Jon Norton | WGLT

Jon Norton

Music Director/Morning Edition Host

Not a hunter, skier, ice fisherman or hockey player, Northern Minnesota native Jon Norton has adapted well to what he considers the warm climate of Central Illinois.

After 20+ years in commercial radio, he's also "adapted" well to programming and playing jazz and blues music for listeners in Central Illinois.  John Lee Hooker and Oscar Peterson are among his favorite artists.

Norton is an ISU and Chicago Bulls Basketball fan, a Minnesota Twins baseball fan and treasures his time at home with his wife and son. 

Jon Norton / WGLT

Jeff Wilson of North Street Records in Uptown Normal suggests the new Beatles Christmas box set for the Beatles fan who has everything. The box set will be released Dec. 15.

Matt Barber

Peoria-born Matt Barber was in high school in 2003 when hits from hip-hop star 50 Cent and others by R. Kelly, Beyoncé and rocker Three Doors Down topped the popular music charts. Barber wasn’t oblivious to those sounds, but his passion attending Rock Island high school gravitated to the chart-topping songs of many generations prior.

“Ever since I was a young boy, I've played the silver ball …”

The opening line from "Pinball Wizard" isn't the primary reason Bloomington-Normal cover band Wildermore decided to cover songs by The Who for the Silver Ball fundraiser “after party” Dec. 9 at Diggers in Bloomington. But it is a nice tie-in.

Morgan Shulte

Growing up in Lincoln, Joe Borbely and Michael Klug had a mutual friend in elementary school who was a huge fan of The Beatles. But the 1976 born Borbely said the Fab-4 grew on him when he grew older and could appreciate the depth of the band’s music and lyrics.

Maryelle St. Clare

Away from stage lights and adoring fans, life as a touring musician can be challenging. The stress of being away from family for weeks or months at a time and dealing with long rides between gigs can fray the nerves of the closest of friends.

Michelle Tschetter / zoomadesign.com

John Till grew up in Naperville but was always drawn to the outdoors and wide open spaces. Till gets right to it on the opening track to his new album of originals titled “Work Away The Day.”

Keith Griner / Phierce Photo/Castle Theatre

Many local musicians and fans credit The Castle Theatre for a resurgence in the Bloomington-Normal music scene.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Michael Klug and Joe Borbely of Bloomington’s Jack Dupp & the Empty Bottles say they have seen both the drought and the resurgence of the central Illinois Music scene. Klug said "it’s about time."

Simply Saucer founder and front man Edgar Breau said he never saw one of the band’s major influences when it played his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, in 1966.

"We looked up the show on microfiche just to see what the review said. The entertainment editor that saw them was completely baffled by the show," said Breau via Skype, referring to the groundbreaking but similarly then obscure Velvet Underground.

Not unlike reaction the proto-punk Simply Saucer was receiving in the early 1970s?

Stefen Robinson qualifies his thoughts even before he voices them. He wants to clarify that his new album under the moniker "Yea Big" has words and concepts that may raise a few eyebrows in central Illinois.

Cindy Le / WGLT

The second series of the hit true-crime podcast Suspect Convictions will focus on the 1998 murder of 3-year old Christina McNeil of Bloomington.

University of Minnesota Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport

Mary Jo Kane said the explosive growth of women playing sports in America is absolutely attributable to the passage of Title IX in 1972. She used a former U-Conn basketball star as an example.

When we last caught up with Ryan Weisheit, “Pokey LaFarge sideman" was new to the musical resume of the co-founder of New York City’s hot jazz ensemble Sweet Megg & the Wayfarers.

Dave Frenzia

Normal native Adam Larson sounded more relaxed than during previous interviews. Has marriage and a very young son mellowed the intensity of the Type-A saxophonist?

Shervin Lainez

Black Crowes founding member Rich Robinson said his new band doesn't feel like the Black Crowes.

Lyndsie Schlink / Illinois State University

Illinois State University Education Professor Deborah MacPhee has designed a collaborative model of teacher education she says bridges the gap between theory and practice.

Victoria Smith

Tommy Castro has incorporated soul and rock into his blues from nearly the time he began playing music. On his new album “Stompin’ Ground,” he overtly tips his hat to the soul and “hippie-rock” he assimilated while musically coming of age in San Jose, California, in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Normal Police are asking for the public’s help finding out who fired a gun Tuesday night near Vernon Avenue at Linden Street, striking a man in the neck.

Jon Norton / WGLT

Bloomington Police Officer Shawn Albert currently tracks roughly 200 Bloomington residents on two state mandatory registrations.

Illinois State University Athletics

Illinois State University men's basketball coach Dan Muller said Thursday that the cheating aspect of the latest scandal to rock the NCAA doesn't surprise him.

Kate Ford

The now Chicago-based pop-rock quintet Red Scarves returns to Bloomington-Normal Sept. 30 for a house show, where they will feature songs from their scheduled late October release “Sort Of Scarlet.”

"Hard Rockin’ Woman" is the second song on “Hurricane” Ruth LeMaster’s latest album “Ain’t Ready for the Grave.” It’s an apt description for the Beardstown native.

Mike McMillen / Front Row Perspective

Peoria’s Bret Bunton remembers listening to GLT Blues when he was 6 or 7 years old.

Black Lives Matter formed in 2014 as a reaction to the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri. Subsequent shootings of especially young black men by police officers have sparked conversations about race probably not heard and seen in America in decades.

The Ronnie Baker Brooks 2017 release “Times Have Changed” is aptly titled. For one, he altered his guitar sound, leaving his coveted guitar pedals at home during the recording of the album.

“I plugged straight into the amp through a Gibson guitar,” said Brooks. “That was an adjustment for me at first, mentally.”

Mdou Moctar and his band
Jerome Fino

The thriving Desert Blues sound of the Saharan peoples of North Africa is the spiritual homeland of the blues. Mdou Moctar is a Niger-based disciple of that sound. He's about to embark on a short American tour that kicks off at Reverberation Vinyl in Bloomington.

Hugo van Gelderen / Dutch National Archives

It’s been 50 years since John Coltrane died. How is it possible the just released documentary “Chasing Trane” from director John Scheinfeld is the first big screen telling of the jazz legend?

Cedric Wilder / Brown Bear Creative

The title track to Sherwood Forest’s just released “No Retreat” EP is a personal plea to an unnamed person.

Brian Rozman

Samantha Fish can shred her blues guitar with the best. So a new album with a dual focus on her voice and hits from the 1950s and 60s is a bit of a curve-ball. Fish calls it freeing.

Amy Harris/Invision / The Associated Press

We think of GLT Blues Radio as the Best Blues Station on Planet Earth because that's what you tell us.

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