There’s many a Friday morning when, tired from the week, I drive to work and end up in tears. It isn’t because of an disatisfaction with my job — quite on the contrary, in fact. It’s the voices from the radio that make me weep. A couple tells the story of their 40-year courtship. A mother and father remember their child who died. A woman explains what it’s like to be homeless. A man tells the story of when his mother found out he was gay.
These are just four of the more than 30,000 interviews the StoryCorps team has done. Since 2003, they’ve been setting up recording booths across the country and asking people to step in for forty minutes and interview someone in their lives. The participants get a CD of the interview and a copy goes the Library of Congress. Some of the interviews get edited down to short pieces that play on Morning Edition — bringing many a radio listener to tears.
Dave Isay is the brains behind StoryCorps. He founded it after years of award-winning work as a radio documentary producer. He came to Portland and sat down with Dave Miller who, as it happens, was one of his first employees. Dave Miller describes Dave Isay as his mentor. This is a conversation not to miss.
Are you a fan of StoryCorps? What stories have stuck with you?
- Dave Isay: founder of StoryCorps and author of many books, including the most recent All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps
Editor’s Note: To hear Dave Miller and Dave Isay having their own StoryCorps-like experience, check this out.