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From The Vault

The Paci­fi­ca Radio Archives invit­ed 2 KPFK music pro­gram­mers and Sun Ra admirers,

Mark Maxwell and Car­los Nino to help guide us through some of the more abstract ideas of Sun Ra.

Sun Ra’s arrival on Earth was May 22, 1914 and his depar­ture was May 30th 1993. Car­los Nino explains why Sun Ra refers to his birth­day this way..

Sun Ra was a Con­sci­en­tious Objec­tor dur­ing World War II which pre­sent­ed him with many dis­taste­ful expe­ri­ences includ­ing jail time and even­tu­al non com­bat duty.

Car­los Nino explains the para­dox of Sun Ra’s lat­er con­ser­v­a­tive politics.

Sun Ra played ear­ly on with sev­er­al tra­di­tion­al jazz leg­ends includ­ing Fletch­er Hen­der­son and Cole­man Hawkins. Mark Maxwell Maxwell explain the impact Jazz leg­ends had on Sun Ra… and the impact Sun Ra had on oth­ers such as John Coltrane.

Sun Ra was clear­ly influ­enced by George James’ 1954 book Stolen Lega­cy which traces Greek Phi­los­o­phy to it’s roots in Egypt, when Greeks were schooled by the great Egypt­ian edu­ca­tors. James argues that African accom­plish­ments were sup­pressed and denied by Euro­pean cul­tures, while Greek Philoso­phers were cred­it­ed with mod­ern High­er thought and learning.

Sun Ra offi­cial­ly changed his name to Le Sony’r Ra in 1952, Ra tak­en for the Egypt­ian Sun God .

Mark Maxwell describes Sun Ra’s avid appetite for read­ing, research, phi­los­o­phy and ancient civ­i­liza­tions, par­tic­u­lar­ly when he lived in Chica­go in the 1950’s.

The Paci­fi­ca Radio Archives has 2 land­mark inter­views with Sun Ra… 1968 one of the old­est known record­ed inter­views con­duct­ed by Den­nis Irv­ing and our 1991 inter­view (KZ1759a‑b) with KPFK pro­duc­er Jay Green called Get­ting Bet­ter than Good, Notes from the Omniverse.