There’s a new tribute album out, celebrating the music of country renaissance troubadour Roger Miller. Produced by his son Dean it’s a fully formed varietal that, as Rolling Stone magazine critic Stephen Betts notes, features a dazzling lineup after being beset by repeated delays since 2015. Miller was an extraordinary songwriter with offbeat humor, part Hank Williams, part Will Rogers, and a poet of the uncommon whose song King of the Road “was positively average compared to his other oddball compositions, including Dang Me, Chug-a-Lug, and You Can’t Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd” as Betts goes on to point out. Our show features tracks from the album, some other notable covers of Roger Miller’s music, and, of course, some wacky, some tame originals from Roger himself.
Yip Harburg was a songmaker. He was part of a select few in the early to mid-century who found their calling as lyricists, writing words that transformed music to story and story to film and Broadway spectacles. We could gloss over his contributions by simply saying “he’s the guy who wrote Over The Rainbow or April in Paris or Brother, Can You Spare a Dime”. But his career was more than that. It’s no secret that Yip’s politics were carefully crafted in song. The phrases “honky-tonk parade” and “Barnum and Bailey world” were veiled criticisms of the “phony as it can be” corporate and political leadership in America, written by a freethinking, socially conscious lyricist. Our show today will honor some of his best songs and include interview excerpts featuring both Yip and his son, Ernie.
A few years back we celebrated the record, the radio, and disc jockeys on a couple of themed shows. We’re going to rev that theme up once again, but with a bit of a twist. This morning’s show pays tribute to that nickel, dime, and quarter evaporator known as the jukebox. We’ll also extend the music selections to include sounds of record hops, soda fountains, and the healthiest way to partake in any or all of the festivities. Tune in for new and old, including country sounds from Kitty Wells, Buck Owens, and Bill Walker; R&B from Shirley & Lee, Charles Bronw, and The Marigolds; and pop straightaways from Gale Storm, Dodie Stevens, and Brook Benton. All this on a Friday evening on KWTF community radio.
This morning’s show finds a festive free form summer set featuring the usual suspects and a whole lot of fine sounds from the deeper wells. We’ll be sharing country classics from George Jones, Floyd Tillman, and Pee Wee King as well as some sweet upbeat R&B from Clyde McPhatter, Big Maybelle, and Ivory Joe. Taj Mahal, some doo wop pioneers, and the great Ella Fitzgerald will round things out in a free form fest on Sonoma County Community Radio. Tune in at 9am Pacific at www.kows.fm/listen.
It’s a free form episode that follows the American songbook stream of musical consciousness from the early twentieth century right up through some contemporary sounds. A river of rhythm and song…. doo wop shoo wops, the 88 key bounce of boogie woogie, master jelly roll bakers, and sweet confections for you on a warm summer Friday morning from the West County studios of KOWS radio. Performances will include Les Paul, Peggy Lee, Levon Helm, The Adderly Brothers, Jesse Winchester, and a couple dozen more of your favorites. Settle in for a free form collection of memories and musical gems from the past century with your host, Dave Stroud.
Answer songs. A novelty of the music business that has always had a place but it truly exploded, becoming habit-forming with the advent of Top 30 radio in the fifties and sixties. Seldom was there an answer song that responded to a question that was not a big success. This week on Deeper Roots, it will be a ’round robin’ of ‘question followed by answer’ songs including the obscure (which about 99% of the so-called answer songs were). You’ll be treated to the sounds of Tennessee Ernie Ford, Muddy Waters, Rufus Thomas, Dodie Stevens, and Elvis (of course) on a summer Friday in West Sonoma County.
We’re taking this ‘Century of America’s Music’ theme quite serious this week. The tracks we’ll be playing are from the the first few decades of the 20th Century. Parlor music had lost its attraction by the turn of the century in favor of minstrel, vaudeville, and the emergence of Tin Pan Alley. Ragtime and jazz would evolve in an organic manner and blues would inform much of the jazz and band music that would become popular with the advent of the Victrola. Music today includes tracks from Vernon Dahlart, Billy Murray, Frank Crumit, and Ben Selvin & His Orchestra as we find the music of the teens and early 20s on a show that keeps our tagline strong. Tune in for this celebration of American popular music in its infancy.
Blues from a lonely place. From blues to doo wop to southern soul…from behind prison walls to that singular window in that singular room looking out from a high-rise hotel onto a busy street in urban anywhere, America. Today’s music is all about being alone. Our show explores songs written with the lonesome muse on the shoulder. Ray Charles, Joe Liggins, Earl King, and Champion Jack Dupree join in as we ponder lonesome times from the heart of the solitary blues.
Here’s to the pioneering pop mavens. Don’t think we won’t draw a little bit outside the lines as well in this show, bringing in flappers, jazz, and novelty sounds. The groups and solo acts are thoroughly represented with the likes of Marion Harris, Ruth Etting, Billie Holiday, Kate Smith, and The Andrews Sisters. We’ll go a little bit further and bring you songs to uplift in hard times, ring with a bit of jingoism in war time, and celebrate the good times in every way possible. West County radio will get a good dose of the best of the early and mid-century popular music…all from the ladies.
Morning is one of those times between. Break of day elicits many emotions as it’s always a new start. Those occurrences that affect the heart have always been prime fodder for words and music so we’ve reached into the song bin from the past century for a theme for this morning: morning. Tune in for some classics and some not-so-knowns. We’ve got Baez and Dylan, Dearie and Day, Bromberg and Kottke, McDowell and Leadbelly, all with a tune to spin about morning. And we’ll also take you into a pop-themed set featuring Frankie’s classic “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”. Tune in.