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:

https://www.change.org/p/wamu-radio-save-hot-jazz-saturday-night

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:

https://www.change.org/p/wamu-radio-save-hot-jazz-saturday-night

Thanks for your help!!
--Kurt

 

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.

 

25/6/2018 1:59 pm  #4


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

Yes, Rob's show was heavily jazz-oriented, but he did fit in a fair amount of music from Bing and other vocalists of that era.  Peggy Lee, Louis Armstrong, June Christy, Bea Wain (whom Rob also interviewed), Nat Cole, the Boswell Sisters, Cliff Edwards, Sinatra, Billie Holiday, Jeri Southern, and Helen Forrest, among many others, were all given prominent attention on the show.  Still, if you're looking for a show that features primarily vocalists every week, Hot Jazz Saturday Night was not it.

In any event, thanks to all who signed the petition seeking to save Hot Jazz Saturday Night.  The signatures are up to about 7500 as of June 25.  Unfortunately, as recounted in a Washington Post article on the cancellation , the managers of WAMU are stubbornly sticking with their plan to remove music from their schedule, leaving almost only syndicated shows. 

The last Hot Jazz Saturday Night program on WAMU was broadcast this past weekend, almost 38 years after the show began.  Fans of HJSN are hoping that Rob Bamberger can find another platform for his very entertaining show.  He's not just a guy playing old records.  He tells us the stories from this part of our cultural history.

Last edited by Kurt (25/6/2018 2:00 pm)

     Thread Starter
 

02/7/2018 6:57 am  #5


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

I began listening to Rob's program after the death of Rich Conaty finished THE BIG BROADCAST on wfuv and although I'm not a jazz fan I enjoyed Rob's programs. I found them to be entertaining and informative.They introduced me to new artists, new songs and new versions of familiar tunes. I appreciated his preparation and his style of presentation.

 

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