The Listening Life

Friday, June 27, 2008


In his 84 years Tony Schwartz produced over 30,000 recordings, thousands of groundbreaking political ads, media theory books and Broadway sound design, invented the portable recorder, delivered hundreds of lectures and had full careers as an ad executive and a pioneering folklorist. And he did it all without leaving his zip code. Schwartz died in June and we offer a piece from the Kitchen Sisters, looking back at his life spent listening.

Comments [11]

Brian Zumhagen from New York

Paul Robeson is singing in Yiddish, not in German.

Oct. 11 2009 07:38 AM
Andreas Auwärter from Koblenz, Germany

Thank you for this episode. It shows - how much is possigble with mood, sound and inspiration.

Greetings Andreas Auwärter

Jul. 29 2008 11:54 AM
eunice from DC

Tony Schwartz inspires me to record my own sounds. Thank you.

Jul. 03 2008 09:58 PM
Suzanne L. Baldwin from Sylvania, Ohio

I enjoyed this segment immensely! So much that I had to look it up to see if I could hear/read it again. It made Me feel wonderful, thinking back to the times when I heard some of these sounds. Forever Listener.

Jul. 01 2008 11:04 PM
Carol from Los Angeles

The Tony Schwartz piece was about the best I've ever heard. I agree with an above poster, please make more of his stuff available as podcasts!!

Jul. 01 2008 02:48 PM
Darron from San Jose, CA

Excellent segment on Tony Schwartz - I had no idea someone was lugging around such a device doing street recording way back then. It was especially important to hear his own voice.

Jun. 30 2008 02:07 AM

How invigorating: Just yesterday I was explaining to my child the cynical motivation for the original television programming (so that TV makers could more easily sell their products). It appears that Tony's recorders were born of the exact opposite motivation.

PS In agreement w your first poster, wouldn't it be lovely to bring back Tony's WNYC programs, 15 or 30 minutes per week, or via podcast.

Jun. 29 2008 09:59 PM
Hilary from St. Louis, MO

This was superb, in every way. Beautifully produced, super informative. I'd never heard of him before but what an amazing influence he had! I don't usually log in to post this kind of comment, but it was so excellent I felt compelled. Thank you.

Jun. 29 2008 07:08 PM
J Ricks from Brisbane, CA

An outstanding and richly informative program. Mostly known by the general public as the creator of the famous "Daisy Ad" in 1964 for presidential candidate Lyndon Johnson, your program today revealed the beautiful and creative tapestry of influence, innovation and constant reflection that was the life of Tony Schwartz. He has done for listening and hearing of sounds what Annie Leibovitz has done for the beauty and intimacy of portrait photography and what Annie Dillard’s writings have done for truly "seeing” the essence of nature. And that is to heighten our appreciation for that which often we do not ‘see’ or ‘hear,’ or otherwise take for granted. Thank you for a wonderful afternoon of listening.

Jun. 29 2008 06:49 PM
Jeanne McIntyre from West berlin, VT

Great show today. Not only about the internet censoring, but also, the Kitchen Sisters documentary. What nostalgia!

Jun. 29 2008 11:00 AM
Steve Howarth from Carlisle, England

Superb programme, superb. How about making some of Tony Scwartz's archive material as podcasts?

Steve Howarth

Jun. 28 2008 04:16 PM

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