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The 2003 TCF Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient: Joe Frank

The early days of the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition included a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lifetime Achievement2003 Third Coast / Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition

2003 / Joe Frank / TCF, USA

The early days of the Third Coast/Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Competition included a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Later renamed the Audio Luminary Award, it was presented to an individual greatly admired for his or her significant and ongoing contributions to the field of radio. In 2003 we honored radio maverick Joe Frank.

A master of the dark, humorous, and sometimes absurd in radio, Joe Frank's work spans more than 30 years. He began in 1976 at WBAI, Pacifica's New York station, and later served as co-anchor of National Public Radio's All Things Considered in 1978. Over the course of the next two decades he produced and developed several radio series for KCRW and National Public Radio. Throughout Frank's career, he has been honored with many major industry awards, including the George Foster Peabody Award and two Major Armstrong Awards for radio drama.

Joe Frank has historically combined techniques of monologue, radio drama, and talk radio to tell stories about the human experience. Tackling philosophical or spiritual questions, the programs are timeless explorations of life, death, alienation, faith, and love. Over the years Frank's distinctive approach to making radio has inspired producers around the world to experiment with and stretch the medium beyond traditional boundaries.

In nominating him for this award, veteran producer Larry Josephson wrote, "Joe Frank has taken his craft to the outer limits of radio. He is a master of the medium, and a model for those who have followed." In supporting this nomination, radio innovator Jay Allison offered these thoughts: "Radio loves the darkness. There is no voice in America that fits inside the darkness better than Joe Frank's." Film director Francis Ford Coppolla put forth this observation: "As a radio artist, Joe stands with no equal."

We're pleased to present Joe Frank's acceptance speech, delivered to a spellbound audience, at the 2003 TCF awards ceremony. You can listen to it in the player above -- and hear more examples of his work in the Extras section below.


produced by

Joe Frank

Joe Frank (1938 - 2018) began his radio career in 1976 at WBAI, Pacifica's New York station, and served as co-anchor of NPR's All Things Considered in the show's early days.


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