THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM - 1963 LIVE BROADCAST FROM THE EDUCATIONAL RADIO NETWORK (ERN).
This 15 hour treasure of archived programming, retained by WGBH, has been processed, refined, improved with continuity (extraneous master material eliminated), by Phil Gries.
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was originally broadcast live across the Educational Radio Network (known as ERN, a precursor to NPR which established itself in 1971) on August 28, 1963. The coverage began at 9am and continued for 15 uninterrupted hours, until Midnight. The live broadcast was heard on 89.7 WGBH Boston Public Radio, a member of the network and an active participant in the broadcast.
INCLUDED IN THE DAYS EVENTS AND RECORDED:
9am-10am-Introduction by anchor George Geesey, who reports from various locations by ERN staff. Pre-program entertainment from the stage at the Washington Monument grounds.
10am-11am-Interviews with participants, music from the stage Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Odetta. Segment also includes various interviews including with George W. Goodman, clergy from Acton, Mass., and an update from police headquarters.
11am-Noon-Bob Dylan sings. Comments from Bayard Rustin, Jackie Robinson. President John F Kennedy press conference clips, various on-the-spot interviews with marchers.
Noon to 1:00pm-Reports of the actual March, along with pre-recorded "reflections" on the meaning of the march by Roy Wilkins. Pre-recorded interview with John A. Volpe, former Massachusetts governor. Interview with Norman Thomas.
1:00pm-2:00pm-Interview with Marlon Brando. Pre-recorded interviews with Senator Paul Douglas (D-IL), Senator Kenneth Keating (R-NY), Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, Josephine Baker, Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Dr Ralph Bunche, and Dick Gregory. Bob Dylan sings Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Len Chandler and Stuart Scharf sing, "Keep Your Eyes On The Prize." Interviews with Burt Lancaster and Harry Belafonte.
2:00pm-4:15pm - THE OFFICIAL PROGRAM OF THE MARCH:
Camilla Williams sings The National Anthem.
A. Philip Randolph introduction.
Daisy Bates speaks.
Dr. Eugene Carson Blake remarks.
Marion Anderson sings.
John Lewis speaks.
Walter Reuther remarks.
James Farmer (imprisoned) remarks read by Floyd McKissick).
Eva Jessye Choir perform.
Whitney Young remarks.
Roy Wilkins speaks
Mahalia Jackson sings.
Rabbi Joachim Prinz remarks.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. introduction by A. Philip Randolph.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks.
Bayard Rustin reads demands.
A. Philip Randolph reads pledge.
Dr. Benjamin E Mays of Morehouse College gives closing benediction.
4:15pm-5:30pm-Demonstrators leaving, clean-up logistics, singing replays of Bayard Rustin reading the list of demands and A. Philip Randolph reading the march pledge, pre-recorded comments by James Farmer, recorded interview with Senator Hubert Humphrey, recorded report with G. Mennen Williams, pre-recorded report form Voice of America reporter Robert Rodden, Isaiah Minkoff interview, follow-up on earlier report of food poisoning pre-recorded statement from Louis Fox.
5:30pm-6:30pm-Commentaries on the march, problems of dispersal, pre-recorded telephone interview with Arthur Miller, live interview with Thomas Adel Queener (Ghana), discussion with psychiatrists Dr. Frank Abram Hale and Dr. Elizabeth Davis, press conference on White House meeting of top 10 march leaders with President John F. Kennedy.
6:30pm-7;00pm-Myron Spencer reports the news "Backgrounds." Myron Spence, director of the graduate school of business at Northeastern University with guest Dr. William C Kvaraceus, director of youth studies at the Lincoln Filenes Center and professor of education at Tufts University.
7:00pm-9:00pm-WGBH's Bill Cavness introduces excerpts from the afternoon's official ceremony from the Lincoln Memorial.
9:00pm-10:30pm-Panel discussion on the implications of the Freedom March on Washington. Moderator Geoffrey Godsell, editorial writer for The Christian Science Monitor, with his guests, Heywood Burns, author of "The Voices of Negro Protest in America", William Higgs, civil rights consultant and representative of Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee on the Leadership Conference of Civil Rights, and William Goldsmith, assistant professor of politics at Brandies University.
10:30pm-11:00pm-Reflections on The March by ERN reporters who covered it. Anchor George Geesey with Malcolm Davis, Arnold Shaw, Al Hulsen, Cal Mositer, Jeff Giley, and David Edwards. Bob Medgar Evers, Charles P. McLean, director of public relations for the E.O. Elks, and Massachusetts Attorney General, Edward Brook.
11:00-Midnight- One hour WGBH News retrospective.
NOTE: The original archived complete 15 hour broadcast was recorded on 10 reels of 1/4" tape. WGBH took the lead related to coverage, though it was basically hosted out of Washington, D.C. This affiliate station was more stable than many of the others which were run mostly by college students.
There are many compromised audio issues in the archived reels. Performances on stage in many cases were recorded at much lower volumes and many speeches were recorded "off mike." Similar issues related to the volume exist when reporters at the scene are talking and then vast changes in volume are heard when switching to anchors who would report on follow up details and the dissemination of events that were happening and scheduled to occur.
The original recordings in some cases were poorly recorded in the first place at the time of the live broadcast. Whomever was controlling the sound mix of the varied broadcast audio feeds allowed, at times, for the ambiance of the crowd to overpower a performer on stage.
There existed at the time during transfers, dubbing, etc. other recording issues related to the archived tapes themselves which created level inconsistencies. Also, it must be remembered that THE EDUCATIONAL RADIO NETWORK at that time were comprised of NOT seasoned and experienced professionals like some of the other personnel employees working at the major networks.
Many of the above issues, related above, have been improved by Phil Gries after many hours of equalizing and remastering the entire broadcast. What now exists as archived at Archival Television Audio, Inc.is the best version known to exist.