• Grammy Nominations Announced - Have Your Say

    December 4, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.

    Grammy Logo

    It's official - the nominations for the 51st Annual Grammy Awards have been announced. Proof that jazz musicians are versatile? Charlie Haden gets nominated for Best Country Instrumental! Strangest sight? How about drummer Jack DeJohnette in the New Age category!

    Nominations are the exclusive domain of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences members, but that doesn't prohibit you from speaking (or writing) your mind. So have your say. Who should have been nominated but wasn't? Who would you pick to win? Be sure to include category and name of artist. Click "Read more" to see the list. Then make your comments.
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  • An Interview With Odetta

    December 3, 2008. Posted by Joshua Jackson.


    A voice of the Civil Rights Era has been hushed.
    Odetta, a champion of the real folk blues, died. She was 77.
    In 2001, WBGO's Michael Bourne spoke with Odetta during the Blues Hour. She had recently released a tribute record to folk singer Leadbelly.
    Click here to listen to some of that interview.

  • The Jazz Cat

    December 2, 2008. Posted by Daniel Karcher.

    Many here at WBGO are aware of how my wife Erica and I came upon Canyon, our orange tabby. We were at the Grand Canyon late one night during our honeymoon. And as we walked along the rim (a grand opportunity for Erica to push me off should she have any regrets), we heard a meow from below the edge. Up pops up this orange tabby, one who should have been dinner for any coyote that night. Yet for some reason he wasn't, rather - he simply approached us in want of some attention and affection. Long story short, after researching where he may have come from we arranged the local animal shelter (local? at the Grand Canyon? actually, yes.) to collect him. Some days and several hundred miles later whilst in Park City Utah, Erica and I couldn't get this fella out of our heads, so when we returned home to NJ we contacted the shelter and made arrangements to adopt him from 2500 miles away. Within a week I was picking him up from Newark Liberty Airport and the rest is history. "Grant Canyon" has lived very happily with us, and us with him, since.

    Grant Canyon

    Fast forward to last week... after Thanksgiving dinner with family I worked evening jazz for Awilda at the station. During a tune I stepped outside for some tea and a smoke, when out from seemingly nowhere - appears a very frightened kitten meowing and painfully desperate.

    'Same as when Canyon appeared from the Grand Canyon, yet this time it was a kitten, a very frightened one, not at all in the wild; rather - in deep within the urban jungle, in the heart of a very unforgiving city.

    This was no feral kitten, I've seen stray cats in the park and along the streets in garbage cans. This lil one was frightened to no end and in desperate want for the first person he saw to rescue him. I knelt down and sure enough he came to me meowing loud and with panicked eyes.

    Thus, I picked him up, brought him into the station, fed him what little milk I had reserved for my tea, made a bed with my heavy sweater and continued the evening jazz broadcast.

    Come 1 a.m. I set for home (back to civilized ruralscape) with kitten in arms all the while, to a warm home with a roaring fire, ample food, and a big sofa to sleep on and watch CNN. Life is good, very very good for this kitten suddenly. Only hours prior did the dark, cold, oil slicked streets threaten to be the only option.

    'Not sure what to name him as of yet. "Canyon" was named for the Grand Canyon of course. But "Newark" doesn't fit this lil' one's face.

    "Thurston" would be a great name (for Briscoe, our PD). "Cephas" has also been suggested (for our GM). Our Assistant General Manager Amy Niles suggested naming him after the relief host that night! That'd be good ol' Bill. And I admit, "Daughtry" would make for a great name.

    For now however, since the situation's urban, and he's an orphan, when he drank the tea milk and looked up at me with those eyes in want for more, I shall call him "Oliver Twist."

    Oliver Twist
    "Please sir, may I have some more?" Oliver emerges from behind the toilet, he's glad to be off the streets.

    Oliver Twist
    ...he's REAL glad to be off the streets.

    But here is where you come in. Unlike commercial radio stations, WBGO is a public radio station, supported by its members for its members. Thus, Oliver Twist is all of ours in a sense. What would you name him? Make a comment below and voice your thoughts...