery and fantasy many Americans associated with the Middle East. In the 1950s date shops dotted the highway, attracting tourists. There was Pyramid Date shop where you could purchase your dates in a pyramid. Sniff’s Exotic Date Garden set up a tent like those used by nomadic tribes of the Sahara. One of the most well-known date shops, which still exists today, is Shields Date Garden, established in 1924. Floyd Shields lured in customers with his lecture and slide show titled, “The Romance and Sex Life of the Date.” This story was produced in collaboration with Lisa Morehouse.
02/04/2415m 13s

Parsi New Year—First Day of Spring

Niloufer Ichaporia King lives in a house with three kitchens. She prowls through six farmer’s markets a week in search of unusual greens, roots, seeds, and traditional food plants from every immigrant culture. She is an anthropologist, a kitchen botanist, a one-of-a-kind cook, a Parsi from Bombay living in San Francisco, and the author of My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking. Niloufer is known for her ritual celebrations of Navroz, Parsi New Year, on the first day of Spring, when she creates an elaborate ceremonial meal based on the auspicious foods and traditions of her vanishing culture. The Parsi culture is some 3,000 years old and goes back from India to Persia. It’s estimated that there are now under 100,000 Parsis in the world. Also featured in this Hidden Kitchens story are author Bharati Mukherjee, sharing her memories of the forbidden Bengali kitchen of her girlhood, with its four cooks and intricate rules of food preparation. And Harvard Professor Homi Bhabha, born in Mumbai to a Parsi family, who talks about auspicious lentils and the birth of his son. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. We are part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network created specifically for independent podcasts—some of the best stories out there. Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and contributors to the non profit Kitchen Sisters Productions .
19/03/2417m 52s

Buildings Speak: Stories of Pioneering Women Architects hosted by Frances McDormand

Little known stories of pioneering architects — Julia Morgan, the first accredited female architect in California, who designed Hearst Castle and was nearly written out of the history books. Natalie de Blois, who helped imagine the first glass skyscrapers on Park Avenue by day and raised four children by night. Amaza Lee Meredith, a Black queer modernist architect from the 1930s South who helped establish Sag Harbor as a haven for Black intellectuals, artists and beachcombers. A new special from The Kitchen Sisters, the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation and PRX, hosted by Academy Award-winning actress Frances McDormand. Story production by Brandi Howell for the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation’s podcast, New Angle: Voice, in association with The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva), mixed by Jim McKee.
05/03/2450m 55s

Black Chef, White House—African American Chefs in the President's Kitchen

A look at the President’s kitchen and some of the first cooks to feed the Founding Fathers—Hercules and James Hemings—the enslaved chefs of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Hercules, described as a “dandy,” had eight assistants—stewards, butlers, undercooks, waiters. He cooked in a huge fireplace—hearth cooking. He walked through the streets of Philadelphia in a velvet waistcoat, with a gold-handled cane. When Washington was getting ready to leave Philadelphia to return to Mt. Vernon, Hercules escaped. Washington sent out search parties and offered rewards. Hercules was never found. In 1784, Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France. He took with him his body servant, 19-year-old James Hemings (the brother of Sally Hemings), to master the French style of cooking. Hemings apprenticed with well-known French caterers and pastry chefs and assumed the role of chef de cuisine in Jefferson’s kitchen on the Champs-Elysees, earning $48 a year. In 1793, Hemings petitioned Jefferson for his freedom. Jefferson consented upon one condition—he must train someone to take his place. After teaching his brother, Peter Hemings, the cooking techniques he had learned in France and at home, James Hemings became a free man. These stories begin a long connection of presidents and their African American cooks, including the story of Zephyr Wright, President Lyndon Johnson’s cook who worked for the family for 27 years. Johnson spoke to Zephyr Wright about the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington. She attended the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Johnson gave her a pen he used to sign the document. Featuring interviews with: Jessica Harris, Culinary Historian and author of The Welcome Table: African American Heritage Cooking; Historian Willliam Seale, author of The President’s House; Chef Joe Randall, founder of African American Chef’s Hall of Fame; William Woys Weaver, food historian and author; Sharron Conrad, African American food historian. Special thanks to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum and Michael L. Gillette for use of Zephyr Wright’s oral history. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) and Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of podcasts created and owned by independent producers.
20/02/2416m 13s

The Mardi Gras Indians—Stories from New Orleans

Jelly Roll Morton talks of being a “Spy Boy” in the Mardi Gras Indian parades of his youth. Bo Dollis, of the Wild Magnolias, tells of sewing his suit of feathers and beads all night long. Tootie Montana masks for the first time as Mardi Gras starts up again after World War II. Big Queen Ausettua makes connections between the black Mardi Gras Indian traditions of New Orleans and Africa. Sister Alison McCrary, a Catholic nun and social justice attorney, tells of Big Chief Tootie Montana’s death at the podium in city council chambers defending the rights of the Mardi Gras Indians to parade without harassment. A collection of stories and interviews in honor of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition in New Orleans. With special thanks and a shout out to all of the “Keepers” who have documented, preserved and shared these stories, including the Folklife Center Collection at the Library of Congress, Nick Spitzer and American Routes, filmmaker Lisa Katzman, and WWOZ in New Orleans. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia network and is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson), with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell.
06/02/2422m 44s

230 - Architecture, Family Style – Sarah Harkness & Jean Fletcher

Sarah “Sally” Pillsbury and Jean B. Fletcher were both architects who married architects. The two women and their husbands were founding members of The Architects Collaborative (TAC), a visionary, idealistic architecture firm founded just after WWII. The two women, who had 13 children between them, lived with their families and several other founding partners in Six Moon Hill, a residential community in Lexington, Massachusetts, designed by the group. TAC was a world class firm of eight architects, including famed architect Walter Gropius, working collectively as a team, stressing anonymity of design. The group won design awards and competitions, and was hired by the National Institute of Architects to design their new headquarters.They also designed the Harvard Graduate Center, many civic and educational buildings, and the University of Baghdad. Soon after the founding of the firm in 1947, Sarah and Jean wrote an article for House & Garden titled “Architecture, Family Style” which – as their biographer Michael Kubo writes – constituted something of a manifesto for the changing needs of the postwar housewife. Produced by Brandi Howell for Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation’s podcast New Angle: Voice with host Cynthia Krakauer. Editorial advising from Alexandra Lange.  Production assistants Virginia Eskridge and Aislinn McNamara. Special thanks to Sara Harkness and Joseph Fletcher, Michael Kubo and Amanda Kolson Hurley.  Current Six Moon Hill residents Linda Pagani and Barbara Katzenberg kindly opened their homes and shared their stories.  Long time TAC  partners Perry Neubauer and Gail Flynn were generous with their time as were Andrea Leers and Jane Weinzapfel.  The archival oral history of Sally Harkness comes from her interview with Wendy Cox. Funding for New Angle: Voice comes from National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Graham Foundation. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Supported by the National Endowment for the Arts and contributors to the non profit Kitchen Sisters Productions. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of podcasts created by independent producers.
16/01/2444m 42s

229 - The Pancake Years - For Lenny on Christmas Eve

For five years Davia’s father, Lenny Nelson, asked her to go to Rattlesden, England, to visit the Air Force base where he was stationed during WWII and to find an old photograph hanging in the town pub honoring his 8th Air Force squadron. It was still there, over 50 years later, he told her. Finally, one fine Sunday, Davia headed out in search of the pub and a piece of her father’s past—the piece he was proudest of. Lenny died on Christmas Eve 2015. In his honor, we share the journey with you. Samuel Shelton Robinson helped produce this story with The Kitchen Sisters. He’s from London. It seemed only right.
24/12/2322m 28s

Emily Dickinson's Hidden Kitchen—Black Cake

Deep in the hidden archives of Harvard’s Houghton Library are the butter stained recipes of Emily Dickinson. Who knew? Emily Dickinson was better known by most as a baker than a poet in her lifetime. In this story a beautiful line up of “Keepers”— dedicated archivists, librarians, historians, poets and more—lead us through the complex labyrinth of Emily Dickinson’s hidden kitchen. Black cake, gingerbread, slant rhyme, secret loves, family scandals, poems composed on the back of a coconut cake recipe —we journey into the world of poet Emily Dickinson. Filled with mystery, intrigue and readings by Patti Smith, Thornton Wilder, Jean Harris and an array of passionate poets and experts.
19/12/2330m 5s

227 - Lou Reed's Tai Chi

Lou Reed, musician, rock icon, poet, leader of the legendary Velvet Underground, was obsessed with tai chi — the practice, the community, the health and spiritual benefits. Lou had been writing a book about this ancient martial art that was unfinished when he died in 2013. Lou’s wife, the artist and musician Laurie Anderson, looked at Lou's unfinished work and decided the book needed to be completed, that there was something important to be shared in Lou’s long, life-altering journey with tai chi. She turned to three of Lou's friends to help her with the project. By the time the book, The Art of the Straight Line: My Tai Chi by Lou Reed, hit the stands in the spring of 2023, they had spoken with nearly 100 people and created a riveting portrait of Lou’s spiritual, medical and musical life, beckoning readers to enter the world of tai chi. The Kitchen Sisters read the book and we kept thinking, these conversations must have been taped. We asked Laurie if there were recordings. There were. Dozens and dozens of them from rock stars, to tai chi masters, to doctors, to family…. We listened to the raw interviews, this remarkable trove of sound and story, and created a podcast that goes deep inside the making of this book. Voices heard in the story include Laurie Anderson, Iggy Pop, Julian Schnabel, Hal Willner, Anohni, Master Ren and many more, plus archival recordings of Lou Reed. The Kitchen Sisters Present: Lou Reed’s Tai Chi. “Well, everybody does something, some people race cars, others collect stamps. I find tai chi to be philosophically, aesthetically, physically and spiritually fascinating.” — Lou Reed
05/12/2334m 34s

226 - Kimchi Diplomacy—Hidden Kitchens: War & Peace and Food

Late autumn is Kimjang season in the Republic of Korea when families and communities come together to make and share large quantities of kimchi to ensure that every household has enough to sustain it through the long, harsh winter. This story is part of series Hidden Kitchens: Kimchi Diplomacy — War & Peace and Food “Kimchi is everywhere in Korea. It’s like air,” says Hyunjoo Albrecht, a San Francisco-based chef who grew up near the DMZ border between South and North Korea. 1.5 million tons of kimchi are eaten each year in Korea and there are hundreds of different varieties. South Korea is one of the nations most involved in branding itself through its food, using food as a part of its “soft power.” It’s called “gastrodiplomacy” — the use of food as a diplomatic tool to help resolve conflicts and foster connections between nations. “The government gave financial support to some of the Korean restaurants in US,” says Hyunjoo. “They want more people outside Korea to eat more Korean food.” Si-Hyeon Ryu is a chef and writer from South Korea who, with support from the government, has traveled in The Kimchi Bus to more than 34 countries cooking traditional Korean food and spreading his love of kimchi. “People on the street, they know just about North and South Korea,” he says, "but not much about Korean cuisine. “If I explain about kimchi they will understand about Korea.” Astronaut Soyeon Yi, Korea’s first astronaut, describes the Korean government’s efforts to invent kimchi for space travel — not an easy task. Soyeon Yi prepared a special Korean meal for her Russian comrades in space. “Having kimchi in space, you are far from your home planet,” she says. “When you eat your own traditional food it makes you feel emotionally supported. I can feel my home.”
21/11/2320m 17s

Architect Anna Wagner Keichline: The Legacy of Invention

Anna Wagner Keichline (1889–1943) was the first registered woman architect in Pennsylvania and was among the first registered women architects in the United States. During her long career, she designed dozens of commercial and residential buildings, as well as numerous industrial products. She was awarded seven patents for her innovative residential and building designs, including one for The Building Block (1927), popularly known as the K-brick, which was a forerunner of today’s concrete block. Not every architect has the opportunity to build skyscrapers. In Bellefonte, Anna used her talents to improve the lives of her neighbors, by designing their houses and gathering places. She adopted a gently accommodating architectural style in the shadow of high Victorian lacery, and designed sturdy churches, theaters, homes, schools, and recreation facilities in her hometown that still stand well and firmly in their context. Produced by Brandi Howell for New Angle Voice podcast of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. Host, Cynthia Kracauer. Editorial advising from Alexandra Lange. Thanks to production assistant Virginia Eskridge and special thanks to Nancy Perkins, Sarah Lichtman, and Jennifer Kaufmann-Buhler. Funding for this podcast comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. From PRX’s Radiotopia network.
07/11/2326m 19s

224 - Make Coffee Black Again

In this episode, we borrow a cup of sound from the podcast, What You’re Eating, a production of FoodPrint.org, hosted by Jerusha Klemperer. In the episode, “Coffee: From Seed to Cup,” Jerusha interviewed coffee entrepreneur Bartholomew Jones, who co-founded CxffeeBlack, a "multimedia coffee educational company," with his wife Renata Henderson in Memphis, Tennessee in 2018. Bartholomew is an educator, an MC, a “coffee nerd,” and an amazing storyteller. Today, The Kitchen Sisters Present… Make Coffee Black Again, a co-production with What You’re Eating. You can hear the entire episode, “Coffee: From Seed to Cup” at foodprint.org/what-youre-eating or by searching for What You’re Eating on your podcast app of choice. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson, with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. We’re part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of some of the best podcasts out there. Thanks for listening.
17/10/2323m 44s

223 - Losing Lincoln

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 90 colleges have merged or closed permanently. One of these schools, Lincoln College, closed its doors with only about one month’s notice in May of 2022 — after 157 years. Due to the pandemic and a ransomware attack, administrators say the school was unable to retain, recruit, or fundraise. Since then, students have been left scrambling and many have dropped out. Alan Jinich and Max Strickberger, recent graduates of the University of Pennsylvania and producers of the Generation Pandemic Project about the impact of Covid on young people around the country, set out to follow this story last year. Lincoln College was a small private college in central Illinois — the only school named after Abraham Lincoln in his lifetime. But instead of attracting local students, the school drew many from three hours north: Chicago’s south and west sides. More than 40% were first generation college students and, even though the town is 95% white, the university was a Predominantly Black Institution. Students, alumni, and faculty described the community as deeply close-knit and, for many, a “second chance.” For some, it was also a refuge from gun violence. After the sudden closure announcement, dozens of students confronted President David Gerlach expressing grief, frustration, and concern over what might happen to those who didn’t have a safe home to return to. It was the start of a fundraising predicament that drove a wedge between students’ grassroots efforts and administrators. How much money is enough to stay open? What’s at stake for Lincoln’s brittle economy? We follow voices from across the community — professors, administrators, locals, students dispersed across the Midwest, and a member of Lincoln’s last graduating class. More than a year after closing, many continue to reel. The campus is still up for sale, but a new vision for Lincoln may soon be on the horizon. Produced by Alan Jinich and Max Strickberger with soundtracks by Reed Rosenbluth and support from the Sachs Program for Arts Innovation. A special thank you to Pati and Danny Jinich for their endless support (and SUV), Deborah and Adam Strickberger for their lifelong role modeling, and for all those who helped along the way: Ron Keller, Tim Rivera, Ms. Linda, Aundrae Williams, Jaylah Bolden, Spencer Davis, David Gerlach, Scott Raper, Seth Goodman, Aaron Butler, David Upchurch, Julia Figueroa, Klaudia Blaszcyk, Dougie Barron, and the Rose family. Thanks also to Nikki Silva and The Kitchen Sisters (and The Kitchen Sisters thank these young producers!) You can follow more of Alan and Max’s work at www.generationpandemicproject.com or on instagram @generationpandemic_ The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. We’re part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of some of the best podcasts out there. Visit kitchensisters.org for more stories and info about upcoming events — like our annual Bowling with Grace Party and fundraiser at Mission Bowling Club, San Francisco, October 28, 2023, with celebrity guest bowlers Boz Scaggs, Alice Waters, Samin Nostrat, Roman Mars, Roman Coppola, Wendy MacNaughton, Song Exploder’s Hrishikesh Hirway, KQED’s Alexis Madrigal, Ear Hustle’s Nigel Poor & Earlonne Woods, Rebecca Solnit… and so many more.
03/10/2322m 36s

222 - Filmmaker Wim Wenders—The Entire Caboddle

Filmmaker Wim Wenders premiered two new films at Cannes this year — Anselm, a 3-D, cutting edge documentary about the contemporary German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer, and Perfect Days, a quiet, meditative film about a toilet cleaner in Kyoto who who drives from job to job, listening to music on cassettes — Patti Smith, the Kinks, Lou Reed… Ernst Wilhelm “Wim” Wenders, filmmaker, playwright, author, photographer, is a major figure in New German Cinema and global cinema. His films include Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, The American Friend, Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road, Buena Vista Social Club, Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, Pina, Until the End of the World, and many more. In honor of Wim and his extraordinary work, this story, from our Keepers series chronicles the filmmaker’s life and inspirations. In our interview with Wim he told us about the impact Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française had on his own filmmaking, about Lotte Eisner, Werner Herzog, and much more. Produced by Vika Aronson and The Kitchen Sisters. Mixed by Jim McKee. Special thanks to Tom Luddy, Robb Moss, Homi Bhabha, Haden Guest, Sophia Hoffinger, Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. And most of all, to Wim Wenders who has inspired us across the years.
19/09/2317m 42s

221 - Lena Richard - America's Unknown Celebrity Chef

When Lena Richard cooked her first chicken on television, she beat Julia Child to the screen by over a decade. At a time when most African American women cooks worked behind swinging kitchen doors, Richard claimed her place as a culinary authority, broadcasting in the living rooms of New Orleans’s elite white families. She was an entrepreneur, educator, author, and an icon—and her legacy lives on in her recipes. Produced by Sidedoor: A Podcast from the Smithsonian. Special thanks to producer Lizzie Peabody and the Smithsonian for sharing this story with The Kitchen Sisters Present. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. We are part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of podcasts created by independent producers—some of the best storytelling out there.
05/09/2329m 51s

220 - Archiving the Underground — Hip Hop at Harvard & Cornell

We delve into the story of the founding of the Hiphop Archive and Research Institute at Harvard by Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, Professor of African and African American Studies and Professor Henry Louis Gates to “facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture, scholarship and responsible leadership through Hiphop.” You’ll hear from Professor Morgan, Professor Gates, Nas, Nas Fellow Patrick Douthit aka 9th Wonder, The Hiphop Fellows working at the Archive, an array of Harvard archivists, and students studying at the Archive as well as the records, music and voices being preserved there. And we take a look at the Cornell University Hip Hop Collection, founded in 2007, through a sampling of stories from Assistant Curator Jeff Ortiz, Johan Kugelberg author of “Born in the Bronx,” and hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Caz, Pebblee Poo, Roxanne Shante and more. This episode is part of The Kitchen Sisters’ series THE KEEPERS—stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians—keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep.
15/08/2331m 26s

219 - Edith Warner's Atomic Tea Room

It was top secret. But everyone in Santa Fe knew there was something going on up on the hill in the remote, desert mountains of Los Alamos in 1943. J. Robert Oppenheimer and dozens of the top scientists and thinkers in the world were sequestered away up there — fenced in, with military guard towers all around. But there was one little sanctuary down along the river where they could escape and find solace, nature, normalcy — Edith Warner’s Tea Room. Edith Warner’s small, rustic home and her legendary chocolate cake brought solace to members of the Manhattan Project as they secretly worked to build the atomic bomb — reshaping the future of modern warfare. When they weren’t at the lab, there was a good chance that Robert Oppenheimer and his colleagues were at Edith’s tea room, savoring the fresh vegetables she grew in her garden and the chance to disconnect from the unimaginable weight of their task. Through Edith’s eyes and the civilian bystanders who witnessed this extraordinary effort we see these souls in their last mundane moments before man and god bled together forever. Produced by Brandi Howell, Mary Franklin Harvin, and Zoe Kurland Special thanks to Jon Else, Meridel Rubenstein, Patty Templeton, Nick Lewis, Steven Horak from the Los Alamos National Lab, to Sharon Snyder and the staff of the Los Alamos Historical Society, Ellen Bradbury Reid, and Paul Rainbird. The Kitchen Sisters Present, part of PRX’s Radiotopia, is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton.
01/08/2324m 45s

218 - Remembering "The Day After Trinity - J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb"

In 1981, The Kitchen Sisters interviewed filmmaker Jon Else about his Academy Award nominated documentary, The Day After Trinity, a deeply moving film about J. Robert Oppenheimer and the dramatic story of the creation of the atomic bomb. The film, now showing on the Criterion channel, traces Oppenheimer’s evolution from the architect of the bomb to an outspoken opponent of nuclear proliferation. The documentary features honest and insightful Interviews with Robert’s brother Frank Oppenheimer, several scientists who worked in secret in the isolated high mountains of New Mexico building the bomb, and farmers and ranchers who were displaced by the military and the 6,000 people who descended on the region during the 1940s. Today, the horrifying threat of the escalation of atomic weapons continues. Recently Belarusian President Lukashenko offered nuclear weapons to any country willing to side with Russia in its war against Ukraine. And interest in the history of the bomb and how we got to this place is on the rise. This summer Christopher Nolan’s new biopic about Robert Oppenheimer is hitting IMAX theaters around the country and the Criterion channel is featuring The Day after Trinity. Today, from the Archives, The Kitchen Sisters Present one of our first interviews—a conversation with filmmaker John Else about the making of his extraordinary documentary, The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb.
18/07/2334m 16s

217 - International Congress of Youth Voices—Youth on Fire

Behind the scenes at the International Congress of Youth Voices when 131 youth activists,13 to 26 years old, from 37 countries — students, writers, poets, marchers, community leaders all gathered together in San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2019, to share and amplify their ideas and energy — to brainstorm possibilities for how to achieve a better world. The International Congress of Youth Voices, founded by author Dave Eggers (co-founder of 826 National) and nonprofit leader Amanda Uhle, gathers the world's most inspiring teen writers and activists. They come from all over the world, including Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the United States, Colombia, Guatemala, Cuba, Australia, Denmark, Nepal, Russia, England, Thailand, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, Uganda, Pakistan, Burundi, France, India, and Puerto Rico. Student delegates are chosen based on their commitment to leadership and social justice and their passion and eloquence as writers. The event is designed to provide a path to leadership for all delegates and represents a continuum from students who have exhibited potential in local writing and tutoring programs to writers and activists who have already made notable achievements at a very young age. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) in collaboration with Nathan Dalton, Brandi Howell, Rachel Templeton & Teddy Alexander. Mixed by Jim McKee. Story Intern: Jonathan Hsieh. Special thanks to Dave Eggers & Amanda Uhle and to all the delegates from around the country and around the world who came to Puerto Rico and shared their stories with us. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX. Funding for work of The Kitchen Sisters comes from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Robert Sillins Family Foundation, The TRA Fund supporting our Intern Program, and Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions.
04/07/2340m 2s

216 - Amaza Lee Meredith, African American Architect: Love & Home

Born in 1895 in Lynchburg, VA, Amaza Lee Meredith was an African American architect, artist and educator who taught at Virginia State College where she founded the art department. Despite the fact she was never a registered architect, she was one of the few Black architects practicing at the time, and one of the country's very few Black women architects. In 1939, Amaza designed Azurest South, a tidy white International Style house on the edge of the Virginia State University Campus, where she and her life-long partner Edna Meade Colson lived. Both women maintained significant teaching positions at the University, living openly queer lives. In 1947 Amaza and her sister Maude began developing Azurest North, a 120 lot subdivision and vacation destination for middle class African Americans in Sag Harbor, New York, near the summer haunts of Melville, Steinbeck, Betty Friedan, Spaulding Gray. During the 1950s & 60s the community grew as a Black vacation spot attracting celebrities like Lena Horne and Harry Belafonte. Together, the homes and communities that Amaza Lee Meredith helped establish provided a sense of joy, pleasure, and a safe haven for members of the Black community, at a time when this wasn’t always possible. This episode explores the intersections of sexuality, modernity, art, architecture, and the faith community that nurtured this pair of lovers. Amaza and Edna found their home in each other and shared it openly with their church, their colleagues and their students. Special thanks to host Cynthia Kracauer, writers Jacqueline Taylor and Jessica Lynne, and to Brooke Williams who graciously provided Sag Harbor resident insights, as did advocates and preservationists Georgette Grier-Key, Michael Butler, and Renee Simons. And to Reverend Grady Powell and Reverend Dr.  George WC Lyons from Gillfield Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia. Franklin Johnson-Norwood is the Director of Alumni Relations at Virginia State University, and our excellent tour guide for Azurest South, and to Christina Morris of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. This episode was produced by Brandi Howell for the podcast New Angle Voice, a presentation of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation. Editorial advising from Alexandra Lange and assistance from Virginia Eskridge. Funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation. Take a look at the illustrated Amaza Lee Meredith profile on the Pioneering Women of Architecture website. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Funding for these programs comes from The National Endowment for the Arts, the Kaleta Doolin Foundation, and contributors to the non profit Kitchen Sisters Productions. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia Network from PRX.
20/06/2343m 32s

215—Prince and the Technician

In 1983 Prince hired LA sound technician Susan Rogers, one of the few women in the industry, to move to Minneapolis and help upgrade his home recording studio as he began work on the album and the movie Purple Rain. Susan, a trained technician with no sound engineering experience became the engineer of Purple Rain, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and all that Prince recorded for the next four years. For those four years, and almost every year after, Prince recorded at least a song a day and they worked together for 24 hours, 36 hours, 96 hours at a stretch, layering and perfecting his music and his hot funky sound. In celebration of Prince’s birthday The Kitchen Sisters reprise “Prince & The Technician.” An award winning professor of cognitive neuroscience and a legendary record producer, Susan Rogers has recently written a book, “This is What It Sounds Like," one of Behavioral Scientist’s Notable Books of 2022. It’s a journey into the science and soul of music that reveals the secrets of why your favorite songs move you. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of independent producers — some of the best podcasts out there. Find out more at kitchensisters.org.
06/06/2322m 59s

214 - The Passion of Chris Strachwitz 1931-2023 —Arhoolie Records

Chris was a man possessed. “El Fanatico,” Ry Cooder called him. A song catcher, dedicated to recording the traditional, regional, down home music of America, his adopted home after his family left Germany at the close of WWII. Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton, Clifton Chenier, Rose Maddox, Flaco Jimenez… the list is long and mighty. Chris Strachwitz was a keeper. His vault is jam-packed with 78s, 33s, 45s, reel-to-reels, cassettes, videos, photographs — an archive of all manner of recordings. And an avalanche of lifetime achievement awards — from the Grammy’s, The Blues Hall of Fame, The National Endowment for the Arts – for some 60 years of recording and preserving the musical cultural heritage of this nation through his label, Arhoolie Records. In honor of Chris Strachwitz The Kitchen Sisters reprise The Passion of Chris Strachwitz, produced for The Goethe Institute’s Big Pond series. With interviews with Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. Also featuring selected interviews done by Chris Strachwitz with Howlin’ Wolf and The Maddox Brothers and Rose. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell, mixed by Jim McKee. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia network from PRX.
16/05/2352m 6s

213 - Ada Louise Huxtable, Architecture Critic: The Art We Must Live With

Ada Louise Huxtable, who “invented” the profession of architecture critic, wrote countless articles for two great daily newspapers and had a gigantic influence on our understanding of the work of architects, real estate developers, city bureaucrats, and the city itself, over the course of six decades in print. Beginning in 1963, Huxtable was the first full-time architecture critic at an American newspaper. In 1970, she won the first Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism. With her impeccable civic values, cultivated aesthetic sensibility and lacerating accuracy, Ada Louise Huxtable, praised and razed. Huxtable, who was born and lived her life in New York City, raised the public’s awareness of architecture and the urban environment. She wrote for the New York Times and later for the Wall Street Journal. She served as Curatorial Assistant for Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art. Produced by Brandi Howell for the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation’s podcast, New Angle Voice. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson), with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. It is part of the Radiotopia Network from PRX.
02/05/2345m 5s

212 - Tony Schwartz Centennial- 30,000 Recordings Later

Cab drivers, children’s jump rope rhymes, folk songs, dialects, controversial TV ads, interviews with blacklisted artists and writers during the McCarthy Era — Tony Schwartz was one of the great sound recordists and collectors of the 20th Century. In honor of Tony Schwartz’s Centennial, The Kitchen Sisters Present an audio portrait of a man who spent his life exploring and influencing the world through recorded sound. It was 1947 when Tony first stepped out of his apartment in midtown Manhattan with his microphone to capture the sound of his neighborhood. He was a pioneer recordist, experimenting with microphones and jury-rigging tape recorders to make them portable (some of these recordings were first published by Folkways Records). His work creating advertising and political TV and radio commercials is legendary. The Kitchen Sisters visited Tony in his midtown basement studio in 1999. He had just finished teaching a media class at Harvard by telephone — Tony was agoraphobic and hardly ever ventured beyond his postal zone. He was there in his studio surrounded by reel to reel tape recorders, mixing consoles, framed photographs and awards — and row upon row of audio tapes in carefully labeled boxes. Tony passed away in 2008. His collection now resides in the Library of congress — 90.5 linear feet, 230 boxes, 76,345 items — some 30,000 folk songs, poems, conversations, stories and dialects from his surrounding neighborhood and 46 countries around the world. Tony’s Centennial is being celebrated on April 27, 2023, at the Library of Congress, as part of the Radio Preservation Task Force Conference—A Century of Broadcasting: Preservation and Renewal. This story is part of the Lost & Found Sound series produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Jay Allison and NPR. Special thanks to The National Endowment for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Humanities.
18/04/2322m 50s

211 - House/Full of Black Women

For some eight years now thirty-four Black women have gathered monthly around a big dining room table in the orange house on Orange Street in Oakland, CA—meeting, cooking, dancing, strategizing—grappling with the issues of eviction, erasure, gentrification, inadequate health care, and the sex trafficking of Black women and girls that are overwhelming their community. Spearheaded by dancer/choreographer Amara Tabor-Smith and theater director Ellen Sebastian Chang, this House/Full of Black Women—artists, scholars, healers, nurses, midwives, an ice cream maker, a donut maker, an architect, a theater director, a choreographer, sex trafficking abolitionists and survivors—have come together to creatively address and bring their mission and visions to the streets. Over the years they have created performances, rituals, pop-up processions in the storefronts, galleries, warehouses, museums and streets of Oakland. This hour-long special features sound-rich “episodes” of performances and rituals, interviews with sex trafficking abolitionists, personal stories of growing up in the Bay Area, music, Black women dreaming, resisting, insisting. Produced by Ellen Sebastian Change, Sital Muktari and The Kitchen Sisters, narrated by Sital Muktari, mixed by Jim McKee, in collaboration with an evolving House/Full of Black Women collective, Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Funding for this House/Full of Black Women Special comes from The Creative Work Fund, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Kaleta Doolin Foundation, The Texas Women’s Foundation, Susan Sillins, listener contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions, and PRX. Original funding for House/Full of BlackWomen was provided by Creative Capital, Creative Work Fund, The Kenneth Rainin Foundation, MAP Fund, and the Hewlett 50. House/Full of Black Women is part of The Keepers series produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, in collaboration with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton and mixed by Jim McKee. Archival sounds, recordings and compositions by Alexa Burrell. Visuals created by photographer Robbie Sweeney and designer Kevin Clarke. Ricardo Iamuuri Robinson created some of the soundscape. For names of all the many House/Full members who have had a hand in this project visit deepwatersdance.com.
28/03/2355m 12s

210-Ray Eames—Industrial Designer & Artist: Beauty in the Everyday

Many know Ray Eames as the small, dirndled woman behind her more famous husband, Charles Eames. But Ray was the industrial designer bending plywood in the spare bedroom, a talented artist who saw the world full of color, the visionary who treated folk art, cigarette wrappers, flowers, and toys as equally valuable and inspiring. Ray brought the sparkle and inspiration to the legendary Eames Office. The Kitchen Sisters Present Ray Eames from the New Angle Voice a podcast of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, produced by Brandi Howell. Editorial advising from Alexandra Lange. Thanks also to Virginia Eskridge, and Amy Auscherman, Director of Archives and Brand Heritage for MillerKnoll. The archival audio heard in this episode comes from the MillerKnoll archives and the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Intro music composed by Emma Jackson. Special thanks to Pat Kirkham, Lucia Dewey Atwood, Llisa Demetrios, Jeannine Oppewall, Donald Albrecht, Meg McAleer and Tracey Barton at the Library of Congress, and Alexandra Lange. Funding for this podcast comes from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Graham Foundation, and MillerKnoll. Funding for The Kitchen Sisters comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Susan Sillins Foundation, and contributors to The Kitchen Sisters non profit productions.
21/03/2339m 40s

209 - Black Reconstruction in America - W.E.B. Du Bois' 1935 Groundbreaking / Myth-Busting Book

In 1935, W. E. B. Du Bois, scholar, public intellectual, and social and political activist, published his magnum opus: Black Reconstruction in America. In it, he tackled the subject of the American Civil War and, especially, the decade or so that followed, a period known as Reconstruction. During Reconstruction it seemed, for a time, that the South and the United States as a whole, might be remade as a radically more equitable society. What was achieved during Reconstruction and why these efforts ultimately failed, is what concerns Du Bois in Black Reconstruction. He was also concerned with challenging and correcting the racist histories of Reconstruction that were prevalent in both popular and academic circles in his day. Black Reconstruction is a widely respected and celebrated book today, but many of its early readers were dismissive, perhaps none more than the academic historians who Du Bois was justifiably calling out. The American Historical Review, for its part, ignored the book entirely. No review. Well, until now. Almost a century later, the AHR just published a review of Black Reconstruction in the December 2022 issue, penned by Yale historian Elizabeth Hinton. Professor Elizabeth Hinton serves as our guide exploring W.E.B. Du Bois’ Black Reconstruction. We also hear from Eric Foner, Chad Williams, Sue Mobley, and Kendra Field. Produced by History in Focus, a podcast from The American Historical Review, hosted and produced by Daniel Story, Digital Scholarship Librarian at UC Santa Cruz. Voices in this Episode Elizabeth Hinton (Associate Professor of History and African American Studies at Yale University, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Law at Yale Law School) Eric Foner (DeWitt Clinton Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University) Chad Williams (Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Brandeis University) Sue Mobley (New Orleans based organizer/activist/urbanist; Director of Research at Monument Lab) Kendra Field (Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University; Project Historian for The Du Bois Freedom Center) Daniel Story (Host and Producer, Digital Scholarship Librarian at UC Santa Cruz)
07/03/2342m 28s

208 - Never a Man Spake Like This Man: The Black Preacher As Performing Artist

In the early 1980s, Black students and the African American community at American University had been demonstrating for more access and inclusion in the university’s community services. One of the demands was for four hours of time every Saturday on Radio station WAMU, the campus station. This demand was met and suddenly Black students and the community were pouring into the station on Saturdays to make radio, to learn the craft, to be heard. Judi Moore Smith heard the call and soon was producing 10 minutes every week during that four-hour Saturday slot. Someone heard one of Judi’s pieces and urged her to apply for funding. She was already going to Union Temple Baptist Church in Anacostia near Washington DC, mesmerized by the preaching of Rev. Willie Wilson. She began to cross the country interviewing preachers and ministers, capturing their speaking styles, their preaching styles, listening, watching, realizing these were not only religious men delivering weekly sermons—these were performing artists. Judi lit the path with this piece and the creation of a deep archive of Black history and creative expression. It is one of the projects that has inspired us over the years—the spirit, the stylizing, the swagger, the soul, the poetry—and the music. Judi asked one of the preachers, Reverend Robert Pruitt, to do the narration for the piece and gathered a kind of congregation in the studio with him to enact call and response. Davia reached out to Judi this year to see if she had a copy of the piece. It was created in the days way before the internet and the archiving of everything. Luckily we found a cassette of it at the Pacifica Archives. Special Thanks to Judi Moore Latta for all her pioneering radio documentary work especially about Black culture, history and expression and her decades of teaching and working with hundreds of young people across the years. And thanks to Pacifica Archive. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva, with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. The Kitchen Sisters receive support from the National Endowment for the Arts, and from generous contributors to The Kitchen Sisters nonprofit Productions. We’re part of PRX’s Radiotopia – a network of independently created and owned podcasts – some of the best stories out there.
21/02/2344m 50s

207 - The Golden Arches in Black America

Criticisms of fast food often focus on the industrialized system that produces the burgers, buns and fries, or the food’s negative health impacts. Some criticisms have noted the deep ties between McDonald’s and the Black community, blaming communities of color for bad choices, sometimes blaming the fast food industry for being predatory with its advertising or store locations. But the relationship between fast food and Black America is way more complicated. Jerusha Klemperer, host of the podcast “What You’re Eating” talks with Dr. Marcia Chatelain about her Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America,” and the history of that complicated relationship. This story was produced for “What You’re Eating” by Nathan Dalton and FoodPrint.org. We thank them for sharing it with The Kitchen Sisters Present. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. We are part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated network of independent producers who own their own work. Support for The Kitchen Sisters comes from The National Endowment for the Arts and supporters of The Kitchen Sisters Productions non profit.
07/02/2347m 37s

206 - Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll - The Stock Market Wizard of San Quentin is Released!

In 2015 we presented this story about Curtis Carroll, the Stock Market Wizard of San Quentin. Everyone in San Quentin called him Wall Street. He was teaching his fellow prisoners about stocks and had become an informal financial adviser to fellow inmates and correctional officers. After serving 27 years of a 54 years to life sentence in prison, Curtis Carroll, has been released on parole. We hear his story and talk to him about what’s next. When Wall Street was put in prison almost three decades ago he couldn’t read or write. One day he stumbled on the financial section of the newspaper thinking it was the sports section, which his cellmate used to read to him. An inmate asked him if he played the stocks. “I had never heard the word before,” Wall Street said. “He explained to me how it works and said, ‘This is where white people keep their money.’ When he said that I said, ‘Whoa, I think I stumbled across something here.’ ” Wall Street taught himself how to read and write beginning with candy wrappers and clothing logos. He pored over financial news: the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes. On the inside, Wall Street didn’t have access to a computer or the Internet, so he called his family members to check the closing prices for the day and told them what to buy. He says business is like a soap opera — he’s always trying to anticipate what will happen next. “I like to know what the CEO’s doing. I like to know who’s in trouble.” “I’m in prison, but I’m on just the same playing field as Warren Buffett,” Carroll says. “I can pick the exact same companies. I can’t buy as many shares, but technically we’re just the same.” You can find out more about Wall Street, his life and Financial Empowerment, Emotional Literacy Project at ProjectFeel.org. He’s also on Instagram (@CurtisWallstreetCarroll) and Youtube (@WallStreetCarroll). The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Wall Street’s original story was mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax Studios. We are part of PRX’s Radiotopia Network. This episode was produced in collaboration with Nancy Mullane and Life of the Law. Many thanks! Special thanks to Curtis Carroll, San Quentin Financial Literacy Program, Anna Deavere Smith, Arnold Perkins, Troy Williams, Lt. Sam Robinson, Tom DeMartini, Zach Williams, Clarence Long, James Fox and the Prison Yoga Project, Tracy Wahl, Jacob Conrad, Nigel Poor, TED, Pop-Up Magazine, and NPR. The Kitchen Sisters are supported by NEA and contributions to the non-profit Kitchen Sisters Productions.
17/01/2320m 40s

205-Silent Echoes: Sound Artist Bill Fontana —The Bells of Notre Dame

Since the devastating 2019 fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the ringing of the cathedral’s bells has ceased. Sound artist, Bill Fontana, known for his sound sculptures of Golden Gate Bridge, temple bells in Kyoto, and trees in Sequoia National Forest, creates a new work giving voice to the silenced bells of Notre Dame. To create his new work, Silent Echoes, Fontana attached seismic accelerometers—sensors designed to detect vibrations—to each of its ten bells of Notre Dame. As the bells reverberate in response to the ambient sounds of Paris—rain, the calls of birds, the noise of the street—the live feed is transmitted to a series of speakers at the Centre Pompidou creating a haunting, immersive sound sculpture. Silent Echoes debuted at the Centre Pompidou in June, where, on the fifth floor terrace of the museum, visitors stood awash in the acoustics of the bells, with the towers of Notre Dame in view just across the Seine. Alisa Carroll of the podcast Alcôve interviewed Bill Fontana in San Francisco and Davia Nelson spoke with him in Paris before the opening of the exhibition. This story was produced by Jim McKee.  Sound design and mixing by Jim McKee. Special thanks to Alisa Carroll and Jim McKee for sharing this piece with The Kitchen Sisters Present. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. For more info and stories visit kitchensisters.org The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of Radiotopia from PRX - a curated network of independent, creator owned podcasts.
03/01/2315m 25s

204 - Library of Congress Acquires Kitchen Sisters' Audio Collection - KQED Forum Interview

Over 7000 hours of interviews, oral histories, songs, field recordings, along with photographs, notebooks, journals, and research material created by The Kitchen Sisters has recently been acquired by The Library of Congress where it will be preserved and made accessible to researchers, students, other producers and the general public into the future. Alexis Madrigal of KQED’s Forum talks with Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva about the collection and their 40 year history of producing audio stories together. Stories featured and discussed include The Packhorse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky; The Birth of Rice A Roni; The Mohawk Iron Workers at the Twin Towers; and The Homobile—a Story of Transportation, Civil Rights and Glitter. The Kitchen Sisters have been working together since 1979 creating audio stories for NPR, public broadcast and their Kitchen Sisters’ Present podcast. They are the producers, with Jay Allison, of the Peabody Award winning series Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project, the DuPont Columbia Award winning series Hidden Kitchens, the NPR series Hidden World of Girls, and The Keepers, Stories of Activist Archivists, Rogue Librarians, Historians, Curators, Collectors — keepers of the culture and the free flow of information. The Kitchen Sisters Productions is supported by National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities, Creative Work Fund, Robert Sillins Family Foundation, TRA Fund, Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, Franklin Legacy Foundation, Susie Tompkins Buell Fund, and Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions.   The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network.
20/12/2235m 17s

203 - A San Quentin Wedding

Edmond Richardson is an audio producer for Uncuffed, a KALW podcast produced by people in prison. Recently, Edmond and his love, Avelina, got married inside San Quentin and Uncuffed produced this story. The Kitchen Sisters are great admirers of KALW’s Uncuffed podcast and are proud to share this story. KALW, San Francisco, has led rehabilitative classes in audio production inside San Quentin State Prison since 2012, and Solano Prison since 2018. Their mission is to provide media training to people in the carceral system. Radio producers from KALW visit the prisons to teach classes in audio production, and to help edit the stories. Audio engineers at KALW do some final polishing before it goes out to the world. Special thanks to the Uncuffed crew at San Quentin Prison: Tommy Shakur Ross, Edmond Richardson, Thanh Tran, and me, Greg Eskridge. Thanks to the team at KALW Public Radio: Ninna Gaensler-Debs, Angela Johnston, Sonia Paul, James Rowlands, Andrew Stelzer, Ben Trefny, Eli Wirtschafter, and sound designer, Eric Maserati "E" Abercrombie. Theme music by David Jassy, the Swedish phenom. And thanks to the staff at San Quentin Prison who make this possible: Mr. Skylar Brown, Ms. Madeline Tenney, and Lieutenant Sam Robinson, who approved this episode. We fact checked everything to the best of our ability. And a special thanks to Avelina and Carla for being a part of this episode. And Edmond and Avelina, Uncuffed wishes you all the happiness in your marriage. Thanks for listening. Uncuffed gets support from the California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. We are part of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX. Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts and contributors to the non profit Kitchen Sisters Productions.
06/12/2232m 31s

202 — Harvesting Wild Rice—White Earth Ojibwe Land Recovery Project

Each fall, the Ojibwe tribes of northern Minnesota harvest wild rice by hand. It’s a long process that begins with families in canoes venturing into the tall grasses, where rice is poled and gently brushed with knockers into the bed of the canoe. We journey to White Earth Reservation, out onto Big Rice Lake in a canoe, to see how one tribe is supporting itself and changing the diet of its people through community kitchen projects. And we talk with the founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project, Ojibwe leader, Winona LaDuke,  about the land, her fight to save wild rice, GMOs, her family, philosophy, and her candidacy for vice president of the United States on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nader. LaDuke is an Ojibwe leader, writer, food activist, rural development economist, environmentalist, Harvard graduate —and a force to be reckoned with. She’s the executive director of Honor the Earth, and most recently she was a leader at Standing Rock fighting the Dakota Access pipeline. When we visited Winona on the White Earth Reservation in 2004 for our Hidden Kitchens story Harvest on Big Rice Lake she spoke to us about her family, her life and work—and about how her Ojibwe father met her bohemian/artist/Jewish mother in New York City, how her dad went on to Hollywood to star in the Westerns and how he later became the New Age spiritual leader called Sun Bear. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Oregon, Winona moved to White Earth, her father’s reservation, after she graduated from Harvard in 1982. When she first arrived, she worked as the principal of the Reservation’s high school and became active in local issues. Seven years later, she started the non profit White Earth Land Recovery Project, dedicated to restoring the local economy and food systems and preserving wild rice. Today Winona LaDuke operates a 40-acre industrial hemp farm on the White Earth Indian Reservation with the idea of creating textiles for the people and the planet — of working towards a non petroleum based future. And she’s started 8th Fire Solar, operated by Anishinaabe, manufacturing solar thermal panels. “According to Anishinaabe prophecies, we are in the time of the Seventh Fire. At this time, it is said we have a choice between a path that is well-worn and scorched, and a path that is green and unworn. If we move toward the green path, the Eighth Fire will be lit and people will come together to make a better future.”
15/11/2222m 55s

201- From Nashville to Nairobi: A History of Country Western Music in Kenya

We trace the history of country music in Kenya, dating back to the 1920s and 30s when local populations first heard Jimmie Rodgers on early country western 78 records, to the current day, where the clubs of Nairobi are filled with rising stars bringing their own unique sounds to country music. Hear their takes on the hits of Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and more. And an interview and performance from Kenyan country singer Steve Rogers, radio and TV presenters Catherine Ndonye and David Kimitho, music historian Elijah Wald, and Olvido Records founder Gordon Ashworth. The music and stories of other artists in this episode include: John Nzenze. Reuben Kigame, Don Williams, Sir Elvis, Sammy Ngaku-Rosana, Herbert Misango, Frances Rugwiti, Carlos Kiba, Ythera Cowgirl, Steve Rogers, HM Karuiki, Joseph Kamaru. Produced by Brandi Howell for Afropop Worldwide The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts and contributors to the non-profit Kitchen Sisters Productions. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia Network from PRX.
01/11/2243m 58s

200 - Manny’s: A Civic Gathering Place

As elections loom, we need to get involved, step up to the civic plate, take part in discourse. And that’s what Manny Yekutiel has been driven to do since 2018. He’s created a community-focused meeting place in San Francisco — a gathering space for people to watch presidential debates, meet people working on the front lines of social change, and discuss issues with policy makers in person. From community forums debating the new trash can designs in San Francisco, to town hall meetings with political candidates for the Senate and the Presidency, Manny’s is place to commune, listen, and be heard. They’ve got a restaurant — Farming Hope, a non-profit that hires formerly homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals and trains them in the food skills needed to work in the restaurant industry. They’ve got a bookstore specializing in local history and politics — with no pressure to buy books. During the pandemic when every restaurant in town was building parklets on the street, Manny’s built a long string of outdoor booths, where instead of serving food, they ran a highly organized ‘Get Out the Vote’ campaign with citizens flocking to their parklet to text and phone bank for the 2020 Election. As church basements and social clubs fade as places where young people feel comfortable gathering, Manny has created a place — not home, not work — but a ‘third place’ where people can come together to meet and engage with civic leaders, elected officials, artists, and activists. Thanks to Precious Green and to the staff of Farming Hope. Thanks also to Valerie Velardi who led us to Manny’s, and to Manny Yekutiel for the time and the vision. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia from PRX, a network of hand crafted, independent, vibrant podcasts that widen your world.
18/10/2234m 26s

199 - Linda Ronstadt: Feels Like Home - A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands

The legendary Linda Ronstadt has a new book out. Feels Like Home: A Song for the Sonoran Borderlands — a historical, musical, edible memoir that spans the story of five generations of Linda’s Mexican American German family, from the Sonoran desert in Mexico to the Ronstadt family hardware store in Tucson to the road that led Linda to LA and musical stardom. Intimate and epic, "this is little Linda, Mexican Linda, cowgirl Linda, desert Linda." The book, written in collaboration with New York Times writer Lawrence Downes, is a road trip through the Sonoran Borderlands, from Tucson to Banámichi, Mexico — the path Linda’s immigrant grandfather took at a time when the border was not a place of peril but of possibility. We went to see Linda at home to ask her about the journey. This story was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) and Evan Jacoby in collaboration with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Mixed by Jim McKee Thanks to Lawrence Downes, John Boylan, Bill Steen, Janet Stark and The PRX Podcast Garage. And to the team at Heyday Books: Steve Wasserman, Kalie Caetano & Megan Beatie and to Putamayo Music who just released Feels Like Home: Songs From The Sonoran Borderlands, Linda Ronstadt’s Musical Odyssey. Special thanks to Linda Ronstadt for opening her home and her vault to this story.
04/10/2228m 33s

198 - The Real Ambassadors: Dave Brubeck, Iola Brubeck, and Louis Armstrong

The story of The Real Ambassadors, a jazz musical created by Dave Brubeck and Iola Brubeck for Louis Armstrong in the 1950/60s—a poignant tale of cultural exchange, anti-racism, jazz history, and it’s a love story—between life-long husband and wife partners, Iola and Dave Brubeck and their vision for a better world. The original show, featured Louis Armstrong, Carmen McCrae, Dave Brubeck and Lambert Hendricks and Bavan, and was performed live only once, at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1962. This year’s Monterey Jazz Festival, September 23-25, 2022, is the 60th Anniversary of the performance. The musical is based on the Jazz Ambassadors Program established by President Eisenhower and the US State Department during the Cold War as an effort to win hearts and minds around the world. Jazz musicians were sent out to represent the freedom and creativity of America through their art form. The irony is that Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie and most of the other Jazz Ambassadors were Black—they were treated like royalty around the world, but could not stay in hotels or play in integrated bands in their own country. The Brubeck’s musical was a chance for Louis Armstrong to speak out about his deep feelings about racism and segregation in this country — feelings he rarely expressed publicly. The story features original music, rare archival recorded letters back and forth between the Brubecks and Louis Armstrong about the project, rehearsal recordings and interviews with Dave and Iola Brubeck. Other voices include: the Brubeck’s sons, Chris and Dan Brubeck; Keith Hatschek, author of newly released book, "The Real Ambassadors;” Ricky Riccardi, Director of Research Collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum; and singer/actress Yolande Bavan, the last surviving performer involved in the project. Thanks to: Keith Hatschek, Chris, Brubeck, Dan Brubeck,  Ricky Riccardi, Yolande Bavan,  Lisa Cohen, and Wynton Marsalis. Special thanks to: The Louis Armstrong Educational Foundation and the Louis Armstrong House Museum; Michael Bellacosa and the Brubeck Collection, Wilton Library, Wilton, Connecticut; The Complete Louis Armstrong Columbia & RCA Victor Studio Sessions 1946-66 Mosaic Records 270; The Milken Family Foundation Archive Oral History Project; and The Library of Congress. The Real Ambassadors was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson) and Brandi Howell in collaboration with Jackson Spenner. Mixed by Jim McKee.
20/09/2236m 14s

197 - What Fire Reveals: Stories from the Amah Mutsun, Big Basin and the Lightning Fires in the Santa Cruz Mountains

In the early morning hours of August 16, 2020, 12,000 lightning strikes exploded across northern California, igniting more than 585 wildfires. In the Santa Cruz Mountains scattered blazes grew into one massive burning organism — The CZU August Lightning Complex Fire — eating all in its path, scorching some 86,000 acres, destroying over 900 homes and Big Basin, California’s first state park. We hear from young men and women from the Amah Mutsun Tribal band who have been working to clear and steward the land; archaeologists and historians from the historic Big Basin redwood State Park; and from residents of the Santa Cruz mountains who shared their experiences and stories for the historical record. This story grew out of a collaboration with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. People who lost their homes in the blaze were invited to bring in artifacts sifted from the ashes to be photographed by award winning photographer Shmuel Thaler and to be interviewed by The Kitchen Sisters about the fire, their homes, the environment, their lives. For more stories, photos and a video about the fires and this project visit kitchensisters.org. Special thanks to: Valentin Lopez, Chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band; Mark Hylkema, Cultural Resources Program Manager, Tribal Liaison, Archeologist, CA State Parks Santa Cruz District; Martin Rizzo Martinez, Historian, CA State Parks Santa Cruz District; Jennifer Daly, Museum Collections Manager, CA State Parks, Santa Cruz District; Dana Frank, Professor of History, UCSC; Members of The Amah Mutsun Land Trust and Stewardship Program; and all of the many who shared their stories for the historical record. With support from The California Humanities and The National Endowment for the Arts. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) and mixed by Jim McKee in collaboration with Grace Rubin, Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. In collaboration with photographer Shmuel Thaler and The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History,
06/09/2234m 25s

196 - Afghan Women Refugees in America (Rebroadcast)

In August, 2021, a group of young Afghan women journalists, musicians and activists fled their country in fear for their lives when the Taliban took over their nation. These women are navigating life today in the US. Many of these women were well known in their country as TV personalities, women wearing western clothing, their hair uncovered, who interviewed women and men on the popular morning news shows. “My background in the TV was one of biggest reasons for them to kill me,” says Taban Ibraz. “To do anything they want to do with me like they did with a lot of women in Afghanistan. They were targeting us.” Maryam Yousifi, journalist and clothing designer remembers, “I saw that my mother's crying. And she's saying that we have to hide you somewhere. We can’t keep you here because people knows our address. She gave me a hijab and she said, please wear this. She never told me that never, ever. She never told me that what should I wear.” The women were assisted by the nonprofit, Restore Her Voice, set up to help Afghan women, who had been in media or the arts, get out of Afghanistan and to help support them once they arrived in the United States. Special thanks to Taban Ibraz, Anaitza Walizada, Maryam Yousifi, Helal Massomi, Elham Karimi, Marika Partridge, Lori Davis, Ed James and Ajmal Subat. Thanks also to The Daily Antidote Podcast. Special thanks to writer and photographer Valerie Plesch for her article and photographs in the DCist that inspired this story. Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, The Kaleta Doolin Foundation, The Texas Women's Foundation and listener contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions for the funding that makes these stories possible. The Kitchen Sisters Present... is part of Radiotopia, an independent, story driven, carefully crafted podcast network from PRX.
16/08/2238m 28s

195 - Sheikh Imam: Egypt's Voice of Dissent

A blind oud player from humble beginnings, Sheikh Imam’s destiny changed drastically when he met a dissident poet called Ahmed Fouad Negm in 1960s Cairo, and they formed a duo. Together, they would go on start a new era in Egyptian popular music. Their songs would shake regimes, travel the world on cassette tapes, and transcend their own time to become part of the soundtrack to Egypt’s revolution decades later. And they managed all of this while dealing with constant harassment by the state - including long periods in prison. The story features two historians, one of Sheikh Imam’s collaborators, and a university lecturer who’s parents used to host Sheikh Imam’s concerts in their living room. The songs in this episode were composed and performed by Sheikh Imam and written by Ahmed Fouad Negm and Zein Alabidin Fouad. Lyric translations by Ahmed Hassan and Elliott Colla. This episode was produced by Kerning Cultures Podcast—Nadeen Shaker, Heba El-Sherif, and Alex Atack, and edited by Dana Ballout. Fact checking was by Deena Sabry and sound design, music, and mixing by Monzer El Hachem. Voice over by Eihab Seoudi, and translation help from Maha El Kady. Cover art by Ahmad Salhab. Many thanks to Kerning Cultures / Stories from the Middle East, North Africa, and the spaces in between.
02/08/2245m 14s

194 - From Pinoy to Punk — The Rise of the Mabuhay Gardens

Originally a Filipino restaurant and music club, The Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco’s North Beach transformed into a mecca for Bay Area punk and New Wave bands in the 1970s and 80s. The Avengers, the Nuns, The Dead Kennedys, Pearl Harbor and the Explosions, The Tubes, and so many others performed regularly at the club on Broadway. As the original Mabuhay Gardens, which featured Filipino celebrities and musical acts, fell on hard times, promoter Dirk Dirksen convinced club owner Ness Aquino to let him book bands on Monday and Tuesday nights. Soon the nights expanded and the club was packing in a growing young punk rock audience. Dirkson, the “Pope of Punk“ was the abrasive MC, whose insults baited the audience to heighten the energy of the club. He lured in big names like Nico, The Dead Boys, Patti Smith, the Runaways and connected the Mabuhay Gardens with the English punk scene helping to spread punk rock globally. “To play, you need a place – be it where you live, the street, a venue.  For unrestricted play, you need an unrestricted playground.  Dirk Dirksen envisioned The Fab Mab just as such a playground.  Without him and The Mab, there might not have been the great punk scene in the late 1970s in San Francisco.  The San Francisco punk scene was fun.  I miss it.  But as Iggy Pop said, ‘Let’s Sing.'”                                                                                                     — Mindy Bagdon Special thanks to Denise Demise Dunne, Liz Keim, Penelope Houston, Ron Greco, John Seabury, V Vale, Janet Clyde, and Kathy Peck. The archival interview with Dirk Dirksen is from Vale's RE/Search Conversations 13. We would like to dedicate this story to Mindy Bagdon (1934-2022), who brought warmth and kindness to every community he touched throughout his many years in San Francisco.   Produced by Brandi Howell with production support from Mary Franklin Harvin.
19/07/2233m 2s

193 - Afghan Women Refugees in America

The story of a group of young Afghan women journalists, musicians and activists, how they fled their country in fear for their lives when the Taliban took over their nation, and how they are navigating life today in the US. Many of these women were well known in their country as TV personalities, women wearing western clothing, their hair uncovered, who interviewed women and men on the popular morning news shows. “My background in the TV was one of biggest reason for them to kill me,” says Taban Ibraz. “To do anything they want to do with me like they did with a lot of women in Afghanistan.  They were targeting us.” Maryam Yousifi, journalist and clothing designer remembers, “I saw that my mother's crying. And she's saying that we have to hide you somewhere. We can’t keep you here because people knows our address. She gave me a hijab and she said, please wear this. She never told me that never, ever. She never told me that what should I wear.” The women were assisted by the nonprofit, Restore Her Voice, set up to help Afghan women, who had been in media or the arts, get out of Afghanistan and to help support them once they arrived in the United States. Special thanks to Taban Ibraz, Anaitza Walizada, Maryam Yousifi, Helal Massomi, Elham Karimi, Marika Patridge, Lori Davis, Ed James and Ajmal Subat. Thanks also to The Daily Antidote Podcast and to writer/photographer Valerie Plesch for inspiring this story and sharing her photographs with The Kitchen Sisterhood. Special thanks to writer and photographer Valerie Plesch for her article in the DCist that inspired this story. To see photographs and more about this story, plus an interview with Tanya Henderson, Founder and President of Mina’s List, a non-profit advancing women’s political leadership and global peace, are on our website, kitchensisters.org Thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts, The Kaleta Doolin Foundation, The Texas Women's Foundation and listener contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions for the funding that makes these stories possible. The Kitchen Sisters Present... is part of Radiotopia, an independent, story driven, carefully crafted podcast network from PRX.
05/07/2239m 3s

192 - Monterey Pop Festival Revisited

Long before there was Coachella, Outside Lands Festival, and the popular music gatherings of today, the Monterey Pop Festival was the first of its kind. Taking place in the fairgrounds of Monterey in the summer of 1967, the three-day festival brought to the stage the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and The Who. Their performances are now viewed as legendary markers in the history of rock and roll, but at the time, Jimi and Janis were newcomers to the rock scene. These debut appearances introduced them to the rest of the world and helped revolutionize the entire landscape of rock and roll music to come. In this episode, Darice Murray-McKay, Jonathan King, and Rosalie Howarth recount their experiences as young teenagers attending the legendary music festival. Additional commentary is provided by famed music critic Joel Selvin. Produced by Kitchen Sisters’ producer, Brandi Howell. Check out her podcast, The Echo Chamber, about music and its impact on culture.
21/06/2230m 30s

191—The Egg Wars and the Farallon Islands

The Egg Wars—a hidden Gold Rush kitchen—when food was scarce and men died for eggs. We travel out to the forbidding Farallon Islands, 27 miles outside San Francisco’s Golden Gate, home to the largest seabird colony in the United States. Over 250,000 birds on 14 acres. But it wasn’t always so. One hundred seventy years ago it was the site of the “Egg Wars.” During the 1850s, egg hunters gathered over 3 million eggs, violently competing with each other, and nearly stripping the island bare. In 1969 the Point Reyes Bird observatory began working to protect the Farallones. The islands had been through a lot. The devastating fur trade of the 1800s. The Egg Wars. During WWII the Islands were used as a secret navy installation with over 70 people living on the island. From 1946-1970 nearly 50,000 drums of radioactive waste were dumped in the Farallon waters. Fisherman often shot high powered rifles at sea lions and helicopters were causing whales and other animals to panic. Today the Farallones are off limits to all but researchers, some who live out on the desolate island for months in the old lighthouse there. Surrounded by thousands of birds, they wear hard hats to keep the gulls from dive bombing their heads. The Islands are a sanctuary—The Farallon National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Kitchen Sisters were given permission to travel out to the islands on one of the supply runs that goes out to the islands 2 times a month. The Farrallon National Wildlife Refuge is managed by US Fish and Wildlife Service Our story features: Gary Kamiya, journalist and author; Mary Jane Schram, Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary; Peter Pyle, Farallon Biologist; Ava Crosante, Illustrator; Peter White, Author of Farallon Islands—Sentinels of the Golden Gate; Skipper Roger Cunningham; Pete Warzybok, Scientist Farallon Islands; Russ Bradly, Farallon Program Leader for Point Blue Conservation Science. Special thanks to: Melissa Pitkin, Point Blue Conservation; Doug Cordell and the San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge Complex; Edward Jenkins; Julia Gulka; Sean Gee; Keith Hansen, Eve Williams, Gerry McChesnwey; and the Farallon Marine Sanctuary. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson, with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. We are part of PRX’s Radiotopia Network.
07/06/2218m 9s

190 - Florence Knoll: Total Design

As an architect, Florence Knoll was the force behind the seamless integration of furniture, space, textile, art, graphic design into a perfect brand concept: Total Design. She revolutionized office design and bringing modernist design to office interiors. She defined the modern corporate interiors of post-war America. Take a listen to this little known story of an amazing, little known architect and designer. Her influence transcends the specific disciplines, she was the force integrating them, and in her work at the Knoll Planning Unit, she promulgated the values that still motivate architects and designers today: solve the program with scale and detailing appropriate to the interior in support of how people behave in the active environment. This story was produced by New Angle: Voice of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation with host Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA. Podcast production by Brandi Howell.
17/05/2237m 38s

189 - Hillary and Huma

Late last year Hillary Rodham Clinton and best-selling Canadian mystery writer, Louise Penny, came out with a ripping geo-political thriller called State of Terror that quickly hit the New York Times Best Seller List. At about that same time, Secretary Clinton’s former close aide, Deputy Chief of Staff, and the vice chair of her 2016 presidential campaign, Huma Abedin, came out with her memoir, Both/And: A Life in Many Worlds, a story of her roots and the path that led her to work with the First Lady and the triumphs and controversies of her life. The two were crisscrossing the country separately on book tours at the same time. One night they both found themselves in San Francisco and were asked to be onstage together to talk about their new books. Davia Nelson was asked to be in conversation with them that evening and plugged in to the sound board. Here’s an edited version of the night with a few surprises added in. State of Terror comes out in paperback in June, and Huma’s book comes out in paperback in September. The wonderful actress Joan Allen reads the audio book version of Hillary and Louise Penny’s bestseller and Huma reads her own beautiful audiobook. The Kitchen Sisters Present is proud member of Radiotopia, a network of independent, story driven, truth seeking, heart cracking podcasts from PRX.
03/05/2240m 41s

188 - Fast Food and Radical Rooflines: Helen Fong Shapes Los Angeles Coffee Shops

Helen Fong, one of the few women practicing architecture in the US in the 1950s, is best known for her “Googie” California coffee shop architectural style. Pann’s Coffee Shop, Denny's, Bob's Big Boy— those bold, iconic, futuristic restaurants of the 1950s and 60s— there are thousands of them, not just in Los Angeles, where they were born, but across the country. These family restaurants are core to how America defined itself after World War II. Cars, families, space flight, modernism....the new world order. Pioneering architect Helen Fong helped define that futuristic look. Helen Fong was born in Los Angeles’ Chinatown in 1927. One of five children she grew up working in the family’s laundry business. In 1949 she received a degree in city planning from UC Berkeley, moved back to Los Angeles and got her first job working as a secretary for architect Eugene Choy. Two years later, she began working for Armet and Davis, well known for its work in the “Googie” architectural style. Modern, wild, whimsical—some of Fong’s most famous projects include Pann’s Restaurant, Johnie’s Coffee Shop, and Holiday Bowl, created to catch the eye of America’s fast growing car culture of the 1950s and 60s. This story was produced by New Angle: Voice of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation with host Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA. Podcast production by Brandi Howell.
19/04/2230m 54s

187 - Norma Sklarek: An Extremely Bold Hand

Norma Sklarek (1926-2012) had many “firsts”. She was often credited at the start of her career as the first Black Women architect to be licensed in the United States. That distinction actually goes to Beverly Greene – Norma was the 3rd. But it didn’t matter. Young Black girls read her name in the likes of Ebony Magazine – a staple publication in Black households at the time – when she was included in their 1958 article on “Successful Young Architects.” As more and more discovered her career, she became their role model. Born in 1926, in Harlem, Sklarek was the only child of Walter Ernest Merrick, a doctor, and Amy Merrick, a seamstress, both of whom had immigrated from Trinidad. She grew up in Harlem and Brooklyn, and attended predominately white schools, including Hunter College High School, a selective public school for girls, where she excelled in math and science and showed talent in the fine arts. Her aptitude for math and art prompted her father to suggest architecture as a career. She attended Barnard College and the School of Architecture at Columbia University. Many of her classmates were veterans of World War II, some had bachelor’s or master’s degrees . “The competition was keen,” she said. “But I had a stick-to-it attitude and never gave up.” After graduating from Columbia, Sklarek faced discrimination in her search for work as an architect, applying to and being rejected by nineteen firms. In 1954 she took the architecture licensing examination, passed it on her first try and became the first licensed African American woman architect in the state of New York. In 1955, Sklarek was offered a position in the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. During this period, she was a single mother of two children. Her mother cared for her children while Sklarek worked. 1959, she became the first African American woman member of the American Institute of Architects. In 1960, after five years at SOM, she took a job at Gruen Associates in Los Angeles. She also served on the architecture faculty at University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California. in 1985, she cofounded the woman-owned firm, Siegel Sklarek Diamond, with Margot Siegel and Katherine Diamond. At the time, it was the largest woman-owned architectural firm in the United States, and Sklarek was the first African American woman to co-own an architectural practice. This story was produced by New Angle: Voice, a production of the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation with host Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA. Podcast production by Brandi Howell.
05/04/2238m 56s

186 - Coal + Ice: Visualizing the Climate Crisis

Coal + Ice, a powerful global exhibition of photographs, videos, and immersive imagery that focuses on the climate crisis and provokes action is now on display in Washington DC through April 22, 2022. Coal + Ice began in Beijing in 2011 with the unprecedented showing of images of Chinese coal miners taken by Chinese photographers. It has now now expanded to the work of 50 photographers from around the world, capturing images of the climate catastrophe as it unfolds around the globe. Photographers and video artists include: Jimmy Chin, David Breashears, Song Chao, Camille Seaman, Gideon Mendel, Meredith Kohut, Jamey Stillings, Matt Black, Barbara Kopple, Dana Lixenberg and historical work from Robert Capa, Lewis Hine, Gordon Parks, Eugene Smith, Bruce Davidson and others. Coal + Ice also features installations, panels, music, conversations, cash awards to young artists weaving climate into their work and more. For over a decade the exhibit has traveled the world evolving and expanding as the climate crisis unfolds. First Beijing, then Delhi, then Paris, Shanghai, San Francisco and now in Washington DC at the Kennedy Center through April 22, 2022. Before the Pandemic, when Coal + Ice came to a massive exhibition hall on a pier in San Francisco, we traveled through the exhibit with our microphone. Special thanks to Susan Meiseles, Orville Schell, Geng Yunsheng, Michael Tilson Thomas, Joshua Robison, Gideon Mendel and Jeroen de Vries. Coal + Ice was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) and Evan Jacoby with help from Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax Productions.
15/03/2218m 3s

185 - Natalie de Blois — To Tell the Truth

Natalie de Blois loved systems – understanding how things worked.  For her, it wasn’t just pretty buildings, she challenged the code and questioned the status quo. And like the buildings she designed, there was a certain complexity to Natalie herself.  She was a woman of resilient beauty, inspiring yet distant, ahead of her time. Natalie de Blois (1921–2013), a pioneering woman architect, contributed to some of the most iconic modernist works for corporate America, all while raising four children.  After leaving a significant mark on post-war NYC Park Avenue, she transferred to the Skidmore Owings and Merrill Chicago office, where she became actively involved in the architecture feminist movement and was one of the leaders in the newly formed Chicago Women in Architecture advocacy group.  Later, she finished her career as a professor at UT Austin, where she trained a future generation of architects. The Kitchen Sisters Present Episode 2 from New Angle: Voice, produced by Brandi Howell with editorial advising from Alexandra Lange. New Angle: Voice is a new podcast exploring the lives and careers of female pioneers of American Architecture brought to you by the Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, with support from Miller Knoll and SOM. Special thanks to Matt Alvarez and Iowa Public Radio for their production assistance. Thanks also to Gabrielle Esperdy, Audrey Matlock, Carol Krinsky, Carol Ross Barney, Margaret McCurry, Peter Dixon, John Newman, Liz Watykus, Julia Murphy and Robert de Blois. The archival audio of Natalie de Blois interviewed by Betty Blum is from the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Architects Oral History Project.  Thank you to Nathaniel Parks, Director of the  Art Institute of Chicago Archives, for help with this recording.
01/03/2248m 26s

184 - The Road Ranger—My Business Is Trouble

We first caught sight of him in a convenience store buying Marlboros and a Coke for the road. He was dressed in a grey jumpsuit, pants tucked into black boots, silver belt buckle and a large black Stetson hat. Out front, his Ford Ranchero pick-up idled in the parking lot, the words “Champion of the Stranded Traveler” emblazoned in gold on the door. We struck up a conversation. “I go on the road looking for trouble and whenever I find some, I stop.”  His voice was deep and resonant, his timing, impeccable.  “I suppose that’s why they call me “The Bloodhound of Breakdown.  But then, my business is trouble.” He lit a cigarette and handed us his card — “The Road Ranger — Scourge of the Tow Hook and the Long Delay.” We go out on patrol with The Road Ranger in one of the first stories produced by The Kitchen Sisters. This bonus episode is part of a special Radiotopia-wide project. This week, shows across the network are releasing episodes on the theme “Making Trouble.” You can learn more and donate to support our work at radiotopia.fm.
22/02/2214m 10s

183 - That Cheap, Delicious, Rotisserie Chicken

Cheap rotisserie chicken sold everywhere in markets and grocery outlets. Why is that chicken so cheap? How was it raised and what’s even in it? How much would it cost for farms to raise a chicken you could feel good? What would it taste like? Where can you find one of these chickens now? And why is it so hard to find them? The Kitchen Sisters Present the first episode of What You’re Eating, a brand new podcast from FoodPrint.org. In this episode host Jerusha Klemperer talks to food policy experts, food label certifiers, farmers and more to dig into the economics, agriculture and taste of chicken. FoodPrint.org is dedicated to research and education on more sustainable approaches to food production and consumption and ways we can improve things and take action to make real change in the food system.
15/02/2255m 10s

182 - "The porters were fed up." C.L. Dellums and the rise of America's first Black union

In the early 20th century, the largest employer of Black men in the United States was the Pullman Car Company, which operated luxurious trains that carried millions of passengers around the booming nation in an era before airplanes and interstate highways. Ever since the company’s founding during the Civil War, Pullman exclusively hired Black men as porters to keep the train cars clean and serve the white passengers. Although the job was prestigious, by the 1920s porters were fed up with the low pay, long hours, and abusive conditions. Their struggle to unionize became one of the most significant civil rights conflicts of the pre-WWII era and laid the groundwork for the movement led by Martin Luther King Jr. in later years. Produced by Liam O’Donoghue for his podcast East Bay Yesterday, this story explores how Oakland’s C.L. Dellums helped the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters triumph over one of the nation’s most powerful corporations, and also his massive impact on challenging widespread racial discrimination throughout California. Dellums helped make jobs in wartime industries available to Black workers, setting the stage for the “second great migration” on the West Coast; he organized early protests against police brutality; and he helped end widespread racial segregation among powerful labor unions. His goal was nothing short of “total freedom and equality.” With special guest Susan D. Anderson, the History Curator and Program Manager at the California African American Museum, and the author of a forthcoming book on California’s Black history. This episode also features a segment from the **Black Liberation Walking Tour **which includes the voices of C.L. Dellums and his daughter Marva. Many thanks to Liam O’Donoghue for sharing his work on The Kitchen Sisters Present.
01/02/221h 5m

181 - The Accidental Archivist—Keeping the Wooster Group

The Wooster Group, perched on a street corner in Soho in downtown New York, at the forefront of experimental theater for some 40 years. Singular, rigorous, flamboyant. Their startling performances unravel and transform classic texts by Brecht, Shakespeare, Chekhov, Eugene O’Neill... along with their own striking original works. Six Obies, nine Bessies, accolades from around the world as they tour their works through Europe and Asia. Theater. One of the more ephemeral of art forms. How to preserve the work, chronicle it, archive it for the ages? Yes, there are scripts, props, sets, costumes — a pair of muddy shoes from a 1981 production of Route 1 & 9. But what if you're experimental theater? Devoted to process, improvisation, the dense layering of ideas and texts and sound and image, performances ever-changing? Obsessed with preserving everything—every rehearsal, every production meeting, every performance. How do you catalog something in a constant state of flux? Clay Hapaz entered the universe of The Wooster Group as an intern in 1992. In 2000 he became their official archivist. Voices you’ll hear include Clay Hapaz, Kate Valk, Frances McDormand, Hilton Als, Peter Sellars, Spalding Gray and Elizabeth LeCompte. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) and Evan Jacoby in collaboration with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Mixed by Jim McKee.   Special Thanks: Clay Hapaz, Kate Valk, Frances McDormand, Juliet Lashinsky-Revene, Hilton Als, Peter Sellars, Fran & Kate’s Drama Club and Elizabeth LeCompte.  Music: Matt Dougherty and The Wooster Group’s archive.  Thanks also to Lumi Tan, Lewanne Jones and Claire Maske. Support for the Stories comes from The National Endowment for the Arts & Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions (Many thanks) The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia Podcast Network on PRX. Thanks for listening
18/01/2225m 14s

180 - The Great Amish Pandemic Sewing Frolic

On Sunday, December 19, 2021, The Cleveland Clinic and five other major health care institutions in Northeastern Ohio took out a full page ad in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the largest newspaper in the region. Simple and stark, the page was blank, save for the word—HELP—written in bold black letters. Today the health care system of the region is nearing its breaking point with over 1700 hundred healthcare givers in the area out either with COVID-19 and its variants or in quarantine from having been exposed. Ohio is one of six states accounting for more than half of the nations’ recent COVID hospitalizations.  Over 55% of Ohioans are unvaccinated and it is mostly unvaccinated people filling the hospitals there. In the first year of the pandemic we presented the story The Great Amish Pandemic Sewing Frolic, centered in this same part of Ohio.  When we saw the word HELP we thought it was time to reprise this story and shine a light on a time in the pandemic when people pulled together to help keep one another safe. The story begins In April 2020. The pandemic is roaring, PPE is scarce and the supply chains are breaking down. A New York Times headline catches our eye: “Abe Make a Sewing Frolic” — In Ohio The Amish Take on the Coronavirus. This isolated, centuries-old, self-reliant community was rising to the occasion and collaborating with the outside world to fill the PPE needs of the massive Cleveland Clinic and beyond. Artist Laurie Anderson helps narrate this story produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Outskirts Productions, designer Stacy Hoover, and producer Evan Jacoby. \
04/01/2220m 51s

179 - The Nights of Edith Piaf

She rose every day at dusk and rehearsed, performed, ate and drank until dawn. Then slept all day, woke up and began to create and unravel again as the sun went down. Nearly every song Edith Piaf sang came from a moment of her life on the streets of Paris. She would tell her composer and musician lovers a story, or describe a feeling or show them a gesture and they would put music and words to her pain and passion, giving her back her own musical autobiography. Charles Aznavour, Francis Lai, Georges Moustaki, Henri Contet, some of France’s great musicians and writers recall their nights with Edith Piaf. The Nights of Edith Piaf was produced by The Kitchen Sisters with Don Drucker, mixed by Robin Wise for Soundprint in collaboration with Raquel Bitton, who hosts and translates the program.
21/12/2131m 16s

178- Hidden Kitchens - With Host Frances McDormand

Hidden Kitchens, the duPont-Columbia and James Beard Award winning radio series on NPR’s Morning Edition, explores the world of unexpected, below the radar cooking, legendary meals and eating traditions — how communities come together through food. With host Frances McDormand this collection of stories chronicles kitchen cultures, past and present including: An Unexpected Kitchen—The George Foreman Grill; Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere—A Secret Civil Rights Kitchen; A Prison Kitchen Vision; the Ojibwe Harvest on Big Rice Lake; Hidden Kitchen Calling from from around the country, and more. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters and Jay Allison and mixed by Jim McKee. Made possible by in part by The National Endowment for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and contributors to The Kitchen Sisters Productions.
07/12/2151m 7s

177 - The Pardoning of Homer Plessy

One hundred-twenty-five years after he was arrested for sitting down in a whites-only train car, Homer Plessy may be pardoned for his crime. In 1896 his landmark case, Plessy V. Ferguson, went before the Supreme Court which ruled to uphold "separate but equal" racial segregation which remained in effect until 1954. In June,1892, Homer Plessy, a mixed race shoemaker in New Orleans, was arrested, convicted and fined $25 for taking a seat in a whites-only train car. This was not a random act. It was a carefully planned move by the Citizen’s Committee, an activist group of Free People of Color, to fight a new law being enacted in Louisiana which threatened to re-impose segregation as the reforms made after the Civil War began to dissolve. The Citizen’s Committee recruited Homer Plessy, a light skinned black man, to board a train and get arrested in order to push the case to the Supreme Court in hopes of a decision that would uphold equal rights. Homer’s case was defeated 7 to 1. The case sharply divided the nation racially and its defeat “gave teeth” to Jim Crow. The “separate but equal” decision not only applied to public transportation it spread into every aspect of life — schools, public toilets, public eating places. For some 58 years it was not recognized as unconstitutional until the Brown V. Public Education case was decided in 1954. Homer Plessy died in 1925 and his conviction for breaking the law remained on his record. Now, 125 years after his arrest, the Louisiana Board of Pardons voted unanimously to recommend that Homer Plessy be pardoned for his crime. The pardon was spearheaded by Keith Plessy, a descendent of Homer Plessy, and Phoebe Ferguson, the great, great granddaughter of John Howard Ferguson, the convicting judge in the case. The two have joined forces digging deep into this complex, little known story – setting the record straight, and working towards truth and reconciliation in the courtrooms, on the streets and in the schools of New Orleans and across the nation. The Plessy and Ferguson Foundation is responsible for erecting plaques throughout New Orleans commemorating African American historic sites and civil rights leaders. This episode also delves into the story of one of these markers commemorating the integration of the McDonogh 19 Elementary School by three 6 year old African American girls in 1960.
16/11/2131m 2s

176-Arctic Ice, Extreme Weather—Activist Photographer Camille Seaman

Arctic Ice, Extreme Weather, the Reckoning at Standing Rock—a journey into the deep rich world of photographer Camille Seaman. Born to a Native American father and African-American mother, Camille Seaman has been bearing witness and sounding the alarm through her powerful, other worldly photographs for more than 20 years. Her photographs and vivid stories document her journeys to the Arctic and Antarctic over the past two decades, her work as a storm chaser in the midwest, her documentation of the Standing Rock water protectors, and her ongoing project “We Are Still Here,” photographing Indigenous people around the country, in all walks of life, along with messages to their future ancestors. Camille was raised by her Shinnecock grandparents in Long Island and inspired by her grandfather’s teachings about our interrelatedness with nature. She attended the “Fame” High School of Music and Performing Arts in New York City, living from couch to couch, working as a bicycle message and a one-hour photo lab operator.  Her award winning photographs have been published in National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. She is a TED Senior Fellow and a Stanford Knight Fellow, and she was honored with a one person exhibition, "The Last Iceberg" at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington D.C. The Kitchen Sisters interviewed Camille Seaman as part of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music’s 2021 Season. Her imagery was featured at the Festival as part of a piece entitled MELT, a lament on climate change with music composed by Sean Shepherd.
02/11/2126m 37s

175 - Finding Julia Morgan

Julia Morgan, the first woman architect to be licensed in California, designed over 700 buildings in California including Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Despite her prolific career her architectural genius was overlooked by history for almost 100 years before she posthumously earned the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal. Morgan was the first woman to be admitted to the architecture program at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. She designed many buildings serving women and girls, including a number of YWCAs, Women’s Clubs and buildings for Mills College. She pioneered the use of reinforced concrete in many of her buildings, a material that proved to have superior seismic performance in the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. Julia Morgan’s almost forgotten story has been lovingly researched and passed down over the years by a remarkable linage of “Keepers” and is chronicled in “Finding Julia Morgan,” the pilot episode of New Angle: Voice, a podcast about the lives and careers of pioneering Women in Architecture. Produced by Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation, directed by Cynthia Phifer Kracauer, AIA, and radio producer Brandi Howell.
19/10/2143m 48s

174 - The Braveheart Grandmothers and Yankton Sioux Coming of Age Ceremony

The Braveheart Women’s Society, a group of Yankton Sioux grandmothers and tribal elders, have re-established an almost forgotten coming of age ritual for young girls—the Isnati, a four day traditional ceremony on the banks of the Missouri River in South Dakota. This year the 24th Isnati ceremony took place. Eleven summers ago The Kitchen Sisters were invited to document this ceremony for our Hidden World of Girls Series. It was a mind expanding experience. The grandmothers, mothers, aunties and older sisters teach the girls to set up their own teepee, collect traditional herbs and flowers used for remedies. The girls are not allowed to touch food or feed themselves for four days; they are fed and given water by their mother or other women at the ceremony. They are being treated as babies for the last time in their lives. Throughout the days, the elders talk to the girls about modesty, courtship, pregnancy — and suicide, a serious problem on the reservations. One of the grandmothers, Theresa Heart, makes each girl a special dress. On the last day of the ceremony, the girls, one at a time, go into the teepee with their mother or auntie who bathes them, dresses them, does their hair, and paints their forehead. The elder tells the girl stories about what she was like as a baby, how beautiful she is and about the hopes and promises for her future.The girls prepare sacred ceremonial food and feed their community. She is given a new name and is presented to the the community as a woman. We hear from grandmothers Faith Spotted Eagle, Theresa Heart, and Madonna Thunder Hawk who speak about Indian boarding schools, activism, and the importance of re-establishing traditions and rituals in their community. Special thanks to the grandmothers, Brook Spotted Eagle and all the young women who have participated in the Isnati Coming of Age Ceremony. Thanks also to the WoLakota Project.
05/10/2127m 25s

173 - Betty Reid Soskin, Celebrating the 100th Birthday of the Oldest Park Ranger in America

Betty Reid Soskin, the nation's oldest serving Park Ranger, works at the Rosie the Riveter Home Front World War II National Historical Park in Richmond, CA. Her tours and talks are hot ticket items. As a Black woman who worked in the segregated war effort, her perspective helps reveal a fuller, richer understanding of the World War II years on the home front as experienced by women and people of color. In celebration of Betty Reid Soskin’s 100th year we’ve curated a kind of mix tape of Betty stories—stories gathered and preserved by producers and archivists over the years. Betty was born September 22, 1921. Her Creole / Cajun family was from New Orleans and her great grandmother had been born into slavery in 1846. Betty grew up in Oakland in the 1920s and 30s, raised four children in the highly segregated Diablo Valley area where the family was subject to death threats. During WWII she works as a file clerk for Boilermakers Union A-36, a Jim Crow all black union auxiliary. She and her first husband, Mel Reid, owned one of the first Black record shops west of the Mississippi located in Berkeley. Betty is an activist, a singer, songwriter, poet musician. She was a Field Representative for California State Assembly women Dion Aroner and Lonnie Hancock. Special thanks to: This is Love Podcast and creators Phoebe Judge and Lauren Spohrer; The San Francisco Public Library and Shawna Sherman of the African American Center of the San Francisco Main Library; and A Lifetime of Being Betty, a Little Village Foundation recording release produced by Mike Kappus. Thanks also to Betty’s son, musician and songwriter Bob Reid.
21/09/2158m 30s

172 - The Sonic Memorial—The 20th Anniversary of 9/11m], Narrated by Paul Auster

An intimate and historic documentary commemorating the life and history of The World Trade Center and its surrounding neighborhood, through audio artifacts, rare recordings, voicemail messages and interviews. The Sonic Memorial Project was produced by The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with NPR, independent radio producers, artists, writers, archivists, historians and public radio listeners throughout the country. The Sonic Memorial Project began in October 2001 as part of the Lost & Found Sound series. We opened a phone line on NPR for listeners to call in with their stories and audio artifacts relating to the Sept. 11 attacks and the history of the World Trade Center. Hundreds of people called with testimonies and remembrances, music and small shards of sounds. Combining interviews, voicemail messages, audio contributions from listeners, oral histories, home videos and recorded sounds of all kinds, the Sonic Memorial Project team created a series of stories for broadcast on NPR’s All Things Considered. Now, these stories and contributions from listeners across the country can be heard at the Peabody Award-winning website SonicMemorial.org where you can explore the archive, contribute your own sounds and stories, and immerse yourself in the Sonic Browser, an interactive soundscape of stories and audio fragments.
07/09/211h 2m

171—What Fire Reveals: Stories from the CZU August Lightning Fires in The Santa Cruz Mountains

In the early morning hours of August 16, 2020, 12,000 lightning strikes exploded across northern California, igniting more than 585 wildfires. In the Santa Cruz Mountains scattered blazes grew into one massive burning organism — The CZU August Lightning Complex Fire — eating all in its path, scorching some 86,000 acres, destroying over 900 homes and Big Basin Redwoods, California’s first state park. A year later the fire is still burning deep in some of the roots and stumps of ancient trees. In the aftermath, The Kitchen Sisters turned their microphones on the region, looking for what was lost and what has been found since lightning struck. This story grew out of a collaboration with the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. People who lost their homes in the blaze were invited to bring in artifacts found in the ashes to be photographed by award winning photographer Shmuel Thaler and interviewed by The Kitchen Sisters about the fire, their homes, the environment, their lives. These stories and photographs are part of an exhibition at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) and mixed by Jim McKee in collaboration with Grace Rubin, Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Special thanks to photographer Shmuel Thaler, The Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, The Amah Mutsun Land Trust and Stewardship Program, UCSC Professor Dana Frank, California State Parks, Mark Hylkema, Martin Rizzo Martinez, Jennifer Daly, and all of the many who shared their stories for the historical record. With support from The California Humanities and The National Endowment for the Arts.
16/08/2133m 43s

170—Route 66—The Mother Road

John Steinbeck called it the “Mother Road.” Songwriter Bobby Troup described it as the route to get your kicks on. And Mickey Mantle said, “If it hadn’t been for Highway 66 I never would have been a Yankee.” For the Dust Bowl refugees of the 1930s, for the thousands who migrated after World War II, and for the generations of tourists and vacationers, Route 66 was “the Way West.” Route 66, the first continuously paved highway linking east and west was the most traveled and well known road in America for almost fifty years. From Chicago, it ran through the Ozarks of Missouri, across Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, up the mesas of New Mexico and Arizona, and down into California to the Pacific Ocean. The first road of its kind, it came to represent America’s mobility and freedom—inspiring countless stories, songs, and even a TV show. Songwriter Bobby Troup tells the story of his 1946 hit Get Your Kicks on Route 66; Gladys Cutberth, aka Mrs. 66 and members of the old “66 Association” talk about the early years of the road. Mickey Mantle explains “If it hadn’t been for US 66 I wouldn’t have been a Yankee.” Stirling Silliphant, creator of the TV series “Route 66” talks about the program and its place in American folklore of the 60s. Studs Terkel reads from “The Grapes of Wrath” and comments on the great 1930s migration along Highway 66. We hear from Black and white musicians including Clarence Love, head of Clarence Love and his Orchestra, Woody Guthrie, and Eldin Shamblin, guitar player for Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys—who remember life on the road for musicians during the 1930s. We travel the history of the road from its beginnings as “The Main Street of America,” through the “Road of Flight” in the 1930s, to the “Ghost Road” of the 1980s, as the interstates bypass the businesses and road side attractions of another era. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters and narrated by actor David Selby.
27/07/211h 2m

169—Cry Me A River

Today we’re thinking about Pack Creek Ranch in southern Utah and an incredible archive of material, gathered by river guide and environmental activist Ken Sleight, that was consumed by fire in early June, 2021. The archive held over 50 years of photographs, writings, and correspondence chronicling Ken Sleight’s years of guiding on the Colorado River, his fight to stop the damming of Glen Canyon and the filling of Lake Powell in the 1950s and 60s, and his close friendship with Edward Abbey, author of The Monkey Wrench gang. Ken is the inspiration for Abbey’s character Seldom Seen Smith. In honor of Ken Sleight and all who are out there working to save our planet we share again “Cry me a River” – the dramatic stories of three pioneering river activists—Ken Sleight, Katie Lee, and Mark Dubois and the damming of wild rivers in the west. Katie Lee, born in 1917, a former Hollywood starlet, ran the Colorado River through Glen Canyon long before it was dammed, and in 1955 was the 175th person to run the Grand Canyon. An outspoken conservationist, singer and writer, she spent her life fighting for rivers. Mark Dubois, co-founder of Friends of the River, Earth Day and International Rivers Network, began as a river guide who opened up rafting trips to disabled people in the 1970s. Dubois protested the damming and flooding of the Stanislaus River by hiding himself in the river canyon and chaining himself to a rock as the water rose in 1979. We thank producer, river activist and “Keeper,” Martha Ham for her inspiration, her work on this story, and for chronicling Ken Sleight’s life and world on the river. This piece is part of Stories from the Heart of the Land, a series featuring intimate stories from around the world about the human connection to land and landscape, produced by Atlantic Public media and supported by The Nature Conservancy. Special thanks to Jay Allison and Emily Botein.
13/07/2133m 11s

169-Gert McMullin—Sewing on the Frontline—From the AIDS Quilt to COVID-19 PPE

In 1985, Gert McMullin was one of the first San Franciscans to put a stitch on the AIDS Quilt, the quilt that began with one memorial square in honor of a man who had died of AIDS, and that now holds some 95,000 names. Gert never planned it this way, but over the decades she has become the Keeper of the Quilt and has stewarded it, repaired it, tended it, traveled with it and conserved it for some 33 years. Gert knows the power of sewing. In 2020, when COVID-19 hit, Gert was one of the first Bay Area citizens to begin sewing masks—PPE for nurses and health care workers who were lacking proper protection—masks she made from fabric left over from the making of the AIDS Quilt. The comfort, outrage and honoring of an earlier pandemic being used to protect people from a new one. In January of 2020 The AIDS Memorial Quilt, now part of The National AIDS Memorial, returned home to the Bay Area after 16 years in Atlanta. It took six 52-foot semis to get it there. The over sixty tons of quilt, is made up of about 48,000 panels, each 3 x 6 feet, the size of a grave. The extensive AIDS Archive, which Gert gathered, collected and protected since its earliest days, is now part of The American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. This piece features stories of Gert McMullin and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Gay Rights Movement in San Francisco, Harvey Milk and The White Night Riots and more. With interviews with LGBT Rights activist Cleve Jones who worked with Harvey Milk and conceived of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and John Cunningham, Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial.
22/06/2132m 34s

168-Soul to Soul at 50 — A Homecoming Festival in Ghana for African American Artists, 1971

Fifty years ago, a group of some of the top musicians from the United States — Ike and Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, the Staple Singers, Santana and more -– boarded a plane bound for Ghana to perform in a musical celebration that was dubbed the “Soul to Soul Festival.” Thousands of audience members filled Accra’s Black Star Square for a continuous 15 hours of music. The festival was planned in part for the annual celebration of Ghana’s independence, but also as an invitation to a “homecoming” for these noted African-American artists to return to Africa. This episode revisits the famed music festival on its 50th anniversary and explores the longstanding legacy of cultural exchange with African diasporans originally set forth in the 1950s by Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana. Noted musicologist John Collins, poet and scholar Tsitsi Ella Jaji, concert goers and more. Produced by Brandi Howell for Afro Pop USA.
08/06/2153m 39s

166—Danni Washington and The Genius Generation

We’re excited about The Genius Generation, a new podcast hosted by Danni Washington, and we want you to get in on it. The Genius Generation — innovative kids, tweens and teens who are making discoveries, taking on the issues and problems they see around them and inventing new solutions using science. Host Danni Washington is a young science communicator dedicated to inspiring and educating youth about all things science. Danni, the first African American woman to host a Science Television Show in the US, interviews these young problem solvers and inventors and shares their stories of innovation and inspiration. Young people are sounding the alarm, not accepting things as they are, and using their smarts and ingenuity to invent the change they want to see. Featuring an interview with host Danni Washington and an episode from The Genius Generation Season 1 - the story of Luna Abadia the 16 year old founder of the Effective Climate Action Project. The Genius Generation. A new podcast from TRAX and PRX.
25/05/2130m 42s

166-Dave Brubeck & The Ambassadors of Jazz

“A blue note in a minor key—America has its secret sonic weapon—Jazz.” That was the headline in 1955 when the United States sent its top musicians overseas to promote democracy. They called them the Jazz Ambassadors—Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Dave Brubeck. Today, in honor of Dave Brubeck month (May 4 is Dave Brubeck day — that’s 5/4 named for the 5/4 time signature of take 5) the story of Dave Brubeck and the Jazz Ambassadors. In 1958, the Dave Brubeck Quartet embarked on a tour of Europe and Asia sponsored by the U.S. State Department. And a special interview with Dave Brubeck’s sons, Dan and Chris Brubeck and what it was like growing up with their very unusual and genius father. Excellent musicians in their own right, the two share intimate memories of their father and his legendary contributions to modern jazz. Featuring interviews with Keith Hatschek, Program Director for Music Management and Music Industry Studies at the University of Pacific; and Mike Wurtz, Assistant Professor and Head of Special Collections and Archives at the Holt-Atherton Special Collections at the University of Pacific Library. The archival recording of Dave Brubeck is from his interview with Monk Rowe from the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College. Produced by Brandi Howell for The Echo Chamber Podcast.
11/05/2144m 16s

165—Spotlight on Black-Owned Pet Business Entrepreneurs

Lured in by a blackboard sign on the street in Davia’s neighborhood announcing “Spotlight on Black Entrepreneurs,” we enter the creative and growing world of Black-Owned Pet Businesses. Lick You Silly dog treats, Trill Paws enamel ID Tags, The Dog Father of Harlem's Doggie Day Spa, gorgeous rainbow beaded Dog Collars from The Kenya Collection, Sir Dogwood luxurious modern dog-wear. “The dog training world—it’s a white dominated space. It’s kind of male dominated, too,” says Taylor Barconey of Smart Bitch Dog Training in New Orleans.  “On our profile on Instagram we have Black Lives Matter, it’s been there for a year now. Before 2020, we would have not felt comfortable putting that up at risk of losing our business because people would have blacklisted us. But now, we feel like we can finally breathe and be open about things that really matter to us—speaking out against racism and not feeling shy about it.” Chaz Olajide of Sir Dogwood wasn’t finding communities of pet owners or pet businesses owned by people of color. “I did a deep dive into the statistics —I just wanted to see if maybe I was an outlier, like maybe the reason why I’m not seeing more diversity in these companies is because maybe the demand isn’t out there. Actually, you know, that’s not really the case.” Brian Taylor, owner of Harlem’s Doggy Day Care lost both his uncle and long time mentor to Covid. During the pandemic his business slumped by 80%. So with some help from his pet parents and supporters he decided to hit the road with “The Pup Relief Tour offering grooming services to anyone going through rough times and in need. “All together we had about 63 African American dog groomers that went on tour with us across the country and we groomed over 829 dogs.” This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Black-owned pet business entrepreneurs. There are tons more across America and you can support their businesses and services. House Dogge in LA — artisanal dog tees, hoodies, toys — committed to helping unwanted, neglected and abused dogs. Dr. Kwane Stewart, an African American veterinarian who walks skid row in downtown LA tending the unhoused dogs of unhoused people. Fresh Paws Grooming in Brooklyn. The animal advocates at Iconic Paws, a customized pet portrait gallery with flare. Pardo Paws in Georgia, an all natural company with a lotion bar in the shape of a dog paw for dogs with dry noses and paws made of cocoa butter, olive oil, coconut oil, beeswax, calendula. Precious Paws Dog Grooming in Bloomfield, New Jersey.  Little L’s Pet Bakery and Boutique in Brooklyn. Scotch and Tea — stylish and durable dog accessories. Bark and Tumble, a luxury and contemporary brand of hand made dog garments in Britain. Pets in Mind a Holistic Pet Supply Store in Coconut Creek, Florida. Beaux & Paws in Newark, Pet Plate — an online black owned pet food delivery service. Duke the Groomer in Chicago, Ava’s Pet Palace started by Ava Dorsey, age 13.     Most all of these businesses are giving back in some way to their communities working with at-risk youth, taking them in with mentorships and internships that hopefully lead to jobs, and donating generously to shelters and rescues and neighborhood food banks.
27/04/2137m 40s

164 - Francis Coppola and North Beach Citizens—A Neighborhood Vision

Francis Ford Coppola talks about homelessness, life, friendship, neighborhood history, and his ideas about the future as he tells the remarkable story of North Beach Citizens, the volunteer organization he spearheaded twenty years ago to help grapple with the lives and needs of homeless and unhoused people living in his neighborhood in San Francisco. This month marks the 20th Anniversary of North Beach Citizens. Normally at this time of year some 400 people gather in the church basement of Saints Peter & Paul near Washington Square Park for an epic community dinner that raises the funds to keep NBC’s vital series of services available. Like everywhere, the pandemic has been hard on the unhoused and raised their numbers by some 64% in North Beach alone. The need is great. As a frontline service provider, NBC is distributing nearly 3 times more food to the community than this time last year through daily meals "to-go,” and Wednesday Community Food Pantry. As a beacon of support for the neighborhood, they ensure that people who are living close to the margins know that they are part of a caring community and connected to support that meets their individual needs. Our story takes us deep into the North Beach community with interviews with North Beach Citizens, volunteers, staff, clients—food writer and long time North Beach resident Peggy Knickerbocker, poetry and stories of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the supporter and Guardian Angel of North Beach Citizens, and more. “Every neighborhood would benefit from a community group addressing homelessness” — Francis Ford Coppola, Founder of North Beach Citizens
13/04/2130m 33s

163—Tales from Vietnamese Nail Shops in America

The women who were murdered in Atlanta were Korean, not Vietnamese. They were doing massage, not manicures. But they faced the hate and violence that is mounting against Asian American people in the United States. We produced this story in 2000 as part of the Lost & Found Sound series on NPR. We presented it again as Vietnamese and other manicurists were losing their jobs and livelihoods during the pandemic. Today, we offer it again in honor of Asian American women wherever they live, whatever their work — and in memory of the women who lost their lives in Atlanta offering strangers a kind touch. Currently it is estimated that more than 40% of the nail salon technicians in America are Vietnamese women. In California the numbers are estimated at more than 75%. The majority of these women are immigrants. Arriving in this country, Vietnamese immigrants, like those from other countries, have looked for a place to make their own economic niche. Many found one taking care of people’s hands and nails. This story was originally produced by The Kitchen Sisters for Lost & Found Sound on NPR. Our host/narrator is Francis Ford Coppola.
23/03/2123m 24s

162—The Osaka Ramones: The All-Girl Punk Band - Shonen Knife

The impact of Shonen Knife, the 1980s all-girl punk band from Osaka—a story of cultural exchange through the cassette tape. Shonen Knife, the three-woman band from Japan, formed in 1981—a time just before the internet drastically changed the way we consume and discover music. A time when a cassette tape, alongside fanzines and college radio created an environment that made possible the seemingly improbable circumstance of an all girl-band from Osaka opening for Nirvana, one of the biggest musical acts of the 90s. “Shonen means boy in Japanese and it’s a very old brand name of a pencil knife,” says Naoko Yamano. “And the word ‘shonen’ has very cute feeling and the knife has a little dangerous feeling, so when cute and dangerous combined together, it’s just like our band.  So I put that name.” Featuring interviews with Shonen Knife—Naoko Yamano, Atsuko Yamano, Risa Kawano; Karen Schoemer, former music critic of the New York Times; and Brooke McCorkle Okazaki, Assistant Professor of Music at Carleton College and author of Shonen Knife’s Happy Hour: Food, Gender, Rock and Roll. The Osaka Ramones was produced by Brandi Howell. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva, with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. We’re part of PRX’s Radiotopia a curated network of independent producers creating some of the finest podcasts around.
09/03/2129m 4s

Lawrence Ferlinghetti

It’s February 23, 2021— and we’ve just received word that our dear friend and North Beach neighbor, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, has passed on at age 101. In honor of Lawrence we’re sharing a story we produced for his 99th birthday, featuring the work of sound designer Jim McKee who, for more than 20 years, recorded and chronicled Lawrence’s life, poetry and world. In this lushly produced soundscape, Lawrence talks about his youth, reads his poetry, and muses with his friend Erik Bauersfeld about life, death and the meaning of art.
24/02/2123m 29s

160—Can Do: Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs-with Host Alfre Woodard

Stories of Black pioneers, seekers and entrepreneurs — self-made men and self-taught women, neighborhood heroes and visionaries. People who said "yes we can" and then did, hosted by Alfre Woodard. A man tapes the history of his town with a scavenged cassette recorder, a woman fights for social justice with a pie, a DJ ignites his community with a sound. Stories of Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere, a Secret Civil Rights Kitchen; of Hercules and of James Hemings, enslaved chefs of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson; of Walkin’ Talkin’ Bill Hawkins, Cleveland’s first black disc jockey; and more. A compilation of stories produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) and Roman Mars, with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. The Kitchen Sisters are proud members of PRX’s Radiotopia network.
23/02/2154m 3s

159 — Nomadland with Frances McDormand

Sometimes you read a book and it alters the course of your life. That’s what happened to Frances McDormand. Twice. First it was Olive Kitteridge, the HBO series she produced and starred in based on the book by Elizabeth Stroud. This time it's Nomadland. Academy Award winning Frances McDormand talks about the making of Nomadland which is coming to Hulu and select theaters and drive-ins starting February 19, 2021. Directed by Chloe Zhao, based on the nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving in the Twenty First Century by Jessica Bruder, Nomadland is the first film to ever premiere at the Venice, Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals all on the same night — where it took home all the top prizes. The story is a tale of our times centering on the very “now” many Americans find themselves in. People uprooted from their old jobs and old neighborhoods, places they've called home for decades, now living in DIY customized vans, migrating for work with the seasons. Christmas near the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Virginia, the sugar beet harvest in North Dakota, cleaning latrines and being campground hosts in National Parks. They were already on the road by the thousands before the pandemic uprooted even more. Frances McDormand plays Fern, a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, sets out on a journey through the Midwest living as a van-dwelling itinerant worker — a modern day nomad. Frances talks about her experiences making the film in the van-dwelling community with clips from director Chloe Zhao, author Jessica Bruder, van-dwelling guru Bob Wells, and clips from the film. “…Zhao’s fable speaks to us, in 2020, as John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath did to audiences eighty years ago.” Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
09/02/2126m 42s

158 — A Plea for Peace: Leonard Bernstein, Richard Nixon, and the Music of the 1973 Inauguration

Music and poetry were powerful headliners at the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris signaling change and new beginnings. This was not the first time the arts have reflected the mood of the country and a new administration. In January 1973, following the Christmas bombing of Vietnam, conductor Leonard Bernstein gathered an impromptu orchestra to perform an "anti-inaugural concert" protesting Richard Nixon's official inaugural concert and his escalation of the war in Vietnam. One of the main performances of the official inaugural was the 1812 Overture with its booming drums replicating the sound of war cannons. In 1973, the United States was reaching the concluding stages of our involvement in Vietnam.  And while the war would soon come to an end, the weeks leading up to the second inauguration of Richard Nixon were met with some of the most intense and deadly bombing campaigns of the war. The anti-war movement was unhinged. They had marched, they protested — to seemingly no avail when it came to changing Nixon’s foreign policies. So what to do next... Leonard Bernstein gathered an impromptu orchestra for an “anti-inaugural concert”— a concert for peace—following his belief that by creating beauty, and by sharing it with as many people as possible, artists had the power to tip the earthly balance in favor of brotherhood and peace. This story was produced by Brandi Howell with special thanks to Michael Chikinda, Alicia Kopfstein, Matt Holsen, and Bernie Swain. Find more of her stories at: theechochamberpodcast.com
26/01/2135m 26s

157 — Chido Govera—The Mushroom Queen of Zimbabwe

A mushroom farmer, food activist, business entrepreneur, foster mother to more than a dozen girls—Chido Govera is a kitchen visionary in Zimbabwe—a pioneer in the cultivation of mushrooms throughout Africa and the world. Chido was orphaned at 7 when her mother died of AIDS. As a girl, who never had enough to eat, she began cultivating mushrooms when she was nine. Some people look at a mushroom and see a mushroom. Chido looked at a mushroom and saw a weapon for social change, a path out of hunger and poverty to empowerment and income for herself and other orphaned girls. The founder of The Future of Hope Foundation, Chido has promoted mushroom cultivation as a sustainable source of food and income in impoverished regions of the world. We met Chido in Sao Paolo at FRUTO, an international gathering of chefs, farmers, activists, fishermen, Amazonian tribal women organizers, botanists and more—organized by Brazilian chef Alex Atala, famous from Netflix’s Chef’s Table. Speakers from around the world delved deep into issues of food, zero waste, the destruction of coastal waters, agriculture and climate change, the rights and foods of indigenous people of the Amazon. The conference was profound—a global eye opener. Special thanks to Alex Atala, Felipe Ribenboim, Lars Williams and the NOMA community in Denmark. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of Radiotopia from PRX, a curated collection of podcasts from some of the best independent producers around.
12/01/2125m 20s

156 — The Amish Pandemic Sewing Frolic

It was Friday, April 10th, 2020. The pandemic was really starting to roar. PPE was scarce and the supply chains were already breaking down. Every hospital was scrambling to find enough masks, gowns and face shields. It was already every state, every institution for itself. It was everywhere in the papers. Page 1, Page 2, Page 3. On Page 9 of the New York Times, dateline: Sugarcreek, Ohio, a headline caught our eye: “Abe Make a Sewing Frolic” — In Ohio The Amish Take on the Coronavirus. This isolated, centuries-old, self-reliant community was rising to the occasion and collaborating with the world outside to fill the PPE needs of the massive Cleveland Clinic and beyond. The story inspired us and we headed to Sugarcreek with our microphone. In the attempt to record this story in Amish country in the midst of social distancing and the ever deepening pandemic, a new collaboration was born — artist Laurie Anderson, Ohio-born designer Stacy Hoover and producer Evan Jacoby all joined with The Kitchen Sisters to bring these voices to air. Today, The Kitchen Sisters Present… The Great Amish Sewing Frolic.
22/12/2019m 29s

155 - Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Frances McDormand talks about her extraordinary new film—Nomadland directed by Chloe Zhao, based on the nonfiction book Nomadland: Surviving in the Twenty First Century by Jessica Bruder. A tale for our times. The story centers on the very “now” many Americans find themselves in. People uprooted from their old jobs and old neighborhoods, places they've called home for decades, now living in DIY customized vans, migrating for work with the seasons. Christmas near the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Virginia, the sugar beet harvest in North Dakota, cleaning latrines and being campground hosts in National Parks. They were already on the road by the thousands before the pandemic uprooted even more. Frances McDormand plays Fern, a woman in her sixties who, after losing everything in the Great Recession, sets out on a journey through the Midwest living as a van-dwelling itinerant worker — a modern day nomad. Frances talks about the making of the film and her experiences in the van-dwelling community with clips from director Chloe Zhao, author Jessica Bruder, van-dwelling guru Bob Wells, and clips from the film. “…Zhao’s fable speaks to us, in 2020, as John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath did to audiences eighty years ago.” Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
08/12/2027m 19s

154 — Hunting & Gathering with Angelo Garro

With all of us thinking of home and family and of all the things we love and miss, we thought we’d spend some time with Angelo Garro – a Sicilian blacksmith living in a forge in San Francisco with a passion for hunting, foraging, opera, cooking, pickling, curing salamis, making wine and generously tending and feeding his friends and community. A Thanksgiving gift. The Kitchen Sisters join Angelo along the coast of Northern California as he follows the seasons foraging fennel in the spring, wild turkey hunting in November, olive picking, eels, mushrooms, and when it rains it’s ducks. “Angelo is a center of gravity for people from just about every class and every job,” says his friend Xavier Carbonnet. “The forge is like the Old Country. Like a piece of Italy frozen in time in the middle of San Francisco.” The Kitchen Sisters Present is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Please write us a review on Apple Podcasts — it helps people discover our show. Keep in touch on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for Notes from The Kitchen Sisterhood — tips for books, films, audio, food, performance and more.
24/11/2016m 11s

153 — The Vietnam Tapes of Lance Corporal Michael A. Baronowski

In 1966, a young Marine took a reel-to-reel tape recorder with him into the Vietnam War. For two months, Michael A. Baronowski made tapes of his life and his friends, in foxholes, in combat and sent those audio letters home to his family in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Then he was killed in action. Thirty-four years later, Baronowski’s friend Tim Duffie, shared these tapes which were used to produce this story as part of the NPR series, “Lost & Found Sound,” created by Jay Allison and The Kitchen Sisters. This episode also features Jay Allison and The Kitchen Sisters talking about the creation of the Peabody Award winning series Lost & Found Sound and about the production of Baronowski’s story produced by Tina Egloff and Jay Allison. The piece won the first Gold Award at the Third Coast Audio Festival and was one of the most responded to stories ever to air on NPR’s All Things Considered. “The Vietnam Tapes of Lance Corporal Michael A. Baronowski includes live field recordings from the war that are incredibly honest, genuine, unrehearsed, visceral, funny, devastating…. In short, they’re remarkable.” Transom.org The Kitchen Sisters Present is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX. Please write us a review on Apple Podcasts — it helps people discover our show. Keep in touch with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Sign up for Notes from The Kitchen Sisterhood.
10/11/2026m 53s

152 — Winona LaDuke—First Born Daughter

For Winona LaDuke the best part of running for Vice President in 1996 and 2000 on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nadar was meeting so many people who really want to see a democracy that works—who really want to vote for someone they believe in. At rallies women would bring their daughters up to Winona saying, ‘We want them to grow up and be like you.’ Ojibwe leader, writer, food activist, rural development economist, environmentalist, Harvard graduate—Winona, which means first born daughter, is a force to be reckoned with. She’s the founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project and the executive director of Honor the Earth. Most recently she was a leader at Standing Rock fighting the Dakota Access pipeline. She’s a visionary and a fighter and she’s in it for the long haul. When we visited Winona on the White Earth Reservation in 2004 for our Hidden Kitchens story Harvest on Big Rice Lake she spoke to us about her family, her life and work—about running for Vice President, about harvesting wild rice on the lakes of Minnesota and creating jobs on the reservation, about how her Ojibwe father met her bohemian/artist/Jewish mother in New York City, how her dad went on to Hollywood to star in the Westerns and how he later became the New Age spiritual leader called Sun Bear. Born in Los Angeles and raised in Oregon, Winona moved to White Earth, her father’s reservation, after she graduated from Harvard in 1982. When she first arrived, she worked as the principal of the Reservation’s high school and became active in local issues. Seven years later, she started the non profit White Earth Land Recovery Project, dedicated to restoring the local economy and food systems and preserving wild rice. Today Winona LaDuke operates a 40-acre industrial hemp farm on the White Earth Indian Reservation with the idea of creating textiles for the people and the planet — of working towards a non petroleum based future. And she’s started 8th Fire Solar, operated by Anishinaabe, manufacturing solar thermal panels. “According to Anishinaabe prophecies, we are in the time of the Seventh Fire. At this time, it is said we have a choice between a path that is well-worn and scorched, and a path that is green and unworn. If we move toward the green path, the Eighth Fire will be lit and people will come together to make a better future.”
27/10/2025m 33s

151 - Pearl Jam: It's a Rock Band, Not The Smithsonian

Sometimes we find the story, sometimes the story finds us. Such is the case with this tale of two Keepers from the Pacific Northwest, the official/unofficial archivists for Pearl Jam. Caroline Losneck, a radio producer in Maine heard our Keepers series about activist archivists and rogue librarians and said to herself, “Hey wait a minute, what about that mythic vault in Seattle I’ve been hearing about for years filled to the brim with 30 years of Pearl Jam, who's keeping that?” We are especially keen to put Caroline's story out now, as Pearl Jam, a notoriously activist band, has gone all in for registering young voters and getting out the vote since at least 2004 when they took their Vote for Change tour through the swing states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida registering as they went. This 2020 election is no exception. Today Caroline Losneck and The Kitchen Sisters Present... Pearl Jam: It’s a Rock Band, Not the Smithsonian Produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Mixed by Jim McKee.  Special thanks to John Burton & Kevin Shuss, Jacob McMurray at MoPop, to audio engineer Alice Anderson and to Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, Mike McCready, Matt Cameron and Eddie Vedder — Pearl Jam. Like Pearl Jam says, get on out there and vote. Vote like it counts. Vote because you love the music and this messy, precious democracy.
13/10/2025m 16s

150 — Floating City - The Mirabeau Water Garden, New Orleans

We go to New Orleans for a kind of biblical reckoning. A story of science and prayer, with a cast of improbable partners—environmental architects and nuns—coming together to create a vision forward for living with water in New Orleans. Mirabeau Water Garden, one of the largest urban wetlands in the country designed to educate, inspire and to save its neighborhood from flooding. New Orleans. Surrounded by The Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, besieged by hurricanes and tropical storms, permeated with man made canals, levees, pumping stations …. Water is a deep and controversial issue in New Orleans. What to do with it. Where to put it. How to get rid of it? How to live with it? David Waggonner, of Waggonner & Ball Architecture & Environment has been thinking and dreaming about these questions for years. One of the primary architects behind the Greater New Orleans Urban Water Plan, David envisions floating streets, pervious pavement, planting bioswales—“living with water” rather than pushing it down and pumping it out. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina the Sisters of St. Joseph convent in New Orleans was under 8 feet of water. A year later, on a clear blue day, the building was struck by lightning. The Sisters prayed for a sign. And in walked David Waggonner with a vision. The Mirabeau Water Garden will become one of the largest urban wetlands in the country and a campus for water research and environmental education, demonstrating best practices for construction and urban water management in the city's lowest-lying and most vulnerable neighborhoods. The 25-acre parcel was donated to the City of New Orleans by the Sisters of Saint Joseph on condition that it be used to enhance and protect the neighborhood to “evoke a huge systemic shift in the way humans relate with water and land.”
22/09/2018m 32s

149 - The Sonic Memorial—Remembering 9/11 with host Paul Auster

The Peabody Award winning Sonic Memorial Project, an intimate and historic documentary commemorating the life and history of the World Trade Center and its surrounding neighborhood, through audio artifacts, rare recordings, voicemail messages and interviews. The Sonic Memorial Project began in October 2001 as part of the Lost & Found Sound series. We came together—radio producers, artists, construction workers, bond traders, secretaries, ironworkers, elevator operators, policemen, widows, firefighters, archivists, public radio stations and listeners to chronicle and commemorate the life and history of the World Trade Center and its neighborhood. We opened a phone line on NPR for listeners to call in with their stories and audio artifacts relating to the September 11 attacks and the history of the World Trade Center. Hundreds of people called with testimonies and remembrances, music and small shards of sounds. In addition to these personal messages and remembrances you’ll hear interviews with: Guy Tozzoli, Director of the World Trade Center of New York; Minoru Yamasaki, the architect who designed the World Trade Center; Philippe Petit, the aerialist who walked a tightrope between the twin towers; Leslie Robertson, World Trade Tower structural engineer; Herb Ouida, Executive Vice President of the World Trade Centers Association; Professor Kenneth T. Jackson, Director of New York Historical Society; historian Robert Snyder; and sound artists and musicians who recorded and performed at the Trade Center including Stephen Scott, Ben Cheah, Nadine Robinson, Stephen Vitiello and more. The Sonic Memorial Project was produced by The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with NPR, Ben Shapiro, Jay Allison, Joe Richman and independent radio producers, artists, writers, archivists, historians and public radio listeners throughout the country. Hosted by writer Paul Auster.
08/09/201h 3m

148 - Youth on Fire—The International Congress of Youth Voices

Picture this: 131 young people, 13 to 26 years old, from 37 countries—youth activists from around the globe— students, writers, poets, marchers, community leaders all gathered together in San Juan, Puerto Rico in August 2019, the week after the scandal-ridden government of Governor Ricardo Rosselló fell. A government brought down in large measure because of the resolve and activism of young people across the Hurricane Maria-battered island. This wasn’t part of the plan for the second meeting of the International Congress of Youth Voices. It was pure coincidence. But here they all are, coming from across the planet—jet lagged and lit from within—to learn from one another and an array of artists, writers and activists, to create a network, to tell their stories, to listen and to understand the forces that led this island to erupt. Politics of the world affect young people as much as anyone else, and they have little to no voice as major decisions are made. The International Congress of Youth Voices was founded as a means to amplify their ideas and energy and to unite young people for a weekend of collaboration. The International Congress of Youth Voices, founded by author Dave Eggers (co-founder of 826 National) and nonprofit leader Amanda Uhle, gathers the world's most inspiring teen writers and activists. They come from all over the world, including: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, the United States, Colombia, Guatemala, Cuba, Australia, Denmark, Nepal, Russia, England, Thailand, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, Uganda, Pakistan, Burundi, France, India, and Puerto Rico. Student delegates are chosen based on their commitment to leadership and social justice and their passion and eloquence as writers. The event is designed to provide a path to leadership for all delegates and represents a continuum from students who have exhibited potential in local writing and tutoring programs to writers and activists who have already made notable achievements at a very young age. Youth on Fire: The International Congress of Youth Voices was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) in collaboration with Nathan Dalton, Brandi Howell, Rachel Templeton & Teddy Alexander. Mixed by Jim McKee. Story Intern: Jonathan Hsieh. Special thanks to Dave Eggers & Amanda Uhle and to all the delegates from around the country and around the world who came to Puerto Rico and shared their stories with us. Check out more on our new social media series #YouthOnFire. This story begins our new series Youth on Fire, stories of young activists and visionaries from around the world. We would love to hear from you if you are or if you know one. Podcasts, social media, poetry, playlists, manifestos… let us know what you’re doing. You can reach us @kitchensisters on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and at kitchensisters.org. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX. Thanks to Sakara for sponsoring this episode. Funding for work of The Kitchen Sisters comes from The National Endowment for the Humanities, The Robert Sillins Family Foundation, The TRA Fund supporting our Intern Program, and Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions.
25/08/2041m 11s

147 - Kamal Mouzawak—A Lebanese Kitchen Vision

On Tuesday August 4th, a massive explosion devastated Beirut, shattering the port and the heart of the city. Over 150 people have lost their lives, some 5000 people have been injured, hundreds of thousands have lost their homes — all while the people of Lebanon are facing catastrophic levels of the coronavirus and devastating economic collapse. Our love and our sorrow are with the people of  Beirut. In 2015 Davia traveled to Lebanon for our Hidden Kitchens series to chronicle the work of the Lebanese kitchen visionary, Kamal Mouzawak — an astounding man who builds community through food throughout the country. His Beirut restaurant, Tawlet, that employs dozens of village women cooking their traditional village dishes, was destroyed in the explosion. Kamal Mouzawak and his restaurant team have been at the forefront of the Beirut rescue efforts in collaboration with Chef Jose Andres and the World Central Kitchen. Kamal’s kitchen prepared the first fresh meals for local hospitals, isolated seniors, and first responders throughout the city. Hummus sandwiches, kefta sandwiches of yellow onion, sumac, parsley and hummus and molokhia, a traditional Sunday meal of chicken that reminds everyone who knows it of home. In homage to the people of Lebanon, The Kitchen Sisters Present a journey through the hidden kitchens of Lebanon with kitchen activist and restaurateur Kamal Mouzawak, a man with a vision of re-building and uniting this war-ravaged nation through its traditions, its culture and its food. We visit farmer’s markets, restaurants and guest houses known as Souk el Tayeb that he and his kitchen community have created. This story, produced by Samuel Shelton Robinson and The Kitchen Sisters, is part of Hidden Kitchens: War and Peace and Food, a series of stories about the role food plays in helping resolve or cause conflict between nations and communities.
11/08/2027m 24s

146 — French Manicure—Tales from Vietnamese Shops in America

In honor of the many people who work in nail salons across the country who are struggling to keep their businesses from going under during these long closures, The Kitchen Sisters Present French Manicure —Tales from Vietnamese Nail Shops in America, a story produced as part of the Lost and Found Sound series on NPR. Currently it is estimated that more than 40% of the nail salon technicians in America are Vietnamese women. In California the numbers are estimated at more than 75%. The majority of these women are Vietnamese immigrants. Arriving in this country, Vietnamese immigrants, like those from other countries, have looked for a place to make their own economic niche. Many found one taking care of people’s hands and nails. The training is short – sometimes as little as three months. They not only acquire a new set of professional skills, but a new identity as well. Sound plays a part in merging into a new life—American TV and radio, language study tapes, naturalization tapes, the soundtrack of new citizenship and a new life. Then there are the lost sounds of home – music cassettes brought from Vietnam, Vietnamese videos from the Saigon bookstore in a San Jose shopping mall. These audio artifacts merge with stories from manicurists in Vietnamese salons. One such story comes from Shirley Nguyen at JT Nails. Shirley: I came here in 1983. Just by myself at 14. I escaped by boat to Thailand, to Philippines, then came here. Supposed to be a whole family come together but we separate to small boats. Some make it some didn't make it, get caught by the communists. We separate. And I was wondering, I asked "Where's my mom, where's my mom?" The owner say, "She will be here, she will be here." Gone. As she polishes, she tells her stories - how she got here - what to do about dry cuticles - how she learned her English from tapes - why French Manicure is better than silks - how she lost her family in Vietnam - about the "sad songs" of Vietnam and the sounds of Saigon streets. About how she got her name. Shirley: [In the U.S.], I lived with a foster parent. I have my own room and a TV she let me have it. Usually I watch a lot of Shirley Temple. I like Shirley Temple a lot. I watch a lot of her movie. She's happy. She's dancin' tap. And she's very pretty lady ... When I become US citizen I change directly to Shirley Nguyen. My Vietnamese name kind of like difficult to pronounce, Hang - H-A-N-G. I changed to Shirley." Contributors to this program include: Shirley Nguyen, Tina Truong and Jackie LE of JT Nails Salon in San Francisco; Betty Ha, May An Quang, Boi Ha and Tina Nguyen of Fancy Nails in Berkeley, Calif.; Dian Dinh of Cole Valley Nails in San Francisco; Tina Perry, Leonette Motta, Maria Elena Alvarado, Hien Hong and Nancy DeGroat of Hilltop Beauty School in Daily City, Calif.; Sophia Tran, Nhung Tran and Lan Xuan Thi Truong of Evergreen Beauty College in San Jose, Calif.; Alan Cox, Helene Luc Tran, Mrs. Nu and Mrs. Chu La of Hayward Beauty College, Hayward, Calif. Special Thanks also to: Ellen Sebastian Chang, Flawn Williams, Chris Tsakis and Janet Dang.
28/07/2025m 17s

145 - Louis Jones, Field Archivist, Detroit

Louis Jones, Field Archivist, is a Keeper. For 27 years he has worked building and caring for the largest labor archive in North America—the Reuther Library at Wayne State University in Detroit. Home to numerous union and labor collections from around the country, the Reuther Library also actively collects material documenting Detroit’s civil rights movement, women’s struggles in the workplace, the LGBTQ Archive of Detroit and more. Born in New York City, the grandson of a Pullman porter, Louis Jones takes us through the archives with stories of the UAW, Cesar Chavez, Utah Phillips, A. Philip Randolph and the Civil Rights Movement, the 1967 Detroit uprising, and how archivists are examining and re-imagining their roles in the midst of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement. Special thanks to the Reuther Library at Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan; Nancy Beaumont and the Society of American Archivists (SAA); Paulina Hartono; The National Endowment for the Humanities; and supporters of The Kitchen Sisters Productions.
14/07/2022m 32s

144 - 95,000 Names—Gert McMullin, Sewing the Frontline

In 1985, Gert McMullin was one of the first San Franciscans to put a stitch on the AIDS Quilt, the quilt that began with one memorial square in honor of a man who had died of AIDS, and that now holds some 95,000 names. Gert never planned it this way, but over the decades she has become the Keeper of the Quilt and has stewarded it, repaired it, tended it, traveled with it and conserved it for some 33 years now. Gert knows the power of sewing. In 2020, when COVID-19 hit, Gert was one of the first Bay Area citizens to begin sewing masks—PPE for nurses and health care workers who were lacking proper protection—masks she makes from fabric left over from the making of the AIDS Quilt. The comfort, outrage and honoring of an earlier pandemic being used to protect people from a new one. In January of 2020 The AIDS Memorial Quilt, now part of The National AIDS Memorial, returned home to the Bay Area after 16 years in Atlanta. It took six 52-foot semis to get it there. The over sixty tons of quilt, is made up of about 48,000 panels, each 3 x 6 feet, the size of a grave. The extensive AIDS Archive, which Gert gathered, collected and protected since its earliest days, is now part of The American Folklife Center at The Library of Congress in Washington, DC. The story of Gert McMullin and the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the Gay Rights Movement in San Francisco, Harvey Milk, The White Night Riots. With interviews with LGBT Rights activist Cleve Jones who worked with Harvey Milk and conceived of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, and John Cunningham, Executive Director of the National AIDS Memorial.
19/06/2031m 54s

143 - The McDonogh Three—First Day of School

November 14, 1960, New Orleans. Three six-year-old girls, flanked by Federal Marshals, walked through screaming crowds and policemen on horseback as they approached their new school for the first time—McDonogh No. 19. Leona Tate thought it must be Mardi Gras. Gail Etienne thought they were going to kill her. Four years after the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate schools in Brown v. Board of Education, schools in the South were dragging their feet. Finally, in 1960, the NAACP and a daring judge selected two schools in New Orleans to push forward with integration—McDonogh No.19 Elementary and William Frantz. An application was put in the paper. From 135 families, four girls were selected—Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost, Gail Etienne and Ruby Bridges (who attended William Frantz Elementary). They were given psychological tests. Their families were prepared. Members of the Louisiana Legislature took out paid advertisements in the local paper encouraging parents to boycott the schools. There were threats of violence. When the girls going to McDonogh No.19 arrived in their classroom, the white children began to disappear. One by one their parents took them out of school. For a year and a half the girls were the only children in the school. Guarded night and day, they were not allowed to play outdoors. The windows were covered with brown paper. The story of integrating the New Orleans Public schools in 1960 told by Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost Williams, and Gail Etienne Stripling, who integrated McDonogh No.19 Elementary School, and retired Deputy U.S. Marshals Herschel Garner, Al Butler, and Charlie Burks who assisted with the integration efforts at the schools. We also hear from archivist, historian and pastor of Beecher Memorial United Church of Christ, Brenda Billips Square and from Keith Plessy, Co-Founder of the Plessy & Ferguson Foundation. We produced this story a few years back. We want to put it out there again a because it seems critical, particularly now, to remember and pay tribute to the many Keepers of the archives, the stories, the truth about our past and the long fight for what is fair and just.
09/06/2018m 6s

142—From King Henry the VIII to the Rolling Stones on Eel Pie Island

Eel Pie Island, a tiny bit of land in the River Thames has a flamboyant history involving King Henry VIII, Charles Dickens, The Rolling Stones, Pete Townshend, Rod Stewart, Anjelica Huston, Trad Jazz, Rock and Roll… and eel pie—a disappearing London delicacy. The story goes that Henry VIII in the 16th century would be rowed up the Thames on the Royal Barge and would stop at the island for an eel pie. Charles Dickens immortalized it in his novel Nicholas Nickleby. In the 1950s a jazz club was started on the island featuring Skiffle and Trad Jazz with people like Ken Colyer, Acker BIlk, and Lonnie Donegan. “Eel Pie Island was where they used to fish out the eel up through the 1960s. The eels would be sold in the front of fishmonger shops, big, fat, some as thick as your arm, lying around on the marble slabs,” remembers actress Anjelica Huston who grew up in London in the 60s and made the pilgrimage to Eel Pie Island, an early rock and roll mecca. Eric Clapton did a lot of his early playing on the island. “When I was a beatnik back in the early 60s, that was the only thing there was.” “The hotel stood alone, I remember it a little bit like a Charles Addams drawing,” recalls Huston. “It was a time when a lot of the old ways were meeting new ways out of the rations and the hardships of WWII and the blitz, and the hunger. Eel Pie Island, the eels that had been cut up on the white marble slabs since the days of Henry the VIII were suddenly meeting the Youth Quake.” Ronnie Wood, who would later join the Rolling Stones, called it a great melting pot. “You might bump into Mick Jagger in the bar, Pete Townshend came by, Ray Davies, Keith, Bowie…” Paul Jones who played in the 60s band Manfred Mann said, “Any band that was worth its salt had to play there. Till you ticked off that one on your itinerary, you hadn’t really arrived.” The place was proclaimed a health hazard in 1967 and forced to shut down. Squatters immediately came into the space and the UK’s largest hippie commune was born. The building eventually burned down and eighteen townhouses were constructed in its place. Today, Eel Pie Island has a couple of hundred inhabitants. Artists and craftspeople maintain studios on the island along with some boat works. “Eel Pie Island, it’s a very specific little place in space and time,” says Huston. “A little point of liberation on the Thames. But very alive, just like the eels.”
26/05/2022m 43s

141—Pati Jinich's Mexican Jewish Table

An intimate, inspiring, hopeful conversation with Mexican chef and cookbook author, Pati Jinich, host of the James Beard Award winning PBS series Pati's Mexican Table and resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. On a walk through Oaxaca's Enthnobotanical Garden, Pati tells stories of her Jewish grandparents immigration to Mexico during WWII, her upbringing in Mexico and her move to Texas and Washington D.C. as a young mother. She shares her thoughts on immigration, The Wall, life choices and how she found her way into the kitchen.
12/05/2018m 38s

140 -The Climate Underground with Al Gore and Alice Waters

Al Gore is back and he’s got a new slide show. Better take heed. Last October the former Vice President, Nobel Prize-winner and Academy Award-winner for An Inconvenient Truth, together with activist, restaurateur, and founder of The Edible Schoolyard, Alice Waters, gathered farmers, ranchers, scientists, chefs, researchers, policymakers on Al's family farm in Carthage, Tennessee for a riveting set of conversations about the role of food and regenerative agriculture in solving the climate crisis. They called the two day event, The Climate Underground. Along with the conversations, some of Nashville’s hottest chefs and dedicated regenerative farmers joined Alice to create a sustainable organic school lunch for the 350 participants to highlight the power of local, school supported agriculture in nurturing the health of children and the land. This event happened long before the moment we all find ourselves in right now, as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across the planet. But it holds the seeds and hope for a different approach to our future and the fate of the planet we all share. In honor of Earth Day, The Kitchen Sisters Present...The Climate Underground.
17/04/2030m 11s

139 - Waiting for Joe DiMaggio

April 1993: A small village in Sicily prepares for the first visit of 78-year-old baseball legend Joe DiMaggio to the town where his parents were born and raised. Fishermen, artisans, grandmothers — some 3,000 villagers brush up on The Yankee and Marilyn Monroe. Italian and American flags are strung from the buildings, two thousand baseballs are purchased for Joltin’ Joe to autograph. A feast of sea urchins, calamari, pasta sarda and marzipan is cooked in his honor. Nearly the entire annual budget of the town is spent preparing to celebrate the homecoming of the Yankee Clipper. The Mayor, the City Council, the Police Commissioner and hundreds of other Sicilian well-wishers gather at the airport in Palermo waiting to greet their “native son.” But he never comes.
14/04/2031m 10s

138 - The Keepers - Archive Fever, with host Frances McDormand

The Keepers, from The Kitchen Sisters and PRX with host, Academy Award-winning actress Frances McDormand. Stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Guardians of history, large and small. Protectors of the free flow of information and ideas. Keepers of the culture and the culture and collections they keep. In this hour, Bob Dylan’s Archive, Henri Langlois’ legendary Cinémathéque in Paris, The Keeper of the National Archives, Nancy Pearl: the first librarian action figure, The Dark Side of the Dewey Decimal System and stories of Prince’s epic Vault in Minneapolis. All these tales and more.
24/03/2055m 18s

137- The Keepers - Archiving the Underground, with Host Frances McDormand

The Keepers, from The Kitchen Sisters and PRX with host, Academy Award-winning actress, Frances McDormand. Stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Guardians of history, large and small. Protectors of the free flow of information and ideas. Keepers of the culture and the culture and collections they keep. In this hour, stories of the Hiphop Archive at Harvard, the Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky, the Lenny Bruce Archive, the Internet Archive and more striking and surprising stories of preservation and civic life.
10/03/2053m 50s

136 - The Lou Reed Archive with Laurie Anderson

Lou Reed—music icon, poet, photographer, Tai Chi master, vital force in the cultural life and underworld of New York City. Lou died in 2013 and left not a word of instruction about what he wanted done with his archive of recordings, instruments, gear, his Tai Chi swords, jackets—from his days with The Velvet Underground, through his solo career and last recordings. He left everything to his wife, artist and musician Laurie Anderson. Over the next six years Laurie and a team of Lou’s “keepers” created a vision. In March 2019, on the occasion of his birthday, The Lou Reed Archive opened to the public at the New York Library for the Performing Arts with parties, friends, family, fanfare and a drone concert at the largest cathedral in the world. During that week and beyond we spoke to many of Lou’s archivists, family, and friends — Laurie Anderson, Curator Don Fleming, Jason Stern and Jim Cass who worked with Lou, drone wizard Stewart Hurwood, Producers Tony Visconti and Hal Willner, Carrie Welch from the New York Public Library, Curator Jonathan Hiam and a devoted crew of librarians and archivists at the New York Library for the Performing Arts, and Lisa Shubert at Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. Many thanks to all. The Keepers, stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, historians and collectors, is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) in collaboration with Nathan Dalton & Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. Special thanks to story interns Sydney Stewart and Josh Gross. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia Podcast Network from PRX. Support for The Kitchen Sisters comes from Radiotopia, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Grammy Museum Foundation, The Marin Community Foundation/ Susie Tompkins Buell Fund, Cowgirl Creamery, The Kaleta Doolin Foundation, The Robert Sillins Family Foundation, The Robert Lee Hudson Foundation, the TRA Fund and listener contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions. “These are really terribly rough times and we really should try to be nice to each other as possible.”  Lou Reed.
25/02/2031m 23s

135 - Deep Fried Fuel - A Biodiesel Kitchen Vision - Celebrating Over the Road

In celebration of truckers everywhere and of Radiotopia’s new show Over the Road, The Kitchen Sisters visit some of their favorite Texas pitstops. First up — a truck stop in Carl’s Corner, Texas off I 35 between Dallas and Austin where Willie Nelson first introduced his BioWillie fuel in 2004. Willie’s friend, Carl Cornelius, founded Carl’s Corner in the early 1980s in order to sell liquor in a mostly dry county. He opened up a truck stop —a trucker’s haven and tourist attraction —with hot tubs, dancing girls and 10 foot high dancing frogs atop the pumps. In 1987 Willie held his legendary 4th of July Picnic at Carl’s Corner. But a few years later, following a fire and some set major backs, the place fell on hard times. That’s where our story begins…with Willie Nelson bringing in BioWillie biofuel to save Carl’s Corner Truck Stop. We hear from Willie Nelson, Kinky Friedman, Carl Cornelius, Joe Nick Potaski, truckers and biodiesel disciples. And we visit a bio-diesel home brew class, where recipes are shared on how to make your own, in a blender, the kitchen way. Next stop — Fuel City, downtown Dallas—with its long horn cattle, oil well, waterfalls, bikini clad “pool models,” DJs, and the best Texas tacos for miles around. Robin Wright talks about her family in Venus,Texas. And we visit the Conoco gas station and it’s gourmet Chef Point Cafe in Watauga, Texas.
11/02/2020m 6s

133 - WHER - 1000 Beautiful Watts, The First All-Girl Radio Station in the Nation

When Sam Phillips sold Elvis’ contract in 1955 he used the money to start an all-girl radio station in Memphis, TN. Set in a pink, plush studio in the nation’s third Holiday Inn, it was a novelty—but not for long. He hired models, beauty queens, actresses, telephone operators. Some were young mothers who just needed a job. WHER was the first radio station to feature women as more than novelties and sidekicks. The WHER girls were broadcasting pioneers. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, Vietnam, and the death of Martin Luther King—the story of WHER follows the women who pioneered in broadcasting as they head into one of the most dramatic and volatile times in the nation’s history. “WHER was the embryo of the egg,” said Sam Phillips. “We broke a barrier. There was nothing like it in the world.” This encore broadcast of one of the stories closest to our radio hearts is in honor of the women of WHER who have passed on since we interviewed them twenty years ago—Becky Phillips, Marge Thrasher, Janie Joplin, and Bettye Berger who passed on to that big radio station in the sky just last week. Bettye was a pistol. A beautiful, blonde, smart, savvy business woman, she was one of the first WHER disc jockettes—hired by Sam Phillips in 1955. Later in her career she became an artist manager and booking agent—one of the few women in the field in the 1950s and 60s. She formed her own company—Continental Talent Agency representing stars like Charlie Rich, William Bell, Ivory Joe Hunter. She launched her own record label, Bet T. Records, in 1959. And she was a songwriter—writing songs for Ivory Joe Hunter and Rufus Thomas. Bettye was a pioneer in broadcasting and in the history of Memphis rock and roll and soul. She will be missed.
28/01/2040m 2s

133 - Theaster Gates — Keeping the South Side

The Archive House, The Listening House, The Stony Island Arts Bank, The Dorchester Projects. Theaster Gates is a keeper of Greater Grand Crossing, his neighborhood on the South Side of Chicago. He first encountered creativity in the music of Black churches on his journey to becoming an urban planner, potter, and artist. Gates creates sculptures with clay, tar, and renovated buildings, transforming the raw material of urban neighborhoods into radically reimagined vessels of opportunity for and of the community. Gates resurrects old dilapidated neighborhood buildings, transforming them into living archives, institutes of music, culture, film and gathering, preserving and renewing neighborhoods that have been ignored, overlooked and underserved. The proceeds of these unusual, imaginative endeavors are used to finance the rehabilitation of entire city blocks and the communities that inhabit them. This story was produced by Alyia Renee Yates in collaboration with The Kitchen Sisters.
14/01/2014m 52s

132 - The Pancake Years

For five years Davia’s father, Lenny Nelson, asked her to go to Rattlesden, England, to visit the Air Force base where he was stationed during WWII and to find an old photograph hanging in the town pub honoring his 8th Air Force squadron. It was still there, over 50 years later, he told her. Finally, one fine Sunday, Davia headed out in search of the pub and a piece of her father’s past—the piece he was proudest of. Lenny died on Christmas Eve 2015. In his honor, we share the journey with you. Samuel Shelton Robinson helped produce this story with The Kitchen Sisters. He’s from London. It seemed only right.
24/12/1922m 28s

131 - Night of the Living Intern: First Stories from Kitchen Sisters Interns

Since we started our intern and mentoring program in 2000, over 100 young people, ranging from age 15 to 35, have come through our doors at Kitchen Sisters Central in the historic Zoetrope building in San Francisco to work on the art and craft of audio storytelling. Many have stayed long enough to helm their own pieces and produce their first ever stories in collaboration with us. They never fail to shock and amaze. Their takes are varied, their styles singular, their voices original and provocative. About 8 years ago we had an especially eccentric group. They somehow all found their way to us in the same moment — Matt Beagle who was a stand-up comic, Patty Fung, Tess Kenner, Caroline Bins, Anne Wootton, Madalyn Fernandez, Julia DeWitt… the place was on fire. Matt was doing stand-up at the Purple Onion, the revered comedy club across the street from our North Beach office that once hosted Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Phyllis Diller, Richard Pryor… and everyone was going to see him. We began to envision a night of all these talented, funny, emerging producers and storytellers live onstage in an evening we would call “The Kitchen Sisters Present… Night of the Living Intern.” It happened. But only in our minds. The Purple Onion closed, the interns moved on to their first jobs and places on the staffs of some of the major news and story organizations in the country, and the evening remained a dream. Until today. This past year Josh Gross, a high school senior, took our workshop and then started showing up one, two, three times a week after school. Watching Josh and the group of interns in the room with him kicked up Night of the Living Intern once again and as Josh’s internship drew to a close we asked him to dig through some of the stories Kitchen Sisters interns had produced in the past and create a podcast. Today’s piece features excerpts from "The Queen’s Beekeeper," produced by Justine Thieriot; "21 Collections" and "Agnes Varda: Keep Faith in Art" produced in collaboration with Selene Ross; "Jason Scott: Free Range Archivist" by Juliet Gelfman Randazzo; a piece about the Israeli artist/archivist, Hadassa Goldvicht and a story called "The Other F Word" by Josh Gross.
10/12/1939m 16s

130 - Lipstick Traces — Dreaming in Public

They say the average woman dies with a pound of lipstick in her stomach. “I have a feeling when I go they’ll find five,” says Davia Nelson of The Kitchen Sisters. Along with radio and podcasting, lipstick is a bit of an obsession. Over the years of producing and fundraising for our stories, we began to merge the two and started thinking that an intriguing way to raise money for public media storytelling might just be our own line of lipstick. The Kitchen Sisters are Dreaming in Public of starting a line of lipstick, partnering with the right makeup company to raise new monies for podcast and public radio producers for stories coming from new and exciting lips. And they are dreaming of chronicling the creation of this line in a podcast series called — Lipstick Traces. Sort of a StartUp for Makeup. Ours will be a sound and story themed line of lipsticks—Sonic Boom, Phantom Power, The Truth, Room Tone, The Allusionist… Lipstick Traces—Dreaming in Public of the power of a lipstick to seed new stories from new rouged lips. Dreaming in Public is the theme of this year’s Radiotopia Fundraiser mini features. All of the podcast creators in Radiotopia’s Network are producing works about the kinds of stories we might do with enough story-making funds—funds that allow us to to go deeper and further, out on the next limb with our stories. Your support for Radiotopia, a network of 18 fiercely independent shows, makes realizing those dreams possible. Take a listen to all of the Dreaming in Public stories at radiotopia.fm. Make your mark. Support The Kitchen Sisters Present and all of your favorite Radiotopia shows. Donate at radiotopia.fm
05/12/193m 53s

129 - Martin Scorsese — Try Anything

An onstage conversation with this master filmmaker about his extraordinary documentary work. Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore… to name but a few. The films of Martin Scorsese are astounding. As is his effort to preserve and save the history and heritage of American cinema through The Film Foundation. Martin Scorsese is a Keeper. A steward of American and global cinema.  One of our heroes and inspirations. Beloved for his epic fiction features, Martin Scorsese’s non-fiction films are also some of his best work. Whether depicting tales of American life, illuminating the history of cinema, or capturing the exuberant spirit of contemporary music, his documentaries are insightful and often playful, revealing his curiosity and passion. And then there are his documentaries. His non-fiction films, starting with Italianamerican, a portrait of his own parents and family. The Last Waltz, Rolling Stones Shine a Light, Living in the Material World, his ode to George Harrison, My Voyage to Italy, Il Mio Viaggio a Italia, and his most recent documentary, but not quite documentary, Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Review. The San Francisco Film Society invited Mr. Scorsese to San Francisco to honor his non-fiction film work and premier his latest feature, The Irishman. We were so taken with Scorsese’s onstage interview with Rachel Rosen, Director of Programming for the Festival, that we asked The Festival if we could share it on the Kitchen Sisters Present podcast. They were kind enough to say yes. Thanks to The San Francisco Film Society, to Rachel Rosen, and most of all to Martin Scorsese, film master and film keeper. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia, a network of some of the most creative independent producers and podcasts out there. Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.
26/11/1925m 26s

128 - First Day of School—1960, New Orleans

November 14, 1960 — Four six-year-old girls, flanked by Federal Marshals, walked through screaming crowds and policemen on horseback as they approached their new schools for the first time. Leona Tate thought it must be Mardi Gras. Gail thought they were going to kill her. Four years after the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate schools in Brown v Board of Education, schools in the south were dragging their feet. Finally, in 1960, the NAACP and a daring judge selected two schools in New Orleans to push forward with integration — McDonogh No.19 Elementary and William Frantz. An application was put in the paper. From 135 families, four girls were selected. They were given psychological tests. Their families were prepared. Members of the Louisiana Legislature took out paid advertisements in the local paper encouraging parents to boycott the schools. There were threats of violence. When the girls going to McDonogh No.19 arrived in their classroom, the white children began to disappear. One by one their parents took them out of school. For a year and a half the girls were the only children in the school. Guarded night and day, they were not allowed to play outdoors. The windows were covered with brown paper. The story of integrating the New Orleans Public schools in 1960 told by Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost Williams, and Gail Etienne Stripling, who integrated McDonogh No.19 Elementary School, and retired Deputy U.S. Marshals Herschel Garner, Al Butler, and Charlie Burks who assisted with the integration efforts at the schools. We produced this story a few years back. We want to put it out there again as part of our Keepers Series because it seems critical, particularly now, to remember and pay tribute to the many Keepers of the archives, the stories, the truth about our past and the long fight for what is fair and just.
12/11/1916m 49s

127 - Robert Krulwich—Talking Story, The First Third Coast

Award winning producer Robert Krulwich talks about storytelling techniques and his early career in radio and television as part of Talking Story, a panel hosted by The Kitchen Sisters at the first Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago in 2001. Robert Krulwich tells the improbable story of how he first got into radio covering one of the biggest stories of the decade — the Nixon impeachment. He deconstructs one of his early pieces — Kraslansky, and talks about the danger of creating radio Part of The Keepers series, this recording is part of the Third Coast Audio Festival Archive a vast — and ever-growing — collection containing thousands of carefully curated audio stories and Third Coast Conference sessions featuring work by makers from all over the world. Robert Krulwich, co-host of the Peabody Award winning show Radiolab, serves as a science correspondent for NPR. He has worked in television and radio at ABC, CBS, NPR and Pacifica. He has created pieces for ABC’s Nightline, World News Tonight, PBS’s Frontline, NOVA and NOW with Bill Moyers. Robert won an Emmy Award for his investigative work on privacy and the Internet, as well as for his ABC special on Barbie. He lives in New York with his wife, Tamar Lewin, a national reporter forThe New York Times.
22/10/1925m 20s

126 - Lawrence Weschler—Archivist of the Odd, the Marvelous, the Passionate and Slightly Askew

As part of The Keepers, The Kitchen Sisters series about activist archivists, rogue librarians and keepers of the truth and the free flow of information, we query Lawrence Weschler, archivist of "the odd, the marvelous, the passionate and slightly askew.” Lawrence Weschler leads us into the world of pronged ants, horned humans, mice on toast and other marvels of the mind of David Wilson and his “cabinet of wonder,” the Museum of Jurassic Technology. We take a deep dive into the discovery of a cache of thousands of reels of nitrate film stock buried under the permafrost in Dawson City, the heart of the gold rush in the Klondike, and the making of Bill Morrison’s film Frozen Time. Weschler weaves stories of memory palaces, archives of misery, the early history of museums, obsessed collectors and more. Lawrence Weschler was a staff writer for the New Yorker for 20 years. He is a contributing editor to McSweeney’s, The Threepenny Review and The Virginia Quarterly Review. He is the author of numerous books including Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged ants, Horned humans, Mice on Toast and other Marvels of Jurassic Technology. Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin. True to Life: Twenty Five Years of Conversation with David Hockney. Waves Passing in the Night: Water Murch in the Land of Astrophysicists. And his most recent book, How Are You, Dr. Sacks?: a Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson, with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Special thanks to our Kitchen Sisters’ production intern Grant MacHamer, for his work on this story. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia, a curated network of some of the best podcasts around. Visit kitchensisters.org for more.
08/10/1921m 25s

125 - The Passion of Chris Strachwitz—Arhoolie Records

Chris Strachwitz is a man possessed. “El Fanatico,” Ry Cooder calls him. A song catcher, dedicated to recording the traditional, regional, down home music of America, his adopted home after his family left Germany at the close of WWII. Mance Lipscomb, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Big Mama Thornton, Clifton Chenier, Rose Maddox, Flaco Jimenez… the list is long and mighty. Chris Strachwitz is a keeper. His vault is jam-packed with 78s, 33s, 45s, reel-to-reels, cassettes, videos, photographs — an archive of all manner of recordings. And an avalanche of lifetime achievement awards — from the Grammy’s, The Blues Hall of Fame, The National Endowment for the Arts – for some 60 years of recording and preserving the musical cultural heritage of this nation through his label, Arhoolie Records. Featuring interviews with Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt. “The Passion of Chris Strachwitz” was produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell, mixed by Jim McKee. For The Goethe Institute’s Big Pond series.
24/09/1930m 3s

124 - The Brothers Burns — A Conversation with Filmmakers Ken & Ric Burns

PBS is going to be juiced this year with two remarkable projects from The Brothers Burns — Ken and Ric. The Kitchen Sisters Present an onstage conversation with the two on Labor Day at The Telluride Film Festival. Both were there to screen their new works. On September 15, Ken comes with a new American epic, Country Music, the latest in his expansive exploration of the tangled history of this nation. Eight episodes, sixteen hours, the series covers the evolution of country music over the course of the 20th Century and the rugged, eccentric trailblazers who shaped it. The Carter Family, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, DeFord Bailey, Patsy Cline,Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton and so many more. Jammed with intimate interviews and astonishing archival footage that spans the history of this American art form. Produced over the course of ten years, as Ken and his collaborators also created The Vietnam War and The Roosevelts, Burns continues to grapple with who we are as Americans.  Eleven months younger, a filmmaker as well, Ric Burns has also been chronicling the country for decades. He too is no stranger to monumental filmmaking. Ric was in university when Ken asked him to come join him in the making of The Civil War in 1985.  He did, and they have never worked together since. On the heels of that experience Ric knew that filmmaking was his path as well. Perhaps known best for his eight-part, seventeen and a half hour series, New York: A Documentary Film and his documentaries on Coney Island, Andy Warhol, and Ansel Adams, Ric came to Telluride to screen his riveting new documentary, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, about the renowned writer, neurologist and storyteller, whose pioneering books, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and an Anthropologist on Mars broke ground in the study of human beings in their most extreme neurological conditions. Sacks devoted his life to people who seemed as hard to reach as a human being can be, and as Ric Burns said, “He showed, God Damn it, that there’s somebody in there. You think nobody’s home, but the light’s on.” Filmed over the course of the last year of Dr. Sacks' life after he received word that he only had a few months to live, the film is also a transcendent masterclass on dying. The story of a man trying to spill his heart before the clock runs out. Ken and Ric rarely come together onstage, so this Telluride conversation is a bit of a rare gem.
10/09/1935m 20s

123- San Francisco—Stories from the Model City, Part Three

In the late 1930s, during the depths of the Depression, 300 craftspeople came together for two years to build an enormous scale model of the City of San Francisco — a WPA project conceived as a way of putting artists to work and as a planning tool for the City to imagine its future. The Model was meant to remain on public view for all to see. But World War II erupted and the 6000 piece, hand carved and painted wooden model was put into storage in large wooden crates “all higgledy piggledy,” for almost 80 years. The story of this almost forgotten, three-dimensional freeze frame of the City in 1938 leads us on a journey through the streets and neighborhoods of San Francisco — contemplating the past and envisioning the future with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, historian Gary Kamiya, writer Maya Angelou, the current “Keeper of the Model,” Stella Lochman, and many more. In this final episode of Stories from the Model City, we visit Chinatown, Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Bookstore, The Mission District. We ride along in the Homobile and travel to Playland at the Beach in the 1950s. And we hear more from the citizens of San Francisco about their ideas for the future of their beloved City. The Kitchen Sisters produced this story for SFMOMA’s Raw Material podcast in conjunction with their Public Knowledge program, “Take Part” in which the museum partnered with the San Francisco Public Library and artists Bik Van Der Pol to engage the community in a series of talks and events around the Model.
27/08/1925m 14s

122 - Burning Man — Archiving the Ephemeral

"Hello Kitchen Sisters, I am a rogue archivist, the archivist for Burning Man.  Come to Burning Man headquarters and I’ll show you the collection. Cheers.” — LadyBee, Archivist & Art Collection Manager, Burning Man On the night of Summer Solstice 1986, Larry Harvey and Jerry James built and burned an eight-foot wooden figure on San Francisco's Baker Beach surrounded by a handful of friends. Burning Man was born. This weekend, the 34th annual Burning Man gathering begins to assemble on a vast dry lake bed in Nevada's Black Rock Desert, the nomadic ritual's home since 1990. An estimated 80,000 people will come. How do you archive an event when one of it's driving principles is "leave no trace?" Where The Burning Man is in fact burned? What is being kept and who is keeping it? As part of The Keepers Series, The Kitchen Sisters take a journey into the archives of this legendary gathering to find out.
21/08/1918m 58s

121 - San Francisco—Stories from the Model City, Part Two

In the late 1930s, during the depths of the Depression, 300 craftspeople came together for two years to build an enormous scale model of the City of San Francisco — a WPA project conceived as a way of putting artists to work and as a planning tool for the City to imagine its future. The model was meant to remain on public view for all to see. But World War II erupted and the 6,000 piece, hand carved and painted wooden model was put into storage in large wooden crates “all higgledy piggledy,” for almost 80 years. The story of this almost forgotten, three-dimensional freeze frame of the City in 1938 leads us on a journey through the streets and neighborhoods of San Francisco — contemplating the past and envisioning the future with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, historian Gary Kamiya, writer Maya Angelou, the current “Keeper of the model,” Stella Lochman, and many more. In this episode, part two of three, the San Francisco model triggers stories of urban development and identity in a city poised on the edge of the continent, built on landfill, steep hills, and the dreams of immigrants and pioneers. We visit the Fillmore, Irish Hill, North Beach. We hear stories of The Glen Park Freeway Revolt and a plan to pave over the Bay. The Kitchen Sisters produced this story for SFMOMA’s Raw Material podcast in conjunction with their Public Knowledge program, “Take Part” in which the museum partnered with the San Francisco Public Library and artists Bik Van Der Pol to engage the community in a series of talks and events around the model.
13/08/1924m 24s

120 - San Francisco—Stories from the Model City, Part One

In the late 1930s, during the depths of the Depression, 300 craftspeople came together for two years to build an enormous scale model of the City of San Francisco—a WPA project conceived as a way of putting artists to work and as a planning tool for the City to imagine its future. The Model was meant to remain on public view for all to see. But World War II erupted and the 6,000 piece, hand carved and painted wooden model was put into storage in large wooden crates “all higgledy piggledy,” for almost 80 years. The story of this almost forgotten, three-dimensional freeze frame of the City in 1938 leads us on a journey through the streets and neighborhoods of San Francisco — contemplating the past and envisioning the future with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, historian Gary Kamiya, writer Maya Angelou, the current “Keeper of the Model,” Stella Lochman, and many more. In Part One we travel to the Golden Gate Exposition on Treasure Island where the model was first put on display in 1939. We visit Angel Island with SF Jazz Poet Laureate Genny Lim where her father and other Chinese immigrants were once detained. We ride along with bicycle historians Chris Carlsson and LisaRuth Elliott of Shaping San Francisco as they visit the 1938 model on display at libraries throughout the City. We hear from geographer Gray Brechin who helped save the model from the dumpster at UC Berkeley, and from the Dutch artists, Bik van der Pol, who imagined bringing this this gigantic object back to the people of San Francisco to stimulate conversations and ideas about the future of this City. The Kitchen Sisters produced this story for SFMOMA’s Raw Material podcast in conjunction with their Public Knowledge program, “Take Part” in which the museum partnered with the San Francisco Public Library and artists Bik Van Der Pol to engage the community in a series of talks and events around the Model.
23/07/1923m 25s

119 - Nancy Pearl—Librarian Action Figure

Nancy Pearl—she’s been called “one of the 10 coolest librarians alive.” She’s the bestselling author of “Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment and Reason,” and a regular commentator about books on NPR’s Morning Edition. She’s the creator of the much loved and imitated If All Seattle Read The Same Book project, encouraging everyone in the city to read the same book at the same time. And then, of course, there’s the Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure with amazing push-button shushing action. A brilliant and entertaining storyteller, Nancy reveals how she became the “five-inch tall, plastic, non biodegradable librarian action figure with amazing push button shushing action.” She talks about her childhood library in Detroit—how it changed her life and provided refuge from her dysfunctional family. She gives tips on how to select books for people, and explains her Rule of 50 about when to give up on reading a book. She also talks about how “our leaders should be readers.” Raised in Detroit, Michigan, Nancy earned her master’s in library science at the University of Michigan and became a children’s librarian at her hometown library. She moved to Oklahoma with her husband, professor Joe Pearl, and raised two daughters while earning a masters degree in history. In Tulsa she worked in an independent book store and the Tulsa City-County Library System. In 1993 she was recruited to join the Seattle Library where she later became executive director of the the library system’s Washington Center for the Book. In addition to Book Lust, Nancy is the author of several other books including: Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction 1978–1998 (and Now Read This II 1990-2001); Book Crush: For Kids and Teens; Book Lust To Go, Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers; and her novel, George and Lizzie. Among her many awards, including the Library Journal’s 2011 Librarian of the Year Award, Nancy Pearl is the recipient of the coveted Kitchen Sisters’ Keeper of the Day Award (and trophy) presented at the American Library Association’s Conference in January 2019, at a special party sponsored by EveryLibrary, the national political action committee dedicated to the future of libraries, and bibliotheca, which connects libraries and their communities in new and effective ways. Nancy Pearl Librarian Action Figure is part of The Kitchen Sisters’ series, The Keepers, about activist archivists, rogue librarians, historians, collectors, curators —keepers of the truth and the free flow of information. Heard on NPR’s Morning Edition, on The Kitchen Sisters Present podcast, and at kitchensisters.org. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia, a collective of some of the best podcasts and audio storytellers on earth.
08/07/1924m 15s

118 - The Nation's 10th Keeper—David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States

“From the very beginning the intent was that the American people needed to be able to access the records so that we would be able to hold the government accountable for its actions.” David Ferriero We talk with David Ferriero, the 10th Archivist of the United States, about the the beginnings of the National Archives under Franklin Roosevelt, stories of early “Keepers” like Stephen Pleasonton, a brave civil servant who saved the Constitution and Declaration of Independence as the British burned Washington during the War of 1812, and the Map Thief who utilized dental floss to steal treasures from presidential libraries and special collections. Ferriero talks of some of his favorite artifacts in the National Archives — a letter from Fidel Castro to President Roosevelt requesting a $10 dollar bill, and a letter from Annie Oakley to William McKinley volunteering to rally 50 women sharp shooters to fight in the Spanish Civil War. Selected as Archivist of the United States in 2010 by President Obama during the time of his Open Government Initiative, Ferriero has worked to make the system more transparent and accessible to the public. He talks about his early career and influences — from his first library experiences in a tiny branch housed in a flower shop in North Beverley Massachusetts, to serving as Director of the New York Public Library. With a collection of about 13 billion pieces of paper, 43 million photographs and miles and miles of film and video and about 6 billion electronic records, Ferriero believes “we are responsible for documenting what is going on.” He says, “I think my favorite times are twice a year when we do naturalization ceremonies in the Rotunda and between 50 and 200 new citizens are sworn in in front of the Constitution. Just to see them experiencing the documents outlining the rights that are now theirs. Those are powerful moments.”
25/06/1921m 53s

117 - Dieter Kosslick’s Last Red Carpet Ride

Dieter Koslick is is one of the film world’s most gregarious, hilarious and controversial Film Festival Directors. He’s put his stamp on the legendary Berlin Film Festival for 18 years and kicked up a lot of dust in the process. The Kitchen Sisters Present a portrait of Dieter, who celebrated his last Festival in 2019, and the Berlinale's dramatic history. The Berlin International Film Festival, features some 400 films across 14 theaters across 10 days. The Festival unfolds across the first weeks of February and Berlin’s piercing cold is legend. For 18 years Dieter Kosslick, in his black Fedora and red wool scarf on the red carpet at theaters around the city, has been welcoming filmmakers and filmgoers from around the globe to film screenings  film screenings that provoke, pay homage, compete, ignite.
11/06/1926m 43s

116 - The Bob Dylan Archive - A Curveball Comes To Tulsa

It may come as no surprise but Bob Dylan is a Keeper. Bob and his team have been archiving his music, notebooks, paintings and journey for some five decades. Thousands of artifacts comprise this collection of American treasure. Bob kept just about everything — a massive private archive of a notoriously private person housed in storage facilities in New York, Minneapolis, Malibu and Jersey. So it made headlines when word got out that this secret archive had been sold and was headed to its new permanent, public home in Tulsa, Oklahoma. A curveball nobody saw coming. Some archives are for scholars — devotees of a writer, scientist or historical figure. Some archives are tourist attractions. Few are part of a vision for the civic rejuvenation of a once thriving American city. Today, The Kitchen Sisters Present… The Bob Dylan Archive: A Curveball Comes To Tulsa, produced by The Kitchen Sisters — Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva, in collaboration with Olivia Ware and Samuel Shelton Robinson.
28/05/1926m 9s

115 - You Too Can Barbecue - Stubb's Blues Cookbook Cassette & More

In celebration of National Barbecue Month, which is every month in our book, stories from C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield and his Blues Cookbook Cassette, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Nick Patoski, Robb Walsh, Tom T. Hall, Willie Nelson’s bass player Bee Spears and more.
13/05/1917m 13s

114 - Chamelecon—Below the Border in Honduras with Scott Carrier

On the gang-ridden streets of Chamelecon in Honduras, artists are protected and respected — exempt from the ongoing war that is driving families to leave their homes and seek asylum in the US. Producer Scott Carrier, under the protection of a hip hop artist, takes us to the outskirts of San Pedro Sula, a city known in 2014 as the Murder Capital of the World. This story is part of Home of the Brave, a podcast produced by Scott Carrier.
22/04/1921m 5s

113 - Filmmaker Agnés Varda — A Conversation

Today we honor pioneering filmmaker Agnés Varda, part of the French New Wave of the 1960s, who died on March 29, 2019 at home at age 90. Varda broke ground in many mediums — features, documentaries, photography and art installations. Her work often focused on feminist issues and social commentary with a distinctive experimental style. One of her most recent films “Faces Places,” a collaboration with the activist French photographer JR, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Agnés herself received an honorary Oscar for her life’s work in 2017 and recently the Berlin Film Festival honored her with their highest award. We interviewed Agnés for our story about Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française, part of “The Keepers,” series — stories of activist archivists and rogue librarians. Today, the Kitchen Sisters Present a short commemoration we produced for NPR and the full interview Davia did with her in her home in Paris in 2017.
08/04/1922m 40s

112 - Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Celebrating 100 years

Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the famed poet of North Beach, San Francisco, creator of City Lights Bookstore, publisher of the beat poets of the 1950s and 60s, champion of free speech and First Amendment rights. Lawrence is turning 100 this year, and we’re celebrating. From an Arbor Day tree planting ceremony in honor of Lawrence across the street from Via Ferlinghetti in North Beach featuring Alice Waters, SF Supervisor Aaron Peskin, and the Italian Consul General — to a sound rich journey with Lawrence to his cabin in Bixby Canyon, Big Sur produced by sound designer Jim McKee — poems, stories and deep history surround this legendary poet and activist celebrating a wild century of life.
26/03/1945m 26s

111 - Palaces for the People—Author Eric Klinenberg from The Librarian Is In

As part of our series, The Keepers, The Kitchen Sisters Present an episode of the New York Public Library’s podcast The Librarian Is In featuring Eric Klinenberg, author of Palaces for the People about the power and promise of the public library and its critical role in the future of our society. Eric Klinenberg believes that the future of democratic societies rests not simply on shared values but on shared spaces: the libraries, childcare centers, bookstores, churches, synagogues places where people gather and linger, making friends across group lines and strengthening the entire community. In his book, Palaces for the People: How Social Infrastructure Can Help Fight Inequality, Polarization, and the Decline of Civic Life, Klinenberg calls this the “social infrastructure.” When it is strong, neighborhoods flourish; when it is neglected, as it has been in recent years, families and individuals must fend for themselves. Special thanks to The Librarian Is In, the New York Public Library's podcast about books, culture, and what to read next. Gwen Glazer and Frank Collerius interview guests, discuss the books they're reading, pop culture and the literary zeitgeist, and the world of libraries. If you enjoyed this podcast, please write a review on iTunes. It's a great way to help new listeners discover the show. And please say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information about The Kitchen Sisters — our podcast, our NPR stories, our events, our workshops, our T-shirt, and other news from The Kitchen Sisterhood — visit kitchensisters.org and sign up for our Newsletter.
11/03/1933m 33s

110 - Filmmaker Wim Wenders - The Entire Caboodle

Filmmaker Wim Wenders talks about his early influences — Cinémathèque Française, Henri Langlois, Lotte Eisner — and tells stories of Werner Herzog and the films that have impacted his work. Ernst Wilhelm “Wim” Wenders, filmmaker, playwright, author, photographer, is a major figure in New German Cinema and global cinema. His films include Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, The American Friend, Alice in the Cities, Kings of the Road, Buena Vista Social Club, Pope Francis: A Man of His Word, Pina, Until the End of the World, and many more. We were gathering interviews for The Keepers story, Archive Fever: Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française, about one of the earliest and most important film archives in the world, started in Paris in the 1930s, still thriving today. When we dug in to the filmmakers that had been shaped by this archive and its eccentric archivist, along with all of the French New Wave — Truffaut, Godard, etc. — surfaced the name of a filmmaker we have long admired, whose movies open the door of the lonely, the mystical, the musical, the landscape, with performances that tear your heart. Wim Wenders. In our interview with Wim he told us about the impact Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque had on his own filmmaking, but then the stories began to move in new directions — Lotte Eisner, Werner Herzog, and more. On the eve of the Academy Awards — an award Wim Wenders has been nominated for 3 times — we share his story. Produced by Vika Aronson and The Kitchen Sisters. Mixed by Jim McKee. Special thanks to Tom Luddy, Robb Moss, Homi Bhabha, Haden Guest, Sophia Hoffinger, Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. And most of all, to Wim Wenders who has inspired us across the years. If you enjoyed this podcast, please write a review on iTunes. It's a great way to help new listeners discover the show. And please say hello on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For more information about The Kitchen Sisters — our podcast, our NPR stories, our events, our workshops, our T-shirt, and other news from The Kitchen Sisterhood — visit kitchensisters.org and sign up for our Newsletter.
21/02/1916m 32s

109 - Linda Spalding - A Reckoning

Best selling author Linda Spalding is a keeper. A keeper of her family history, a keeper of words, a keeper of truth. In this episode of The Kitchen Sisters Present, Spalding reads from her new book and talks about how discovering her family's dark history as slave holders inspired her novels A Reckoning and The Purchase. “Writing historical fiction is a mug’s game,” says Spalding. “Are we recreating the past, or creating it? While writing, I am imagining things that never happened, trying to make it seem like they did, like they were part of the actual pageant of history, like they make as much sense as the history we all learned in school, some of which was also a fiction. While writing, I am leaning backward from my 21st century chair and hoping to smell things that no longer even exist, to create medicines and foods and conversations I have never heard or seen or tasted." Other books by award winning author Linda Spalding include Who Named the Knife, The Paper Wife, Daughters of Captain Cook, A Dark Place in the Jungle, Mere and Brick a literary magazine she and a group of Canadian writers have been publishing for years. Born in Topeka, Kansas she lived in Mexico and Hawaii before moving to Toronto in 1982. She has two daughters, Esta and Kristin Spalding, from her first marriage to photographer Philip Spalding. She is currently married to Canadian novelist Michael Ondaajte. A professor of English and writing, Spadling has taught at several universities including University of Hawaii, New York University, University of Toronto. She was writer in residence at Brown University and has taught creative writing at Humber College’s School for Writers.
11/02/1918m 50s

108 - The Dark Side of the Dewey Decimal System

Melvil Dewey, the father of library science and the inventor of the most popular library classification system in the world, was a known racist and serial sexual harasser. Forced out of the American Library Association, which he co-founded, his 19th century world view and biases are reflected in the classification system that libraries around the world have inherited. Molly Schwartz of the Metropolitan New York Library Council and producer of the podcast Library Bytegeist visits Bard High School Early College in Queens to find out about how students there are rebelling against the Dewey Decimal System. She also talks with Greg Cotton (Cornell College), Barbara Fister (Gustavus Adolphus College), and Dorothy Berry (Umbra Search Project).
22/01/1922m 20s

107 - William Ferris—Keeper of Southern Folklife

Folklorist and Professor Bill Ferris, a Grammy nominee this year for his "Voices of Mississippi" 3 CD Box set, has committed his life to documenting and expanding the study of the American South. His recordings, photos and films of preachers, quilt makers, blues musicians and more are now online as part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina. Bill Ferris grew up on a farm in Warren County, Mississippi along the Black River. His family, the only white family on the farm, worked side by side with the African Americans in the fields. When he was five, a woman named Mary Gordon would take him every first Sunday to Rose Hill Church, the small African American church on the farm. When Bill was a teenager he got a reel-to-reel tape recorder and started recording the hymns and services. “ I realized that the beautiful hymns were sung from memory—there were no hymnals in the church—and that when those families were no longer there, the hymns would simply disappear.” These recordings led Bill to a lifetime of documenting the world around him—preachers, workers, storytellers, men in prison, quilt makers, the blues musicians living near his home (including the soon-to-be well known Mississippi Fred McDowell). Bill became a prolific author, folklorist, filmmaker, professor, and served as chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is a professor of history at UNC–Chapel Hill and an adjunct professor in the Curriculum in Folklore. He served as the founding director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, where he was a faculty member for 18 years. He is associate director of the Center for the Study of the American South. Bill’s has written and edited 10 books and created 15 documentary films, most dealing with African-American music and other folklore representing the Mississippi Delta. His thousands of photographs, films, audio interviews, and recordings of musicians are now online in the William R. Ferris Collection, part of the Southern Folklife Collection at the University of North Carolina. This story was produced by Barrett Golding with The Kitchen Sisters for The Keepers series.
08/01/1932m 0s

106 - 21 Collections—Every Object has a Story

Paper airplanes, photographs of men in rows, birds nests, gay bar matchbooks, dolls hats —an untraditional take on what warrants our attention. As part of The Kitchen Sisters’ series THE KEEPERS, we wander through a curated collection of collections at the Los Angeles Central Library examining the role collections play in telling our stories. As research for this project, Curator Todd Lerew visited over 600 museums, libraries, archives, and public and private collections, identifying those he felt told the most compelling and memorable stories. We also hear from callers to THE KEEPERS HOT LINE —The Unofficial Archivist of Mt. Everest—Elizabeth Hawley; The Radio Haiti Archive; 19th & 20th century women scientists at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics Glass Plate Collection; Christian Schwartz, 21st century naturalist and collector; Bobby Fulcher recorder and keeper of traditional rural Tennessee folk music and more.
11/12/1826m 39s

Bonus Episode - The Free-Range Archivist: Jason Scott

We've got something extra for you today as part of the Radiotopia fundraiser that is happening now. You can join the Radiotopia community and support The Kitchen Sisters Present... and all of your favorite shows in this beautiful network at radiotopia.fm. And while you're doing that, here's a little gift from us. A special Radiotopia "Hear the World Differently" bonus feature from our series, The Keepers: The Free-Range Archivist: Jason Scott.
04/12/189m 23s

105 - The Keepers: The Unrelenting Oral Histories of Eddie McCoy

After a devastating car accident that made his work as a janitor impossible, civil rights activist Eddie McCoy, picked up a scavenged tape recorder and began taping anyone and everyone in his town—from the oldest person on down—piecing together the little known history of the African American community in Oxford, North Carolina. Hidden stories of slavery times, sharecropping, the civil rights era and more. Eddie McCoy’s recordings and interviewing style are like no others. With energy and passion, Eddie documented the lives of teachers, railroad workers, doctors sharecroppers in his community as far back as the end of the 19th century. A self-taught historian and avid researcher, he jokes cajoles, and sympathizes with his interviewees drawing out candid stories that provide a window into life in small, southern tobacco town of some 10,000 people. McCoy’s more than 140 interviews have become part of the Southern Oral History Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His story is part of The Kitchen Sisters series “The Keepers” — stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians. Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. Guardians of history, large and small, protectors of the free flow of information and ideas.
27/11/1817m 22s

104 - The Keepers: Emily Dickinson's Hidden Kitchen

Deep in the hidden archives of Harvard’s Houghton Library are the butter stained recipes of Emily Dickinson. Who knew? Emily Dickinson was better known by most as a baker than a poet in her lifetime. In this story a beautiful line up of “Keepers”— dedicated archivists, librarians, historians, Thornton Wilder, Patti Smith, and more—lead us through the complex labyrinth of Emily Dickinson’s hidden kitchen. A world of black cake, gingerbread, slant rhyme, secret loves, family scandals, and poems composed on the backs of coconut cake recipes and chocolate wrappers.
13/11/1830m 44s

103 - The Keepers: The Lenny Bruce Collection

One of the most controversial, outspoken men of the last century, comedian Lenny Bruce spent much of his life in court defending his freedom of speech and First Amendment rights. His provocative social commentary and “verbal jazz” offended mainstream culture and resulted in countless arrests on obscenity and other charges. Over the decades, since his death from a heroin overdose in1966, Lenny’s only child Kitty Bruce, became his keeper, gathering and preserving everything related to her father’s life. We follow the saga of this collection from daughter Kitty's attic — to archivist, Sarah Shoemaker, who drove a van to Kitty’s house in Pennsylvania to gather this historic collection to take to Brandeis University. With the help of an endowment from Bruce's long time friend and supporter Hugh Hefner, creator of Playboy Magazine, and his daughter Christie Heffner, the collection is now cataloged and open for use by all. The archive comes alive in the story of this brilliant, pioneering, complicated man who paved the way for comedians like George Carlin, Richard Pryor and Lewis Black.
23/10/1823m 40s

102 - Archive Fever: Henri Langlois and the Cinémathèque Française

Keepers: people possessed with a passion for preservation, individuals afflicted with a bad case of Archive Fever. The Keepers continues with the story of one such man, Henri Langlois, founder and curator of one of the world’s great film archives, the Cinémathèque Française. Henri Langlois never made a single film — but he's considered one of the most important figures in the history of filmmaking. Possessed by what French philosopher Jacques Derrida called "archive fever," Langlois begin obsessively collecting films in the 1930s — and by the outset of World War II, he had one of the largest film collections in the world. The archive's impact on the history of French cinema is legendary — as is the legacy of its controversial keeper.
09/10/1831m 54s

101 - The Keepers: The Pack Horse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky

During the Depression, those horrible years after 1929, the Appalachians were hit hard. Coal mines were being shut down. Many people were living in dire poverty with no hope. In 1936, as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, the Kentucky WPA began to hire pack horse librarians, mostly women, to carry books to isolated cabins, rural school houses and homebound coalminers. The routes were rugged and treacherous. The “bookwomen” followed creek beds and fence routes through summer heat and frozen winters — their saddlebags and pillowcases stuffed with Robinson Crusoe, Women’s Home Companion, Popular Mechanics. Many people were illiterate and the women often stayed and read to them. The pay was $28 a month. Each woman was required to supply her own horse or mule, their food and boarding. When the program closed in 1943 as America entered World War II, nearly one thousand pack horse librarians had served 1.5 million people in 48 Kentucky counties.
24/09/1827m 15s

100 - The Keepers: Archiving the Underground—The Hip Hop Archive

This is the first episode in our new series THE KEEPERS—stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors and historians—Keepers of the culture and the cultures and collections they keep. We begin at The Hip Hop Archive and Research Center at Harvard. In the late 1990’s the students of Dr. Marcyliena Morgan, Professor of Linguistics at UCLA, started falling by her office, imploring her to listen to hip hop. They wanted her to hear this new underground sound and culture being created, the word play, the rhyming, the rapping. They wanted her to help them begin to archive this new medium. “Hip Hop *is *an archive," they told her. Dr. Morgan wasn’t an archivist and she didn’t listen to hip hop. But she listened to her students and saw a new kind of soundtrack emerging from the cracks. Bit by bit she opened her office and her resources and began to collect the history and material culture of hip hop. Some 15 years later the Archive has gone from her office at UCLA to Harvard, where she and Professor Henry Louis Gates founded The Hiphop Archive & Research Institute at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute whose mission is to “facilitate and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, art, culture, scholarship and responsible leadership through Hiphop.” Along with gathering everything about hip hop for preservation and study, the Archive created the Nasir Jones Fellowship for scholarly research in the field, named for Nas, one of hip hop’s titans, and the “Classic Crates Project,” a collection that aims to archive 200 seminal hip hop albums in the same Harvard music library that houses the works of Mozart, Bertolt Brecht and Edith Piaf. The first four—Nas’ “Illmatic,” “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill,” Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly” and “The Low End Theory” by a Tribe Called Quest have been inducted into the University’s Loeb Music Library. You’ll hear from Professor Marcyliena Morgan, Nas, Professor Henry Louis Gates, Nas Fellow Patrick Douthit aka 9th Wonder, The Hip Hop Fellows working at the Archive, an array of Harvard Archivists, and students studying at the Archive and the records, music and voices being preserved there. And we take a look at the Cornell University Hip Hop Collection, founded in 2007, through a sampling of stories from Assistant Curator Jeff Ortiz, Johan Kugelberg author of “Born in the Bronx,” and hip hop pioneers Grandmaster Caz, Pebblee Poo, Roxanne Shante and more.
05/09/1832m 20s

99 - Lovers of Lost Fans

In 2000 we received a call to the NPR Lost & Found Sound Hotline from Willard Mayes, a member of the Antique Fan Collectors Association, who was concerned about the vanishing sound of electric fans. Willard leads Jay Allison, Curator and “Keeper” of the Quest for Sound Hotline, to the Vornado Fan factory, Michael Coup and the Antique Fan Museum, where passionate collectors can tell the make, model and year of a fan by its whir. Also, NPR producer Art Silverman plunges into the sound collection of one of America’s giant corporations — AT&T — exploring how this one-time monopoly chronicled its own history and sold itself to America.
28/08/1820m 9s

98 - Lost & Found Sound and Voices of The Dust Bowl

Fish mongers recorded on the streets of Harlem in the 1930s. An 8-year-old girl’s impromptu news cast made on a toy recorder in a San Diego store. Lyndon Johnson talking to FBI director J. Edgar Hoover a week after President Kennedy’s assassination in 1963. Sounds lost and found. As The Kitchen Sisters prepare to launch their new series The Keepers, about activist archivists, rogue librarians, curators, collectors, historians and the collections they keep—they re-visit their own “accidental archive” of recordings amassed over the years. And Voices from the Dust Bowl, produced by Peabody Award winning producer Barrett Golding for the Lost & Found Sound series. In the 1930s, hundreds of thousands of people from Oklahoma and Arkansas traveled to California, fleeing the dust storms and poverty of the Depression. In the summer of 1940, Charles Todd was hired by the Library of Congress to visit the federal camps where many of these migrants lived, to create an audio oral history of their stories. Todd carried a 50-pound Presto recorder from camp to camp that summer, interviewing the migrant workers. He made hundreds of hours of recordings on acetate and cardboard discs. Todd was there at the same time that John Steinbeck was interviewing many of the same people in these camps, for research on a new novel called "The Grapes of Wrath." Producer Barrett Golding went though this massive, rare collection of Todd's recordings to create this story of the Dust Bowl refugees narrated by Charles Todd.
14/08/1833m 32s

97 - Pan American Blues: The Birth of The Grand Ole Opry & "Harmonica Wizard" Deford Bailey

The story of the birth of the Grand Ole Opry on radio station WSM in Nashville, TN and the story of “Harmonica Wizard” DeFord Bailey, the Opry’s first African American performer. WSM’s most popular show, the Grand Ole Opry, the longest running radio show in the US, started in 1925 as the WSM Barn Dance featuring a wealth of talent from the hills of Tennessee and all around the rural south—Uncle Dave Macon “The Dixie Dewdrop,” Roy Acuff and His Smokey Mountain Boys, Minnie Pearl and hundreds of others performed on the wildly popular Saturday night show. Starting in 1928, the legendary “Harmonica Wizard” DeFord Bailey was on the show more often than any other person. In fact, one of DeFord’s most popular pieces, Pan American Blues, inspired the announcer to dub the show The Grand Ole Opry. DeFord suffered from polio as a child and started playing the harmonica when he was 3 years old. Four-and-a-half feet tall, always impeccably dressed in a suit, he had the uncanny ability of imitating and incorporating sounds into his harmonica playing—trains, animals, fox hunts. Because it was radio, the audience was unaware DeFord was the only African American among the all-white cast. But when he toured with the other Opry stars he could not stay in the same hotels or eat in the same restaurants. He had to sleep in the car. Sometimes Uncle Dave Macon would haul the back seat out of his car and tell the hotel DeFord was his valet so he could sleep inside his room. The Pan American passenger train is a through line in this story. When we were working on Lost & Found Sound, a series about the history of recorded sound, we got a letter from a listener who said that “no collection of sounds from the 20th century” would be complete without the sound of the Pan American passenger train. Every night at 5:08 pm from August 1933 until June 1945, listeners to the 50,000 watt WSM radio station would hear the live sound of the Pan American, Louisville and Nashville’s passenger train, as it passed the station’s transmitter tower. They actually had a guy out there holding a mic recording the train every night at 5:08—avid listeners all across the south and Midwest would set their clocks by it. So we followed up on the sound. We went to Nashville to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Country Music Foundation, where there are some real Keepers and Collectors of Sounds and stories. And as usual, stories beget stories… the sound of the Pan American train whistle and Radio station WSM led us to the story of the birth of the Grand Ole Opry, the oldest continuing running radio program… which led us to the remarkable story of the Grand Ole Opry’s first (and for many years only) African American performer, Harmonica Wizard Deford Bailey.
23/07/1821m 30s

96 - Cry Me a River — Keepers of the Environment

The dramatic stories of three pioneering “Keepers” and environmental activists—Ken Sleight, Katie Lee, and Mark Dubois and the damming of wild rivers in the west. Ken Sleight is a long time river and pack guide and activist in southern Utah who fought the damming of Glen Canyon and filling of Lake Powell from 1956-1966. An inspiration for Edward Abbey’s, Monkey Wrench Gang, Sleight is currently working on the campaign to remove Glen Canyon Dam. Katie Lee, born in 1917, a former Hollywood starlet, ran the Colorado River through Glen Canyon long before it was dammed, and in 1955 was the 175th person to run the Grand Canyon. An outspoken conservationist, singer and writer, she spent her life fighting for rivers. Mark Dubois, co-founder of Friends of the River, Earth Day and International Rivers Network, began as a river guide who opened up rafting trips to disabled people in the 1970s. Dubois protested the damming and flooding of the Stanislaus River by hiding himself in the river canyon and chaining himself to a rock as the water rose in 1979.
09/07/1833m 3s

95 - Give Space A Chance: Gastrodiplomacy in Orbit

Russians preparing dinner for Americans in space? Sounds good to us. There’s been a lot of jabber these days about creating a “Space Force,” a sixth branch of the US military to dominate outer space. Over the years we’ve talked with astronauts about what it’s like up there - about the food they eat and the teams they work with daily while orbiting the earth. It turns out they have other ideas about what can happen in space, like educating our youth and “gastrodipolmacy”— the use of food as a diplomatic tool to help resolve conflicts and foster connections between nations. NASA astronaut Bill McArthur talks about the power of sharing meals with Russian Cosmonaut Valery Korzu during their six months together on the Space Station. South Korea’s first astronaut, Astronaut Soyeon Yi, describes Kimchi Diplomacy in space, the Korean government’s efforts to invent kimchi for space travel, and the special Korean meal she prepared for her Russian comrades in orbit. Soyeon Yi, one of 36,000 applicants, became South Korea’s first astronaut in 2008. She talks about how she was selected and about the power of food: “Having kimchi in space, you are far from your home planet,” she says. “When you eat your own traditional food it makes you feel emotionally supported. I can feel my home.”
25/06/1819m 0s

94 - Tequila Chamber of Commerce & The Birth of the Frozen Margarita

The Agave Goddess with 200 breasts; jimadors stripping lethal thorny leaves off agaves; farmers battling cambio climatico (climate change); distillers contemplating mono-culture production and the environmental impact of tequila; generations-old tequila makers versus globalization. Stories of tequila from the Tequila Region in Mexico and beyond. Tequila does not only mean alcohol—it means Mexico’s culture, history and future. The biggest tequila companies are not Mexican anymore. They are internationally owned. The Tequila Chamber of Commerce is helping producers promote the drink. They are expected to sell millions and millions of liters to China in the future. Guillermo Erikson Sauza, the fifth generation to make tequila in his family talks about how his grandfather unexpectedly sold the company in 1978 and how he has worked to build up a small a distillery making his Fortaleza brand in the traditional way. And Carmen Villareal, a tequilera, one of the few women in Mexico to run a Tequila company—Tequila San Matais, now 127 years old. And Mariano Martinez, from a fourth generation family restaurant business in Dallas,Texas. How he developed the first frozen margarita machine in 1971, based on the 7-Eleven Slurpee machine, using a soft serve ice cream maker "suped up like a car." The machine is now at the Smithsonian.
12/06/1813m 12s

93 - Prince and the Technician

In 1983 Prince hired LA sound technician, Susan Rogers, one of the few women in the industry, to move to Minneapolis and help upgrade his home recording studio as he began work on the album and the movie Purple Rain. Susan, a trained technician with no sound engineering experience became the engineer of Purple Rain, Parade, Sign o’ the Times, and all that Prince recorded for the next four years. For those four years, and almost every year after, Prince recorded at least a song a day and they worked together for 24 hours, 36 hours, 96 hours at a stretch, layering and perfecting his music and his hot funky sound. We interviewed Susan, who is now a Professor at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, for our upcoming NPR series, The Keepers — about activist archivists, rogue librarians, collectors, curators and historians. It was Susan who started Prince’s massive archive during her time with the legendary artist.
22/05/1824m 21s

92 - The Working Tapes of Studs Terkel

In the early 1970’s, radio producer and author Studs Terkel wrote a book called Working. He went around the country with a reel-to-reel tape recorder interviewing people about their jobs. The book became a bestseller and even inspired a Broadway musical. Working struck a nerve, because it elevated the stories of ordinary people and their daily lives. Studs celebrated the un-celebrated. Radio Diaries and their partner Project& were given exclusive access to these recordings, which were boxed up and stored away after the book was published. Stories of a private investigator, a union worker, a telephone operator, a a hotel piano player, and more. As The Kitchen Sisters warm up for our new series “The Keepers,” stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, historians, collectors, curators —keepers of the culture—we share these stories gathered by the ultimate Keeper —Studs Terkel.
07/05/1837m 28s

91 - Mimi Chakarova: Love, Art and Anger

Mimi Chakarova is a Bulgarian-American filmmaker, photographer, journalism professor, activist, immigrant and single mother. Her documentary “Men a Love Story” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival in 2017 where Davia Nelson of The Kitchen Sisters interviewed her on stage. How can you not be mesmerized by a woman who makes a film called “The Price of Sex,” about women throughout Eastern Europe who are pushed into prostitution and who goes underground into that world herself to document the story. “I didn't intend to spend more than a year covering human trafficking,” says Mimi. It ended up taking a decade. “I didn't intend on reporting in more than two countries,” she says. “So, how did I end up in nine?” Mimi said, “Before my trips my mom used to ask, ‘It took us so many years to get out of poverty, why do you keep returning there?’ I would sit in her kitchen and the only answer that would come to mind was, it was so damn familiar.” Now Mimi has a new series of documentaries, “Still I Rise,” premiering online Friday, April 27th at stillirisefilms.org. “Still I Rise” is a short film series whose title pays homage to Maya Angelou's famous poem. It features individuals who've journeyed from the depths of hardship and struggle and have come out the other side. As an immigrant herself Mimi creates a platform where other immigrants can tell their own stories and show how even in the face of adversity they fight to rise.
23/04/1815m 47s

90 - Jorge Amado: The Ballad of Bahia

Jorge Amado, the beloved Brazilian author of Gabriella, Clove and Cinnamon, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, Tent of Miracles – wrote over 30 books in his lifetime. His works have been translated into 49 languages and adapted for film, television, and theater. In 1984, The Kitchen Sisters interviewed Jorge Amado, his wife  Zelia Gattai, Brazilian composer and singer Dorival Caymmi,  and singer and activist Harry Belafonte as part of the NPR series “Faces Mirrors Masks – 20th Century Latin American Fiction.” The Ballad of Bahia explores the life and writings of the author through interviews, music and readings and dramatizations of his work.
09/04/1831m 10s

89 - Poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti — Celebrating 99 Years

In honor of poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti's 99th birthday we celebrate with River’s of Memory, produced by Jim McKee of Earwax Productions. Over the last 20 years, Jim McKee has been chronicling Lawrence and Lawrence’s good friend radio dramatist Erik Bauersfeld (voice of Star Wars' Admiral Ackbar). Set to a rich soundscape that travels throughout San Francisco, the piece features poetry, interviews, and overheard conversations about Ferlinghetti’s life, work, the San Francisco beat culture, Ferlinghetti’s fight for First Amendment rights and more. Lawrence Ferlinghetti, opened City Lights bookstore in 1953, one of the first paperback bookstores. He also began publishing the Pocket Poet Series featuring poems by Beat Poets of the 1950s and 60s. In 1956 he published “Howl and Other Poems,” by Allen Ginsberg and was brought to trial on obscenity charges. The landmark first amendment case paved the way for the publication of other “banned books.”
27/03/1823m 28s

88 - Frances McDormand Hosts Hidden Kitchens

Two-time Academy Award winning actress Frances McDormand hosts Hidden Kitchens—secret, underground, below the radar cooking—how communities come together through food. Stories of NASCAR Kitchens, Hunting and Gathering with Angelo Garro, listeners calls to the Hidden Kitchens hotline and more. **NASCAR Kitchens—Feed the Speed: Behind every car race is a kitchen—hidden in the crew pit, or tucked between the hauler and the trailer of the trucks that transport NASCAR and Indy cars from city to city. Public radio listener Jon Wheeler cooks for the drivers, haulers, pit crews, sponsors and owners on the racing circuit. He called the Hidden Kitchens hotline line to tell us about his world. **Hunting & Gathering with Angelo Garro: Blacksmith, Angelo Garro forges and forages, recreating in wrought iron and in cooking the life he left behind in Sicily. The Kitchen Sisters join Garro along the coast of Northern California as he follows the seasons, harvesting the wild for his kitchen and his friends.
12/03/1826m 28s

87—Guillermo Cabrera Infante: Memories of an Invented City

A sound portrait of Cuban writer Guillermo Cabrera Infante, a one-time leader in the Cuban cultural revolution who fell from favor and went into exile in London in 1965. Intense and compelling, Cabrera Infante was passionate about cinema, satire, puns, tongue twisters, and about his lost love — Cuba. In 1967 he wrote his best-known work—Three Trapped Tigers—a steamy, experimental journey into 1950s nightlife in Havana. In the 1970s he suffered a massive mental breakdown and was treated with electroshock and lithium. He was the author of over a dozen books, translated James Joyce’s Dubliners into Spanish, and wrote a screenplay adaptation of Under Volcano and the script for the film Vanishing Point. Cabrera Infante’s cinematic, jazz-like writing, comes to life in this story rich with music and interviews with cinematographer Nestor Almendros, painter Jesse Fernandez, activist Saul Landau, and the writer himself. Actors Lazaro Perez, and Ilka Tanya Payan are heard in dramatizations from Cabrera Infante's acclaimed novel, "Tres Triestes Tigres." Cabrera Infante lived in London with his wife Miriam Gomez until his death in 2005. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters as part of NPR’s series Faces, Mirrors, Masks: Twentieth Century Latin American Fiction.
27/02/1832m 38s

86 - The Mardi Gras Indians—Stories from New Orleans

Jelly Roll Morton talks of being a “Spy Boy” in the Mardi Gras Indian parades of his youth. Bo Dollis, of the Wild Magnolias, tells of sewing his suit of feathers and beads all night long. Tootie Montana masks for the first time after Mardi Gras started up again after being cancelled during World War II. Big Queen Ausettua makes connections between the black Mardi Gras Indian traditions of New Orleans and Africa. Sister Alison McCrary, a Catholic nun and social justice attorney, tells of Big Chief Tootie Montana’s death at the podium in City Council Chambers defending the rights of the Mardi Gras Indians to parade without harassment. A collection of stories and interviews in honor of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition in New Orleans. With thanks to the Library of Congress, Nick Spitzer and American Routes, WWOZ and all of the Keepers of the Mardi Gras Indian Culture.
13/02/1822m 46s

House of Night - The Lost Creation Songs of the Mojave People

The story of an aging pile of forgotten reel-to-reel tapes discovered on the shelf of a tribal elder on the Fort Mojave Reservation. Recorded by an amateur ethnographer in the 1960s, these tapes of the last Creation Song singer of the tribe recount the legends and origin of the Mojave people. They are oral maps of the desert region that were instrumental in helping to save the Ward Valley from becoming a nuclear waste dump site.In the 1960s, a CBS radio engineer out of Los Angeles, drove out to the Colorado River Indian Reservation in Parker, Arizona with his portable reel-to-reel tape recorder with the idea of recording the Mojave Indians. There he met Emmett Van Fleet, an elder of the tribe and the last of the Creation Song singers. Over the course of several years, Guy Tyler made his weekend pilgrimages, and slowly and meticulously the two men recorded the 525 song cycle that recounts the legend of the creation and origin of the Mojave people, their traditions, and their oral maps that describe historical journeys, sacred sites, and directions about how to safely cross the Mojave Desert. Emmett Van Fleet left the tapes to his nephew Llewllyn Barrackman. As years went by and technology changed, the tapes were unplayed and forgotten until Philip Klasky and the Storyscape Project worked to get the the tapes transferred and preserved.In 1995, when action was taken to turn Ward Valley into a nuclear waste dump, traditional Mojave songs and song cycles helped save the endangered Ward Valley and Colorado River by proving the historic connection the Mojave have with this sacred land.In 1999 The Kitchen Sisters travelled to the Mojave Reservation with writer and environmentalist Phil Klasky, to meet with Llewllyn Barrackman and other Mojave the elders, birdsong singers and activists in the Ward Valley struggle.Produced with Philip Klasky, Director of the Storyscape Project.
19/01/1822m 37s

84 - Levee Stream Live from New Orleans

Levee Stream— a live neighborhood pop-up, Cadillac, radio station installation in New Orleans. Presented by Otabenga Jones & Associates and The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with Project& as part of Prospect.4 New Orleans, an international exhibit of 73 artists creating artworks and events throughout New Orleans. Part block party, part soap box—Levee Stream is a lively mix of music, DJs, and conversations with artists, activists, civil rights leaders, neighborhood entrepreneurs and visionaries taking place in the back seat of a cut-in-half 1959 pink Cadillac Coup de Ville with giant speakers in the trunk on Bayou Road, one of the oldest roads in the city. Hosted by WWOZ DJ Cole Williams the show features interviews with Robert King and Albert Woodfox, members of the Angola 3 who were released from prison after decades of living in solitary confinement. Civil Rights pioneers Leona Tate and A.P. Tureaud Jr. Prospect.4 curator Trevor Schoonmaker and artists Hank Willis Thomas, Maria Berrio, and Jeff Whetstone. With music by legendary Hammond B3 organ player Joe Krown, contemporary jazz luminaries Kidd and Marlon Jordan,The Jones Sisters, DJ RQAway and DJ Flash Gordon Parks.
12/12/1733m 15s

83 - Chicken Pills - A Hidden World of Girls Story from Jamaica

Every culture has its idealized woman, its standard of beauty that is valorized. Everywhere women are altering themselves in small and major ways to attempt the look that is celebrated. History is full of methods, home grown and scientific, used to attain these ideals— footbinding, corsetting, liposuction, emaciation, molding of the skull, face lifts, lip stretching… In this story Hidden World of Girls travels to Jamaica — where cosmetic folk treatments and changing ideals of beauty are part of a the national debate going on in the music, the dancehalls and on the streets. In Jamaica, especially in poorer areas, there is a saying among men, ” I don’t want a “maga” (meager) woman.” A maga woman, a slight or thin woman, says to the world that a man is poor and doesn’t have means to provide for her. A larger woman is a way of showing you have means and that you can afford to keep this woman fed. “If you have no meat on your bones the society can’t see your wealth, your progress, your being,” said Professor Sonjah Stanley-Niaah. “This African standard of beauty, and it’s very much present in Jamaica. The body must be healthy and that health is expressed in some amount of fat. You musn’t just be able to slip through the arms of a man. The healthy body girl is anywhere from 160 to 210 pounds.So there’s a high level of interest and activity around modifying the body.” In the 1990s, some women in Jamaica, longing to be large, started taking “Chicken Pills,” hormones sold to plump up the breasts and thighs of chickens. In Jamaica we talked with twenty-one year old Raquel Jones who was cast in an independent film called “Chicken Pills,”by Jamaica born playwright, Storm. The film is about two teenage girls. One is getting more attention from the boys in the class. The other character, Lisa, is having self esteem problems so she turns to the chicken pills. “Here in Jamaica it’s pressure on teenage girls and women. We do stuff that increases these physical appearances, getting our bodies to look a certain way.”
27/11/1711m 27s

82 - First Day of School—1960, New Orleans

November 14, 1960 — Four six-year-old girls, flanked by Federal Marshals, walked through screaming crowds and policemen on horseback as they approached their new schools for the first time. Leona Tate thought it must be Mardi Gras. Gail thought they were going to kill her. Four years after the Supreme Court ruled to desegregate schools in Brown v Board of Education, schools in the south were dragging their feet. Finally, in 1960, the NAACP and a daring judge selected two schools in New Orleans to push forward with integration — McDonogh No.19 Elementary and William Frantz. An application was put in the paper.  From 135 families, four girls were selected. They were given psychological tests. Their families were prepared. Members of the Louisiana Legislature took out paid advertisements in the local paper encouraging parents to boycott the schools. There were threats of violence. When the girls going to McDonogh No. 19 arrived in their classroom, the white children began to disappear. One by one their parents took them out of school. For a year and a half the girls were the only children in the school. Guarded night and day, they were not allowed to play outdoors. The windows were covered with brown paper. The story of integrating the New Orleans Public schools in 1960 told by Leona Tate, Tessie Prevost Williams, and Gail Etienne Stripling, who integrated McDonogh No.19 Elementary School, and retired Deputy U.S. Marshals Herschel Garner, Al Butler, and Charlie Burks who assisted with the integration efforts at the schools.
09/11/1715m 37s

81 - Sonic Prayer Flags - New Orleans

A string of sonic prayer flags —voices and sounds from New Orleans and Bayou Road, the oldest street in the city. Local visionaries, neighborhood entrepreneurs, artists, skate boarders, civil rights activists, musicians, teachers, and more. Listening to the sounds and moods of the City. We’ve been recording in New Orleans lately for a project we’re doing as part of Prospect 4 – an exhibit of works by artists from around the world who’ve been invited to create events and artworks throughout the city. The first Prospect New Orleans was created in the aftermath of Katrina – exploring the role of art and artists in the rebuilding of the city. The theme of this fourth Prospect is “The Artist in Spite of the Swamp”. Our project is called “Levee Stream” a five-hour live, street-corner pop-up Cadillac radio station installation on Bayou Road. We’re  collaborating with the Houston based artists collective Otabenga Jones – Jamal Cyrus, Jabari Anderson and associates-- who have created a cut-in-half pink Cadillac, with giant speakers in the trunk, and a white plush leather upholstered back seat (which now is the front seat because the car has been cut in half!) where guests can sit and converse and be interviewed live on the air — it’s a roving radio station that’s toured to neighborhoods in Houston and Brooklyn – and now New Orleans. The event will take place on Bayou Road and the stories, prayer flags, videos and images will be online at kitchensisters.org and Prospectneworleans.org.
24/10/1728m 44s

80 – Thad Vogler: A Short History of Spirits

Thad Vogler, creator of San Francisco’s Bar Agricole and Trou Normand, travels the world in search of hand made spirits — rum, scotch, cognac, mescal — and the hidden stories of the people and places behind these spirits. His bar is like library, each bottle rich with story. “Any bottle of rum you take off of the shelf, you have to think about the Caribbean, about the African diaspora, the indigenous culture, the merchant cultures, the colonizing European country, the sugar plantations controlled by the French…” Thad has just come out with a new book — By the Smoke & the Smell: *My Search for the Rare & Sublime on the Spirits Trail.* It’s a beautiful book —part travelogue, part memoir. We talk with Thad about his life and philosophy, about the impact of prohibition, alcohol as agriculture, tracing ingredients to their source, and the bar as a kitchen. We also talk to Russell Moore, chef and owner of Camino in Oakland. Russell worked for more  than 20 years at Chez Panisse and when he opened Camino he asked Thad Vogler to create a locally sourced, non-GMO bar that reflected his kitchen.
10/10/1713m 39s

79 – Pati’s Mexican Jewish Table

A walk through Oaxaca’s Ethnobotanical Garden with chef and cookbook author Pati Jinich, host of the Emmy and James Beard nominated PBS series Pati’s Mexican Table and resident chef at the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington DC. Pati talks about her Jewish heritage, growing up in Mexico, immigration, life choices and how she found her way into the kitchen.
25/09/1718m 10s

78 – The Galveston Hurricane of 1900: No Tongue Can Tell

The Great Galveston Hurricane arrived on a Saturday, September 8, 1900 — almost without warning. Galveston, the grand dame of Texas, a vibrant port city sitting haughtily on a sand bar facing the Gulf, was reduced to a splintered wasteland. Some 6,000 people perished on the island and at least 4000-6000 on the mainland. Survivors struggled to save themselves amid the towering waves, rocking debris, and floating wreckage of their city. As part of our Lost & Found Sound series, producer John Burnett revisits the deadliest natural disaster in US history with recorded oral histories and memoirs from the children, the lovers – the survivors of the 1900 storm.
11/09/1720m 57s

New Orleans Visions – King’s Candy & Living with Water

Robert King Wilkerson (aka Robert Hillary King) was imprisoned at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana for 31 years. Twenty-nine of those years he was in solitary confinement. During that time he created a clandestine kitchen in his 6×9 cell where he made pralines, heating the the butter and sugar he saved from his food tray over a tiny burner concocted from a Coke can and a toilet paper roll. King’s case was overturned in 2001 and he was released. He was living in New Orleans during Katrina, refused to leave his dog, and weathered the storm in his apartment. Today he lectures around the world and makes candy — which he calls Freelines — to bring attention to issues of prison reform and the story of his comrades and The Angola Three.In “Living with Water,” journalist Julia Kumari Drapkin, director of ISeeChange, a community weather and climate journal project, takes us on a tour of her flooded neighborhood in New Orleans after a recent storm. She talks about the vision of creating water gardens, floating streets and other water projects that look towards living with water in New Orleans rather than continuing to completely drain and sink the land.
22/08/1715m 42s

Liberace and the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band

In 1967 thirty men left Trinidad with 97 steel drums to represent their country at the World’s Fair in Montreal. None of them had ever been off their island before. They were members of the Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band, all playing “pan,” the steel drums of Calypso, hammered from the leftover oil drums of World War II.The band took Expo ’67 by storm. And their sound and performance caught the ear of one of the most popular entertainers of the day: Liberace. The glittery piano virtuoso hired the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band to go on the road with him for the next two years — traveling to cities large and small around the world including towns in George Wallace’s segregated south. One flamboyant rhinestoned white piano player and 30 black steel drummers from Trinidad playing Flight of the Bumblebee.We travel to Trinidad and trace the history of the steel drum and follow the Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band from the streets of Port of Spain to the Ed Sullivan Show.Steel pan was born on the island of Trinidad in the late 1930s. It began as an outlaw instrument, hammered from milk tins, biscuit boxes, brake drums, garbage cans — and later, the oil barrels that were scattered across the oil-rich island after World War II.When the bands first started, anything metal that could be scavenged was “tuned” and played to make a sound, a note. Pan began as the music of the island’s poor, before Trinidad’s independence from Britain. For the native Trinidadians under British rule, the beating of drums and marching in Carnival was often forbidden.As the oil drums evolved, dozens of pan bands — some more than 100 members strong — sprang up in neighborhoods across the island. Casablanca, Destination Tokyo, Desperadoes, Tripoli… they named themselves after the American war movies and Westerns of the day. Come Carnival, the steel bands would battle one another for the championship, marching across Port of Spain waging musical war — a tradition that continues today.When the island gained its independence in the 1960s, the foreign companies that controlled the oil resources of Trinidad worried about nationalization of their businesses. The island’s prime minister declared steel pan music an important, vital expression of the Trinidadian people. British Petroleum, Esso and other oil companies looking to sway public opinion began sponsoring neighborhood oil drum orchestras, supplying instruments, uniforms and the money to tour outside Trinidad.In 1967, the Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band (named after the World War II movie Shores of Tripoli) was sent by the government and the Esso oil company to represent Trinidad and the nation’s musical heritage at the Montreal Expo World’s Fair.
08/08/1719m 19s

75 – The Making Of a Karaoke Ice Cream Truck and More Stories

Stories of creativity and invention— the making of a jar of jam, the making of a fashionable 3-D printed covering for an artificial limb, the making of Muttville – a foster care rescue center for senior dogs, a Karaoke Ice Cream Truck, the arrangements for a father’s funeral, the un-making of the Typewriter, and more stories from The Making Of…What People Make in the Bay Area and Why. Produced with KQED and AIR.
25/07/1723m 10s

74 – What Is It About Men and Meat and Midnight and a Pit?

Barbecue, burgoo, mopping the mutton, the fellowship of stirring. Hidden Kitchens stories of conflict, competition and resolution in the backyards and fire pits of our nation. From the all night communal roasting rituals in Owensboro Kentucky, to the cotton fields, German meat markets, and chuckwagons of west Texas. We hear from men’s cooking teams, African American Trail Riders, Willie Nelson and his bass player Bee Spears, Stubb Stubblefield…And we contemplate David Klose’s  BBQ pit on the moon.    
11/07/1735m 37s

73 – Basque Sheepherders Ball

In the 1930s and 40s, hundreds of Basques were brought to the western United States to do the desolate work that no one else would do—herding sheep. Alone for months at a time with hundreds of sheep the Basque’s improvised songs, baked bread in underground ovens, carved poetry and drawings into the Aspen trees, and listened to The Basque Radio hour beaming to Idaho, Washington, Colorado, California, traditional music and messages between the herders out in the isolated countryside. “You say Basque to a Westerner and you think sheepherder,” said Mark Kurlansky, author of The Basque History of the World. “In Basque country very few people were shepherds. The seven provinces of Basque country are about the size of New Hampshire. No one has huge expanses of land there.” “Teenagers were ripped up out of their communities back home, brought to a foreign land, with a foreign language, put up on top of a mountain … crying themselves to sleep at night during the first year on the range,” says William Douglass, Former director of the Center for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada. Francisco Franco, the Spanish dictator who repressively ruled the country for nearly 40 years, made life miserable for the Basque people, suppressing their language, culture and possibilities. The result was a massive exodus, and the only way to come to the United States for many Basques was to contract as sheepherders. There was a shortage of shepherds in the American West, and legislation was crafted in 1950 that allowed Basque men to take up this lonely and difficult job. Francisco and Joaquin Lasarte came to America in 1964 from Basque country in northern Spain. Each Lasarte brother had his own flock, and they rarely saw each other or anyone else for months on end. Mostly they ate lamb and bread cooked in a Dutch oven in a hole they dug in the ground. Hotels like the Noriega in Bakersfield, CA were home in the winter months for these isolated men. They piled into these Basque boarding houses that sprung up in Elko and Winnemucca, Nevada, and Boise, Idaho. The men ate family style — big bottles of red wine, accordion music, conversation and card games. For 25 years, the voice of the Basque was Espe Alegria. Every Sunday night, sheepherders across the mountains of the American West would tune in to listen to her radio show on KBOI in Boise.  Dedications, birthday greetings, suggestions of where to find good pasture, the soccer scores that her husband got off the shortwave from Spain, and the hit tunes from Spain and the Basque region. She would help the sheepherders with immigration issues, with buying plane tickets home, with doctor’s appointments. She did her show for free, but once or twice a year the owners of the sheep camps would give her a lamb. The family would take it home, throw it on the kitchen table, cut it up and put in the freezer. The Sheepherder’s Ball was the highlight of the year in Boise. The men wore denim, the women wore simple house dresses. Lambs were auctioned off and proceeds given to a charity. Huge platters of chorizo and stew and pork sandwiches were served. The ball continues to this day every December at the Euzkaldunak Club’s Basque Center.  
27/06/1721m 0s

72 – Warriors vs Warriors

For the last five years The Golden State Warriors have been going inside San Quentin, the legendary maximum security California State prison, to take on The San Quentin Warriors, the prison’s notorious basketball team. The Kitchen Sisters Present team up with Life of the Law Podcast to take us to a recent showdown between these two mighty Bay Area teams. Featuring Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, Bob Myers, and Golden State Warriors’ support staff — and San Quentin Warriors players, inmate spectators and prison officials. Go Warriors!    
12/06/1711m 40s

71 – Hidden Kitchen Gaza: A Palestinian Culinary Journey

Author and journalist, Laila El-Haddad takes us into the hidden world of Gaza through the kitchen. Interweaving history, personal experiences and stories of food, family and daily life, El-Haddad paints a vivid picture of her family’s homeland and some of the issues facing people living in Gaza and the Middle East. We also hear from Jon Rubin, co-founder of Conflict Kitchen, a restaurant/art project in Pittsburg PA that sells food from countries the United States is in conflict with. One of the most controversial iterations of Conflict Kitchen took place in 2014 when their food and conversation turned to Palestine. The restaurant featured recipes from The Gaza Kitchen and Laila El-Haddad was an invited speaker. Laila El-Haddad is co-author of “The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey” (with Maggie Schmitt) and author of “Gaza Mom: Palestine, Politics, Parenting, and Everything In Between.”
23/05/1718m 14s

70 – The Egg Wars

A hidden Gold Rush kitchen when food was scarce and men died for eggs… We travel out to the forbidding Farallon Islands, 27 miles outside San Francisco’s Golden Gate, home to the largest seabird colony in the United States, where in the 1850s egg hunters gathered over 3 million eggs, nearly stripping the island bare, to feed the ever-growing migration of newcomers lured by the Gold Rush.
09/05/1718m 24s

69 – The Romance and Sex Life of the Date

In 1898, the United States Department of Agriculture created a special department of men, called “Agriculture Explorers,” to travel the globe searching for new food crops to bring back for farmers to grow in the U.S. These men introduced exotic specimens like the mango, the avocado, and the date. In 1900, the USDA sent plant explorer, Walter Swingle, to Algeria to study the date. As Swingle took temperature readings and soil temperature, he realized that the conditions were very much like those in California’s hot, arid Coachella Valley, sometimes referred to as the American Sahara. In order to market this new fruit and promote the region, date growers in the Coachella Valley began capitalizing on the exotic imagery and fantasy many Americans associated with the Middle East. During the 1950s date shops dotted the highway, attracting tourists. There was Pyramid Date shop where you could purchase your dates in a pyramid. Sniff’s Exotic Date Garden set up a tent like those used by nomadic tribes of the Sahara. One of the most well known date shops that still exists today is Shields Date Garden, established in 1924. Floyd Shields lured in customers with his lecture and slide show titled, “The Romance and Sex Life of the Date.” This story was produced in collaboration with Lisa Morehouse.
25/04/1715m 32s

68 – Tony Schwartz: 30,000 Recordings Later

Cab drivers, children’s jump rope rhymes, folk songs, dialects, controversial TV ads, interviews with blacklisted artists and writers during the McCarthy Era — Tony Schwartz was one of the great sound recordists and collectors of the 20th Century. An audio portrait of a man who spent his life exploring and influencing the world through recorded sound. It was 1947 when Tony first stepped out of his apartment in midtown Manhattan with his microphone to capture the sound of his neighborhood. He was a pioneer recordist, experimenting with microphones and jury-rigging tape recorders to make them portable (some of these recordings were first published by Folkways Records). His work creating advertising and political TV and radio commercials is legendary. The Kitchen Sisters visited Tony in his midtown basement studio in 1999. He had just finished teaching a media class at Harvard by telephone — Tony was agoraphobic and hardly ever ventured beyond his postal zone. He was there in his studio surrounded by reel to reel tape recorders, mixing consoles, framed photographs and awards — and row upon row of audio tapes in carefully labeled boxes. Tony passed away in 2008. His collection now resides in the Library of congress — 90.5 linear feet, 230 boxes, 76,345 items — some 30,000 folk songs, poems, conversations, stories and dialects from his surrounding neighborhood and 46 countries around the world.
10/04/1723m 0s

67 – The Hidden World of Girls with Tina Fey

Stories from The Hidden World of Girls with host Tina Fey: Nigerian writer Chris Abani tells about his English-born mother enlisting him at age 8 to be her translator in Nigeria as she travels door to door through the villages teaching women the Billings Ovulation Method of birth control. Plus stories from singer/actress Janelle Monae, science fiction writer Pat Cadigan, Estonian activist Tiina Urm and her “Let’s Do It Campaign” and more stories about girls and the women they become.
27/03/1725m 12s

66 – Sugar in the Milk: A Parsi Hidden Kitchen

Niloufer Ichaporia King lives in a house with three kitchens. She prowls through six farmer’s markets a week, at least, in search of unusual greens, roots and seeds, and traditional food plants from every immigrant culture. She is an anthropologist, a kitchen botanist, a one-of-a-kind cook, a Parsi from Bombay living in San Francisco, and the author of My Bombay Kitchen: Traditional and Modern Parsi Home Cooking. Niloufer is known for her ritual celebrations of Navroz, Parsi New Year, on the first day of Spring, when she creates an elaborate ceremonial meal based on the auspicious foods and traditions of her vanishing culture. The Parsi culture is some 3,000 years old and goes back from India to Persia. It’s estimated that there are now only 75,000 Parsis in the world. The prediction is that by 2020 the numbers will have dropped to 25,000. This story also features writer Bharati Mukherjee, who passed away this last year, sharing her memories of the forbidden Bengali kitchen of her girlhood, with its four cooks and intricate rules of food preparation. And Harvard Professor Homi Bhabha, born in Mumbai to a Parsi family, who talks about auspicious lentils and the birth of his son.
13/03/1718m 14s

65 – Sam Phillips, Sun Records, and the Acoustics of Life

Recording sound pioneer Sam Phillips — the father of Sun Records, the man who discovered Howlin’ Wolf, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash…, the creator of WHER, The First All Girl Radio Station in the World — talks about his journey, his adventures and “the acoustics of life.” With stories from his son Knox Phillips, his wife Becky, his biographer Peter Guralnick, and one of his first artists, Ike Turner. Hear recordings from the archive of interviews we did with Sam beginning in 1998—personal stories told by the man himself and his family and friends. Interest in Sam Phillips is running high right now –not that it was ever running low. There’s a new TV series out and there’s Peter Guralnick’s epic biography “Sam Phillips The Man Who Invented Rock’n’Roll.” And there’s a film in the works based on the book — one of the producers is Mick Jagger and Leonardo DiCaprio is playing Sam. Sam has had a monumental impact on the world of music and sound. And he’s had a monumental impact on The Kitchen Sisters.
28/02/1727m 45s

64 – Kimchi Diplomacy: Hidden Kitchens – War and Peace and Food

Kimchi in space. The Kimchi Bus. Government-sponsored chefs and restaurants spreading the word of Kimchi around the globe. South Korea is one of the nations most involved in branding itself through its food, using food as a part of it’s “soft power.” It’s called “Gastrodiplomacy” — the use of food as a diplomatic tool to help resolve conflicts and foster connections between nations. “Kimchi is like air in Korea,” says Hyunjoo Albrecht, a San Francisco-based chef and owner of Sinto Gourmet who grew up near the DMZ border between South and North Korea. 1.5 million tons of kimchi are eaten each year in Korea and there are hundreds of different varieties. “The government gave financial support to some of the Korean restaurants in US,” says Hyunjoo. “They want more people outside Korea to eat more Korean food.” Si-Hyeon Ryu is a chef and writer from South Korea who, with support from the government, has traveled in The Kimchi Bus to more than 34 countries cooking traditional Korean food and spreading his love of kimchi. “People on the street they know just about North and South Korea,” he says, but not much about Korean cuisine. “If I explain about kimchi they will understand about Korea.” Astronaut Soyeon Yi, Korea’s first astronaut, describes the Korean government’s efforts to invent kimchi for space travel — not an easy task. Soyeon Yi prepared a special Korean meal for her Russian comrades in space. “Having kimchi in space, you are far from your home planet,” she says. “When you eat your own traditional food it makes you feel emotionally supported. I can feel my home.”
13/02/1721m 10s

63 – War and Food and Manga

Manga, the ubiquitous Japanese comic books written on just about every subject—sports, music, sex, shooting pool—represent about 40% of all books published in Japan. In recent decades ‘food manga’ has exploded. Stories of food and conflict and competition abound in mangas like Soldier of Food, Food Wars, Cooking Papa…The Kitchen Sisters Present—Hidden Kitchens: War and Food and Manga. “Manga is a cradle to grave phenomenon,” says Deb Aoki, writer for Anime network and Publisher’s Weekly. It’s a visual storytelling medium that people enjoy from the day they first start reading or enjoying pictures to the day they die. “There’s this Japanese concept, Otaku,” says Sylvan Mishima Brackett, chef and owner of Rintaro Restaurant in San Francisco. “Otaku is a deep, passionate enthusiasm about some obscure part of the universe. Manga tend to cluster around very specific Otaku. It’s a place where people can brush up on the hyper-specifics of their enthusiasms.” “Food manga, gurume manga, gourmet manga, is one of the major genres within manga that’s just been growing exponentially,” says Nancy Stalker, Professor of Japanese History and Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She wrote a paper called “Gourmet Samurai: Changing Gender Norms in Japanese Food TV.” FOOD WARS, DETECTIVE GLUTTON, SOLDIER OF FOOD Food manga first appeared in the 1980’s when the Japanese economy was very strong. One of the first, Oishinbo, ran for over 20 years and became the basis for an animated series, as have many manga since. “There always has to be conflict in manga, especially in food manga,” says Zhong. “There is not any real peace in manga. If there is peace it’s really short, maybe one or two chapters, then back to war right afterwards. War produces content.” Since Japan opened to the West in the nineteenth century, food has been an element of its international identity. “Traditionally the eating of four-legged creatures was proscribed by Buddhist belief,” says Stalker. “The Emperor first publicly ate meat in 1873. Eating beef was seen as something that would help build the national physique and make the Japanese more like westerners.” In order to compete with western soldiers, the Japanese military began to introduce more beef, more meat and fat, into the diet of the soldier to help build a strong army. The modern manga industry came into being after World War II. It started with Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy, who was influenced by Walt Disney. “That American content was brought over by the American Occupation,” says Leyla Aker, Senior Vice President of Publishing at Viz Media, a company that specializes in Japanese graphic novels and anime. “During the American occupation of Japan a large portion of the Japanese population was subsisting on hand-outs given by the American forces.” There were severe shortages of food during the Occupation and all foods were strictly rationed. When the circumstances of the war became dire many people resorted to eating bark from trees and replacing sawdust and wood dust in recipes for flour. Many Japanese died of starvation. Miles Thomas, Brand Manager at CrunchyRoll, remembers an anime called Grave of the Fireflies. “One of the most evocative films I’ve seen, about two orphans during World War II who are starving, hungry. They steal food, trying their hardest to survive. “It really makes you think about the darker side of food when people don’t have enough of it to survive,” adds Tiffany Chen who is also a Brand Manager with Crunchy Roll. “For a long time, World War II was just a history you studied in class. I never really felt connected to it personally. A lot of young people actually don’t even know about the atomic bomb. After watching this film, it was a pretty sobering moment.” OISHINBO: JAPAN AND CULINARY NATIONALISM Oishinbo, one of the oldest of the food manga is very popular with adult men, Aoki tells us. “The main character is this scrappy reporter. His father is this snooty gourmet who sets up this ritzy gourmet club for only rich people. They have dueling palette battles.” Oishinbo is written by Tetsu Kariya who is very opinionated about food. The manga creates drama about different food issues – about growing it and cooking it. “It’s kind of controversial,” says Aoki. “He defends eating whale meat, the history of it, how delicious, how dare anyone tell us not to.” “Tetsu Kariya has a very progressive, political stance,” adds Lorie Brau, Associate Professor of Japanese Foreign Languages and Literature at the University of New Mexico, “He embeds these social messages inside his manga.” One of Oishinbo’s chief concerns is foreign influences. How do you maintain the important aspects of your culture while still engaging with the world at large? The manga uses food as a lens to address Japan’s place in the world. YAWEH: MANGA FOR YOUNG WOMEN There is a different subset of manga targeted at young Japanese women called Yaweh about homosexual love affairs. “Boys love” is one of the most popular sub-genres of manga. “Antique Bakery features a cast of tall, thin elegant beautiful young men. They all work in a western style bakery,” Aoki tells us. “Women fall in love with them because they are so handsome. But they’re not available,” says Brau. “But the cakes are available so they make many young women happy.” What Did You Eat Yesterday? has become a very popular manga for recipes. The manga tells the story of a gay couple, one of whom is a lawyer, the other a hairdresser and the lawyer is very intent on creating economical, delicious meals for the two of them. THE HERBIVORE MAN: MANGA AND GENDER NORMS “In the last 10 years Japanese demographics have been shifting,” says Nancy. “Fewer and fewer people are getting married. The rate of unmarried men ages 30 to 34 climbed from 21% to 47%. For women it jumped from 9% to 34% in a decade. The media has come up with this term “herbivore men” Urban men in their 20 and 30’s who are more into fashion and culture than women. Rejecting flesh, therefore they are herbivores. Other conservative pundits say “well, it’s the increase of carnivorous women, women who are too aggressive and focused on their career and refuse to become a full time housewife they create the herbivore man. This is changing men’s relationship with food. They have to increasingly be responsible for their own meals. That is being reflected in these dramas that show a kind of everyman develop a sense of culinary confidence.” Aoki tells us that Manga like Oishinbo and Food Wars in a way represent a war within people to be their best. “There’s honor in fighting to be the best you can be. That if you’re going to do it you’re going to be the best damn one doing it. The way of the sword, the way of the chef.”
24/01/1722m 48s

62 - Black Cake: Emily Dickinson’s Hidden Kitchen

Black cake, gingerbread, slant rhyme, secret loves, family scandals, poems composed on the back of a coconut cake recipe —we journey into the steamy, myth-laden, hidden world of poet Emily Dickinson through her kitchen. In her lifetime, Emily was probably better known as a baker than a poet. Filled with mystery, intrigue and readings by Patti Smith, Thornton Wilder, Jean Harris and an array of passionate poets and experts.
10/01/1729m 58s

61 – Rattlesden

For five years Davia’s father, Lenny Nelson, asked her to go to Rattlesden, England, to visit the Air Force base where he was stationed during WWII and to find an old photograph hanging in the town pub honoring his 8th Air Force squadron. It was still there, over 50 years later, he told her. Finally, one fine Sunday, Davia headed out in search of the pub and a piece of her father’s past—the piece he was proudest of. Lenny died on Christmas Eve last year.  In his honor, we share the journey with you. Samuel Shelton Robinson helped produce this story with The Kitchen Sisters. He’s from London.  It seemed only right.   
27/12/1621m 30s

60 – Milk Cow Blues: The Apple Family Farm and the Indiana Cow Share Association

A journey into the mysterious and controversial world of raw milk. Tucked away in the vanishing farm land on the outskirts of Indianapolis, the Apple Family and their neighbors created a kind of fellowship of milking. Milk Cow Blues tells the story of the Apples’ effort to bring raw milk to their community. Jo Apple and her husband owned the Apple Family Farm in McCordsville Indiana for over 50 years. It was originally a dairy farm, but it became too much for the couple. It wasn’t financially feasible so they gave up the cows and planted corn and soy beans. Their son, Mark told to his father about a vision he had — farming naturally, without chemicals, hormones or unnecessary antibiotics. Just before he died, Mark’s dad agreed. They started with sheep and chickens and cattle then bought a milk cow for themselves. They quickly found that there was a demand for unpasteurized milk. Women started showing up at their farm with glass jars to buy milk. The Apples had no idea it was illegal. But Indiana, like most states has very strict rules about buying and selling raw milk. The Indiana State Veterinarian became aware that the Apple family was selling raw milk. He felt there was the possibility of harmful pathogens in these raw milk products and with pressure from other farmers in the area the Apples were served a cease and desist order. The Apples were ready to give up. But their community encouraged them — they were selling milk, not cocaine or crack. The Apples checked the laws. They could not trade raw milk, sell it, or deliver it. The only way people could legally obtain fresh milk in Indiana was to own a cow. So they decided, if people want raw milk they will have to buy the cow. The Apples set up the Indiana Cow Share Association and charged people $50. It worked. A year-and-a-half after the cease and desist order there was a knock on the Apples’ door. A man they had never met before said that he was the one that had turned them in. He talked about how he was furious that they were selling milk for three times more than he was getting for his milk. He couldn’t make it farming anymore and as a last resort had come to talk to them. His son was bagging groceries — but his heart was to farm. The man wanted to know if they thought he could do the same thing with pasteurized milk — sell directly to the public. He needed to make a change. It’s a story that is happening all over the country, “All the farmers that are throwing in the towel saying, ‘OK, I can’t afford a $60,000 combine. I have to do something else. Maybe I’ll get some cattle and see if I can just sell them to my neighbors. That’s how it starts.” Since we produced this Hidden Kitchens story The Apple Family Farm has closed down. In 2014 the Fortville Town Council tried to annex their farmland for development. It was a long, grueling fight. That combined with tax increases and the rising cost of farming became too much for this third generation family farm.
13/12/1613m 21s

59 – Weenie Royale: The Impact of the Internment on Japanese American Cooking

During World War II, In desolate inland internment camps in the US,  like Manzanar, Topaz, and Tule Lake, some 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans were incarcerated for the duration of the war— their traditional food replaced by US government commodities and war surplus — hotdogs, ketchup, spam, potatoes — erasing the traditional Japanese diet and family table. Akemi Tamaribuchi, a third generation Japanese American, artist Howard Ikemoto, Berkeley graduate Tami Takahashi,  Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, author of “Farewell to Manzanar,”  Jimi Yamaichi of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, and George “Sulu” Takei of Star Trek, talk about how the internment forever impacted their lives, their food and their family table.
22/11/1620m 1s

58 – The Kiosk Strategy, Lisbon — Hidden Kitchens: War & Peace & Food

A story from the plazas of Portugal, where small ornate kiosks that served traditional snacks and drinks once graced the city and brought people together. Neglected by time and pushed into abandonment by a dictator’s regime that suppressed public conversation and gathering, this tradition is now being revived, drawing people back to public space. For more than a century, Lisbon’s public spaces were graced by beautiful Art Nouveau and Moorish-style kiosks — small, ornate structures that provided chairs and shade and served traditional Portuguese snacks and drinks. These quiosques de refrescos (refreshment kiosks) were the heart of public life in the city. But, under the long dictatorship of Prime Minister António de Oliveira Salazar, which started in the 1930s, laws actually discouraged public gathering and conversation. Many restaurants closed down and the kiosks ­­fell into disrepair and all but disappeared. That was, until Catarina Portas, a native of Lisbon, former journalist and entrepreneur stepped in. “From the 19th to the 20th century, there were some hundred different kiosks in Lisbon. The city was full of them in different colors, different designs,” says Portas. She used to take walks around the city and see these sad, abandoned structures. She said, “I started to think, how could we bring this to our times?” Portas began hunting down these kiosks — some still in place but boarded up, others in storage. She teamed up with architect João Regal to restore the buildings – not just to their former glory, but to their former place of prominence in Lisbon’s public spaces. “We went to the city council with amazing photographs of the old kiosks, and we prepared all the old drinks and made them taste the drinks,” Portas says. The pitch worked —­­ Portas is fairly sure it was the drinks that convinced the council members. Their first three kiosks opened in 2009. The kiosks offer affordable and traditional drinks and snacks, conversation and community – and also employment in a country struggling with the staggering levels of unemployment and a recession gripping much of western Europe.
08/11/1615m 17s

57 – War and Peace and Coffee

“Nobody can soldier without coffee,” a Union calvary man wrote in 1865. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan. And an interview with Anastacia Marx de Salcedo author of “Combat Ready Kitchen: How the U.S. Military Shapes the Way You Eat.” The Civil War:  War, freedom, slavery, secession, union – these are some of the big themes you might expect to find in the diaries of Civil War soldiers. At least, that’s what Jon Grinspan, a curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, assumed when he began digging through war journals in the nation’s Civil War archives. “I went looking for the big stories,” Grinspan says. “And all they kept talking about was the coffee they had for breakfast, or the coffee they wanted to have for breakfast.” The Vietnam War:  Coffee may have powered the Union army during the Civil War, but during the Vietnam War, it fueled the GI anti-war movement. In the late 1960s and early ‘70s, as soldiers returning from Vietnam began to question the U.S. role in the war, GI coffeehouses sprung up in military towns outside bases across the country. They became a vital gathering place. Oleo Strut, Fort Hood, TX, Shelter Half, Tacoma, Washington, the Green Machine outside Camp Pendleton, San Diego; Mad Anthony Wayne’s, Waynesville, Mo., outside Fort Leonard, to name a few. As the anti-war movement heated up, these coffeehouses became places where GIs could get legal counseling on issues like going AWOL and obtaining conscientious objector status, and learn about ways to protest the war. Afghanistan: “ The military runs on coffee,” says Harrison Suarez, co-founder of Compass Coffee in Washington DC. “The Marines especially. It’s this ritual.” Suarez and Michael Haft, who started Compass together, first became friends in the Marines over coffee learning how to navigate with a map and compass. As the war in Afghanistan intensified, both Suarez and Haft deployed there with the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines. One of their missions was to help develop the local police force and army. The two men tried to bond with their new Afghan partners over coffee, but the Afghans weren’t having it. The Afghan culture is much more about tea. Regardless of what was in the cups, the experience of gathering together over a hot drink and “taking time to develop a rapport with your partners that you are fighting alongside holds the same.” This story is part of the Hidden Kitchens series “Kimchi Diplomacy: War and Peace and Food.”
25/10/1617m 37s

56 – Operation Hummus and More Stories of War and Peace and Food from Israel and Ramallah

Nothing is simple in Mideast relations. Not even hummus. Lebanon, Israel and Palestinians are entangled over who owns the dish. Not even the title of world’s largest hummus platter — more than 11 tons — settled the matter. In this episode, stories from the “Hummus Wars” and the battle for the Guinness World Record title for the world’s largest plate of hummus and the deeper meanings of this Middle Eastern food war. And Hidden Kitchens stories of War and Peace and Food from Israel and Ramallah —Checkpoint Kitchens, the No Knives Lunch, Peace of Cake, Israeli and Palestinian women coming together in the kitchen over jam and pickles —  and more stories of people who are making efforts toward peace and reconciliation in the Middle East through food.
11/10/1630m 53s

55 – Between Us, Bread and Salt: Lebanon Hidden Kitchens with Kamal Mouzawak

A road trip through the hidden kitchens of Lebanon, with kitchen activist, Kamal Mouzawak, a man with a vision of re-building and uniting this war-ravaged nation through its traditions, its culture and its food. We visit farmer’s markets, restaurants, and guest houses known as Souk el Tayeb that he and his kitchen community have created. This story is part of Hidden Kitchens: War and Peace and Food, a series of stories about food and conflict, about the role food plays in helping resolve conflict between nations and communities, or in creating it. Produced by Samuel Shelton Robinson and The Kitchen Sisters 
26/09/1624m 55s

54 — Walking High Steel: Mohawk Ironworkers at the World Trade Towers

Six generations of Mohawk Indian ironworkers, known for their ability to work high steel, have helped shape New York City’s skyline. Hundreds of Mohawks still commute to Manhattan each week from reservations in Canada to work on the city’s skyscrapers and bridges. In September 2001, a new generation returned to the World Trade Center site to dismantle what their elders had helped to build.
12/09/1614m 51s

53 — Garden Allotments—London’s Kitchen Vision

A Hidden Kitchens story about London’s long tradition of urban garden allotments — and the story of Manor Garden Allotments, a 100 year old community, that found itself in the path of London’s 2012 Olympics. London’s “allotment” gardens are an unusual and vibrant system of community gardens across the entire city. Tended by immigrants, retirees, chefs and fans of fresh food, the allotments make up a kitchen community like no other. Wedged between buildings, planted in abandoned open spaces and carved into hillsides, these community plots of open space began to be reserved for neighborhood cultivation with the industrialization of England in the 1860s, when rural people poured into the city. The allotments flourished with Britain’s “Dig for Victory” movement of World War II, an effort to feed the starving population of London during the war. And today, they are exploding with the organic gardening and “good food” movements, and efforts to food self-sufficiency sweeping the country. For about 20 years, retiree Charlie Gregory has cultivated his plot at Fitzroy Park Allotment in Hampstead Heath, next to hipster artists and an immigrant couple with three Yorkies. There are apple trees, black currant bushes, blueberries, onions and shallots. “Everybody knows everybody,” Gregory said. “I’m a bachelor myself. I’m 78 now, and I’m keeping on the go. It’s not expensive. For 27 pounds a year, you’ve got the space of land, you know, and this beautiful spot. You want to keep fit and live to a good old age? Get an allotment!” London chef Oliver Rowe gets almost all his food from farmers and producers working within the radius of the city’s train system. In the kitchen of Konstam at the Prince Albert, his restaurant in Kings Cross, Rowe’s bread is made of wheat that is grown, milled and baked within 20 miles. The walls of his café are lined with jars of Dartford broad beans, sloe gin berries and sweet squash that he canned last year. John Kelly, former publisher of Prospect magazine, who once had a plot in north London said that allotments started in the 19th century and were sparked by philanthropy and health concerns. “So as people fled from agrarian poverty into working in factories, land was given to the city in perpetuity for people to cultivate vegetables,” Kelly said. “The allotment boom really happened in 1940s, 1950s.” “There were most definitely different communities … The Italian guy opposite me who was fixated on growing Tuscan grapes for wine. And the Irish were there really just to dig… There were posh English ladies creating conceptual art, so you’d see these sort of scarecrows in hand-me-down Versace.” Talking to people, one place kept coming up: Manor Garden Allotments, a small patch of land in the heart of working-class east London. It is more than 100 years old. “You’d go past rambling old factories, down a little alleyway, behind the bus depot, lots of rubbish everywhere,” said Julie Sumner, a Manor allotment holder and organizer. But anyone opening a gate to see the River Lea, she said, would find a different scene. Hassan Ali, a Turkish Cypriot who is a retired mechanic, had an allotment at Manor Garden for almost 20 years. “That place, I tell you, is a dream place — like we were living in heaven,” Ali said. “I always cook every day something. My friend Reggie, 17 years I know him. Every day we together. And he brings something from his garden, and I bring something, and we cook and eat there, me and Reg.” But in October 2007, Manor Garden Allotments was bulldozed to make way for a path and landscaping for the 2012 Olympic Games. The loss of the Manor Garden Allotments to the Olympics construction came despite protests and calls for preserving the area. Today, the Manor Garden Allotment community has been split and relocated into two allotments. One is located in Marsh Lane, or the “Swamp” that was supposed to be a temporary home until after the Olympics. And the other new Allotment site opened in January 2016 at Pudding Mill Lane, Stratford in the heart of East London. Despite set backs and disputes, the allotment community continues on. Throughout London, these garden allotments bridge many religious and cultural divides. With daily rituals of tea and traditional grilling of meats in garden sheds and outdoor kitchens — families come together in ways that defy the divided times in which we live.  
23/08/1617m 56s

52 – Hunting & Gathering with Angelo Garro

Sometimes it’s the kitchen that’s hidden, sometimes it’s the food itself. Blacksmith Angelo Garro forges and forages, recreating in wrought iron and in cooking the life he left behind in Sicily. The Kitchen Sisters join Angelo along the coast of Northern California as he follows the seasons, harvesting the wild for his kitchen and his friends. And a few words from Werner Herzog about Angelo and his Omnivore Salt.
09/08/1616m 37s

51 – Harvest on Big Rice Lake

Each fall, the Ojibwe tribes of northern Minnesota harvest wild rice by hand. It’s a long process that begins with families in canoes venturing into the tall grasses, where rice is poled and gently brushed with knockers into the bed of the canoe. We journey to White Earth Reservation, out onto Big Rice Lake in a canoe, to see how one tribe is supporting itself and changing the diet of its people through community kitchen projects. And we talk with the founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project, Winona LaDuke, about the land, her fight to save wild rice, GMOs, her family, philosophy, and her candidacy for vice president of the United States on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nader.  
26/07/1620m 34s

50 – An Unexpected Kitchen: The George Foreman Grill

Sometimes life without a kitchen leads to the most unexpected hidden kitchen of all—the George Foreman Grill. How immigrants and homeless people without official kitchens use the George Foreman Grill, hidden crock pots, and secret hot plates to make a meal and a home. Featuring an interview with boxing champion and grill-master, George Foreman. So many immigrants, homeless people and others of limited means living in single-room occupancies (SROs) have no kitchens, no legal or official place to cook. To get a hot meal, or eat traditional foods from the countries they’ve left behind, they have to sneak a kind of kitchen into their places. Crock pots, hot plates, microwaves and toaster ovens hidden under the bed. And now, the appliance that comes in so many colors it looks like a modern piece of furniture: the George Foreman Grill. We had never considered such a hidden kitchen. So we called him. George Foreman talks about growing up hungry and violent, about his his time in the Job Corps, about cooking for his friends and his work with kids. “Feed them,” he says. “Hunger makes you angry.” And we contacted the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. They put us in touch with Jeffrey Newton who has been homeless or in shelters most all his life, from boy’s homes, to reformatories, to prison by age 17. Then he moved out on the streets, where every day he goes “trailblazing” — looking for food, shelter, work, the resources he needs to make it through the day. Jeffry learned to cook from his grandmother. He feels an urge to cook, especially for other people — under the overpass on Chicago’s Wacker Drive; on a George Foreman Grill plugged into a power pole; with a hot clothing iron to toast a grilled cheese sandwich. Pat Sherman lived for quite some time in SROs with no kitchen, where cooking was forbidden. She now has a home and works in Glide’s Memorial Church in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District. Sherman was quite ingenious when it came to cooking. Her Crock-Pot doubled as a flower pot — nothing that would arouse suspicion. When nobody was around to check, she would slow-cook her beans while she went to school, then come home to a hot meal.  
12/07/1620m 49s

49 – The Cabyard Kitchen

A lot of Kitchen Sisters stories are born in taxicabs. The Hidden Kitchens series was conceived in the back of a Yellow. Davia lives in San Francisco and hates to drive. She started noticing that every time she got into a Yellow cab, the driver was from Brazil. And not just from Brazil, but from the same town in Brazil: Goiânia. Inevitably, these cab ride conversations turned to music and food. That’s when the story of Janete emerged, a woman from their same hometown, who comes every night to an abandoned industrial street outside a cab dispatch lot and sets up a makeshift, rolling night kitchen — hot salgadinhos, bollinhos, pão de quejo. She cooks the food of home. By dawn, Janete and her blue tent are packed up and gone. One night around midnight, we decided to go in search of Janete’s secret cabyard kitchen. A driver had given us a sketchy map and told us to park in the cab lot and walk from there. There, under a streetlight and a small blue tarp, four drivers were laughing, huddled over big plates of food, eating in Portuguese. Brazilian music spilled out of a parked cab. Janete, shy and smiling, presided — a hidden kitchen vision.
28/06/1615m 42s

48 – Kibbe at the Crossroads: Lebanese Cooking in the Mississippi Delta

We travel to the Mississippi Delta into the world of Lebanese immigrants —where barbecue and the blues meet kibbe, a kind of traditional Lebanese raw meatloaf. Lebanese immigrants began arriving in the Delta in the late 1800s, soon after the Civil War. Many worked as peddlers, then grocers and restaurateurs. Kibbe — a word and a recipe with so many variations we don’t know where to start. Many love it raw. Ground lamb or beef mixed with bulgur wheat, cinnamon, salt and pepper. However it’s made, it’s part of the glue that holds the Lebanese family culture together in the Mississippi Delta and beyond. We visit Pat Davis, owner of Abe’s BAR-B-Q at the intersection of Highway 61 and 49 in Clarksdale, Miss., the famed crossroads where, legend has it, blues icon Robert Johnson made a deal with the devil to play guitar better than anybody. Since 1924 Abe’s has been known for it’s barbecue, but if you know to ask, they’ve got grape leaves in the back. Chafik Chamoun, who owns Chamoun’s Rest Haven on Highway 61, features Southern, Lebanese and Italian food — but he’s best known for his Kibbe. Chafik arrived in Clarksdale from Lebanon in 1954, and first worked as a peddler selling ladies slips and nylon stockings. Sammy Ray, Professor Emeritus at Texas A&M University, Galveston, talks about growing up in a barbecue shack that his mother ran on the edge of what was then called “Black Town.” His father peddled dry goods to the black sharecroppers. During the civil rights movement in the 1960s, Abe’s BAR-B-Q and Chamoun’s Rest Haven were some of the only restaurants in the area that would serve blacks. “We were tested in 1965,” Pat Davis remembers. “A bunch of black kids went to all the restaurants on the highway and every one refused them except Chamoun’s and my place. And everybody else got lawsuits against them.” The list of famous Lebanese Americans is long and impressive. Ralph Nader, Paul Anka, Dick Dale, Casey Kasem, Khalil Gibran and Vince Vaughn, to name a few. But the one most people talked about on our trip was Danny Thomas. Pat Davis took us out in the parking lot to listen to a CD that he just happened to have in his car of Danny Thomas singing in Arabic. “We called ourselves Syrians when we first came here,” Davis says. “And until Danny came and said he was Lebanese then we all began to realize we really are Lebanese and Danny Thomas can say it. So we’re Lebanese now.”  
14/06/1619m 43s

47 – The Chili Queens of San Antonio

Some kitchens are hidden by place, some by time—like the saga of the chili queens. For over 100 years, young women came at twilight to the Alamo and the plazas of San Antonio with makeshift tables and big pots of chili to cook over open fires. The plazas teemed with people—soldiers, tourists, cattlemen and the troubadours — who roamed the tables, filling the night with music. From San Antonio’s earliest days as a Spanish military encampment, life in the town revolved around the plazas. They were the market place, the meeting place, the place of government and festivals — funerals, weddings and hangings. People came to argue politics with their neighbors, to listen to the sad songs of the troubadours, and eat the food of the legendary chili queens. The chili queens were romanticized in the press as being exotic Spanish women with sable hair and fiery tempers. They became the stuff of tourist legend. No trip to the Southwest was complete without a visit to the chili queens. These women were often peoples’ first introduction to “that spicy, dangerous, Mexican food.” In the 1930s, Lydia Mendoza, the queen of Tejano music, began her legendary career singing in the plazas of downtown San Antonio with the chili queens. As San Antonio grew and modernized the chili queens were periodically driven out of one plaza only to reopen their little stalls in another.  In the 1930s, the health department finally lowered the boom.  Health regulations and the war ended the chili queen’s reign in San Antonio’s plaza.
24/05/1614m 34s

46 – Stubb Stubblefield: The Archangel of BBQ

C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield, namesake of the legendary club in Austin, Texas, had a mission — to feed the world, especially the people who sang in it. When he started out in Lubbock, he generously fed and supported both black and white musicians, creating community and breaking barriers. From 1968 to 1975 in Lubbock, Texas, C.B. “Stubb” Stubblefield ran a dilapidated barbecue joint and roadhouse that was the late-night gathering place for a group of local musicians who were below-the-radar and rising: Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Muddy Waters, Johnny Cash, Tom T. Hall. Born in Navasota, Texas in 1931, Christopher B. Stubblefield was the son of a Baptist preacher and a mother who worked raising 12 children. As a young boy he picked cotton and worked in local restaurants. After a stint in Korea, where he was in charge of food preparation for thousands of soldiers, he came back to Lubbock and started a small BBQ joint. One day he picked up a hitchhiker, guitarist Jesse Taylor. And that was the start of it. Jesse asked if he could bring some friends by to play music at Stubb’s and the place became a focal point for west Texas musicians and people traveling through. A generous visionary who wanted to “feed the world,” Stubbs was not a good businessman. But his friends helped through. Ultimately, he moved to Austin, started a new restaurant, created a BBQ sauce that is still on most grocery shelves across the nation, and spread love, music and good will throughout his life.    
10/05/1615m 5s

45 – Hidden Kitchen Mama

Kitchens and mothers. The food they cooked or didn’t. The stories they told or couldn’t. In honor of mothers from around the world, The Kitchen Sisters linger in the kitchen — the room in the house that counts the most, that smells the best, where families gather and children are fed, where all good parties begin and end. The room where the best stories are told. Stories of mothers and kitchens from playwright Ellen Sebastian Chang, cookbook author Peggy Knickerbocker, designer Cristina Salas-Porras, folklorist and creator/host of American Routes Nick Spitzer, and actress Robin Wright. And messages from the Hidden Kitchens hotline.
26/04/1614m 50s

44 – Black Chef, White House: African American Cooks in the President’s Kitchen

Hidden Kitchens turns its focus on the president’s kitchen and some of the first cooks to feed the Founding Fathers — Hercules and James Hemings — the enslaved chefs of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Hercules, described as a “dandy,” had eight assistants — stewards, butlers, undercooks, waiters. He cooked in a huge fireplace — hearth cooking.  He walked through the streets of Philadelphia in a velvet waistcoat and a gold-handled cane. When Washington was getting ready to leave Philadelphia to return to Mt. Vernon, Hercules escaped. Washington sent out search parties and offered rewards. Hercules was never found. In 1784, Thomas Jefferson was appointed minister to France.  He took with him his body servant, 19-year-old James Hemings (the brother of Sally Hemings), to master the French style of cooking. Hemings apprenticed with well-known French caterers and a pastry chefs and assumed the role of chef de cuisine in Jefferson’s kitchen on the Champs-Elysees, earning $48 a year. In 1793, Hemings petitioned Jefferson for his freedom. Jefferson consented upon one condition — he must train someone to take his place. After teaching his brother, Peter Hemings, the cooking techniques he had learned in France and at home, James Hemings became a free man. These stories begin a long connection of presidents and their African-American cooks, including the story of Zephyr Wright, President Lyndon Johnson’s cook who worked for the family for 27 years. Johnson spoke to Zephyr Wright about the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington. She attended the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Johnson gave her the pen he used to sign the document.
12/04/1617m 2s

43 – Carmen Miranda: The Life and Fate of the Brazilian Bombshell

Carmen Miranda—Brazil’s Ambassador of Samba, the highest paid woman entertainer in the world in the 1940s. When she died, hundreds of thousands of Brazilians lined the streets of Rio to pay homage to her. Over 50 years after her death she is still Brazil’s most famous celebrity. Her iconic turban, piled high with fruit, her moves, her rapid fire Portuguese lyrics, her wild lens of samba, rhumba,  along with her epic dance numbers in 1930s Busby Berkeley musicals, captured the imagination of the world. The Kitchen Sisters travel to Rio to meet Carmen’s sister, her husband, her lover, her band leader, her driver, her composers, Cesar Romero. And we visit the Carmen Miranda Museum.
22/03/1628m 31s

42 – Hidden World of Traveller Girls

Stories of young Irish Traveller women. Travellers—the people of walking. Sometimes called the gypsies of Ireland. They speak of non-Travellers as “the settled people.” Mistrusted for the most part and not well-understood, Travellers historically have lived as nomads, moving in caravans, living in encampments on the side of the road. We go to Hazel Hill Halting site, a government experiment in Traveller housing on the lower slopes of Dublin Mountains to talk with Helen Connors and Shirley Martin. We visit a “settled” woman and her daughter who design elaborate Traveller wedding gowns. We travel to Cahirmee Horse Fair in County Cork where young girls, with long hair spilling, parade and marriages are made. We listen to these young women, and their stories and explore some of the ancient and modern Traveller rituals clinging on the edge of the Celtic Boom.
08/03/1617m 9s

41 – A Secret Civil Rights Kitchen: Georgia Gilmore and the Club from Nowhere

In the 1950s, a group of Montgomery, Alabama women baked goods to help fund the Montgomery bus boycott. Known as the Club from Nowhere the group was led by Georgia Gilmore, one of the unsung heroes of the civil rights era. This story comes from Can Do: Portraits of Black Visionaries, Seekers, and Entrepreneurs, hosted by Alfre Woodard.
23/02/1611m 41s

40 – New Orleans—Cowboys, Indians, Broncos & Boudin

New Orleans stories from The Kitchen Sisters—including the world of unexpected, down home convict cooking at The Angola Prison Rodeo, an event that draws some seventy thousand people annually to this agricultural prison in a remote corner of the state. Tootie Montana, the legendary chief of chiefs of the Mardi Gras Indians tells of the African American Indian tradition of masking and parading. And stories of Tennessee Williams, the classic soul food Two Sisters cafe, the Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter, and an eloquent ode to the Mint Julep.
09/02/1628m 25s

39 – One Big Self: The Hidden World of Deborah Luster & C. D. Wright

Our show today is in honor of the beloved poet C. D. Wright who unexpectedly passed away recently. We interviewed C. D. in 2009 as part of a story we produced for our Hidden World of Girls series on NPR. And like all of our stories there are hours and hours of tape behind every minute of what you hear in the final piece. So today we’re going to play our original story—a story of family, crime and the power of art to grapple with the unimaginable. And then we’re gonna let it roll. To hear CD read from her work and talk about life, poetry and her longtime collaboration and friendship with Deborah Luster.
26/01/1629m 16s

38 – Walkin’ Talkin’ Bill Hawkins

In 1948, Bill Hawkins became Cleveland’s first black disc jockey. He had a jiving, rhyming style. People gathered on the street to watch him broadcast from a glass booth at the front of his record store. His popularity grew rapidly. Over the next decade Hawkins was heard on up to four different stations on the same day. He had plenty of imitators and influenced a whole generation of DJs. Hawkins also had something else – a son he never knew. William Allen Taylor didn’t find out Hawkins was his father until he graduated from college. The two met once when Taylor was a teenager. At the time, Hawkins never hinted at who he was. And Taylor had no idea that he had met his father. Hawkins died before his son got to know him. There are no known tapes of Hawkins. Taylor became an actor and playwright. He lives in San Francisco. But he’s always wished he had a recording of his father’s radio program or even just a snippet of his voice.
12/01/1623m 43s

37 – Bone Music: A Collaboration with 99% Invisible

Before the availability of the tape recorder and during the 1950s, when vinyl was scarce, ingenious Russians began recording banned bootlegged jazz, boogie woogie and rock ‘n’ roll on exposed X-ray film salvaged from hospital waste bins and archives. “Usually it was the Western music they wanted to copy,” says Sergei Khrushchev, son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. “Before the tape recorders they used the X-ray film of bones and recorded music on the bones, bone music.” “They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole,” says author Anya von Bremzen. “You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan — forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.” And we follow the making of X-ray recordings into the 21st century at Jack White’s Third Man Records in Nashville TN. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters and Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible
22/12/1520m 39s

36 – Tupperware

“Somewhere in the world there’s a Tupperware Party starting every 10 seconds.” And we’re going to one with The Kitchen Sisters. Parties. Rallies. Sales sessions. More than a way of storing leftovers in covered plastic bowls, for many it’s a way of life. Earl Tupper took the plastics he developed for WWII into post-war American kitchens. The Tupperware Party is one of the ways women have come together to swap recipes and kitchen wisdom, get out of the house and support each other’s entrepreneurial efforts. This story, which is used by instructors teaching audio classes around the country, was produced by The Kitchen Sisters in 1980, one of the first stories they created together. In this podcast the Sisters deconstruct the making of the piece and talk about the experiments and accidents  that led to the development of their production style. We also hear from Tupperware historian Dr. Allison Clarke, Professor of Design Theory & History, University of Applied Arts, Vienna, and Tupperware consultant Lynn Burkhardt, and we hear vintage Tupperware ads from the Prelinger Archive—in a piece produced by Brandi Howell.
08/12/1518m 34s

35 – Way To Blue: The Songs of Nick Drake

Nick Drake was a British singer songwriter from the early 1970s. His music has attracted a passionate, loyal following and influenced countless musicians. He’s often called a musician’s musician. But during his brief musical career he had little commercial success. Shy and private, Nick was never great on stage – but his guitar playing was brilliant and his songs were beautiful, melancholy, compelling. For years, he suffered from serious depression, and on November 25, 1974 he overdosed on anti-depressants. Thirty years after his death, Drake’s producer, Joe Boyd, gathered a group of musicians to pay tribute to Drake in a series of concerts and an accompanying record. In this episode of Fugitive Waves we go behind the scenes, into rehearsals, sound checks, and the making of Way to Blue: the Songs of Nick Drake.
24/11/1520m 7s

34 – The Vietnam Tapes of Michael A. Baronowski

Michael Baronowski was a 19-year-old Marine when he landed in Vietnam in 1966. He brought with him a reel-to-reel tape recorder and used it to record audio letters for his family back in Norristown, Pennsylvania. He was killed in action in 1967. Produced by Jay Allison & Christina Egloff as part of Lost & Found Sound.
09/11/1526m 59s

33 – WHER: 1000 Beautiful Watts—The First All Girl Radio Station in the Nation—Part 2

When Sam Phillips sold Elvis’ contract in 1955 he used the money to start WHER, an all-girl radio station in Memphis, TN. In this episode we move from the pink plush studio in the Holiday Inn, with undies hanging on clotheslines in the lobby,  into the 1960s and a new studio in the Mid-City building, Memphis. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, Vietnam, and the death of Martin Luther King—the story of WHER continues following the women who pioneered in broadcasting as they head into one of the most dramatic and volatile times in the nation’s history. 
27/10/1524m 58s

32 – WHER: 1000 Beautiful Watts—The First All Girl Radio Station in the Nation—Part 1

When Sam Phillips sold Elvis’ contract in 1955 he used the money to start an all girl radio station in Memphis, TN. Set in a pink, plush studio in the nations’ third Holiday Inn, it was a novelty—but not for long. He hired models, beauty queens, actresses, telephone operators. Some were young mothers who just needed a job. WHER was the first radio station to feature women as more than novelties and sidekicks. The WHER girls were broadcasting pioneers. From 1955 into the mid-1970s they ruled the airwaves with style, wit and imagination. “WHER was the embryo of the egg,” said Sam Phillips. “We broke a barrier. There was nothing like it in the world.”
13/10/1524m 50s

31 – Waiting for Joe DiMaggio

April 1993: A small village in Sicily prepares for the first visit of 78-year-old baseball legend Joe DiMaggio to the town where his parents were born and raised. Fishermen, artisans, grandmothers — some 3,000 villagers brush up on The Yankee and Marilyn Monroe. Italian and American flags are strung from the buildings, two thousand baseballs are purchased for Joltin’ Joe to autograph. A feast of sea urchins, calamari, pasta sarda and marzipan is cooked in his honor. Nearly the entire annual budget of the town is spent preparing to celebrate the homecoming of the Yankee Clipper. The Mayor, the City Council, the Police Commissioner and hundreds of other Sicilian well wishers gather at the airport in Palermo waiting to greet their “native son”. But he never comes.
22/09/1530m 54s

30 – The Building Stewardesses: Construction Guides at the World Trade Center

As construction commenced in 1968 on the largest building project since the pyramids, questions and controversies swirled around Lower Manhattan. How tall? Why two? What’s a slurry wall? A kangaroo crane? Where are the small businesses going to go? What’s a world trade center and who needs it anyway? Guy Tozzoli, the Port Authority visionary behind the building of the Twin Towers, had an inspiration—”Construction Guides.” Friendly co-eds in mini-skirt uniforms were posted at corner kiosks on the site to inform an inquiring public and put a pretty face on a controversial issue.
07/09/1530m 8s

29 – King’s Candy: A New Orleans Prison Kitchen Vision

Robert King Wilkerson was imprisoned at Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, Louisiana for 31 years. Twenty-nine of those years he was in solitary confinement. During that time he created a clandestine kitchen in his 6×9 cell where he made pralines, heating the the butter and sugar he saved from his food tray over a tiny burner concocted from a Coke can and a toilet paper roll. King and two of his friends started a chapter of the Black Panthers in Angola Prison during the 1970s. King’s case was overturned in 2001 and he was released. He lectures around the world and makes candy — which he called Freelines — to bring attention to issues of prison reform and the plight of The Angola Three. King was living in New Orleans during Katrina, refused to leave his dog, and weathered the storm in his apartment. Two weeks in, his friends from Austin bought a boat and went in to get him.
25/08/1519m 45s

28 – Wall Street: San Quentin’s Stock Market Wizard

Everyone in San Quentin calls him Wall Street. Curtis Carroll aka Wall Street teaches his fellow prisoners about stocks. Through friends and family on the outside, he invests and he’s also an informal financial adviser to fellow inmates and correctional officers. When Wall Street was put in prison almost two decades ago he couldn’t read or write. One day he stumbled on the financial section of the newspaper thinking it was the sports section, which his cellie used to read to him. An inmate asked him if he played the stocks. “I had never heard the word before,” says Wall Street. “He explained to me how it works and said, ‘This is where white people keep their money.’ When he said that I said, ‘Whoa, I think I stumbled across something here.’ ” Wall Street taught himself how to read and write beginning with candy wrappers and clothing logos. Today he pores over financial news: the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes. Business is like a soap opera, he says, and he’s always trying to anticipate what will happen next. “I like to know what the CEO’s doing,” he says. “I like to know who’s in trouble.” Wall Street doesn’t have access to a computer or the Internet, so he calls his family members to check the closing prices for the day, and he tells them what to buy. “I’m in prison, but I’m on just the same playing field as Warren Buffett,” Carroll says. “I can pick the exact same companies. I can’t buy as many shares, but technically we’re just the same.”
19/08/1512m 10s

27 – Braveheart Women’s Society: Coming of Age in South Dakota

The Braveheart Women’s Society, a group of Yankton Sioux grandmothers and tribal elders, have re-established an almost forgotten coming of age ritual for young girls—the Isnati, a four day traditional ceremony on the banks of the Missouri River in South Dakota. The girls learn to set up their own teepee, collect traditional herbs and flowers used for remedies. They are not allowed to touch food or feed themselves for four days; they are fed and given water by their mother or other women at the ceremony. They are being treated as babies for the last time in their lives. One of the grandmothers makes each girl a special dress. On the last day of the ceremony, the girls, one at a time, go into the teepee with their mother or their auntie who bathes them and dresses them and does their hair. The elder tells the girl stories about what she was like as a baby, how beautiful she is and about the hopes and promises for her future.The girls prepare sacred ceremonial food and feed their community. She’s given a new name and is presented to the the community as a woman.
11/08/1512m 51s

26 – Horses, Unicorns & Dolphins

Horses and dolphins and unicorns—creatures that possess the imagination of so many young girls—borderland creatures—gateway animals to other worlds. “They let us be cowgirls and oceanographers and mermaids and princesses, wizardessess.”
28/07/1518m 14s

25 – Hidden Kitchens Texas with host Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson and Dallas-born actress Robin Wright, along with some wild and extraordinary tellers, take us across Texas and share some of their hidden kitchen stories. Gas station tacos, ice houses, the birth of the Frito, the birth of 7-Eleven, the birth of the frozen margarita, and more.  
13/07/1525m 2s

24 – Route 66: The Mother Road, Part 2

John Steinbeck called it the “Mother Road.” Songwriter Bobby Troup described it as the route to get your kicks on. And Mickey Mantle said, “If it hadn’t been for Highway 66 I never would have been a Yankee.” For the Dust Bowl refugees of the 1930s, for the thousands who migrated after World War II, and for the generations of tourists and vacationers, Route 66 was “the Way West.” Route 66, the first continuously paved highway linking east and west was the most traveled and well known road in America for almost fifty years. From Chicago, it ran through the Ozarks of Missouri, across Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, up the mesas of New Mexico and Arizona, and down into California to the Pacific Ocean. The first road of it’s kind, it came to represent America’s mobility and freedom—inspiring countless stories, songs, and even a TV show. In part II of Route 66, Studs Terkel reads from “The Grapes of Wrath” and comments on the great 1930s migration along Highway 66. We hear from black and white musicians including Clarence Love, head of Clarence Love and his Orchestra, Woody Guthrie, and Eldin Shamblin, guitar player for Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys—who remember life on the road for musicians during the 1930s. We travel the history of the road from its beginnings as “The Main Street of America,” through the “Road of Flight” in the 1930s, to the “Ghost Road” of the 1980s, as the interstates bypass the businesses and road side attractions of another era. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters and narrated by actor David Selby.
23/06/1531m 4s

23 – Route 66: The Mother Road, Part I

The birth of the Main Street of America—songwriter Bobby Troup tells the story of his 1946 hit Get Your Kicks on Route 66; Gladys Cutberth, aka Mrs. 66 and members of the old “66 Association” talk about the early years of the road. Mickey Mantle explains “If it hadn’t been for US 66 I wouldn’t have been a Yankee.” Stirling Silliphant, creator of the TV series “Route 66” talks about the program and its place in American folklore of the 60s.
09/06/1532m 24s

22 – War and Separation: Life on the Homefront During World War II

For Memorial Day — a portrait of life on the homefront during World War II featuring 4 women’s stories, rare home recorded letters sent overseas to soldiers, archival audio, music and news broadcasts from the era.
26/05/1523m 33s

21 – The Secret (and Not So Secret) Life of Theresa Sparks

Theresa Sparks has lived more than one life. Born a guy’s guy, a man’s man, cowboy boots, motorcycles, a stint in the army, married his childhood sweetheart, kids, big successful business. But the truth was more complicated than that. In this episode one of San Francisco’s most respected and outspoken transgender activists tells her truth, that she was walking around in the wrong suit for 50 something years. “Transparent” years before the series saw the light of day.
12/05/1514m 6s

20 – The Birth of Rice-A-Roni: The San Francisco, Italian, Armenian Treat

The worlds of a young Canadian immigrant, an Italian pasta-making family, and a 70-year-old survivor of the Armenian Genocide converge in this story of the San Francisco Treat. A Canadian women (Lois DeDomenico) marries an Italian immigrant (Thomas DeDomenico) whose family started Golden Grain Macaroni in San Francisco. Just after WWII the newlyweds rent a room from an old Armenian woman (Pailadzo Captanian) who teaches the young pregnant 18 year old woman how to cook. Yogurt, baklava, pilaf… After about 4 months the young couple move into their own place. A few years later, Lois’ brother-in-law is eating over at her house— looks down at the pilaf on his plate and pronounces: “This would be good in a box.” Prepared and packaged foods are just beginning to come on strong. They name it Rice-A-Roni. During those hours in the kitchen the old Armenian woman cooks and tells the younger women the story of her life — her forced trek from Turkey to Syria, leaving her two young sons with a Greek Family, her husband’s murder, the birth of her baby along the way (his name means child of pain), the story of the genocide. Mrs. Captanian shows Lois a book she wrote in 1919, directly after her experiences—one of the only eye-witness accounts written at the time. Most were published 30-40 years later by survivors. This one was published in 1919 for the Paris Peace Talks in hopes that it would help provide context for the establishment of an Armenian state.
28/04/1518m 41s

19 – America Eats: A Hidden Archive

Potlucks, church picnics, fish fries, family reunions — during the 1930s writers were paid by the government to chronicle local food, eating customs and recipes across the United States. America Eats, a WPA project, sent writers like Nelson Algren, Zora Neale Hurston, Eudora Welty, and Stetson Kennedy out to document America’s relationship with food during the Great Depression.
13/04/1516m 27s

18 – A Man Tapes his Town: The Unrelenting Oral Histories of Eddie McCoy

Eddie McCoy owned a janitorial service in Oxford, North Carolina, a tobacco town of some 10,000 people. When he was badly injured in a car wreck, frustrated and unable to work, a doctor told him, “Try using your head instead of your hands.” Eddie took his passion for local history and a scavenged cassette recorder from a trash can and began taping his town. Eddie records the who, what, when, where and why of slavery times, sharecropping, the civil rights era, and of who poured the first concrete in Oxford. Produced by The Kitchen Sisters and Leda Hartman  
24/03/1516m 53s

17 – Unfinished Business: Ali vs Frazier VI, Daughters of Destiny

In 2001, a quarter-century after boxing’s celebrated “Thrilla in Manila,” Ali and Frazier were once again poised to enter the ring. But this time it was the daughters of the legendary combatants scheduled to battle at the Turning Stone Casino on the Oneida Indian Nation in upstate New York. Laila Ali, 22-year-old daughter of Muhammad Ali; and Jacquelyn Frazier-Lyde, 39-year-old daughter of Joe Frazier. The 2001 bout, broadcast on pay-per-view TV, was billed as “Ali vs. Frazier IV” —a continuation of the blood feud that fueled their fathers’ three title fights in the 1970s. A behind the scenes glimpse of the “Daughters of Destiny,” from the trash-talk of the press conferences to the sweat of the training camps.
10/03/1524m 52s

16 – The Green Street Mortuary Band

Lawrence Ferlinghetti wrote a poem about them. Amy Tan’s mother was serenaded by them as she lay in state. Jessica Mitford’s memorial procession was led by them. And more than 300 Chinese families a year hire the Green Street Mortuary Band to give their loved ones a proper and musical send-off through the streets of Chinatown.The band traces its roots back to 1911 and the Cathay Chinese Boys Band, the first marching group in Chinatown.
24/02/1515m 17s

15 – Electronic Memories: R.A. Coleman’s Memphis

In the early 1950s, at the same time legendary record producer Sam Phillips was making recordings of the pageants and events happening in Memphis’ white community—across town, R.A. Coleman, an African American photographer, was making recordings of the black community—weddings, church choirs, nightclubs and dance halls.
10/02/1514m 31s

14 – Taylor Negron: Portrait of an Artist as an Answering Machine

A look into the life of Taylor Negron—actor, comedian, and telephone message hoarder—told through the voicemails on his machine. We produced this piece with with Taylor’s dear friend producer Valerie Velardi in 1999 as part of the Lost & Found Sound series on NPR. Taylor died on January 10, 2015. We present this story in his honor.
27/01/1517m 59s

13 – Sam Phillips and the Early Years of the Memphis Recording Service: We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime

Before Elvis walked through the door, before Sun Studios put Memphis on the map—Sam Phillips, a young man with a tape recorder, lived by the motto, “We Record Anything, Anywhere, Anytime.” Weddings, funerals, marching bands, the Miss Memphis Pageant—Sam recorded them all—anything to keep his fledgling Memphis Recording Service open to record Howlin’ Wolf, B.B. King, Little Junior, Ike Turner, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Elvis Presley. The raw and rocking, unrecorded music of the 1950s South.
13/01/1528m 49s

12 – The Nights of Edith Piaf

She rose every day at dusk and rehearsed, performed, ate and drank until dawn. Then slept all day, woke up and began to create and unravel again as the sun went down. Nearly every song Edith Piaf sang came from a moment of her life on the streets of Paris. She would tell her composer and musician lovers a story, or describe a feeling or show them a gesture and they would put music and words to her pain and passion, giving her back her own musical autobiography. Charles Aznavour, Francis Lai, Georges Moustaki, Henri Contet, some of France’s great musicians and writers recall their nights with Edith Piaf. The Nights of Edith Piaf was Produced by The Kitchen Sisters in collaboration with Raquel Bitton, who hosts and translates the program.
16/12/1429m 11s

11 – Cigar Stories: El Lector—He Who Reads

Narrated by Andy Garcia. At the turn of the century until the 1930s in the cigar factories of Tampa and Ybor City, a well dressed man in a panama hat with a loud and beautiful voice sat atop a platform and read to the cigar workers as they rolled. These readers, known as Lectores de Tabaqueres, read Cervantes, Zola, Victor Hugo, Karl Marx, Jules Verne…. It was the voices and words of these lectores – before radio and mechanization, who informed, organized, and incited the cigar workers, who labored by hand until the 1930s, when both the rollers and readers were replaced by mechanization. A lost tradition of story and smoke.
25/11/1424m 44s

10 – Dissident Kitchens

Part 3 of the Hidden Kitchens World Trifecta with host Frances McDormand: Hidden Kitchens Russia, stories of the role of the kitchen in the downfall of the Soviet Union. 
13/11/1414m 30s

9 – Atomic Wine

Part 2 of the Hidden Kitchens World Trifecta with host Frances McDormand and special guests Werner Herzog, Gael Garcia Bernal and Stories of Atomic Wine and The Romance and Sex Life of the Date.
30/10/1416m 48s

8 – The Pizza Connection

A Hidden Kitchens World Podcast Trifecta with Frances McDormand and The Kitchen Sisters. In this episode Salman Rushdie talks about his Hidden Kitchen. We travel to Sicily for The Pizza Connection—a story of fighting the mafia through food. And on to England for the seldom heard saga of a small dog bred to run in a wheel that turned a roasting spit in medieval kitchens—The Turnspit Dog: The Rise and Fall of the Vernepator Cur.
14/10/1418m 48s

7 – Just Girls: The Hidden World of Patti Smith and Judy Linn

Just about anytime we walk out of The Kitchen Sisters office in San Francisco we stop and stare in the windows of City Lights bookstore, soaking in the covers of the new arrivals. A while back, we were stopped in our tracks by a book of photographs of Patti Smith – Patti staring down the camera, holding a movie camera herself. It turns out Patti wasn’t just the muse of photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the Sixties, she was also muse and model for Judy Linn, an art student and budding photographer in New York. Paging through Patti Smith 1969-1976, we discovered Judy had that no only photographed Patti, she had made a little super-8 movies too, as the two young women created a world together. The movies were missing, but the soundtracks remained. Lost and found sound, we thought. Got to hear those recordings, got to meet that photographer. And we did. Fugitive Waves, Episode Number 7: Just Girls: The Hidden World of Patti Smith and Judy Linn.
03/09/1411m 54s

6 – Cry Me A River: A story of three pioneering river activists and the damming of wild rivers in the west

The story of three pioneering river activists and the damming of wild rivers