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Music

Radio Munson 3/10/16

Mar 10, 2016

Ella Fitzgerald invokes the coming Spring on this week’s Radio Munson with a classic Cole Porter song, along with swingers from Bobby Short, Blossom Dearie, and the Delta Rhythm Boys.  Don also plays a 1927 recording by Bix Beiderbecke on the iconic 1920s jazzman’s birthday, plus sides by the Buddy Rich and Artie Shaw bands.

http://www.oldsmokeband.com/

Bloomington's Old Smoke Band takes its musical cues from southern rock, blues, and country.  Band members say they're attempting to establish a local and regional fan base in an attempt to move the band to the "next level."  Front man and guitarist Adam Humphreys says he looks forward to playing BerniePalooza 2016 at the Castle Theater tonight (March 10), and has been 'feeling the Bern' for quite some time now.

Stone & Snow

Just because you don’t see the acoustic duo Stone & Snow on stage every week, doesn’t mean the band isn’t working. They just got the results of their entry for NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert. (See their video entry below) Clint Thomson and Karen Bridges, who are the core of Stone & Snow, said they’re not too upset or surprised they weren't selected. There were 6,000 entries.

IWU Historian Says George Martin Influence Huge

Mar 9, 2016
Google via Creative Commons

While not as famous as the band he was most often associated with, George Martin's impact on popular music is hard to overstate. Michael Weis, head of the Illinois Wesleyan history department, teaches several classes on 1960's music and culture. He says George Martin helped the Beatles change pop music.

"He was really an active collaborator on three of their greatest works, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonley Hearts Club Band, and Magical Mystery Tour," said Weis

Delbert McClinton says as a young child in 1940's and 50's Texas, he knew music was going to be a huge part of his life. After six decades on the road and multiple Grammy awards to his credit, he says he's lived his dream.  That dream nearly ended two years ago when McClinton underwent triple bypass surgery. 

CAROL M. HIGHSMITH

Rick Hall has lived the mythical American story.

Radio Munson 3/3/16

Mar 3, 2016

There’s a bit of tap dancing on Radio Munson this week as “Fast Eddie” Francisco lets it fly with the Hot Sardines and a rousing version of “Honeysuckle Rose.”  Don also has vocals by Sammy Davis, Junior, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, and Rebecca Kilgore, swinging big band sides by Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman, plus Slim and Slam’s memorable hit from 1938 titled “Flat Foot Floogie (With the Floy, Floy)."

April Martin

When St. Louis based author, documentary filmmaker, theologian and activist Rev. Osagyefo Sekou met Bay area educator, musician and arts administrator Jay-Marie Hill, they found they shared a common interest in social justice and blues, soul & gospel music. Seven months later they released an album titled "The Revolution Has Come" under the name "Reverend Sekou and the Holy Ghost."

Hill and Sekou tell WGLT's Jon Norton via Skype that they met in Cleveland at a Black Lives conference last summer.  Hill says when she and fellow conference attendees surrounded a police car after a 14 year old boy was arrested for what she characterizes as "sitting while black," it was Sekou who cleaned the police administered pepper spray from her face.

Ray Kennedy

Singer/songwriter Chris Knight still lives on the outskirts of his rural Kentucky hometown of Slaughters.  He says it's where he's comfortable, and where he writes honest, nuanced and unflinching sketches about the people he holds dear.  Knight returns to Central Illinois to play Boondocks Pub in Springfield Tuesday March 10. 

Radio Munson 2/25/16

Feb 26, 2016

Stacey Kent, Kurt Elling, Sarah Vaughan, and Kenny Rankin are among the vocalists on this week’s Radio Munson, along with the bands of Glenn Miller, Larry Clinton and Stan Kenton, plus a virtuoso solo of Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

jimmyburnsband.com

Former GLT Summer Concert headliner Jimmy Burns says if you want to test your blues chops, show up on a Monday night at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago's Loop.  Now a senior member of the Chicago blues scene, Burns hosts the weekly Blues Jam every other Monday night.  WGLT's Jon Norton recently caught up with Burns.  They talked about his brothers, the restaurant Burns once owned, and about his latest album on Delmark Records titled "It Ain't Right."  Burns says one song he wanted to get on the CD was the Ben E. King classic "Stand By Me."

davealvin.net

Brothers Dave and Phil Alvin play the Castle Theater in downtown Bloomington Saturday March 5th.
 Many music critics credit the two for kicking off the American Roots Rock scene in the early 1980's with their band The Blasters.   As teens the brothers absorbed the recordings of now legendary blues, rockabilly and country performers, and as Dave Alvin tells WGLT's Jon Norton, they also frequented nightclubs that featured these bands in their hometown of Downey, in Southern California.

Alyce Jackson

Band members Dennis Bosley and Danny Meyers met when both played in an early incarnation of the Dave Chastain Band.  When members of that band went their own ways, Bosley and Myers created "Rooster Alley." 

Though the band has been an active part of the central Illinois live music scene for nearly a quarter century, their recordings are few and far between. 

Radio Munson 2/18/16

Feb 17, 2016

There’s some “Jumpin’ Jive” from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on this week’s Radio Munson, along with a 1936 Benny Goodman set featuring vocals by Helen Ward and Lionel Hampton plus Benny’s iconic recording of “Sing, Sing, Sing.”  Ann Hampton Callaway is on Don’s playlist along with piano great Art Tatum.

Chicago Jazz Store Closes

Feb 16, 2016
Doug Siefken / Facebook via Creative Commons

The Chicago shop that bills itself as the world largest purveyor of jazz and blues records has shut down. The Jazz Record Mart closed the shop Monday, minutes after a deal was completed to sell the business. Reno, Nevada-based Wolfgang's Vault, which buys and sells music, film and other cultural items, has acquired the store's inventory and the Jazz Record Mart name and web site. Owner Bob Koester, who began selling records in Chicago in the 1950s, said in January he put the business up for sale because of rising rent.

Ralph Weisheit

One of the musicians behind Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers is also now working with another New York City hot jazz band, "Jessy Carolina and The Hot Mess." Normal native and saxophonist Ryan Weisheit, along with vocalist Megg Farrell played the 2014 GLT Summer Concert in downtown Bloomington and their group continues to thrive in New York City's vibrant hot jazz scene. 

Radio Munson 2/11/16

Feb 12, 2016

Radio Munson makes a promise to take the chill off your Thursday evening with the Pointer Sisters’ rousing version of “Steam Heat,” plus Louis Armstrong’s rousing “Swing That Music, Johnny Hartman’s treatment of “Lush Life", and songs from two veterans of the vaudeville circuits—George Burns and Jimmy Durante.

Jon Norton / WGLT

A small independent Chicago record label has been documenting Chicago's unsung jazz, blues, and gospel keyboard players since the 1970's. One of the founders of the label is Steven Dolins, who founded "The Sirens Records" as a teenager in the 1970's. After a couple early pressings, he took a long break from recording to focus on his professional life.

Delta Groove Records

Andy Santana is a west coast harmonica player also known for his guitar and vocal prowess.  Though he's a household name up and down the California coastline, and he's played with blues music legends, his name outside the Golden State barely registers, even among blues fans.  On this edition of Talkin' Blues, Santana tells GLT's Jon Norton that it was his wife's urging that convinced him to make a "go of it" nationally. 

Nancy Nutile-McMenemy

Isle of Man native Davy Knowles brings his blues-rock to the Castle Theater Friday night (Feb 12).  Still just in his late 20's, Knowles says it was his father that first introduced him to the great British and American blues legends, as well other rock music of the 1960's and 70's.  Now living in Chicago, Knowles talks with WGLT's Jon Norton about a DVD project that has him back in Isle of Man.  He also talks about how his life changed the moment he first heard "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits. 

joedowell.com

Bloomington native Joe Dowell died yesterday (February 4) at age 76. His publicist said he had a heart attack last weekend and never recovered.  Dowell was briefly popular in the early 1960's with the #1 hit ballad "Wooden Heart."  The song had already been a European hit for Elvis Presley when Dowell's version was released in America.

35 year old Canadian JW-Jones has released 8 blues albums in just over a decade.  His latest is titled Belmont Boulevard.  It's his first album with producer Tom Hambridge, who has guided a slew of albums for many artists, including blues legend Buddy Guy.  On this Talkin' Blues excerpt, Jones tells GLT's Jon Norton that Hambridge's guidance was invaluable in the making of his new album.

Radio Munson 2/4/16

Feb 4, 2016

Carmen McRae, Charlie Barnet, Ethel Merman, and George Shearing are among the greats on Radio Munson this week as Don hosts Radio Munson from Southern Arizona, plus, in honor of this week’s Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the world’s oldest and largest, Don gives a spin to Glenn Miller’s classic “String of Pearls."

Portland Oregon based blues vocalist and songwriter Karen Lovely has a commanding stage presence that matches her equally powerful voice.  On this edition of GLT's Talkin' Blues, Lovely tells Jon Norton how she has learned to channel stage fright into that commanding stage presence.  She also talks about
her brand new album, titled "10 Miles of Bad Road."

Radio Munson 1/28/16

Jan 28, 2016

It’s “Buddy” week on Radio Munson as Don spins swingers from Buddy Bregman’s Band, singer Buddy Greco, and legendary drummer Buddy Rich with his band.  Make that three Buddys and one “Bunny,”—the great trumpeter Bunny Berigan.  Vocalist Annie Ross is on Don’s playlist along with Cab Calloway, The Boswell Sisters, and pianist Erroll Garner.

As a young girl, Brooklyn native Alexis P. Suter says she listened almost exclusively to gospel music.  That is, until a chance meeting with the Mills Brothers at age 9 opened up a new musical world for her.  She says from there she sang in school choirs and eventually found her way as a vocalist for House and Dance music in the early 1990's. Today she's the leader of the band that bears her name, and has opened for some of the bigger names in blues music.  Her latest album is "Love The Way You Roll." 

To peg San Francisco based Kim Nalley as just a vocalist and songwriter would be selling her short.  She's also an actor, a featured writer in various Bay Area publications, a former club owner, and a PhD candidate in history at UC-Berkeley.  Nalley covers some of that ground with GLT's Jon Norton on this edition of GLT Jazz Next.  She begins by talking about her new album "Blues People," which was inspired by the famous book by LeRoi Jones.

Radio Munson 1/21/16

Jan 22, 2016

Brothers take the spotlight on this week’s Radio Munson as Don plays Woody Herman’s famous 1947 song “Four Brothers,” plus a 1932 classic by the harmonizing Mills Brothers.  Terry Gibbs, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, and Peggy Lee are also on the playlist.

Gary Mitchell

Chris Yakopcic is a young guitarist/singer/songwriter who found himself drawn to acoustic blues at a young age.  He includes blues legends Robert Johnson and Mississippi Fred McDowell as inspirations. But it was a show by a lesser known guitarist that sparked an "a-ha" moment along his musical career path.

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