Reality Radio


The Reality Radio book is in its second edition and available for purchase.

“Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound” with host Katie Davis features independent producers Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva (The Kitchen Sisters), Jay Allison, and Ira Glass sharing with a live Boston audience tales and anecdotes from their work as some of public radio’s most inspired and inspiring story-makers. These uniquely personal accounts are among those featured from the book “Reality Radio: Telling True Stories in Sound” from AIR producer John Biewen and co-editor Alexa Dilworth.

Listeners will enjoy hearing Ira Glass deconstruct a story from “year seven of my career.” His focus? The “international debate on whether sorgum and meat production are causing corn to decline in Latin America.”

You can imagine. Nikki and Davia take us on an Otari/reel-to-reel tape excursion to Northern California circa 1978 where they spent hours with a “father-son lumberjack team” aiming to (earnestly) capture an oral history of a vanishing tradition. It was the second story they ever did together. By the end of the day, they wound up (as only the Kitchen Sisters would) in a room full of live rattlesnakes, tape rolling.

And finally, Jay Allison, our guide throughout the evening, brings us straight into the heart of his Cape Cod hamlet through a series of “Sonic IDs,” an approach that’s been replicated by stations across the U.S. There’s the Provincetown hairdresser, a bored Nantucket teenager, the former keeper of the clock in West Tisbury; “…bit by bit, these people pop out,” says Jay. And so do he, and Ira, and the Kitchen Sisters in ways never heard before on the radio, until now.

Produced by Atlantic Public Media, and brought you to by AIR, the Association of Independents in Radio, Inc.

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