By Kelly Hangauer
Oh man. For those researchers out there who have never come across the KMBC collection at the Marr Sound Archive, you need to check it out!! The Arthur B. Church KMBC radio collection offers an eclectic mix of local and national news, music shows, interviews, Kansas City events, political advertisements, local business advertisements, and serial programs from roughly 1930 to the 1950s. Between 2011-2012, the Marr Sound Archive digitized and documented 445 hours of material with the support of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. You can read more about it here.
I have been digging into the KMBC collection in order to find more information on John B. Gage, the mayor of Kansas City from 1940-1946. Due to the hard work that went into archiving this collection, there is ample information to aid researchers in their work. Not only have I been able to discover information on John Gage, but I have also come across many other surprises. For example, I have included here a sound clip from the 1941 American Royal in Kansas City. In this recording, one finds an interesting crossroads between popular culture and local politics, as interviewer Larry Clark lets city manager L.P. Cookingham and actress Ruth Hussey speak to one another.
Those interested in archiving can access the finding aid for this recording here.
The Arthur B. Church KMBC radio collection is invaluable for those interested in the history of radio broadcast and Kansas City, and contains a plethora of subjects from which to conduct interesting research.