WWUH RADIO HISTORY
2001 Year In Review
This section is under construction and should be considered in draft form.  Your input is invited.  If you want to add material, make suggestions, correct the record, etc, please email us at wwuh@hartford.edu.  And if you have photos to share of your time at WWUH please let us know that as well.

 

Managers: John Ramsey – General Manager and Chief Engineer, Bonnie Hast – Operations Director, Susan Mullis – Director of Development, Colin Tipton – Program Director, Mary Dowst – Business Manager, Mike DeRosa – Community Affairs Director, Steve Theaker – Member At Large,  Andy Taylor – Music Director, Ed McKeon – Folk Music Director, Kevin Shivley – Classical Music Director, Jazz Officer Spaak – Jazz Music Director, Brian Grossjean – World Music Director, Peter Rost -  Blues Music Director, Scott Baron – Asst. Chief Enginieer, Matt Slywka – Urban Music Director, Chris Larsen – Web Master and Recording Studio Director, Kris Powell, Assistant Operations Director.

 

Staff:  McNal Allison, Scott Baron, Keith Barrett, Denise Basture, arry Bilansky, Bart Bozzi , Keith Brown, Michael Carrol, Bob Celmer, Mark Channon, Deborah Conklin, Mark DeLorenzo, Dave Demaw, Mike DeRosa, Amy Dement, Scott Deshefy, Steve Dieterich, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Mary Dowst, Chuck Dube, Al Dzikas, Tyrone Eddy, George Michael Evica, Stu Feldman, Dawn Finnemore, Mario Greitti, Donna Giddings, Nicole Godburn, Brian Gorsjean, Bonnie Hast, Pretlow Harris, Gilberto Heredia, Dean Hilderbrandt, John Holder, Harvey Jassem, Wayne Jones, Chris Larsen, Gregory Laxer, Gary Levin, Rohan Long, Kevin Lynch, Tony Magno, Doug Maine, Chris Marti, Mike Marti, Ed McKeon, Bill Measom, Gail Meyers-Jaworski, Peter Michaelson, Phillip Mitchell, Susan Mullis, Nay Nasser, Ted Neihay, Chuck Obuchowski, Kevin O’Toole, Stephen Petke, Anthony Price, John Prytko, Johnny Prytko, jr, John Ramsey, Henrique Ribeiro, Maurice Robertson, Jean Katherine Rossner, Peter Rost, Mark Santini, John Scott, Jack Seidl, Kevin Shively, Matt Slywka, Kapil Taneja, Andy Taylor, Steve Theaker, Dwight Thurston, Colin Tipton, Rob Turner, Terry Weichand, Lloyd Weir, Dave Zaluda, Andy Zeldin.

Work Study Students at WWUH in Sept. 01:  Returning:  Heather, Brad Dano, Joshua Thompson.  New: Jean Paul Beauchemin, Luke Pierson, Kris Powell.

John Ramsey relates:

It is said that nearly everyone will remember where they were when they first heard about the cowardly terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, and I suppose that if that is indeed true, some people will always remember that they heard about it while listening to 91.3, to Chuck Obuchowski’s Morning Jazz program on that bright and sunny morning.

United Press International ran the following story:

“Jazz broadcasters had their own challenges.  Some were pre-empted by disaster coverage.  Others altered their programming to fit the mood of the country and/or what their hearts told them to play.

          “Chuck Obuchowski was alone that morning at WWUH-FM in Hartford, Ct, a community station at the University of Hartford – without a news ticker or public radio network feeds --  when the station line rang.

          “Flicking on the television set in our office, I shuddered at the sight of the burning towers.  Back in the air studio,  I cued “Say Peace” from pianist Jason Moran’s new release.  I determined to spend the remainder of my program focusing on positive musical vibrations” Obuchowski said.

          “After admitting on mic that it would be difficult for me to ‘carry on,’ I assured my listeners that I would try to follow Albert Ayler’s maxim”  ‘Music is the healing force in the universe.”

        In the following days, practically every WWUH announcer acknowledged the event in any one of a number of ways, often through dedication of a particular song to those who lost their lives in the attacks.

        Many hosts expressed strong feelings on the air. While shock and anger at the terrorists was a natural reaction, some announcers expressed feelings of outrage at our own government for allowing such a thing to happen.  As has been the case so often, WWUH announcers refused, by and large, to “toe the party line” and dared to ask the questions that the mainstream media was ignoring.

        Programs such as Assassination Journal, New Focus, Alternative Radio, Soap Box and others discussed the many controversial issues relating to the 911 disaster in depth.

The following is from the November/December Program Guide:

FROM THE DESK OF THE GENERAL MANAGER

Planning station fund raising events is not something that is undertaken lightly here at WWUH.  We have always tried to minimize the amount of fund raising that we do and we are proud that, thanks to your generosity, we are able to get by with just two weeks of on-air appeals, one in the spring and one in the fall.

With the terrible events of 9/11 and its aftermath on everyone’s mind, when we sat down in late September to plan our fall drive, we debated about whether or not we should have it at all!  We discussed both sides of the issue, but the consensus was to go ahead with it: to cancel would be "giving in." If listener response is any indication, we made the right decision. The silent fall drive held in November was the most successful fund raising event in the station’s history! Close to a thousand listeners responded our request for support and their incredible generously allowed us to more than double our goal! We shot by our goal of $20,000 mid-week and ended up with over $43,000 in pledges! This is almost unheard of in non-commercial radio! The generosity of our listeners never ceases to amaze me. We’ve received a clear mandate from our listeners: It is obvious that they appreciate the diversity, quality and unique viewpoints that we offer on 91.3 each day."

Tragedy struck much closer to home early in the year when the staff learned in April that long-time volunteer Bill Domler had passed away in a freak accident outside his print shop in Simsbury.

Ed McKeon wrote the following eulogy entitled “He Was A Friend of Mine” for the Program Guide.

 My life would be considerably different if I had never met Bill Domler.

           I was driving on I-84 in Farmington scanning the dials of the FM radio, searching for some interesting music.  This was 1984 after all (MTV, hair bands, and the remnants of disco), and commercial music was very dissatisfying.  Then a voice broke through the clutter singing, “Give yourself to love.”  The announcer, Bill Domler, said it was Kate Wolf.

       I ended up at Bill’s print shop, which at the time was on New Britain Avenue in Hartford.  He was not only the Speediest Print in Town; he was the only person selling folk music recordings in the Hartford area.  I bought the Kate Wolf album that day, and had a long discussion with Bill.  The next visit I bought a Silly Wizard album.  I was hooked, Bill Domler helped me rediscover folk music, and a friendship was budding.

       Over the next few years Bill convinced me to take a radio show at WWUH, and to help him at the New Harmony concerts (now Roaring Brook).

       I also learned that without Bill, folk music in Hartford might not be as prominent as it is.  He revived folk music radio at WWUH (at a time when the morning drive time slots were filled with alternative rock music).  He started, or helped start the Sounding Board, Roaring Brook concerts, the Connecticut Audubon Concerts, the Print Shop concerts (where he gave 100% of the gate receipts to the visiting artist) and the Connecticut Family Folk Festival.  He produced a number of concerts on his own, and also produced a few timeless folk albums.

       Bill was a dyed in the wool traditionalist.  He was an advocate for preserving the old songs, but he always had an ear to the new.  Think of this, he was the first to bring the following folks to Hartford to play in tiny coffeehouses: Nanci Griffith, Stan Rogers, Dar Williams, Bok, Trickett and Muir, Oregon, Beausoleil, the Neilds, Lucy Kaplansky, Kate Wolf, David Massengill, David Mallett, Richard Shindell, Terrance Simien and the Mallet Playboys (zydeco!), Bill Staines, The Balfa Brothers, Lui Collins, John Gorka, Patty Larkin, The Washington Squares, Bill Morrissey, Uncle Bonsai, Townes van Zandt, Silly Wizard, John McCutcheon.  And this is only those I can think of off the top of my head.

       Bill was always interested to hear what you thought, though he might not agree.  He was adventurous and respectful.  He might not agree with your taste, but he would defend your right to have an opinion.  I dragged him to concerts by Billy Bragg, the Roaches, Cindy Lee Berryhill and the Pogues.  And though, in the end, he would much rather have been listening to Harry Lauder, Michael Cooney, Iris Dement, the New Black Eagle Jazz Band or Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, he always wanted to know what was new on the folk music horizon.  Just two weeks ago, he told me he had convinced his father Len to book Erin McKeown and the Tarbox Ramblers at the Sounding Board.

       Now that I consider it, Hartford would be considerably different if we had never met Bill Domler.  I’ll miss him.  I know we all will.  He was part of the folk music process, and the music will live on, because he loved it so.   I hope he’s somewhere singing.  (Bill Domler died on April 2, 2001 of head injuries he sustained in a fall.)

(Editors note:  Bill celebrated his 20th year on WWUH in 2000. He stopped doing a regular weekly radio show last fall to devote his energies to other things. Bill was a driving force for the folk world and was one of the “founding fathers” of WWUH’s folk programming.  We will surely miss him).

The following is from Bill’s obituary in a local paper:

“…He also started the New Harmony folk series in Canton, which was to become the Roaring Brook Concert Series – which is also still running.

          “In recent years, he helped establish the Audubon Coffeehouse Series in Glastonbury.  In 1974, he helped start the free Ct. Family Folk Festival in Elizabeth Park, which ran for 25 years.

          “And there were all kinds of off-shoot temporary stages for Domler’s concerts, from the Auer Farm in Bloomfield and the Wallace Stevens Theater at The Hartford to a short series at Timothy’s Restaurant last year.

          “His most arresting series married his love for music with his job- running a print shop.  There he provided some of the first Hartford audiences for acts like Dar Williams, the Nields, and David Massengill from his shop of S. Whitney Street in Hartford.

          “When I began writing about music in Hartford 15 years ago, my beat was folk, and Domler was a key ally – bearish, garrulous, a singular promoter of the art who was instrumental in bringing a number of acts to Hartford for the first time, including Nancy Griffith, Silly Wizard and Gordon Bok.

          “My strongest memory of any of this shows was one in his shop, Speediest Printer in Town, when it was on S. Whitney Street in Hartford’s West End.  There, amid the ink and the racks of vinyl (for a print shop, it was the best folk record store around), was the perfect setting for the union songs of activist Utah Phillips.

          “Bruce Pratt, the Ct. folksinger who now lives in Maine, remembers Domler for his “wide reading interests and a love of the arcane.  He enjoyed fife and drum corps musters; traditional folk music, primarily American; some singer-songwriters; and, more than anything else, running concerts and concert series.

          “He loved the Paton Family, founders of Folk-Legacy Records in Sharon, and most of their roster.” Pratt said, “but he also liked some contemporary players and writers; Eric Gogle, Kate Wolf, Stan Rogers, to name a few.

          “Susan Forbes Hansen, a longtime radio host of FM folk programs in the region, said Domler always championed traditional folk music.

          “He certainly hired, and played music by, contemporary performers in his coffee houses and on his radio shows,” Hansen said.  “But not much time would go by without bringing back music recorded by Folk-Legacy from its early days, or playing something from Harry Lauder, or, most amazingly, singing a song himself on his show.”

          “He was by no means a polished singer, but he seemed to feel that the music wasn’t only to be made by the likes of those who made their livings at it, but by all of us just because we felt like it.”

          “I will miss him,” said Pratt, “mostly because he really loved this music.  He always wanted to enrich the musician’s pocketbook, and he never flagged in his belief that the folk community was comprised of genuinely good people.”

          “Those who simply appreciated his printing skills also will miss Domler.  “He was an absolutely reliable printer, and he not only gave a good price but unbelievable service,” Pratt said.  “He would sometimes drive an order out to Hartland on a Sunday, or work a Sunday to help someone on a deadline.”

          “Indeed, it was Domler’s need to go to his shop to do work March 18 at 6:30 am that may have been his undoing.  After Domler’s slip and fall, a co-worker did not find him until 10 a.m.

          “Besides his parents, Domler leaves two sons.”

The station co-sponsored a tribute to Bill on June 10 in the Wilde Auditorium. 

          FND Ate, recorded the previous May, was released in January.  The liner notes looked like a sandwich.

 

         

PROGRAMMING

 

Henrique Ribeiro, the host of Cultura E Vida which has been on Saturday nights for 24 years, found a co-host, Rubin Rainha.  Rubin’s involvement brought a new voice and perspective to the show, and give Henrique some well earned time off.

Jazz Officer Spaak stepped down from the position of Jazz Director in June, continuing to host Tuesday Evening Jazz.

A sample playlist of new Jazz recordings from June: Randy Johnston Detour Ahead; Jane Monheit Come Dream with Me; D.D. Jackson Kahil El'Zabar Hamiet Bluiett The Calling JUSTIN TIME; Jimmy Ponder Thumbs Up; TIE:  Jimmy McGriff Feelin' It; Kenny Barron Regina Carter Freefall; Chick Corea New Trio Past, Present & Futures; TIE:  Terence Blanchard Let's Get Lost;  Greg Hopkins 16 Okavongo SUMMIT; Karrin Allyson Ballads: Remembering John Coltrane; Ballin' the Jack The Big Head KNITTING FACTORY; Mark Turner Dharma Day

During the blizzard on February 6/7, volunteer Chris Marti ran the station from 1 pm to 3:30 am.

In Washington, the Federal Communication Commission issued a $7,000 fine to a commercial station for airing an edited version of an Emenem song! Along with this fine (which was eventually recinded) the Commission started studying the indecency issue one again. Regarding the existing policy, the Commission wrote:

"The principal factors that have proved significant in our decisions to date are:  the explicitness or graphic nature of the description of sexual or excretory organs or activities. Whether the material dwells on or repeats at length descriptions of sexual or excretory organs or activities,

Whether the material appears to pander or is used to titillate, or whether the material appears to have been presented for its shock value.

           In assessing all of the factors, the overall context of the broadcast in which the disputed material appeared is critical.”

Bushnell Park series started on July 8 with Chuck Obuchowski, Doug Maine and Maurice Robertson announcing and Chris Larsen Engineering.

CDs received by Genre during the one year period 1/1/01-12/31/01:  Rock-1605 , Jazz-792 , Folk/BG-712 , Urban-98, Ambient-298 , World/Reggae-295, Blues-155 , Soundtracks-60, for a total of  4015 CDs.

Marathon ’01 started on Feb. 26 with a goal of $70,000.  Within one week, we had $72,307 pledged!  By the time we closed out the books on Marathon we had received $64,801 paid from 1428 pledges.  The shirt was black with multicolored fish.

The fall fund drive ran the last week of October with a goal of $20,000.  Many were concerned that the 911 tragedy would have an impact on donations, but the opposite was true.  We raised $41,700 during the week, $21,000 above the goal. We had never gone over the goal by any where near this amount in the past.  Many though as to the reason of our success was the fact that we were offering a new premium, a new black pullover that was incredibly popular (over 450 were ordered at $60 each). 

The station received a $2500 donation for a listener, matched 2/1 by the University towards the purchase of a new speaker system for our live concert series.

 

 

CONCERTS

Folk and Celtic concerts included Jez Lowe & the Bad Pennies, Lunasa (sold out),  Nerissa & Katryna Nields*, Richard Shindell*, Northern Lights (Bluegrass)*,Christine Lavin, Josephine March Band, Patrick Street, Bill Morrisey*, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem*, Erica Wheeler & Brooks Williams*,Old Blind Dogs & Niamh Parsons, Tish Hinojosa, Lucy Kaplansky*, Baillie and the Boys, Aoife Clancy Band, Cheryl Cormier* , Dave Mallett*, Cherish the Ladies, Millard, Jonathan Edwards*, Dervish, Millard, Mark Erelli & Erin McKeown*, Danu, Aztek 2-Step, Vance Gilbert with the UH Gospel Choir, Roni Arbo and Daisy Mayhem, Julie Gaulb, Modern May, Cheryl Wheeler, Susan McKeown, Patty Larkin*, Steve Nystrup.

          The Feathermerchants\ June 12 Jazz Concert sponsored by Integrity N Music in Wilde was sold out.  The Steve Davis Jazz Sextet was featured.

Engineering:

WWUH webcasts expanded to include Windows Media encoding to supplement the Realaudio that the station had used for years.

In an effort to upgrade the appearance of the station, the floor tiles in the Air and Production studios were replaced and new carpet was installed in those studios, as well as in the library and in the offices.

A new walkway was installed between the parking lot and the station entrance.

A CD duplicator was acquired for the library and new cassette decks, CD players and CD recorders were installed in the Air studio. In addition, a studio computer, replacement roof camera and a telephone delay unit were installed.

 

MISC

          The Hartford Advocates’ Best of 2001 Awards ceremony was attended by Colin Tipton and Bonnie Hast. It was held at the Ct. Historical Society. 2001 1st place, w/picture of Bonnie and Colin

 

          WWUH offers music seldom heard on commercial airwaves. From folk, bluegrass, jazz, synthesis, classical, polka, Italian, Portuguese and Indian-language pop to rock and hip-hop and traditional Celtic music, the station has something for everyone--everyone whose tired of Britney Spears, that is. "We also offer alternative public affairs programming," says Colin Tipton, a University of Hartford sophomore and the station's program director. Like everyone else at WWUH, Tipton is a volunteer. That's how the station manages to survive on just a little more than $100,000 a year--almost all of it supplied by generous listeners. WWUH is truly a cultural resource--a strong voice of chaos and beauty in an over-programmed world. For years the station has boasted the region's only alien disc jockey--Jazz Officer Spaak--who, sadly, is flying away next month.

 

At the December general staff meeting, staff awards were given out:  Twenty-Five Years: Wayne Jones, Maurice Robertson and Terry Weichand; Twenty Years: Susan Mullis.  Fifteen Years:  Mark Santini, Lloyd Weir and Dave Zaluda.  Ten Years:  McNal Allison, Al Dzikas, Brian Grossjean, Gina Gunn, John Holder, Steven Petke, Jack Seidl and Dwight Thurston.  Five Years:  Scott Baron, Denise Bastura, Pretlow Harris, Kevin Shively.

The President of Israel, Moshe Katsav, visited campus June 3 to receive his honorary degree from the University.  Security was very tight. Several weeks before the event John Ramsey was visited by several agents from the State Department, accompanied by a State Police office.  It turned out that President Katsav would be having lunch directly above the Air Studio in the 1877 Club, and we were told that we had to provide a list of those staffers who would be at the station on the day of his visit. Thankfully, the visit was to occur on a Sunday so staff presence was minimal.

A few days before the event the State Police returned with their bomb squad and explosive sniffing dog who proceeded to search the entire station.

The day before the event, the State Police were back with agents from Mossad, the Isreali Security Police force. It was at this time that we were informed that officers would be placed outside our door and inside our studio!

The event was a non-issue security wise, but after the fact John was told that there were close to two hundred people providing security for the event.

New classical station in Hartford:  Beethoven radio 1290. Nicole to  “beethoven.com”

Another classical station coming to Hartford, translator for WMNR 91.9.

Some select comments from the WWUH Listener Line:

 “I’m curious if you get paid to play certain types of songs.  I’ve hear several CDs that are played quite a bit on your jazz shows, and I wonder if the companies make you push some albums more than others?”

“I am a listener of yours and one of the reasons I am a listener is the type of music and you don’t get into the nasty stuff like the other stations do.  I was a little disappointed this morning when I heard a Xmas song about walking around in woman’s underwear.  Thought you would want to know”

John Harris who helped with student orientation.

Kevin Lynch Web work.

          Kevin Shiveley has stepped down from Classical Director

          At Large Nomination – Jim Christensen

“Forward...into the Past!”

’UH Jazz Braces for the Future

By Chuck Obuchowski

         Former WWUH Jazz Director J.O. Spaak has earned his place in the annals of jazz survivorship. Not unlike the plight of Sun Ra, a previous Earth visitor and fellow spaceway traveler, this Vulcan radioman’s eccentricity might have caused some to overlook his serious commitment to the jazz realm in our corner of the galaxy.  Nonetheless, until the Starship Improvise beamed him up after March 27’s final edition of The Boundless Jazz Universe, Spaak had—for eight years—made a weekly “trek” to WWUH from his starport in eastern Connecticut. His unflinching dedication didn’t earn him a dollar, nor were his contributions to our station’s jazz mission acknowledged very often.  And it’s not widely known that the Jazz Officer has financed and produced numerous recordings by area musicians as part of his overall support for the art form.

            Additionally, with the aid of WWUH Webmaster Chris Larson, he launched the New England Jazz Radio Cooperative (NEJRC) last year, an online service accessible via our jazz pages at the WWUH website (http://wwuh.org). According to Spaak, NEJRC is an attempt to improve communication between regional jazz stations, and to increase their visibility within the global jazz media village. The site also contains an extensive pronunciation guide, a very helpful device for jazz announcers throughout this solar system. A musician’s birthday database will be added soon. Although NEJRC has had a less-than-auspicious start, a publicity campaign this summer will hopefully hip more of our radio colleagues to its possibilities. 

            J.O. Spaak may have ventured “out of this world,” or at least beyond the range of our airwaves, but his legions of fans need not worry; he assures us he’ll be returning to planet Earth to do occasional 91.3 Morning Jazz fill-ins, and to assist with station concert productions. We wish him well on his interstellar voyages; may he...pardon the cliché...live long and prosper!

            So—what can listeners expect from the WWUH jazz posse in the near future? Veteran Accent on Jazz announcer Peter Michaelson has returned to the fold as Spaak's successor in the Tuesday 9-midnight slot. I’ve assumed the jazz director reigns, with ample assistance from Monday WWUH jazz host Dean Hildebrandt. Rest assured that we will do our best to maintain the standard of quality you have come to expect from our jazz programs over the years.

            Live broadcasts of maestro Brown’s Monday Night Jazz Series in Bushnell Park will resume on 91.3 FM in July. A complete schedule will be posted in our next program guide and at our website, as soon as it is made available to us. Additionally, WWUH will again participate as a media sponsor of the annual Litchfield Jazz Festival, scheduled August 3-5 at the Goshen Fairgrounds. Throughout July, listen to our jazz shows for special giveaways and interviews with selected Litchfield festival musicians.  

The word was put out that we were looking for stories and recollections from current and former volunteers for inclusion in the WWUH History Document, and in 2001 a number of people sent in submissions.

 

 Brian Grossjean, host of the Sunday Morning World Music Show wrote in August 2001

“The listeners have been the best. I've received lots of very interesting phone calls over the years. A Nigerian guy called at 2AM saying he and his daughter had been dancing in Middletown. When he heard the Juju music I was playing on he radio, he turned it up for his daughter and he began to cry for his homeland.

“A woman called once who was the executive producer for Ellipsis Arts. She produced the album I had just played. Luckily I said good things about it.

A woman called once to say that while listening to the Klezmer music, she had a real turnabout in her feelings toward her culture due to the music. It made her long for her faith and heritage. World music at WWUH was pretty much underserved when I arrived. Some folk show played field recordings and some African and Scandinavian folk, Ambience played synthesized Native American, but no one was really giving the music any attention. In 1992, I began my shows, which were mostly World Music. On my first show, a guest from the show before me fell asleep in the studio, and I was nervous about him snoring on the air.

“Both my kids have been on the air, and it has encouraged them to be involved with the media at school.

“I got a regular Tuesday All Night show, then went to a few different Gothics, then did "The Global Village" from 1994 - 1996 Monday afternoons. I always got an excellent listener response from people newly discovering this music.  Then I did fill- ins until October 2000 when I took over the Sunday morning folk show from Bill Domler. I renamed it the Culture Cafe earlier this year. 

“When I began putting the station's world music collection together, I collected world music CD's and LP's from all over the station, including the folk, jazz and urban sections, in the office, and on the floor where no one knew where to file them. I took over an unused part of the library, and have expanded it to over a thousand CD's and LP's. I keep in touch with the labels through my web site:  http://users.neca.com/grosjean/Culture_Cafe.htm“which I began in February, 2001. World music is now an established part of WWUH, with hosts from every genre especially folk and jazz using the World Music racks extensively.  It also is a reflection of the world around us. Our neighbors are getting closer to us, to where we can hear their music over the fence. My mission has been to help us hear the music, without being judgmental, and to help promote "Peace through cultural celebration".

 

May/June Program Guide

A Head Full of Peach Salsa

Tonight’s Episode:

PEACH SALSA CALLED ON ACCOUNT OF SNOW

or

SNOW DAYS IN THE FOURTH RING

or

WHY NOT QUOTE ROLAND KIRK?

So, alright, the column this time is not about one new CD in particular, but it’s about doing radio.  Lots of radio. 

Oh, and did I mention Storm Emily?    

You remember Storm Emily.  It was the storm that sidelined tractor/trailers (though only a few), and practically closed the state for no seeming good reason. Governor Rowland (bless its’ obtuse little head) was on the verge of such an action for fear of 15”-26” or more of the wet white stuff.  People were panic buying as they had been instructed to do by most broadcast outlets.

Let me paint the picture.  Many of the fine volunteers here at WWUH drive from quite

aways out to do their shows.  They drive over mountains, they drive through valleys, they drive over the great plains, and from the vast craters of the moon…     

 … well, alright, maybe not those last two, but, baby, they drive!     

And so, it was sometime during Ambience on Sunday, March 4th  (the last Sunday in another successful Marathon, thanks to you constant listeners) that this really began to look like a major storm. Several announcers had already called out for their show the next day (which was expected to be the height of the storm).     

When such storms occur, station management… alright, John Ramsey… usually decides that it would be safer to have one person stay at the station for the duration, in case more announcers have to miss their shows.  In fact, a general call is put out to the affected staff at such time to discourage anyone from taking their lives in their hands to get on the icy roads just to do a radio show.

I had Monday off work, so I volunteered.       

I was there.  I was asked.  I accepted.  

It seemed like a good way to kill time during this little winter hazard, and it gave me the opportunity to fill in for shows I hadn’t in a while.

Other DJ’s have been required to perform this service over the thirty-three years of station history, of course.  John himself tells of a 72-hour on-air stint during 1978’s Storm Larry shared between himself and fellow announcers Allison Rassmussen and Mark Smith.  This was the same storm that caved in the roof of the Hartford Civic Center, which mattered at the time, since people used to go there to watch sporting events…   

I’m just kidding.  Nobody ever went there.     

O.K., Wolfpack fans, I was REALLY ONLY KIDDING!    

Anyway, that was back in our days at the Gengras Student Center on campus, and snow apparently had drifted heavily against all the doors, making escape unlikely.  John said every thing was fine until they ran out of change for the vending machines and had to reenact the Donner party… 

Oh, I’m such a kidder.  Actually, campus Public Safety brought them food.      

And human sacrifices.        

In more recent years, announcers who volunteered for this service dealt with a lack of vending machines here in the Harry Jack Gray Center’s basement.  Psychedelic Susan brought meager rations during a two day on air stint alone in the mid 1990’s.  Sir Nik of Nowhere and (earlier this winter) Chris Marti only had whatever they had brought with them when they arrived for their own shifts and ended up staying over (in Chris’ case for over twenty hours!).        

I would have the luxury of preparation.  I was able to go home that afternoon and early evening (as the storm began rather threateningly) to grab a few pillows, blanket and comforter, alarm clock (a must), food and water (two musts), a change of clothes (another must), and deodorant (so as not to be too musty).

John gave me a ride to the station around eight p.m. in his s.u.v., during one of those lengthy pauses where the storm seemed to be doing nothing.  The possibility was raised that I might be able to score a ride home in a humvee.  You see, John, in his job as a radio engineer for many stations beside our own, has access to such a vehicle in case the roads up Avon Mountain were deemed impassable and he had to drive straight up the side of a cliff or something.  He also was one of those people volunteering his time to give rides for essential personnel who could not miss work on Monday or Tuesday, like doctors and nurses and such.  Between these responsibilities, a humvee ride seemed a real possibility.  I’d never ridden in such a monster vehicle, and had some curiosity as to what Republicans and humvee owners like Arnold Schwarzenegger think about all day.

            I arrived at 8:30 pm (or so).  It was doing nothing out, but my first fill-in was for Gary the Microwave Brain on the Greatest Show from Earth (a show I’ve filled in numerous times).  I started out with some snow songs from Tony Bennett’s Snowfall: The Christmas Album as XTC’s “Snowman” from their English Settlement album was unavailable.  Then I played U2, Brian Eno, Throwing Muses, New Kristin Hersh (Sunnyborder Blue (4AD)), Freezepop’s new one (Forever (Archenemy Record Company)), and the latest from the excellent Japanese neo-lounge act Pizzocato Five (aptly titled The Fifth Release from Matador (Matador)). I also played new material (I hope not the last) from United Future Organization (Bon Voyage (Instinct)), some Barry Adamson, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Elvis Costello & the Attractions and closed the first show with Tom Waits’ “Time” (from Raindogs), always a nice finale.

While doing that, I went to the production room to take advantage of that wonderful modern convenience, the CD burner, to burn a CD with an hour’s worth of music, plus my back announcing and legal I.D. (“WWUH, West Hartford”).  For the music, I selected the new collection Rarewerks  (Astralwerks) featuring fine rare tracks from Fatboy Slim, Primal Scream, Air, Basement Jaxx, The Beta Band and The Future Sound of London among others.  This would be the station’s overnight programming filling in for Jon Scott on the Sunday Gothic Blimp Works (Gothics for short) and V.O. on the Sunday All Night Show. It would repeat six times over, while I napped, getting up every two or so hours, to make sure the station was still on.

Oh, and also to answer the phone twice before V.O. finally decided not to try to move his car to come in.  I felt quite lucky that my own car was at home in a garage, suddenly. 

That night, staring out the picture windows at the red and blue glow of the reflection of the “WWUH 91.3” neon sign off the frozen tundra, I wondered many things.         

I wondered if the garage my car was parked in would collapse under the weight of the coming snow.   

I wondered if I’d do well on Monday FM on Toast, my first folk fill-in in my twelve years here.        

I wondered if I would be able to sleep that night.   

I wondered when this snow would start.        

Most of all, though, I wondered where the damn off switch for that red and blue neon sign was.  It was driving me nuts.

Six A.M.: Monday F. M. on Toast!  My first ever full length folk fill-in was for Denise’s “Acoustic Playground.”  I started the morning with another “D.J.’s cheat,”  playing much work from our collection, The Folk Next Door Nein (Uh-Oh), with highlights from our ninth annual folk fundraising concert.  It features wonderful work by Alastair Moock, Rebekah Hayes, Adrienne Jones and Rani Arbo, the latter of whom was to have her concert later that week cancelled for similar weather problems.  It also features Cece Borjeson and Ruth George, Groovelily, Gene and Mimi, The Roadbirds, and Eric Burkhart and Humpty Daddy, whose “Happy Guy” was arguably the highlight of the show, and was certainly a lot of fun.  It was even more fun than sitting out a snowstorm at a radio station.

 Later on F. M. on Toast, I played Richard Shindell, one of many requests.  I dipped liberally into his Somewhere Near Paterson release from last year (featuring my favorite of his tunes, “Confession,” as soulful a meditation on a culture of soulless greed and chemical based problem solving as I’ve ever heard).  I also played some John Wesley Harding, from his 1999 tribute to fellow erstwhile Brit folkie Nic Jones, entitled Trad Arr Jones, re-released on Appleseed recordings this year with new, more rocking material just recorded last year. Another re-release with added material (Awake: The New Edition) was also just released on the same label.

 On to Morning Jazz, filling in for Dean Hildebrandt.  Dean is quite meticulous in planning for his show, and so he had faxed a suggested playlist’s worth of suggestions to the station for whoever would be filling in.

  He then called to make sure I got the list.

  He was, understandably, anxious about his post-Marathon show.  You see, the post Marathon week is generally a time of “thank you shows” for the listeners, and Dean didn’t really want someone programming his timeslot with no feel for the type of music his loyal listeners (and pledgers) had come to expect.  At the same time, he understood that all announcers, even fill-in personnel, have a wide latitude to play what they will in the genre of any chosen program.  His fears were somewhat allayed by the fact that I had done a number of jazz fill-ins over my twelve years plus here, so, though still nervous, he hung up the phone.  I’m sure he was fighting the urge to take on a potentially funky traffic situation though, truthfully, the storm seemed to be barely doing anything at this time

     I started in with more cold music, Billie Holiday’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” from Verve’s Have Yourself A Jazzy Little Christmas.  Funny how snow and Christmas seem to go together, huh?  I took care to play only those songs dealing with snow and cold for this opening set, going to Verve’s Jazz for Joy set for a Betty Carter and Roy Hargrove version of “Let It Snow.”  I got a call complaining about all the “Christmas” music (even though it wasn’t), right about the time I finished with Oliver Jones’ “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride,” both from his funky Yuletide Swing album.

   Fair enough.

   Next were a couple of Dean’s suggestions on which we definitely found common ground:  Gerry Mulligan from two live dates with two different quartets in the late 50’s and early sixties in Norman Granz’s Jazz at the Philharmonic series on Pablo Records.  The previously unreleased recordings are now out as The Gerry Mulligan Quartet In Concert, a fine example of the saxophonist in his heyday.  Next was new material from eclectic vocalist Carla Cook whose dem bones (Max Jazz) recalls Cassandra Wilson, with originals like “Like a Lover,” and covers like Bobbie Gentry’s country pop classic “Ode to Billy Joe,” and Fred Wesley’s “For the Elders.”  Following that, I played some of the fine vocalist Napúa Davoy’s new album Until We Meet Again (Brave Cool World Records), for which she wrote some of the music and all of the lyrics.  That was followed by David Lahm’s new release, More Jazz Takes on Joni Mitchell (an Arkana Jazz release and his second such tribute to her), then Joni Mitchell and Charles Mingus.

During the Napúa Davoy set, one cranky caller demanded to hear something that swings, which prompted an aggressively programmed set of Duke Ellington. First it was Duke with Mingus and Max Roach (from the classic crossover Money Jungle), as well as with his Famous Orchestra (on “Jack the Bear,” “Koko,” and “Cotton Tail”), with Ella Fitzgerald from the Verve “Songbooks” series, and, with his Orchestra and that of Count Basie from their famous Columbia collaboration.

 You want swing, you got swing.

 Closed out the show with Miles Davis with Gil Evans, some funky “Papa” John DeFrancesco from his new Hip Cake Walk (High Note), both by request, and finally Brazillian artist Gilberto Gil from his new soundtrack for the movie Me You Them (Atlantic).

  By this time there was entertainment from our station security screens, as frost patterns formed and shifted from the frozen precipitation on the lens overlooking our parking area.  It looked like nothing so much as a black and white version of that monster space amoeba from the “Immunity Syndrome” episode of Star Trek. 

“Antibodies.”      

“ANT-TI-BOD-DIEEES!”      

Yes, by this time, constant readers, cabin fever’s first symptoms had appeared.         

Luckily, also by this time, relief had arrived in four forms:  First, that of a public affairs show on tape (for one hour);  Second, that of Chris Marti (arrived to do his Monday Synthesis show);  Third, that of Aaron, the work-study student (neither snow, nor sleet, nor gloom of Emily shall stay this dude from putting our office and library back in order, nor stay him from putting up with Moondog’s channel flipping to find out about the storm); and, finally, that of program director Colin Tipton with some welcome salad from the University’s Commons.  Thankfully few people were around to see me lounging around in sweats in the morning.  Also, thankfully few saw the temporary transformation of Psychedelic Susan’s desk into my makeshift larder for the duration.         

Incidentally, Susan, if you find a jar of 100% fruit Blueberry preserves… could you leave it in my mailbox, please?  Thank you.  

Next, I filled in for Keith Barrett and the mysterious Drake the Bandmaster (funny how they’re never in the same room at the same time.  Hmmm…) on Monday Evening Classics.  I reached liberally into our “new” Classical bin here, with Salomon String Quartet performing Adalbert Gyrowitz (Hyperion CDA67109) and Yo-Yo Ma with the Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra performing Luigi Boccherini (Sony Classical SK60681).  I also played cellist Maria Kliegel and the Nicholas Esterházy Sinfonia with the music of David Popper (Naxos 8.554657) and then the Philharmonia Quartett Berlin performing works by Max Reger (Naxos 8.554510).     

Then I dipped into more modern pieces with the Ahn Trio (consisting of sisters Lucia Ahn (piano), Angella Ahn (violin) and Maria Ahn (cello)).  On their latest album Ahn-Plugged (EMI Classics 724355702227), they feature Leonard Bernstein’s “Trio for Violin, Cello and Piano” (1937) and David Bowie and Pat Metheny’s “This Is Not America,” originally from Metheny’s soundtrack for the film The Falcon and the Snowman among others.  I then played a piece from those disciples of the musics of Harry Partch, the Newband, as they rearranged Thelonious Monk’s “’Round Midnight” for cello and three man zoomoozophone (a Partch original instrument).  This was on a Mode records CD from 1994 (Mode #33).  I ended the program with a set of pieces by composers and performers of the modern era from Africa and Mexico.  I started with Chicago Sinfonietta performing the music of Fela Sowande (Cedille Records # CDR 90000055) and finished with two pieces performed by Kronos Quartet: Gambian Kora player Foday Musa Suso’s “Tilliboyo” (“Sunset”) from 1992’s Pieces of Africa (Nonesuch 9 79275-2);  and Mexican composer Enrique Rangel’s “La Muerte Chiquita” (“The Little Death”) from last year’s Kronos Caravan (Nonesuch 79490-2).

   Another hour’s respite for public affairs programming, and then hour 25 and the beginning of Blue Monday, usually with your host Bart Bozzi.

  Again, I turned to our collections by various artists.  First, a great collection just released on Specialty records.  The Ebb Records Story, Vol. 2: Blues ‘N’ Rhythm & Rock  ‘N’ Roll 1957-1959 covers some of the urban and country blues and r&b catalog from this L. A. label that also experimented with rockabilly and doo-wop vocalists in their three year history.  This collection features the work of former gospel singer Tony Harris, bluesmen Floyd Dixon and Ray Agee, country guitarist and vocalist Andrew “Smokey” Hogg, New Orleans piano favorite Roy “Professor Longhair” Byrd, doo-wop vocalists Earl Nelson and Tony Allen, lesser known vocalist Dolly Cooper and many others.      

Second, I played the great new set, Superharps II (Telarc Blues), featuring an all-star group featuring harmonica players and vocalists Carey Bell, Lazy Lester, Raful Neal and Snooky Pryor with Kid Bangham on guitar, Anthony Geraci on piano, Michael “Mudcat” Ward on bass and Per Hanson on drums.  Then I played some material from the collection Rare Chicago Blues, 1962-1968 on Bullseye Blues label from 1993, featuring the likes of Otis Spann, Big Joe Williams and James Cotton.  For the last part of the show, I was able to fulfill a number of phone and on-line requests for Saffire the Uppity Blues Women, Dave Van Ronk, Jimmy Smith (from his latest, Dot Com Blues (Blue Thumb)). I even had a request for John Hammond from a St. Louis on-line listener, who said that out there “Emily” was being called a “500-year storm.”

       Yeah, right.  Storm of the month as it turned out.

       Although by Monday night into Tuesday morning, the snow was blowing most impressively, much more so than on the day the state was virtually shut down.         

Go figure. 

During Blue Monday, I contacted Steve Theaker, one of two F. M. on Toasties to offer a relief fill-in for Tuesday morning’s “Celtic Airs” (usually with your host, Steve Dietrich).   

I should say thank you here to other people who heroically offered relief fill-ins during my extended on-air stint, including Ed McKeon and the wonderful Bonnie.  I could not accept their offers, however, because of communication problems, or because I thought they should reconsider for sleep or safety’s sakes.  Many thanks, though.     

Steve Theaker, however, said he would not mind filling in for the other Steve on Tuesday morning.  “Besides,” he said, “I only live two miles away by ski.”       

“Uh… okay,” I said, thinking among other things, “Is it less than two miles by car?”

It also occurred to me that: a) such a person would not be deterred by safety warnings and b) I could really use the break.         

So, as I toiled to put together the hour long loop of programming for the Monday overnight…        

…the doorbell rings.  

It’s Theaker.       

Standing in view of the security camera, waving hello, ski-poles in hand, baloney curls hidden under a hat with floppy ears.     

It was snowing very hard and he had skied in to say hello, and “just to find out if I could do it.”        

Satisfied he could, he disappeared back into the snow, skiing home to sleep for a few hours.       

That’s dedication.  Or mental illness, or something.  At any rate, I was familiar with the symptoms.    

Blue Monday ended, and for Monday’s overnight loop (filling in for Dr. Longhair’s “Local Anesthetic” on the Gothics and Katherine’s “Folk Crossing” on the All Night), I programmed an hour featuring music from all nine Folk Next Door concerts (not counting the special holiday concert and CD, or had you forgotten?).  I figured, local, folk… why not? 

(I also figured I would skip the holiday CD after the complaints I had heard about snow music on Morning Jazz.  Fair enough.  I was pretty sick of it, too.)

Incidentally, both Dr. Longhair and Katherine had considered coming in, despite weather related transportation headaches earlier in the day.  I had to help convince them what a dicey propostion travel was becoming that night.  Like I said, dedication.         

The overnight brought many restful naps to the music of the Nields, Catie Curtis, Hugh Blumenfeld, Sloan Wainwright Band, Don Sineti and many others, between the inevitable awakenings to make sure the station was still on every couple of hours.  At 5:30, the doorbell rang.  Theaker sans skipoles.  He had driven in.  Still pretty crazy, though.

A nice three hour nap followed until I got up at 8:30 or so, meeting the student who had been tapped for a relief fill-in for Tuesday Morning Jazz (usually Chuck Obuchowski with “Out Here and Beyond”).  Eric Porse was his name and he handled his very first show like an old pro.  Keep an ear out for Eric.  He may be what we UH’ers call a lifer.

Okay, well, that’s what I call him…

Professor Evica showed up for Assassination Journal at noon, leaving at 12:45 p. m.  By then, Colin and/or Aaron had stopped by again and I had talked to Tuesday Synthesis host Andy Taylor on the phone.

Andy was awaiting the plowman to till his field… or clear his driveway, or something.  It wasn’t clear.

 Sorry.  Cabin fever.

 Andy asked me to play certain things, as he, like Dean, wanted to make sure his loyal listeners were thanked properly.  And, he like Dean understood that the show would be in adequate hands.  I think.

  So I started with the latest from Banco de Gaia, Izigeh (Six Degrees), as well as some Brian Eno and David Byrne.  I played some of the latest William Orbit (Pieces in a Modern Style (Maverick)), Robert Rich’s Sunyata (Hypnos Soundscape), Björk, some material from the Six Degrees Dance Collection: Motion (Six Degress) (featuring Bebel Gilberto, Monica Ramos, Euphoria and others), The Soggy Bottom Boys’ “Man of Constant Sorrow,” from the soundtrack to the latest Coen brothers’ film O Brother, Where Art Thou?.  I also played more ambient music from the latest Al Gromer Khan (Sufi (New Earth)), Ron Boots, Steve Roach & Vidna Obmana and a recent Thomas Ronkin release (Symmetric (Tristissima)).

   Next was a fill-in for Tuesday Evening Classics.  Since I know that Scott Deshefy has been known to turn to the music of film for his program, I programmed liberally from our soundtrack bin.  I played music by Ryuichi Sakamoto and David Byrne from The Last Emporer (Virgin CDV2485), followed by David Byrne’s album length piece, The Forest (Luaka Bop / Warner Bros./ Sire #9 26584-2).  I followed that up with Hans Zimmer’s score to the Jon Boorman film Beyond Rangoon (Milan 7313835725-2).

  After that, I ended the show with two sets of performances by the City of Prague Philharmonic.  The first was of the film music of Bernard Herrmann for the films of Alfred Hitchcock from A History of Hitchcock- Dial M for Murder (Silva SSD1030).  The second, and last thing I played was Angelo Badalamenti’s haunting score (featuring one piece written and performed by vocalist Marianne Faithfull with the Philharmonic) to Jeunet & Caro’s film The City of Lost Children (Point Music 314 532 047-2).

    During this last Classics show, arrangements were being made for my escape.

    John Ramsey called around 4:30 p. m., asking if he could bring me anything to eat, and after a day and a half of cereal and cold cuts in a chilly office, the offer of a hot, or even lukewarm, meal was very tempting.  In my dazed, half-Jack-Torrance-early-on-in-the-Shining state, I asked if he could, shall we say, “make a run for the border.”

    Unfortunately (and strangely on this late Tuesday afternoon, “The Border” was closed, as he reported on his cellular phone.  Would I rather the Hamburger Clown or the Mass Transit sandwich shoppe instead, he asked?

I paraphrase, of course.

 I chose the Mass Transit.

 He also proffered an offer of his wife’s homemade chili, explaining apologetically for it not being her five alarm variety and for having chunky veggies in it.  He explained that she had made it for the neighbors, who have kids, so…

 I said, damn the chunky vegetables, full chili ahead!  It sounded great to me!

            When John arrived, between those s. u. v. transport trips, he brought a wonderfully large bowl of chili (which ended up being very delicious) and a bag, not from the Mass Transit place, but instead from the Dirigible Sandwich Place.  Mass Transit, too, was closed.

 The Dirigible Place was more fitting for a Gothic Blimp Works host anyway, don’t you think?

      I hungrily ingested warm food and a whole turkey sub.  Thanks, John.

       By now, we had agreed that, storm danger mostly passed, I should surrender my post at 9 p. m. that Tuesday night, making it 48 hours exactly as the station’s standby snowman.  Students were now poised to fill –in the increasingly less likely absences in the schedule to come.

       I packed up everything in the bags I brought them in.  I returned Susan’s desk to its’ former useful state, and returned the station couch to its’ pre-makeshift cot existence as a mere piece of office furniture.

   John arrived shortly before nine (and shortly after my student relief fill-ins for Accent on Jazz) and we headed to the loading dock to fill the humvee with my bags.

    Except, as I got out there, I saw…

    Bummer.

   No Hummer.

    Dang.  Now I’ll never know what it’s like to be Republican.

    But, seriously, much thanks to everyone who made it possible, from Emily and the Guy with a Big Toe for a Head (he lives around the corner from UH), to John Ramsey (and his wife, the mistress of chili cooking.  Mrs. Ramsey, I bow to your kung-fu…), to Colin and Aaron and Bonnie and Ed and Steve and Eric and George and Chris Marti.

     Also thank you to the emailers: the Big G and Vishnu, Dwight “Weedsman” Thurston, Dave and Mary (parents of Emily) listening in St. Louis on wwuh.org, Jeff and also Chris (not Marti, but close…).

       And thank you to everyone with the kind, or only slightly annoyed, calls.

        As I write this, the vernal equinox has just passed.  In Connecticut, this, of course means only four more weeks of snow.

          I hope.

        Hey, Colin, will we need an oppressively wonderful spring weather fill-in person?

       Because I know this guy…

 

 

From the July/August Program Guide

Music Biz Confidential

A Hard-Nosed Look at the State of Jazz Today

By Jazz Officer Spaak

WWUH Jazz Director, Autumn 1993-Spring 2001

        One thing I learned for certain during my dozen years (including my stint at another radio station) serving as a Jazz Director is that The Music Industry is unbelievably screwed-up. This inevitably rubs off onto the jazz divisions of the (now handful of) major corporations which dominate the production and distribution of recorded music in the world today. The amount of time, money and energy spent on promoting "crap" (to be as polite as possible) to radio, and the general public, is staggering. In the realm of jazz, specifically, "the holy grail" is to place high on the chart tracking radio play of jazz releases maintained by the Gavin organization. Unfortunately, success in that endeavor does not automatically translate into retail sales success, and the competition for the top slots in the Gavin report is intense. Independent projects do sometimes break through the logjam created by the industry heavyweights, but many deserving (on artistic merit) releases don't stand a chance. Distribution channels and shelf space in retail outlets are also, of course, dominated by the corporate "big boys."

      The industry heavyweights are in a trend of paring the number of slots in their rosters of jazz artists. Everyone wants to know who will be "the next" Josh Redman, or Diana Krall. Every year, universities mint (collectively) thousands of graduates of jazz studies programs, all (presumably, at least) possessing basic competence, some of whom doubtless have great potential--but will it be realized? It seems to this observer that, by now, the odds of achieving financial success in this field must be as slim as for youngsters dreaming of becoming stars in the National Basketball Association. I wish each and every one of these young folks the best, but my sincere advice to them is: Get yourself a good "day job," and work at your music in your spare time. Meanwhile, Miles Davis' vintage "Kind Of Blue" remains on the best-seller chart year after year. It has always been far cheaper--and thus more profitable-- for the recording industry to repackage and reissue their back catalogs than to groom new artists for success. This is especially true in jazz because of the limited segment of the music-buying public that will ever purchase a jazz recording.

        Enough months have passed since the televising of Ken Burns' much-ballyhooed ten-part documentary on jazz for our perspectives to mature. Many jazz fanatics despised the whole project. I have some severe criticisms of it, myself. However, I now feel that Burns was definitely on to something by focusing on the connection between the dancehall and the popularity of the music in the 1920s through the World War II era. Swing music was, indeed, this country's popular music. But, things change, don't they? The world is still waiting, after all these centuries, for "another Michelangelo," or "another Mozart, Beethoven..." whatever, fill in the blank. So, who will be "the next" Louis Armstrong? Duke Ellington? Miles Davis? John Coltrane? The simple answer is: No one. I don't mean to suggest that it's impossible for our music to find new directions, and I'm not putting down the current crop of musicians, by any means. But, I think it's time that we face this reality: Jazz will never again be "popular" music. Jazz is an acquired taste, beloved of a minority among minorities of the populace. I will go so far as to suggest that we are nearing the point where it becomes the "property" of almost a "secret society of jazz priests and priestesses," not unlike modern day Druidism or Witchcraft.

        Can jazz be "saved" from such a fate? I see but one hope for, at least, delaying the arrival of such a state of affairs. This hope rests in you, dear reader. If you have bothered to read this far, it is fair to assume that you do, indeed, care about our music. Now, what are you willing to do beyond scanning lines of type on this paper? Will you join a local or statewide jazz society? Will you purchase at retail outlets recordings by artists who are still among the living? Will you find it in your household budget to attend live jazz performances, so that presenters are encouraged to continue jazz-related endeavors? Will you contribute a few bucks to enable noncommercial radio stations to continue to broadcast jazz music? If not you...who? If not now...when?

   Some will say, "These are the thoughts of a deep pessimist." I say they're the outcome of thoughtful realism. Let time be the judge.

 

          Jim Shannon recalled:

          Got to agree with you on the MD position. I spent countless hours rebuilding our record library and keeping the station's music integrity at a highest
levels. As MD, I spent more time with announcing, meetings with promo men,
concerts, artists and helping out during the summer months when no one was
around. Some of the early Operations Managers only showed
up for the meeting minutes. But that's how it was-guess I was just one of
those "worker bees".

 

          Robert Skinnner:

          To all who have contributed time, effort,  money, goods, or inspiration to WWUH: The radio station at UH is probably the most  successful seed operation I have been associated  with in the course of my life.  Those couple of years working on WWUH have born fruit beyond any measure that I could have dreamed of.

It is a source of tremendous satisfaction that so many talented people have enjoyed and profited by it throughout their lives, and a  great joy to meet some of them this last weekend.

The quality of your contributions to the radio station, each in your own way, have put firmmuscle on the bones built in 1968.While your facility with the media far outstrip mine, I offer a "Well Done! to all, and considerit a privilege to have been in your company.

 

News stories making the headlines in 2001 include: U.S. spy plane and Chinese jet collide (April 2); Sino-American relations deteriorate during a standoff. The 24 crew members of the U.S. plane were detained for 11 days and released after the U.S. issued a formal statement of regret; Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is delivered to UN tribunal in The Hague to await war-crime trial (June 29); Without U.S., 178 nations reach agreement on climate accord, which rescues, though dilutes, 1997 Kyoto Protocol (July 23); In response to Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, U.S. and British forces launch bombing campaign on Taliban government and al-Qaeda terrorist camps in Afghanistan (Oct. 7). Bombings continue on a daily basisIrish Republican Army announces that it has begun to dismantle its weapons arsenal, marking a dramatic leap forward in Northern Ireland peace process (Oct. 23). Background: Northern Ireland Primer; At a UN-sponsored summit in Bonn, Germany, Afghani factions meet to create a post-Taliban government (Nov. 27). 9);Israel condemns the Palestinian Authority as a "terror-supporting entity" and severs ties with leader Yasir Arafat following mounting violence against Israelis (Dec. 3). The Israeli Army begins bombing Palestinian areas. Background: Middle East; In final days of presidency, Bill Clinton issues controversial pardons, including one for Marc Rich, billionaire fugitive financier (Jan. 20); George W. Bush is sworn in as 43rd president (Jan. 20); Race riots in Cincinnati continue for several days following a shooting of an unarmed black man by a white police officer (April 7 et seq.); Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh executed (June 11); Terrorists attack United States. Hijackers ram jetliners into twin towers of New York City's World Trade Center and the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane crashes 80 mi outside of Pittsburgh (Sept. 11). Toll of dead and injured in thousands. Within days, Islamic militant Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda terrorist network are identified as the parties behind the attacks; Anthrax scare rivets nation, as anthrax-laced letters are sent to various media and government officials. Several postal workers die after handling the letters (throughout October).

 

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