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Iowa Refugee Resettlement in the 70’s Recalled As 'Not Popular'

As Iowans observe the death this week of former Gov. Robert Ray, some friends and associates are recalling the struggles behind his work bringing southeast Asian refugees to Iowa back in the 1970’s. Thousands of refugees were brought to the state starting in 1975, and again later in the decade. Many were fleeing political repression. “It was not without controversy for sure,” said former Chief of Staff David Oman. “There were many people who couldn’t figure out why we would have to do this,...

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Join us for a special presentation of Flyover: Down the Mississippi River

In collaboration with MPR News, we'll share and discuss living and working along the Mississippi River and how closely we're tied to it - both upstream and downstream.

Relatively unknown today, the Iowa Flag Song was adopted in 1949, when the legislature paused for poetry and a performance. Song composer Ester May Clark donated the recording to the State Historical Society of Iowa, in Des Moines.

Karl King

Apr 4, 2007
Karl King Municipal Band

The voice, music and historical sound clips from the career of Iowa composer and Fort Dodge band leader Karl King. Reporting assistance from 6th grader Kristen Holvick. Various sound recordings from the Karl L. King Municipal Band of Fort Dodge. Sounds from 1950 - 1971, New York and Iowa.

Sidney Robertson Cowell / American Folklife Center

His name is George Vinton Graham and while he is no "American Idol," his singing is considered an important example of Anglo-American folk music. The Graham recordings were made by ethnographer Sidney Robertson Cowell in 1938 and are found at the Library of Congress (American Memory).

American Gothic House Center

Grant Wood's sister, Nan, talks about the famous Iowa artist, and a fire at his studio that burned them both. The interview with Nan is held by the State Historical Society of Iowa, in Iowa City. Sounds from 1976, recorded in Cedar Rapids.

Iowa State University Museums

Danish born sculptor Christian Petersen was the nation's first artist-in-residence. An art museum, opened in 2007, bears his name at Iowa State University. Recordings courtesy of ISU Parks Library and University Museums. Petersen interview originally from WOI-TV. Sounds from 1961, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

State Historical Society of Iowa

Forty eight years after the communist leader visited Iowa, the gift Nikita Khrushchev left behind has been rediscovered. The Soviet record collection was gifted to Iowa by former First Lady Amelia Loveless and is preserved at the State Historical Society of Iowa in Iowa City. Sounds from September, 1959, Coon Rapids, Iowa.

Ozark Folk Center


A seventy year old recording of dulcimer music leads to the story of an Iowa ghost town and an uncommon musical instrument. The Thomas Mann recordings are courtesy of the American Folklife Center, Sidney Robertson Cowell Collection, Library of Congress. Sounds from July, 1937, in Ortonville, Iowa.

Bill Kooker

Forty years before Disneyland opened, central Iowa had Riverview Park. Original sounds from the arcade, the steam engine train and the Riviera Ballroom. Recordings are courtesy of Bill Kooker, who provides a wealth of information at his Riverview website. Kooker was the park's last General Manager. Sounds from pre-1978.

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Iowa Arts Showcase

Through short interviews, your host, Jacqueline Halbloom highlights the efforts and activities of non-profit arts and culture organizations throughout Iowa.

Studio One Featured Release

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Featured Release This Week From Neko Case + Studio One Tracks Top 30 Playlist

Virginia-born singer-songwriter Neko Case has been releasing solo records for over twenty years. In fact, her solo career predates Case's membership in The New Pornographers. She's also done other projects, including her 2016 album with Laura Veirs and k.d. lang. For her new album, Hell-On, Case was involved in the writing of nearly all the songs, and co-produced the record. Neko Case's calling card is most likely her voice. As she stated for the release of Hell-On : "My style is odd, I don't...

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