" Big Apple Blues February 2007 "
As it appears in "Big City Rhythm & Blues Magazine"
by Bob Putignano
Big City Radio Questions
1-How did you get your gig?
By bugging the music director at WFDU to make announcements on behalf of the NY Blues and Jazz Society, finally he said- have you ever considered doing radio? That was almost eight years ago and my life has changed forever since. One year prior to starting my own "Sounds of Blue" radio show at WFDU, I also pledged to Bob Porter's "Portraits in Blue" and did one hour with my radio mentor.
2-How do you put together your play list?
My play list is mixed with current new releases, and tributes to musicians who's birthday it is that week, which I feel keeps my two weekly broadcasts fresh and interesting. I have collected over two thousand musician's birthdates in my database which is available on-line at: http://bluesandjazzsounds.com/birth.htm and it's viewable either by date and/or musician name. On my Wednesday program I also do a flashback ('60's-70's) hour, and a funk hour- which are both popular. I always have interviews with musicians with current releases, or who are in town, and book authors who have blues related book's out. I love to have live music on the airwaves and usually do 2-3 live performances every month.
3- Favorite interview? Why? The King of the Blues B.B. King, because he is a blues god, and has meant so much to the blues and the entire music industry, to my ears BB's music is timeless and always fresh. I got to ride B.B.'s bus, and he was listening to the great Count Basie, I brought Hubert Sumlin with me, and to watch those two legends chat was nothing short of magical, and forever memorable.
4-Who would you like to interview that you never have? Why?
Of the living musicians I would like to interview and have not- that would be Eric Clapton. I grew up listening to Eric evolve from the screaming guitar work with Cream and Blind Faith, to a more intellectual approach with Derek & the Dominos and forward. No one in the music industry has been able to successfully shift between Blues & Pop music, but Eric has, and he almost never leaves his blues roots, and keeps a great blues sensibility. In my opinion Clapton has always kept blues music in vogue since his early beginnings with John Mayall, and still does to this day- forty years on. Needless to say I would love to have a lengthy conversation with Eric, just to know what drives him to his obvious blues roots. and to thank him for all he has done for blues based music.
5-Where do you like to hear live music? Why? The Turning Point in Piermont, NY is the most intimate club I have ever witnessed; it's like being in someone's living room, and only holds eighty people. For over twenty-five years the Turning Point has been very loyal to the blues, and many of my most favorite & most memorable performances were seen at this wonderful room.
6-Favorite place to have dinner? Salerno's Lincoln Lounge; which is right here in town I live in Mount Vernon, NY. It's intimate, family owned and extremely personable. Everything is home made and fresh, and you can walk into the kitchen and ask the owner what's good tonight, and not only will he tell you, but he will also ask you how you would like it prepared. Every time Big Luther Kent comes to town, his first question is- when are we going to the Lincoln Lounge?
7-What is your favorite thing about being a radio host?
Being able to have the opportunity to talk to and interview my blues based heroes, and to have the opportunity to effect the listeners by what I program. There is no better high than having someone call or email me and say- I've never heard that track and it really knocked me out, or I really dug what you did on air today.
8-What is your most requested artist or song? I would have to say Boz Scaggs' "Somebody, Loan Me a Dime" recorded at Muscle Shoals, and released by the great Atlantic Records label with Duane Allman on guitar. That track always rings the phone, and has one of the greatest guitar solo's of all time.
9-Where is radio going? Any predictions on the future of radio?
We are at a very interesting juncture right now, as digital delivery has radically changed the face of how people listen to music in their cars, homes, and more recently at work.
My opinion is that internet radio has the best likelihood to succeed as statistics show that an enormous amount of people listen to music on their computers at work and home. Everywhere Wi-Fi is a real reality, which means that people will be able to listen to internet radio on their cell phones, in their cars (2008 automobiles will be offering on-board computers which will be Wi-Fi ready), and music fans will be able to connect their portable listening devices just about anywhere in the world, with the ability to tap into a bottomless pit of musical choices. I don't know how satellite radio (XM & Sirius) will be able to survive and continue to charge their monthly fees and compete with internet radio. I don't think the future is very bright for satellite- unless they start to make their programming more readily available on the internet, and free of monthly charges. Terrestrial radio should hold its own as most deliver their programming on the internet. The wild card could be HD radio, but HD needs to get their marketing and programming act together-soon, or they will be remembered as the Beta-Max of the twenty-first century!
10-Where do you go to get that "hard to find" CD or recording? I am constantly looking for rare recordings on Ebay, Amazon, and Half.com
11-What do your listeners like about your show? The feedback I most often receive is that they like the diversity that I try to offer every week. In studio performances seem to be very popular too, as are the weekly interviews I enjoy to do. I work very hard to obtain free CD, DVD, book, and ticket giveaways which are also extremely popular, but I only give out free stuff to people who contribute to our WFUD radio station, which only seems fair!
Until the next time...
Bob Putignano www.SoundsofBlue.com
Bob Putignano, President of NY Blues and Jazz Society www.NYBluesandJazz.org & www.BluesandJazzSounds.com
Bob Putignano www.SoundsofBlue.com
Radio Host WFDU's "Sounds of Blue"
President of the NY Blues and Jazz Society