08/6/2018 2:13 pm  #1

Help save good music (incl. Bing) on the radio!

Would you be interested in helping to keep some great music (incl. Bing) on the radio by signing a petition?   It only takes a minute – here’s the link:


WAMU in Washington, DC, just announced that they’re cancelling Hot Jazz Saturday Night, a weekly three-hour show that has been on the station for 38 years.  The show features music from the 1920s through the 1940s, including a fair amount of Bing, Bix, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, and many other artists from that era.

Hot Jazz Saturday Night isn’t just a guy playing a bunch of old records.  Far from it.  In most shows, the very knowledgeable host, Rob Bamberger, focuses on a particular musician or band and tells you the story of the music he's playing -- the background of the musicians, who wrote the songs, what other music influenced them, what was going on in the world when the music was recorded.  Rob, an ICC member, has often featured Bing on the show, including a 3-hour 100th birthday tribute, and has interviewed Gary Giddins about his Bing biography and ongoing research.

Rob also explores historical themes.  For example, several years ago, when the World War II Memorial in DC was being dedicated, he devoted a whole show to the music of the World War II years.  The show wasn’t just the music – he also found and played radio news clips from throughout the war and public service announcements about rationing and scrap drives, among other things.  By the end of the show, you had heard a brief history of the whole war, as well as the music that was in the air at the time.  (You can hear the most recent HJSN show at this page.)

The WAMU station management hasn’t offered much of a reason for the cancellation of Hot Jazz Saturday Night – they’re simply using most of the time slot for a different show that they were already running elsewhere on the schedule.  

If you’d like to join the effort to preserve Hot Jazz Saturday Night and the great music it features, the petition at the following link only takes a minute to complete:


Thanks for your help!!


08/6/2018 3:04 pm  #2

Re: Help save good music (incl. Bing) on the radio!

In the UK we have been treated the same. Several long serving presenters, many of whom are knowledgeable and add informative information to their introductions of popular music from the past, have been cut out of broadcast schedules, sometimes (it is alleged) in order to appeal to younger audiences.
But this is being done at the cost of upsetting large numbers of keen listeners (some of whom are not necessarily so old).

Frequently the replacement scheduling merely consists of mindless uninformative chatter introducing the same old limited selection from the currently approved "playlists".



09/6/2018 2:40 am  #3

Re: Help save good music (incl. Bing) on the radio!

I used to listen to Ed Walker's radio music show where he played great old music on WAMU in the afternoon hours years ago.  I remember Rob Bamberger showing up on Walker's Sunday old time radio show begging for dollars drive that all public radio stations subject us to.  I wasn't a fan of Bamberger's mostly old jazz show so I never listened to him after trying out his show a couple times years ago.  Really ever since the master broadcaster John Hickman died years ago WAMU has never been the quality station it once was in the '70's and '80's.   No, I didn't like Ed Walker after he took over John Hickman's old radio show, Walker was an expert on great old popular music, and did a great old time music show including LOTS of Bing, not once in a while Bing like Bamberg, but old time radio was not Walker's bailey wick and long over stayed his welcome.  If he had stuck to vintage music and stayed out of old time radio I'd have enjoyed it more.   But as for Bamberger, he played too much jazz and not nearly enough Bing.  He won't be missed by me.


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