The Listening Life

Friday, July 20, 2012


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. In a piece that originally aired in 2008, the Kitchen Sisters, look back at his life spent listening.

Comments [8]

Merrilee Trost from San Francisco East Bay

What an amazing man...Tony Schwartz. Very human and down-to-earth, but unique in his own way...going out and recording the sounds of the world and doing what he could to make the world a better place through his ad agency position. I'm privileged to know his son, a brilliant young man who is a most talented jazz saxophonist. He carries his father's intelligence, curiosity and humanity. We should have more people in this world like these two.

Apr. 09 2013 05:15 PM
Ramiro from Melbourne, Australia.

I really really enjoyed this piece.

Jul. 25 2012 08:24 PM
Tom Johnson from CA

This piece was, uh, (insert pause between "edited by and Brook")fabulous.


I'd been listening for this kind of story all my life!

Jul. 25 2012 01:05 PM

WOW! sublime

Jul. 25 2012 09:39 AM

Does anyone know the name of the song from the beginning, it has Jimmy Giuffre playing clarinet, I have been searching but no luck yet. If you know the name of the piece please leave it in the comments, thanks.

Jul. 22 2012 11:13 PM
marty siegrist from michigan

I enjoyed this segment. Mr. Schwartz sounds like an intelligent, creative and compassionate individual.

Jul. 22 2012 08:01 PM
Jeff from Brooklyn

Thank god Tony Schwartz made LBJ's "Daisy". Otherwise an arrogant warmonger would have been elected president. Good thing that didn't happen!

Jul. 22 2012 11:04 AM
Christopher T. Wood from Boston, MA

In 1984 I was completing my Master's degree in Mass Communications by writing a thesis on the Power of Advertising in Presidential Elections, and kept seeing Tony Schwartz's name in my research. I tracked down his phone number in NYC and gave him a call.

Explaining why I was calling, Tony politely said he didn't have time at the moment, but he would call me back. I never expected a call, but 3 days later he indeed called and asked if I had time to talk. An hour later he said he was "...sorry for wasting your time with my rambling."

He finished by asking for a copy of the thesis, which I forwarded upon completion. About a month later I received a card congratulating me on a thorough work, well done. I tell you...that was more exciting and gratifying than graduating that June "With Distinction."

It was great to hear his voice again!!


Jul. 21 2012 02:01 PM

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