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KPFA’s 40th Anniversary Show, Part 4: Elsa Knight Thompson & G. I. Gurdjieff

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 63 min
Event Type: Interview and Music Program Origin: KPFA

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The all-day special broadcast celebrating KPFA’s 40th anniversary continues with a documentary about Elsa Knight Thompson. Throughout the 1960’s, KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson was an extraordinary and controversial programmer. Her experience with the BBC in London during World War II and in Washington D. C. at WCFM prepared her for a scintillating career as a radio journalist at KPFA, and her direct and incisive interviews of both left and right-wing figures were legendary. In this segment, Nancy Delaney presents a short overview of Thompson’s work, complete with recorded examples. Afterwards the minutes leading up to the exact time that KPFA first went on the air 40 years before are filled with the sound of the late philosopher Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff playing his melodeon, a foot-pumped reed organ, in an improvisation recorded on April 15, 1949, in Paris, just months before his death.

Musical Selections:  Give Me That Old Time Religion [excerpt] / Woody Guthrie -- Power Spot [excerpt] / Jon Hassell -- [unidentified improvisation for melodeon] (6:42) / Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff
Genre:  Current Events
Subject:  Thompson, Elsa Knight; KPFA (Radio station : Berkeley, Calif.); Radio news programs; Reproductive rights; Melodeon music
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles; Delaney, Nancy ; Bergman, Lincoln; Thompson, Elsa Knight; Bauersfeld, Erik ; McGillicuddy, Padraigin; Gurdjieff, Georges Ivanovitch, 1872-1949
Recording Date:  4/15/1989
First Broadcast Date:  4/15/1989
 
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