For any of the cities you cite, perhaps historic schools and colleges might
have files intentionally or inadvertently. Perhaps there are surviving
audio & TV archives. Also contact alumni organizations and Municipal
Specifically for Brooklyn: contact Brooklyn College, Thomas Jefferson High
School & Brooklyn Technical H.S. In NYC we have The Museum of the City Of
NY of which Brooklyn is one of our 5 boroughs. Also, check the archives (if
there are any) of the L.A. Dodgers, which used to be in Brooklyn. Also,
contact Andy Lancet of WNYC - WQXR. Events pertaining to the Brooklyn Navy
Yard might be a strategy. For example, when the S.S. Normandie
(confiscated from France) was being refitted as a U.S. Navy Troop Ship, a
welder's torch started a devastating fire (January 1942). Considerable
newspaper, newsreel & radio coverage occurred. There had to have been 'man
on the street' interviews. These could be culled from radio boradcasts and
newsreel sound tracks. Much more recently, I remember broadcast interviews
taken on 9/11 of residents, especially in Brooklyn Heights. They had a very
close view of the tragedy. Also, check for the 1960 crash of an early
United Airlines Passenger Jet (perhaps the first crash of that class of
plane) in Park Slope (a neighborhood of Brooklyn). See
Another Brooklynese epiphany: check with the FBI for wire taps &
There allegedly was ( but can no longer be because the Mafia aka Cosa Nostra
never existed) alot of organized criminal activity in each of our boroughs.
meetings of non-members of non-existent criminal organizations could be a
Yet another: the defunct Fortunoff Retailing chain started in Brooklyn on
Levonia Avenue. I know this because my maternal Grandmother lived around
the corner from one of their stores (on Snediker) If there's an estate or
family archive, then that might yield recordings.
An another: try documentaries about Coney Island. It's named for a colony
of rabbits that were the first 'deed owners'....
If any of these are wire recordings, I can reproduce them spendidly on my
redesigned Ampex AG440.
Two offers from my collection:
1 - part of a CBS show entitled Young Man with A Band, broadcast in Nov.
'39. In it Raymond Scott, who's featured on that program performed a
special tribute to Brooklyn Tech, of which he was an alumnus. Not recorded
in Brooklyn but a nostalgic and entertaining audio reference. For Scott
fans, the show's a gem. It includes a simulated Quintet rehearsal. It was
given to me by Raymond decades ago.
2 - I have perhaps a dozen 7" open reel very slow speed (perhaps 1.875 ips)
logging tapes made by WINS-AM (N.Y.) circa 1970s. I've promised to give them
to Andy for their archive. I'm willing to first entrust them to you if
you'll pay the costs for shipping both ways. I could digitize them, but you
might not have an adequate budget for me to to that. But that'd probably be
buying 'a pig in a poke' because until someone listens to them, it won't be
known if anything pertinent to your needs are on them. They probably
contain material about many subjects.
3. - In one of his 1940s Decca Recordings, Jimmy Durante talks about his
being offered a position in the U.S. Dept. of State. They ask hiim if he
knows anything about foreign relations.
His response is something like 'are you kidding? I have 15 relatives living
Marlene's (my truly better half) extended family lived and still lives
there. I'll check with them for recordings. These could include birthday &
graduation parties, and in our case, Bar-Mitzvahs and Weddings.
Art (Shiffy) Shifrin
(a former resident of Brooklyn)
NYC, USA, Earth