The Kitchen Sisters Present… Stories from the b-side of history. Lost recordings, hidden worlds, people possessed by a sound, a vision, a mission. The episodes tell deeply layered stories, lush with interviews, field recordings and music. From powerhouse producers The Kitchen Sisters (Hidden Kitchens, The Hidden World of Girls, The Sonic Memorial Project, Lost & Found Sound, Fugitive Waves and coming soon… The Keepers). "The Kitchen Sisters have done some of best radio stories ever broadcast" —Ira Glass. The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced in collaboration with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell and mixed by Jim McKee. A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.
Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll - The Stock Market Wizard of San Quentin is Released!
In 2015 we presented this story about Curtis Carroll, the Stock Market Wizard of San Quentin. Everyone in San Quentin called him Wall Street. He was teaching his fellow prisoners about stocks and had become an informal financial adviser to fellow inmates and correctional officers.
After serving 27 years of a 54 years to life sentence in prison, Curtis Carroll, has been released on parole. We hear his story and talk to him about what’s next.
When Wall Street was put in prison almost three decades ago he couldn’t read or write. One day he stumbled on the financial section of the newspaper thinking it was the sports section, which his cellmate used to read to him. An inmate asked him if he played the stocks.
“I had never heard the word before,” Wall Street said. “He explained to me how it works and said, ‘This is where white people keep their money.’ When he said that I said, ‘Whoa, I think I stumbled across something here.’ ”
Wall Street taught himself how to read and write beginning with candy wrappers and clothing logos. He pored over financial news: the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes.
On the inside, Wall Street didn’t have access to a computer or the Internet, so he called his family members to check the closing prices for the day and told them what to buy. He says business is like a soap opera — he’s always trying to anticipate what will happen next. “I like to know what the CEO’s doing. I like to know who’s in trouble.”
“I’m in prison, but I’m on just the same playing field as Warren Buffett,” Carroll says. “I can pick the exact same companies. I can’t buy as many shares, but technically we’re just the same.”
You can find out more about Wall Street, his life and Financial Empowerment, Emotional Literacy Project at ProjectFeel.org. He’s also on Instagram (@CurtisWallstreetCarroll) and Youtube (@WallStreetCarroll).
The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Wall Street’s original story was mixed by Jim McKee at Earwax Studios. We are part of PRX’s Radiotopia Network.
This episode was produced in collaboration with Nancy Mullane and Life of the Law. Many thanks!
Special thanks to Curtis Carroll, San Quentin Financial Literacy Program, Anna Deavere Smith, Arnold Perkins, Troy Williams, Lt. Sam Robinson, Tom DeMartini, Zach Williams, Clarence Long, James Fox and the Prison Yoga Project, Tracy Wahl, Jacob Conrad, Nigel Poor, TED, Pop-Up Magazine, and NPR.
The Kitchen Sisters are supported by NEA and contributions to the non-profit Kitchen Sisters Productions.
Silent Echoes: Sound Artist Bill Fontana—The Bells of Notre Dame
Since the devastating 2019 fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, the ringing of the cathedral’s bells has ceased.
Sound artist, Bill Fontana, known for his sound sculptures of Golden Gate Bridge, temple bells in Kyoto, and trees in Sequoia National Forest, creates a new work giving voice to the silenced bells of Notre Dame.
To create his new work, Silent Echoes, Fontana attached seismic accelerometers—sensors designed to detect vibrations—to each of its ten bells of Notre Dame. As the bells reverberate in response to the ambient sounds of Paris—rain, the calls of birds, the noise of the street—the live feed is transmitted to a series of speakers at the Centre Pompidou creating a haunting, immersive sound sculpture. Silent Echoes debuted at the Centre Pompidou in June, where, on the fifth floor terrace of the museum, visitors stood awash in the acoustics of the bells, with the towers of Notre Dame in view just across the Seine.
Alisa Carroll of the podcast Alcôve interviewed Bill Fontana in San Francisco and Davia Nelson spoke with him in Paris before the opening of the exhibition.
This story was produced by Jim McKee. Sound design and mixing by Jim McKee. Special thanks to Alisa Carroll and Jim McKee for sharing this piece with The Kitchen Sisters Present.
The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. For more info and stories visit kitchensisters.org
The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of Radiotopia from PRX - a curated network of independent, creator owned podcasts.
204 - Library of Congress Acquires Kitchen Sisters' Audio Collection - KQED Forum Interview
Over 7000 hours of interviews, oral histories, songs, field recordings, along with photographs, notebooks, journals, and research material created by The Kitchen Sisters has recently been acquired by The Library of Congress where it will be preserved and made accessible to researchers, students, other producers and the general public into the future.
Alexis Madrigal of KQED’s Forum talks with Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva about the collection and their 40 year history of producing audio stories together. Stories featured and discussed include The Packhorse Librarians of Eastern Kentucky; The Birth of Rice A Roni; The Mohawk Iron Workers at the Twin Towers; and The Homobile—a Story of Transportation, Civil Rights and Glitter.
The Kitchen Sisters have been working together since 1979 creating audio stories for NPR, public broadcast and their Kitchen Sisters’ Present podcast. They are the producers, with Jay Allison, of the Peabody Award winning series Lost & Found Sound and The Sonic Memorial Project, the DuPont Columbia Award winning series Hidden Kitchens, the NPR series Hidden World of Girls, and The Keepers, Stories of Activist Archivists, Rogue Librarians, Historians, Curators, Collectors — keepers of the culture and the free flow of information.
The Kitchen Sisters Productions is supported by National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, California Humanities, Creative Work Fund, Robert Sillins Family Foundation, TRA Fund, Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, Franklin Legacy Foundation, Susie Tompkins Buell Fund, and Listener Contributions to The Kitchen Sisters Productions. The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of PRX’s Radiotopia podcast network.
203 - A San Quentin Wedding
Edmond Richardson is an audio producer for Uncuffed, a KALW podcast produced by people in prison. Recently, Edmond and his love, Avelina, got married inside San Quentin and Uncuffed produced this story.
The Kitchen Sisters are great admirers of KALW’s Uncuffed podcast and are proud to share this story. KALW, San Francisco, has led rehabilitative classes in audio production inside San Quentin State Prison since 2012, and Solano Prison since 2018. Their mission is to provide media training to people in the carceral system. Radio producers from KALW visit the prisons to teach classes in audio production, and to help edit the stories. Audio engineers at KALW do some final polishing before it goes out to the world.
Special thanks to the Uncuffed crew at San Quentin Prison: Tommy Shakur Ross, Edmond Richardson, Thanh Tran, and me, Greg Eskridge. Thanks to the team at KALW Public Radio: Ninna Gaensler-Debs, Angela Johnston, Sonia Paul, James Rowlands, Andrew Stelzer, Ben Trefny, Eli Wirtschafter, and sound designer, Eric Maserati "E" Abercrombie. Theme music by David Jassy, the Swedish phenom. And thanks to the staff at San Quentin Prison who make this possible: Mr. Skylar Brown, Ms. Madeline Tenney, and Lieutenant Sam Robinson, who approved this episode. We fact checked everything to the best of our ability. And a special thanks to Avelina and Carla for being a part of this episode. And Edmond and Avelina, Uncuffed wishes you all the happiness in your marriage. Thanks for listening.
Uncuffed gets support from the California Arts Council and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva) with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. We are part of the Radiotopia podcast network from PRX. Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts and contributors to the non profit Kitchen Sisters Productions.
Harvesting Wild Rice—White Earth Ojibwe Land Recovery Project
Each fall, the Ojibwe tribes of northern Minnesota harvest wild rice by hand. It’s a long process that begins with families in canoes venturing into the tall grasses, where rice is poled and gently brushed with knockers into the bed of the canoe. We journey to White Earth Reservation, out onto Big Rice Lake in a canoe, to see how one tribe is supporting itself and changing the diet of its people through community kitchen projects.
And we talk with the founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project, Ojibwe leader, Winona LaDuke, about the land, her fight to save wild rice, GMOs, her family, philosophy, and her candidacy for vice president of the United States on the Green Party ticket with Ralph Nader.
LaDuke is an Ojibwe leader, writer, food activist, rural development economist, environmentalist, Harvard graduate —and a force to be reckoned with. She’s the executive director of Honor the Earth, and most recently she was a leader at Standing Rock fighting the Dakota Access pipeline.
When we visited Winona on the White Earth Reservation in 2004 for our Hidden Kitchens story Harvest on Big Rice Lake she spoke to us about her family, her life and work—and about how her Ojibwe father met her bohemian/artist/Jewish mother in New York City, how her dad went on to Hollywood to star in the Westerns and how he later became the New Age spiritual leader called Sun Bear.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Oregon, Winona moved to White Earth, her father’s reservation, after she graduated from Harvard in 1982. When she first arrived, she worked as the principal of the Reservation’s high school and became active in local issues. Seven years later, she started the non profit White Earth Land Recovery Project, dedicated to restoring the local economy and food systems and preserving wild rice.
Today Winona LaDuke operates a 40-acre industrial hemp farm on the White Earth Indian Reservation with the idea of creating textiles for the people and the planet — of working towards a non petroleum based future. And she’s started 8th Fire Solar, operated by Anishinaabe, manufacturing solar thermal panels.
“According to Anishinaabe prophecies, we are in the time of the Seventh Fire. At this time, it is said we have a choice between a path that is well-worn and scorched, and a path that is green and unworn. If we move toward the green path, the Eighth Fire will be lit and people will come together to make a better future.”
From Nashville to Nairobi: A History of County Western Music in Kenya
We trace the history of country music in Kenya, dating back to the 1920s and 30s when local populations first heard Jimmie Rodgers on early country western 78 records, to the current day, where the clubs of Nairobi are filled with rising stars bringing their own unique sounds to country music.
Hear their takes on the hits of Don Williams, Kenny Rogers, Dolly Parton and more. And an interview and performance from Kenyan country singer Steve Rogers, radio and TV presenters Catherine Ndonye and David Kimitho, music historian Elijah Wald, and Olvido Records founder Gordon Ashworth.
The music and stories of other artists in this episode include: John Nzenze. Reuben Kigame, Don Williams, Sir Elvis, Sammy Ngaku-Rosana, Herbert Misango, Frances Rugwiti, Carlos Kiba, Ythera Cowgirl, Steve Rogers, HM Karuiki, Joseph Kamaru.
Produced by Brandi Howell for Afropop Worldwide
The Kitchen Sisters Present is produced by The Kitchen Sisters (Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson) with Brandi Howell and Nathan Dalton. Support comes from the National Endowment for the Arts and contributors to the non-profit Kitchen Sisters Productions.
The Kitchen Sisters Present is part of the Radiotopia Network from PRX.
Flawed, but worth it for the unique content.
Really, really good for the most part. Travels some interesting territory. The sound quality varies, because of the source material, which is understandable. Where the podcast falters is when the hosts interject themselves into the stories or interviews. They bring a certain 'white American crunchy granola NPR cultural tourist' vibe to the proceedings that sometimes just takes you out of story. Beyond that, it's a very pleasant listen and they unearth some amazing forgotten audio gems. Oh,
Disappointing that such an intelligent, humanistic and nuanced audio project would allow itself to serve as the soap box for jingoistic calls to escalate conflict with a nuclear power.
Music and Sounds
Background music and sounds are too loud and distracting. I had to stop listening.