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 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!”

Radio Munson 10/22/15

Oct 26, 2015

GLT General Manager Bruce Bergethon joins Don in the studio for a special fundraising edition of Radio Munson during the 2015 Fall Fund Drive.

Radio Munson 10/15/15

Oct 16, 2015

Chicago’s Ramsey Lewis Trio did the unthinkable 50 years ago this week when their jazz version of “The In Crowd” made it to #5 on Billboard’s pop music chart, an unheard-of lofty place for a jazz instrumental in the midst of 1965 offerings by the Beatles, the Stones and Bob Dylan.  “The In Crowd” pops up again, a half century later, on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Sarah Vaughan, Ray Charles, Johnny Hartman and the Les Brown Band.

Radio Munson 10/8/15

Oct 9, 2015

The Hot Sardines top Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson.  “Bibs” Palazzo tickles the ivories and “Miz Elizabeth handles the vocal as the Sardines heat up a Fats Waller tune.  Gene Krupa’s band is also on the bill, along with a classic from Henry Mancini and vocal swingers from the Boswell Sisters and Joe Williams.

Radio Munson 10/1/15

Oct 2, 2015

Legendary Tony Bennett must be the youngest 89-year-old to record music in a long time, and his new album of Jerome Kern songs stands as proof.  Bill Charlap’s trio backs Tony’s spot-on interpretations of songs everybody knows and Don plays one of them on this week’s Radio Munson.  The McGuire Sisters are on Don’s playlist, too, along with Lionel Hampton’s vibes, Stuff Smith’s jazz fiddle, and a welcome to October from the Four Freshmen.

Radio Munson 9/17/15

Sep 18, 2015

Did you know legendary jazz pianist Erroll Garner was left-handed?  The fact Garner was a leftie greatly influenced his keyboard style.  Don provides a sample or two of Erroll Garner's great audience appeal on this week’s Radio Munson;  plus Dinah Shore, Jane Monheit, Louis Jordan, Stan Kenton and an invite to help clean out the GLT studios courtesy of Ralph Flanagan’s "Rag Mop".

Radio Munson 9/10/15

Sep 10, 2015

It may be too soon to officially throw in the towel on Summer, but it's not to early for Don to play Nancy Wilson's legendary version of "The Things We Did Last Summer";  It's on this week's Radio Munson playlist, along with Stan Kenton, Michael Buble, Keely Smith, and Harry James and his band with "September Song".

Radio Munson 8/20/15

Aug 20, 2015

The bands of Doc Severinsen, Nelson Riddle and Tommy Dorsey are on Don's playlist this week on Radio Munson, along with vocals from Dianne Reeves, Steve Tyrell and Dinah Washington, plus two of the most distinctive and recognizable instrumentalists ever, clarinetist Eddie Daniels and bass trombonist George Roberts.

Radio Munson 8/13/15

Aug 13, 2015

The term "Lounge Act" has developed a rather cheesie image over the years, but a "Lounge SINGER" was and is an icon that, though largely extinct today, was once an ever-present icon.  Don invites you to sit near the bar with him on this week's Radio Munson to listen to two of the best lounge singers, Bobby Troup and Matt Dennis.  Les Paul and Mary Ford are also on Don's bill, along with Artie Shaw, Bob Crosby's Bobcats, and June Christy with "Something Cool."

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