Nat Johnson: My Early Radio Days

Nat Johnson at WBCN

I aired, for the first time in America, a stereo broadcast of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Listeners were astounded – and generally seemed quite captivated.

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Ros and Harris Barron in the ZONE

Harris and Ros Barron

From Fred Barzyk: Hundreds of artists streamed through the studios of the WGBH New Television Workshop in the early ’70s. Ros and Harris were two of the earliest.

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Creating NOVA (1971-76)

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From Michael Ambrosino: Science is a part of our heritage, our present culture, and a major force in determining our future. Its absence from television [in the 1970s], spoke to the ignorance of many of its gatekeepers…. Science, medicine, technology, engineering, architecture all impact our culture by determining how we live our lives!

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A Boy from Milwaukee

Fred & Barb

From Fred Barzyk: My Mom had this vision for me. She thought it would be wonderful if I could be in show business… I announced that I would become a piano player! Only problem was we didn’t have a piano.

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A stranger in a strange land

Fred Barzyk (2007)

From Fred Barzyk: Bill insisted I try to get into the scholarship program. You studied for your graduate degree at Boston University and worked three days a week at the Educational Television station. Free tuition and you got $600 to live a year in Boston!

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Paik and the Video Synthesizer

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From Fred Barzyk: I remember Nam June Paik telling me to stand back since TV sets sometime exploded when he did this. I backed off. The TV did not explode but gave forth a dazzling array of colors, buzzed and slowly died, never to live again.

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Remembering the original WGBH

84 Massachusetts Avenue

From Art Singer: Fifty one years ago this past September, on several late afternoons a week, I would take the twenty minute walk from BU across the Charles to the station’s studios on the MIT campus for a night’s work.

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Joan Wilson bids for masterpieces

Joan Sullivan Wilson

Boston Globe — 12/13/1980 (Found in the Jeremy Brett archive.) It’s been said she has the best job in television. She jets to Europe several times a year — to London, Cannes and occasionally Italy. She hobnobs in New York with powerful oil magnates. She makes critical programming decisions which determine what millions of Americans…

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Recollections of a WGBH-FM Volunteer (1951-52)

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From Russ Butler A small announcement in The Boston Globe caught my attention. It was 1951, and I was a 17-year old junior in a Boston high school and fascinated with radio broadcasting. The one column-inch notice read that a new FM radio station would begin broadcasting from studios in Symphony Hall. Next day, I…

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We’re in the “understanding business”

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The chance invitation to work here at WGBH placed me in an environment that was a perfect fit for my temperament and aspirations as a professional and as just a plain person. Once here, I recognized, gradually, why it felt so right as a place to work and associate.

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Henry Becton: The great sense of possibility

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At a December 4, 2007 meeting of WGBH staff, longtime President Henry Becton ceremoniously passed the baton to Jon Abbott, who stepped in to the presidency in October after serving as Executive Vice President and COO. According to Cynthia Broner, their remarks met with a prolonged standing ovation for Henry’s nearly 38 years at WGBH.…

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A tribute to Dave Davis

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From Don Hallock As I remember, a 30 year old Dave Davis came to us at WGBH-TV from the University of North Carolina campus TV in 1957. That was the same year I, at 19, began in the scene shop as assistant to Peter Prodan. Dave was a musician and veteran television Producer-Director. He succeeded…

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Building a Network: EEN (1961-64)

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WGBH: The Early Years Skating Around the Rink (1956-60) Building a Network: EEN (1961-64) Going Public (1964-70) From Michael Ambrosino Ed: This is the second of three excerpts from Michael Ambrosino’s autobiography. In the first part, Skating Around the Rink, he described the early years at WGBH, an era of live and live-on-tape TV productions…

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Going Public (1964-1970)

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From Michael Ambrosino: I’ve never considered myself an intellectual; my memory and thought processes are just not good enough for true intellectual work. I do, however, have an insatiable curiosity and enjoy the world of ideas.

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Skating Around the Rink (1956-60)

Studio A, 84 Massachusetts Avenue

In 2006, WGBH pioneer Michael Ambrosino completed an autobiography for his family. Last month, he made a gracious offer for us to publish some of his early-WGBH stories on this Web site. In this, the first of three excerpts, Michael describes the early years at WGBH, an era of live and live-on-tape TV productions at…

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Advocating for The Advocates … and more

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From Susan Kubany I came to WGBH in 1972 to save Roger Fischer’s The Advocates series.  I was in love: Alan Dershowitz was the liberal advocate, William Rusher the conservative, and Michael Dukakis, the moderator. The debated topics were important, engaging and the drama, unique. (No liberal bias here. This was television at its finest.) I fought tenaciously…

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In a World All Its Own (1955)

Studio A, 84 Massachusetts Avenue

From John Nadeau — 3/2007 When we did simulcasts on radio and TV, my station break announcement sounded like this: “This is the Lowell Institute Cooperative Broadcasting Council…WGBH-FM at 89.7 megacycles and WGBH-TV, channel 2, in Boston.” I joined the staff of WGBH-FM-TV in 1955. The two stations identified themselves as “noncommercial and educational” because…

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