Top Stories

Joyce Russell/IPR

Religious Freedom Bill Advances; Business and Industry Object

A so-called religious freedom bill advanced in the Republican-controlled Iowa Senate Monday, in spite of vigorous objections from major business groups. The bill would give Iowans more legal protection if they deny services to gay and lesbian people for religious reasons. A Grimes couple who lost a civil rights complaint after denying the use of their venue for a same-sex wedding urged lawmakers to pass the bill. It would require courts to use a more stringent standard when reviewing any Iowa...

Read More

With the 2018 Legislature now in session, stay up to date on the latest bills, activities, and news from the Iowa Statehouse here.

Presidents Past

Aug 14, 2007
Hoover Library

The Iowa caucuses aside, there is nothing new about presidents and presidential candidates visiting Iowa. It has become a long tradition. The 31st president spent much of his life here. Sounds from the 1940s-70s, recorded in Guthrie Center, Cedar Rapids, Dexter, West Branch, and Des Moines. Thanks to the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting and the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. 

American Folklife Center / Library of Congress

A tip from a public radio listener led to the oldest recordings in the Iowa Archives project. Learn the story behind the sacred songs of the Omaha Indians, thanks to the Federal Cylinder Project and the Library of Congress. Sounds from 1895-96, recorded in Macy, Nebraska.

Iowa State Fair

Striptease shows and daredevil acts are part of the Iowa State Fair's history, which dates back to 1854. Vintage recordings revive memories of some of the big attractions from fair's past. Audio clips courtesy of the State Fair Museum, Iowa Public Television, and Sounds from the 1930s onward at the fairgrounds in Des Moines.

"The Greatest Generation" includes the veterans who fought World War II as well as the reporters who covered their harrowing stories. One of them was WHO Radio's Herb Plambeck, who left behind a treasure of historic recordings. The original reports, broadcast across Iowa, are held by the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting at Wartburg College in Waverly. Sounds from March-May, 1945, with the U.S. Army in Europe.

Iowa Broadcasters

May 29, 2007
Rick Fredericksen

Sounds from radio and television broadcasters from decades past, across Iowa. The story is introduced by Jeff Stein, Administrator of the Archives of Iowa Broadcasting at Wartburg College, who provided the various on-air sound-clips embedded in this report.

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.


Sustainer Sprint 2018

The 2018 Iowa legislative session is underway, and Iowa Public Radio is covering what's happening. Listen to our weekly podcast "Under the Golden Dome" and stay current on issues that impact you.

Studio One Featured Release

Featured Release This Week From Tune-Yards + Studio One Tracks Top 30 Playlist

In 2006, New England-born musician Merrill Garbus started her lo-fi folk project Tune-Yards (sometimes known as tUnE-yArDs... artists! ), releasing a debut album in 2009. Along the way, Nate Brenner became the other core member of the band, playing bass and various synths and programs. For album number four, provocatively titled I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life, Garbus and Brenner co-produced the record, and co-wrote the music. Garbus did write all of the lyrics, questioning culture...

Read More

The Latest from IPR Classical

Listen Now: Violinist Jennifer Frautschi Interview

Last September, concert violinist Jennifer Frautschi performed in Des Moines with the Des Moines Symphony Orchestra. As the Chicago Tribune noted, "violinist Jennifer Frautschi is molding a career with smart interpretations of both warhorses and rarities." Equally at home in the classic and contemporary repertoire, her recent seasons have featured innumerable performances and recordings of works ranging from Brahms and Schumann to Berg and Schoenberg. Ms. Frautschi spoke to Jacqueline...

Read More