Paul Stookey with Broadcast Pioneers member Ed Sciaky
backstage at the Academy of Music. Philadelphia
Saturday, October 7, 1967
(shot as a color 35mm side)
Broadcast Pioneers member Ed Sciaky was a legend in Philadelphia radio. However, his first broadcasts were on WRTI-FM, the Temple University radio station. At that time, the broadcast outlet was a learning platform for undergraduate students and was totally student run. Ed was the station's Music Director and his office was "nicknamed" Sciaky One-Stop!
In the fall of 1966, Ed Sciaky took over hosting duties from the previous guy, Barry Berg. The program was called "Broadside," and was a four-hour radio folk music program, Saturday evenings from 8 pm to 12 midnight.
While it was technically a folk show, it was sometimes a thinly-veiled attempt to play rock music on the college station where the administration had banned rock and roll.
On Saturday, October 7, 1967, Ed Sciaky, along with Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry Klein (serving as audio engineer) took an RCA 77 microphone and a suitcase-size, brown leather case containing an Ampex 351 professional reel to reel recorder to the Academy of Music on South Broad Street in Center City Philadelphia.
The above photo was taken that evening. Well, until now, we haven't been able to locate a recording of the interviews even though we knew that the original and several copies existed. A little while ago, we were digging around in the Sciaky basement and found several interesting recordings.
One such recording contained two interviews. First, there's a pre-concert interview with Peter Yarrow. Then, there's a post concert interview with Paul Stookey. Those two interviews filled up one reel of tape. These two were the edited versions. Until the spring of 2009, that's all we had found.
Then we spent more time in the Sciaky basement and found two tapes in plain white boxes. One was marked "Mary" and the other "Peter." These are the unedited interviews. While we haven't found the unedited tape of Paul, we're hoping that it will be located at a later date. Also, the edited version of the Mary Travers interview has yet to be located. Remember, that the edited ones are what were played over the air on WRTI-FM.
On these early Ed Sciaky interviews, something that he would later become famous for, you can hear his style evolving. Already, a skilled interviewer, at the time of these interviews, Ed was just 19 years old.
Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry Klein e-mailed:
It was October 7, 1967. PP&M were doing a concert at the Academy of Music. Ed arranged to visit them backstage to record an interview. I don't recall specifically, but I guess he asked me to come along to engineer, and I took a bunch of photos (I still have the original 35mm slides)....
Coincidentally, the subject of that concert came up several years ago and I learned from my wife, Anne, that she was in the audience. (They didn't know each other at that time).
While these recordings were made on Saturday, October 7, 1967, they were not aired until two weeks later, on Saturday, October 21st. At this time, it is our belief that "Broadside" (or at least most of the program) was pre-empted on WRTI-FM for Temple Basketball. We believe that the interview was held for broadcast until October 21st when there would be no game and thus the entire "Broadside" audience would tune in.
It's also interesting to note on the station promo announcement touting the appearance of Peter, Paul and Mary on "Broadside," Ed, sort of tongue in cheek, says, "we may be only the number two folk music show in Philadelphia, but at WRTI-FM, trying better makes the difference." This is especially interesting since the "number one" folk music show was done by Gene Shay on WHAT-FM. Gene and Ed were already friends and it was a friendship that would last a lifetime.
A little background on the phrase, "at WRTI-FM, trying better makes the difference." In 1966, the station slogan (a play on the Avis' line of "we try harder") was "at WRTI-FM, we try better." In September of 1967, the slogan was updated to "at WRTI-FM, trying better makes the difference." So Ed's line of "we may be the number two folk music show" plays right into that thematic package. The 1967 slogan was, by the way, created by Broadcast Pioneers historian Gerry Wilkinson, also a lifetime friend of Ed Sciaky.
These following two interviews of Peter and Paul are mastered from the original reel to reel tape (edited version) found in the Sciaky basement after Ed's death. This tape is the actual one played on the air in 1967. Ed's widow, Judy, has been kind enough to share Ed's work with us and through our website, with you and the world.
Peter Yarrow Interview (edited version)
Paul Stookey Interview (edited version)
Here's the unedited version of the Mary Travers interview. We hope at a later date, we present the unedited version of the Peter Yarrow interview. The Travers interview is available in both Real Audio and Windows Media formats. This interview is directly mastered from the original tape that the interview was recorded on.
Mary Travers Interview (unedited version)
From the official archives of the Broadcast Pioneers of Philadelphia
Photo originally donated by Broadcast Pioneers member Jerry Klein
Audio originally donated by Judy Sciaky, Ed's wife
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