WWUH RADIO HISTORY

2005 Year In Review

2005

Managers: John Ramsey – General Manager and Chief Engineer, Kate Horrigan and Marissa Lindgren  – Operations Director, Susan Mullis – Director of Development, Chris Heerema – Program Director, Mary Dowst – Business Manager, Mike DeRosa – Community Affairs Director, Jm Christensen and Marissa Lindgren – At Large Members,   Andy Taylor – Music Director, Ed McKeon – Folk Music Director, Steve Petke – Classical Music Director, Jazz Officer Spaak – Jazz Music Director, Kevin Lynch – Bluegrass Music Direcctor,  Brian Grossjean – World Music Director, Peter Rost -  Blues Music Director, Chris Larsen – Web Master and Recording Studio Director,  Mark Halpern appt. Asst. Program Director

Staff:
McNal Allison, Keith Barrett, Larry Bilansky, Carl Bolkavic, Bart Bozzi , Keith Brown, Dave Buddington, Michael Carrol, Bob Celmer, Mark Channon, Jim Christensen, Deborah Conklin, Mark DeLorenzo, Dave Demaw, Mike DeRosa, Scott Deshefy, Steve Dieterich, Vijay Dixit, Bill Domler, Mary Dowst, Marsh Dubaldo, Chuck Dube, Al Dzikas, George Michael Evica, Stu Feldman, Dawn Finnemore, Mario Greitti, Donna Giddings, Nicole Godburn, Brian Grosjean, Bonnie Hast, John Harris, Sam Hatch, Eugene Hazanov, Chris Heerema, Gilberto Heredia, Dean Hilderbrandt, John Holder, Kate Horrigan, Harvey Jassem, Wayne Jones, Rick LaBrie, Kevin Lampkins, Chris Larsen, Gregory Laxer, Gary Levin, Marissa Lindgren, Rohan Long, Kevin Lynch, Will Mackey, Tony Magno, Doug Maine, Chris Marti, Mike Marti, Walter Mayo, Ed McKeon, Bill Measom, Gail Meyers-Jaworski, Peter Michaelson, Phillip Mitchell, Susan Mullis, Nay Nasser, Ted Neihay, Chuck Obuchowski, Kevin O’Toole, Stephen Petke, Kris Powell, Anthony Price, John Prytko, John Ramsey, Henrique Ribeiro, Maurice Robertson, Katherine Rossner, Peter Rost, Mark Santini, David Schoenfeld, John Scott, Jack Seidl, Kevin Shively, Doug Sturbins, Monica Suneija, Andy Taylor, Steve Theaker, Dwight Thurston, Rob Turner, Rob Tyrka, Bob Walsh, Terry Weichand, Lloyd Weir, Joan Wright-Lee, Andy Zeldin.
 Workstudy; Alex, Ben, Greg, Kate, Jason, Heather, Luke. 
 Kate Horrigan stepped down as OD in October. Marissa Lindgren appointed in her place.
    Returning work study -  Jack and Zach Hewett.  New Brandon, Justin… Nadia, Michelle.
WAPJ back on the air on January 1.

COMMUNITY AFFAIRS:  A public affairs program aired in mid-March included an interview with a man who hosts a web site that encouraged people to ask questions about the 911 terrorist attack on the US.  We received about a half dozen calls and emails from listeners who liked what they heard and one from a gentleman who didn’t like the show.   His felt that we were “talking down” to our listeners by airing such a show because “no one would be stupid enough” to believe the content.  After speaking with the GM, the caller called the Provost.  Prior to returning the person’s call, the Provost contacted WWUH for a copy of the program which she was provided with. 
 Surprisingly, several staff members expressed their dismay at a General Meeting that the ECOM would hand over a tape of a show to the University.  Even after being reminded that the university was the actual licensee of WWUH and that withholding the tape would be both wrong and would appear suspicious, some people still didn’t understand. 

PROGRAMMING:
 On February 1, the WWUH board operator was shocked to see an EAS message come through that called for the evacuation of all of Connecticut! Someone in the state Office of Emergency Management pressed the wrong button during a routine monthly test of the system.
 A new program called Radioactive and produced by the Hartford Independent Media Center (HIMC) started airing at noon on Wednesday.
    On May 28 WWUH carried the New England Fiddle Contest live.
    July 6, Brandon Kampe’s Hartford Circus Fire documentary was aired, it encluded 30 minutes of previously unhead audo courtesy of WTIC radio.
 In January former WWUH staffers were offered up to 30 minutes of air time to use air time to do an FM on Toast show as if it was 1979.  Surprisingly, only two former WWUHers were able to help out, and the team of Mike Crispino and Roger Stauss, who partnered back in 1979 with an FM On Toast show, pulled off a guest appearance on WWUH on April Fools Day.  They did their show as if it was 1979 and read news stores and made commentary on events of the era and of course they played music from that time period.  Even though the music that they played was a bit more commercial than what we have on in the morning now, audience reaction was uniformly positive although one polite listener called to ask “Can you tell me when the regular host will be back?”. 

    On April 6th the station featured its second annual Its All Live broadcast of twelve hours of live music.  The concept behind Its All Live was live programming, no tapes, CDs, or any kind of prerecorded material.  The station microphones were on from 6 am to 6 pm the day of the broadcast.
      Performers included:  FOLK Jim Mercik, Hugh Blumenfeld, David Goldman, Dan Stevens, Anais Mitchell, Amy Gallatin and Stillwaters
JAZZ:  Ray McMorrin Group,   Kenny Reed Quartet, RAM III Trio (Host:), The Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz Ensemble  (Hartt School of Music students).
SYNTHESIS:  Percussion trio Loop 2.4.3, Saturnine  (University of Hartford students), Eschellon, South Indian Classical singer, Bhooma Nambirajan, Specimen 37, Fred Pedemonti - solo guitar  CLASSICS:  Michael Nix - solo guitar Hyperion String Quartet  (Hartt School of Music students),    Michael Nix - solo guitar, Biava Quartet, Prism Trio, Robert Black Bass Ensemble.
     The volunteer staff consisted of Eugene Hazanov, David Buddington, Bob Celmer, Mary Dowst, Chris Larsen, Kevin Lynch, Walter Mayo,   Kevin O’Toole, Pat Stevens, Monica Suneja, Chirs Heerema, Dean Hilderbrant, Kate Horrigan, Marissa Lindgren, Ed McKeon, Bill Measom, Chuck Obuchowski Mike DeRosa and Professor George Michael Evica, Jim Christensen, Peter Rost, Terry Weichand.
Monica Suneja wrote the following about the history of Geetanjali:

 Geetanjali: Music of India - By Monica Suneja
Geetanjali is an offering.
Be it a prayer or a song.
It is a salutation- of respect, and of affection.
 And that it is what the 7:30pm Friday evening show offers.
 Geetanjali is the longest running radio program in the USA featuring music from India that is both lyrical & exciting in composition. It offers a new dimension in musical appreciation for the Indian fan and Western listener as well -- including classical, contemporary, devotional and Bollywood music. It has been serving the needs of Indian listeners for (by) providing wholesome entertainment for more than twenty-seven years.
  Jawaharlal Nehru once said that wherever Indians go they take a little piece of India with them.  Geetanjali is such an effort to maintain our cultural identity through music.

Birth:

 Geetanjali was born in 1977.  The concept was initiated with WWUH by Vinod Gadhia, the then president of India Association of Greater Hartford. Rajas Rangnekar hosted it for a few months as a half hour taped show broadcast 8:00-8:30 PM every Friday.

Father of Geetanjali:

 Vijay Dixit known as the father of Geetanjali took over Geetanjali in 1978 and anchored the program for the next 20 years.  A man for whom I have the utmost respect, for he (Vijay) displayed an unquenched passion,  strong commitment and undying dedication in realizing his futuristic vision of for Geetanjali that gave gives the program its distinct identity and made the program the pioneer radio program of music of India not only in Greater Hartford but in the United States.

Vijay fondly reminisces:
 
 “My first show was in the spring of 1978 and later that year I started to do it live and injected a cultural flavor by adding special shows on major religious & national festivals, and current affairs that impacted India and the United States.  Driven by tremendous community support, I was able to increase the show length to full one hour and later to 90 minutes.  At that time I introduced a regular classical segment to the show which became extremely popular with the non-Indian audiences.  There were suggestions that I do the show in Hindi, but I continued with the English medium mixed with Hindi nuances to preserve Geetanjali's distinctive identity.
  Over the years, a number of important luminaries appeared as guests on Geetanjali, live or in recorded interviews.  Among them were former Prime Ministers Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Morarji Desai, all the Indian ambassadors to USA 1980-2000, starting with the late Nani Palkiwala, P.N. Kaul, K. R. Narayan, Abid Hussain and Naresh Chandra, US Congressman Steven Solarz.  Deepak Vohra from the Indian Embassy in DC was a regular guest during the turbulent eighties.  I remember that was the time I was threatened by terrorist groups and University of Hartford and WWUH provided me personal on-campus security for protection.”
  There were numerous artists who appeared on the show.  To name a prominent few, Manna Dey, Bismillah Khan, Amjad Ali Khan, Zakir Hussain, Shiv Kumar Sharma, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Ananda Shankar, Rohini Hathangiri, and L. Subramanian.”
 Vijay Dixit retired when he had to move to Minneapolis in 1998 but continues to be an integral part of Geetanjali- his baby, even today as an advisor, guide and supporter.
 A man of substance who never talked frivolously cherishes those memories with a sense of pride and nostalgia. In his own words,
  “There were certainly more pleasant moments for me than the unpleasant ones, and I continue to cherish those memoirs with pride and nostalgia.”

Successors:

Kapil Taneja started as a fill in host of Geetanjali in 1984.  Mr. Vijay Dixit was the primary host of Geetanjali and Kapil provided help whenever Vijay needed time off.
 This arrangement continued through 1997.  Kapil took over the weekly broadcast of Geetanjali when Mr. Vijay Dixit retired from Geetanjali in 1997. Kapil was an active at the Radio Station until 2002 and brought in Ms. Monica Suneja (that would be me ) as a host and also recruited Mr. Anand Shukla and Anjali Shivkumar.

Kapil continues be a strong supporter of Geetanjali and WWUH in the Greater Hartford Community. He is a strong believer in the role Geetanjali plays in the lives of first generation Indians and American citizen with interest in Indian culture, living in the Greater Hartford area. Geetanjali not only entertains, but also informs the listeners about Indian theme events in the area and educates listeners about Indian culture and the Indian American issues.

Geetanjali: Then and Now

Geetanjali enjoyed a glorious status in the past. Although we are reaping the benefit of its success even today, frankly speaking, Geetanjali has deviated from the path and the goals it set out to achieve: To act as a cultural window to India through the medium of music with a primary purpose of providing wholesome entertainment. Of late, Geetanjali has become a synonym of popular music and more specifically Bollywood music mainly due to the fact that there is a huge listener base for this type of music. There is so much abundance and variety of Indian music and it’s unfortunate that we are not able to exploit it fully. We are constantly losing our listener base of Indian Classical Music that Vijay Dixit and others worked so hard to build.  It is my hope that we will be able to restore Geetanjali to its glorious status that it once enjoyed during the days when Vijay Dixit and others used to host the show.

Geetanjali is a legacy that must be preserved.  Therefore, I am very pleased to inform the readers that I have decided to dedicate the last half an hour of the program to Indian Classical Music so that Geetanjali listeners are once again able to enjoy Indian Classical Music that they so dearly miss.

I have made a commitment to promote Indian Classical music not only through Geetanjali and but through mainstream programming also.  Therefore, when I was given the honor of co-hosting of “It’s All Live” programming on WWUH held on April 28, 2004 and later on November 3, 2004 I made it a point to invite the noted Hindustani Classical Vocalist Dr. Stan Scott, a teacher of ethnomusicology at Weseleyan University, and Ms. Kala Prasad, a vocalist of Carnatic music system to come and perform and be a part of a one-of-a-kind event that took place for the first time in the history of the radio station.

Tagore said once, “The muffled foot-steps of the past beat in our blood.” Muffled by some not so bright patches in our history of the last 27 years, it is those foot-steps which we will need to hear again. We must proceed on the age-old beaten tracks, but strengthen them to make Geetanjali a forward, progressive radio program with music pluralism. This is what historical perspective teaches us, that is the optimism which our long past can give us in our present travail.
 Sit back relax and enjoy an hour and a half of Indian music that  not only entertains, but also informs the listeners about Indian theme events in the area and educates listeners about Indian culture and the Indian American issues.

CONCERTS:  Music for a Change: The Roadbirds, Lucy Kaplansky, Mark Erelli plus Kris Delmhorst, Vance Gilbert, , Buskin & Batteau, Sandip Burman, Jonathan Edwards, Batt Burns, Tribute to Harry Chapin, James Keelaghan, Kenny White, Ellis Paul, Eddie from Ohio.
 Celtic:  Bohola, Dervish, Karan Casey Band, Flook, Teada.

FINANCIAL: Fall Fund drive, October 23, brought in $30,000 for studio renovations.  $38,000 pledged!  The premium was a boat bag.
  Marathon 2005 ran from February 28 – March 6.  $68,000 was raised.  Within a week of the end of Marathon, the total pledged amount was greater than $72,500!  The premium was a maroon T shirt with glow-in-the-dark lettering.

PUBLICITY: 
 The station held a Saturday morning Open House in April to coincide with the university’s first Community Day.  Over thirty listeners visited the station.

ENGINEERING:  Early Nov. on back-up antenna while WTIC-FM starts work on replacing their main antenna.

MISC:
 Mort Fega, radio broadcaster, jazz record producer, journalist and teacher,  died Friday, January 21 at Hospice of Palm Beach in Bethesda Memorial  Hospital, Boyton Beach, Florida.
 Mort Fega was instrumental in helping WWUH establish itself with the local jazz community.  He hosted the Tuesday Accent on Jazz and the Saturday Focus on Jazz program for several years in the late seventies.  He passed away in January.
 According to the family, the cause of death was complications following surgery.
 Mr. Fega was born on July 4th, 1921 in New Rochelle, NY. He began his career in broadcasting in his hometown at radio station WNRC, where his Saturday afternoon jazz program garnered a loyal following.
 In 1962, he moved to WEVD, the radio voice of The Forward Newspaper, where he broadcast his program of modern jazz and spoken word six evenings a week. At the time, radio stations were permitted to broadcast the same content on both AM and FM frequencies. Consequently, Fega had listeners as far north as Canada and throughout New England. The show was called "Jazz
Unlimited" and was one of the few radio programs that featured modern jazz.
A typical show included big bands and bebop, comedy and the word jazz of Lord Buckley and Ken Nordine and vocalists like Blossom Dearie and Joe Williams. He produced and emceed concerts at Newport, Carnegie Hall, Randall's Island and the Apollo Theatre.
 After leaving WEVD, he continued broadcasting jazz from WBAI, WRFM, and WTFM in New York City, and then on KXIV in Phoenix and WWUH in Hartford.
 He retired to Florida where he had a five-hour Saturday evening program at NPR station WXEL and taught a History of Jazz course at Palm Beach Community College. In addition, he wrote a weekly column for the Palm Beach Post.
 Fega began Focus Records to recognize under-appreciated talents like guitarist Chuck Wayne and singer/pianist Bob Dorough, and to record musicians he favored such as Carmen McRae and Earl 'Fatha' Hines.
 During World War II, Mr. Fega captained a B-17 Flying Fortress. He and his crew flew 29 missions over Germany and occupied France and were part of the first daylight bombings of Berlin. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts.
 Mort Fega is survived by his wife of 60 years, Muriel (Praete), and four sons, Russell of Altadena, CA, Douglas of Carefree, AZ, Kenneth of Sedona, AZ, and Roger of Amherst, MA, and 8 grandchildren.
    At the February General Meeting, the staff voted unamiously to move forward with WWUH2.  Working group.
 Possibility of moVe to Gengras.
 Hurricane Katrina relief featured on the wwuh.org web page.
     In September WWEB’s transmitter died.  New one installed.
    Working with WBVP in Pomfret.
     October general meeting Dr. Paul Siegel, Director of the UH School of Communication.  “Paul’s Smut Talk”.
 November general meeting featured Dave Nagel, Program Director of the Buckley Stations of CT. 
 WWUH mentioned in the Connecticut Broadcasters Association “History of Connecticut Broadcasting” pamphlet. 
 Keith Brown’s Gay Spirit celebrated its 25th anniversary.
 At the December General Meeting, the following awards were given out:  “Above and Beyond” given to Kevin O’Toole, 5 years:  ; 10 years,; 15 years, ; 20 years, Ed McKeon, 25 years, Keith Brown.
 The WWUH web site counter is up to 230,000 views, up from 45,000 in 2001!
 The staton’s license renewal was filed on 11/30/05.
 First on-demand programming, Culture Dogs on the website.

March 2005 from Michael Ditkoff:
 “For those that don't remember, "Turn your radio on" was the music for the station's Sign On with John LaBella or Jon Eppler doing the voice over with "WWUH now begins another broadcast day. WWUH operates an assigned frequency of 91.3 MegaHertz as authorized by the Federal Communications in Washington, DC. Station, Studios, and Facilities are located at 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT." I'm sure somebody will let me know if I missed anything.
 Now, how many of you remember the station's sign off? Yes, the station used to go off the air before the "Gothic Blimp Works" went on the air during the graveyard shift.

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