When Tim Brooks first heard the name George W. Johnson back in the 1980s, he had no idea his research would lead to a little-known but crucial chapter in the birth of the recording industry. The music is captured in Lost Sounds: Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry, which won a Grammy last year as Best Historical Album. Also on the show: a daughter listens to recordings of her late father singing spirituals.
Clyde Butcher's color photographs of natural settings were a commercial success. After he moved his family from California to Florida, he got curious about taking black and white photos in the swamps, but he shied away from doing so because he feared those photographs would never sell. Then Clyde's son Ted was killed in a traffic accident. A few months later, Clyde went to the dump with $300,000 worth of commercial color photography equipment and threw it out. Clyde went straight to the swamps of the Everglades and started photographing in black and white. They were among the most successful photographs he's ever taken. Also in this episode: writer Cynthia Barnett, author of the book "Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S." And, a man who admits to committing mortgage fraud.
Irish poet Seamus Heaney died recently, at the age of 74. Dick Gordon spoke with Heaney back in 2004, and we listen to an excerpt from that conversation. At the time, Heaney had just completed his own version of Antigone.