The Plane That Flew Into the Empire State Building

Listen to “The Plane That Flew Into the Empire State Building”

Listen to the audio in this video. It’s perfect for radio. With some clever editing, narration, and other content such as interviews with survivors of the crash, you could easily turn this into a radio story.

Why doesn’t that happen more often? The 20th century was captured in sound. Why aren’t there more radio stories featuring archive audio — oral histories, news reels, odd bits of audio flotsam? It seems like an obvious source of content and story ideas, doesn’t it?

Fortunately, producer Joe Richman of Radio Diaries understands the power and pleasure of storytelling with archive tape. On this edition of HowSound, we feature Joe’s radio story about the historic crash of a B-52 bomber into the Empire State Building — the video alchemized for radio.

Joe’s not alone, of course, but the field of producers using archive tape isn’t crowded. American Radio Works comes to mind. So, too, does Lost and Found Sound from the Kitchen Sisters and Jay Allison. And, there’s Talking History, a radio program produced at the State University of New York at Albany. Anybody I’ve missed?

Now, you producers, go mine those archives!

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