In the early nineties, The Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia, now an independent entity, was part of the national organization of Broadcast Pioneers, which disbanded in 1996. The nationwide group had an oral history project and our chapter participated. We recorded audio interviews with some of our members. While copies went to the national organization, we retained the original masters and a first generation dub.
One person we interviewed was Broadcast Pioneers member Taylor Grant, who was also a member of our Board of Directors (called Board of Governors at that time). Broadcast Pioneers member Marguerite Farley did all the interviews. She was our 20th President and served during the 1982 and 1983 years.
Normally, the entire interview would be on two to four tapes, and recorded all on the same date. However, this was not the case with Taylor Grant. There was a one hour interview recorded on Wednesday, August 21, 1991 and a 45 minute one done on Tuesday, December 3, 1991.
After listening to the tapes, Broadcast Pioneers member Gerry Wilkinson, our historian, has a hypothesis. He thinks that one of the tapes was defective. They didn't get a good record and did it over again on December 3rd asking many of the same questions. However, he believes they used the same tape. His reasoning?
Well, when the December 3rd interview was done, they stopped the tape, but when you listen to the master, the December 3rd interview ends. There's dead air and then a short segment clips in. Gerry guesses that this is what remained on that particular tape from the original August 21st session.
What we have for you to listen to is three different pieces of audio. The entire August 21st interview minus the tape that was recorded over. The entire, complete December 3rd interview and a short segment on the same tape as the December 3rd recording which we feel dates from August 21st.
The December 3rd audio had many problems. There was audio drop out, buzz, un audible sound, and missing parts. Sometimes it was only a split second, sometimes much longer. The dub (done in 1991) also had the same problems so it was the master where the glitches originated from. Unfortunately, we have no way to restore the missing audio. We have edited this interview to the highest standards, but you can only do so much. We kept it intact as much as possible. There are almost 200 edits in this 45 minute interview. Many of the problems were during pauses and breaths. For example, we were able to take a tenth of a second pause from one place and insert it where the dropout was. The main problem comes when it is during a word. We did the best we could, but it does leave something to be desired. This 45 minute interview took over 15 hours of restoration time. It is still nowhere near perfect, but it is very listenable. Except for pauses, etc., we had to shorten the interview by only 46 seconds. So it is almost totally intact.
The two interviews have been encoded so that the audio rolls. For example, the hour long interview is divided into 4 segments. This is done for faster loading. When one segment is finished, the next segment will start automatically. For DSL and Cable users, this will be almost instantaneous. For dial-up users, each segment may buffer for a moment before playing. This is normal.
The August 21, 1991 Interview (about 1 hour and 2 minutes)
The December 3, 1991 Interview (about 41 minutes)
A Short unattached segment from 1991 (about 3 minutes)
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
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