The weekend is the best time for music here in the State of Jefferson. Perhaps I should say "hear" in the State of Jefferson. I'm not an mp3 or iTunes kind of guy. I like to pop in the CDs, or heaven help me, spin the LPs or play the cassettes. Seriously. Both my vehicles have tape players. And I like the radio. Not Top 40, or heaven forbid, "classic rock." I've had enough of DJs and their hype, and I've had enough of programmed commercial schlock. I don't know who said it first, but I firmly believe that 90% of everything is crap. We spend our lives sifting for diamonds in the mountains of rough. Here (hear) are my diamonds:
First up at 1000 hours on Saturday mornings is Opera with host Don Matthews. I'm a Giovanni-come-lately to this wonderful music. My local public radio--Jefferson Public Radio in Ashland, Oregon--has a "Classics and News Service" on 91.1 MHz (FM). Mr. Matthews is a relaxed and informative host, and gives us an entire opera each week.
At 1800 my favorite program, American Rhythm, is hosted by the entertaining and erudite Craig Lloyd Faulkner. This one comes via JPR's "Rhythm and News Service" on 89.3. For two hours Mr. Faulkner teaches us the history of what he calls "American vernacular music." The only thing that trumps this show in this household is Giants baseball. From Sam Cooke to Sammy Cahn, the Andrews Sisters to the Mills Brothers, and Lonnie Johnson to Louis Jordan, this program serves up gem after gem. I just can't get enough of it.
Sunday morning at 0900, 89.3 carries NPR's incomparable Marian McPartland. The "Piano Jazz" hour is a fixture around here. The local guys play jazz all day long after that--real DJs with real playlists, live. Imagine that.
Then Derral Cambell takes over from 1400-1500 with "Rollin' the Blues." He covers the spectrum from classic to contemporary, old school wailers to uptempo guitar wizards. Can't ask for much more than that. Again, that's a local JPR show.
I'm amazed at the Mother Lode of musical riches that emanate from just over the hill. I live in a sleepy small town, a cultural wasteland in most respects, yet I can spin the radio dial and get all this stuff piped into my home. And yes, I actually do own receivers with analog knobs, so I really do "spin the dial." Hey, it's almost time for the blues!
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