KPFA-FM Music Dept. ➔ KPFA’s 40th Anniversary Show, Part 4: Elsa Knight Thompson & G. I. Gurdjieff

Analog Audio

Event Type
Interview and Music
Program Length
63 min
1989-04-15 | broadcast
| 1989-04-15 | created
The all-day special broadcast celebrating KPFA’s 40th anniversary continues with a documentary about Elsa Knight Thompson. Throughout the 1960’s, KPFA Public Affairs Director Elsa Knight Thompson was an extraordinary and controversial programmer. Her experience with the BBC in London during World War II and in Washington D. C. at WCFM prepared her for a scintillating career as a radio journalist at KPFA, and her direct and incisive interviews of both left and right-wing figures were legendary. In this segment, Nancy Delaney presents a short overview of Thompson’s work, complete with recorded examples. Afterwards the minutes leading up to the exact time that KPFA first went on the air 40 years before are filled with the sound of the late philosopher Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff playing his melodeon, a foot-pumped reed organ, in an improvisation recorded on April 15, 1949, in Paris, just months before his death.
Current Events
Musical Selections
Give Me That Old Time Religion [excerpt] / Woody Guthrie -- Power Spot [excerpt] / Jon Hassell -- [unidentified improvisation for melodeon] (6:42) / Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff
Radio news programs
Reproductive rights
Melodeon music
Funding for the preservation of this program made possible through a grant by the GRAMMY Foundation.