Unheard King audio reel is found
by Lucas L. Johnson II, Associated Press Writer
August 22, 2012 12:33 AM | 465 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Atlanta in 1960. A 1960 recording of an interview with King never before heard in public is up for sale. The tape was recorded by a Chattanooga man hoping to write a book and captures King talking about his trip to Africa, and his certainty that the child he and Coretta Scott King were expecting would be a boy.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in Atlanta in 1960. A 1960 recording of an interview with King never before heard in public is up for sale. The tape was recorded by a Chattanooga man hoping to write a book and captures King talking about his trip to Africa, and his certainty that the child he and Coretta Scott King were expecting would be a boy.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Stephon Tull was looking through dusty old boxes in his father’s attic in Chattanooga a few months ago when he stumbled onto something startling: an audio reel labeled, “Dr. King interview, Dec. 21, 1960.”

He wasn’t sure what he had until he borrowed a friend’s reel-to-reel player and listened to the recording of his father interviewing The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. for a book project that never came to fruition. In clear audio, King discusses the importance of the civil rights movement, his definition of nonviolence and how a recent trip of his to Africa informed his views. Tull said the recording had been in the attic for years, and he wasn’t sure who other than his father may have heard it.

“No words can describe. I couldn’t believe it,” he told The Associated Press this week in a phone interview from his home in Chattanooga. “I found ... a lost part of history.”

Many recordings of King are known to exist among hundreds of thousands of documents related to his life that have been catalogued and archived. But one historian said the newly discovered interview is unusual because there’s little audio of King discussing his activities in Africa, while two of King’s contemporaries said it’s exciting to hear a little-known recording of their friend for the first time.

Tull plans to offer the recording at a private sale arranged by a New York broker and collector later this month.

Tull said his father, an insurance salesman, had planned to write a book about the racism he encountered growing up in Chattanooga and later as an adult. He said his dad interviewed King when he visited the city, but never completed the book and just stored the recording with some other interviews he had done. Tull’s father is now in his early 80s and under hospice care.
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