Iowa towns

IPR/Dean Borg

The familiar movie-opening theme is fading in many of Iowa’s small communities. Many main-street theaters, caught in a technological dilemma, are closing. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Dean Borg, reports some communities are scrambling to preserve main stret silver screens.

Grinnell College

A young composer who is seen by many as an up-and-coming talent will soon have his new piece performed on the East Coast.  His work was written for and premiered this spring by the Grinnell College choir.  It combines the unlikely pairing of Irish poetry about Iowa with biblical passages about an apocalypse sung in Arabic.

John Wayne Birthplace Museum

They're remembering the Alamo this weekend in Madison County. Specifically, the epic film that was the first movie ever directed by John Wayne. Iowa Public Radio's Rick Fredericksen reports from the actor's home town of Winterset.

The conclusion of our series marking the 50th anniversary of Nikita Khrushchev's visit to Iowa. (Part One is posted below) Additional historic audio comes from a Walter Cronkite documentary from CBS News.

Big Band Museum

Apr 10, 2009
Glenn Miller Birthplace Museum

A museum, opened in 2010, commemorates musical legend Glenn Miller at his birthplace in Clarinda. We visited the birthplace prior to the new museum's groundbreaking ceremony. Our story features historic audio from the Big Band era, recorded around the U.S. and in England. Courtesy of Cary Hahn and Marvin Negley, the sound clips date from 1939 to 1944.

Veronica Guyader

The Woolstock home where actor George Reeves was born has reached the point of no return. The owners plan to raze the building. We present the highlights of this legendary Iowan's career. Recordings from You Tube and a private collector. Sounds from 1939 to the 1950s, in California. Note: The birthplace house was torn down in 2011.

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.

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