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“The Big Blind”: Kurt Elling’s Jazz Radio Drama in 1950s Chicago

The “Spectacular” Jack Lewis is an exciting young singer booming in 1950s Chicago, a dazzling performer who captivates audiences at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge – a true legend in the making. But there is a long way to go and a lot of hard lessons to learn.

The character Jack Lewis is a creation of Chicago-born jazz singer Kurt Elling, acting as the hero of his black jazz radio drama The big blind. Inspired by the golden age of radio, Elling brought a production of Lewis’ story to life in 2019 – albeit in person and on stage – over two sold-out nights at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. Starring Elling as Jack Lewis and co-written by Phil Galdston, the production raised the musical bar on the classic genre, with original songs and new lyrics to instrumental highlights of the jazz canon, and a all-star cast featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Allison Semmes and Ben Vereen, supported by a big band of 26 string musicians.

After a few iterations, including a performance in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a virtual special from the Green Mill in Chicago, The Big Blind has finally made its way to your radio, thanks to Jazz Night in America. With selections from the world premiere at the Rose Theater and exclusive performances from Jazz Night, Elling takes the chair of the host to tell us the story of Jack Lewis in the world of The Big Blind.

Will Jack survive the fierce entertainment world? Or will love and jealousy derail his dreams? Tap into knowledge.

Musicians / Crew:

Kurt Elling, voice, writer, composer; Ben Vereen, Voice; Dee Dee Bridgewater, vocals; Allison Semmes, voice; Jeff Ward, announcer; Ulysses Owens, Jr., drums; Clark Sommers, bass; Stu Mindeman, Piano; Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone; Lakecia Benjamin, Alto Saxophone, Flute; Alexa Tarantino, alto saxophone, flute, alto flute; Diego Rivera, tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute; Daniel Dickinson, clarinet, flute, alto flute; Carl Maraghi, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Walter Cano, trumpet; Benny Benack III, Trumpet; Bruce Harris, Trumpet; Giveton Gelin, Trumpet; Michael Dease, trombone; Eric Miller, trombone; Wyatt Forhan, bass trombone; Tomoko Akaboshi, solo violin; Meg Okura, Violin, Paul Woodiel, Violin; Todd Reynolds, violin; Joyce Hammann, violin; Matt Consul, viola; Jeremy Kittel, viola; Marta Bagratuni, cello; Leigh Stewart, cello.

Guy Barker, composer, conductor; Bryan Farina, director; Terry Kinney, director

List of sets:

The Joker is Savage (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

What if forever? (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

The Faces I Find (Guy Barker, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

No complications (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

Dressed in a song (JD Walter)

Be mine (or be careful) (James Newton Howard, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

The Face in the Bar Mirror (Wayne Shorter, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

Sound of Love by Duke Ellington (Charles Mingus, Lena Seikaly)

Dressed in a song (Cover) (JD Walter)

Credits:

Producer: Trevor Smith; Screenwriters: Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston, Trevor Smith; Hosts: Kurt Elling, Christian McBride; Score pianist: Stu Mindeman; Musical engineers: David Gibson, Vijay Tellis-Nayak; Musical mixing: Phil Galdston, Rob Macomber; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Project manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand.

Special thanks to Bryan Farina and Jonathan Stuart

Copyright 2021 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.


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“The Big Blind”: Kurt Elling’s Jazz Radio Drama in 1950s Chicago

The “Spectacular” Jack Lewis is an exciting young singer on the rise in 1950s Chicago, a dazzling performer who captivates audiences at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge – a true legend in the making. But there is a long way to go and a lot of hard lessons to learn.

The character Jack Lewis is a creation of Chicago-born jazz singer Kurt Elling, acting as the hero of his black jazz radio drama The big blind. Inspired by the golden age of radio, Elling brought a production of Lewis’ story to life in 2019 – albeit in person and on stage – over two sold-out nights at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. Starring Elling as Jack Lewis and co-written by Phil Galdston, the production raised the musical bar on the classic genre, with original songs and new lyrics to instrumental highlights of the jazz canon, and a all-star cast featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Allison Semmes and Ben Vereen, supported by a big band of 26 string musicians.

After a few iterations, including a performance in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a virtual special from the Green Mill in Chicago, The Big Blind has finally made its way to your radio, thanks to Jazz Night in America. With selections from the world premiere at the Rose Theater and exclusive performances from Jazz Night, Elling takes the chair of the host to tell us the story of Jack Lewis in the world of The Big Blind.

Will Jack survive the fierce entertainment world? Or will love and jealousy derail his dreams? Tap into knowledge.

Musicians / Crew:

Kurt Elling, voice, writer, composer; Ben Vereen, Voice; Dee Dee Bridgewater, vocals; Allison Semmes, voice; Jeff Ward, announcer; Ulysses Owens, Jr., drums; Clark Sommers, bass; Stu Mindeman, Piano; Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone; Lakecia Benjamin, Alto Saxophone, Flute; Alexa Tarantino, alto saxophone, flute, alto flute; Diego Rivera, tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute; Daniel Dickinson, clarinet, flute, alto flute; Carl Maraghi, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Walter Cano, trumpet; Benny Benack III, Trumpet; Bruce Harris, Trumpet; Giveton Gelin, Trumpet; Michael Dease, trombone; Eric Miller, trombone; Wyatt Forhan, bass trombone; Tomoko Akaboshi, solo violin; Meg Okura, Violin, Paul Woodiel, Violin; Todd Reynolds, violin; Joyce Hammann, violin; Matt Consul, viola; Jeremy Kittel, viola; Marta Bagratuni, cello; Leigh Stewart, cello.

Guy Barker, composer, conductor; Bryan Farina, director; Terry Kinney, director

List of sets:

The Joker is Savage (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

What if forever? (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

The Faces I Find (Guy Barker, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

No complications (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

Dressed in a song (JD Walter)

Be mine (or be careful) (James Newton Howard, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

The Face in the Bar Mirror (Wayne Shorter, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

Sound of Love by Duke Ellington (Charles Mingus, Lena Seikaly)

Dressed in a song (Cover) (JD Walter)

Credits:

Producer: Trevor Smith; Screenwriters: Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston, Trevor Smith; Hosts: Kurt Elling, Christian McBride; Score pianist: Stu Mindeman; Musical engineers: David Gibson, Vijay Tellis-Nayak; Musical mixing: Phil Galdston, Rob Macomber; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Project manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand.

Special thanks to Bryan Farina and Jonathan Stuart


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“The Big Blind”: Kurt Elling’s Jazz Radio Drama in 1950s Chicago

The “Spectacular” Jack Lewis is an exciting young singer booming in 1950s Chicago, a dazzling performer who captivates audiences at the Green Mill Cocktail Lounge – a true legend in the making. But there is a long way to go and a lot of hard lessons to learn.

The character Jack Lewis is a creation of Chicago-born jazz singer Kurt Elling, acting as the hero of his black jazz radio drama The big blind. Inspired by the golden age of radio, Elling brought a production of Lewis’ story to life in 2019 – albeit in person and on stage – over two sold-out nights at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater. Starring Elling as Jack Lewis and co-written by Phil Galdston, the production raised the musical bar on the classic genre, with original songs and new lyrics to instrumental highlights of the jazz canon, and a all-star cast featuring Dee Dee Bridgewater, Allison Semmes and Ben Vereen, supported by a big band of 26 string musicians.

After a few iterations, including a performance in London with the BBC Concert Orchestra and a virtual special from the Green Mill in Chicago, The Big Blind has finally made its way to your radio, thanks to Jazz Night in America. With selections from the world premiere at the Rose Theater and exclusive performances from Jazz Night, Elling takes the chair of the host to tell us the story of Jack Lewis in the world of The Big Blind.

Will Jack survive the fierce entertainment world? Or will love and jealousy derail his dreams? Tap into knowledge.

Musicians / Crew:

Kurt Elling, voice, writer, composer; Ben Vereen, Voice; Dee Dee Bridgewater, vocals; Allison Semmes, voice; Jeff Ward, announcer; Ulysses Owens, Jr., drums; Clark Sommers, bass; Stu Mindeman, Piano; Eric Alexander, tenor saxophone; Lakecia Benjamin, Alto Saxophone, Flute; Alexa Tarantino, alto saxophone, flute, alto flute; Diego Rivera, tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute; Daniel Dickinson, clarinet, flute, alto flute; Carl Maraghi, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Walter Cano, trumpet; Benny Benack III, Trumpet; Bruce Harris, Trumpet; Giveton Gelin, Trumpet; Michael Dease, trombone; Eric Miller, trombone; Wyatt Forhan, bass trombone; Tomoko Akaboshi, solo violin; Meg Okura, Violin, Paul Woodiel, Violin; Todd Reynolds, violin; Joyce Hammann, violin; Matt Consul, viola; Jeremy Kittel, viola; Marta Bagratuni, cello; Leigh Stewart, cello.

Guy Barker, composer, conductor; Bryan Farina, director; Terry Kinney, director

List of sets:

The Joker is Savage (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

What if forever? (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

The Faces I Find (Guy Barker, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

No complications (Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

Dressed in a song (JD Walter)

Be mine (or be careful) (James Newton Howard, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

The Face in the Bar Mirror (Wayne Shorter, Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston)

Sound of Love by Duke Ellington (Charles Mingus, Lena Seikaly)

Dressed in a song (Cover) (JD Walter)

Credits:

Producer: Trevor Smith; Screenwriters: Kurt Elling, Phil Galdston, Trevor Smith; Hosts: Kurt Elling, Christian McBride; Score pianist: Stu Mindeman; Musical engineers: David Gibson, Vijay Tellis-Nayak; Musical mixing: Phil Galdston, Rob Macomber; Senior Producer: Katie Simon; Project manager: Suraya Mohamed; Executive producers: Anya Grundmann and Gabrielle Armand.

Special thanks to Bryan Farina and Jonathan Stuart


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Graham Norton lands in West Cork for Virgin Radio UK premiere

Graham Norton returned home to West Cork to record his very first show with Virgin Radio UK.

Graham rocked a casual outfit of a hoodie and cargo pants as he sat down to broadcast the show from C103’s West Cork studio on Sunday morning.

C103’s Kieran McGeary shared a photo of the two, writing: “Glad to welcome @grahnort to studio @ C103Cork West Cork this morning.

Graham Norton returned home to West Cork to record his very first show with Virgin Radio UK. Photo: Christopher Baines

“He’s playing his show on our sister station @VirginRadioUK from here.”

The Bandon native said it was “very sad” to leave BBC Radio 2, but Virgin Radio’s “enthusiasm and energy” was “contagious”.

“I was very happy with where I was, but the opportunity to host shows throughout the weekend seemed too good to be missed,” he said.

“Plus, the energy and enthusiasm of Virgin Radio is contagious and I can’t wait to get started! Did I mention that the studios are very close to where I live? ‘

Graham assured fans that the BBC will remain his “perfect TV home” with his talk show, Eurovision and Drag Race UK.

An adaptation of Graham Norton’s novel Holding will begin filming in Ireland this summer.

Graham Norton West Cork
Graham assured fans that the BBC will remain his “perfect TV home” with his talk show, Eurovision and Drag Race UK. Photo: BBC

Holding tells the story of an investigator who arrives in Duneen to solve a mysterious crime, confronted with decades of local gossip and secrets.

The discovery of human remains on an old farm in Duneen forces Sergeant PJ Collins to delve into the village’s dark past and tear webs of anger, resentment, envy and regret.

The four-part television adaptation of Holding will star North Irish actor Conleth Hill, best known for his role as the all-knowing Varys in Game of Thrones.



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Virgin Radio launches a station dedicated to the LGBT community

Virgin Radio launches dedicated LGBT community station with hosts including RuPaul Drag Race star and BBC Radio presenter who came out live non-binary

  • Virgin Radio Pride UK will be broadcast from June 7 to the end of September
  • He will address issues such as trans rights, gay adoption and parenting support
  • Hosts will be joined in the conversation by guest contributors, Virgin revealed
  • Presenters include Matt Cain, Emma Goswell, Debbie Ryan and Phil Clifton










Virgin Radio will launch an LGBT station that will operate during the summer, the station revealed.

The station, called Pride UK, will air from June 7 to the end of September and will focus on issues such as trans rights, gay adoption, living with HIV and helping parents understand LGBT topics.

The list of presenters includes Tia Kofi, a former RuPaul Drag Race United Kingdom star, and Shivani Dave, who came out live non-binary on a pride show on BBC Radio Wiltshire.

The hosts will be joined by famous guest contributors and will partner with pride marches across the country, as well as LGBT organizations.

Other presenters include LGBTQ + radio DJs Vicki Blight, Phil Clifton, Stephen Sullivan, Debbie Ryan and Emma Goswell as well as acclaimed journalist and writer Matt Cain – who previously worked as editor of Attitude, the British magazine. the most sold for homosexuals. Men.

Shivani Dave

The list of presenters includes Tia Kofi (left), a former RuPaul Drag Race UK star, and Shivani Dave (right), who came out live non-binary on a pride show on BBC Radio Wiltshire

The station, called Pride UK, will air from June 7 until the end of September.  Pictured is a giant rainbow flag during the annual London Pride Parade in London, Britain July 07, 2018

The station, called Pride UK, will air from June 7 until the end of September. Pictured is a giant rainbow flag during the annual London Pride Parade in London, Britain July 07, 2018

The lineup includes documentaries about being bisexual in 2021, how the LGBT community shapes dance music, and a weekly magazine by Cain called The Sunday Roast.

Virgin Radio Pride UK will play largely pop-dance and pop-R & B from the past 20 years, the broadcaster said.

Drag queen Kofi said, “I am so excited to be a part of the launch of this amazing new LGBTQ + station.

“We’ve created something made by queer people for queer people and beyond, and it’s going to be amazing.

Other presenters include LGBTQ + radio DJs Vicki Blight, Phil Clifton and Emma Goswell, as well as acclaimed journalist and writer Matt Cain (pictured) - who previously worked as editor of Attitude, the best-selling magazine in the world. UK for gay men.

Other presenters include LGBTQ + radio DJs Vicki Blight, Phil Clifton and Emma Goswell, as well as acclaimed journalist and writer Matt Cain (pictured) – who previously worked as editor of Attitude, the best-selling magazine in the world. UK for gay men.

“Get ready for the ultimate Friday night pre-party with me, as well as some sensational content from the entire LGBTQ + community.”

After the announcement, Cain took to Twitter to celebrate. He said, “I have EXCITING NEWS! I’m joining #VirginRadioPride to present the station’s flagship talk show! Think of it as Loose Women for queer people – discussing all kinds of issues affecting the LGBT + community. And I can’t wait to crack.

You can listen to Virgin Radio Pride UK from June 7 on DAB in London, online or through the Virgin Radio app.

Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race UK on Stan in Australia.

Who are the presenters of Virgin Radio UK Pride UK?

Tia Kofi

Lawrence Bolton, known by the stage name Tia Kofi, is a British drag queen from Clapham, south London. They are best known for competing in the second round of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

Lawrence Bolton, known by the stage name Tia Kofi

Lawrence Bolton, known by the stage name Tia Kofi

Emma Goswell

Celebrity radio presenter Emma Goswell featured breakfast on Gaydio, the world’s largest LGBT radio station for five years between 2013 and 2018.

Famous radio host Emma Goswell

Famous radio host Emma Goswell

Phil clifton

A British radio presenter and nominated for Sony television, Phil Clifton has appeared on MTV, Radio X and formerly Channel 4.

Phil Clifton appeared on MTV

Phil Clifton appeared on MTV

Vicki Scourge

Plymouth-born Vicki Blight has featured on Heart 106, a regional radio station broadcast in the East Midlands, Absolute Radio, BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio Wales.

Vicki Blight, born in Plymouth

Vicki Blight, born in Plymouth

Matt Cain

Writer Matt Cain worked as the editor of Attitude, the UK’s top-selling magazine for gay men between 2016 and 2018. He is also an ambassador for Manchester Pride and the Albert Kennedy Trust, the charity UK for homeless LGBT + youth.

Between 2016 and 2018, Matt worked as the editor of Attitude, the UK’s top-selling magazine for gay men.

Matt Cain worked as Editor-in-Chief of Attitude

Matt Cain worked as Editor-in-Chief of Attitude

Debbie ryan

Debbie Ryan worked with co-host Neil Sexton as NDebz on Gaydio accommodation on Saturday morning. The Guardian described the duo as “very successfully reprising mainstream breakfast shows with their largely reactionary chatter.”

Debbie Ryan worked with Neil Sexton

Debbie Ryan worked with Neil Sexton

Shivani Dave

BBC Radio Wiltshire presenter Shivani Dave used his platform to release live non-binary over the air last year. “I don’t identify with being a man or a woman. I’m kind of outside of those two options – I’m just one person, ”they said.

Presenter Shivani Dave

Presenter Shivani Dave

Stephen sullivan

Club Entertainment Director Stephen Sullivan has previously hosted a number of Heart radio shows, often acting as a replacement for other DJs while balancing his work as a promoter.

Stephen sullivan

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Graham Norton signs off first show as weekend host on Virgin Radio

Graham Norton has signed off his first show as a weekend host at Virgin Radio after promising listeners they should expect the “same old me”.

he chat show host, who left BBC Radio 2 in December after a decade on air, kicked off his new slot with a song by “the original virgin” – Hung Up by Madonna.

The 57-year-old has followed in the footsteps of ex-Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans in joining Virgin Radio, and Strictly Come Dancing presenter Claudia Winkleman is replacing him in his former slot.

Starting his show on Saturday morning, Norton thanked early morning presenter Amy Voce for her glowing introduction.

He said: “Yes, that is my name. Thank you very much to Amy for the last few hours.

“So this is it. New station, new year, new show. Sadly, same old me, as the jingle indicated.

“I am Graham Norton and I am here for the next three hours or so and tomorrow as well – fair warning.

“So what have we got? We have got some rambling chat, a couple of guests and of course some great music. Let’s kick off with the original virgin. ”

He was joined by long-standing presenting partner Maria McErlane, who is known for co-hosting the Grill Graham agony aunt segment on Radio 2.

They tackled the problems of his new Virgin Radio listeners as part of Graham’s Guide, helping siblings settle a Christmas dispute.

A new segment saw listeners challenged to guess the name of celebrity guest who had appeared on one of Norton’s chat shows since the 1990s, through only a short audio clip of them being interviewed.

He also debuted a new catchphrase for the show – “Top of the tower, top of the hour” – in reference to the radio station’s location in London Bridge.

Cold Feet actress Fay Ripley joined the show to discuss her role as a team captain on Paul Sinha’s TV Showdown.

Close


Chris Evans and Graham Norton in the Virgin Radio studios together (Virgin Radio / News UK / PA)

PA

Chris Evans and Graham Norton in the Virgin Radio studios together (Virgin Radio / News UK / PA)

Elsewhere, Ralf Little from Death In Paradise jokingly invited Norton on to the BBC show to play one of the murder victims.

Norton revealed that his mother had tuned in after some initial problems with her smart speaker.

He said: “Good news. My mother has been in touch and she says she can hear me loud and clear – and it’s not often she can hear me loud and clear. ”

There was also excitement from Norton at being in control of the buttons on his studio desk, after years at the BBC having an assistant in command.

“You know I am pressing the buttons,” he told McErlane.

“This is me running before I can walk. I am going to try and create a brand new jingle for you. ”

She replied: “That has given me all the feels Graham. I am crying here. ”

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Maria McErlane has joined Norton at Virgin Radio (Virgin Radio / PA)


Maria McErlane has joined Norton at Virgin Radio (Virgin Radio / PA)

PA

Maria McErlane has joined Norton at Virgin Radio (Virgin Radio / PA)

Signing off after three hours, he told listeners: “That is nearly the end of our first show at Virgin Radio UK. I will be back tomorrow bright and early at 9.30. I hope you can join me. ”

He closed the program by playing If You’re Over Me by Years & Years.

Norton’s other selections on the show included Tonight Is The Night by McFly and Summer Of ’69 by Bryan Adams.

He broadcast his final Radio 2 program from London’s Wogan House in December – 10 years after his first Saturday morning show for the station.

Norton joined Radio 2 in 2010 to host the 10am to 1pm slot on Saturdays, taking over from Jonathan Ross.

Figures released in September showed he was among the top earners at the broadcaster and he took about £ 725,000 home for his Radio 2 show and some TV work, but not his BBC One chat show.

Graham Norton is on Virgin Radio on Saturday and Sunday from 9.30am to 12.30pm.

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Graham Norton: Virgin Radio show is going to be a hit

Graham Norton said his new show on Virgin Radio would be a “blow in the arm” after a decade on BBC Radio 2.

The presenter, who makes his debut as a weekend host on Saturday, joked that it was the first time he had adrenaline in his body since 2010.

The 57-year-old follows in the footsteps of former Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans by joining the station, and is replaced at the BBC by Strictly Come Dancing host Claudia Winkleman.

To close


(Virgin Radio / UK News / PA)

(Virgin Radio / UK News / PA)

He told the PA News Agency, “I would say I’m a little nervous. Nervous and excited, which is rare for me. I like it. I like to feel like that.

“I haven’t had adrenaline in my body for about 10 years. It is a shock to the system. “

Speaking of feeling grateful for the work during the coronavirus pandemic, he added, “I’m really excited because the opportunity to start something new right now is amazing.

“Because I’ve been on Radio 2 for a long time, you get into a routine, and I was happy there, but it’s just a hit in the arm. It’s very exciting.”

To close

(Virgin Radio / UK News / PA)


(Virgin Radio / UK News / PA)

(Virgin Radio / UK News / PA)

Norton aired its last Radio 2 program from Wogan House in London in December – 10 years after its first Saturday morning show for the station.

He will be joined on Virgin Radio by longtime Presenting Partner Maria McErlane known for co-hosting the Aunt Agony Grill Graham segment.

But Norton predicted his debut on Saturday would be “a little weird.”

He said: “There are bound to be a few costumes that smell and I will be aware that there will probably be reporters listening to him to see what I’m saying… oh my God.

“Sunday will be the first suitable day when it’s just me and the real listeners and we have a good time. But tomorrow will be a little strange I guess.

To close

Graham Norton leaves Wogan House after airing his latest program on BBC Radio 2 (Kirsty O'Connor / PA)


Graham Norton leaves Wogan House after airing his latest program on BBC Radio 2 (Kirsty O’Connor / PA)

Pennsylvania

Graham Norton leaves Wogan House after airing his latest program on BBC Radio 2 (Kirsty O’Connor / PA)

Norton also appeared on Evans’ breakfast show Friday, where he admitted he kept forgetting that he doubled his workload on weekends.

“Even I always forget about the Sunday show,” he said.

“I hope I will introduce myself. I was at the supermarket yesterday looking at avocados thinking, “Oh, that would be great Sunday morning… oh, no”.

However, the talk show host said the extra schedule would not affect him too much due to Covid-19 restrictions which were already disrupting his social life.

He said: “Before the pandemic, I would normally be out on a Saturday night for dinner or something – that wouldn’t be crazy. But for now, the difference is that I won’t be watching the seventh and eighth episode of something, I’m going to bed to be ready for the Sunday show.

Evans, 54, also reminded him of the role he played in pushing him away from the BBC.

He said, “The last time you were on the breakfast show, you said, ‘It’s lovely in here,’ and I said, ‘It is, it is. “

“And you said,” You look so different and happy, “and I said,” I know. “

“I loved working at Radio 2 but didn’t know there was another level of joy to be had. And you have the same vibe, don’t you?

Norton replied, “I really did. And you were like, ‘Oh, you should come work here.’ And as I walked away thinking, ‘Well, that will never happen, but it actually would be. pretty good. “

Norton joined Radio 2 in 2010 to host the 10am to 1pm Saturday slot, succeeding Jonathan Ross.

Figures released in September showed he was among the broadcaster’s top earners and took around £ 725,000 for his show on Radio 2 and some TV work, but not for his talk show on BBC One.

Graham Norton is on Virgin Radio Saturdays and Sundays 9:30 am to 12:30 pm.

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Agenda: Heartland Theater brings classic radio drama to life

There is an old joke in public broadcasting: when is the best time to broadcast a soap opera?

1938.

Now we can add another year to that: 2020, as WGLT and WCBU will simultaneously be releasing a recreation of a famous (dare we say infamous?) Halloween airs from 1938. It’s “War of the Worlds”, and airs at 8 pm Oct. 30 on both public radio stations.

The new production gives Heartland Theater Company a chance to find her voice in the midst of the pandemic.

Socially distanced and ready to record “The War of the Worlds”.

On October 30, 1938, Orson Welles Mercure Theater on the air presented a production of HG Wells’ sci-fi classic, “War of the Worlds.” But it wasn’t just your standard radio drama. Welles and his team had the good idea to stage their dramatization like a typical live music radio show that is increasingly interrupted by live reports from the field that ultimately reveal that Earth is being invaded by Mars.

Some people joined in the tense drama, believing Something was happening in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey. There is still controversy over the panic that actually ensued among radio listeners, but the show had such an impact that it continues to fascinate us today.

It’s not panic, but excitement that Heartland Theater hopes to inspire with its new recreation of the classic radio production, said Rhys Lovell, Artistic Director of Heartland Theater Company. And that excitement started with the actors, who jumped at the chance to participate.

“We had the microphones 12 feet apart. And we had yours with Clorox wipes, wiping the mics off after each actor approached the microphone.”

“I was overwhelmed with the turnout at auditions,” said Lovell, who is duplicating as the director of the drama. “I had almost 50 people who sent me audition tapes. To put that in perspective, for a typical show, we might have between 15 and 20 people auditioning. ”

The allure of doing a radio drama as opposed to a standard play was certainly a draw, Lovell said. But most of all, he explained that the actors are just hungry right now – hungry to come out and perform again.

“This is what nourishes our souls, this act of creation. So, we thought outside the box. It made sense to me that radio was the way to go, ”he said.

“One of the biggest questions we faced in the beginning was how much do we want to be faithful to 1938 in terms of the fidelity of the recording?”

Due to the interest, the roles in “War of the Worlds” have been doubly interpreted with liners as a kind of inoculation against possible Covid-19 infections.

“I had such a huge audition attendance that I was able to perform the show twice with solid gold actors in both actors, the main cast and the backing cast,” Lovell said.

To maintain social distancing, rehearsals were held on Zoom. It was a little difficult at first, Lovell admitted, but the actors quickly adapted to the technology and they were quickly ready to record. And again, safety procedures were strictly followed.

The first and only time the cast met in person was for the massive recording session held in the Great Community Hall at the Heartland Theater.

“We had the microphones 12 feet apart. And we had yours with the Clorox Wipes, wiping off the mics after each actor has approached the mike. We all stayed socially distant and it all went like clockwork, ”Lovell revealed.

Acting is only part of the equation in radio drama. Lovell also expressed his gratitude to his sound and recording engineer, Aaron Paolucci, who used 21st century technology to help record sound as if it had time traveled since 1938.

sound engineer

Credit Heartland Theater

Aaron Paolucci polishes a waveform by putting the 1938 patina on the modern recording.

“When listeners tune in on October 30, they will be blown away by what he has done in terms of mixing sound effects that sound like they’re state of the art,” Lovell enthused. “One of the biggest questions we faced in the beginning was how true to 1938 do we want to be in terms of record fidelity. Did we want the end product to have all these crunches, hisses, pops and stuff like that? ”

Yes they have.

“I have worked with Aaron Paolucci so many times and I trust him implicitly. I leave it to him. I said if you used all these great new effects that weren’t available back then, if you could use them, but still run them through some sort of filter to make it sound like a radio old-fashioned, that’s what I’m going for. And that’s what he delivered.

The Mid-Atlantic accent that was so prevalent on radio and film in the early part of the 20th century also plays a big part in “The War of the Worlds”. It’s a cultivated accent that mixes American and English accents, with softer British vowels and painfully cut ‘T’s.

(Think Katharine Hepburn in “Bringing Up Baby.” Better yet, watch Katharine Hepburn in “Bringing Up Baby.” It’s awesome.)

“Fortunately, Connie de Veer was chosen as one of the main presenters,” said Lovell. “Connie is a voice teacher at Illinois State University, so she was able to work with me and some of the other actors to find that Mid-Atlantic accent.”

mark of veer

Credit Heartland Theater

Mark de Veer plays Orson Welles in Heartland Theater’s version of “War of the Worlds”.

Lovell hopes audiences will find the Heartland Theater Company’s production of “War of the Worlds” a great distraction in a year that demands only moments of distraction.

“I hope they have fun, and I hope that for an hour their minds will be taken away from what is going on in our world,” he said. There are too many horrible things that happened in the last year, and I want it to be a fun and entertaining diversion.

“And I hope people are finally encouraged to know that Heartland Theater is still here and sending you good things.”

Lovell added that Heartland Theater hopes to reopen in the New Year, starting with a production of Molière’s comedy, “Tartuffe,” in February.

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Classic radio call letters return, recalling two of LA’s pioneering black DJs – Daily News

There was big news in San Diego last week: the return of the KGB to the AM group, with the former KFMB (760 AM) taking the legendary calls.

The original KGB (now KLSD, 1360 AM) was one of America’s Finest City’s first radio stations, in 1922. It was the region’s “Boss Radio” station in the mid-1960s; in 1972 it was “recycled” into a progressive rock station – and one of the few in the AM group – under the direction of former KHJ “Boss” programmer Ron Jacobs.

In the late 1970s, the station returned to the top 40 as 13-K and for a time beat KGB-FM (101.5) in ratings. The formats that followed, including news, talk, and the current sports format, are uninspiring and poorly rated, but like KHJ here, the calls have special meaning for one who grew up on AM radio.

KFMB was a full-service station from 1964 to 1974, broadcasting middle-of-the-road music as well as news and information. In 1975, the station added sports and talk shows, and was completely devoted to news / talk / sports in 1994. It was KFMB’s sister FM – known as B-100 – that started set the area on fire as the first FM among San Diego’s Top 40 in the mid-1970s.

So how do legendary musical call letters end up on another station’s talk format frequency? The complicated world of radio consolidation and station sales. Last December, then-owner Tegna agreed to sell KFMB AM and FM to Local Media San Diego, but the sale did not include the call letters that remain with KFMB-TV, which Tegna still owns. .

Local media turned around and sold KFMB (AM) to iHeart Media, which already owns KGB-FM; rather than putting the calls back to 1360 – which he also still owns – management decided to assign them to 760.

Normally, three-letter calls don’t return to stations when lost – the FCC stopped assigning them decades ago. But they can be easily assigned when a timeshare station is still using them, as is the case with KGB-FM.

Personally, I’m a little excited that iHeart actually recognizes the historical significance of call letters, although I’d rather see them tied to 1360. What would be even more exciting if iHeart allowed the station to revert to a music format playing either oldies from the 60s and 70s, or a “top 40 for adults” format which I think might draw listeners to the AM group. I can already hear the ringing of 76 KGB in my head …

They probably won’t and will probably stick to a forgettable conversation format, but I keep dreaming.

Moving in

The notes seem to stabilize a bit and become a bit more normal. KRTH (101.1 FM) was back in first place for the second and third week of June, according to the Nielsen rating service. KFI (640 AM) was still doing well in fifth place in week three, and KNX (1070 AM) was just behind in sixth.

KABC (790 AM) retained its COVID-19 boost, tied for 32nd but maintaining an audience share above 1.1, compared to pre-COVID days when it was closer to around 0.3 . One of the reasons the station itself operates out of the cellar is John Phillips, heard weekdays from noon to 3 pm…. I will be speaking with him soon to get his take on the news, talks, radio and more.

Letter bag

“I read your column on John & Ken with interest, and it confirmed something I had suspected for a long time: in approx. About 1989, I was in New Jersey on business, and while driving I overheard these two guys on the car radio discussing a local issue. They were funny and in keeping with some of my own ideas.

“In 1993, I was listening to KFI (back to Los Angeles) and I heard J&K talk about these two guys convicted of murdering their parents, and they reminded me of the guys in New Jersey, and I always suspected that K&J were them.It’s good to have confirmed my suspicions.

“Now for some really old radio stuff. In high school I listened to two disc jockeys who were pretty much the only ones playing modern jazz on the local AM radio. One was Bill Sampson, on the dark station KWKW during the late hours (around midnight), and around noon, Joey Adams on a station whose letters I can’t remember.

“Finally, there was a guy named Phil Hendrie who was one of the funniest guys I’ve ever heard, and he was on KFI in the early 90s, so I’m pretty much a confirmed KFI guy. . What happened to Hendrie anyway? – Robert Schwartz

Big questions. Bill Sampson was one of LA’s first black DJs and has indeed been heard on KWKW (then at 1:00 p.m.; now at 1:30 p.m.). He also owned the Los Angeles-based Scamm Sound label. He’s ahead of my time though, so I know very little about him… so I’m asking you to help me fill in the details.

I discovered more about Joe Adams, also one of LA’s early black DJs, and I believe he started even earlier than Sampson. Adams was heard on KOWL (later KDAY and now KBLA, 1580 AM) in the 1940s, and had the station’s most popular program. In fact, he was among the most popular music DJs in Los Angeles. At the time, KOWL was a day-only station and had to sign to protect other signals on the same frequency at dusk.

According to an obituary on Adams in the LA Sentinel, “At a time when DJs had to solicit their own sponsors, Adams drew an incredible 56 paid advertisers to pay for airtime on KOWL, marking the start of a auspicious radio career that ultimately lasted twenty years. “

In addition to radio, Adams was an actor in television and movies. He was Frank Sinatra’s psychiatrist in “The Manchurian Candidate” and won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Husky Miller in “Carmen Jones”.

He was part of the Tuskegee Airmen, an elite group of fighter and bomber pilots during World War II, which allowed him to become qualified to fly airplanes for commercial purposes.

In addition, he was a professional photographer, worked as a road manager for Ray Charles for a long time and even managed the Ray Charles Corporation until his retirement in 2008.

He was a Renaissance man, and I’m not even talking about all of his talents and accomplishments. It would take a book. Adams died in July 2018 at the age of 94.

Finally, Phil Hendrie is still here, but online now. You can find it on philhendrieshow.com, where you can listen online or through iTunes.


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Virgin Radio presenter Pete Mitchell has died – RadioToday

Virgin Radio pays tribute to presenter Pete Mitchell on Friday afternoon following news of his sudden death.

The station told listeners in its 1 p.m. newscast that Pete died suddenly Thursday night.

A statement from family friend Jo Houlcroft said: “It is with incredible sadness that I must announce the sad passing of Virgin Radio presenter Pete Mitchell, who passed away very suddenly on Thursday March 12 at the age of 61 years old. Pete collapsed while walking near his home in Stockport, the cause of his death is still unknown but he was not believed to be showing any signs of illness. Pete was a seasoned entertainer, whose career at the radio lasted thirty-four years. He was knowledgeable and passionate about music of all genres, discovering and supporting many bands and was an integral part of the Manchester music scene. His wife Helen and two adult sons Adam and Sean are devastated by their loss. Her family have asked for her privacy at this very difficult time. “

Pete was born in Manchester and started his radio career at Red Rose Radio, then Piccadilly Radio. He then worked for several stations, including BBC Radio 2, 6 Music, XFM and Absolute Radio.

He was well known for his association with Geoff Lloyd, hosting The Pete and Geoff on Key 103 in the 90s. They went to Virgin Radio (now Absolute) in 1999 to host the evening show, but switched to quickly made it to breakfast, which ended in 2005.

Pete then joined BBC Radio 2 to host a number of shows and documentaries.

After that, Pete joined XFM for the Manchester Breakfast and more recently returned to Absolute Radio with programming on a number of stations for decades. In 2018, he returned to the Virgin Radio brand with some musical documentaries.

Most recently, he hosted a monthly documentary series Revolutions in Music on Virgin.

He was known as the first DJ to play Oasis on radio and appeared in a number of TV shows communicating his passion for music, and also led various high profile appearances as a club DJ.

Former co-presenter Geoff Lloyd tweeted a photo of him and Pete of their Virgin Radio breakfast days, with the words, “Beyond the Devastation. I am overwhelmed by the memories of the years we worked together on radio, and many more of our friendship. Pete was the kindest, most loyal friend. He will be missed by so many people, especially Helen and her boys – of whom he was always proud. “

Mike Cass, Content Director of Virgin Radio UK, told RadioToday: “It’s incredibly hard to think of Pete in the past tense. He was a great talent on radio, a talented interviewer, a real part of the Virgin Radio spirit and a wonderful man.

A tribute from everyone at Absolute Radio reads: “Pete was an incredibly talented host, a much respected colleague and a much loved friend. He was an integral part of the One Golden Square family and his passion for music always shone in every program he presented and produced. We send our love and thoughts to his family.

BBC Radio 2 tweeted: “We are saddened to learn of the passing of highly respected music radio presenter Pete Mitchell, who has worked on both BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music. Our hearts go out today to Pete’s friends and family.

It’s easy to broadcast travel information on your radio station, starting at £ 25 per month for online stations. To see RadioTravelNews.com for more details and set up the same day.



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