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Letter From England with Michael Scarborough reporting
from Riddlesden, Keighley, Yorkshire, England
KRAB 1966 - 1971

Early in the Summer of 1966 KRAB (Lorenzo Milam) thought that a program of commentary from foreign correspondents would be of interest. The first word of this was a program scheduled Jul 18, 1966 (Guide 92) made-up of audition tapes KRAB had received: This is what happened when we advertised in an English Newspaper. We are looking for world-wide correspondents but we've been totally charmed by letters from England.Milam to Scarborough

Several months later, in Oct, Guide 99 had this on the back cover: Early in the Summer, we put an ad in the New Statesman of England for tape correspondents. We find ourselves up to the knees in tapes and letters, and need someone to sort out the letters, audition the tapes, and maintain constant contact with these potential commentators. Call us at LA-2-5111.

But the truth was that Lorenzo had already spotted a likely candidate in one Michael Scarborough, and, seeing a live one on the line, had wasted no time in confirming his appointment. On Jun 28, 1966 Lorenzo wrote to Michael with an offer, which aerogramme was preserved by Mr Scarborough, framed in glass and on display in the entry to the Great Hall of his Staffordshire castle (later relocated by donkey cart to Yorkshire). (Click on image on right)


Michael ScarboroughFor a short time tapes were coming in from several people, but eventually Michael Scarborough, with the wit, imagination, and perseverance became KRAB's designated UK Correspondent. In 1970 Michael went on a tour of the colonies, and visited KRAB in person. The back cover of Guide number 199 announced: Besides his appearance at the Gross National Picnic on August Ninth at Alexanders Resort on Lake Sammamish for which we have tickets available still so get on it, Michael Scarborough, long loved for his Letter From England program, will be the guest of honor at a reception at Byron Coney's house Thursday night, August 6, from 5:30 to 7:30, or thereabouts. All are invited to attend, partake in the no-host bar, meet Michael, and gaze appreciatively at the Coney's impressive manse. The address is [omitted here] on Capitol Hill. Come One, Come All for what promises to be a pleasant evening.

On the left is a photograph that appeared in a local paper of Michael Scarborough recording a Letter from England. (Click here to read the text.).KCHU guide

Our hero, is featured in a recent blog post by Maureen Carter. You can read it here:https://macarterblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/07/chips-with-everything/

 

In addition to the audio copies below, we also have one Letter from England in print form. During his days at KCHU in Dallas, Lorenzo wrote to Scarborough and asked for a printed copy of one of his favorite programs. Click on the KCHU program guide at right, which you can then make big enough to read Lorenzo's introduction and Michael's Letter.

And now for the audio collection

Below are examples of Letter from England produced by Michael Scarborough from 1966 to 1978. The relationship with Michael Scarborough traveled with Lorenzo Milam as he moved from station to station, so tapes from 1966 to 1969 were first broadcast on KRAB; those dated 1970 to 1974 were first broadcast on KTAO; and those dated 1975 to 1978 were first broadcast on KCHU.

Many of these recordings come from tapes that were originally distributed through the "KRAB Nebula". Around 1976 the distribution of the tapes was taken over by The Possible Tape Exchange of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, and these are now part of the NFCB Collection in the custody of the University of Maryland Libraries.

In the case of the first two programs listed below, the tapes eventually made their way to KDNA in Saint Louis, and then into the archives of the Saint Louis State Historical Society of Missouri, which then digitized them for us. The remaining tapes were digitized and made available to us by the University of Maryland, Special Collections

Programs are 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.

Go to page 2 - Letters From England created 1970 to 1978 - 23 more recordings


The English and the Irish - undated

In this episode, Michael Scarborough asks why the grass is always greener in Ireland.

Listen now Listen now - English and Irish (17:14)

Recording courtesy the Saint Louis State Historical Society of Missouri


Remembering Cambridge - undated

About a visit to Cambridge

Listen now Listen now - Remembering Cambridge (18:25)

Recording courtesy the Saint Louis State Historical Society of Missouri


NEW AUG 2017: English Music and Bands - undated

The line "Thank God we are a musical nation" in Under Milk Wood prompts a discussion of the different types of music in England: brass bands - their history and present place in British life, Gilbert and Tape LabelSullivan (the Mikado particularly), various amateur groups and the three national anthems (Betsy)

Listen now Listen now - English Music and Bands (17:25)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection obj1274-bcast-062952-nfcb01


NEW AUG 2017: Political Consciousness - undated

Talk about the rebellion of the local member of Parliament and the silencing of his rebellion by appointing him to various government committees (one of Scarborough's favorite themes: they "get it out of your system by getting you into theirs"), the evolution of political consciousness and the possibilities of change and revolution. (Bob)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Political Consciousness (15:51)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1286-bcast-062964-nfcb03


NEW AUG 2017: My Youth - undated

His memories of W.W. II, living in the country, school and capital punishment, his time in the army, his work for the labor party.Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - My Youth (17:53)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1274-bcast-062952-nfcb34


NEW AUG 2017: British View of the United States - undatedTape Label

Listen now Listen now - British View of the US (14:17)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj2664-bcast-062967


NEW AUG 2017: Digging up Dead Relatives - undatedTape Label

Listen now Listen now - Dead Relatives (12:29)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1284-bcast-062962


NEW AUG 2017: Education - undatedTape Label

Listen now Listen now - Education (15:47)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1283-bcast-062961


NEW AUG 2017: On Being a Left-Winger in England - Feb 1967 (tl)

Scarborough's experiences as a left-winger.Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - On Being a Left-Winger in England (16:51)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1265-bcast-062943-nfcb29


NEW AUG 2017: Retrospective of George Orwell - Sep 1967 (tl)

Tape LabelListen now Listen now - Retrospective of George Orwell (21:13)

Duplicate of obj1266-bcast-062944

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1281-bcast-062959


NEW AUG 2017: Beatlemania - 1968 (nfcb)

How Scarborough came to listen to pop music, how the Beatles differ from standard pop music, the Beatles as poets. Dated. Sound quality ok during talking though some levels drop near end of program; poor during record cuts. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Beatlemania (14:04)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1261-bcast-062939-nfcb37


NEW AUG 2017: Traveling Around Europe - Jul 28, 1968 (tl)

Traveling between Oxford and Naples - talks about Europe's art and architecture treasures, its ruins, cathedrals, palaces.Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Traveling Around Europe (16:18)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1272-bcast-062950-nfcb36


NEW AUG 2017: Open Letter to President-Elect Nixon - Nov 1968 (tl)

Tape LabelScarborough's advice to Nixon on his election. (Very little of it was followed.) Dated.

Listen now Listen now - Open Letter to President-Elect Nixon (16:19)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1265-bcast-062943-nfcb35


NEW AUG 2017: Television in England - Dec 1968 (tl)

Justification of his tv viewing as a chance to view so many English types, imitates some of them including colonels, trade unionists, duchesses. Good program and not dated, though best for Xmas time because of several references to it. Sound quality poor in spots - levels change and one part had cueing on it that couldn't be edited out completely (about 1 second left). (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Television in England (19:06)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1278-bcast-062956-nfcb32


NEW AUG 2017: Review of 1968 - Dec 30, 1968 (tl)

Talks mainly about the end of the days of permissiveness, in relation to films, books, student protest. Dated. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Review of 1968 (17:08)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1259-bcast-062937-nfcb31


NEW AUG 2017: On Remarkable Women - 1969 (tl)

Questions whether remarkable women (of the likes of Edith Cavell, Florence Nightingale, Emily Pankhurst) are still around, and concludes that they aren't. Types the women he does see.Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - On Remarkable Women (17:37)

 

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1260-bcast-062938-nfcb27


NEW AUG 2017: Pornography - 1969 (tl)

Scarborough's reaction on being sent a parcel of pornographic magazines, description of these, discussion of their popularity, of sex on television, and of the backlash against this. Sound quality poor for a couple of minutes near end of tape - levels very wobbly. (Betsy)Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Pornography (16:01)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1260-bcast-062938-nfcb28


NEW AUG 2017: On Language and Cliches - Jan 1969 (tl)

Suggests moratorium on several overused and thus meaningless words: crisis; viable, protest, modern intellectual. Although made in 1968 and referring to events then, tape is not so dated that it's not good now. (Betsy)

Also in NFCB collection as obj1281-bcast-062959Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - On Language and Cliches (16:01)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1277-bcast-062955-nfcb33


NEW AUG 2017: Harold Wilson - Feb 1, 1969 (tl)

Criticism of Wilson's midterm report on the BBC, Feb 1, 1969. Dated.Tape Label

Listen now Listen now - Harold Wilson (17:22)

Recording courtesy University of Maryland Special Collection and University Archives, NFCB Collection, obj1272-bcast-062950-nfcb26


Go to page 2 - Letters From England created 1970 to 1978

 


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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