"Bright Moments" was both an album title and a mantra for the inimitable multi-instrumentalist Rahsaan Roland Kirk. His widow, Dorthaan Kirk, was the third person hired at WBGO, New Jersey's first public radio station — and she has always kept the spirit of Bright Moments alive.
WBGO is celebrating 40th anniversary this year, and today, April 9, marks the official commemoration. Taking our lead from Dorthaan, we're highlighting a series of Bright Moments from our announcers. You'll hear quite a few of them if you tune into 88.3 FM, or listen to our web stream. But we've also gathered a small handful here, beginning with Gary Walker on the brilliant dancer and actor Gregory Hines.
Michael Bourne, who has been with WBGO for 35 of our 40 years, recalls a Bright Moment from his first shift, filling in for Rhonda Hamilton on New Year's Eve. (New Year's Day happened to be the birthday of vibraphonist Milt Jackson.)
In another Bright Moment, Rob Crocker remembers springing a musical surprise during a live performance by singer and guitarist Jon Lucien, who hails from the Virgin Islands.
Finally, Gary Walker remembers the week in 1988 that WBGO brought Mardi Gras to midtown Manhattan — and he ran into a member of high literary renown.
Keep listening, and watching this space, for more special content. And mark your calendar: WBGO shares a 40th anniversary year with the Montreal Jazz Festival, and we'll be joining forces there for a special celebration in July.