The Frost Tapes – an iHeart original podcast – drops on 6th October 2020.
You know how they say that history repeats itself?
Well, the man who coaxed an apology out of President Nixon in a series of televisions interviews – later immortalized in the Oscar nominated film Frost/Nixon – had a front row seat to a particular moment in American history that feels so much like today.
David Frost interviewed some of the most compelling, controversial and confounding figures in American life during the period of 1968 to 1977 – a time when America was besieged by civil unrest, government corruption and a battle for equality. The guest list of The David Frost Show reads like a history textbook of influential people of that time – for example, Black Panther co-founder Huey Newton; tennis star and equal rights advocate Billie Jean King; the first African American woman in Congress Shirley Chisholm. In total, Frost recorded nearly 750 episodes of his syndicated show – but many of them have been lost to history. Until now.
After David’s death in 2013, his son Wilfred embarked on a journey to dig up these tapes and make sense of it all. He has rediscovered, restored and catalogued around 500 of those episodes containing nearly 1000 interviews that tackled many issues that still resonate today, including race and discrimination, protest and policing, women’s rights, free speech and the fight for political power. Around 300 episodes remain missing.
Wilf has waited for the right time to share those interviews – 2020 is that time – as he invites listeners to join him on a deep dive into his Dad’s archive in the new podcast series The Frost Tapes. The podcast contains jaw-droppingly unique material including a conversation with Gloria Steinem and the founders of the brand new Ms. Magazine; a spirited debate with the future President of Fox News, Roger Ailes, fresh off helping Richard Nixon win the Presidency; and an interview with African American activist Stokely Carmichael in which FBI agents were spying on them from the audience.
Wilf – who followed in his dad’s footsteps and is now an anchor for CNBC – brings a unique behind the scenes window into Frost’s world, and uncovers how he was able to craft deeply revealing interviews with everyone he encounters. Well over half of the content of this series has essentially not been heard since it originally aired interviews with everyone he encounters.
“What I’m interested in is conversation, not an interrogation” Frost says, in a pitch to camera for his show The Next President 1968 that Wilf happened to come across, in which Frost sat down with all the presidential candidates during the 1968 election. In the opening episode of the podcast, we hear from then-candidates Nixon, Reagan, Humphrey, Wallace and others, including the last longform interview that Robert Kennedy gave weeks before his assassination.
Along the way, The Frost Tapes weaves in significant, never-before-revealed behind-the-scenes chunks of Frost’s famous 28 hour interview with Richard Nixon. And this season also features a bonus episode of selections from a never-before-broadcast intimate 3-hour conversation with then-Senator Joe Biden during his very first presidential campaign in 1987.
The Frost Tapes is a one-of-a-kind podcast that explores what we have learnt, if anything, from an extraordinary period in American history that has so many similarities to today, through the unmatched, and often unseen, interviews of David Frost.
Subscribe to the podcast and hear the trailer here:
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