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Letter From England with Michael Scarborough reporting
from Riddlesden, Keighley, Yorkshire, England

KTAO 1970 - 1974; KCHU 1975 - 1978

Listed in order of creation dates, which come from either the tape box label (tl) or from the NFCB program distribution offering (nfcb). Where the dates conflict, the tape label date is shown. In a couple of instances an estimated (est) date has been chosen based on the event described in the episode. The program description comes from the NFCB Program Offering.

Return to Letters from England, page 1, 1966 - 1969


Gardening - Apr 4, 1970 (nfcb)

Tape LabelObserving the breed of summer gardeners who appear every spring, their appearance and habits. Also talks about some of the formal gardens in England. Good, undated but best in spring. (Betsy)

Listen now Listen now - Gardening (15:24)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1285-bcast-062963-nfcb25


Ecology - Apr 16, 1970 (tl)

The issues of conservation, environment and overpopulation in England and the obstacles to solution. Criticism of the "Keep Britain Tidy" campaign - which sounds very similar to the "Keep America Beautiful" campaign here. Scarborough sees the basic problem as the concept of the Englishman and his castle, and argues for a planned environment. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Ecology (15:41)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1263-bcast-062941-nfcb24


Lorenzo Milam Interviews Michael Scarborough - Aug 18, 1970 (tl)

Lorenzo tries to pull apart Scarborough's anti-religious stand and his beliefs on how parents should respond to rejection of their beliefs by their children. Scarborough defends his positions fairly well. They also talk about various writers, British television, and Scarborough's reactions to America. High noise level. (Betsy)

The first 31 minutes of a 45 minute interview.Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Michael Scarborugh interviewed by Lorenzo Milam (31:07)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1280-bcast-062958-nfcb23


First Views of America - Aug 18, 1970 (tl*)

Scarborough's impressions of the United States, recorded during a visit to KTAO. He talks about language differences, the premium set on time - shown by drive-in everythings and the lack of walkers, differences in food, reactions to himself, and a lot about the rampant commercialism he saw. His criticisms of what he saw are ones being voiced by many Americans, but it's particularly interesting hearing the views of someone from another country. (Betsy)

*Although the NFCB program offering dates this to 1972, it seems more likely that it was recorded during Michael Scarborough's visit to America in 1970

Tape LabelProbably as a result of the dreaded "sticky-shed syndrome", this tape suffers from print-through, dropouts, and a loss of high frequencies. Sticky-shed may result in the iron oxide and bonding material being stripped from one side of the tape and transferred to the "wrong side" of the tape of and adjacent layer. We have done what we could to clean it up.

Listen now Listen now - First Views of America - Aug 18, 1970 (16:30)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1269-tif060240-33551-nfcb16-33551


Angry Letter to Nixon - Jan 1971 (tl)

Response to the Vietnam bombing. Dated.Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Angry Letter to Nixon (11:40)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1275-bcast-062953-nfcb18


Shakespeare and British Writers - Mar 1971 (nfcb) - missing

On Subversives - Nov 10, 1971 (tl)

The policy of keeping society dull, and the need of society for subversives to expose lies. Scarborough sees teaching and politics as the two most effective subversive activities. He also talks about the effective subversion of subversives by putting them on committees. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - On Subversives (15:52)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1268-bcast-062946-nfcb21


Anger in England - Mar 1972 (tl)

One of Scarborough's most frequently mentioned books is Osborne's play Look Back in Anger. Here that play spurs some nostalgia about the anger in the 50's and a look at the sources and signs of current anger - coal miner strikes, Northern Ireland and the English government's laissez-faire indifference, Rhodesia, unemployment. (Betsy)

Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Anger in England (13:41)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1275-bcast-062953-nfcb20


Clean-up Campaign in England - May 1972 (nfcb) - missing

Watergate and Complacency - 1973 (nfcb)

Scarborough goes from his anger over the Watergate business to his fear of the growing dullness and complacency in British society. Talks a lot about what the phrase "get it out of your system" means to him. Although the context of the tape is dated, the bulk of the content is not, and the tape can be easily edited to be a very good one to present now. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Watergate and Complacency (15:08)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1273-bcast-062951-nfcb12


Visitors from America - 1973 (tl)

Thoughts provoked by discussions with American visitors - concentrates on the difference in British and American educations and particularly on the difference in freedoms in the two countries. Scarborough sees the British as freer to be open about political and religious convictions. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Visitors from America (17:34)

 

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1279-bcast-062957-nfcb13


On Joining the Common Market - Jan 1973 (est)

Scarborough talks about England joining the common Market and the obstacles he sees to it, which include overcoming the stereotypes held about the Germans and the French. Common Market issue is dated, but the talk about the stereotypes is interesting. (Betsy)

Tape LabelListen now Listen now - On Joining the Common Market (18:37)

Duplicate of obj1282-bcast-062960-nfcb30

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1261-bcast-062939-nfcb30


Review of 1972 - Jan 15, 1973 (tl)

About Scarborough's malaise and desire to leave England. Talking about the year as affecting his growing cynicism. Though in a strict sense it's dated since he's talking about events of 1972, the issues behind the events are still relevant. (Bill)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Review of 1972 (14:09)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1267-bcast-062945-nfcb17


Walking in the Mountains - Feb 12, 1973 (tl)

Thoughts triggered by walking in the mountains and reflecting that possibly the course of the wise man would be to find such a secluded spot and stay there. He discusses the responsibilities of teachers and politicians to teach awareness and a balance between hope and cynicism. (Betsy)

Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Walking in the Mountains (14:50)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1279-bcast-062957-nfcb15


Literature and Education - May 14, 1973 (tl)

Scarborough talks about his introduction to the classics, from nursery rhymes to Chaucer, and his introduction to the alternatives, in which he includes old ballads, industrial workers' songs, and diaries and journals of non-literary figures. He sees the classic writers as never presenting more than a partial story, and the alternatives providing relevance and honesty and the reflections of men who haven't made it in society. He claims these alternatives are now dying out to be replaced by "commercially-produced trash," the "songs of the civil servants" now are done sensationalistically if at all. Good program. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Literature and Education (15:43)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1262-bcast-062940-nfcb14


NEW NOV 2018: Accents - 1976 (nfcb)

Scarborough mimics some of the many accents of Britain. This is one of our favorities of the tapes. (Betsy)

Listen now Listen now - Accents (13:54)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, collection of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) - umd-bcast-072273-nfcb04


Political Convention - 1976 (nfcb)

Recount of Scarborough's participation in local socialist convention, what was discussed, his part in it, the wide range of people who got up to speak. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Political Convention (14:35)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1273-bcast-062951-nfcb05


Talking about the Weather - 1976 (nfcb)

The unpredictability of British weather, tourists' reactions to it, his own feelings about it, its role as a topic of conversation. One of the lighter, funnier letters; also one of our favorites. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Talking about the Weather (14:41)

 

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1277-bcast-062955-nfcb06


Holiday in Scotland - 1976 (nfcb)

Discussion of Scotland: its relationship with England and the differences between the two countries; the modernization of Scotland but its retention of national characteristics and a sense of community and culture that set it apart; the differences between eastern and western Scotland (western Scotland still retains much of its wildness); how Scotland illustrates all small countries' problems. Good program. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Holiday in Scotland (15:28)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1287-bcast-062965-nfcb07


The Nostalgia Cult - May 1976 (tl)

Review of the 1974-1976 period between letters; brief talk on English society and where he sees it going. Scarborough talks mostly about the development of nostalgia cult, which he sees as a clutching after some national identity as Britain becomes less and less a major world force. Slightly dated at beginning of program, but the discussion of nostalgia makes up for it. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - The Nostalgia Cult (16:24)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1276-bcast-062954-nfcb10


The American Bicentennial - May 1976 (tl)

Actually more about British history. Scarborough discusses a Britisher's view of American history - or the lack of it - compared to the "long and noble heritage" of Britain. He sees the British continuing sense of history as due mainly to the mass of visual reminders present. Discusses history as an industry. Beginning of program will become dated soon, but isn't yet, and the rest of it is interesting. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - The American Bicentennial (15:18)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1276-bcast-062954-nfcb11


Enoch Powell - Sep 22, 1976 (tl)

Powell is a British politician, known there as a "racialist"(racist). Scarborough discusses what various political groups think of Powell, his contradictions, his political opportunism. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Enoch Powell (15:14)

 

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1264-bcast-062942-nfcb02


Churches - Nov 15, 1976 (tl)

The importance of churches, description of English country churches, what small country churches offer even to those who reject religion, churches in urban industrial areas and the differences between these and the country churches, Scarborough's feelings about the destruction of churches. Good program. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Churches (14:43)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1270-bcast-062948-nfcb09


Military Pageantry - Dec 18, 1976 (nfcb)

Scarborough starts out talking about fashions - in architecture, words, attitudes - shifts from discussing the fashionable attitude of army-hating to the British love for military pageantry. Sound quality good except for one point of partial dropout. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Military Pageantry (14:14)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1271-bcast-062949-nfcb08


Jimmy Carter - Jan 1977 (est)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Jimmy Carter (16:28)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1283-bcast-062961


Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee - May 1977 (est)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Queen Elizabeth's Jubilee (14:32)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj1284-bcast-062962


Travels with Hitler- Sep 29, 1977 (tl)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Traveling (14:46)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj2663-bcast-062966


Art Exhibition - Sep 29, 1977 (tl)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Art Exhibition (15:17)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj2663-bcast-062966


On Media - On Sound (or Unsound) - Mar 1978 (tl)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - On Media - On Sound or Unsound (14:12)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collections and University Archives, (NFCB collection), obj2750-bcast-062968


If you possess any souvenirs (program guides, tapes, or photos) or have a story about your experience with KRAB you are willing to share, please email archive@krabarchive.com

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