Music | WGLT

Music

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.

Audience members join musicians on stage
Carleigh Gray / WGLT

A benefit concert was held on Monday at the Normal Theater to raise money for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico.

Radio Munson 12/28/17

Jan 2, 2018

Don rings out 2017 and also closes a 58 year career on this week’s Radio Munson with music from some of his favorites—Count and Duke, Sassy and Satchmo, Ella and Frank, Lady Day and Tony—and a heartfelt thank you to generations of faithful listeners.

Radio Munson 12/21/17

Dec 20, 2017

Kurt Elling is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson along with Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Keely Smith, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, plus Wynton Marsalis and friends with a rousing version of “Go Tell It On the Mountain".

Radio Munson 12/14/17

Dec 15, 2017

Louis Armstrong is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, along with the Boswell Sisters, Jimmy Rushing, stride pianist Jeff Barnhart, Harry James, Jane Monheit, Erroll Garner and more.

Radio Munson 12/7/17

Dec 7, 2017

The great bands of Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Artie Shaw take center stage in this week’s Radio Munson, along with swingers from Ann Hampton Callaway, Barbara Carrol, and Fats Waller and, in a nod to their week’s blast of cold air, Johnny Mercer sings “Button Up Your Overcoat."

Radio Munson 11/30/17

Nov 30, 2017

Sammy Davis, Junior is swinging on this week’s Radio Munson, along with Doc Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band, Woody Herman’s “Four Brothers,” Tierney Sutton, Supersax, and Sarah Vaughan.

Radio Munson 11/23/17

Nov 27, 2017

Harry James’ great band is on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson and so is the Glenn Miller Orchestra.  Benny Goodman and Count Basie provide a set of 1939 swing classics, plus vocal swingers from Betty Carter, Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire, and Della Reese.

Radio Munson 11/16/17

Nov 17, 2017

Legendary pianist/bandleader Earl “Fatha” Hines is on this week’s Radio Munson playlist, along with Dianne Reeves, Dave Brubeck, Julie London, Jack Teagarden, and George Shearing’s classic recording of “Lullaby of Birdland."

Radio Munson 11/9/17

Nov 13, 2017

Doc Severinsen, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra are all swinging’ on this week’s Radio Munson, plus Harry “Sweets” Edison, the Delta Rhythm Boys, and an early Veterans’ Day musical salute.

Radio Munson 11/2/17

Nov 3, 2017

Saxophonist Paul Desmond gets a featured spot on this week’s Radio Munson, along with sides from Linda Ronstadt, Lionel Hampton, Peggy Lee, and Louie Prima.

Radio Munson 10/26/17

Oct 27, 2017

The Andrews Sisters are on Don’s playlist for this week’s Radio Munson, plus Wynton Marsalis, Ann Hampton Callaway, the Count Basie Band, and the rollicking Stan Kenton recording of “The Peanut Vendor."

Radio Munson

Oct 23, 2017

An upbeat song by Fletcher Henderson called “Happy As the Day Is Long” brought the exciting dancer Henry “Rubber Legs” Williams on stage at the Apollo Theater back in 1934, and the same rouser kicks off this week’s Radio Munson.  Don also offers up recordings by Billy Eckstine, Carmen McRae, and the Bill Charles Trio, plus Stacy Kent singing “’Tis Autumn."

Radio Munson 10/12/17

Oct 17, 2017

Radio Munson returns to the desert this week as Don spins some iconic tunes from Tucson, including offerings by Ray Charles, Sarah Vaughan, Paul McCartney, Peggy Lee, and Jimmie Lunceford.

Radio Munson 10/5/17

Oct 6, 2017

If the sky is all clouds and gloom, you can still sing “Shine On Harvest Moon" with Leon Redbone on this week’s Radio Munson.  Dianne Reeves is on Don’s playlist and so are Louis Armstrong, Manhattan Transfer, Charlie Barnet and Linda Ronstadt.

Radio Munson 9/28/17

Sep 28, 2017

Some time travel on this week’s Radio Munson for an autumn evening in 1939 when young drumming whiz Buddy Rich put a charge in the Artie Shaw Orchestra at New York’s Cafe Rouge.  Don also plays sides by Harry Connick Jr., Clark Terry, Dinah Washington, Tommy Dorsey, and the Hot Club of Cowtown.

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.”

Radio Munson 9/21/17

Sep 21, 2017

Don suggests enjoying this last evening of summer on tonight’s Radio Munson with a 1928 recording of “Get Out and Get Under the Moon.”  Betty Carter and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are on Don’s playlist along with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Nat “King” Cole, and Sarah Vaughan.

Radio Munson 9/14/17

Sep 14, 2017

Don might be rushing the season just a bit, but this week’s Radio Munson features Woody Herman’s iconic recording of “Early Autumn.”  There’s also swinging tunes by Cab Calloway, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, and a special duet by vocal legends Ray Charles and Johnny Mathis.

Rob Grabowski / Invision/AP

He had to teach and didn't have time for a summer vacation, so GLT's Culture Commentator spent some summer time catching up with rock heroes and icons. And he saw a thread in all of the concerts. 

Radio Munson 9/7/17

Sep 8, 2017

Erroll Garner, Jane Monheit, Fats Waller and Ella Fitzgerald headline this week’s Radio Munson, along with Stan Kenton’s famous recording of “September Song” and the Duke Ellington Orchestra playing “Things Ain’t What The Used To Be.”  It’s radio the way IT used to be with Radio Munson.

Radio Munson 8/31/17

Sep 1, 2017

Don Munson returns to GLT this week with an all new, all-Basie Radio Munson.  It’s the best of Count Basie’s five decades—the great band, spectacular soloists, swinging vocalists, and even a tap dancer doing a buck-and-wing with Basie’s piano supporting.

Ennemay Photography

Downers Grove native Scott Marek is an aspiring country singer/songwriter/bandleader ready to up his game.

"It's so much fun to get up on stage and sing," said Marek. "Hopefully everyone is listening, and as long as that continues to climb as it has been, I don't see why I should turn back."

Jesse W. Johnson
Kelli Morrison / Courtesy

Listening to Jesse W. Johnson's latest album certainly begs a comparison to Bob Mould's Husker Du and Sugar incarnations of the 1980s and 90s. But a hint of the early to mid 70s sounds of Love, Fleetwood Mac, and John Stewart can also be discerned. 

Phil Brisse / Courtesy

Joel Da Silva came to blues in the Chicago bars he worked in as a teenage bar-back. That’s where he bumped into legends including Junior Wells, Magic Slim, A.C. Reed and Rod Piazza. Well, he didn’t just “bump” into the them; he would pick them up at the airport and deliver them to their hotel.

“Or I would get them barbeque or whatever they wanted,” said Da Silva.

matthewcurry.com

Matthew Curry is in a groove. Oh he was in a groove three years ago opening for legendary names including The Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller, and Peter Frampton. It's just that that sort of exposure isn't supposed to happen right out of high school.

"It almost happened a bit backwards," said Curry, referring to his career path. "I think most people start with the club circuit and build and build and then hope to be on some of the tours we had the honor to be on."

Loren Root

An injured shoulder derailed country-rocker Joe Stamm from his dream of playing college football. A star quarterback at Metamora High School in the mid 2000's, Stamm signed with Northern Illinois University after initially committing to Illinois State University during the Denver Johnson era.
 

Radio Munson 6/15/17

Jun 14, 2017

Was Anita O’Day referring to Uptown Normal when she recorded “Let Me Off Uptown?”  Probably not, but the question provides some fodder for discussion and the playing of Anita’s famous duet with trumpeter Roy Eldridge on this week’s Radio Munson.  The exciting Buddy Rich band is also on Don’s playlist along with Chick Webb, Bobby Troup, and a new duet with vibraphonist Terry Gibbs and Bloomington-Normal pianist John Campbell.

Radio Munson 6/8/17

Jun 9, 2017

There’s a lot of the 1940s in this week’s Radio Munson as Don spins platters by the Andrews Sisters, Cab Calloway, and the Mills Brothers.  Woody Herman sings the “G.I. Jive", while Doris Day croons “Sentimental Journey."

David Carroll / Flickr

Thornetta Davis is known as "Detroit's Queen of the Blues." Her childhood was anything but royal.

"My mom raised four girls with the help of my grandmother," said Davis. "It was an upbringing of turmoil .... my father was an alcoholic and quite violent. When my mother got out of that situation, that's when I feel I started to live."

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