GLBT History Museum Puts Radio Archives Online with Its 'Gayback Machine'

Daniel Nicoletta
​Most people know the words of Harvey Milk through the footage of televised interviews, debates, or election speeches in documentaries such as Rob Epstein's amazing The Times of Harvey Milk. But Milk was a politician in the final years of his life, so he gave numerous interviews and had multiple public-speaking engagements, many of which were not recorded or have been lost forever. You can listen to an interview he gave with KSAN-FM in October 1977, a little more than a year before his assassination, at the GLBT History Museum's online "Gayback Machine." Milk talks about issues that are normal to any local politician, including crime, business, and creating jobs for young people, but he's passionate and dogged in his response to every question. After listening to even a few minutes of it, it's easy to see why Milk was so inspirational to so many.

The interview is part of the Randy Alfred collection, all of which is available online. It contains more than 250 hours of GLBT-related content, some of which is from a show called The Gay Life hosted by Alfred on KSAN form 1979-1984. The museum has also included radio shows from Kevin Burke, a pioneer in queer-themed broadcasting who was a producer of the KPFA-FM show Fruit Punch in the 1970s. He focused on cultural issues and theater.

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Jerry Pritikin
Jerry Pritikin

Randy Alfred was a great pioneer who was ahead of his time. His shows dealt with subjects about the changing times. He also was an Editor for the Sentinel, and contributed to Advocate. He deserves to be recognized for his contributions in the early S.F. gay rights movement.

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