Thursday, December 01, 2005

Radio and the Kennedy Assasination

No TV stations broadcast the assassination live, as the area through which the motorcade was traveling was not considered important enough for a live broadcast. Dallas radio stations KBOX-AM and KLIF-AM carried some live coverage, but neither of the actual shooting. Both later recreated the sounds of the shooting for records they released. It included excerpts of news coverage of that day.

On November 1963, the Dallas police were recording their radio transmissions over two channels. A frequency designated as Channel One was used for routine police communications. A second channel, designated Channel Two, was an auxiliary channel, which was dedicated to the President's motorcade. Up until the time of the assassination, most of the broadcasts on this channel consisted of Police Chief Jesse Curry's announcements of the location of the motorcade as it wound through the streets of Dallas. Links to transcriptions below:
excerpts here:
full transcript here:

Very detailed peice on the sequence, overlap and gaps between the various dictabelts.

In the early 40's, the engineers at Dictaphone Corp. developed a new recording media using a tube of very thin plastic. When the tube was cut, it created a continuos loop of plastic; also called a "belt." Audio could be empressed on to the "belt" using a stylus to cut a groove in the soft plastic.

This Dallas Police Dictabelt recording is the source of the audio track we so often hear paired up with the infamous Zapruder film. Video recorders of that era had no audio track.

Workers at Dictaphone went to work in WWI for the war effort to design and build radio monitoring and audio logging equipment to help the Allies break the German and Japanese codes. The corporation still exists and indeed will even still transfer your old dictabelt recordings to CD-R.

Remember, someone is aways more obsessed than me.