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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.


Air Date:


July 24, 2014 Radio Munson: 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