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 12/15/16

Dec 15, 2016

Jimmy Rushing, Jane Monheit and Nat “King” Cole contribute to this week’s Radio Munson, along with jazz violinist Johnny Frigo, guitarist Joe Pass and stride pianist Jeff Barnhart, plus a tribute to bandleader Glenn Miller.

Radio Munson 12/8/16

Dec 8, 2016

Sammy Davis, Junior belts out a tune with the Basie Band on this week’s Radio Munson, along with classics from the bands of Stan Kenton and Sammy Nestico, swinging vocals from Ray Charles and Sarah Vaughan, a 1936 jewel from the Mills Brothers, and a track from the only album made featuring the Ellington and Basie bands together.

Radio Munson 12/1/16

Dec 1, 2016

Count Basie and Stacey Kent head this week’s Radio Munson playlist, along with the pairings of Slim and Slam, Supersax and LA Voices, John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman, plus a bonus roof-raiser from Spike Jones and his City Slickers.

Radio Munson 11/24/16

Nov 24, 2016

Don Munson is pretty sure you’ll be ready to dive into the leftovers by 7 o’clock Thanksgiving night, so he’s serving up some musical leftovers on Radio Munson—songs by great artists that he has been meaning to play but hasn’t gotten to.  Count Basie offers a swinger called “Dinner With My Friends,” Nat “King" Cole and Johnny Mercer harmonize on “Save the Bones for Henry Jones,” and Diana Krall offers “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." 

Radio Munson 11/17/16

Nov 18, 2016

Radio Munson returns to Tucson this week and Don remains in awe of the Super Moon we’ve witnessed in recent days.  That calls for swinging take on “How High the Moon,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” and ”On Moonlight Bay” from the bands of Gene Krupa, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller.  Fats Waller’s “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is also on the playlist along with sides from Erroll Garner, Dianne Reeves, and a duet by Ella and Satchmo.

Radio Munson 11/10/16

Nov 11, 2016

Don is back in The Friendly Confines for this Week's Radio Munson, swinging out from the GLT studios with the Duke Ellington and Les Brown bands, Blossom Dearie, Ernie Andrews and the Manhattan Transfer, plus Lionel Hampton's famous recording of "Ring Them Bells!"

Radio Munson 11/3/16

Nov 3, 2016

A pair of originals from the flapper years of the 1920s headline this week’s Radio Munson as Don spins a hit by the girl who became “Betty Boop” and the guy who sang “Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now.”  Don also has sides by Curtis Stigers, Chris Connor, and Cassandra Wilson, plus an anniversary salute to Glenn Miller’s famous instrumental “A String of Pearls."

Radio Munson 10/27/16

Oct 27, 2016

Bobby Darin, Ann Hampton Callaway and Buddy Greco belt out swingers on this week’s Radio Munson, along with the bands of Larry Clinton, Benny Goodman and Harry Connick, Junior, plus a 1954 West Coast Jazz classic from Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker.

Radio Munson 10/20/16

Oct 21, 2016

Now that the final debate of the political season is history, Don turns to some Happy Talk on this week’s radio Munson.  The SONG “Happy Talk,” that is, as Karrin Allyson does honors. Don also has singers Dianne Reeves and Dick Haymes on tap, along with the bands of Les Brown and Terry Gibbs plus a hat-tip to the season with “Autumn Leaves” and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes."

Radio Munson 10/13/16

Oct 14, 2016

Big Band vocalists drifted from band to band during the 1930's and 40's and the Ted Weems Orchestra boasted of some good ones, most notably Perry Como.  But Weems was stuck with some clunkers at times, too, and one of those was Elmo Tanner.  At one point Weems was so disappointed with Elmo’s singing that he asked Tanner to just WHISTLE the lyrics to a song titled “Heartaches.”  The record became one of the era’s biggest hits, and Don gives it a spin on this week’s Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 10/6/16

Oct 7, 2016

Don checks in from Tucson, Arizona for this week’s Radio Munson with Tony Bennett’s promise that “There’ll Be Some Changes Made.”  There are sides from Jonah Jones, Janice Siegel, Glenn Miller and Dinah Shore on Don’s playlist, plus Stacey Kent states the obvious when she sings “’Tis Autumn."

Radio Munson 9/29/16

Oct 3, 2016

Catherine Russell kicks off this week’s Radio Munson with “We the People (Gotta have Rhythm and Song)” and Don follows up with plenty of all of that!  There’s Ella Fitzgerald, Pearl Django, the Mills Brothers, Hoagy Carmichael and plenty more.

Radio Munson 9/22/16

Sep 23, 2016

Trumpeter Jonah Jones left his home in Louisville to play jazz on the riverboats that plied the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers in the 1920's before touring with Cab Calloway’s band in the 30's and then he re-emerged in the 1950's and 60's as the leader of a small combo that sold a bunch of albums for Capitol Records.  Jonah Jones comes alive again on this week’s Radio Munson along with the classic “Let Me Off Uptown” with vocalist Anita O’Day and trumpeter Roy Eldridge.

Radio Munson 9/15/16

Sep 22, 2016

There might be rain in the weekend forecast but Don is urging all Radio Munson listeners to “Keep Your Sunny Side Up.”  The Hi-Los do honors on the sunny 1929 song.  Plus, Don has the swing bands of Les Elgar, Gordon Goodwin and Les Brown, vocalists Dianne Reeves, the Andrews Sisters and Leon Redbone.

Radio Munson 9/8/16

Sep 20, 2016

Frank Sinatra at his prime from Las Vegas highlights Radio Munson this week.  Frank belts out a pair of songs from the Vegas Sands Hotel, backed by the Count Basie Band.  Don also serves up a Jimmie Lunceford band classic, swinging vocals by Manhattan Transfer, Carmen McRae, and the Hot Sardines, plus a breathtaking solo from guitar virtuoso Joe Pass.

Radio Munson 8/25/16

Aug 31, 2016

Don salutes the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and its young singer, Frank Sinatra, on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Harry Connick, Jr., Peggy Lee, June Christy, plus some memories of Toots Thielemans.

Radio Munson 8/18/16

Aug 18, 2016

One of Duke Ellington’s most haunting compositions was “Creole Love Call,” and Duke’s band plays it on this week’s Radio Munson; plus a newly-discovered recording by jazz guitar innovator Wes Montgomery, vocals from Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, and Eydie Gorme, and a rousing 1938 concert swinger by Benny Goodman.

Radio Munson 8/11/16

Aug 16, 2016

How hot is it?  Don totes out the ultimate cooler on this week's Radio Munson, “T’aint No Sin (To Take Off Your Skin and Dance Around In Your Bones)”  Drummer Gregg Field’s band plays “The Heat’s On,”  Mizz Elizabeth and The Hot Sardines offer “Honeysuckle Rose,” and 1950s pop star Frankie Laine show his jazz chops with Buck Clayton’s band singing “Until the Real Thing Comes Along."

Radio Munson 8/4/16

Aug 9, 2016

Radio Munson returns to GLT from summer vacation with Andy Farber's "Seems Like Old Times" kicking off a swinging Thursday evening.  Don has lined up sides from Will Bradley's band, vocalists Lena Horne, Nat Cole and Diana Krall plus, as we head into the dog days of summer, an upbeat Artie Shaw version of "Where Oh Where Has My Little Dog gone."

Radio Munson 7/14/16

Jul 18, 2016

Benny Carter, Andy Kirk’s Clouds of Joy, Dinah Shore, Cab Calloway and Liza Minelli help Don turn back the clock on this week’s Radio Munson, plus, for good measure, a rousing version of “How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm After They’ve Seen Paree."

Radio Munson 7/7/16

Jul 11, 2016

Perhaps the greatest jazz solo ever recorded happened in Newport, Rhode Island, during the early morning hours 60 years ago this Thursday.  The spontaneous occasion closed the last set at the third annual Newport Jazz Festival with the Duke Ellington Orchestra on stage and tenor saxophonist Paul Gonsalves at the mic.  What happened next was jazz magic, and Don puts you there in the front row, 60 years ago, on this week’s Radio Munson.  

Radio Munson 6/30/16

Jul 6, 2016

Some early Independence Day Weekend fireworks on this week’s Radio Munson from Jim Cullum’s Jazz Band, Keely Smith, and trombonists John Allred and Wycliffe Gordon; plus Frank Sinatra, Lee Wiley, Michael Buble and more. 

Radio Munson 6/23/16

Jun 24, 2016

Tony Bennett is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, along with Lee Wiley, Joe Williams, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Sarah Vaughan, and the Count Basie Band. 

Radio Munson 6/9/16

Jun 13, 2016

Don plays Ellington’s “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be”, but you can't say that about Radio Munson.  With sides from Les Brown, Carmen McRae, the Ames Brothers, and Eddie Cantor, it’s going to be two hours of radio—the way it used to be.

Radio Munson 6/2/16

Jun 3, 2016

Don’s sweet tooth catches up with him on this week’s Radio Munson and we catch him with his hand in the sugar bowl.  “Sugar Foot Stomp,” “Sugar Blues,” and “My Sugar Is So Refined” make their way to the turntable; Anita O’Day is on Don’s playlist, too, along with Jimmy Rushing and the bands of Count Basie and Les Elgart.

Radio Munson 5/26/16

May 27, 2016

Don is polishing his virtual Mirror Ballroom Ball for this week’s Radio Munson, with a set on his playlist of iconic romantic dance recordings by Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Artie Shaw.  Sammy Davis, Junior is on the evening’s card, too, along with Keely Smith, Nat “King” Cole, and Bill Allred’s Classic Jazz Band’s offering of the “Tin Roof Blues."

Radio Munson 4/28/16

May 3, 2016

Helen O’Connell is “Steppin’ Out With a Memory Tonight” on Radio Munson while Louis Armstrong climbs “Blueberry Hill” and Bobby Darin predicts “I’ll Remember April.”  Don samples a track from a newly discovered and issued album by jazz piano great Bill Evans and salutes the recording anniversaries of iconic songs by Jack Teagarden and the Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Radio Munson 4/21/16

Apr 22, 2016

They’ll be dancing in the aisles to Glenn Miller’s “In the Mood” on this week’s Radio Munson.  Buddy Greco offers a finger-snapping version on “Satin Doll,” both Arthur Prysock and Ella Fitzgerald swing with the Basie Band, Buddy Rich leads his 1970-s band through “Love For Sale," and Joe Williams is joined by Supersax as he sings the Gershwins’ “Embraceable You."

Radio Munson 4/14/16

Apr 14, 2016

“One More Time," Don gives a spin to the iconic Count Basie recording of “April in Paris” on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Woody Herman’s BeBop classic, “Lemon Drop,” and Duke Ellington’s favorite, “Chelsea Bridge.”  Toni Tennille is also on Don’s playlist, plus Tony DeSare, Dinah Washington, Frank Sinatra, and more.

Radio Munson 4/7/16

Apr 8, 2016

Radio Munson does its best to answer a question posed by Tony Bennett on this week’s show when he sings “Are You Having Any Fun?”  Bob Dorough and Sammy Davis, Junior romp through some upbeat lyrics, and so do Stacey Kent and the Boswell Sisters.  There’s Woody Herman’s famous “Four Brothers” and Stan Kenton’s band plays the only known song dedicated to a car’s automatic transmission, “Dynaflow."

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