WYSO

Arts & Culture

Conrad's Corner: May 17, 2018

May 17, 2018

Conrad Balliet reads Stella Ling's poem, "Divertimento"

Barstool Brown returned to the WYSO studios for a live set on Kaleidoscope.  The band talked with host Juliet Fromholt about recording the audio and video components of their second album, upcoming gigs, and more.

Barstool Brown will perform at Oscar's in Vandalia on June 1, on June 2 at Hannah's on Ludlow in downtown Dayton, and as part of the Earth Shook Festival in Hamilton on June 22. Learn more at: https://www.facebook.com/Barstoolbrownband/

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Hoagy Carmichael and Frank Loesser's classic "Heart and Soul," known to piano students the world over, was one of many solid recordings made during Ella Fitzgerald's peak period but went unreleased for decades.

This shimmering string arrangement was recorded in 1961 during her Harold Arlen Songbook sessions. It's not a Harold Arlen song, so perhaps it was meant for another album, or perhaps it was meant for release as a single and got shelved instead. It was one of a number of recordings that didn't see daylight for the first time until 1993's First Lady of Song box set, which celebrated some of her finest material from the years she spent at Verve Records.

Conrad's Corner: May 16, 2018

May 16, 2018

Conrad Balliet reads Maxine Skuba's poem, "Promise of Spring."

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

A little-known novelty song in Ella Fitzgerald's catalogue, "Ringo Beat" was a "tribute from the elder generation — a jazz grande dame trying to get with the times," as described in Rob Sheffield's 2017 book Dreaming the Beatles.

We did something rather different recently when we recorded a Book Nook program before an audience at the Little Art Theatre in Yellow Springs in conjunction with the Greene County Public Library. Melissa Fay Greene returned to the program to do another interview for her book "The Underdogs: Children, Dogs, and the Power of Unconditional Love." This is the inspirational saga of 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, Ohio and the woman who founded the organization, Karen Shirk.

Conrad's Corner: May 15, 2018

May 15, 2018

Marietta Ball reads her poems, "Summer Evening at the Lake" and "If Not For Birds"

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Today, the song that made me fall in love with Ella Fitzgerald.

Ella loved every kind of music, voraciously listening to almost anything she came across and equally enjoying rock, soul, classical, and Latin music alongside her home base of jazz. As her career began and peaked with regular new takes on the day's popular songs--at that time, big band and jazz standards, and new Broadway hits), she never lost interest in tackling current material, plucking tunes from the pop charts well into the 1980s and sprinkling them into her formidable repertoire.

Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Milt (Milton) Jackson, and Timmie Rosenkrantz, Downbeat, New York, N.Y., ca. Sept. 1947
William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin Fund Collection, Music Division, Library of Congress.

Very few are aware that Ella Fitzgerald's first #1 single - preceding her famous "A-Tisket, A-Tasket" (which we'll discuss later) - was recorded with the Benny Goodman Orchestra. 1937's "Goodnight My Love," introduced the previous in a Shirley Temple film, was one of a small group of sides Ella and Benny cut together.

Allan W. Eckert was a legendary writer. He lived right in our region in Bellefontaine, but I only had this one opportunity to interview him. It was 23 years ago and he was on book tour for his historical novel "That Dark and Bloody River." The river he referred to in his title was of course, the Ohio River. Eckert was an authority on the early history of our region and he wrote numerous books about it.

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