Don’t make me turn you in to Ira Glass for Pledge Justice. These are hilarious must-listens if you haven’t heard them before:
Tag Archives: WABE
I doubled my contribution to Atlanta’s public radio station this year. You know why?
1. WABE has pretty much doubled its local news resources in the past few years. It is the only traditional local news source I can think of that is doing a better job instead of gutting its product. Adding Dennis O’Hayer to Steve Goss completely sealed the deal on WABE’s mastery of local airwave credibility. For years, our local station didn’t add much to the national mix, but I am so proud now of the thoughtful and creative coverage of what’s going on in politics, business and the arts in Atlanta.
2. Programming. In addition to being a relatively new force in local news, NPR is my primary source of national news. My kid lives for Car Talk. Both kids enjoy Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Story Corps makes me cry. Atlanta Sounds is an innovative aural slice of life. And we all know H. Johnson’s Jazz Classics is worth whatever you can pay.
3. Public radio is doing a great job bringing their product online. You can find any back story with a quick search. You can get Facebook updates. You can listen live online.
4. It just may save the world. I spend a lot of time worrying about what the demise of newspapers means to the future of America (yes, really). I think public radio has the potential to continue to move us forward.
Speaking of putting my money where my mouth is, it’s time to resubscribe to the print Sunday New York Times. I deserve that luxury, and the paper deserves the support.
There’s no reason to listen to commercial radio in a town like Atlanta, which has plenty of noncommercial options down at the left end of the dial. Not just the college stations, but public radio and community radio, too.
My ideal Saturday starts, if it’s an early morning, with 89.3 WRFG’s oldies show. Then on to WABE for some laid back weekend NPR, then “Car”Talk” (which Tom absolutely loves) and the oddly hilarious “Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me.” After that, I have to punch the button in a hurry so no one has to listen to opera, and head for WRAS Album 88.5. “Music for the Prepubescent” seems to have a new, later time so I don’t have to choose between WABE’s lineup and wacky nostalgic kid tunes. At noon today I heard a medly of TV themes that included George of the Jungle, Transformers, the Mary Tyler Moore Show, the A Team and Huckleberry Hound. Also on Saturday morning is Martinis Con Queso, enough cheesy lounge music to last the week. In the afternoon, you can catch the Quintessential College Show and rockabilly on WRAS.
But without a doubt, the best radio of the week starts Saturday at 9 pm on WABE, when H. Johnson boogies into “Glory Glory/Battle Hymn” to start the evening of Jazz Classics, which doesn’t wrap until 2 a.m. I don’t know nuthin bout no jazz (at least nothin H. didn’t teach me), but I can’t imagine there’s a better radio show anywhere on the planet.
It seems like this show has always been part of my life. I remember my parents listening on Saturday nights when I was in high school. H.’s commentary and interjections irritated the hell out of my dad, but it feels right to me. My mom’s worried that Jazz Classics will be lost to posterity and wants me to start taping it. I suppose we should, but I’m relying on WABE to have a huge library of shows so they can just play them every Saturday night into forever if and when H. retires.
H. and his tunes are, after all, timeless.
WABE 90.1 (Atlanta public radio)
WRAS 88.5 (Georgia State University)
WRFG 89.3 (community radio)