Four Feet Under

Eugene Rand and Bill True dig it right -- four feet deep, corners squared. (Photo by Clay Bolton, 2011.)


News on July 30, 2011: We’re now up on iTunes. Go ahead and subscribe. The button is in the sidebar. 

Here it is, the first HowSound, the backstory to great radio storytelling. And, we kick things off in a graveyard — hopefully, that’s not foreshadowing!

The story I’m featuring is called “Four Feet Under.” The thing that strikes me about the piece is an out-take from an interview with the graveyard superintendent. Wow. Wait ’til you hear it. Crikey.

Clay Bolton produced the story and while he was reporting it, he was on the hunt for a universal — something that links the story to larger concerns that resonate with most listeners. Clay knew the superintendent would be able to provide the universal but, getting the tape was not easy. Clay and the superintendent were oil and water and I have the tape to prove it.

Have a listen and let us know what you think. Post your thoughts here.

Oh, and by the way, HowSound is the continuation of a podcast about radio storytelling called Saltcast. All eighty-two Saltcasts are online and available at iTunes. Go scoop’em up.

Best ,



6 comments to Four Feet Under

  • Sally

    New taste treat! Thanks!

  • biddy Moore

    Clay, you were persistent with the Superintendent and you disarmed him with your professionalism,
    The “Universal” was outstanding-I got it and the story line about new technology edging out the old workers who were,it sounded,ready to go and worn out but had no other skills resonated with me, What a fantastic piece!

  • Anna

    The universal was definitely essential, and seems to always be the most difficult to eek out of someone. Clay did a great job on the piece overall. I liked the contrast between the vivacious diggers and the somber message.

  • Just found howsound through 99% invisible. I am almost glad I’m feeling sick today because I get to indulge in a few hours of glorious podcast goodness.

    I can’t wait to go through this website from start to finish. I love the little note at the end about how it would have been different without that one element. As someone who writes for online, but is interested in creating podcasts in the future, that is very helpful.

  • I also got here from 99% Invisible (which was recommended by RadioLab, which was recommended by TAL, which was recommended by my friend, Jeff. Thanks, Jeff!)

    I just finished listening to all the Saltcasts, and now I’m ready for HowSound! I’m just sad that I’m gonna be caught up soon, and then I’ll have to wait for new episodes…

  • I really enjoyed this episode and the interspersed narration. I was surprised how many of the digging sounds were used. It worked to paint the background- constant digging over and over. I think I had the expectation radio producers always had a great relationship with the people they are recording. Here, Clay didn’t have a great relationship but he got what he needed.

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