[JPL] Response to Benjamin Boddie

louisx at verizon.net louisx at verizon.net
Sun Aug 10 12:48:33 EDT 2008

This has been interesting. I've only been doing a show for a couple of 
years, but what I find is most successful for me is, one, to realize that I 
can't please everybody, and two (resulting from number one) that it's best 
to do as often as I can the things that are closest to my heart. This is the 
type of radio I always liked as a kid, and was what brought me to jazz. The 
listeners pick up on the enthusiasm and I've expanded a core audience by 
doing this. While the personnel and dates are important, I don't just stick 
to those types of facts. I'll play various pieces of music to show related 
influences, influences on pop music, or illustrate regional differences in 
sound, etc.  This keeps the music flowing, rather than the talk,  and has 
also helped me pick up younger audiences.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Linda Yohn" <lyohn at emich.edu>
To: <jazzproglist at jazzweek.com>
Sent: Sunday, August 10, 2008 11:57 AM
Subject: [JPL] Response to Benjamin Boddie

> This week's sponsor:  JazzWeek Summit 2009 -- dates and venue to be 
> announced in August; registration opens in September.
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Hello Ben,
> Thanks for taking time to read the thread.
> I guess I wasn't clear in my post.  I would never suggest that radio
> hosts not identify the music that was just played or about to be played.
> That is a personal service that we provide that no software will ever
> be able to replace.  Good radio hosts can even give a little personal
> spin on the music.
> I write from the perspective of one who is on the air for 3 1/2 hours
> five days a week.  Two or three years ago I might program my show around
> a particular concept, artist, event or some such only intellectual or
> factual concept.  For the long-time jazz lover, such programming is
> heaven.  But for the novice, this wears thin.
> I'll share a sad story of how I blew it with a novice listener because I
> "me" was too concerned with my concept.  I was honoring Chick Corea.  A
> young listener called and wanted to hear more Flora Purim.  I told the
> fellow that Chick Corea was the subject today, not Flora, but that I
> would try to play some more of her music.  He told me that I did not
> care about listeners, that I only cared about my concept.  And, he was
> right.  I learned that they are number one.  I can only pray that the
> listener forgave me and continued to listen.
> So, in today's WEMU programming concept, I will occasionally honor
> someone on their birthday or program with a great jazz event in mind.
> But, the programming will be mixed with some sets that are simply about
> how much better one piece of music sounds and feels contrasted with
> another piece of music.  I often say that a great set of programmer ears
> and inspiration can make one piece of music sound better given the one
> that follows or precedes it.  And, we will identify each piece of music!
> I'm on the air 17 1/2 hours a week.  I play music for people driving,
> exercising and working.  I have to keep them filled with great energy to
> get through the day.  I'll give them just enough information to make it
> interesting and get the point across, but then I'll get back to music in
> 90 seconds so I keep the intriguing musical energy flowing.
> Hope that clarifies my point.
> Keep groovin,
> Linda
> Linda Yohn
> WEMU Music Director
> lyohn at emich.edu
> 734.487.2229
> www.wemu.org
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