Can One Issue of a Magazine Change Your Life?

The short answer for me is yes.  I began subscribing to “Stereo Review” around 1970, while a student at University of Georgia.  By 1975 I was 25 years old, living in the Washington, D.C. area and my interest in music was evolving into a full fledged addiction.  It was fed by superb radio stations WHFS, WMAL-FM, and Felix Grant’s nightly jazz program on WMAL-AM.  And it was  further nurtured by regular visits to the legendary Cellar Door, where I had the privilege of seeing Jesse Colin Young, Kenny Rankin, Roger McGuinn, Aztec Two-Step, Harry Chapin, Mary Travers, Iain Matthews and so many others.  Through Felix Grant’s program I had my first encounter with the music of Blossom Dearie.  A new world was unfolding for me.

And then I received my copy of Stereo Review’s February 1975 issue with Mabel’s Mercer’s face on the cover and the heading “Mabel Mercer and the Art of Cabaret”.  Mabel Mercer was a new name to me.  And as I read the lead article written by the legendary writer/editor Williams Livingstone, which was published in honor of  Mercer’s 75th birthday and then the accompanying article “Cabaret” by Robert Connolly the world of Jackie Cain & Roy Kral, Mel Torme, Anita O’Day, Ronny Whyte, Sylvia Syms and so many other jazz and cabaret singers not only became part of my musical life, but fueled an obsession that directly led me to become an avid listener to Alec Wilder’s and Loonis McGlohon’s award winning NPR program “American Popular Song” in 1977.

Jazz vocal music became a passion and on January 4, 1980, my crazy dream of hosting a radio program exploring and celebrating this music became a reality.  Forty-one years later I’m still at it, still passionate, and still dedicated to having this music heard and appreciated by the wide audience which it so deserves.

Thanks to those of you who have supported the program over the years with your comments and your music.  And a special thanks to Joel Sequine and Joe Lowrey,  who took a chance and hired me 41 years ago at WHRO/WHRV.   And Heather Mazzoni, Chuck Doud, and Jeff Sandner at WHRO/WHRV, who continue to support me at the station.

(The program’s 41st year begins Saturday January 2 at 10pm)

Here is a link to the February 1975 “Stereo Review” issue.

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