WFDU Archives: Carnival Of Song

Show details: Carnival Of Song

Genres: Music America

If you don't count the many, many hours I spent listening to my transistor as a kid (first WABC, then 99X, then finally graduating to the likes of WPLJ and WNEW by the time I hit 12 or 13), my first experience in radio came at age 30 when I took my first radio class at Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityBarry Sheffield, our Program Director here at the station, was my teacher, and with his encouragement, I made my broadcast debut as the newscaster for Marc Copeland's Jazz Influences.  I enjoyed being on the air every week, but I really wanted to play music.  I was working full-time and attending FDU at night, so I needed a hard-to- come-by weekend shift.  When Larry Hopper gave up the Down Home Frolic in 1995, I was offered his slot and began the Carnival of Song

Music was always part of my life.  I grew up listening to my Mom's Frank Sinatra and country-western records and quickly grew into my own sounds.  Looking back on it, I was really a product of my times.  "Brandy" by Looking Glass was the first single I ever wanted.  I had all the Partridge Family albums and watched the show religiously.

After a short detour to Tony DeFranco and the DeFranco family(!), I was on my way to Elton John, whose Greatest Hits album (the first one; there's been a ton since then) was the first record I ever bought with my own money.  Eventually, I discovered the confessional songs of  Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell and fell in love with their lyrics, which inspired me to begin writing poems.  After I graduated high school, I worked in New Jersey record stores for years (Crazy Eddie, where I toiled behind the cassette counter with fellow WFDU DJ Jim Riecken, and Sam Goody, where I went through a metal phase -- big hair and all!). During that time, thanks to my co-workers, friends, and customers, I was exposed to and developed an appreciation for all types of music, including Richard Thompson and Leonard Cohen, 2 staples of the Carnival of Song.

My love of a good lyric is what continues to stop me in my tracks wherever I am, whatever I'm doing.  I was driving the first time I heard Counting Crow's"Mr. Jones", and when Adam Duritz sang, "I felt so symbolic yesterday" I literally pulled over on the side of the road to listen.  I still recall the day at the radio station I happened upon an album called Bloomed in our Alternative/New Music library, thought it looked interesting and put it on to hear, "I saw you as the answer to the years of blue and wonder."  Right then, I knew that Richard Buckner would be one of one of the most important and beloved musicians that I would ever hear.  Most recently (as of this writing), Cory Branan enchanted me with "Crackerjack Heart" from his wonderful album The Hell You SayEven after nearly 9 years of doing the radio show, every week I'm still excited to check out the new releases that come in and to talk music with my fellow DJs, my guests, and my listeners.

It was a long time coming (a total of 11 years and 2 tattoos -- a sun and moon on one ankle and a carousel around the other, just in case you were wondering), but I graduated from FDU in May of 2001 with a BA in English/Writing and a minor in Communications.  Luckily, you don't have to be a current student to have a show at WFDU.  This is a volunteer gig (truly a labor of love); my "real" job is with a music consulting firm in NJ. I hope to one day get an MFA in poetry and to continue sharing the songs that mean so much to me with the Carnival of Song.


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