Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The LuLac Edition #1916, January 25th, 2012

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo.

George Graham and this blog editor in a 2009 visit to WVIA TV/FM.



When I was in college, during the summers of the Sam Irvin/Watergate hearings and the Impeachment hearings, I did the news on WVIA FM for George Graham's "Mixed Bag". George was/is a creature of habit and the meticulous manner in everything he did translated into his preparation and execution of his on air duties at FM 89.9. It is for that and many reasons that I was pleased to see a Times Leader editorial sing the praises of George Graham and his commitment to good, innovative radio programming.
GEORGE GRAHAM’S warm voice sounds good coming through the radio, especially on a cold winter night when it comforts like a blanket or the sound of a companion’s key unlocking the door.
We – like plenty of the longtime radio host’s devoted listeners in Northeastern Pennsylvania, maybe you – have grown accustomed to Graham. He has been a fixture at WVIA-FM since its start, nearly 40 years ago. He’s our guest on many a weeknight, or maybe we are his. We get together around 7, usually in the kitchen, sometimes the car. We spend quality minutes, maybe even a few hours. He begins with jazz; we unwind. While we eat, he plays music “not heard elsewhere on the radio dial.” He talks about singer-songwriters, new tracks and independent labels; we learn.
When he marks an occasion, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, with the appropriate song selection, we nod approvingly. On a day when the stock market nosedives and Graham puts together a playlist that includes a Depression-era tune, we chuckle.
We await Graham’s roundup of artists’ upcoming performances at venues such as the Deer Head Inn (Delaware Water Gap) and Godfrey Daniels (Bethlehem). He gets tongue-tied and trips over titles, or momentarily misplaces a postcard with pertinent info, and we love it, because it’s George and because radio was meant to be raw.
For almost 38 years, Graham has treated us to “Mixed Bag,” a program featuring “distinctive varieties of rock, plus folk, blues, world music, fusion, Cajun/zydeco, reggae, new acoustic, Celtic” and other sounds virtually eradicated from modern radio. For that matter, from modern life.
Graham, a Carbondale native with an eclectic bent, is chronicler and historian, advocate and admirer of music.
We look forward to his “Weekly Album Review” and comprehensive coverage of blues and jazz festivals. At year’s end, we appreciate the good-natured spirit of his “Graham Awards” and the gravity of his “musical obituaries.”
We love his passion for his craft. We like to hear him all year long, even this week during one of those recurring fundraising drives when Graham and others tout the benefits of membership to the public radio station based in Jenkins Township.
As fans, there is but one thing we don’t want to hear the venerable George Graham say: Due to lack of financial support, folks, the show’s over.


At 9:03 PM, Blogger David DeCosmo said...

George has a fantastic voice and a wonderful delivery! He is a real
asset to WVIA and, I believe, to
everyone who appreciates the broadcasting professionentlinak. I'm glad to see he's being recognized!


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