Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Song Is You Program

"The Song Is You" is a tune written by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It was released in 1932. The lyrics are nothing to write home about, but it's been covered dozens of times: Sinatra, Vic Damone, Bing Crosby, Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey.. etc. Several of the covers are better than the original in my opinion. Books, bands and albums all have lifted the title for their own uses.  It has even become the title of a very notable public radio program.

The Song Is You is a weekly radio program out of WPPB (formerly WLIU).  The format is a mix of interview and music. Each week host Bonnie Grice interviews guests and asks them to talk about music that's relevant to their lives, they of course then play those 10 to 12 songs. It's a bit like Fresh Air on the occasions that Terry Gross interviews a musician. the big difference is that the guests aren't usually musicians. She interviews poets, directors, writers, actors, actresses, editors, painters, and all sorts of other educated artistic people.
Some of the big names have been Ru Paul, Poet Laureate Billy Collins, playwright Terrence McNally, talk-show host Montel Williams, writer Anne Rice, former US President Jimmy Carter,  Chairman of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun, Photograph er Ralph Gibson,writer Bob Morris, and actress  Jill Zarin.Which is not to say that she never interviews musicians. Musical guests have included jazz pianists Marian McPartland, Ellis Marsalis, Billy Taylor guitarist Loudon Wainwright III, and pop artists Lisa Loeb, and K.D. Lang. More here.

Host Bonnie Grice also has two other programs on WPPB. She has  morning program, In The Morning With Bonnie Grice airs Monday through Friday as an arts and culture program. She resides in Sag Harbor, NY. She also hosts the nationally syndicated program Jazzworks. More here. Grice  has been in radio for decades. Her first talk program was on 88.5 WMUB in Oxford, OH whiel still attending Miami University as a grad student. She wen on to host a program at 89.7 WKSU in Kent, OH rimshot to the Cleveland market. She was later a mornign host on 91.5 KUSC in Los Angeles. She's also worked at 93.9 WNYC, 89.7 New York, WGBH, Boston and even 105.1 KKGO Los Angeles.

The Song Is You airs on over 70 public radio stations including WPPB 88.3 FM and WCWP 88.1 FM  KCLU in Santa Barbara market. It was on WHYY in Philly until last year. The show was honored with a “Gracie Allen” award for excellence in writing. As cool as all that sounds, they haven't updated their website in 5 years.