#928 – February 9, 2022 Playlist

Wednesday MidDay Medley
Produced and Hosted by Mark Manning
90.1 FM KKFI – Kansas City Community Radio
TEN to NOON Wednesdays – Streaming at KKFI.org

Wednesday, February 9, 2021

WMM Celebrates LOVE
Spinning 22 Songs About LOVE
With Co-Hosts: Marion Merritt & Betse Ellis

10:00 – “Station ID

WMM Celebrates our Love For Our Listeners with 22 Songs About LOVE. We’ll spin tracks from Aretha Franklin, The Wild Women of Kansas City, Frogpond, Marva Whitney, Krystle Warren & The Faculty, Effie, AmythystKiah, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Lou Reed, Aimee Mann, Betse & Clarke, The Magnetic Fields, Roberta Flack, Digital Leather, Pansy Division, Cynthia Erivo, Michael Calen, Holly Near, John Prine, Ray Charles, Nina Simone, and David Bowie.

Marion Merritt, and Betse Ellis will join us again as our special Co-Hosts for WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show for 90.1 FM KKFI. Please don’t let our love songs be unrequited. We need to hear for you all!

Betse Ellis. Originally from Fayetteville, Arkansas, Betse received her Bachelors of Arts in Music and a Bachelors of Arts in English, from the University of Missouri – Kansas City. She has been playing the Violin for over 40 years, with over 20 years playing fiddle and also working as a teacher of music. Betse was a founding member of the acclaimed internationally known band, The Wilders. Betse has released two solo records, and records and performs with her partner, multi-instrumentalist Clarke Wyatt, as Betse & Clarke. Last year they released their latest 8-song release, Winter, which was in the Top Ten of WMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2020

Betse Ellis, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley

Marion Merritt is our most frequent contributor to WMM, She grew up in Los Angeles, and St. Louis. She went to college in Columbia, Missouri. She studied art and musical engineering, and is a avid lover of classic films and punk rock music. She saw Talking Heads on their first U.S. tour when they played One Block West in 1978. For 16 years she has been sharing her musical discoveries and information from her musically-encyclopedic brain on Wednesday MidDay Medley. With her partner Ann Stewart, Marion is the proprietor of Records With Merritt, a minority owned business at 1614 Westport Rd. in Kansas City, that features new vinyl releases, in-store performances,, and was once the location for a wedding. More information at: http://www.recordwithmerritt.com

Marion Merritt, Thanks for being with us on Wednesday MidDay Medley

  1. “Main Title Instrumental – It’s Showtime Folks”
    from: Orig. Motion Picture Soundtrack All That Jazz / Casablanca / December 20, 1979
    [WMM’s Adopted Theme Song]
  1. Nina Simone – “To Love Somebody”
    from: To Love Somebody / RCA / 1967
    To Love Somebody is an album by jazz singer-songwriter/pianist Nina Simone. It was released as quickly as possible to prolong the unexpected success of ‘Nuff Said! The title is taken from the Bee Gees song “To Love Somebody”; her cover of the song became her second British hit single after “Ain’t Got No-I Got Life”. // Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), known professionally as Nina Simone, was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music spanned styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop. // The sixth of eight children born to a poor family in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone initially aspired to be a concert pianist. With the help of a few supporters in her hometown, she enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She then applied for a scholarship to study at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she was denied admission despite a well received audition, which she attributed to racism. In 2003, just days before her death, the Institute awarded her an honorary degree. // To make a living, Simone started playing piano at a nightclub in Atlantic City. She changed her name to “Nina Simone” to disguise herself from family members, having chosen to play “the devil’s music” or so-called “cocktail piano”. She was told in the nightclub that she would have to sing to her own accompaniment, which effectively launched her career as a jazz vocalist. She went on to record more than 40 albums between 1958 and 1974, making her debut with Little Girl Blue. She had a hit single in the United States in 1958 with “I Loves You, Porgy”. Her musical style fused gospel and pop with classical music, in particular Johann Sebastian Bach, and accompanied expressive, jazz-like singing in her contralto voice. // Simone was born on February 21, 1933, in Tryon, North Carolina. The sixth of eight children in a poor family, she began playing piano at the age of three or four; the first song she learned was “God Be With You, Till We Meet Again”. Demonstrating a talent with the piano, she performed at her local church. Her concert debut, a classical recital, was given when she was 12. Simone later said that during this performance, her parents, who had taken seats in the front row, were forced to move to the back of the hall to make way for white people. She said that she refused to play until her parents were moved back to the front, and that the incident contributed to her later involvement in the civil rights movement. Simone’s mother, Mary Kate Waymon (née Irvin, November 20, 1901 – April 30, 2001), was a Methodist minister and a housemaid. Her father, Rev. John Devan Waymon (June 24, 1898 – October 23, 1972), was a handyman who at one time owned a dry-cleaning business, but also suffered bouts of ill health. Simone’s music teacher helped establish a special fund to pay for her education. Subsequently, a local fund was set up to assist her continued education. With the help of this scholarship money, she was able to attend Allen High School for Girls in Asheville, North Carolina. // After her graduation, Simone spent the summer of 1950 at the Juilliard School as a student of Carl Friedberg, preparing for an audition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her application, however, was denied. Only 3 of 72 applicants were accepted that year, but as her family had relocated to Philadelphia in the expectation of her entry to Curtis, the blow to her aspirations was particularly heavy. For the rest of her life, she suspected that her application had been denied because of racial prejudice, a charge the staff at Curtis have denied. Discouraged, she took private piano lessons with Vladimir Sokoloff, a professor at Curtis, but never could re-apply due to the fact that at the time the Curtis institute did not accept students over 21. She took a job as a photographer’s assistant, but also found work as an accompanist at Arlene Smith’s vocal studio and taught piano from her home in Philadelphia. // In order to fund her private lessons, Simone performed at the Midtown Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey, whose owner insisted that she sing as well as play the piano, which increased her income to $90 a week. In 1954, she adopted the stage name “Nina Simone”. “Nina”, derived from niña, was a nickname given to her by a boyfriend named Chico, and “Simone” was taken from the French actress Simone Signoret, whom she had seen in the 1952 movie Casque d’Or. Knowing her mother would not approve of playing “the Devil’s music”, she used her new stage name to remain undetected. Simone’s mixture of jazz, blues, and classical music in her performances at the bar earned her a small but loyal fan base. // In 1958, she befriended and married Don Ross, a beatnik who worked as a fairground barker, but quickly regretted their marriage. Playing in small clubs in the same year, she recorded George Gershwin’s “I Loves You, Porgy” (from Porgy and Bess), which she learned from a Billie Holiday album and performed as a favor to a friend. It became her only Billboard top 20 success in the United States, and her debut album Little Girl Blue followed in February 1959 on Bethlehem Records. Because she had sold her rights outright for $3,000, Simone lost more than $1 million in royalties (notably for the 1980s re-release of her version of the jazz standard “My Baby Just Cares for Me”) and never benefited financially from the album’s sales. // After the success of Little Girl Blue, Simone signed a contract with Colpix Records and recorded a multitude of studio and live albums. Colpix relinquished all creative control to her, including the choice of material that would be recorded, in exchange for her signing the contract with them. After the release of her live album Nina Simone at Town Hall, Simone became a favorite performer in Greenwich Village. By this time, Simone performed pop music only to make money to continue her classical music studies, and was indifferent about having a recording contract. She kept this attitude toward the record industry for most of her career. // Simone married a New York police detective, Andrew Stroud, in December 1961. In a few years he became her manager and the father of her daughter Lisa, but later he abused Simone psychologically and physically. // In 1964, Simone changed record distributors from Colpix, an American company, to the Dutch Philips Records, which meant a change in the content of her recordings. She had always included songs in her repertoire that drew on her African-American heritage, such as “Brown Baby” by Oscar Brown and “Zungo” by Michael Olatunji on her album Nina at the Village Gate in 1962. On her debut album for Philips, Nina Simone in Concert (1964), for the first time she addressed racial inequality in the United States in the song “Mississippi Goddam”. This was her response to the June 12, 1963, murder of Medgar Evers and the September 15, 1963, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, that killed four young black girls and partly blinded a fifth. She said that the song was “like throwing ten bullets back at them”, becoming one of many other protest songs written by Simone. The song was released as a single, and it was boycotted in some[vague] southern states. Promotional copies were smashed by a Carolina radio station and returned to Philips. She later recalled how “Mississippi Goddam” was her “first civil rights song” and that the song came to her “in a rush of fury, hatred and determination”. The song challenged the belief that race relations could change gradually and called for more immediate developments: “me and my people are just about due”. It was a key moment in her path to Civil Rights activism. “Old Jim Crow”, on the same album, addressed the Jim Crow laws. After “Mississippi Goddam”, a civil rights message was the norm in Simone’s recordings and became part of her concerts. As her political activism rose, the rate of release of her music slowed. // Simone performed and spoke at civil rights meetings, such as at the Selma to Montgomery marches. Like Malcolm X, her neighbor in Mount Vernon, New York, she supported black nationalism and advocated violent revolution rather than Martin Luther King Jr.’s non-violent approach. She hoped that African Americans could use armed combat to form a separate state, though she wrote in her autobiography that she and her family regarded all races as equal. // In 1967, Simone moved from Philips to RCA Victor. She sang “Backlash Blues” written by her friend, Harlem Renaissance leader Langston Hughes, on her first RCA album, Nina Simone Sings the Blues (1967). On Silk & Soul (1967), she recorded Billy Taylor’s “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free” and “Turning Point”. The album ‘Nuff Said! (1968) contained live recordings from the Westbury Music Fair of April 7, 1968, three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. She dedicated the performance to him and sang “Why? (The King of Love Is Dead)”, a song written by her bass player, Gene Taylor. In 1969, she performed at the Harlem Cultural Festival in Harlem’s Mount Morris Park, immortalized in Questlove’s 2021 documentary Summer of Soul. // Simone and Weldon Irvine turned the unfinished play To Be Young, Gifted and Black by Lorraine Hansberry into a civil rights song of the same name. She credited her friend Hansberry with cultivating her social and political consciousness. She performed the song live on the album Black Gold (1970). A studio recording was released as a single, and renditions of the song have been recorded by Aretha Franklin (on her 1972 album Young, Gifted and Black) and Donny Hathaway. When reflecting on this period, she wrote in her autobiography, “I felt more alive then than I feel now because I was needed, and I could sing something to help my people”.]
  1. David Bowie–”Valentine’s Day”
    from: The Next Day / ISO Columbia / March 8, 2013
    [Valentine’s Day” is a song by English rock musician David Bowie, the fourth single from his 24th studio album The Next Day. The single was released on 19 August 2013. This was to be Bowie’s final 7-inch single issued from a new album released in his lifetime. The lyrics are based on the psychology of a school shooter. // “Valentine’s Day” was one of the final songs recorded for The Next Day. The backing track was recorded on 24 July 2012 at the Magic Shop in New York City, while Bowie’s vocals were recorded on 18 September 2012 at Human Worldwide Studios in New York City. // The single was released on August 19, 2013 in the UK and on the 20th in the US and other countries. In early August 2013, the single was added to the BBC Radio 2’s A-list. The single entered UK’s Airplay Chart Top 40 on 9 August 2013, making it the second most successful single from The Next Day (after “Where Are We Now?”) in terms of airplay. It reached the 179th spot on the UK chart. In February 2018, it also reached #3 on the US Billboard Lyric Find chart. // The video for “Valentine’s Day” was directed by Indrani Pal-Chaudhuri and Markus Klinko, who previously collaborated with Bowie on his 2002 album Heathen. It features Bowie in the abandoned Red Hook Grain Terminal in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In the video, Bowie plays a G2T Hohner guitar while performing the song. Many commentators contrasted the video with the controversial preceding video for “The Next Day” and described it as more “subdued” in comparison. However, visual hints towards gun violence and the NRA were also noted, suggesting the video was conveying a subtle anti-gun message. // The Next Day Extra was released Nov. 4, 2013. This 3-disc collector’s edition includes two CDs and a DVD. The first CD is the original 14-track album. The second is a 10-track CD comprising the deluxe edition bonus tracks “Plan”, “I’ll Take You There”, and “So She”, the Japanese exclusive track “God Bless the Girl”, two remixes, and four new songs (“Atomica”, “The Informer”, “Like a Rocket Man”, and “Born in a UFO”). The DVD includes the four promotional music videos (“Where Are We Now?”, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)”, “The Next Day”, and “Valentine’s Day”). // The Next Day is the 24th studio album by English musician David Bowie, released on March 8, 2013 on his ISO Records label, under exclusive licence to Columbia Records. Co-produced by Bowie and longtime collaborator Tony Visconti, the album was recorded in secret at The Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios in New York City between 2011 and 2013. It is primarily a rock album, featuring elements of art rock. The cover art is an adapted version of his 1977 album “Heroes”, featuring a white square with the album’s title obscuring his face. It was announced on Bowie’s 66th birthday, 8 January 2013. Bowie’s website was updated with the video for the lead single, “Where Are We Now?”, and the single was immediately made available for purchase on the iTunes Store. // It was Bowie’s first album of new material in ten years, since 2003’s Reality, and surprised fans and media who had presumed that he had retired from the music business. The album was streamed in its entirety on iTunes days before its official release. The Next Day Extra, an additional disc featuring four more tracks, and remixes of songs from the original album, was released in November. The Next Day was met with critical acclaim, and earned Bowie his first number-one album in the United Kingdom since 1993’s Black Tie White Noise. It was ranked as the second best album of 2013 (in a tie with Blue October’s Sway) by German music magazine Kulturnews and was also nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize. The album was nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards and for MasterCard British Album of the Year at the 2014 Brit Awards. // Recording of the album took place at The Magic Shop and Human Worldwide Studios in New York City. Bowie and producer Tony Visconti worked in secret alongside long-term engineer Mario J. McNulty, recording the album over a two-year period. The recording sessions were sporadic, and Visconti estimated that only three full months were spent demoing and recording material. Visconti recalled that the album began with a one-week recording session: Sterling Campbell was on drums, I was on bass, David was on keyboards, Gerry Leonard was on guitar. By the end of five days we had demoed up a dozen songs. Just structures. No lyrics, no melodies and all working titles. This is how everything begins with him. Then he took them home and we didn’t hear another thing from him for four months. // Bowie would disappear with the music “to make sure he was on the right track”, then bring the band back together to take the next step in recording when he was ready. Visconti described the recording sessions as “intense”, but they stuck to regular hours. “The last time we did all-nighters was Young Americans”. // During breaks from the studio, Visconti would walk the streets of New York listening to music from The Next Day on his earphones: “I was walking around New York with my headphones on, looking at all the people with Bowie T-shirts on—they are ubiquitous here—thinking, ‘Boy, if you only knew what I’m listening to at the moment.'”// Despite the statement that no guest artists were used to record the album, Bowie did use some of the musicians he’s worked with in the past, including Earl Slick, who recorded his parts for the album in July 2012. Gail Ann Dorsey (bass guitar) and Sterling Campbell (drums), who had both worked with Bowie since the 1990s, also contributed to the album. Dorsey also recorded vocals for the song “If You Can See Me”. Drummer Zachary Alford and guitarists Gerry Leonard and David Torn were hired for the sessions and Slick revealed that Visconti also contributed bass. Saxophonist Steve Elson, who had worked with Bowie since the 1980s, also plays on the album. A story that Robert Fripp, who previously has worked with Bowie in the studio, was invited to play on the album but could not due to other commitments was denied by Fripp, who said, “I haven’t spoken to David for a while and I wasn’t approached [to take part in the album]”, adding “I’m not angry at all. No one is hurt, I’m not upset, just keen for clarity.” // Bowie took great pains to keep the recording of the album secret, requiring people involved in the recording to sign NDAs. Bowie had to change recording studios after one day when someone at the studio disclosed that Bowie was recording there. He moved to the studio The Magic Shop, which ran the studio with a skeleton crew of only one or two employees on days when Bowie was there. Columbia Records’s UK PR firm learned of the project only a few days before the album was released. // Canadian band Metric almost uncovered the secret recording sessions when they arrived at Magic Shop recording studios unannounced in 2011, and Bowie saxophonist Steve Elson said he was tempted to reveal all. // The Next Day is a rock album, mainly featuring art rock. Tony Visconti told the NME that The Next Day “is quite a rock album” and Alexis Petridis of The Guardian considered the record “a straightforward rock album.” // The first single was the ballad “Where Are We Now?”, a track which Visconti described as “the only track on the album that goes this much inward for him”. Visconti suggested that Bowie chose “Where Are We Now?” as the opening single because “people had to deal with the shock that he was back [after a 10-year absence]” and that the introspective nature of the song made it an appropriate choice. The song reached No.6 in the UK charts. Opening lyrics for “Where Are We Now” reflectively recall the name of a train station (plaza) and a street in west Berlin, where Bowie once lived. A video accompanying the single includes props such as a dismantled photo frame lying discarded on the floor in the opening shot, a large ear in the background, and a two-headed soft doll with the torn faces of Bowie and a voiceless counterpart “pasted” onto it in. Lyrics also include the phrase “the moment you know you know, you know”. // “The Stars (Are Out Tonight)” was released as the second single from the album on 26 February 2013. A music video in the form of a short film was premiered the previous day. The song received moderate airplay on BBC Radio 2 and 106.9FM WHCR, peaking at number 102 on the UK Singles Chart. // Visconti, who accepted an interviewer’s suggestion that he was Bowie’s “voice on earth”, commented on the album to the international press and provided insights into the individual tracks. The songs cover a wide spread of subjects and are largely observational: most probe the mind-sets of different individuals. “Valentine’s Day” is about a high school shooter. “I’d Rather Be High” related the story of a Second World War soldier. Visconti described the material as “extremely strong and beautiful”. He added “if people are looking for classic Bowie they’ll find it on this album, if they’re looking for innovative Bowie, new directions, they’re going to find that on this album too.” Visconti commented that 29 tracks were recorded for the album and suggested that some of the material left out of The Next Day could appear on a subsequent record. Visconti speculated that Bowie could return to the studio to produce a new album later in 2013, but this did not happen. // The cover art for the album is an adapted version of Bowie’s 1977 album, “Heroes”, with a white square with the album’s title obscuring Bowie’s face. Designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, who also designed packaging for Heathen and Reality and follow-up Blackstar, the obscuring of the photograph connotes “forgetting or obliterating the past”. The original cover image was shot by Masayoshi Sukita. Barnbrook explained the cover, saying: “If you are going to subvert an album by David Bowie there are many to choose from but this is one of his most revered, it had to be an image that would really jar if it were subverted in some way and we thought “Heroes” worked best on all counts.” A viral marketing campaign was launched to promote the album on 15 February 2013. The campaign grew out of the concept behind the album cover, taking seemingly ordinary images and subverting them through the addition of a white square. // The Next Day debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling 94,048 copies in its first week. It was Bowie’s ninth number-one album in the United Kingdom, and his first in twenty years since Black Tie White Noise (1993). The album fell to number two the following week, selling 35,671 copies. In its third week, it slipped to number three on sales of 23,157 units. // In the United States, the album entered the Billboard 200 at number two with first-week sales of 85,000 copies, earning Bowie his largest sales week for an album in the Nielsen SoundScan era, and also his highest charting album on the Billboard 200. The album has sold 208,000 copies in the US as of December 2015. Elsewhere, The Next Day topped the charts in several countries, including Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland, while reaching number two in Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain.]


  1. Frogpond – “Love Song”
    from: TimeThief / Black-Site Records / November 19, 2021
    [Newly reformed KC indie rock band, Frogpond, will release TimeThief, its first album in over twenty years on November 19, 2021, on the KC record label cooperative Black Site. Frogpond is: singer/guitarist and founder Heidi Phillips, long-time bassist, Justine Volpe, with Kristin Conkright on rhythm guitar, and Michelle Bacon on drums. More info at: http://black-site.org/frogpond // Frogpond digitally reissued their Au 1996 vinyl and cassette release Count To Ten on March 12, 2021, 25 years after its original release on August 9, 1996 on Columbia Records. Frogpond was formed in Warrensburg, Missouri. The band existed from 1994-2000, primarily performing in Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas. COUNT TO TEN was the band’s 12-track national debut full length released on Tristar Music – Columbia on CD and vinyl in 1996 with songs written by Heidi Phillips, with Heidi Phillips on vocals & guitar, Justine Volpe on bass, Megan Hamilton on drums, Kristie Stemel on guitar and backing vocals. Art Alexakis (of the band Everclear) served as producer and contributed backing vocals. // In 1999 Frogpond released the 13-track second album, SAFE RIDE HOME on C2 Records – Columbia, on CD and vinyl with songs written by Heidi Phillips, and with Heidi Phillips on vocals & guitar, Justine Volpe on bass & backing vocals, and Billy Johnson on drums. The album was recorded by Doug McBride at Gravity Studios in Chicago who also served as producer and contributed electric piano and piano. // In 1994 Frogpond self released their 8-song cassette release 2%. 2% was produced, engineered, and mixed at Red House Recording, Lawrence, Kansas, October 1994. Heidi Phillips joined us LIVE onWMM on November 10, 2021.]
  1. Amythyst Kiah – “Love Will Tear Ys Apart”
    from: Love Will Tear Us Apart – Single / Rounder Records / January 14, 2021
    [“Love Will Tear Us Apart” is a song by English rock band Joy Division, released in June 1980 as a non-album single. Its lyrics were inspired by lead singer Ian Curtis’s marital problems and struggles with epilepsy. The single was released the month after his suicide. The song was certified platinum in the UK, selling over 600,000 copies, and has an ongoing legacy as a defining song of the era. In 2002, NME named “Love Will Tear Us Apart” as the greatest single of all time, while Rolling Stone, in 2004 and 2011, named it one of the 500 best songs ever.Amythyst Kiah released her critically acclimed album, Wary + Strange on Rounder Records on June 18, 2021. It was #38 on WMM’w 120 Best Recordings of 2021. With an unforgettable voice that’s both unfettered and exquisitely controlled, the Tennessee-bred singer/ songwriter expands on the uncompromising artistry she most recently revealed as part of Our Native Daughters, an all-women-of-color supergroup whose Kiah-penned standout “Black Myself” earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best American Roots Song and won Song of the Year at the 2019 Folk Alliance International Awards. When met with the transcendent quality of her newly elevated sound, what emerges is an extraordinary vessel for Kiah’s songwriting: a raw yet nuanced examination of grief, alienation, and the hard-won triumph of total self-acceptance. // This new studio version of “Black Myself” is a glorious collision of two vastly different worlds: the iconoclastic alt-rock that first sparked her musical passion, and the roots/old-time-music scene. Produced by Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Amos Lee, Andrew Bird) the track was recorded at the legendary Sound City Studios in Los Angeles. More info at: http://www.amythystkiah.com]
  1. Aretha Franklin – “Baby I Love You”
    from: Aretha Arrives / Atlantic / August 4, 1967
    [“Baby I Love You” is a popular song by R&B singer Aretha Franklin. The only single release from her Aretha Arrives album in 1967, the song was a huge hit, peaking at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and spending two weeks at number-one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Singles chart. It was featured in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 film Goodfellas. A live recording featured on the album Aretha in Paris (1968). There have been several other famous musicians who have covered Aretha Franklin’s “Baby I Love You”, such as Lisa Marie Presley in 1989, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack in 1972, B.B. King, The Bar-Kays in 1971, Erma Franklin in 1969, Irma Thomas in 1988, and Otis Rush in 1969 and various other musicians. In 2012, Christine Anu covered the song on her album, Rewind: The Aretha Franklin Songbook. // Billboard described the single as a “driving rocker” that is “brought to life in this electric performance by Miss Franklin.” // Aretha Louise Franklin (/əˈriːθə/ ə-REE-thə; March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter and pianist.[2] Referred to as the “Queen of Soul”, she has twice been placed ninth in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. With global sales of over 75 million records, Franklin is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present. // Franklin began her career as a child, singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister. At the age of 18, she embarked on a music career as a recording artist for Columbia Records. While her career did not immediately flourish, Franklin found acclaim and commercial success once she signed with Atlantic Records in 1966. Commercial hits such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, and “I Say a Little Prayer”, propelled Franklin past her musical peers. // Franklin continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Spirit in the Dark (1970), Young, Gifted and Black (1972), Amazing Grace (1972), and Sparkle (1976), before experiencing problems with the record company. Franklin left Atlantic in 1979 and signed with Arista Records. The singer appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It (1982), Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985) and Aretha (1986) on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the Top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song “A Rose Is Still a Rose”; later, she released an album with the same name. // Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on the US Billboard charts, including 73 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles. Besides the foregoing, the singer’s well-known hits also include “Ain’t No Way”, “Call Me”, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Rock Steady”, “Day Dreaming”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (a duet with George Michael). Franklin won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance (1968–1975), a Grammy Awards Living Legend honor and Lifetime Achievement Award. // Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1987, she became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She also was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked Franklin number one on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”. In 2019, the Pulitzer Prize jury awarded the singer a posthumous special citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”. In 2020, Franklin was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.]
  1. The Brian Jonestown Massacre – “If Love is The Drug”
    from: Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective / Tee Pee / 2004
    [Tepid Peppermint Wonderland: A Retrospective is a double compilation album by American psychedelic rock band The Brian Jonestown Massacre, released in 2004. The album is a best-of compilation spanning the band’s career. “If Love Is The Drug” was originally released as single on October 7, 2003 packaged with a re-released of their album …And This Is Our Music on A Records, the band’s 9th album. // The Brian Jonestown Massacre is an American musical project and band led and started by Anton Newcombe. It was formed in San Francisco in 1990. // The group was the subject of the 2004 documentary film called Dig!, and have gained media notoriety for their tumultuous working relationships as well as the erratic behavior of Newcombe. The collective has released 18 albums, five compilation albums, five live albums, 13 EPs, 16 singles as well as two various-artist compilation albums to date. // The bandname is a portmanteau of deceased Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones and the 1978 Jonestown Massacre.]

10:26 – Pledge Break #2

Our WMM Winter Fund Drive Team: Marion Merritt and Betse Ellis

10:34 – Underwriting

  1. The Magnetic Fields – “The Book of Love”
    from: 69 Love Songs / Merge Records / June 8, 1999
    [69 Love Songs is the sixth studio album by American indie pop band the Magnetic Fields, released on September 7, 1999 by Merge Records. As its title indicates, 69 Love Songs is a three-volume concept album composed of 69 love songs, all written by Magnetic Fields frontman Stephin Merritt. // The album was originally conceived as a music revue. Stephin Merritt was sitting in a gay piano bar in Manhattan, listening to the pianist’s interpretations of Stephen Sondheim songs, when he decided he ought to get into theatre music because he felt he had an aptitude for it. “I decided I’d write one hundred love songs as a way of introducing myself to the world. Then I realized how long that would be. So I settled on sixty-nine. I’d have a theatrical revue with four drag queens. And whoever the audience liked best at the end of the night would get paid.” He also found inspiration in Charles Ives’ 114 Songs, about which he had read earlier in the day: “songs of all kinds, and what a monument it was, and I thought, well, I could do something like that.” // Band member Claudia Gonson has claimed that Merritt wrote most of the songs hanging around in bars in New York City. // On seven occasions (five in the United States and two in London over four consecutive nights) the Magnetic Fields performed all 69 love songs, in order, over two nights. Several of the lavish orchestrations are more simply arranged when performed live, due to limited performers and/or equipment. // Merritt has said “69 Love Songs is not remotely an album about love. It’s an album about love songs, which are very far away from anything to do with love.” The album features songs in many different genres, including country, synth pop, free jazz, and mournful love ballads. All the songs deal with love in one form or another, but often in an ironic or off-beat fashion, such as the track “Yeah! Oh, Yeah!” which tells the story of a husband murdering his wife. The songs of 69 Love Songs features lyrics exploring heterosexual, homosexual, and bisexual relationships. // The Magnetic Fields (named after the André Breton/Philippe Soupault novel Les Champs Magnétiques) are an American band founded and led by Stephin Merritt. Merritt is the group’s primary songwriter, producer, and vocalist, as well as frequent multi-instrumentalist. Merritt’s lyrics are often about love and feature atypical or neutral gender roles, and are by turns ironic, tongue-in-cheek, bitter, and humorous. // The band released their debut single “100,000 Fireflies” in 1991. The single was typical of the band’s earlier career, characterized by synthesized instrumentation by Merritt, with lead vocals provided by Susan Anway (and then by Stephin Merritt himself, from the House of Tomorrow EP onwards). A more traditional band later materialized; it is now composed of Merritt, Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol, and John Woo, with occasional guest vocals by Shirley Simms. The band’s best-known work[by whom?] is the 1999 three-volume concept album 69 Love Songs. It was followed in the succeeding years by a “no-synth” trilogy: i (2004), Distortion (2008), and Realism (2010). The band’s latest album, Quickies, was released on May 29, 2020. // The band began as Merritt’s studio project under the name Buffalo Rome. With the help of friend Claudia Gonson, who had played in Merritt’s band the Zinnias during high school, a live band was assembled in Boston, where Merritt and Gonson lived, to play Merritt’s compositions. The band’s first live performance was in 1991 at T.T. the Bear’s Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where they were mistakenly billed as Magnetophone, an alias used briefly in that year by Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang of Galaxie 500. The 1999 triple album 69 Love Songs showcased Merritt’s songwriting and lyrical abilities and the group’s musicianship, demonstrated by the use of such varied instruments as the ukulele, banjo, accordion, cello, mandolin, flute, xylophone, and the Marxophone, in addition to their usual setting of synthesizers, guitars, and effects. The album features vocalists Shirley Simms, Dudley Klute, L.D. Beghtol, and Gonson, each of whom sings lead on six songs as well as various backing vocals, plus Daniel Handler (who has written under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket) on accordion, and longtime collaborator Christopher Ewen (of Future Bible Heroes) as guest arranger/synthesist. Violinist Ida Pearle makes a brief cameo on “Luckiest Guy on the Lower East Side”. // The band’s albums i (2004) and Distortion (2008) both followed the album theme structure of 69 Love Songs: the song titles on i begin with the letter (or, in the case of half the songs’ titles, the pronoun) “I”, whilst Distortion was an experiment in combining noise music with their typically unconventional musical approach. The liner notes claim the album was made without synthesizers. According to an article, “To celebrate the release of Distortion, Merritt and the Magnetic Fields played mini-residencies in cities around the country, culminating with six shows at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.” // Realism was released in January 2010, concluding what Merritt termed the “no-synth” trilogy (following i and Distortion). The next album produced would feature synthesizers “almost exclusively”. // In 2010, the documentary film Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields made its debut in film festivals around the world. It was directed by Kerthy Fix and Gail O’Hara. Shot over a period of 10 years, it discusses the formation of the band, Stephin’s friendship with Claudia Gonson, the production of various albums, and Stephin’s move to California from New York. It won the Outfest 2010 Grand Jury Prize for Feature Documentary. // The band was chosen by Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel to perform a rare festival performance at the All Tomorrow’s Parties event that he curated in March 2012 in Minehead, England. // The band released its tenth full-length album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea, on March 6, 2012. This album, sometimes compared to 69 Love Songs[by whom?], brought back the use of synthesizers. Merritt told fans on his website, “I was very happy to be using synthesizers in ways that I had not done before. Most of the synthesizers on the record didn’t exist when we were last using synthesizers.” // The song “Andrew in Drag” garnered much attention, receiving play from entities such as CBS News and NPR’s All Songs Considered. In 2012, the Magnetic Fields celebrated its new album by launching a North American and European tour. It began on March 6, the release date of Love at the Bottom of the Sea, and continued for two months. // In 2016, it was announced that the band’s eleventh studio album, 50 Song Memoir, would contain fifty songs, akin to the 69 Love Songs concept, one to commemorate each year since Stephin Merritt was born. It was released in March 2017.// On May 15, 2020, the band digitally released the album Quickies—twenty-eight songs under three minutes long—through Nonesuch Records. The first single, “The Day the Politicians Died”, was released on February 25, followed by “Kraftwerk in a Blackout” on April 1, “I Want to Join a Biker Gang” on April 16, and “I’ve Got a Date With Jesus” on May 8. The band released a vinyl box set of the album on May 29, followed by the CD on June 16. Former lead singer Susan Anway died in September 2021.]
  1. Krystle Warren & The Faculty – “Love You”
    from: Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace / Parlour Door Music / April 9, 2012 UK
    [Originally from KC, Krystle learned to play the guitar by listening to Rubber Soul & Revolver from The Beatles. Krystle graduated from Paseo Arts Academy in 2001 and began her musical career in collaborating with area jazz and pop musicians. After living in San Francisco and NYC, Krystle was signed to a French label, Because Music, and moved to Paris to release “Circles” in 2009. Krystle played French and British television programs, including Later with Jools Holland, garnering critical acclaim and traveling all over the world with Rufus Wainwright, Nick Cave, Norah Jones, and Joan As Police Woman. Krystle created, Parlour Door Music, to release “Love Songs: A Time You May Embrace” a recording from a 13-day session in Brooklyn, where she recorded 24 songs live with 28 musicians including her band, The Faculty, alongside choirs, horn and string sections. // Krystle Warren & The Crew released THE CREW, on September 15, 2020. Through isolation came unity. The Crew is Lakecia Benjamin, Matthew Silberman, Jacob Snider, Joe Blaxx, Solomon Dorsey, Zach Djanikian, Cassorla, Krystle Warren, and Ben Kane. They have recorded unique versions of classic songs with the hope of encouraging the rallying cries of The Moment: the movement of the people. // In the lockdown of their homes, they sewed together their interpretations of “Bein’ Green” (based upon Ray Charles’ rendition); “Gimme Some Truth” (a mighty John Lennon composition); “Dear Landlord” (a scathing indictment from the blistering pen of Bob Dylan); and “Rhythm of Life”, (a timeless statement originally performed by Oleta Adams). // A portion of the proceeds from The Crew. EP will be donated to the various causes and organizations. From Billboard.com: Singer-songwriter Krystle Warren has made a powerful statement about the struggle for Black equality with the help of Kermit the Frog’s iconic song “Bein’ Green” (written by Joe Raposo). // The moving five-minute clip, over which Warren sings her rendition of the 1970 song — since recorded by Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and others — sprang from a covers EP she recorded during the pandemic with a group of musicians known as The Crew. Warren embarked on the project after her forthcoming album with her regular group, The Faculty, was put on hold due to COVID-19. The EP, which tackles themes of racial injustice in the wake of nationwide Black Lives Matter protests this summer, also includes a cover of John Lennon’s “Gimme Some Truth.” // The “Bein’ Green” video weaves in footage of this year’s Black Lives Matter protests, and also includes a heartbreaking montage of young Black children choosing white dolls over dark-skinned ones. It additionally features archival footage of such transformative Black figures as James Baldwin, Angela Davis, Malcom X, Nina Simone, Marsha P. Johnson and Al Sharpton, as well as victims of police brutality including Sandra Bland, George Floyd and Eric Garner. It ends with a clip from a speech by civil rights activist Ella Baker. // “‘Bein’ Green,’ it’s such a gorgeous song, and it says so, so much,” says Warren. “I began thinking about what I wanted it to express visually before we started [recording the song]. Essentially — it’s not easy being Black. That’s what Ray Charles was saying, and we felt it needed to be said again.” // Warren, who now resides in Paris, began performing in her native Kansas City at the age of 16 before moving to New York City, where she started busking on the streets and later formed her regular band, The Faculty. She and the group have recorded several full-length albums, including 2009’s Circles, 2012’s Love Songs and 2017’s Three the Hard Way. Her next album is slated for release thiswinter. // A large percentage of proceeds from sales of the EP — which is available for digital downloads via Warren’s website now and released on all streaming platforms next Friday — will be donated to the ACLU. Krystle Warren joined us live on WMM on September 23, 2020. July 28, 2021. She has appeared as a guest on 15 WMMs.]
  1. Marva Whitney – “What Do I Have to Do to Prove My Love to You”
    from: James Brown’s Funky People, Pt. 2 / Polydor / February 12. 1088
    [The second volume of material compiled from James Brown’s People Records label features Brown’s collaboration with Hank Ballard on “From the Love Side.” Brown wrote (or co-wrote), arranged, and produced much of the material, appearing on vocals several times, and the J.B.’s are featured heavily, whether as a unit or with individual members stepping out as solo acts. The highlights are Bobby Byrd’s two 1971 R&B hits, “I Know You Got Soul” and “Hot Pants — I’m Coming, Coming, I’m Coming”; also featured are Marva Whitney, Lyn Collins, and Fred Wesley, among others. Marva is also featured on Eccentric Soul: The Forte Label / Numero Group – Cleanteen Records / released September 3, 2013. Born Marva Ann Manning, May 1, 1944 in Kansas City, Kansas. Whitney’s performing career started as early as three years old while touring with her family’s gospel group, the Manning Gospel Singers. In 1960, when she was 16, she joined a Kansas gospel group, the Alma Whitney Singers, and ended up marrying Harry Whitney, the brother-in-law of the group’s leader. Ever since, she has gone by her married name, Marva Whitney. Marva Whitney is well known as a funk vocalist. Singing with James Brown in the late 1960s, she was able to make a name for herself with powerful songs like “I’m Tired, I’m Tired, I’m Tired (Things Better Change Before Its Too Late)” and “If You Don’t Work (You Can’t Eat).” Her recording of “It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who to Sock It To)” reached the R&B Top 20. Her song “Unwind Yourself” has been sampled numerous times, most recognisably by DJ Mark the 45 King on his 1987 track “The 900 Number”, which was then sampled by DJ Chad Jackson on his 1990 hit single “Hear the Drummer (Get Wicked)” (UK #3 in July 1990), by DJ Kool on his 1996 hit “Let Me Clear My Throat” (UK #6 in March 1997), Sway on his 2009 track Mercedes Benz and Mac Miller on his 2011 track Party On Fifth Ave. In 2006, Marva Whitney collaborated with German born DJ/collector/manager DJ Pari and Japanese funk orchestra Osaka Monaurail to produce a new single, “I Am What I Am”. Osaka Monaurail style themselves on the James Brown sound and the single was produced in the fashion of an authentic release of the recordings she produced with Brown in 1969. Two successful tours of Japan and a full length album release followed, also entitled “I Am What I Am”. In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the tour was also brought to Europe. In December 2009, Whitney collapsed on stage in front of thousands of fans in Lorne, Australia, while performing with The Transatlantics at Falls Festival. She was immediately rushed to Geelong Hospital, where doctors diagnosed a stroke. The remaining dates of her tour had to be canceled, but Whitney made a recovery and performed again in 2010. In December 2012, Whitney died from complications of pneumonia at her home. She was 68]
  1. Ray Charles – “Hallelujah, I Love Her So”
    from: Ray Charles / Atlantic / June 1, 1957
    [“Hallelujah, I Love Her So” is a single by American musician Ray Charles. The rhythm and blues song was written and released by Charles in 1956 on the Atlantic label, and in 1957 it was included on his self-titled debut LP, also released on Atlantic. The song peaked at number five on the Billboard R&B chart. It is loosely based on ‘Get It Over Baby’ by Ike Turner (1953). // The song incorporates Gospel music. “Hallelujah I Love Her So” is a testament to the joyous release of love, featuring a sophisticated horn arrangement and memorable tenor sax solo by Don Wilkerson. Several artists, including Stevie Wonder, Peggy Lee, Eddie Cochran, and Humble Pie have covered the song/ // Ray Charles is the first release on LP by American pianist, vocalist, and band leader Ray Charles. Originally released in 1957 on Atlantic Records, it was re-released as Hallelujah I Love Her So, in 1962. // Ray Charles Robinson Sr. (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, and composer. Among friends and fellow musicians he preferred being called “Brother Ray”. He was often referred to as “The Genius”. Charles was blinded during childhood, possibly due to glaucoma. // Charles pioneered the soul music genre during the 1950s by combining blues, jazz, rhythm and blues, and gospel styles into the music he recorded for Atlantic. He contributed to the integration of country music, rhythm and blues, and pop music during the 1960s with his crossover success on ABC Records, notably with his two Modern Sounds albums. While he was with ABC, Charles became one of the first black musicians to be granted artistic control by a mainstream record company. // Charles’s 1960 hit “Georgia On My Mind” was the first of his three career No. 1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. His 1962 album Modern Sounds In Country And Western Music became his first album to top the Billboard 200. Charles had multiple singles reach the Top 40 on various Billboard charts: 44 on the US R&B singles chart, 11 on the Hot 100 singles chart, 2 on the Hot Country singles charts. // Charles cited Nat King Cole as a primary influence, but his music was also influenced by Louis Jordan and Charles Brown. He had a lifelong friendship and occasional partnership with Quincy Jones. Frank Sinatra called Ray Charles “the only true genius in show business,” although Charles downplayed this notion. Billy Joel said, “This may sound like sacrilege, but I think Ray Charles was more important than Elvis Presley”. // For his musical contributions, Charles received the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, and the Polar Music Prize. He was one of the inaugural inductees at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. He has won 18 Grammy Awards (5 posthumously), the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987, and 10 of his recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone ranked Charles No. 10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and No. 2 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2022, he will be inducted into the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame.]

10:48 – Pledge Break #3

Our WMM Winter Drive Team: Marion Merritt and Betse Ellis


  1. Aimee Mann – “What The World Needs Now”
    from: Sweetheart (Love Songs) / Hear Music / 2004
    [Written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. // Aimee Elizabeth Mann is an American singer-songwriter. Over the course of four decades, she has released more than a dozen albums. // Mann was born in Richmond, Virginia, and studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. In the 1980s, after playing with the Young Snakes and Ministry, she co-founded the new wave band ‘Til Tuesday and wrote their top-ten single “Voices Carry” (1985). The band released three albums and disbanded in 1990 when Mann left to pursue a solo career. // Mann released her first solo album, Whatever, in 1993, followed by I’m With Stupid in 1995. They received positive reviews but low sales. Mann achieved wider recognition when she recorded songs for the soundtrack to the Paul Thomas Anderson film Magnolia (1999), earning nominations for Academy Award for Best Original Song and Grammy Award for Best Female Pop Vocal. // After Mann’s record company Geffen refused to release her third solo album, Bachelor No. 2, Mann self-released it under her own label, SuperEgo Records, in 2000. She has released seven albums since. She has won two Grammy Awards, including Best Folk Album for Mental Illness (2017), and was named one of the world’s ten greatest living songwriters by NPR in 2006]

10:59 – Station ID

  1. John Prine – “Boundless Love”
    from: The Tree of Forgiveness / Oh Boy Records / April 13, 2018
    [The Tree of Forgiveness is the eighteenth and final studio album by American country folk singer John Prine born October 10, 1946. John Prine died April 7, 2020 due to COVID-19. He was an American country folk singer-songwriter. He was active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer from the early 1970s until his death, and was known for an often humorous style of original music that has elements of protest and social commentary. Born and raised in Maywood, Illinois, Prine learned to play the guitar at the age of 14. He attended classes at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music. After serving in West Germany with the U.S. Army, he returned to Chicago in the late 1960s, where he worked as a mailman, writing and singing songs first as a hobby, and then becoming a club performer. A member of Chicago’s folk revival, Prine credited film critic Roger Ebert and singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson with discovering him, resulting in the production of Prine’s eponymous debut album with Atlantic Records in 1971. The acclaim earned by this LP led Prine to focus on his musical career, and he recorded three more albums for Atlantic. He then signed with Asylum Records, where he recorded an additional three albums. In 1981, he co-founded Oh Boy Records, an independent record label with which he would release most of his subsequent albums. Widely cited as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, Prine was known for humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events, as well as serious songs with social commentary and songs that recollect melancholy tales from his life. In 2020, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award..]
  1. Betse & Clarke – “Fill My Way With Love”
    from: River Still Rise / Independent / July 1, 2016
    [Full-length debut album, from traditional and future folk duo, Betse & Clarke Betse Ellis on fiddles, violins, viola & vocals and Clarke Wyatt on banjos and cello. Recorded during the Winter-Spring of 2016. Produced by Clarke Wyatt and Betse Ellis. Recorded and mixed by Clarke Wyatt/ Final mix assistance from Chad Meise at Massive Sound. Traditional & future folk inspired by explorers Lewis & Clark showing how Betse & Clarke are trailblazers of sound & vision. “River Still Rise,” is a collection of originals and reworked traditional compositions that are presented “to be enjoyed as a musical adventure, much like the river exploration of the famous duo Lewis & Clark, an inspiration for the band’s name.” Betse Ellis writes in the extended liner notes: “The phrase River Still Rise appears in the journals of Meriwether Lewis, and to me, most notably when the Corps of Discovery readied their boats and supplies for the beginning of their river journey. Documenting all the details of the excursion included aspects of the weather, the general demeanor or specific behavior of the crew, and most certainly the level of the river. The river needed to be high enough to be navigable, and in that way, Clarke and I have been putting together our gear and supplies, building our boat, and watching the weather signs for about a year and a half at this point. The process of recording RSR took several months, beginning in early 2016. We made this recording at home.” // In 2017 Betse & Clarke released, Tunes We Like in analog on cassette. // Betse & Clarke released the album, Winter on June 4, 2020 it is a collection of songs and tunes, including original compositions, traditional songs and fiddle tunes, and modern songs re-envisioned. This recording was compiled during winter 2020, with a feeling of introspection. Songs under copyright were properly licensed for this digital release. Winter was in the Top Ten of WMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2020. This duo from the heartland (Kansas City, Missouri) has its roots in Ozark old time music, honoring traditional songs and tunes that resonate with human experience. Betse Ellis on fiddles, violins, viola & vocals and Clarke Wyatt on banjos, guitar, cello, multi-instruments. Betse & Clarke have played and toured around the world. Individually their musical roots go deep in the KC music scene. Clarke Wyatt is a founding member of Mr. Marco’s V7, and Betse Ellis is a founding member of The Wilders. More info at: http://www.betseandclarke.com]

11:06 – Pledge Break #4

This is WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt & Betse Ellis.


  1. The Wild Women of Kansas City – “Taking A Chance On Love”
    from: Live At Pilgrim Chapel 9/26/2010 / Cosmic Cowboy Records / Reissued March 14, 2021
    [Reissued on digital for the first time by Cosmic Cowboy Records, The Wild Women of Kansas City, LIVE AT PILGRIM CHAPEL 9/26/2010 is a 14-track live recording. The vocal quartet included legendary Myra Taylor (1917-2011), Millie Edwards, Geneva Price and Lori Tucker, singing in harmony. More info at: https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-wild-women-of-kansas-city/1557857551 from Bill Brownlee’s Plastic Sax blog: “The Wild Women’s repertoire belied its billing as a jazz group. The 55-minute recording includes readings of the disco anthem “I Will Survive,” Ray Charles’ earthy hit “Night Time Is the Right Time” and the proto-rock gem “Don’t Let Go.” // Backed by an unidentified organist, bassist and drummer, the crowd-pleasing entertainers also perform familiar warhorses like “Sentimental Journey,” “Stormy Weather” and the inescapable “Kansas City.” Edwards sings lead on “What a Wonderful World” and Taylor does her playful Louis Armstrong impression during “On the Sunny Side of the Street.” // The women assert their intent on “Let the Good Times Roll”: “Tell everybody: Wild Women are in town/Sometimes we’re serious, sometimes we got to clown/ We don’t let nobody play us cheap/We got heart, soul- ooh, listen to the beat.” Thanks to the invaluable Live at Pilgrim Chapel 9/26/2010, their vital beat plays on.”]
  1. Cynthia Erivo – “Somebody Gonna Love You”
    from: The Color Purple (2015 Broadway Cast Recording) / Broadway Records / Feb 19, 2016
    [British singer-songwriter and actress, born January 8, 1987. Erivo was the winner of the 2016 Tony Award, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical, for the Revival of The Color Purple, on Broadway// Cynthia Erivo was born January 8, 1987. She is an English actress, singer and songwriter. She is the recipient of several accolades, including a Daytime Emmy Award, a Grammy Award and a Tony Award, in addition to nominations for two Academy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. // Erivo began acting in a 2011 stage production of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. She gained recognition for starring in the Broadway revival of The Color Purple from 2015 to 2017, for which she won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical and the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. Erivo ventured into films in 2018, playing roles in the heist film Widows and the thriller Bad Times at the El Royale. For her portrayal of American abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the biopic Harriet (2019), Erivo received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress; she also wrote and performed the song “Stand Up” on its soundtrack, which garnered her a nomination in the Best Original Song category. // On television, Erivo had her first role in the British series Chewing Gum (2015). She went on to star in the crime drama miniseries The Outsider (2020), and received a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her portrayal of American singer Aretha Franklin in National Geographic’s anthology series Genius: Aretha (2021).]
  1. Roberta Flack – “Feel Like Makin’ Love”
    from: Feel Like Makin’ Love / Atlantic / March 1, 1975
    [Released in 1975, Feel Like Makin’ Love is Roberta Flack’s fifth solo album and sixth overall, when counting her duet album with Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway from 1972. It was the first album produced by Flack herself, under the pseudonym Rubina Flake. // The album’s title cut had been issued as a single in June 1974 affording Flack her third #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, after which success Atlantic Records signed Flack to a new five year contract – reportedly the most lucrative ever signed by a female recording artist. // Roberta Cleopatra Flack was born February 10, 1937. She is an American singer. She is known for her No. 1 singles “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”, “Killing Me Softly with His Song”, “Feel Like Makin’ Love”; and “Where Is the Love” and “The Closer I Get to You”, two of her many duets with Donny Hathaway. // Flack is the only solo artist to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in two consecutive years: “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” won at the 1973 Grammys and “Killing Me Softly with His Song” won at the 1974 Grammys. // Flack lived with a musical family, born in Black Mountain, North Carolina to parents Laron Flack, a Veterans Administration draftsman, and Irene Council Flack a church organist, on February 10, 1937 (some sources also say 1939 – 1940 Census states Roberta was 3 years old) and raised in Arlington, Virginia. Growing up she often accompanied the choir of Lomax African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church by playing hymns and spirituals on piano, but she also enjoyed going to the “Baptist church down the street” to listen to contemporary gospel music, such as that performed by Mahalia Jackson and Sam Cooke. // When Flack was nine, she started taking an interest in playing the piano,[6] and during her early teens, Flack so excelled at classical piano that Howard University awarded her a full music scholarship. By age 15, she entered Howard University, making her one of the youngest students ever to enroll there. She eventually changed her major from piano to voice, and became an assistant conductor of the university choir. Her direction of a production of Aida received a standing ovation from the Howard University faculty. Flack is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority and was made an honorary member of Tau Beta Sigma by the Eta Delta Chapter at Howard University for her outstanding work in promoting music education. // Roberta Flack became a student teacher at a school near Chevy Chase, Maryland. She graduated from Howard University at 19 and began graduate studies in music, but the sudden death of her father forced her to take a job teaching music and English in Farmville, North Carolina. // Before becoming a professional singer-songwriter, Flack returned to Washington, D.C. and taught at Banneker, Browne, and Rabaut Junior High Schools. She also taught private piano lessons out of her home on Euclid St. NW. During this period, her music career began to take shape on evenings and weekends in Washington, D.C. area night spots. At the Tivoli Club, she accompanied opera singers at the piano. During intermissions, she would sing blues, folk, and pop standards in a back room, accompanying herself on the piano. Later, she performed several nights a week at the 1520 Club, again providing her own piano accompaniment. Around this time, her voice teacher, Frederick “Wilkie” Wilkerson, told her that he saw a brighter future for her in pop music than in the classics. She modified her repertoire accordingly and her reputation spread.[citation needed] Flack began singing professionally after being hired to perform regularly at Mr. Henry’s Restaurant, on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC in 1968. // The atmosphere in Mr. Henry’s was welcoming and the club turned into a showcase for the young music teacher. Her voice mesmerized locals and word spread. A-list entertainers who were appearing in town would come in late at night to hear her sing. // As restaurant owner Henry Yaffe recalled, “She told me if I could give her work there three nights a week, she would quit teaching.” He did and she did. // To meet Roberta’s exacting standards, Yaffe transformed the apartment above the bar into the Roberta Flack Room. “I got the oak paneling from the old Dodge Hotel near Union Station. I put in heavy upholstered chairs, sort of a conservative style from the 50s and an acoustical system designed especially for Roberta. She was very demanding. She was a perfectionist.” // Les McCann discovered Flack singing and playing jazz in a Washington nightclub. He later said on the liner notes of what would be her first album First Take noted below, “Her voice touched, tapped, trapped, and kicked every emotion I’ve ever known. I laughed, cried, and screamed for more…she alone had the voice.” Very quickly, he arranged an audition for her with Atlantic Records, during which she played 42 songs in 3 hours for producer Joel Dorn. In November 1968, she recorded 39 song demos in less than 10 hours. Three months later, Atlantic reportedly recorded Flack’s debut album, First Take, in a mere 10 hours. Flack later spoke of those studio sessions as a “very naive and beautiful approach… I was comfortable with the music because I had worked on all these songs for all the years I had worked at Mr. Henry’s.” // In 1971, Flack participated in the legendary Soul to Soul concert film by Denis Sanders, which was headlined by Wilson Pickett, along with Ike & Tina Turner, Santana, The Staple Singers, Les McCann, Eddie Harris, The Voices of Harlem, and others. The U.S. delegation of musical artists was invited to perform for 14th anniversary of African independence in Ghana. The film was digitally reissued on DVD and CD in 2004 but Flack declined permission for her image and recording to be included for unknown reasons. Her a cappella performance of the traditional spiritual “Oh Freedom” retitled “Freedom Song” on the original Soul to Soul LP soundtrack is only available in the VHS version of the film. // Flack’s cover version of “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” hit number 76 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. Her Atlantic recordings did not sell particularly well, until actor/director Clint Eastwood chose a song from First Take, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” written by Ewan MacColl, for the sound track of his directorial debut Play Misty for Me; it became the biggest hit of the year for 1972, spending six consecutive weeks at #1 and earning Flack a million-selling Gold disc. It finished the year as Billboard’s top song of 1972. The First Take album also went to #1 and eventually sold 1.9 million copies in the United States. Eastwood, who paid $2,000 for the use of the song in the film, has remained an admirer and friend of Flack’s ever since. It was awarded the Grammy Award for Record of the Year in 1973. In 1983, she recorded the end music to the Dirty Harry film Sudden Impact at Eastwood’s request. // In 1972, Flack began recording regularly with Donny Hathaway, scoring hits such as the Grammy-winning “Where Is the Love” (1972) and later “The Closer I Get to You” (1978), both million-selling gold singles. Flack and Hathaway recorded several duets together, including two LPs, until Hathaway’s 1979 death. // On her own, Flack scored her second #1 hit in 1973, “Killing Me Softly with His Song” written by Charles Fox, Norman Gimbel and Lori Lieberman. It was awarded both Record of the Year and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Female at the 1974 Grammy Awards. Its parent album was Flack’s biggest-selling disc, eventually earning double platinum certification. In 1974, Flack released “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” which became her third and final #1 hit to date on the Hot 100. That same year, Flack sang the lead on a Sherman Brothers song called “Freedom”, which featured prominently at the opening and closing of the movie Huckleberry Finn. Also in that same year, she performed “When We Grow Up” with a teenage Michael Jackson on the 1974 television special, Free to Be… You and Me. Then, in her only film role, she served as the narrator for The Legend of John Henry. // Flack had a 1982 hit single with “Making Love”, written by Burt Bacharach (the title track of the 1982 film of the same name), which reached #13. She began working with Peabo Bryson with more limited success, charting as high as #5 on the R&B chart (plus #16 Pop and #4 Adult Contemporary) with “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love” in 1983. Her next two singles with Bryson, “You’re Looking Like Love To Me” and “I Just Came Here To Dance,” fared better on adult contemporary (AC) radio than on pop or R&B radio. // In 1986, Flack sang the theme song entitled “Together Through the Years” for the NBC television series Valerie, later known as The Hogan Family. The song was used throughout the show’s six seasons. In 1987 Flack supplied the voice of Michael Jackson’s mother in the 18-minute short film for Bad. Oasis was released in 1988 and failed to make an impact with pop audiences, though the title track reached #1 on the R&B chart and a remix of “Uh-Uh Ooh-Ooh Look Out (Here It Comes)” topped the dance chart in 1989. Flack found herself again in the US Top 10 with the hit song “Set the Night to Music”, a 1991 duet with Jamaican vocalist Maxi Priest that peaked at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts and #2 AC. Flack’s smooth R&B sound lent itself easily to Easy Listening airplay during the 1970s, and she has had four #1 AC hits. // In 1999, a star with Flack’s name was placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, she gave a concert tour in South Africa; the final performance was attended by President Nelson Mandela. In 2010, she appeared on the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards, singing a duet of “Where Is The Love” with Maxwell. ” In February 2012, Flack released Let it Be Roberta, an album of Beatles covers including “Hey Jude” and “Let It Be”. It was her first recording in over eight years. Flack knew John Lennon and Yoko Ono, as both households moved in 1975 into The Dakota apartment building in New York City, and had apartments across the hall from each other. Flack has stated that she has already been asked to do a second album of Beatles covers. She is currently involved in an interpretative album of the Beatles’ classics. // At age 80, Flack made her most recent recording, Running, the closing credits song of the 2018 feature documentary 3100: Run and Become with music and lyrics by Michael A. Levine. // Flack’s minimalist, classically trained approach to her songs was seen by a number of critics as lacking in grit and uncharacteristic of soul music. According to music scholar Jason King, her work was regularly described with the adjectives “boring”, “depressing”, “lifeless”, “studied”, and “calculated”; AllMusic’s Steve Huey said it has been called “classy, urbane, reserved, smooth, and sophisticated”. In 1971, Village Voice critic Robert Christgau reported that “Flack is generally regarded as the most significant new black woman singer since Aretha Franklin, and at moments she sounds kind, intelligent, and very likable. But she often exhibits the gratuitous gentility you’d expect of someone who says ‘between you and I.'” // Reviewing her body of work from the 1970s, he later argued that the singer “has nothing whatsoever to do with rock and roll or rhythm and blues and almost nothing to do with soul”, comparing her middle-of-the-road aesthetic to Barry Manilow but with better taste, which he believed does not necessarily guarantee more enduring music: “In the long run, pop lies are improved by vulgarity.” // Flack is a member of the Artist Empowerment Coalition, which advocates the right of artists to control their creative properties. She is also a spokeswoman for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals; her appearance in commercials for the ASPCA featured “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. In the Bronx section of New York City, the Hyde Leadership Charter School’s after-school music program is called “The Roberta Flack School of Music” and is in partnership with Flack, who founded the school, which provides free music education to underprivileged students. // Between 1966 and 1972, she was married to Steve Novosel. Together, they had a son, Bernard Wright, who became a successful funk and jazz keyboardist and producer. Flack is the aunt of professional ice skater Rory Flack. // According to DNA analysis, she is of Cameroonian descent. // On April 20, 2018, Flack was appearing onstage at the Apollo Theater at a benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America. She became ill, left the stage, and was rushed to the Harlem Hospital Center. In a statement, her manager announced that Flack had suffered a stroke a few years prior and still was not feeling well, but was “doing fine” and being kept overnight for medical observation. More info at http://www.robertaflack.com]
  1. Effie – “Lover”
    from: Curve My Enthusiasm / DISTRKCT / August 13, 2021
    [Curve My Enthusiasm was #5 on WMM’s 120 Best Recordings of 2021. Effie is Stephanie Altoro. Effie is a songwriter, singer, rapper, producer, one part of Kansas City’s own Jet Pack Productions originally from the Bronx, New York. Effie says that music saved her life and means everything to her. She puts herself in the category of a R&B/Hip Hop Artist. She claims Nina Simone as her biggest influence. Effie writes, “I have been writing for so many years but never shared any of my personal work until last year. So I’m working on pacing myself with releases, instead of just putting so many albums out back to back. My album, Curve My Enthusiasm, is so special to me that I’m going to release a deluxe version in January with 4 additional tracks and videos, including some exciting collaborations. I have also been writing for other artists, so you’ll be able to hear some of those releases soon, as well!” Effie is one third of Jet Pack Productions a Kansas City based music entertainment company created by Musicians Jo Blaq, Effie Altoro, and Tim Ogutu. Effie Joined us live on WMM on October 20, 2021. More info at: https://smarturl.it/37jrdz%5D

11:26 – Pledge Break #5

This is WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt, & Betse Ellis.

11:33 – Underwriting

  1. Holly Near – “Kids Are Gonna Love”
    from: Edge / Calico Tracks / October 2000
    [Holly Near (born June 6, 1949) is an American singer-songwriter, actress, teacher, and activist. Holly Near was born in Ukiah, California, United States, and was raised on a ranch in Potter Valley, California. She was eight years old when she first performed publicly, and she auditioned for Columbia Records when she was ten. She sang in all the high school musicals, talent shows and often was invited to sing at gatherings of local service groups, such as the Soroptimist Club, Lions Club, and Garden Club. Her senior year she played Eliza Doolittle in the Ukiah High School production of My Fair Lady. In the summer Near attended performing arts camps such as Perry-Mansfield in Colorado and Ramblerny Performing Arts where she studied with jazz musicians Phil Woods and his wife, Chan Parker (Parker was married to Woods but retained the name Parker from her earlier marriage to Charlie Parker), and modern dancer/choreographer Joyce Trisler. // After starting high school in 1963, Near began singing with three boys who called themselves the Freedom Singers, a folk group modeled after The Kingston Trio. When Near joined, they began to sound more like The Weavers, with three male voices and one female. Near learned later of the original Freedom Singers who sang as part of the Civil Rights Movement. Unbeknownst to her, Near would soon meet one of the founding members of that group, Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, an artist who would be a great influence for the next 40-plus years. She would also meet and work with the female singer in The Weavers, Ronnie Gilbert. // After high school, Near enrolled in the Theatre Arts program at UCLA; her freshman year she got the lead in the UCLA production of Guys and Dolls playing soprano Sarah Brown. Because Near was trained in a lower range she got nodules on her vocal cords and had to leave the show. She entered in to a long period of silence until her voice healed. After one year, she left UCLA and began to work in film and television as well as with anti-war groups such as Another Mother for Peace. // Near’s professional career began in 1969 with a part on the television show The Mod Squad, which was followed by appearances in other shows, such as Room 222, All in the Family, and The Partridge Family. She also appeared in Angel, Angel, Down We Go, Slaughterhouse-Five, and Minnie and Moskowitz. Much later, she had a prominent role in the 1991 film Dogfight. // She was briefly a member of the musical comedy troupe First National Nothing and appeared on the troupe’s only album If You Sit Real Still and Hold My Hand, You Will Hear Absolutely Nothing, released in 1970 on Columbia Records. // In 1970, Near was a cast member of the Broadway musical Hair. Following the Kent State shootings in May of that year, the entire cast staged a silent vigil in protest. The song “It Could Have Been Me” (released on A Live Album, 1974) was her response to the shootings. In 1971, she joined the FTA (Free The Army) Tour, an anti-Vietnam War road show of music, comedy, and plays that performed for soldiers, many of whom were resisting war and racism from within the military. The tour was organized by antiwar activist Fred Gardner and actors Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland. Near was only 21 and the youngest member of the troupe. // In 1972, Near founded an independent record label called Redwood Records to produce and promote music by “politically conscious artists from around the world”. She was one of the first women to found an independent record company. Near’s record company went out of business in the mid-1990s due to financial difficulties. // During her long career in folk and protest music, Near has worked with a wide array of musicians, including Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Mercedes Sosa, Bernice Johnson Reagon, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Meg (Shambhavi) Christian, Cris Williamson, Linda Tillery, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Harry Belafonte, and many others, as well as the Chilean exile group Inti-Illimani. // Near wrote an autobiography in the early 1990s titled, Fire in the Rain, Singer in the Storm. Later, with her sister Timothy, Near co-wrote a one-woman show based on the stories in the book. The show was presented at The San Jose Rep and in Los Angeles at The Mark Taper Forum, as well as productions in San Francisco and off Broadway in NYC. In April 2004, Near performed at the March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC where she sang “We Are Gentle Angry People” and “Fired Up” a capella. // As of 2019, she has a discography of 29 albums. She is still active as a performer and composer, and she has begun issuing CDs available through her website that include tracks from her out-of-print albums. Her song “Singing For Our Lives” appears in Singing the Living Tradition, the official hymnal of the Unitarian Universalist Association, under the title “We Are A Gentle, Angry People” (Hymn #170). The hymn was performed by Quaker Friends in an episode of the TV series Six Feet Under. In 2015, the same song, credited as “Singing for Our Lives” appeared in the Australian independent film The Lives We Lead, alongside its theme song “I Am Willing”, another protest song written by Near. // Near hosted many of the tributes to both Pete Seeger and Ronnie Gilbert, two members of the seminal folk group The Weavers. // Near has been an honored guest at several of the GALA Choruses Festivals, a conference of GLBTQ choirs and choruses. She also appears as a soloist with several of the choruses and many of her songs have been arranged for choral singing. // In 2018, Near released a new recording titled 2018, reflecting on issues including the environment, aging, domestic violence and the unresolved storm damage in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria. In October 2018, a documentary film titled Holly Near: Singing for Our Lives made by director Jim Brown premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival, detailing Near’s life and work. // As a result of her travels in the Pacific with the FTA show, Near became a feminist, linking international feminism and anti-war activism. In 1976, Near came out as a lesbian[2] and began a three-year relationship with musician Meg Christian. She added LGBT issues to her international peace work as she continued to present social change music around the world and at home. Although Near was one of the most visible artists in the lesbian community, she was also becoming aware that “monogamous” defined her sexuality more than any other title. // Near has been in a relationship with a man since 1994. However, she does not identify as bisexual. When asked why in a 2010 interview by JD Doyle for Queer Music Heritage, she replied, “I don’t know why. Just isn’t a handle I relate to. I include human and civil rights in all that I do. I am monogamous. I relate to that term. I am a feminist. If I am with a woman I am a feminist. If I am alone I am a feminist. If I am with a man I am a feminist. And until the one I am with and I part ways, then I am just what I am in that relationship and I don’t much think about what I will do next. I focus more on what I bring to that relationship. It is a full-time job being honest one moment at a time, remembering to love, to honor, to respect. It is a practice, a discipline, worthy of every moment. I think my feminism and my ability to love has been highly informed by having had lesbian relationships. The quality of my life has, without question, been elevated. For a brief moment in time I struggled with sexual identity, somewhere in the mid-’80s. Then I realized it was the wrong question for me. That is not to say it is the wrong question for others. It just wasn’t important to me. So I haven’t really thought much about it since. I am going to sing lesbian love songs and support gay rights no matter what. The rest is public relations. Near is dedicated to the rights of LGBT communities and continues to work to create a cultural forum for diversity. She writes, “For many, sexual identity and/or gender identity is the primary door through which they walk. It is what politicized them. It is what feeds their emotional and spiritual perspectives. I totally honor this. Even though sexual preference is maybe 5th or 10th on my personal list of priorities now, I will always work for all of us to have self determination over our bodies, our identities, our relationship choices.” // In 2014, Near was diagnosed with breast cancer. With early detection, she had successful surgery and radiation but did not need to do chemotherapy. // Near has been recognized many times for her work for social change, including honors from the ACLU, the National Lawyers Guild, the National Organization for Women, NARAS, Ms. Magazine (Woman of the Year), and the Legends of Women’s Music Award. In 1989, Near received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from World College West in California. Near was named among the “1000 Women for the Nobel Peace Prize”. Near was named as an Honoree for National Women’s History Month for 2015.]
  1. Pansy Division – “Like Lovers”
    from: Daytrotter Studios (Live Recording) / Daytrotter / November 6, 2012
    [Pansy Division is an American rock band formed in San Francisco, California, United States, in 1991 by singer-songwriter Jon Ginoli and bassist Chris Freeman. Conceived as the first openly gay rock band featuring predominantly gay musicians, Pansy Division’s music, a mix of pop punk and power pop, focuses mainly on LGBT issues, sex and relationships, often presented in a humorous light. In 1993, the band signed to punk label Lookout! Records and received international notoriety touring with Green Day in 1994, becoming the most commercially successful band of the queercore movement which began in the 1980s. Pansy Division have released seven studio albums and three B-side compilations, among other recordings. In 2008, the band were the subject of the documentary film entitled Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band. Frustrated by the lack of openly gay rock musicians, Jon Ginoli started performing solo sets under the moniker Pansy Division (a pun on Panzer division and the word “pansy”) around San Francisco. Shortly after this, in 1991, Ginoli placed an ad in the San Francisco Weekly looking for “gay musicians into the Ramones, Buzzcocks and early Beatles”. This caught the attention of Chris Freeman, who joined on as a bassist. Ginoli and Freeman then recruited drummer Jay Puget, forming the first all gay rock band that any of them had known. They hoped to defy the stereotype that gay men preferred pop divas and showtunes, by playing punk rock music. // In 1993, following extensive Californian touring, several 7″ singles and compilation appearances, Pansy Division signed to Lookout! Records, released their first album, Undressed, and embarked on their first national tour. // In 1994, with the release of their second album Deflowered and an appearance on Outpunk’s seminal compilation Outpunk Dance Party, the band had proven themselves to be one of the more prolific and well-known artists to spring from the budding queercore movement. Also catching the wave of pop punk’s mainstream explosion, Pansy Division were asked to tour with Green Day on the band’s 1994 Dookie tour, thus introducing the group and queercore to a much larger audience. During the tour’s New York stop, the band caught the attention of Howard Stern, who met them backstage, and spent a segment talking about them on his nationally syndicated radio show. // While signed to Lookout!, the band continued to release an album a year: 1995’s Pile Up (notable for its various cover songs, including Ned Sublette’s “Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (covered as “Smells Like Queer Spirit”)), 1996’s Wish I’d Taken Pictures (featuring the single “I Really Wanted You”, the music video of which played once on MTV) and the 1997 B-sides compilation More Lovin’ From Our Oven. // During this time, Pansy Division primarily performed as a trio, with Freeman and Ginoli being the only constant members amid a slew of perpetually rotating drummers, both gay and straight. In 1996, the band finally found a permanent gay drummer in the form of Luis Illades and became a quartet in 1997 with the addition of lead guitarist Patrick Goodwin. // 1998 saw the release of their fifth studio album Absurd Pop Song Romance, which was a departure from earlier Pansy work, featuring less humorous, more introspective lyrics and a darker, two-guitar layered alternative rock sound. The band was again taken on tour by a mainstream punk band, when they opened for Rancid on their 1998 Life Won’t Wait tour. // In 2001, Pansy Division was finally ready to record another album, but the lack of support from Lookout! caused the band to leave their long-time label and sign with Alternative Tentacles later that year. What resulted was 2003’s Total Entertainment!, an album that the band described as a meeting point between the lighthearted humor of their early work and the introspective rock of their previous album. Goodwin left the band the following year, being temporarily replaced by Bernard Yin and then by former Mr. T Experience member Joel Reader. // In 2006, Alternative Tentacles released The Essential Pansy Division, a comprehensive ‘best-of’ compilation featuring thirty tracks hand-picked by Ginoli and a DVD of various video footage. // Following the release of Total Entertainment, Pansy Division’s active touring and recording schedule declined as most of the members relocated to different parts of the country. The band continued to perform sporadically, usually at various gay pride festivals or local shows in San Francisco. In 2007, Pansy Division launched their first national tour since 2003 with reformed San Francisco punk band The Avengers, whose current line-up features both Illades and Reader. // In 2008, the band became the subject of a documentary film entitled Pansy Division: Life in a Gay Rock Band, directed by Michael Carmona. The film has been touring internationally, playing at various LGBT film festivals, and was released on DVD in 2009. // 2009 saw the release of their seventh studio album, titled That’s So Gay, a live DVD, another national tour, and Ginoli’s memoirs, a biography of the band entitled Deflowered: My Life in Pansy Division. In February of that year, the band released a vinyl 7″ of “Average Men,” their first single from the album. The B-Side is a cover of “Coming Clean” by Green Day. // Members : Jon Ginoli – vocals/guitar (1991–present); Chris Freeman – bass/vocals (1991–present); Joel Reader – lead guitar/vocals (2004–present)
    Formerly of The Mr. T Experience and The Plus Ones; Luis Illades – drums (1996–present). Both Reader and Illades are members of the reformed San Francisco punk rock band The Avengers.]
  1. Digital Leather – “Studs In Love”
    from: Blow Machine / FDH Records / June 1, 2007
    [Omaha, Nebraska based Synth punk, New Wave, pop, lo-fi, and psychedelic musical project led by multi-instrumentalist Shawn Foree. It is recognized for having characteristics of electropunk, new wave, pop, lo-fi, and psychedelic music. //Originally from Yuma, Arizona, Foree began calling his project “Digital Leather” when he moved to Tucson, where he studied American literature at the University of Arizona. He used student loan money to buy equipment. He managed to release his first three albums after recording them in his bedroom on labels such as Tic Tac Totally, Jay Reatard’s Shattered Records imprint, and FDH Records. He supported this “bedroom project” with several nationwide and European tours. Sorcerer, released on Goner Records in 2008, is a half-live, half-studio record. // In 2009, friend and fellow musician Jay Reatard took over managing duties for the band. Around this time Foree began working on a collection of songs in a fully operational studio. Released in September 2009 by Fat Possum Records, Warm Brother garnered positive reviews. Pitchfork, for example, referred to Foree as sui generis, calling the album a “charming curio.” Reportedly, the label did not initially support the album’s artwork, which features a shirtless man with the album name taped across his chest. // In 2013, Todd Fink of The Faint joined Digital Leather as a full-time keyboardist and additional recording engineer. They spent the next year and a half playing shows around Omaha and preparing a full-length record with the live band recording its own parts (as opposed to Foree recording all the parts himself as was done on previous output). During this time Foree managed to also write and record a split LP with Madison, WI’s The Hussy for Southpaw Records. // In 2014, the collaboration between Shawn Foree and The Hussy became the catalyst for Foree and The Hussy’s Bobby Hussy to create their synth driven minimal wave duo TIT. The band then began writing and recording their debut self-titled EP 12″ over the course five days while Hussy was visiting Foree’s home in Omaha. FDH and Volar Records co-released the 12″ in late-2014. TIT played their first show in Omaha at O’Leaver’s on January 22, 2015 with Todd Fink as an additional keyboardist and Noah Kohll as the drummer. Digital Leather’s 9th LP, “All Faded” was recorded by Todd Fink and Clark Baechle of The Faint between 2013 and 2015. All Faded was released by FDH Records in November 2015. A new album, Pink Thunder, was released June 30, 2017.

Digital Leather – Discography (Albums):
Digital Leather (2003) King Of The Monsters
Monologue (2006) Shattered
Hard At Work (2007) Tic Tac Totally
Blow Machine (2007) FDH Records
Sorcerer (2008) Goner Records
Warm Brother (2009) Fat Possum
Infinite Sun (2011) Volar
Sponge (2012) Crash Symbols
Yes Please, Thank You (2012) Southpaw
Modern Problems (2012) FDH Records
Split LP w/ The Hussy (2014) Southpaw
All Faded (2015) FDH Records
Whack Jam (2015) Kind Turkey Records
Pink Thunder (2017) FDH Records
Headache Heaven (2018) No Coast Records
FEEET (2019) Stencil Trash

Digital Leather – Discography (Singles):
Simulator (2005) Plastic Idol
Split w/ Angry Angles (2006) Shattered
She Had A Cameltoe (2007) Goner
Closed My Eyes (2007) Disordered (Italy), P Trash (Germany), FDH (USA)
Suckface (2007) Red Lounge (Germany)
The Assault (2008) Red Lounge (Germany)
Hurts so Bad, demo version (2009) Squoodge (Austria/Germany)
Power Surge (2009) FDH
Lousy Manipulator (2009) Neat Neat Neat
Sponge (2011) Ghost Highway

  1. Michael Callen – “Love Don’t Need a Reason”
    from: Purple Heart / Significant Other / 1988 [In partnership with Oscar winner Peter Allen and Marsha Melamet, Michael Callen wrote his most famous song, “Love Don’t Need a Reason”, which he sang frequently at gay pride and AIDS-related events around the country. Michael Callen (b. April 11, 1955) was a singer, songwriter, composer, author, and AIDS activist. He was a significant architect of the response to the AIDS crisis in the United States. First diagnosed with “Gay related immune deficiency” (GRID) in 1982, Callen quickly became a leader in the response to the epidemic. He was a founding member of the People With AIDS Self-Empowerment Movement among other organizations, and he testified before the President’s Commission on AIDS and both houses of the United States Congress. He was a founding member of the gay male a cappella singing group The Flirtations, with whom he recorded two albums. He also had a solo album, Purple Heart, which a review in The Advocate called “the most remarkable gay independent release of the past decade.” During the last year of his life, Callen recorded over 40 songs. On December 27, 1993, Michael Callen died of AIDS-related complications in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 38.]

11:47 – Pledge Break #6

This is WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show with Marion Merritt, & Betse Ellis.


  1. Lou Reed – “Satellite of Love”
    from: Transformer / RCA / November 8, 1972
    [Transformer is the second solo studio album by American recording artist Lou Reed. Produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, the album was released in November 1972 by RCA Records. It is considered an influential landmark of the glam rock genre, anchored by Reed’s most successful single, “Walk on the Wild Side”, which touched on then-controversial topics of sexual orientation, gender identity, prostitution, and drug use. Though Reed’s self-titled debut solo album had been unsuccessful, Bowie had been an early fan of Reed’s former band The Velvet Underground, and used his own fame to promote Reed, who had not yet achieved mainstream success. // As with its predecessor Lou Reed, Transformer contains songs Reed composed while in the Velvet Underground (here, four out of eleven). “Andy’s Chest” was first recorded by the band in 1969 and “Satellite of Love” demoed in 1970; these versions were released on VU and Peel Slowly and See, respectively. For Transformer, the original up-tempo pace of these songs was slowed down. // “New York Telephone Conversation” and “Goodnight Ladies” were played live during the band’s summer 1970 residency at Max’s Kansas City; the latter takes its title refrain from the last line of the second section (“A Game of Chess”) of T. S. Eliot’s modernist poem, The Waste Land: “Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night”, which is itself a quote from Ophelia in Hamlet. // As in Reed’s Velvet Underground days, the connection to artist Andy Warhol remained strong. According to Reed, Warhol told him he should write a song about someone vicious. When Reed asked what he meant by vicious, Warhol replied, “Oh, you know, like I hit you with a flower”, resulting in the song “Vicious”. // Transformer was produced by David Bowie and Mick Ronson, both of whom had been strongly influenced by Reed’s work with the Velvet Underground. Bowie had obliquely referenced the Velvet Underground in the cover notes for his album Hunky Dory and regularly performed both “White Light/White Heat” and “I’m Waiting for the Man” in concerts and on the BBC during 1971–1973. He even began recording “White Light/White Heat” for inclusion on Pin Ups[citation needed], but it was never completed; Ronson ended up using the backing track for his solo album Play Don’t Worry in 1974. // Mick Ronson (who was at the time the lead guitarist with Bowie’s band, the Spiders from Mars) played a major role in the recording of the album at Trident Studios, London, serving as the co-producer and primary session musician (contributing guitar, piano, recorder and backing vocals), as well as arranger, contributing the string arrangement for “Perfect Day”. Reed lauded Ronson’s contribution in the Transformer episode of the documentary series Classic Albums, praising the beauty of his work and keeping down the vocal to highlight the strings. The songs on the album are now among Reed’s best-known works, including “Walk on the Wild Side”, “Perfect Day” and “Satellite of Love”, and the album’s commercial success elevated him from cult status to become an international star. // The cover art was from a Mick Rock photograph that inadvertently became over-exposed as he was printing it in the darkroom. Rock noticed the flaw but decided he liked the fortuitous effect enough to submit the image for the album cover. // According to Rock, “When I showed Lou the contact sheets, he zeroed in on the transformer shot. I made the print myself – as I usually did in those days. The first test I made fell out of focus in the exposure. Lou loved the result. It took me twelve attempts to reproduce this accident for the final larger print for the album cover”. // Karl Stoecker (who also shot the first three Roxy Music album covers) took the back cover photo of a woman and a man. The woman is 1960s London supermodel Gala Mitchel. The man is portrayed by Ernie Thormahlen (a friend of Reed). The man appears to have a noticeable erection, although Reed has said this was actually a banana which Thormahlen had stuffed down his jeans before the photo shoot.]
  1. Noel Coward – “The Party’s Over Now”
    from: Noel Coward in New York / drg / 2003 [orig. 1957]

Next week on Wednesday, February 16 WMM Celebrates Black History with tracks from over 15 of our Favorite Kansas City Black Artists: Krystle Warren, Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Calvin Arsenia, The Black Creatures, The Freedom Affair, We The People, The Phantastics, Radkey, Chalis O’Neal, Jass, Remy Styrk, Janelle Monaé, and Kadesh Flow. We started the show with Flare The Rebel and Bob Pulliam and Blackstarkids.

Plus at 11:00 we’ll talk with Rose Brown lead singer and guitarist for Flooding who play a Cassette Release show on February 19, 2022 with OK O clock and Rosé Perez at Farewell Transmission, 6515 Stadium Drive, KCMO.

Also next week, Marion Merritt, and Betse Ellis will join us again as our special Co-Hosts for WMM’s Winter Fund Drive Show for 90.1 FM KKFI. Please don’t let our love songs be unrequited. We need to hear for you all!

Our Script/Playlist is a “cut and paste” of information.
Sources for notes: artist’s websites, bios, wikipedia.org

Wednesday MidDay Medley is all over social media and on the web at:
or http://www.kkfi.org

Show #928