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. 

Gabby Bozeman / WGLT

In 2016 streaming services became the primary way Americans listened to music. But Bloomington-Normal still has three independent record stores, where physical music, mostly vinyl, makes up the vast majority of their sales. Indeed, record stores in the Twin Cities have bucked the current, rising in popularity from a low point about 15 years ago.

The BraziLionaires

The seven-piece Latin-fusion group The BraziLionaires add 50+ pieces to their sound when they merge with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra for their annual Romance Concert.

Carleigh Gray / WGLT

Former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch visited Illinois State University on Friday as the featured speaker at the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Cultural Dinner.

Courtesy

The Feudin’ Hillbillys. It's a name that conjures both a kind of music and an attitude.

Tom Becker library

Tom Becker graduated from Stanford (IL) High School. That alone will date him.

Illinois Wesleyan University Athletics

When Illinois Wesleyan head women's soccer coach Dave Barrett accepted the same job at Division 1 Fairfield University in Connecticut last week, he said the opportunity was a perfect storm.

Kevin Schertz

What would life be without music for Chris Corkery?

“I can’t … ” said Corkery softly, pausing to consider the implications. “Wow … good question. It’s hard for me to even conceptualize that. Music … saved my life in a lot of ways for many years.”

Jon Norton / WGLT

McLean County Museum of History Librarian Bill Kemp's new book is his second collection of stories written for The Pantagraph. The 77 stories in this edition reveal issues from the county's past that still reverberate today, albeit in different form.

Illinois State University Athletics

Mid-major basketball coaches including Dan Muller at Illinois State University are speaking out against a proposed NCAA rule change that would make it easier for players to transfer.

Rebirth Brass Band

If you grow up in New Orleans, you’re going to absorb the musical legacy of that city.

Illinois State University Athletics

The Illinois State University men's basketball team had high expectations going into this season.

Emmy Holmes-Hicks

Emmy Holmes-Hicks caught the fiddle bug by age 4.

“An older cousin would visit from Thunder Bay, Ontario,” said Holmes-Hicks. “She played Canadian-style fiddle. There was something that just drew me to that music, so much I was just glued to her and I think my parents noticed that.”

Jon Norton / WGLT

The owners of the Castle Theatre in downtown Bloomington will soon have a second music venue in central Illinois.

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 was 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.

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