Don Munson | WGLT

Don Munson

Radio Munson Host

Don 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.

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Radio Munson 12/7/17

Dec 7, 2017

The great bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Artie Shaw take center stage in this week’s Radio Munson, along with swingers from Ann Hampton Callaway, Barbara Carrol, and Fats Waller and, in a nod to their week’s blast of cold air, Johnny Mercer sings “Button Up Your Overcoat."

Radio Munson 11/30/17

Nov 30, 2017

Sammy Davis, Junior is swinging on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, Woody Herman’s “Four Brothers,” Tierney Sutton, Supersax, and Sarah Vaughan.

Radio Munson 11/23/17

Nov 27, 2017

Harry James’ great band is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson and so is the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  Benny Goodman and Count Basie provide a set of 1939 swing classics, plus vocal swingers from Betty Carter, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, and Della Reese.

Radio Munson 11/16/17

Nov 17, 2017

Legendary pianist/bandleader Earl “Fatha” Hines is on this week’s Radio Munson playlist, along with Dianne Reeves, Dave Brubeck, Julie London, Jack Teagarden, and George Shearing’s classic recording of “Lullaby of Birdland."

Radio Munson 11/9/17

Nov 13, 2017

Doc Severinsen, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra are all swinging’ on this week’s Radio Munson, plus Harry “Sweets” Edison, the Delta Rhythm Boys, and an early Veterans’ Day musical salute.

Radio Munson 11/2/17

Nov 3, 2017

Saxophonist Paul Desmond gets a featured spot on this week’s Radio Munson, along with sides from Linda Ronstadt, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, and Louie Prima.

Radio Munson 10/26/17

Oct 27, 2017

The Andrews Sisters are on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, plus Wynton Marsalis, Ann Hampton Callaway, the Count Basie Band, and the rollicking Stan Kenton recording of “The Peanut Vendor."

Radio Munson

Oct 23, 2017

An upbeat song by Fletcher Henderson called “Happy As the Day Is Long” brought the exciting dancer Henry “Rubber Legs” Williams on stage at the Apollo Theater back in 1934, and the same rouser kicks off this week’s Radio Munson.  Don also offers up recordings by Billy Eckstine, Carmen McRae, and the Bill Charles Trio, plus Stacy Kent singing “’Tis Autumn."

Radio Munson 10/12/17

Oct 17, 2017

Radio Munson returns to the desert this week as Don spins some iconic tunes from Tucson, including offerings by Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Paul McCartney, Peggy Lee, and Jimmie Lunceford.

Radio Munson 10/5/17

Oct 6, 2017

If the sky is all clouds and gloom, you can still sing “Shine On Harvest Moon" with Leon Redbone on this week’s Radio Munson.  Dianne Reeves is on Don’s playlist and so are Louis Armstrong, Manhattan Transfer, Charlie Barnet and Linda Ronstadt.

Radio Munson 9/28/17

Sep 28, 2017

Some time travel on this week’s Radio Munson for an autumn evening in 1939 when young drumming whiz Buddy Rich put a charge in the Artie Shaw Orchestra at New York’s Cafe Rouge.  Don also plays sides by Harry Connick Jr., Clark Terry, Dinah Washington, Tommy Dorsey, and the Hot Club of Cowtown.

Radio Munson 9/21/17

Sep 21, 2017

Don suggests enjoying this last evening of summer on tonight’s Radio Munson with a 1928 recording of “Get Out and Get Under the Moon.”  Betty Carter and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are on Don’s playlist along with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Nat “King” Cole, and Sarah Vaughan.

Radio Munson 9/14/17

Sep 14, 2017

Don might be rushing the season just a bit, but this week’s Radio Munson features Woody Herman’s iconic recording of “Early Autumn.”  There’s also swinging tunes by Cab Calloway, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, and a special duet by vocal legends Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis.

Radio Munson 9/7/17

Sep 8, 2017

Erroll Garner, Jane Monheit, Fats Waller and Ella Fitzgerald headline this week’s Radio Munson, along with Stan Kenton’s famous recording of “September Song” and the Duke Ellington Orchestra playing “Things Ain’t What The Used To Be.”  It’s radio the way IT used to be with Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 8/31/17

Sep 1, 2017

Don Munson returns to GLT this week with an all new, all-Basie Radio Munson.  It’s the best of Count Basie’s five decades—the great band, spectacular soloists, swinging vocalists, and even a tap dancer doing a buck-and-wing with Basie’s piano supporting.

Radio Munson 6/15/17

Jun 14, 2017

Was Anita O’Day referring to Uptown Normal when she recorded “Let Me Off Uptown?”  Probably not, but the question provides some fodder for discussion and the playing of Anita’s famous duet with trumpeter Roy Eldridge on this week’s Radio Munson.  The exciting Buddy Rich band is also on Don’s playlist along with Chick Webb, Bobby Troup, and a new duet with vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and Bloomington-Normal pianist John Campbell.

Radio Munson 6/8/17

Jun 9, 2017

There’s a lot of the 1940s in this week’s Radio Munson as Don spins platters by the Andrews Sisters, Cab Calloway, and the Mills Brothers.  Woody Herman sings the “G.I. Jive", while Doris Day croons “Sentimental Journey."

Radio Munson 5/18/17

May 19, 2017

Four harmonizing saxophones in Woody Herman’s 1947 jazz band recorded a song called “Four Brothers” and changed Woody’s fortunes for decades to come.  The record is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, along with Nicki Parrott (puh-ROT), Nat “King” Cole, Beth Hart, and pianist Freddy “Daddy” Slack plays “Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar."

Radio Munson 5/11/17

May 11, 2017

The Mother of all “Battles of the Bands” took place in Harlem’s Savoy Ballroom 80 years ago on the night of May 11th, 1937.  Benny Goodman’s popular swing band set up on a bandstand on one side of the huge ballroom, while the Savoy’s “house” band, Chick Webb’s band held court on the other side of the dance floor.  The two bands volleyed back and forth for 5 hours that night, a tune from one and then a tune from the other.  Don takes us back to that night on this week’s Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 5/4/17

May 8, 2017

Duke Ellington’s famous orchestra recorded an instrumental on May 4th, 1940 that composer Ellington titled “Never No Lament".  You will recognize the old song when Don plays it on this week’s Radio Munson—it’s one of Ellington’s best, made more palatable when Duke gave it a new title.  Matt Monro is on Don’s playlist, too, along with the Merry Macs, Mel Torme’, and Sarah Vaughan live at the famed Mister Kelly’s Jazz Club on Chicago’s Rush Street.

Radio Munson 4/27/17

May 1, 2017

A tribute to Ella Fitzgerald on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Harry James, Eartha Kitt, the Hot Club of Cowtown, and the Gene Harris Superband.

Radio Munson 4/20/17

Apr 20, 2017

Siblings star on this week’s Radio Munson with Freddy and Nat “King” Cole, Bing and Bob Crosby, the Boswell Sisters and the Dorsey Brothers, plus classics from Henry Mancini, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and Sarah Vaughan.

Radio Munson 4/13/17

Apr 13, 2017

Some piano adventures on this week’s Radio Munson with Boogie Woogie great Meade “Lux” Lewis playing his signature “Honky Tonk Train Blues” and vibraphone innovator playing a romping tune on piano using only his two index fingers.  Mavis Rivers is on Don’s playlist, along with Leon Redbone, Billie Holiday, and your chance to do the ‘Shag” to the “Johnson Rag."

Radio Munson 4/6/17

Apr 6, 2017

There’s an anniversary salute to Duke Ellington's iconic “Satin Doll” on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Carmen McRae, Stan Kenton, Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy, Sarah Vaughan, and Count Basie’s salute to “April In Paris."

Radio Munson 3/30/17

Apr 3, 2017

Erroll Garner plays “Misty" for you on this week’s Radio Munson and that’s not all.  There’s Ella Fitzgerald, Arthur Prysock, Louis Armstrong, Ann Hampton Callaway and a trip back to the red hot 1920s for a classic recording of “Everything Is Hotsy-Totsy Now." 

Radio Munson 3/23/17

Mar 27, 2017

British singer and icon Vera Lynn celebrated her 100th birthday Monday.  She is revered for helping hold a reeling Great Britain together during the bleak early years of World War II.  Don remembers Vera Lynn and plays her memorable song,”We’ll Meet Again” on this week’s Radio Munson, plus Ray Charles, Paul McCartney, Sarah Vaughan, and more.

Radio Munson 3/16/17

Mar 21, 2017

There is a TV commercial currently playing nation-wide that uses the song “The Best Things In Life Are Free” as background.  But who’s recording is that?  Take a seat in New York’s famed Copacabana nightclub on this week’s Radio Munson and find out.  Judy Garland gets a jump on St Patrick’s Day with “It’s a Great Day for the Irish,”  Louis Armstrong contributes a vocal, and pianist Gene Harris plays “It Might As Well Be Spring."

Radio Munson 3/9/17

Mar 10, 2017

The Diva Jazz Orchestra is on this week’s Radio Munson along with Doc Severinsen’s Tonight Show Band, The Duke Ellington Orchestra, and the 1935 song by the Dorsey Brothers Band that caused brothers Tommy and Jimmy to go their separate ways as band leaders for the next 20 years.

Radio Munson 3/2/17

Mar 7, 2017

Don plays an all-time tenor saxophone solo on this week’s Radio Munson when he spins Coleman Hawkins’ recording of “Body and Soul.”  There’s also an exciting vintage track of Count Basie’s band rocking the famed Savoy Ballroom in 1938, featuring Lester Young and Jimmy Rushing; plus Ann Hampton Callaway, a pair of tunes from Curtis Stigers with the Danish Radio Big Band, and a trip into Central Illinois’ past with Tiny Hill, the biggest band leader of them all.

Radio Munson 2/23/17

Feb 25, 2017

There’s plenty of musical time travel on this week’s Radio Munson from Hollywood to New Orleans, from San Antonio to Chicago, and from Newport Rhode Island to the trenches in France during the First World War.  Drummer Buddy Rich punches your ticket opening Don’s show with “Chicago (That Toddlin’ Town)".

 

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