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Callahan Museum invites public to celebrate 75th anniversary of Talking Books, Saturday November 18, at marathon recording session


American Printing House for the Blind’s Callahan Museum invites the public to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Talking Books, Saturday November 18, at a marathon recording session, from 7 am until 9 pm, Saturday, November 18. Visitors are invited to stop by sometime between those hours and help celebrate. They will be able to peek into the window of the recording studio and to hear the narrators as they work. Each will do a 20 minute recording session (see list at end or page).

What we’re celebrating:

2006 marks the 75th anniversary of the creation of the Talking Book Program of the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, a program of the Library of Congress (NLS). The talking-book program was established by an act of Congress in 1931 to serve blind adults. It was expanded in 1952 to include children, in 1962 to provide music materials, and again in 1966 to include individuals with other physical impairments that prevent the reading of standard print.

How APH is part of this process:

NLS contracts with American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to produce these "Talking Books." In 1936, APH installed a model sound recording studio. It was determined that processing and pressing equipment would be required. In 1937, APH was the only institution in the world equipped to manufacture Talking Book records, from wax recordings to finished pressings. APH issued its first "talking book" for the NLS in 1937, Gulliver’s Travels, which was narrated by WHAS radio announcer, Hugh Sutton.

What visitors will see:

We hope visitors will join the staff of the Printing House, narrators from other regional talking book producers, Central Kentucky Radio Eye (Lexington), Kentucky Talking Book Library (Frankfort) and area volunteers as we recreate that first classic "talkie" recorded at APH, "Gulliver’s Travels," in a marathon all-day recording session. Our goal is to create a patchwork quilt of voices representing those who provide pleasure and information to visually impaired listeners all over the country. Mitzi Friedlander and Barry Bernson (current narrators), Terry Meiners, Gary Roedemeier, Carla Ruschival, and Milton Metz are among the 44 people who have agreed to participate in the narration session.

The original recording studio in the rear wing of the company’s 1883 building, currently used as a meeting room in the museum will be put back in service as a recording studio for this historic event. That first studio was set up with only a table, a dictionary, and a microphone.

Visitors will be able to peek into the window of the recording studio and to hear the narrators as they work. Following is a list of narrators and the times they will be reading:

Time Name City Affiliation
7:00 AM Megan Burnett Louisville APH
7:20 AM Anne Rich Louisville ASRI
7:40 AM Don Dampier Georgetown KTBL
8:00 AM Jean Anne Webb Frankfort KTBL
8:20 AM Deanna Scoggins Louisville Community
8:40 AM John Polk Louisville APH
9:00 AM Terry Meiners Louisville WHAS
9:20 AM Mitzi Friedlander Louisville APH
9:40 AM Roger Stapleton Frankfort KTBL
10:00 AM Barry Bernson Jeffersonville, IN APH
10:20 AM Valerie Kane Prospect ASRI
10:40 AM Mary Howard Prospect ASRI
11:00 AM Milton Metz Louisville APH
11:20 AM Hayden Heaphy Louisville ASRI
11:40 AM Ann Zimmer Lexington KTBL
12:00 PM Roy Avers Underwood, IN APH
12:20 PM Margie Zoeller Louisville ASRI
12:40 PM Gary Tipton Louisville APH
1:00 PM Carol Dines Louisville APH
1:20 PM Joyce Honaker Frankfort KTBL
1:40 PM Gerry Adair   CKRE
2:00 PM Al Crab   CKRE
2:20 PM Art Herman   CKRE
2:40 PM Ken Kurtz   CKRE
3:00 PM Chris Pyle   CKRE
3:20 PM Leif Rigney   CKRE
3:40 PM Jewel Vanderhoef   CKRE
4:00 PM Annie Lotz Crestwood ASRI
4:20 PM Gary Roedemeier Prospect WHAS
4:40 PM Cathy Hicks Louisville KSB
5:00 PM John Schaaf Georgetown KTBL
5:20 PM Butch Hoover Frankfort APH
5:40 PM Bob Huffman Louisville ASRI
6:00 PM Carolyn Kays Louisville ASRI
6:20 PM Sharon Murray Louisville APH
6:40 PM Dennis Krol Frankfort KTBL
7:00 PM Tuck Tinsley   APH
7:20 PM Carla Ruschival   ACB
7:40 PM Erin Jones Louisville APH
8:00 PM Brian Conn Louisville APH
8:20 PM Carol Stewart   APH
8:40 PM Lou Harpenau   APH
special Terry Sales Louisville APH

Reader Biographies, November 18, 2006

American Printing House for the Blind’s Talking Book Celebration