Unfortunately, I don't find the time to listen every week when it's on a local radio station (similar to as to how often I am finding time to regularly write on this blog). However, I felt compelled to post an official blog about 3 hours of my favorite local radio programming.
For local Chicago listeners, tune into 90.9 WDCB out of the College of Dupage from 10am-1pm every Saturday to listen to "Riverwalk Jazz" (10am-11) and "The Swing Shift" (11am-1pm). For listeners outside of Chicago, feel free to search on a Public Radio app on your phone or stream live at www.wdcb.org. Don't worry, if you miss the live broadcast (like me every week), you can still stream "Riverwalk Jazz" at their website www.riverwalkjazz.org. "Riverwalk" is on radio stations across the nation as well!
"The Swing Shift" has done artist portraits of big bands and other jazz artists - my most memorable and enjoyable program was called something like "The big debate: Hot Lips Page or Louis Armstrong?" where they played earlier, less known recordings that even a distinct Pops or Hot Lips trained ear would struggle figuring out who it was. I have requested a copy or for them to re-air this episode, but unfortunately, neither have happened yet.
"Riverwalk" is by far, my favorite of the two programs and if you get hooked too, be aware that the audio episodes are only available online for 4 weeks after the live stream. After that, you can still read their "JazzNotes Archives" at http://www.riverwalkjazz.org/jazznotes-archive/ where you can get a short preview of what the show was about.
"Riverwalk" tells stories about jazz artist's lives, plays old interview clips and recordings if they have them available, and Jim Cullum's Jazz band performs many songs throughout the broadcast. Still not convinced? On their recent show "Dick Hyman: A Man for all Seasons," they played an original recording (in this case live radio broadcast) that faded into a modern live recording Jim Cullum's band did for the show - this is a typical of almost every show
As Louis Armstrong said, "Jazz is played from the heart. You can even live by it. Always love it."
So check it out!
p.s. There's only one week to listen to "Empress of the Blues: The Life and Music of Bessie Smith" (April 2012). This is a fantastic episode for all Jazz and Blues enthusiasts. There a story about Bessie Smith and Louis Armstrong back in the 1920s. There's even a shout out from my favorite jazz artist, Sidney Bechet! I already purchased a CD recording of the tracks performed on that show by The Jim Cullum Jazz Band featuring Topsy Chapman. Look at the track list HERE. Great covers of "On Revival Day," "Gimme a Pigfoot," "West End Blues," my personal favorite from the show: "St. Louis Gal," and much more.