Sunday, December 23, 2007


This seems like a good time to look back a bit and also, later, to look ahead a bit. This year's end will represent 13 years of being one of the hosts of TRADITIONS--Ron Olesko being the originator of the program--here are the two of us a few years back at a NERFA conference:

Bill (l) Ron (r)

When it comes to longevity TABLETALK comes in second with 5 years now followed by the end of 2 years of SUNDAY SIMCHA.

Each of these programs has its own share of rewards in the wonderful and interesting people that have honored me by their presence at the microphones. Better yet---they actually talked and sang into them. This year TABLETALK came full circle when the first guest on the program made another appearance---Elizabeth Swados. It was the idea of getting her on WFDU for a chat that led to this program in the first place. She was appearing at The Bottom Line and the mgmt. of WFDU agreed that if I did an interview with her there would be a one time slot for it---which has now, happily, turned into 5 years of TABLETALK. The guests have ranged from noted authors, composers, and--as I say--"...very interesting people". They surely are.

When it comes to SUNDAY SIMCHA these few years have been a delight in many ways. For one thing---as the only slogan we have so far (which I created---and I ask for contributions) says---"Keeping Yiddishkeit On The Air on WFDU". In addition the listeners have grown---some are well over 6 feet now---how far behind can Bar Mitzvah be?

Seriously, though, the listeners have made this a joy with the support and the material many have sent in to air on the program. I want to thank, in particular, Arthur Levy (producer) for some wonderful recordings of the early and later years of Yiddish material, Alberta (I won't mention her last name since she may not like being published here) for the information and the recordings she sent, and also all of the people who have e mailed suggestions and offered the financial support during fund-raising to keep this program growing.

The audience also has to be applauded for opening their minds and hearts to the inclusion of material that encompasses Judaism and Jewish music today--as it evolves, as all music does, over the years. Welcoming artists such as Carey Creed, Mere Winningham, and so many more we have added to the playlists you see each week. That also includes Kinky Friedman, Shelley Posen, and Schlock Rock. All book ends for the older Yiddish material (always to be recalled) and wonderful liturgical material by the famous cantors and other performers.

The longest and longest running has to be saved for last.

TRADITIONS : You might want to check the new videos on the right since the program will be honored by the presence of these two artists on different dates during the year. NOEL PAUL STOOKEY will be joining me in January--stay tuned--or check in--to find out the exact date. EMILY KURN (one of my choices for our picks for meaningful works this year) will be joining me later in the year. In addition a lot of other very special guests will be on board---including some live concert presentations in the new Studio "C".

On December 30 Ron Olesko and I will be doing the year end program which will feature our 10 choices each for the recordings that ---for want of a better word---touched us more than most. NO 10 BEST--10 memorable ones, if you will. Many others did as well, but time constraints won't allow for more. They were hard choices and some of our choices over-lapped. To find out more about them you will have to tune in next week to hear them and our commentary. The playlist will, as always, be posted later.

Thanks have to go out for all the wonderful artists that have, as said earlier, graced these microphones. I won't repeat the bad joke. This year I would like to mention a few that joined me for music and talk--and I will include a few pictures---no room for them all. Though, you can see most of them by clicking on the right for the picture gallery.

In no particular order:

Beppe Gambetta
---you have to love the lyrical lilt of the Italian dialect.

Laurie Lewis for some great music in the studio--and some insightful conversation.

Clay Eals for a program that needed two weeks to complete because of the fascinating nature of his work on Steve Goodman.

Modern Man for giving the program the classical sound of The Three Tenors---after Pavoratti's demise and the joy of The Marx Bros without Zeppo (that makes 3).

Noel Paul Stookey, Annie Dinerman, and Arlon Bennett for their making music for a great cause and for sharing it with us. They were the winners of The Music To Life Foundation's songwriting (for songs of social significance) competition.

David Amram for his great talent and for sharing it on all three programs--his Jewish music is a joy to behold, his involvement with Steve Goodman a merging of some great talents, and his Tabletalk chat covered the entire gamut of his wide area of expertise. Problem was---30 minutes cannot contain him.

Surely there are others that I have neglected to mention but they are in my thoughts and in my heart as well. Of course, in my heart I only hope that they are not clogging up the arteries.

Those were guests we spoke of. Never forget all the wonderful music that has come over the transom this year and all the previous ones. Whether people have been guests or not the product of their talent is such a joy and honor to present. Many of them you will hear on December 30. Those from this year. I would just add a few last notes on that subject.

In the past week I have received some wonderful material that is too late to include but you will be hearing it at the start of January--Jackie Morris, a brilliant songwriter with a great voice who will be featured on TRADITIONS and has a piece just perfect for SUNDAY SIMCHA--tune in to find out why(in the meantime click on THE ALMOST DAILY ROOSTER on the right to see a video of her)--Laura Wetzler has sent in material for SUNDAY SIMCHA that features her and also a guest from a while back on TRADITIONS--Rande Harris.

A little appetizer of things to come---or as might be said on SUNDAY SIMCHA--a vorshpeis.

Looking ahead as promised. MARGOT LEVERETT and her Klezmer Mountain Boys will be joining me for a 1 hr. special on SUNDAY SIMCHA that will air in either late January or early March (if Fund raising works out). Stay tuned. STUART MARCUS and his trio will be joining me live---(they should live and be well--don't want Stu to miss his Mom's advice--also eat) on January 13 if all goes according to plan. On that same day NOEL PAUL STOOKEY will be in the studio for a chat about his newest work and some live music.

As always many surprises and "people of interest" will be joining us during the year. As to the "people of interest". I am in constant touch with the NYPD to find them for us.

My best wishes for a happy, healthy, and very peaceful new year to one and all.


1 comment:

Honey said...

Happy New Year to you and your family. Cute little ones. Must look like their Mommy.