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WHQR and Thalian Hall are presenting a live performance of Phil Furia’s feature program The Great American Songbook on Friday, March 2nd on Thalian Hall’s main stage. Before the big event, WHQR's Rachel Lewis Hilburn is taking a deeper look at the history of the Great American Songbook with a three-part series. It’s delightful, it’s delicious, it’s de-lovely… that familiar phrase found its way into the English lexicon in the first half of the twentieth century. In Part II of our special series on the history of The Great American Songbook, WHQR’s Rachel Lewis Hilburn and Phil Furia, creator of the Midday Café feature, explore how so many of the great lyricists started life as light verse poets. For tickets to the event, visit thalianhall.org.

Friday Feedback for January 6, 2012


Note: We received so much Feedback this week that we couldn't get it all on the air. The text below, and the audio, include segments edited out of the on-air version.

We introduced a few program changes to our weekend lineup last week. A listener who wishes to remain anonymous wrote:

Terry Gross is fine, but she isn’t in the same league with Bob Edwards. Certainly your programming must change from time to time, but this is a sad mistake. [I've been a] Listener and contributor since the station went on the air. It is increasingly hard to believe it is the same institution that so many people worked so hard to establish.

We know it’s upsetting to listeners when we make changes to programs that are their particular favorites. I wrote to this listener that we also have to stay within our budget and be responsible stewards of the contributions our members have made. Steeply rising costs of the programming we purchase from NPR, PRI and APM in 2012 necessitate hard decisions at times. We are committed to providing a station not frozen in amber, but presenting the absolute highest quality programming that we can, while sustaining growth in a financial prudent manner. The listener wrote back:

Thanks for your response to my grumpy comment. I suppose I should have known budget restraints were behind the axing of Bob Edwards… For what it’s worth, I like most of what you’re doing at the station, even as it changes in some ways I would not choose.

Richard Steinkopf wrote, echoed by others:

You did it again. You pulled the last bit of jazz programming off the air. Bob Parlocha. A previous administration did the same thing a few years ago and I suspended contributions in protest. Guess I will have to do the same thing again. I cant believe I'm the only fan of Jazz that you have. Now all I have is George [Scheibner] at 1PM.

To clarify, we are not dropping jazz from the schedule. Weekend jazz will continue at its usual time, hosted by Wilmington's Willard Fields, beginning this evening [Friday, January 6, 2012]. Listener Nancy wrote:

Glad to hear about Willard Field's new jazz program. Having lived in St. Croix, I'm familiar with Willard's great knowledge and love of jazz. Right on, Willard! Good catch, WHQR!

Larry Olson wrote:

I love [Lan Nichols’ Front Street Blues] and think it could go into an earlier time slot in place of something we’re paying for. Also, please keep George [Scheibner]'s shows in prime slots, very well put together, remind me of the best college radio programming of 40 years ago, when there was care and thoughtfulness that went into the lineup, sequences, transitions, musical flow. And similarly for [John] Fonveille... These local guys r a treasure and present a largely forgotten or commercially ignored art for which many of us have a real fondness that maybe even borders on love. And thanks to all of u for everything u do.

Don DiGiulian wrote:

Gosh, be careful, don't overdo the jazz! 3 hours out of 168 for our country's national music! . . . I do like your station and your sponsorship of Cinematique. [AUDIO CLIP] Hi, my name is Bettina McKay, and I work during the day, but I love the Philip Furia segments [Great American Songbook at 1:30 pm. – Ed.] and I was just wondering if you could replay those on Saturday or something, or Sunday afternoons. I think those are so enjoyable but I very rarely get to hear them. Otherwise, I absolutely love your station.

Listener Jean wrote:

I moved from Atlanta -- a major media market -- and thought the local public radio program might not be as good. Instead, it's better! Staff are so friendly and programs excellent. It was very hard to choose and categorize. News programs are simply THE BEST and classical music/opera are terrific. Jemila is a soothing voice always. Thank you to all the staff who do a great job with limited resources.

A caller to our studio left this message:

I’m a long-time supporter who goes back to the original Greenfield Street days… and my wife and I always anticipate the wonderful Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, which we heard on Christmas Eve. But I can't believe you'd turn right around and put some off-the-wall CRAP on there about some gay elf working in a department store, right after the Lessons and Carols. I know we live in an imperfect world, but you can do better than that. Thanks, and Merry Christmas.

The caller is referring to The Santaland Diaries on This American Life, which originated on Morning Edition several years ago.

As you may know, the Kwanzaa program Season’s Griot with Madafo Lloyd Wilson has been produced by WHQR and nationally distributed for many years. WHQR’s Mary Bradley is producer, this year with the assistance of Sarah Wood. Every year we hear from listeners across the country who write to us. Here’s a sample:

Kristine wrote:

I listened to Season's Griot today while I was driving. Now I'd like to know the titles of the books that were read. I couldn't write them down as they were named. Can you please send them to me (authors, too, would be nice). [I] enjoyed the program immensely on KQED San Francisco! Thanks.

We sent the information to Kristine.

Tatjana wrote:

I loved the poem about nothingness and the spark. Can I find a transcript of it anywhere? Thanks.

The poem in question is “The Sacred Tree of Life” from Indaba, My Children, copyright 1964 by Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa and published by Grove Atlantic, Inc.

Lizz is a librarian at a middle school in Knoxville, Tennessee. She wrote:

Is this, or any of the Season's Griot programs available for use in public schools? I heard a part of the program tonight, and think it might be of interest for use by the teachers at the school where I work, as both an introduction to the art of storytelling, and as inspiration for our annual Kwanzaa program. Thank You.

We wrote to Lizz that some back issues are available; because we used recorded music in this year's program, there might be rights issues that prevent its distribution. We're checking on that.

We’d love to hear from you on Friday Feedback, for your questions and comments, likes and dislikes about any aspect of the station. We’re on Facebook and Twitter. You can also send us feedback with an email message. And we have a new number for our Feedback line: 910-292-WHQR (9477). And thanks for your feedback.