The Old WFIL-FM Studio Schoolhouse Broadcasts

Studio Schoolhouse

The 60's WFIL-FM Broadcasts

The following is an e-mail from Mike Biel to Jerry Klein....
The Americana program reminded me something that I have been wondering for quite a while. What ever happened to all the Studio Schoolhouse tapes? Since you are in Philadelphia you could do the legwork. I assume while the Studio Schoolhouse team was active that the tapes all went back to the Philadelphia Public Schools after their airing on WFIL-FM. Do they still have them. I sure would love to have the "Americana"s I announced and otherwise worked on. Since those tapes disappeared as soon as they were recorded--the G.A. or Miss Farley always took them--we never had a chance to dub them except off the air. In all the years I worked on them I only once heard one on the air. I was surprised to hear Bill Stock announcing it. I thought at that time that Steve Berger announced all of them and Bill engineered. After a while Bill did sound when I became proficient enough for Miss Farley to trust me with the engineering. Then when Steve stopped showing up she had me announce them since Bill was the best sound effects person in the group. Then when she discovered that I did voices I started doing several parts in some of the ones I also announced. I don't remember how much I continued with this in my junior and senior years--perhaps you started taking over for me then. Muderick was engineering a lot of them after I started announcing and acting.
Jerry Klein forwarded a copy of the above e-mail to Gerry Wilkinson for investigation.

The following is an e-mail from Gerry Wilkinson to Jerry Klein and Mike Biel....If you read in my comments on my resume page, you are aware that in 1972, I produced a rather lengthy documentary on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. Copies of this were donated by WDAS to the Philadelphia Board of Education at their request. The tapes, I was told, were to be used in the first classroom attempts at a black history presentation. When I was down on the Parkway (where the school board is located) for a presentation, I was told that this was the first item to go in their archive. I had mentioned the Studio Schoolhouse programs and they said that none were archived by the board, and only one person even remembered them.

I have made calls to both the current owners of WFIL, Salem Communications, a religious broadcast outfit and to the Philadelphia Inquirer (owners of WFIL at the time). Neither seem to have the slightest idea what I was talking about. Both took my name and number, upon my request, and said they would be back in touch if they could find out anything. I doubt we will ever hear from them, but who knows. I have tried the school board, but just got a voice mail on which I left a message. Who knows maybe they will find them in the basement?? People find things they didn't know they have all the time.

Additional comments from Gerry Wilkinson....Since sending this e-mail, I remembered that WFIL-FM is now WIOQ. I figured, it's worth a call. Again, they have no idea of even what I was talking about. They said that no WFIL-FM archived tapes went with the new owners when the stations (WFIL & WFIL-FM) were split and sold off. All tapes, they said, remained with the AM station.

I would also be interested in these programs, because I, too, engineered some of the shows. I only worked on about 6 or 7 broadcasts. In one program I even had, much to my protest, a speaking part. I portrayed a little kid.

The following is an e-mail from Jerry Klein to Gerry Wilkinson....I would suspect that they either were thrown out or, like the Ark of the Covenant in "Raiders of the Lost Ark," put in storage someplace and totally forgotten.

The following is an e-mail from Al Maslin to Jerry Klein....I don't know what's happened to the tapes, but I will try to find out. I, too, worked on many of those shows in the early '60's.

Thought you might be interested, however, in knowing that Dr. Marguerite Farley passed away recently. She had been the head of the Communications Dept. at Villanova University. I had kept in touch with her through our membership in the Broadcast Pioneers organization (of which I was secretary for more than 10 years).

I will check around for the tapes. I worked for WFIL-AM and WFIL-FM (also WFIL-TV) until the split of the stations took place. After that I remained with the TV station (now WPVI-TV). I have some contacts that I can check with regarding the tapes of the old shows.

By the way, wonder what ever happened to the tapes of productions like "Julius Ceaser" and "War of the Worlds" that we produced at WRTI in the early '60's. I've always been curious about that. I think the professors had the tapes. Maybe John Roberts would know.

The following is an e-mail from Quietly Proud Bill Stock to Gerry Wilkinson....We should still make it clear that we are looking for any and all tapes of the shows. I can't believe I'm the only one who has a few. (Biel was right, those tapes were whisked right out of the studio by Marguerite Farley or the G.A. I must have bribed someone to make a quick dub. Probably Herb Smith - he was a pretty soft touch.) And I guess now that the statute of limitations has expired, I can confess that my copy of "Happy The Healthy" is the original tape complete with the original cue sheet! Haven't a clue how I managed to liberate it.

And Mike Biel - what did we do on the other two days of the week? I'm totally blanking. Were we only on three days out of five?

Note from Gerry Wilkinson....Bill Stock has snail mailed two envelopes to us. One went to Jerry Klein loaded with audio goodies. JK has done a fantastic job uploading some Studio Schoolhouse excerpts. Check 'em out.

Anyone with additional information, please feel free to let us know.

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