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 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."

Radio Munson 3/31/16

Apr 1, 2016

Annie Ross, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan, and Frankie Laine are among the vocalists on this week’s Radio Munson, plus the Ellington and Basie bands, the Hot Club of Cowtown, Fats Waller and more.

Radio Munson 3/24/16

Mar 28, 2016

There’s another eclectic lineup on this week’s Radio Munson with Norah Jones, Bob Crosby’s Bobcats, the Hot Club of Cowtown, and Leon Redbone, among others.  There’s a cool jazz version of Rogers and Hart’s song “Spring Is Here” and, before all is said and done, Oscar Peterson plays “Easter Parade.”

Radio Munson 3/10/16

Mar 10, 2016

Ella Fitzgerald invokes the coming Spring on this week’s Radio Munson with a classic Cole Porter song, along with swingers from Bobby Short, Blossom Dearie, and the Delta Rhythm Boys.  Don also plays a 1927 recording by Bix Beiderbecke on the iconic 1920s jazzman’s birthday, plus sides by the Buddy Rich and Artie Shaw bands.

Radio Munson 3/3/16

Mar 3, 2016

There’s a bit of tap dancing on Radio Munson this week as “Fast Eddie” Francisco lets it fly with the Hot Sardines and a rousing version of “Honeysuckle Rose.”  Don also has vocals by Sammy Davis, Junior, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, and Rebecca Kilgore, swinging big band sides by Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman, plus Slim and Slam’s memorable hit from 1938 titled “Flat Foot Floogie (With the Floy, Floy)."

Radio Munson 2/25/16

Feb 26, 2016

Stacey Kent, Kurt Elling, Sarah Vaughan, and Kenny Rankin are among the vocalists on this week’s Radio Munson, along with the bands of Glenn Miller, Larry Clinton and Stan Kenton, plus a virtuoso solo of Ellington’s “Mood Indigo” by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis.

Radio Munson 2/18/16

Feb 17, 2016

There’s some “Jumpin’ Jive” from Big Bad Voodoo Daddy on this week’s Radio Munson, along with a 1936 Benny Goodman set featuring vocals by Helen Ward and Lionel Hampton plus Benny’s iconic recording of “Sing, Sing, Sing.”  Ann Hampton Callaway is on Don’s playlist along with piano great Art Tatum.

Radio Munson 2/11/16

Feb 12, 2016

Radio Munson makes a promise to take the chill off your Thursday evening with the Pointer Sisters’ rousing version of “Steam Heat,” plus Louis Armstrong’s rousing “Swing That Music, Johnny Hartman’s treatment of “Lush Life", and songs from two veterans of the vaudeville circuits—George Burns and Jimmy Durante.

Radio Munson 2/4/16

Feb 4, 2016

Carmen McRae, Charlie Barnet, Ethel Merman, and George Shearing are among the greats on Radio Munson this week as Don hosts Radio Munson from Southern Arizona, plus, in honor of this week’s Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, the world’s oldest and largest, Don gives a spin to Glenn Miller’s classic “String of Pearls."

Radio Munson 1/28/16

Jan 28, 2016

It’s “Buddy” week on Radio Munson as Don spins swingers from Buddy Bregman’s Band, singer Buddy Greco, and legendary drummer Buddy Rich with his band.  Make that three Buddys and one “Bunny,”—the great trumpeter Bunny Berigan.  Vocalist Annie Ross is on Don’s playlist along with Cab Calloway, The Boswell Sisters, and pianist Erroll Garner.

Radio Munson 1/21/16

Jan 22, 2016

Brothers take the spotlight on this week’s Radio Munson as Don plays Woody Herman’s famous 1947 song “Four Brothers,” plus a 1932 classic by the harmonizing Mills Brothers.  Terry Gibbs, Natalie Cole, Paul McCartney, and Peggy Lee are also on the playlist.

Radio Munson 1/14/16

Jan 14, 2016

When Elmo Tanner, vocalist with the Ted Weems Orchestra, learned that his boss had just hired a young Perry Como to sing with the band, Elmo got serious about his gift for whistling and, in turn, saved his job.  Tanner contributed a memorable whistling solo to the band’s next recording, “Heartaches,” and re-launched a second career with Weems’ group.  You’re invited to whistle along with Elmo when Don spins “Heartaches” on this week’s Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 1/7/16

Jan 8, 2016

Benny Goodman is generally regarded as the guy who introduced what became the “Swing Era” in 1935, but Duke Ellington’s Orchestra recorded a pre-cursor three years earlier.  Don spins the original 1932 Ellington recording “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing” on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Sarah Vaughan, Jeff Lindberg’s Chicago Jazz Orchestra, and the Hot Club of Cowtown.

Radio Munson 12/24/15

Dec 24, 2015

Don proves that it is possible for a DJ to hold a glass of egg nog in one hand while spinning songs of the season with the other on the Christmas Eve edition of Radio Munson. Swing along with Louis Armstrong, Stacey Kent, Take Six, Leon Redbone and Diana Krall, plus Ellington, Basie, and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.

Radio Munson 12/17/15

Dec 22, 2015

Have you ever researched which old song was most popular on the day you were born? Well, Don Munson did this week and found out a bit more than he had bargained for. The website Don chose told him what he wanted, but then asked if he wanted to know the song that was number one 9 months prior to that—you know, the song that perhaps his mom and dad, uh, danced to. It’s all revealed on this week’s Radio Munson along with the web address for curious music lovers...

Radio Munson 12/10/15

Dec 11, 2015

There’s a “Swingin’ Sinatra Centennial Session” on this week’s Radio Munson. Snap that hat brim to just the right angle and start your finger-snapping for an all-star selection of Frank Sinatra’s recordings, plus a number of America’s best vocalists singing songs made famous by Old Blue Eyes. Curtain goes up at 7 in the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel in Vegas, and your stage-side table is waiting!

Radio Munson 12/3/15

Dec 4, 2015

There’s some Boogie Woogie on this week’s Radio Munson as Freddy Slack, Ray McKinley and the Will Bradley band swing through “Beat Me Daddy, Eight To the Bar.” Pianist Oscar Peterson is on Don’s playlist, along with Nat “King” Cole, Nancy Wilson, Steve Tyrell, Pearl Bailey, and Bloomington’s Pokey LaFarge.

Radio Munson 11/26/15

Nov 26, 2015

When the Hi-Los open Radio Munson Thanksgiving night by swinging "Seems Like Old Times,” they’ll be setting the stage for Don’s annual collection of “leftovers,” songs he has meant to play but just hasn’t gotten around to it till now. Included are pairings of Oscar Peterson with Clark Terry, Johnny Hodges with Duke Ellington, Chet Baker with Gerry Mulligan and even Willie Nelson with Wynton Marsalis. There’s a Chicago connection, too, thanks to Buddy Rich and his band and legendary saxophonist Von Freeman.

Radio Munson 11/19/15

Nov 23, 2015

Dean Martin, the Delta Rhythm Boys, Chris Connor and Curtis Stigers are on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, plus historic recordings from November 19ths past from the swing bands of Chick Webb and Stan Kenton, and a rousing version of “After You’ve Gone" by Milwaukee/Chicago clarinetist Chuck Hedges.

Radio Munson 11/12/15

Nov 18, 2015

Set ‘em up, Joe, because Don is playing some saloon songs on this week’s Radio Munson. Johnny Hartman, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra and Dianne Reeves stick around till closing time to unload their troubles to the bartender. There’s also a table reserved for you along Bourbon Street in New Orleans to hear stride pianist Richard Scott plus room on the dance floor to swing to the bands of Artie Shaw and Ozzie Nelson.

Radio Munson 11/5/15

Nov 9, 2015

Ray Charles is on this week’s Radio Munson playlist, along with Billie Holiday, Freddy Cole, Paul McCartney, Benny Goodman, and a red-headed, fair skinned heart-throb vocalist from the 1930's called Pinky Tomlin.

Radio Munson 10/29/15

Nov 3, 2015

Don checks in from Tucson, Arizona on this week’s Radio Munson with some some Sinatra “Witchcraft” and a dose of Ella’s “Old Black Magic” to help set the scene for Halloween weekend. There’s also Benny Goodman’s 1937 broadcast of “Stardust,” Cassandra Wilson offers “Autumn Nocturne” and, in a nod to the week’s sensational newspaper headlines, Fast Eddie Ericsson” sings “My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes!”

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