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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.

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November 20, 2014 Radio Munson: 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."

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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
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