Listen: 1985 Tracy Chapman interview

Tracy Chapman

When the relatively unknown Tracy Chapman entered the WUMB studios in 1985 for her first-ever radio interview, those listening on the Boston airwaves may not have realized they were experiencing a small moment in music history. Nearly three years after the interview, Tracy would release her self-titled debut album that would go multi-platinum and earn her three Grammy Awards.

That nugget of music history may have been lost if WUMB hadn’t received a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting enabling the station to properly preserve and catalog its audio reels. But now, the station has been able to un-archive the nearly 30-year-old Tracy Chapman interview for music fans to listen and enjoy on the station website.

Listen to a segment of the interview above, and stream the full interview in segments here. Learn more about WUMB and its journey to un-archive this special interview on the This Is NPR blog.

Photo from Atlantic Records


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