WestSouthwest: StoryCorps Founder David Isay

Jul 24, 2013

Colonel David Sutherland, WMUK General Manager Gordon Bolar and his wife Elly Bolar at the launch of Military Voices Initiative in December
Credit StoryCorps


Award winning public radio producer David Isay launched StoryCorps in 2003. The oral history project has since collected nearly 50,000 interviews. 

StoryCorps has started a series of special projects over the years. The most recent is the Military Voices Initiative, which began last year. The Military Voices Initiative collected stories in Kalamazoo last week at the studios of WMUK. 

Isay tells WMUK's Gordon Evans that the Military Voices Initiative gives service members, veterans and their families a chance to leave a record, tell their story and listen. Isay says the Military Voices Initiative was inspired by the death of Cpl. Matthew T. Bolar. The son of WMUK General Manager Gordon Bolar was killed while on active duty in Iraq in 2007. That happened shortly after StoryCorps' residency in Kalamazoo came to and end. 

In the interview, the discuss StoryCorps' 10th anniversary coming this fall, and how his radio career got an unexpected start.