May 16, 2015. Posted by Michael Bourne.
BB was actually named King. He was born Riley B. King on a cotton plantation in 1925. He grew up around Indianola, Mississippi, and he first became known in Memphis — where he worked as a singer and DJ on radio station WDIA.
That's when his nickname Beale Street Blues Boy was shortened to Blues Boy, and then to BB.
T-Bone Walker was an early inspiration, and I always remember the look on his face when I quoted something he’d said about how much he loved listening to Django Reinhardt.
With his eyes closed and his face beaming, he smiled and he said only “Django …”
BB’s own sound on the guitar he called Lucille was magisterial. When he played a note, a finger of his left hand quivered on the string, so that every note sounded like a bell, echoing.
BB loved listening to Frank Sinatra sing, and his own voice was as down-to-earth and heartful. When he was singing, he didn’t play. When he was playing, Lucille was singing.
No blues artist popularized the blues around the world like BB King. No blues artist ever sang or played the guitar like BB King.
He was — and always will be — the King of the Blues.
Guitarist Dave Stryker sent me this picture of of his "prized possession" - a Red clear vinyl Crown Records 195.
Pretty much says it all. For Dave, for me, and for all of us.
Thank you, BB.
© 2015 WBGO
May 11, 2015. Posted by Brandy Wood.
WBGO is excited to extend a special invitation to our 6th annual "Jazz on the Mountain" at the historic, award winning Mohonk Mountain House January 15th-18th in the stunning Hudson Valley region of Upstate New York.
Celebrating his 17th anniversary at Mohonk, WBGO's Michael Bourne will host this stellar program: a 4 day musical extravaganza over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday. Come find out why this event sells out every year! See photos from the 2015 trip.
This year's performance schedule:
9PM Mohonk All Stars - Scott Robinson, Helen Sung, Martin Wind, Dave Stryker
11AM Guy Davis
3PM Dave Stryker
11AM Helen Sung
3PM Ed Palermo and Rob Papparozzi
9PM Antonio Hart
11AM Parlor Games Jam Session
Scott Robinson, Helen Sung, Dave Stryker, Ed Palermo and Rob Papparozzi, Antonio Hart...
• welcome reception on Friday evening
• private dinner with Michael Bourne, musicians and WBGO guests on Saturday
• WBGO/Mohonk Mountain House scavenger hunt on Sunday afternoon
Location: Mohonk Mountain House is a National Historic Landmark located just 90 miles north of New York City at 1000 Mountain Rest Road, New Paltz, NY 12561
Three (3) nights Single Occupancy: $1,585
Three (3) nights Double Occupancy: $2,285
Additional guest nightly rate: Under 4 – Stay Free; 4-12 yrs. old - $110.00; 13 & over - $196.00
*These rates are inclusive of a 12% service charge. Tax is excluded for WBGO guests only.
Whether you are planning a trip for the entire family, a romantic retreat for two, a weekend with good friends or treating yourself to a getaway, the Mountain House has something for everyone! The WBGO package includes: lavish breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets-or dinner as a traditional served meal with afternoon tea and cookies and all associated gratuities. Guests receive amenities such as wireless internet access, ice-skating, skiing, snowshoeing, snow tubing and use of the indoor heated swimming pool and comprehensive fitness center. Whether you choose to stay inside the Mountain House or venture out for some winter fun, this is sure to be an unforgettable weekend you'll mark on your calendar for years to come!
Reservations: Please call WBGO Travel & Events at 1-973-624-8882 or email@example.com. A $500 deposit is requested upon booking. Check payable to WBGO/Newark Public Radio, Attn: Travel & Events, 54 Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102, or by credit card. Full payment will be due December 15.
Please note there is a 14 day advance notice of cancellation in order to receive a full refund, less a $125 fee per room, non-refundable.
Cancellations within 14 days will result in a forfeiture of one night’s stay.
© 2015 WBGO
May 6, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Trumpeter Scotty Barnhart and vocalist Carmen Bradford talk with Michael Bourne about the Count Basie Orchestra's eightieth anniversary. Barnhart directs the orchestra, which performs at New York's Birdland Thursday April 6 through Saturday, April 10. Enjoy!
© 2015 WBGO
May 4, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Singer Roseanna Vitro and pianist Mark Soskin perform live at WBGO and are interviewed by Michael Bourne to celebrate International Jazz Day on April 30, 2015. Enjoy!
© 2015 WBGO
April 23, 2015. Posted by Tim Wilkins.
Playwright Ruben Santiago-Hudson and musician Bill Sims Jr. perform live at WBGO and talk with Michael Bourne about their new original play, "Your Blues Ain't Sweet Like Mine." The play is at the Two River Theater in Red Bank through May 3. Enjoy!
© 2015 WBGO