Friday, December 12, 2014 marked my debut as a live radio DJ host in charge of an entire show for the first time. I’d done some stints as a guest on other people’s shows before, mostly in New Orleans on WWOZ, but this time, I was at the helm of the Good Ship Fats.

The first half an hour suffered from painful distortion due to technical reasons I won’t go into, but once I fixed that (just before Take The A-Train), the rest was virtually smooth sailing. One or two not-so-smooth transitions, but largely critical praise from others after was fairly fulsome.

I decided on a formula to play tunes in clusters of 3 or 4, back-announce mostly, and have some sort of theme for each cluster. I acknowledge freely the theme could be quite loose or even tenuous as you’ll see by the opening one – I wanted to avoid too tight a constraint, but wanted the theme to guide the cluster rather than forcefully dictate. I stuck to the plan almost to the letter.

The playlist for the show follows, with theme:
West End Blues – Louis Armstrong & his Hot 5 (1928)
Jungle Blues – Wynton Marsalis Septet
Livery Stable Blues – Vince Giordano & his Nighthawks
Don’t Let It Bother You – Fats Waller & his Rhythm (1934)
Snowy Morning Blues – James P. Johnson (1944)
Peace On You – Willie ‘The Lion’ Smith (1940)
Sleepy Head – Firecracker Jazz Band (2007)
Take The ‘A’ Train (live) – Duke Ellington & his Orchestra (1953)
They’re Moving Willie’s Grave (To Dig A Sewer) – Monte Ballou & his New Castle Jazz Band (1986)
I’m Gonna Stomp Mr Henry Lee – Bridgetown Sextet (2012)
Sometimes I’m Happy – Joe Williams
Studie In F – Horst Winter & his Orchestra (1942)
One O’Clock Jump – The Count Basie Orchestra (1989)
He Likes It Slow – Tuba Skinny
Second Line On Monday – Chuck Carbo (1988)
A Good Man Is Hard To Find – New Orleans Moonshiners (2011)
Doodlin’ – Horace Silver & the Jazz Messengers (1955)
Eat That Chicken – Charles Mingus (1961)
John Brown’s Body – Monty Alexander (1965)
Then The Answer Came – Mahalia Jackson
Satisfied With Jesus – Marie Knight
Ezekiel Saw Da Wheel – Louis Armstrong & his All-Stars (1958)
Walk It Off – Emily Asher’s Garden Party (2014)
Jungle Nights In Harlem – Bratislava Hot Serenaders (2006)
I Double Dare You – Eddie Brunner & his Orchestra (1938)
Shine – Louis Bacon & his Orchestra (1939)
A Little Love This Christmas – Glenn Crytzer’s Savoy Seven

For now, you can hear the whole show here. Skip the first 5 minutes and ignore the ‘Short description’…

Feedback? A few calls came into the studio while I was doing the show to say how much they were loving what I was playing. One phone call became a little emotional because of a family connection between the caller and the Charlie Barnet Orchestra of the 1940s. It was touching to be able to reach someone on such a level as that.

Here’s to more!

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