Folksong & Potboilers

In the early 1900s, journalist and renaissance man Charles Lummis set out to capture and preserve the Spanish folk songs of California, including the voice of one talent in particular: Manuela García. 


Listen to the story behind the Charles Fletcher Lummis wax cylinder collection at the Autry National Center in Folksong and Potboilers:

Find “La Cara Negra” and dozens of other songs from The Autry collection on Pop Up Archive.

Learn more about the Autry National Center, and the collection of wax cylinder recordings at the Braun Library.

And of course, she was a Scorpio

Describing Sylvia Plath in a 1972 radio documentary from The Pacifica Radio Archives, Plath’s editor, Fran McCullough says that while re-reading The Bell Jar, she noticed that “instances of her bitchiness and snobbery [were] quite astonishing. And of course she was a Scorpio.” 

In the latest Popcast, host Eliza Smith uses the lens of astrology to understand Plath, asking Bay Area astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo to examine her birth chart. What follows is a tragic and insightful analysis of the life and work of Sylvia Plath.

Thanks again to astrologer Jessica Lanyadoo for her incredible interview. Also thanks to producers Eliza Smith and Emily Saltz, plus Avery Trufelman (99% Invisible) for editorial advisement. Find the transcript to this episode, plus Lanyadoo’s full interview, on Pop Up Archive.

See the birth chart she drew up for Sylvia Plath below:


Pop Up Archive has a podcast! In Popcast from Pop Up Archive, follow along as host Eliza Smith resurfaces and reexamines forgotten sounds in our this series of intimate micro-podcasts. Episode one is now live:

O my Homunculus: The proto-podcast about Sylvia Plath

With all the talk of a “golden age” of audio, it can be easy to forget that producers have been putting together intimate, conversational audio pieces for decades. In this Popcast, hear about the surprising podcast-like feel of a 1972 radio documentary about Sylvia Plath.

Play now on or Pop Up Archive, along with a full machine transcript.