The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia has recently finalised a wonderful preservation of the interviews of Binny Lum.
Dave Brubeck became a good friend to Binny Lum over his multiple trips to Australia. On 3 occasions she interviewed him in 1960,1962 and 1965. These can be heard here - scroll down. Exact dates unknown.
Binny Lum was known for her friendly, conversational style, and her programs were popular for their interviews with diverse Australian and international personalities. The NFSA presents a selection of her work, available in an unedited form for the first time ever.
Australian radio and television personality Binny Lum passed away in 2012 at the age of 97. A popular figure in Melbourne and country Victoria for many years, Lum worked in radio from 1934 to 1984, initially as an actor, accompanist, scriptwriter and compere of fashion shows, before becoming known for her children’s sessions (she co-hosted the 3KZ Children’s Session as ‘Cousin Binnie’) and magazine-format programs. She was also a pioneer of the small screen, host of the first daytime television program on Channel Nine in 1957, Thursday at One with Binnie Lum.
Binny Lum was known for her friendly, conversational style, and her programs were popular for their interviews with diverse Australian and international personalities. A listener once wrote to her, ‘I love your interviews, Binny; you have a way of making stars sound like ordinary people and ordinary people sound like stars’. Lum talked to personalities both visiting Melbourne and overseas, travelling with her trusted Uher portable reel-to-reel tape recorder to tape sought-after interviewees. She is most known for getting to interview The Beatles in London in 1964 when many others could not.
Thanks to the donation of Binny Lum’s surviving recordings to the NFSA by her daughter, Sharon Terry, the NFSA is able to preserve and make available this important part of Australia’s radio history. More than 100 of these interviews with people including Richard Attenborough, Jack Benny, Arthur Calwell, Tom Lehrer and Vera Lynn are available for listening on the NFSA SoundCloud page, and some highlights are posted below along with Lum’s recollections from her unpublished memoirs. Most of these interviews have not been heard since they went to air around 60 years ago, and the unedited versions made available here have never been publicly released.