Jump over the site's section navigation.

Radio Munson

On-air Time: Thursday 7 PM

Host: Don Munson

The eclectic mix of big band swing, vintage hot jazz and Las Vegas headliners on Radio Munson offers great music of a different era. Don plays Ellington and Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan and Django Reinhardt, Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band and Stan Kenton. The conversation is lively and real musical history is in the air on Radio Munson.  Email Don to let him know what you'd like to hear.


Air Date:


August 20, 2015 Radio Munson: The bands of Doc Severinsen, Nelson Riddle and Tommy Dorsey are on Don's playlist this week on Radio Munson, along with vocals from Dianne Reeves, Steve Tyrell and Dinah Washington, plus two of the most distinctive and recognizable instrumentalists ever, clarinetist Eddie Daniels and bass trombonist George Roberts.

August 13, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 08/13/2015 10:22 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
The term "Lounge Act" has developed a rather cheesie image over the years, but a "Lounge SINGER" was and is an icon that, though largely extinct today, was once an every-present icon. Don invites you to sit near the bar with him on this week's Radio Munson to listen to two of the best lounge singers, Bobby Troup and Matt Dennis. Les Paul and Mary Ford are also on Don's bill, along with Artie Shaw, Bob Crosby's Bobcats, and June Christy with "Something Cool."

August 6, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 08/06/2015 11:23 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
The joint is jumpin' on this week's Radio Munson as Don plays "jump" tunes from Fats Waller, Count Basie, Mildred Bailey, Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway, Artie Shaw, Brian Setzer and Louis Prima. Don also totes out two of the most confusing sets of lyrics ever when he plays Dorothy Collins singing "Mairzy Doats" and Freddy Martin's Band chiming in with "The Hut-Sut Song."

July 30, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/30/2015 09:26 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
The annual "Bix Festival" is this weekend along the banks of the Mississippi in Davenport, Iowa, and Don sets the jazz mood on this week's Radio Munson with Bix Beiderbecke's Grammy Hall of Fame recording of "Singin' The Blues." Don also offers up a current all-star band's recording of "Davenport Blues," a song Bix wrote for his hometown, plus a rouser from The Fat Babies, a Chicago Hot Jazz Band that will be part of the weekend's festivities. All of that plus the bands of Ralph Flanagan and Woody Herman, vocals from Pearl Bailey, Bobby Troup and more.

July 16, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/16/2015 11:59 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Swinging jazz from Big Bands spanning 90 years on this week's Radio Munson. Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, the contemporary bands of arrangers Jack Cortner and Gary Urwin, plus The Tucson Jazz Institute's Ellington Band--they're all on Don's playlist, along with Dinah Washington, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, Fred Astaire and more.

July 2, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/02/2015 01:31 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Milt Jackson plays the vibes on this week's Radio Munson, offering a smooth version of "Li'l Darlin'." Woody Herman's Herd romps through "Get Me To the Church On Time," Billie Holiday checks in with "Our Love Is Here To Stay," and Vince Giordano's Nighthawks reach back to the bawdy 1920s to set the tempo for the holiday weekend with "Shake That Thing!"

June 25, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 06/25/2015 01:14 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Hoagy Carmichael sings Johnny Mercer's lyrics to "Skylark," Hoagy's most famous composition, on this week's Radio Munson. Don has also lined up vocals by Peggy Lee, Joe Williams, and the Boswell Sisters, along with the great bands of Duke Ellington, Terry Gibbs and Tommy Dorsey.

June 18, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 06/18/2015 03:28 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
There's a run-up to Fathers Day on this week's Radio Munson, even if Don has stretched the boundaries of what constitutes a song for Dear Ol' Dad. Bobby Troup offers a song he wrote called "Daddy" while Phil Harris chips in with "I'm a Ding Dong Daddy From Dumas" and Barbara Rosene is "Singin' the Blues Till My Daddy Comes Home." But Marty Grosz puts the subject to rest with a ditty for Dad called "I've Got To Get Up and Go To Work." And if that doesn't fill up the Fathers Day Radio Munson, Don promises a barn burner from Earl "Fatha" Hines!

June 11, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 06/11/2015 01:51 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Don is swingin' with some great bands on this week's Radio Munson. Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Benny Goodman, Jimmie Lunceford, and the famed Casa Loma Orchestra are among the names who created the pop music of 75 years ago, and they're all on Don's playlist.

May 28 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/28/2015 11:16 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Frank Sinatra, Rosie Clooney, Steve Tyrell, and Ella Fitzgerald all answer the Radio Munson call this week with swinging vocals, while Don slips in some vintage sides from Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman and more.

May 21 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/21/2015 09:49 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Some Glenn Miller classics headline this week's Radio Munson, along with Nora Jones, Joe Williams, Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, and a vintage trip to the depot when the Ted Weems Orchestra serves up "My Cutie's Due At Two To Two Today."

May 14, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/14/2015 09:37 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Composer/arranger/bandleader Van Alexander celebrated his 100th birthday a week ago, a remarkable musician who arranged for Chick Webb's great Harlem band with young Ella Fitzgerald way back in the 1930s. Don salutes Van Alexander on this week's Radio Munson with a pair of swingers from Van's own band. June Christy is also on Don's playlist, along with Sidney Bechet (buh-SHAY) and Will Bradley's famous recording of "Beat Me Daddy Eight To the Bar."

May 7, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/07/2015 11:55 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Before "The Deep Purple Falls Over Sleepy Garden Walls," Don offers up Helen Forest's memorable recording of "Deep Purple" with Artie Shaw's Orchestra on this week's Radio Munson. Les Brown's band is on the playlist, too, along with Vocalist Kurt Elling, pianist Hank Jones, singer Dinah Washington, and Matt Monroe's "One Morning In May."

April 30, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/30/2015 03:16 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Drummer Buddy Rich and his exciting band of 50 years ago put the "toddle" in that Toddlin' town, Chicago,and they prove it again on this week's Radio Munson. Dee Dee Bridgewater takes listeners through the foggy streets of London, Freddy Cole remembers aTommy Dorsey classic, "Miz Elisabeth" swings a pair of tunes with The Hot Sardines, and Bobby Darin closes out an eventful month with "I'll Remember April."

April 23, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/23/2015 09:28 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Everybody is familiar with Count Basie's "One More Time," as he leads his band through a repeat tag on "April In Paris," but how did that come about? Don has the answer and the recording on this week's Radio Munson. Don adds an earlier Basie treat from the band's Kansas City days, featuring vocalist Jimmy Rushing. There are swingers from Glenn Miller, Cheryl Bentyne, and Ernie Andrews, too, along with a pair of surprises from composer/orchestra leader David Rose.

April 16, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/16/2015 11:10 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Sarah Vaughan, Diana Krall and Peggy Lee are all swinging on this week's Radio Munson, along with Joe Williams, John Pizzarelli, Count Basie, Henry Mancini, Les Elgart and plenty more.

April 9, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/09/2015 11:08 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Don surrounds himself with the Andrews Sisters, the Boswell Sisters and the Ames Brothers on this week's Radio Munson, along with Toots Thielemans (TEEL-mahnz), Nat "King" Cole, Blossom Dearie, the Casa Loma Orchestra, and the swing bands of Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw.

April 2, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/02/2015 02:58 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Billie Holiday would have reached her 100th birthday in the coming week had she lived, but Lady Day died much too young before her 45th year. Don remembers Billie Holiday with 6 six of her best recordings on this week's show, along with a rollicking Louis Prima side, Oscar Peterson's take on "Easter Parade," and plenty more.

March 26, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 03/26/2015 10:35 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Don returns from Arizona to the WGLT studios and the Bloomington-Normal community and finds himself ""On the Street Where You Live," thanks to Mel Torme. It's already "April In Paris" with Keely Smith, guitarist Les Paul is "Whispering" and Diana Krall is ordering up her entree with the "Frim Fram Sauce, With the Oss-en-fay with Chifafa On the Side."

March 19, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 03/19/2015 04:35 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
"Everything's Coming Up Roses" on this week's Radio Munson, with Count Basie doing honors. Sarah Vaughan is on Don's playlist, along with Steve Tyrell, Louie Jordan, Jane Monheit and Stan Kenton. There's a "Hotsy-Totsy" recording from 1925, a shouter by Jimmy Rushing, even an appearance by Spike Jones and his City Slickers!

March 12, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 03/12/2015 11:01 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Radio Munson marks the 89th anniversary of the opening of the world's most famous dance hall, Harlem's Savoy Ballroom, with a set of Lindy Hopping and Jitterbugging originals from Chick Webb, Benny Goodman, Ella Fitzgerald, Erskine Hawkins and Fletcher Henderson. Lionel Hampton, Lena Horne, and Jeff Lindberg's Chicago Jazz Orchestra are on Don's playlist, along with Anita O'Day, Freddy Cole and plenty more.

March 5, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 03/05/2015 12:14 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Two classic recordings from 1939 highlight this week's Radio Munson. The first is Coleman Hawkins' tenor saxophone take on "Body and Soul," and the second is the icon of the Swing Era, Glenn Miller's "In the Mood." Don invites listener participation in a rousing "Yellow Dog Blues," Dee Dee Bridgewater scats through an upbeat "All of Me," and the Hot Club of Cowtown bring down the house with "After You've Gone." Three members of the Vegas "Rat Pack" offer swinging sides--Dean, Sammy and Frank--along with vocals from Diana Krall and Dinah Shore

February 26, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 02/26/2015 10:23 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Crazy things are known to happen on February 26! Witness: Feb 26, 1945, the day when Woody Herman's First Herd recorded "Caldonia" ("Caldonia, Caldonia, what makes your big head so hard?"). Radio Munson brings it back 60 years later, on this week's show. Ray Charles sings the official song of Georgia, his home state, Don spins a couple of offerings from Jane Monheit, there is a first-time-together from jazz icons Louis Arnstrong and Duke Ellington, a good seat for Errol Garner's famous "Concert By The Sea" in 1955, and, awaiting the like-a-lion entrance of March this weekend, Don plays a warm version of "By the Fireside."

February 19, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 02/19/2015 01:34 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Don is busy shoveling more coal in the boiler for this week's Radio Munson, helping the Pointer Sisters produce some "Steam Heat" to combat the Midwest cold. Mildred Bailey keeps warm singing a jump tune with Red Norvo's band, Tony DeSare and Bucky Pizzarelli rip thru "Just In Time," Sarah Vaughan, Steve Tyrell, and Stacey Kent provide vocals to Don's mix; and, as the Mardi Gras dust settles in The Big Easy, the Gene Harris Superband plays "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans."

February 12, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 02/12/2015 09:11 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Don shares a few musical valentines on this week's Radio Munson, from Dinah Washington, Dave Brubeck, Freddy Cole, Diane Schuur, Joe Williams, Julie London, and Kurt Elling. We're invited to fall in behind the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, marching in a New Orleans Mardi Gras parade, share some Jambalaya with hometown hero Harry Connick, Junior, and take a side trip to Kansas City for David Basse's treatment of "Parker's Mood".

February 5, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 02/05/2015 12:13 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Fats Waller tickles the ivories on his upright piano on this week's Radio Munson, while Art Van Damme tickles the ivories on his accordion. Don has some hot Harlem jazz by way of New Orleans and Banu Gibson, an inspiring vocal from Kurt Elling, an "Overcoat" song to keep the chill out, and classic Big Band jazz from Count Basie, the Diva Jazz Orchestra, and Tommy Dorsey.

January 29, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 01/29/2015 04:51 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
It's "Nice Work If You Can Get it" and Don celebrates his weekly GLT gig on this week's Radio Munson with the Andrews Sisters. Curtis Stigers is on the playlist, too, along with Carmen McRae, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and Arthur Prysock. Don throws in a vintage side by Chick Webb's band, some "Jumpin' Jive" from Cab Calloway, and a rouser from the exciting Buddy Rich Big Band.

January 22, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 01/22/2015 01:43 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
It's Hucklebuck night on this week's Radio Munson. Charlie Shavers tells us how to do the Hucklebuck with Tommy Dorsey's Band. Ella Fitzgerald revives a 1920s tune titled "Sugar Blues," followed by "wah-wah" trumpeter Clyde McCoy's famous version of the same song. Artie Shaw's Orchestra supplies "Stardust" for dancers, Billie Holliday sings with her friend Lester Young's sweet saxophone, and the great soprano saxophonist, Sidney Bechet (buh-SHAY) chips in with a beautiful Paris tune.

January 15, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 01/15/2015 09:40 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Some time-travel opens this week's Radio Munson as we tune the big console radio to a 1937 broadcast on the newly-crowned "King of Swing," Benny Goodman and his Orchestra, featuring Benn's newest find, a 20-year-old Texan named Harry James who plays hot trumpet. It's notably less raucous in the lounge of Chicago's South Side Pershing Hotel circa 1958, as we drop by there on January 15, 1958 to hear young pianist Ahmad Jamal and his trio play their soon-to-be famous version of "Poinciana. Sarah Vaughan, Matt Monroe, Les Paul and Mary Ford, and Mark Murphy all make appearances, along with a hat-tip to Paris when the Hot Sardines offer "Petite Fleur."

January 8, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 01/08/2015 09:33 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
With the Midwest getting its first serious taste of real winter this week, Johnny Mercer's "Button Up Your Overcoat" secures a prime spot in Radio Munson's lineup. And, to reinforce the obvious, vocalist Skinnay Ennis teams with the Hal Kemp Orchestra for a warm version of "It's Winter Again." Helen O'Connell is "Stepping Out With a Memory Tonight," Earl "Fatha" Hines is pounding the ivories at Chicago's famed 1930s nightspot, The Grand Terrace, while Duke Ellington's Orchestra is tearing it up at Harlem's Cotton Club. Erroll Garner, Eartha Kitt, Etta Jones and Fred Astaire are among the additional greats on this week's show.

January 1, 2015 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 01/01/2015 09:47 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Radio Munson enters a new year by venue-hopping through the decades and catching some great live jazz. We take a trip to San Antonio's Riverwalk to catch Jim Cullum's Jazz Band at The Landing; we show up in 1956 Rhode Island to hear a post midnight set by Duke Ellington and his Orchestra; and we head to Virginia and Fort Monroe in 1943 to join GIs cheering for bandleader Ina Rae Hutton. Mel Torme checks in from California's Concord Jazz Festival, the Hot Sardines break it up in Joe's Pub in Manhattan, and the Hot Club of Cowtown chips in some Western Swing from Austin's Continental Club.

December 25, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 12/25/2014 05:12 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Don plays an eclectic mix of big band swing, vintage hot jazz and Las Vegas headliners.

December 18, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 12/18/2014 10:52 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Christmas is a week away and Don Munson is getting toting out a few songs of the season on Radio Munson. Diana Krall is one of the artists who do honors, along with Joe Williams, Steve Tyrell and Wynton Marsalis. Ageless jazz classics from Dakota Staton, Oscar Peterson, Buddy Rich Keely Smith and Kenny Rankin are on this week's card, along with the bands of Artie Shaw, Larry Elgart, Larry Clinton and Les Brown.

December 11, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 12/11/2014 12:23 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
A bit of indecision plagues Django Reinhardt and the Quintet of the hot Club of France in this week's Radio Munson. Beryl Davis provides the vocal on a rousing version of 'undecided." Boogie Woogie pianist Meade 'lux" Lewis performs his classic "Honky Tonk Train blues," Bobby Darin chips in with a swinger and actor-singer Kevin Spacey sings his own version of one of Darin's hits. Gordon Goodwin and his Big Phat Band bring in an audio Christmas Tree, Ella Fitzgerald provides the "Black Coffee," Dianne Reeves sings one of Ellington's best, and Ozzie Nelson sings with his 1930s band right on time, "About a Quarter to Nine."

December 4, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 12/05/2014 01:00 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
What do Acker Bilk and Bent Fabric, two European refugees from England's "Trad" Jazz craze of the 1960s, have in common? Well, for one thing, they recorded two of pop music's biggest hits of 1962--"Stranger on the Shore" and "Alley Cat." Hear them again on this week's Radio Munson, along with Bobby Darin, Blossom Dearie, Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.

November 27, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 12/05/2014 12:56 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
Several of the great swing bands strut their stuff on this week's Radio Munson. Les Brown, Harry James, Neal Hefti, Larry Clinton, Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Woody Herman are among the leaders giving the down beat. There's also a classic Dinah Washington appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, Ann Hampton-Callaway at New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, and a trip down New Orleans' Bourbon Street with Wynton Marsalis.

November 20, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 11/20/2014 02:35 PM
Run Time: 1:00:00
An abbreviated Radio Munson this week, following the President's address on immigration and several of the great swing bands strut their stuff. Les Brown, Harry James, Count Basie and Woody Herman are among the leaders giving the down beat. There's also a classic Dinah Washington appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival, a trip down New Orleans' Bourbon Street with Wynton Marsalis, and vocal swingers from Ernie Andrews, Kevin Mahogany and Helen Forest.

November 13, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 11/14/2014 05:46 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Has anybody seen Don's gal? She's five foot two, eyes of blue, and Don puts out the APB on this week's Radio Munson with help from Mike Barone's Big Band. Frank Sinatra starts the program "Nice and Easy," but things heat up a bit with Stan Kenton's "Eager Beaver." It's brothers/Sisters night with swingers from the Ames Brothers and the Andrews Sisters, plus classic hot jazz from the 1920s and today's retro group, The Hot Sardines; Freddy Cole, Sarah Vaughan and Alvino Rey are on another of Don's eclectic jazz playlists.

November 6, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 11/06/2014 10:05 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
When the Big Band Swing Era was hitting its stride in the late 1930s and Benny Goodman was first proclaimed the "King of Swing," it was other bands who polished their strengths to a higher luster. Red Norvo's bunch had greater dynamic subtlety, Artie Shaw achieved a more melodious blend, Basie's band swung more loosely, and Duke Ellington's music was its own kind of miracle. But even Benny's sharpest critics were unanimous on one point: when the band really got going, no force on earth could stop it! Benny Goodman's band at its swinging best on this week's edition of Radio Munson, along Shirley Horn, Diana Krall, Johnny Hartman, Leon Redbone and Charlie Parker, among many others.

October 30, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 10/30/2014 10:06 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
'Tis autumn, all right, and Stacey Kent sends October on its way on this week's Radio Munson with Henry Nemo's classic fall song, "'Tis Autumn." Michael Buble offers a final October "Moon Dance" and Tony Bennett swings "Autumn Leaves." Don's run-up to Halloween has John Pizzarelli singing "Witchcraft," Anita O'Day's "Old Devil Moon" and the classic Louis Prima and Keely Smith rouser, "Old Black Magic." For good measure, there's a wistful look backward from Nancy Wilson, who joins George Shearing on "The Things We Did Last Summer."

October 23, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 10/23/2014 11:27 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
It's "Buddy Week" on Radio Munson with swingers from the bands of Buddy Bregman, Buddy Morrow and Buddy Rich, and, for good measure, a vocal take on "Satin Doll" by Buddy Greco. Don spins a side by Sarah Vaughan with the Basie Band, cool Bobby Troup sings gets his kicks singing the legendary song he wrote called "Route 66," and Cab Calloway lays on the "Jumpin' Jive." Plus some time travel to the 80th birthday celebration of Frank Sinatra.

October 16, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 10/16/2014 10:41 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
We're "going to Kansas City" on this week's Radio Munson, Kansas City here we come! Saluting the World Series-bound Kansas City Royals with the hometown favorite song offered by the Taylor-Fidyke Big Band. KC's Kevin Mahogany joins Veronica Martel for a scat-singing duet, Tony Bennett swings that "Old Devil Moon," Tierney Sutton and Steve Tyrell chip in vocals, the Tommy Dorsey Band plays its theme song, and Spike Jones and His City Slickers make an appearance.

October 9, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 10/09/2014 11:14 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
That swingster Laura Kennedy joins Don for this week's Radio Munson, and they promise plenty of time-travel while asking all Hep Cats out in Radioland to show their financial support for America's swinging jazz! Basie is on the playlist, of course, and Woody and the Mills Brothers and Ernie Andrews and plenty more. Nat King Cole offers his version of "Autumn Leaves", Sarah Vaughan swings "In a Mellow Tone" and Michael Buble' offers a great swinger for this week called "Moondance."

October 2, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 10/02/2014 10:02 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Don has the "World on a String" on the first Radio Munson in October. It's a Patrick Williams arrangement, featuring pianist Mitchell Foreman. The Four Freshmen reveal their plans for "This October," Eydie Gorme' sings 'Tis Autumn," and Rosie Clooney describes "Autumn in New York." There are instrumental swingers from Gene Harris, Artie Shaw and Les Elgart, while Tammy Grimes, Linda Ronstadt, Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra chip in with some vocal swing.

September 25, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 09/25/2014 10:02 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
The new CD out this week pairing Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett is no ordinary formula "duets" album. This one is extraordinary, teaming two Italian-American singers 60 years apart in age, really respecting each others' considerable talent. Don offers a sample or two. Woody Herman's band plays their classic version of "Early Autumn," followed by Marlene Ver Planck's singing of the lyrics Johnny Mercer wrote for the Ralph Burns composition. Also, it's the anniversary of pianist Erroll Garner's famous recording of "Laura," and Don gives it a spin.

September 18, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 09/18/2014 01:20 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Becky Kilgore turns around a song on this week's Radio Munson that was written in in 1916 and was featured in a second season episode of "Dowton Abbey." In Becky's version, it's "If you were the only BOY in the world. "Sarah Vaughan tackles the vocalese lyrics Jon Hendricks wrote for Horace Silver's "Doodlin'," the whole Stan Kenton Band sings "September Song," and Dave Grusin and friends solo on Duke's "C Jam Blues." Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong offer up a duet and so do Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme'. Don Mixes in some Artie Shaw, Arthur Prysock, Jessica Molaskey and Tony Bennett, too.

September 11, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 09/11/2014 11:59 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Days are getting shorter, so Dan Hicks takes his licks on the song "At Sundown" on this week's Radio Munson at 7:15--at sundown. We remember Gerald Wilson, the jazz icon who died this week at age 96, with his salute to Chicago called "State Street Sweet." Milt Jackson plays the vibes with the Basie Band and Red Norvo plays the vibes' predecessor, the xylophone. There are vocal swingers from Kurt Elling, the Boswell Sisters and Sarah Vaughan, and an anniversary salute to Blossom Dearie's first major recording session.

September 4, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 09/04/2014 10:03 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
There are many music makers in the illustrious history of jazz, but only one band recorded a song called "Music Makers." That was Harry James' signature song and it opens this week's Radio Munson. Dame Cleo Laine is "Bidin' her time for her spot in this week's line-up, along with Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Erroll Garner and Woody Herman. There's a song by the almost-forgotten Joni James, some boogie-woogie from Bob Crosby's Bobcats, vocal swingers by Ann Hampton-Callaway and Harry Connick, Junior. All this and a Jimmy Durante capper--the Great Durante sings "September Song."

August 28, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 08/28/2014 11:22 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
While Duke Ellington and Count Basie were friends and admired each other's music greatly, their two great bands got together as one only once. Don plays a track from this historic 1961 session on this edition of Radio Munson. There's some fancy scatting by jazz vocalist Anita O'Day, a beautiful 80-year-old ballad by Nat "King" Cole, and Lionel Hampton plays "Memories of You" on the vibes--the first time a vibraphone had ever been used in a jazz recording. Paul McCartney and Lena Horne add vocals and "Groove" Holmes plays his iconic organ version of "Misty."

August 21, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 08/21/2014 09:45 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
A good case is made that the so-called "Swing Era" of famous bands began on August 21st, 1935, when Benny Goodman's band opened at the Palomar Ballroom in Los Angeles. That's the night Benny threw the caution of romantic big band ballads aside and let 'er rip. The kids loved it, and the other name bands followed. Some vintage Benny Goodman swing titled "Roll 'Em" highlights this week's Radio Munson, along with some Boogie Woogie Piano from "The Kid From Red Bank," Count Basie with his band, a swinging side of "The Pink Panther Theme" with Plas Johnson and Joey DeFrancesco, and vocal offerings ranging from Ernie Andrews to Eydie Gorme' to The Crew Cuts!

August 14, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 08/14/2014 09:56 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Woody Herman was still knocking 'em dead with his current young herd in the early 1980s as he passed his 70th birthday. Don spins a couple of swingers from Woody's band at the Concord Jazz Festival. Also, Earl "Fatha" Hines pounds the ivories in a tune he wrote for the Mob-owned Grand Terrace on Chicago's South Side; Stan Kenton's band plays a tune many school bands are rehearsing these days for their first halftime show of the fall; Gordon Goodwin's "Big Phat Band" has a new album out and Don plays Gordon's take "On Green Dolphin Street" from it. There's an anniversary replay of June Christy's "Something Cool," plus swinging vocals by Doris Day and Carmen McRae, by Kevin Mahogany and Ernie Andrews, and a Nat "King" Cole classic with jazz fiddler Stuff Smith.

August 7, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 08/07/2014 10:02 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
We board Count Basie's "9:20 Special" on this week's Radio Munson for some time-travel through the states of "Idaho" with Benny Goodman and Doc Severinsen's "Jersey Bounce." Then we change transportations modes with the Ames Brothers' "Slow Boat to China" and "Come Fly With Me" by Frank Sinatra. Eddie Erickson is on board with a touching tribute to Bix Beiderbecke and Don plays the song that broke up the Dorsey Brothers' Band in 1935 when the feisty Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey couldn't agree on the right tempo in which to play it. Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan check in from the West Coast and Fats Waller engages in some interrogation with "Where Were You on the Night of June the Third?"

July 31, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/31/2014 12:38 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Clarinetist "Peanuts" Hucko gives the performance of his life, soloing with the Glenn Miller Band, on this week's Radio Munson. It's a song Fats Waller wrote called "Stealin' Apples," and Peanuts plays it like he's had some experience in the title! Cab Calloway sings some Razz-Ma-Tazz, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughan show up in the vocal spotlight, Jim Cullum and Banu (BAN-oo) Gibson preview the weekend's "Bix" Festival in the Quad Cities, and the legendary violinist/singer, "Stuff" Smith shows his stuff in a 1936 appearance at the Onyx Club on New York's famous Swing Street.

July 24, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/24/2014 10:46 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
It may be the summer of 2014, but it will feel like 1940 as Don opens Radio Munson with a live New York broadcast of the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing their "current " hit recording, "In the Mood." That should set the mood for Benny Goodman's "Stardust," Pete Rugolo's band playing "In the Shade of the Old Apple Tree," and Tom Cunningham's band of today reviving "Mission to Moscow." Jo Stafford is on Don"s playlist, too, along with Diana Krall, Billie Holliday and Ella Fitzgerald's classic song of slipping around, called "The Five O'Clock Whistle." There are a couple of vocals from the great Lionel Hampton, Curtis Stigers sings about his hometown, and Fats Waller asks "Where Were You On the Night of June the third."

July 17, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/17/2014 10:54 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Three of the largest groups of new Bloomington-Normal residents in recent years have come from Mexico, from Japan and from India and Don shows how American songwriters have been fascinated by all three cultures over the years. "It Happened In Monterey," "Song of India" and "Japanese Sandman" are all on this week's Radio Munson playlist. Jimmie Lunceford, Benny Carter and Tommy Dorsey are among the featured big bands, and there are swinging vocals by Diana Krall, Louis Armstrong, the Bopseell Sisters, Chet Baker, and the great Blues singer, Linda Hopkins.

July 10, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/10/2014 10:06 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Don Munson has been radio broadcasting in Bloomington-Normal for a half century and tonight, he begins his next 50 years on Radio Munson with Benny Goodman's 1935 kick-start of the "Swing Era." Helen Ward handles the vocal on "Sing Me a Swing Song and Let Me Dance." Don also plays songs by his favorite interviewee over his five decades-- Duke Ellington--some Basie, Sinatra, Peggy Lee and Woody Herman. Michael Bublé shows up and so does Joe Williams, while Don throws in Les Paul and Mary Ford's interesting take on "In the Good Old summertime."

July 3, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 07/03/2014 01:23 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
The fireworks get an early start on this week's Radio Munson with Jim Cullum's hot jazz band roaring through an old Spencer Williams tune called "Fireworks." Yankee Doodle Don totes out swinging takes on "You're a Grand Old Flag," "Columbia The Gem of the Ocean" and the "Battle hymn of the Republic" in honor of independence Day. Pete Fountain is "Struttin' With Some Barbecue", Jimmy Rushing will be shouting "Sent For You Yesterday" in a live track from the Newport Jazz Festival, and Keely Smith coaxes some contemplation of what the 4th means with "The House That I Live In."

June 26, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 06/26/2014 10:53 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Trumpeter and Bandleader Harry James played his final gig at LA's Century Plaza on June 26, 1983, then died 9 days later at age 67. Don plays some Harry James swing on this week's Radio Munson, including three of Harry's favorite employees--drummer Buddy Rich, alto sax player Willie smith and song thrush Helen Forrest. Michael Buble' stirs up some "Summer Wind," we attend Ella Fitzgerald's famous Berlin concert when she forgot the lyrics and turned to scatting, there's a vintage swinger by the Mills Brothers and a superb version of one of Ellington's best tunes by Tony Bennett.

June 19, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 06/19/2014 09:14 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
It'll "Seem Like Old Times" on Radio Munson as Andy Farber's New York band opens another show of memories. Daryl Sherman and John Cocuzzi say "I Go For That," another old title that still has legs today. Don Plays a track from a legendary album called "Reunion in Rhythm," featuring Frankie Laine's vocals and the music of the talented Frenchman, Michel Legrand. We get a lesson in automatic transmissions, inspired by Stan Kenton's "Dynaflow," Benny Goodman swings "The Blue Room," Stacey Kent sings "Under a Blanket of Blue," and Jimmy Rushing pays homage to a "June Night."

June 12, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 06/12/2014 02:11 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Steve Tyrell's "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" may be somewhat less than accurate. Radio Munson takes another whimsical trip, starting with Tyrell's gem with assistance from trumpeters Harry "Sweets" Edison and Clark Terry. There's a visit to Kansas City's famed Club Reno near 12th Street and Vine with "Moten Swing," first heard there, and then vocals recorded elsewhere by two of Club Reno's best: "Hot Lips" Page sings with the Artie Shaw Orchestra and Jimmy Rushing sings with the Dave Brubeck Quartet. Who would have thought? Don also takes us 65 floors above Manhattan for a couple of Glenn Miller songs from 70 years ago from the famed Rainbow Room.

June 05, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 06/05/2014 10:46 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
"June is Bustin' Out All Over" on this week's Radio Munson. Bob Thompson's arrangement of the song from Rogers and Hammerstein does honors. Bobby Darin sings of "Blue Skies," Keely Smith insists 'This Is a Lovely Way To Spend An Evening," and Don spins some swingers from Mel Torme', Harry James and John Pizzarelli.

May 22, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/22/2014 11:07 AM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Don opens with a swinging arrangement for Woody Herman's Herd of "Get Me To the Church On Time." Then it's the always upbeat Betty Hutton, the smooth Mel Torme and the harmonic Delta Rhythm Boys. Don digs into the closet to find a rare pairing of Nat "King" Cole's Trio with the Stan Kenton Band, and hit recordings of "Swingin' Sweethearts" and "It Isn't Fair," all from the 1950s. Tony Bennett proves the more things change the more they stay the same, singing Cole Porter's 80-year-old song, "Anything Goes." There's some Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee, and Oscar Peterson, too.  

May 15, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/15/2014 12:48 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Don is curious about where you listen to Radio Munson, either live on Thursday nights or on demand through these podcasts. Let him know at don@wglt.org (you don't have to be specific--he's not trying to compile a mailing list or anything like that). Radio Munson hits the road this time to get you in the proper frame of mind. Ella swings down New York's "Broadway," Louis Armstrong and Danny Barker take us to a "Bourbon Street Parade" in their native New Orleans, Count Basie blasts the "Vine Street Rumble," in a Kansas City tribute to a cradle of American jazz, Johnny Long invites you inside "A Shanty in Old Shanty Town," Henry Mancini invites you along as "The Brothers Go To Mother's," and Dean Martin takes a quick drive down "The Street Where You Live." Comfortable traveling apparel is recommended.

May 8, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/08/2014 01:21 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Count Basie's Second Testament Band rips through "Jumpin' At the Woodside," then Basie backs up vibraphonist Milt Jackson's beautiful "Moonlight Becomes You." Paul McCartney offers "The Glory of Love," Peter Nero makes it official with Richard Rodgers' "Spring Is Here," Benny Goodman swings out on "Mission To Moscow," and Dave Frishberg says it for all of us, "I Want To Be a Sideman."

May 1, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 05/01/2014 02:14 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
The month of May comes in with a look backward by Bobby Darin and "I'll Remember April," plus a look ahead in Eydie Gorme's "Tip Toe Thru the Tulips." Don also introduces New York's best new jazz band, the Hot Sardines, he plays a side by forgotten bandleader Elliot Lawrence, ranked as one of the 50 best jazz recordings of the Twentieth Century, salutes the final season of TV's "Boardwalk empire" with a do-over of the 1920s "Sugarfoot Stomp by Vince Giordano's Nighthawks, and throws in one of those instrumentals everybody has heard, but can't remember the title: it's "Josephine" by Wayne King.

April 24, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/24/2014 12:34 PM
Run Time: 2:02:00
Don opens with "High Maintenance" by Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band, a title hardly befitting a discerning listener like you. There's a salute to the IRS, Jane Monheit's "Everything I've Got Belongs to You;" a Sinatra preview of coming summer vacations, "Let's Get Away From It All;" and, as Count Basie said, "One more once!" during April for his classic "April in Paris." Don also tosses in a beautiful reading of "Stardust" by Curtis Stigers, a salute to the Cab Calloway Orchestra, and a featured busy Clark Terry playing the flugelhorn in one hand, the trumpet in the other, and doing his famous mumbling routine in between--all to "Things Ain't What They Used to Be."

April 17, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/17/2014 09:07 AM
Run Time: 2:00:00
"Jive at Five" opens this Radio Munson, a classic of the Basie Band. There's Artie Shaw's signature "Begin the Beguine" on the playlist, a nod to the golfing set with Bing Crosby's "Straight Down the Middle," and Austin's Hot Club of Cowtown resurrects "Sweet Sue." Don also surprises those who remember Frankie Laine as a pop singer ("Rawhide," "Mule Train") by highlighting Frankie with Buck Clayton's band swinging "Roses of Picardy." There is Glenn Miller's iconic "Serenade in Blue" and a finger-snapping version of "Satin Doll" done by Buddy Greco.

April 03, 2014 Radio Munson (mp3)
Publish Date: 04/03/2014 01:09 PM
Run Time: 2:00:00
"April" Showers" bring those May flowers, right? Woody Herman sings the lyrics, fronting his own band. Don then totes out a pair of songs written by British bandleader Ray Noble: It's "Cherokee," a song identified with Charlie Barnet's Band, then Kurt Elling's thoughtful treatment of "The Very Thought of You." Ella Fitzgerald laments the reality that "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most," Doris Day sings a pair of tunes, and Carmen McRae asks which it's going to be, "Tulip or Turnip."

Support Your Public Radio Station

Don Munson

Don MunsonDon has entertained central Illinois radio listeners for nearly 50 years. He helped build the radio powerhouse WJBC and spent most of his career there. During his tenure as program director, WJBC was the highest rated AM radio station in the nation. GLT now claims this radio legend and during his show Radio Munson you'll  hear the great swing bands, the hot vintage jazz combos, the Vegas headliners and the veterans of smokey jazz clubs in Chicago, New Orleans and New York--they are all a part of the finger-snapping, toe-tapping stew that is Radio Munson. It’s music presented like radio once was, with stories behind the songs of Basie and Benny, Ella and Lady Day, Django and Satchmo, and today’s keepers-of-the-flame like Diana Krall and Michael Buble. Hear Radio Munson at 7 PM Thursday.

2014-04-25T15:35:58.876-05:00 2014