Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The LuLac Edition #2665, May 28th, 2014

Our "Write On Wednesday" logo



From the Wilkes Barre Times Leader an editorial on our friend George Graham's four decade run on WVIA FM.
For 40 years, WVIA radio host George Graham has treated listeners to a show called “Mixed Bag” – billed as “your program of musical discovery.”
Graham hit the four-decade milestone earlier this month and kept right on grooving, showing no indication that the Luzerne County-based public radio station’s longest-running program has run its course. Through the years, he’s won admirers for painstakingly selecting and playing tunes generally “not heard elsewhere on the airwaves,” much to the appreciation of a Northeastern Pennsylvania niche audience. And along the way, he’s probably influenced more than one young person to pursue a musical career, or at least develop an appreciation for a previously unfamiliar musical style.
During a regular feature called “Homegrown Music,” he doesn’t shy from bluegrass or fusion, reggae, jazz or New Age. As long as it’s original, or an original take on the traditional, he’ll play rock and jazz, too.
Friday nights, he accepts listener requests, too. (Sorry, no commercial pop, hip-hop or grunge.)
In one instance, Graham’s eclectic show motivated a woman to begin spinning tracks. “My musical tastes are still shaped by what I heard as a teen on Mixed Bag in the early 1980s,” states an online comment posted by Penny Richards in recognition of the program’s recent anniversary. “Was a DJ in college and grad school, partly because Mixed Bag made it sound so fun. Thanks, George Graham!”
Perhaps most memorable are “Mixed Bag” theme shows, in which all the songs presented are loosely tied to, for instance, the arrival of spring or, as was the case one evening at the start of the Great Recession, the stock market’s sudden sell-off.
While we can’t match the master at his trade, we can mimic as a means of paying tribute to his dedication, indeed, devotion. Here, then, is a brief playlist with titles chosen in honor of Graham’s 40-year run on “Mixed Bag.”
• “Duquesne Whistle.” We had to stretch for a song referencing Carbondale – Graham’s hometown in Lackawanna County – but Bob Dylan, as usual, came to the rescue when all hope seemed lost. (For the record, some people will dispute it’s a reference to the Pennsylvania city.)
• “Duke of Earl,” as a shout-out to the place where Graham attended college: Duke University. (Sure, we could have gone with the university’s alma mater, but “Dear Old Duke” isn’t as lively.)
• “Electric Boogie,” also known as the “Electric Slide,” as a nod to his course of study: electrical engineering. A suitable substitute in this slot would be anything by ELO, the Electric Light Orchestra. Perhaps “Mr. Blue Sky.”
• Anything by The Beatles. Because no playlist seems complete without it.
• “My Way.” We’re not sure Graham has, or would aspire to have, Frank Sinatra’s swagger. This song choice simply serves to remind that the radio host didn’t bow to convention. Thank goodness.


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