HEARING VOICES: Modulating a Revolution has acquired the International Documentary Association (IDA) as its fiscal sponsor. All funds donated to this film project are tax deductible since the IDA is a 501(3)(c).
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Broadcasters, for over half a century, were required to serve the public interest (defined as promoting localism, diversity, and competition) in order to keep their licenses; then, in 1981, that requirement was given less and less attention. Hearing Voices is a documentary feature film about voices allowed and voices denied, probing the connection between serving the public interest, or lack thereof, and the current state of our polarized society.
The centerpiece of the story is radio. It was our first true mass medium and set the pattern for everything that followed. It’s noteworthy that the idea of broadcasters serving the public interest originated with radio, but the issues raised in this documentary will lead us directly to the Internet and its inevitable future. Hearing Voices not about the past; it’s about the world we live in right now.
Interviews are still being done for this film but already include radio legends Larry King, Wink Martindale, Art Linkletter and Norman Corwin. Washington Post senior editor Marc Fisher appears, as do blacklisted performers Norman Lloyd, Marsha Hunt and Ivy Bethune. This film, in addition to its strong social theme, will prove to be the definitive history of American radio.
Interview participants include:
Famous for 25 years on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Larry was an important part of radio history. In 1978 he began hosting the first nationwide call-in radio show over the Mutual Broadcasting System. In fact, he won the prestigious George F. Peabody Medal for “The Larry King Show” in 1982. The award recognized Larry’s body of work for the entire radio series up to that time.
Longtime veteran of Los Angles radio, Frankie can currently be heard as host of “The Quiet Storm” weeknights on 94.7 The Wave, KTWV-FM. He is most associated with his long tenure at Stevie Wonder’s station KJLH-FM, also in Los Angeles.
Best remembered for his role on television’s “St. Elsewhere,” films such as “Dead Poets Society,” Hitchcock’s “Saboteur,” and Chaplin’s “Limelight,” Norman Lloyd also worked on radio as a regular on the “Cavalcade of America” and shows by Norman Corwin. Lloyd was also blacklisted in the 1950s until Alfred Hitchcock put him back to work.
Although best remembered as an actress who was one of MGM’s stars in the heavens, Marsha frequently appeared on radio and, significantly, is the last remaining person from the famous October 1947 flight of movie stars, writers, and artists, (including Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Danny Kaye, Ira Gershwin) who journeyed to Washington DC to publicly protest the House Un-American Activities Committee’s witch hunt. Their broadcast, “Hollywood Fights Back,” is an important moment in radio history.
Game Show host extraordinaire, Wink began his career as a Memphis disc jockey on WHBQ and witnessed the birth of Elvis-mania when DJ Dewey Phillips played Presley’s demo record “That’s All Right Mama” over the airwaves for the first time. The phone lines lit up and the rest is history. Wink has worked on Los Angeles radio over KFWB and KMPC, among other stations.
A very popular radio personality on Mega 96.3, KXOL-FM, in Los Angeles, Sandra has enjoyed a radio career since 2000 at both English and Spanish language stations ranging from San Francisco, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Sandra provides insight into today’s multi-ethnic radio landscape and hopes for the future.
Senior editor at the Washington Post, Marc is the author of the book “Something in the Air: Radio, Rock and the Revolution That Shaped a Generation” (2007). He also the author of “After the Wall: Germany, the Germans and the Burdens of History” (1995), a look at the reunification of Germany during the early 1990s.
As Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Media Justice, based in Oakland, CA, Malkia has been a leader in the fight for Net Neutrality. She is also co-founder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, national network of 175 organizations working to ensure media access, rights, and representation for marginalized communities.
Writer-Producer-Director of the CBS series “Norman Corwin’s Words Without Music,” “Twenty-Six by Corwin,” “An American in England,” “Columbia Present Corwin” and special broadcasts such as “We Hold These Truths” (the first four-network broadcast) and “On A Note of Triumph.” Corwin passed away in 2011. www.normancorwin.com
Legendary radio and television personality, author, and businessman, he not only created the game of “Life,” but also revolutionized the medium of radio with his innovations. With business partner John Guedel, he created “People Are Funny,” “House Party” and Groucho Marx’s radio and television hit “You Bet Your Life.” He passed away in 2010.