USA TODAY AWARD

Aural History Productions   


CONTRIBUTING PRODUCER:
Dan Collison and Long Haul Productions.

Dan Collison is an independent radio and video documentary producer based in Silver Spring, Maryland and a regular contributor to National Public Radio's news magazine programs, Public Radio International's This American Life, and our own Talking History. He has worked in public radio since 1981, including several years for the Pacifica network, and four years as senior producer and editor of National Public Radio's All Things Considered (Weekend edition). In 1993, Collison founded his own not-for-profit production company, now known as Long Haul Productions (formerly, DC Productions), specializing in documentaries about people and places overlooked by mainstream media. Many of his documentaries explore the historical dimensions of American life and culture. His productions include the award-winning American Worker series, the nine-part On the Bus series, and most recently, Execution Day: Huntsville, Texas, and Scenes from a Transplant, which was awarded a prestigious DuPont-Columbia Silver baton. A video version of Scenes from a Transplant aired in December, 1999 on HBO.

Collison's many major media awards include: a 1999 DuPont-Columbia Silver Baton, for Scenes from a Transplant, 1999 National Federation of Community Broadcaster's (NFCB) Silver Reel Award for Execution Day: Huntsville, Texas, special citation as part of NPR's 1991-92 DuPont-Columbia Gold baton Award, the Clarion Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award (honorable mention), the Radio and TV News Directors (RTNDA) Award, the Exceptional Merit Media (EMMA) Award, and the Association of Visual Communicators (CINDY) Award.

To learn more about Dan Collison and Long Haul Productions -- and to listen to some of their most recent work -- visit <www.longhaulpro.org/>.


The Documentaries ~ Recent Productions

Life on the Outside.  (2000)
The story of two chronically ill, homeless men caught up in the criminal justice system.

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Scenes from A Transplant  (1999)
PART I
PART II
The story of NPR health science reporter Rebecca Perl's battle with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Rebecca travels half way across the country—to Omaha, Nebraska—in the dead of winter for a life saving bone marrow transplant. The audio file is divided into 2 parts for easier listening.

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The Bible Salesman  (2000)
In the latest addition to the American Worker Series former door-to-door bible salesman Jim "The Rabbit" Baker, featured in the classic 1969 Maysles Brothers film "Salesman," explains the secrets of his now extinct occupation.

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The Boys of Summer  (2000)
The never-ending search for baseball in its purest form and for old time baseball stadiums filled with ballparks filled with charm and history.
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A Danger to Self and Others  (1999)
A look a life inside the mental health division at Chicago's Cook County Jail, the largest provider of mental health services in Illinois.

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Execution Day: Huntsville, Texas   (1998)
On March 11, 1998, like so many other Texas death-row inmates in recent years, 47 year old Jerry Lee Hogue was put to death for the the 1979 arson-murder of an Arlington, Texas woman. Dan Collison profiles the 'Execution Capital of the World' on a 'routine' execution day.

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Fear on the Inside: A Story of Domestic Violence  
A week in the life of a woman trying to leave her physically abusive husband. The documentary begins three days after Anna's estranged husband has threatened to kill her and their baby at gunpoint.

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The Port Chicago 50: An Oral History  
The story of the worst homefront disaster of World War II—an ammunition explosion that killed more than 300 men—and what happened to the 50 African-American men who refused to go back to work loading ammunition after the explosion at the port Chicago Naval Base near San Francisco.

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Soldiers of Production
Oral histories of men and women who worked on the homefront in civilian industries—shipbilding, textile manufacturing, the postal service—during World War II.

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Hog Butchers to the World  
A look at the history of Chicago's meatpacking industry and the formation of the Packinghouse Workers Union.

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Life After Steel
A look a the life and death of Chicago's last big steel mill and what happened to the people who used to work there.

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Braddock: City of Magic
Local film maker Tony Buba's tour of Braddock, Pennslyvania, a rust belt town just outside Pittsburgh.

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DC Riots: Then and Now  (1988)
The 1968 Washington, DC riots and the federal government's response altered the social and political climate of the nation's capitol. This 1988 portrait of Washington, DC is framed against the backdrop of history and drawn from the perspectives of a variety of individuals whose lives were, and are, directly affected by those events.

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Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party  

 

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Freedom Summer  

 

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Catfish Culture  
From songs and literature, folklore and fishing, the catfish occupies a special place in American culture. It's also replaced cotton as the #1 cash crop in many parts of the Mississipi delta. See American Worker Series for more catfish stories.

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Keysville, Georgia: Old Dreams in the New South
On January 4, 1988, 63-year old Emma Gresham became the first black mayor—the first mayor in a half century -- of Keysville, Georgia, winning the election over her white opponent by ten votes.

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Branson Postcards
Stories from Branson, Missouri—the small in the foothills of the Ozarks town that calls itself the country music capital of the world.

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The American Worker
Since 1991 Dan Collison has chronicled stories of workers throughout the United States. From the serious and thought-provoking to the whimsical and wry, in short vignettes and longer, more complex pieces, Collison introduces us to people and places that are unique and yet reflect the hopes, dreams, frustrations, and difficulties of workers everywhere. Here we present the stories chronologically, beginning with the most recent.

Bible Salesman (2000)

Former door-to-door Bible salesman Jim The Rabbit" Baker, featured in the classic 1969 Maysles Brothers film Salesman, explains the secrets of his now extinct occupation.

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"Diamond" Jimmy Roy (1999)
Once Jimmy Roy owned half the businesses in Braddock, Pennsylvania, a steel town just outside Pittsburgh. Braddock's decline paralleled Jimmy's—who now sells jewelry out of a family restaurant. But he's managed to remain optimistic with a self-styled philosophy that Jimmy says holds the secret to being rich and happy.
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Jarbridge, Nevada (1999)
Johnny Williams, Jarbridge's jack-of-all-trades, takes Dan on a tour of the mountain town.
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Long Haul Woman Trucker (1997)
In 1997 Dan spends 5 days on the road with long haul trucker Cathy Sherman as she takes a load of Oscar Meyer weiner and lunch meats from Madison, Wisconsin to Southern California.
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Omaha Racers
A month with a minor league basketball team: trying to make the team and life on the road.
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Bail Bondsman and Bounty Hunter (1995)
A profile of Washington, DC bail bondsman Mardis Mitchell and bounty hunter Robert Anderson.
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Barbara's Story (1995)
Profile of an illegal immigrant, working as a cleaner, trying to make her way in America.
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Nuclear Weapons Disassemblers (1994)
Once, workers at the Pantex weapons plant in Amarillo, Texas built nuclear weapons—now they dismantle them.
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Sandhogs (Tunnel Builders) (1994)
A look at the workers building City Water Tunnel #3, a project to add to the New York City water supply.
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Catfish Taster (1994)
A look at Stanley Marshall, "supervisor of flavor" for Delta Pride Catfish and how he insures he decides just what catfish is good enough for Delta Pride.
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Catfish Handgrabbers (1994)
The Harrington family explains how they catch gigantic catfish by hand on the Ross Barnett Reservoir in Mississippi.
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Wes Bobo: Junk Artist and Inventor (1994)
A profile of Wes Bobo who turns collected junk and found objects into art and mechanical inventions.
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Coal Miners (1993)
Vernon Short and Elwood Brannen, former coal miners in southwest Virginia, talk about their work and recount mine explosions they were in.
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Death Row Guards (1993)
Prison guards working death row at Alabama's Holman Prison and Louisiana's Angola Prison talk about their work—what they do and how they feel about it.
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Red's Barber Shop (1993)
A conversation between Barber Red Swarz and one of his customers at Red's Barber shop in Braddock, PA.
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Professional Poker Player (1993)
Poker legend Johnny Moss talks about his life and work.
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Chili (1993)
A look at a chili farmer and chili pickers in New Mexico's Hatch Valley, the chili capitol of the world.
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Lincoln Memorial Cleaner & Obituary (1992 & 1993)
James Hudson, a National Park Service worker whose job included keeping the Lincoln Memorial clean, talked about what his job meant to him. This segment includes an epilogue and obituary for Hudson who died, after the initial story aired, from heat exhaustion after a 4th of July clean-up on the Washington, DC mall.
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Telemarketer (1993)
Telemarketer Carol Schwarz talks—and sings—about her work.
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Repo Men (1993)
Men who repossess cars in the Pittsburgh area.
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Children's Portrait Photographer (1992)
Profile of people who work in family portrait studios during the holidays.

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On the Bus
Dan Collison spent a good part of the summer of 1997 riding a cross-country bus. From New York to Los Angeles by way of Kansas City, the Mississippi Delta and the desert South West, on 27 buses, Collison rode over 6,000 miles. In this series he introduces us to the people he met and the stories he gathered along the way.

A Mother's Story
An elderly woman brings her wandering schizophrenic adult son back home to Kentucky.

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In the Army
An 18-year old on his way to be inducted into the US Army, The next day, a group of young men who've just completed boot camp.
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Going Home
In Mississippi, a man just released from Parchman Farm Prison and a young man on his way to college to study criminal justice.
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The Oldest Driver
75 year-old Eben Holloway, the oldest and longest serving driver in the country, in his 50th year driving a bus. On this run through Louisiana, he picks up an elderly woman he used to take to college.
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Homesick Blues
In East Texas, a hurricane refugee from North Carolina and, in Jackson, Mississippi, a young woman, who left her husband the day before, on her way back home.
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Front of the Bus
Elderly African-American riders recall the years they had to ride on the back of the bus.
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Going Home II: Eddie and Jessica
A young homeless man battling alcoholism and a 14 year old girl returns home after a week in an alcohol rehabilitation center.
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The Last Leg
A ex-champion boxer, a jilted lover, and a New Mexican artist claiming to be the niece of Georgia O'Keeffe.
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Searching for Elvis (An On the Bus Reprise)
In 1999 Dan returned to the bus riding Highway 40—the Music Highway—between Memphis and Nashville where he talked with Elvis worshipers going to and from Graceland.
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