Saturday, November 7, 2009

WGBH drops folk and blues programs

"...blues and folk fans have other ways to find their genres of choice in Boston..."
~ WGBH spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins, in the Boston Globe, 11/6/09

From Jim Kweskin, in Supporters of Folk and Blues on WGBH


"I can only assume this has something to do with the almighty dollar. Isn't this supposed to be public radio and aren't we the public. Folk music has been a mainstay on WGBH for as long as I can remember. Acoustic artists are as popular as ever and in some ways even more popular then in days gone by. I don't get it. WGBH should be ashamed of itself. Well, as Ma Joad said, "We're the people and you can't stop us and you can't lick us. We just keep coming, 'cause we're the people."

-Jim Kweskin, November 7, 2009.


Brad PaulNaomi ArenbergBrendan Hogan

Brad Paul (folk), Naomi Arenberg (folk) and Brendan Hogan (blues)

Over the past two years "Folk on WGBH" has been very good to notloB Folk Concerts, hosting its artists during the afternoon prior to their performances:

Saturday, August 18, 2007
Geoff Bartley
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Mike & Ruthy Merenda & Lyn Hardy
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Dave Carter Tribute - Chris Thompson, Beth DeSombre & Ryan FitzSimmons
Saturday, November 01, 2008
The Folk Brothers - Jack Hardy and David Massengill
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Mary McCaslin
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Sacred Shakers
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Bob Franke
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Jim Hurst



"Blues on WGBH" host Brendan Hogan has performed at two notloB concerts.

On Friday, November 6, the Boston Globe made mention in passing in an arts and entertainment article titled "WGBH changes tune about keeping folk and blues" that was posted to the NEFolknRoots group.

Blues and folk radio programs may be dropped

Blues fans may get the blues when they hear WGBH's plans for programming changes. 'GBH spokeswoman Jeanne Hopkins confirmed to us yesterday that if the FCC approves the station's purchase of WCRB-FM, a classical station based in Waltham, the station will cancel "Folk on WGBH'' and "Blues on WGBH,'' which air on Saturday afternoon and Saturday night, respectively. The blues show is hosted by Brendan Hogan, while folk is hosted by Naomi Arenberg and Brad Paul. Hopkins explained that WGBH wants to carry classical music on one station (WCRB's 99.5) and news and information on the other (WGBH's 89.7). She said that blues and folk fans have other ways to find their genres of choice in Boston, and that 'GBH wants to keep its programming unique. "We've carried both of these for many years and we've been proud do it. We're very proud of the contributions,'' she said. Hopkins said there will be no programming changes until the deal goes through.




Today WGBH has announced it is canceling "Folk on WGBH" and "Blues on WGBH" (this means bluegrass, old time, Cajun and zydeco, too).

now confirmed on the WGBH website:"

http://www.wgbh.org/listen/goodbyefolkandblues.cfm


Schedule changes on 89.7

In December, WGBH is bringing WCRB 99.5 into our family of noncommercial, listener-supported public broadcasting stations, a move that preserves full-time classical radio in Boston.

With the acquisition of 99.5, we are revising 89.7's schedule to develop a new service for our listeners that focuses on news, information, and analysis. And our classical music will move exclusively to 99.5, where we will continue the tradition of an all-classical format.

We are proud of the folk and blues programs we have offered and of the many contributions that WGBH and our hosts have made to these genres, so it was a difficult decision to discontinue Blues on WGBH and Folk on WGBH. As we refocus the 89.7 schedule on news and information, it became apparent that it would not be possible to retain all of the nonnews elements of our schedule. We have chosen to keep a select group of programs, like A Celtic Sojourn and A Prairie Home Companion, that serve our audiences well and attract support for WGBH’s work.

We are grateful to folk hosts Naomi Arenberg and Brad Paul, and blues host Brendan Hogan for sharing their passion, knowledge, and experience with listeners over the years.

Folk music fans can continue to find options on WUMB 91.9FM Boston, WNEF 91.7 FM Newburyport, WFPB 1170AM Orleans, WICN 90.5FM Worcester, WOMR 92.1FM Provincetown, or New Hampshire Public Radio. Blues fans can tune in to WUMB 91.9FM, WHRB 95.3FM, WZLX 100.7 FM, and WUML 91.5 FM.

We appreciate your support of our work and hope that you will enjoy the new offerings on 89.7 WGBH and 99.5 All Classical. For the latest information about what’s on our air, please visit wgbh.org/listen.



"Folk on WGBH" was broadcast Saturday afternoons, noon to 3pm.

"Blues on WGBH was broadcast Saturday nights, 9pm-1am.


Two Facebook groups have been created for blues and folk supporters to communicate and organize:

Cause ~ http://apps.facebook.com/causes/395481/34485837

Discussion group ~ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201481030324&ref=ts


=======================

Source

Schedule changes on 89.7

In December, WGBH is bringing WCRB 99.5 into our family of noncommercial, listener-supported public broadcasting stations, a move that preserves full-time classical radio in Boston.

With the acquisition of 99.5, we are revising 89.7's schedule todevelop a new service for our listeners that focuses on news,information, and analysis. And our classical music will moveexclusively to 99.5, where we will continue the tradition of anall-classical format.

We are proud of the folk and blues programs we have offered and of themany contributions that WGBH and our hosts have made to these genres,so it was a difficult decision to discontinue Blues on WGBH and Folk on WGBH.As we refocus the 89.7 schedule on news and information, it becameapparent that it would not be possible to retain all of the nonnewselements of our schedule. We have chosen to keep a select group of programs, like A Celtic Sojourn and A Prairie Home Companion, that serve our audiences well and attract support for WGBH's work.

We are grateful to folk hosts Naomi Arenberg and Brad Paul, and blues host Brendan Hogan for sharing their passion, knowledge, and experience with listeners over the years.

Folk music fans can continue to find options on WUMB 91.9FM Boston, WNEF 91.7 FM Newburyport, WFPB 1170AM Orleans, WICN 90.5FM Worcester, WOMR 92.1FM Provincetown, or New Hampshire Public Radio. Blues fans can tune in to WUMB 91.9FM, WHRB 95.3FM, WZLX 100.7 FM, and WUML 91.5 FM.

We appreciate your support of our work and hope that you will enjoy the new offerings on 89.7 WGBH and 99.5 All Classical. For the latestinformation about what's on our air, please visit wgbh.org/listen.
===========

I am a loss for words. All I can do at this moment is create a Facebook "Folk and Blues on WGBH" supporters group.

Join

==========

http://wgbh.org/listen/arenberg_naomi.cfm

Naomi Arenberg |

Folk on WGBH

Naomi Arenberg
"Room for dancing is important!"

Background: At age 13, I discovered the power of radio while recovering from a car accident at home in rural southeastern Massachusetts. I was not allowed to read or watch television for a month, and pretty soon a small, portable radio — and the music it brought — seemed like my best friends. Forever grateful to Ellington for reminding us that there’s only “good music and bad music.” It’s a privilege to listen to lots of good folk and international music and to share some of it with listeners.
Nickname(s): Nao, Big Hair.
First album I ever owned: Peter, Paul & Mary’s 10 Years Together and Joan Baez’s David’s Album, both gifts for my 15th birthday.
Five desert island albums: Joan Baez, Vol. 1; the soundtrack to Ken Burns’s The Civil War; Sweet Honey in the Rock, Live at Carnegie Hall; the Beatles, The White Album; Beethoven: Trio for Piano and Strings No. 7 in B flat, Op. 97, "Archduke," with Pablo Casals (cello), Sándor Végh (violin), and Mieczyslaw Horszowski (piano) in a live performance.
Favorite podcast: PRI’s The World
Greatest place to see live music: Any comfortable living room or favorite outdoor festival, provided there’s a skilled engineer assisting. And room for dancing is important!
Most memorable concert: Pete Seeger at Town Hall in New York, April 1981. As he sang out, Pete gazed upward, seeming to find inspiration from above. After the show, mesmerized by the power of Pete’s songs, I looked up in the same direction and discovered that he’d been gazing at the second balcony.
Favorite movie about music/musician: Gumboots, a wonderful documentary about South African musicians and dancers
Favorite book about music/musician: Deep Community, by Scott Alarik, with terrific photos of musicians
When not listening to folk music, I listen to The World, the NPR news programs, BBC News, A Prairie Home Companion, Splendid Table
Finest moment on the air: Talking with Joseph Shabala, founder and director of Ladysmith Black Mambazo.
Most embarassing moment on the air: That story might be a bit too racy for this website.
If I weren't a radio host, I'd be singing with a band (which I still sometimes do in public) or work in some area of international diplomacy.
The best part of my job is weaving together all kinds of music from many parts of the world to share with listeners. Hosting festivals and concerts, where I can see how deeply the music impacts all of us.
======================
http://wgbh.org/listen/hogan_brendan.cfm

Brendan Hogan |

Blues on WGBH


Brendan Hogan
"I listen to anything honest."

Background: I've been in radio since 2000. I worked at WERS before coming to WGBH 89.7. When not on air, I'm a Cambridge-based songwriter/performer.
Greatest place to see live music: Cambridge and Somerville, Massachusetts
When not listening to the blues, I listen to anything honest.
The best part of my job is that I actually get to do this.
=================
http://wgbh.org/listen/paul_brad.cfm

Brad Paul |

Folk on WGBH



Brad Paul
"The best part of my job is when someone calls me while I’m on the air and asks, 'What was that song you just played? I loved it!'"

Background: I am originally from Belmont, Massachusetts, where I started my radio career as a high school intern at WGBH FM in 1975. I graduated from Emerson College, where I started the popular program The Coffeehouse, in 1980. I have since produced and hosted folk shows on WUMB-Boston and WEVO, New Hampshire Public Radio, and now back to where it all began for me, WGBH 89.7.
Nickname(s): None that I can share.
First album I ever owned: Something New by the Beatles
Five desert island albums: I don’t think I would want to take five records on a desert Island for fear that I would soon get tired of my favorite albums.If I could take my iPod, I’d be all set with 10,000 songs!
Favorite podcast: I don’t do podcasts. I don’t Twitter or text, either. I know I should be doing these things, but I don’t have time to figure it all out. I recently tried to hire my teenage son to create and maintain a Facebook page for me, but he said he was too busy. Honestly, I don’t know where people find time for all this Internet activity. Between two jobs, two teenage boys, and a small farm to maintain, I’m lucky to still remember my name at the end of the day, never mind all those user names and passwords you have to keep track of!
Greatest place to see live music: Locally I would have to go with Johnny D’s in Davis Square, Somerville. It’s run by some really great people, and I prefer the intimacy of a small club vs. a theater or arena. That said, there’s nothing like a great festival location such as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in Colorado or the Vancouver Folk Festival in British Columbia. They book great music, and the locations are stunning.
Most memorable concert: It’s a tie. I saw Mario Bauza at the Blue Note in NYC. Mario was the original Mambo King. Seeing him with his orchestra was like being transported back in time to Havana in prerevolutionary Cuba. I don’t recall the date, but it was only a year or two before he passed away. The other would have to be Charles Brown at a Public Radio Convention party, hosted by Felix Hernandez of the NPR program Blues Stage. Charles played with his trio in the Queen Anne Suite at the Westin Saint Francis Hotel in Union Square in San Francisco. It was the combination of the grand view of the San Francisco Bay and the intimacy of hearing one of the great R&B legends in a small setting, no sound system, just the musicians and their instruments up close and personal.
Favorite movie about music/musician: A tie again. It’s between Almost Famous and This Is Spinal Tap. Both films are based on fictitious bands, but there is more truth in them than anyone in the music business would care to admit.
Favorite book about music/musician: Mansion on the Hill. It’s an intriguing history of the music business from the early '60s through the mid '90s. A lot of the landscape covered is the early folk and rock scene in Cambridge and Boston and the radio, print publications, and concert promoters that drove them.
When not listening to folk music, I listen to: One of my favorite sayings is; “Life is too short to listen to one kind of music.” So I listen to almost everything. Jazz, salsa, classical, world music, all manner of rock 'n' roll, R&B, blues, you name it.
Finest moment on the air: I’d say my finest moment on air came when I was host of The Coffeehouse on WERS, Emerson’s FM radio station. It was early in the life of the program, probably 1981, and I had no idea if people were listening to the show or not. One day, I was musing on air that we had no thermometer at the studio to tell what the outside temperature was. I said, "If anyone is listening, send in a nickel or a dime, and we will see if we can raise enough money to buy a thermometer for the station." The next day, nickels and dimes and quarters and even dollar bills began flooding into the station. I realized then that I was onto something.
Most embarrassing moment on the air: I was interviewing Norman Blake, a guitarist and songwriter from Georgia. Norman had brought his band to the station for a live studio performance. When I asked him to introduce one of the band members, Norman said, “The gentleman to my right is a melon picker from southern Georgia.” I asked what kind of melons does he pick, at which point Norman and the rest of the band broke up laughing. It was hard for this Northerner to discern the Southerner’s accent. When Norman said, "mandolin picker," I heard "melon picker."
If I weren’t a radio host, I’d be an investment banker or a ski bum. More likely the latter because I don’t know the first thing about investment banking.
The best part of my job is when someone calls me while I’m on the air and asks; “What was that song you just played? I loved it!”




9 comments:

ptnr213 said...

There is an underlying arrogance to this move worthy of a true "engulf & devour" corporation. Could the consultants and focus-groupers have ever considered the real value of a 100,000 watt fm signal with such a varied and eclectic mix? Their variety served Portsmouth NH and RI. Even the lame cover of the WCRB signal is unimaginable, as that tower is now in Lowell. Their website blithely assures that everyone in Rhode Island and south of Brockton can simply use an HD receiver. A few calls to a Providence stereo shop and the big box stores show that no one even stocks these. On the net they run $80-200. So tomorrow engulf & devour get my shredded membership card and schedule magazine in the mail. I've always considered supporting WUMB, and it has happened in the most insidious way.

notloB said...

If you have a Facebook account, consider posting your thoughts to the "Supporters of Folk and Blues on WGBH" group - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201481030324&ref=ts

Created noon Saturday, by noon Sunday it had >200 members.

Johanna said...

Seems like Blues radio programs are being dropped as fast as Senators' drawers...every time I hear about another Blues show being pulled I get a funny feeling inside, like I'm next. Support the stations still telling the truth & playing the people's music - Blues. There are still a few of us out here!
Johanna "Jomama" Hamel, KMUD-Garberville CA.

notloB said...

Unrelated directly to WGBH, but related to the demise of folk in Boston in general. Received 10/11 from Brian Quinn: "Brian Quinn WUMB's Program Director for 20 plus years has been laid off"

Read Brian's post at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NorthEastFolknRoots/message/8608

What the hell is going on with Boston folk programs? Guess the corporate suits have complete control.

notloB said...

From Jim Kweskin, in Supporters of Folk and Blues on WGBH - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=201481030324&ref=ts


I can only assume this has something to do with the almighty dollar. Isn't this supposed to be public radio and aren't we the public. Folk music has been a mainstay on WGBH for as long as I can remember. Acoustic artists are as popular as ever and in some ways even more popular then in days gone by. I don't get it. WGB...H should be ashamed of itself. Well, as Ma Joad said, "We're the people and you can't stop us and you can't lick us. We just keep coming, 'cause we're the people"


Jim Kweskin

notloB said...

The images of Brad, Naomi and Brendan after the words "Jim Kweskin, November 11, 2009" are hyperlinked to the WGBH website.

http://wgbh.org/imageassets/paul_brad_133x200.jpg
http://wgbh.org/imageassets/arenberg_naomi_133x200.jpg
http://wgbh.org/imageassets/hogan_brendan_133x200.jpg

If and when they disappear we will know that WGBH has flushed them down the memory hole.

SwellMindy said...

Detroit, Chicago, LA, now Boston.
These are not the only cities where America's music, the bellwether music, the music of conscience, community and celebration, has been snuffed out.
Some citizen listeners fought back and won their music back. Some fought back but lost.

Where did those folk and blues shows rank at fund drive time? Like Deep Throat taught us--"follow the money."

Here in Sacramento, the blues show host, Mick Martin, singularly and consistently raises more money every quarter than any other host or show, local or syndicated. He is on 1x a week for four hours.He's been on KXJZ for 17 years.

Good luck in rattling the cages and getting ahold of the key.

Mindy Giles
Swell Productions

peter said...

Jim Kweskin says that this must have something to do with the almighty dollar, and maybe he's right, but for the life of me I can't see how:

1. Adding a second station plus having to fill twice as much airtime has got to cost a fortune!

2. If the rich donors like to listen to classical music the fact that the ones south of Boston can't receive isn't going make them contribute more money.

3. I'm a huge classical fan, as well as a fan of folk and blues, and I took a look at the playlist for 99.5 and it's dumbed-down compared to what WGBH used to offer. They're going to piss off people with that.

4. Why would people contribute more money to hear NPR, APM and PRI programming that WBUR already carries?

5. I notified WGBH today that I'm cancelling my membership of 30 years! How is that supposed to increase their revenue stream?

evision said...
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