Thursday, June 30, 2011
In all honesty, when I saw the name of this program, I thought it might be some ironic piece about beautiful radio hosts whose faces are never seen.
It didn't take me long to find out that Studs is a singular proper noun. "Studs" is the name everyone called Louis Terkel. Studs Terkel, I learned, is THE original iconic radio voice of Chicago.
I couldn't believe I hadn't heard of him before! Talk about long running shows, The Studs Terkel Program aired on 98.7 WFMT Chicago five days a week from 1952 - 1997. He's known for preserving the oral history of the American working class, in their own words.
Studs' energetic voice is nothing short of inspirational. His charisma and curiosity brought out the truth people didn't even know they had in them until they were interviewed by Studs.
Our own Walter Parker interviewed Studs Terkel in 2005 to promote his book, And They All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey. And after his passing in 2008, Commentator Bill Mares recalled his experience with Studs Terkel.
Tune in Monday night at 7 for "Working With Studs," a remembrance told in a seamless blend of documentary and reminiscence by a crew of Stud's co-workers paired with previously unheard tapes of Studs himself.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
This week, VPR is teaming with enthusiasm from young writers and performers.
The Flynn Center's summer camp program has taken over VPR's Performance Studio. Camp is all week and creativity is in the air. Walking down the hall, you can hear experimental noises creeping out of an open door.
Evidence of their creativity is apparent in the elaborate brainstorm maps posted along the walls. Other evidence of burgeoning brilliance includes: toys, instruments, mysteriously bulging bags and a variety of props.
This crew is here for the week to write, rehearse, and perform a dramatic classic radio play. They are learning how to construct sounds and use their voices in clever ways to tell a story and create a picture with audio. These talented kids are learning from one another and from their instructor; singer, songwriter and performing artist, Jon Gailmor.
Camp culminates with a live performance of their original radio program recorded by VPR's audio engineer Sam Sanders. At the end of the week each child will go home with a CD of their performance.
VPR competes in the large station category for PRNDI and won two first-place awards and one second.
Jane Lindholm won first in the Use Of Sound category for one of the Summer School pieces on Vermont Edition. Jane taught us how to milk a cow. There's nothing like hearing the milk hit the bottom of the pail or the cows bellowing to sonically take you to the barn.
Commentator Madeleine Kunin took a first for her commentary "Requiem." She told of hearing a performance of Verdi's Requiem in Burlington on the anniversary of a similar performance at the Theresienstadt Nazi concentration camp outside Prague. I won't give away the ending, except to say it's worth listening to this poignant piece.
And, finally, VPR News took a second place for spot news coverage of the 2010 election when Brian Dubie conceded in the governor's race.
These awards may have been won by individuals, but they represent the hard work of the entire team of reporters, producers and hosts who bring you VPR News every day. And we hope they also demonstrate how valuable our listeners' support is in producing meaningful reporting.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
As the summer music festival season begins, the VPR Performance Studio is heating up. Today marked the first summer music festival appearance on VPR Classical, as Walter Parker welcomed musicians from the Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival to share a preview of their upcoming season. Pianist Paul Orgel shined in two performances: Francis Poulenc’s Violin Sonata, where he was joined by Kevin Lawrence, and the first two movements of Beethoven’s C Major Cello Sonata, Op. 102, No. 1, in collaboration with cellist John Dunlop.
There’s more live music on VPR Classical tomorrow morning, when Walter welcomes the new 802 Quartet to the Performance Studio at 11 a.m.
This Friday we're celebrating the summer reading season with a terrific panel of guests including Linda Ramsdell, owner of The Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, and Bennington College Librarian Oceana Wilson, who won the 2009 national "I Love My Librarian" award, sponsored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Times.
And of course we'd love to hear your suggestions. Whether it's novels, non-fiction, memoir, poetry, science, even the back of a cereal box you found especially compelling, add your favorites here. I've already listed my recommendations, so hop to it...summer may have only just started, but it's short!
We'll also take your phone calls during the program this Friday at noon. You can catch a rebroadcast that evening at 7.
So forget all that nonsense you hear about "no one reads" anymore...prove that books are alive and well and being devoured by readers like you, by contributing to the annual Summer Reading Show on VPR!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
VPR Classical went on the air in Central Vermont last fall, but due to significant problems with the antenna, we have not been able to broadcast consistently at full power.
As long as the weather holds out, work will begin Monday, June 27 and will take 1-2 days to complete. For the safety of the tower crew we’ll need to take the station off the air during that time, but when it returns it will be a more robust signal than before.
The Promised Land delivers the stories of passionate men, women, and young people who are changing their communities with innovative thinking and tireless effort after hurricane Katrina and the BP oil spill.
The first episode features Dr. Kyshun Webster, founder and executive director of Operation Reach, an extensive family of programs for kids throughout the Gulf South.
Kyshun grew up in the St. Bernard Projects in New Orleans where, at the age of six, he saw his uncle murdered. He started struggling in school and was held back in the first grade. Thus began a lifelong makeover for Kyshun, who now holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. At the age of 12, he started a lending library out of his parents' garage, which grew into a "home for homework" after-school tutoring program.
He fought back to transform his own life and now inspires the lives of other disadvantaged youth. And because of the endless need among neighborhood kids and Kyshun’s sheer determination, he now oversees what he calls a “cradle to career” program for youth that extends to three states in the Gulf South.
Kyshun's Operation Reach runs (to name a few) a full-time child development center; the Gulfsouth Youth Biodiesel Project, where kids recycle cooking oil for use as environmentally friendly fuel; and the Gulfsouth Youth Action Corps, with camps that teach young people philanthropic skills. The kids annually award $50,000 in grants to other youth-lead projects.
Future episodes spotlight community gardens, coastal oil clean-up, rebounding fishing communities, and empowered women.
Listen Saturdays at 4pm for The Promised Land.
Monday, June 20, 2011
It's time to pick the Daysies again! The Seven Daysies, that is. Each year, readers of the Burlington-based Seven Days weekly paper pick their favorite "best" restaurants, artists, stores, festivals, journalists, politicians in the area where Seven Days is delivered.
Vermont Public Radio has won Best Radio Station every year since 2008, and we hope you'll help us get there again! Visit the Seven Days website to cast your vote.
And if we can get in one more shameless plug here - last year meteorologist Tom Messner of WPTZ won his EIGHTH Daysie Award. We're not saying we don't love that smile, but how about showing some love for perennial runners-up Eye On The Sky?
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
VPR was recognized for the documentary “Afghanistan’s Other War,” use of sound in a report on night patrol with the Vermont National Guard and the Afghan National Police, and for the writing in An Appreciation of the Cluster Fly.
Join the Vermont Garden Journal on Facebook for a live question and answer session with horticulturist Charlie Nardozzi. That’s coming up on the first day of summer, June 21st from 4-5pm.
The warm weather has got us out digging in the dirt, but it appears we’ve got some company in the garden as well. We’ve heard about bunnies in Rutland, voles in Jericho, and beetles across the region. Have you had unwelcome guests in your garden that just won’t go away?
Here at Vermont Garden Journal headquarters we’ve been hearing from gardeners. Both expert and amateur horticulturists are sharing their garden’s disposition, whether it is bliss or burden. We’ve heard from determined, defiant, blighted, and just plain sad tomatoes in our area. If you or your garden need a pep talk or professional advice, get your questions ready for the Facebook Live Q&A with Charlie.
Log onto Facebook, Tuesday, June 21st at 4pm for our one-hour live question and answer session with Charlie Nardozzi and The Vermont Garden Journal.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Posted on June 10, 2011
We regret to inform you that tonight’s performance has been cancelled. Poncho Sanchez and His Latin Jazz Band featuring Terence Blanchard are unable to arrive here in Burlington due to travel complications.
The Meet-the-Artist session with Bob Blumenthal scheduled for 6:30 is also cancelled.
All tickets will be refunded to the original method of purchase. Please allow one week for refunds to be processed. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Flynn Tix box office at 802-86-FLYNN.
We apologize for the cancellation and we sincerely hope you’ll join us at future Burlington Discover Jazz Festival events.
Please note: The Vermont All State Jazz Ensemble will play on the Church Street Marketplace stage in front of City Hall from 8-9 pm.
Best Side Dish: Gail England's Miniature Stuffed Peppers
20 Peppadew peppers from South Africa - sweet & spicy
Mix all together and stuff in the peppers. Adding wild edibles adds subtle flavor and lots of nutritional value. Naturally, only use plants that you know well and are unmistakable!
Best Dessert: Jonathan Butler's Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares
Jonathan says: This is the easiest recipe ever. I'd like to tell you it was Grandma's ol' family recipe handed down through the years, but I got it from a Google search and a few clicks. Check out the comments. I followed some of their tips (like mix the sugar and graham together before blending, maybe use more chocolate and less butter in the topping, etc.). Enjoy!
Thursday, June 9, 2011
I just got off the phone with VPR's Jazz Host, George Thomas. He asked me to let you all know how bummed he is to be missing the Jazz Fest - both on the town and on the air. He has been under the weather and will be staying under cover for at least one more day. George had great plans to play music from artists at the Jazz Fest and offer his own commentary. He'll likely cook up a Jazz Fest in review next week. In the meantime, Bob Parlocha - a veteran DJ and professional sax player - is filling in.
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Of these two categories, I'd have to say Catherine Russell falls into the "good" category. Though "good" seems to me like an understatement!
I became a fan of Catherine Russell by listening to her on Jazz with George Thomas on VPR. One night, George played her rendition of the Harold Arlen song, "As Long As I Live." I hunted down the album, Inside This Heart of Mine, and it's filled with standards that Russell made new again with her powerful, sultry voice.
Her performance tonight included songs from that album, but perhaps the highlight for me were the songs I hadn't heard before. Those included Jackie Wilson's "I'll Be Satisfied," Bessie Smith's "Kitchen Man," Dinah Washington's "My Man's An Undertaker," and a version of The Grateful Dead's "New Speedway Boogie" that would've made Mitch Wertlieb proud. Overall, it was a nice mix of jazzy and bluesy tunes, accompanied by piano, bass, guitar and banjo.
Well done, Catherine Russell, and thanks for visiting Vermont!