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Saturday, September 15, 2012

He and the night and the music

Our favorite radio host, Jonathan Schwartz, returns to a once familiar place this evening, as his Saturday music and talk show shifts from a noon start to an 8 p.m. start, New York time. Schwartz, whose musical palate is full of the rich American songbook of the '40s and '50s (especially as delivered by Frank Sinatra), also plays rock recordings from the '60s and the '70s, along with Bob and Ray, famous baseball moments, and anything else that pops into his head as he drives downtown. Interspersed with the songs are his own marvelous stories about the music, its composers, and its performers -- many of them from his personal experience as the son of the Broadway composer Arthur Schwartz.

Night radio is not new to Jonathan Schwartz, who has been on the air for more than 50 years. He first came to our attention in the late '60s, when he was a disc jockey on the cutting-edge "free form" New York rock station WNEW-FM. At that time his program ran from 6 to 10 p.m., New York time, and he began each show with the salutation "Welcome to the evening." He will now be back in the second half of his old slot, and run all the way to midnight.

For those of us on the West Coast who stream Schwartz's show on wnyc.org or iTunes, the new time will place it in the cocktail and dinner hours, which should work out fine. We can sleep in on Saturday and not miss anything. And we're confident that it will be the same great material to which we have become accustomed since we learned of its internet stream many years ago. We enjoy something new with each weekly show of his that we catch.

But we fret a little about the time switch because Schwartz, who is 74 years old, also does the show on Sunday afternoon, New York time. (That one is on New York and satellite radio only, not streamed for free.) He'll be out of the studio at midnight and back in it at noon. That's a grueling schedule for anybody.

In any event, welcome back to the evening, Mr. Schwartz. Best wishes to you in your new hours.

UPDATE, 6:40 p.m.: It appears that the show is being recorded in the afternoon for evening playback. Easier on Schwartz, but losing the live feel, which for his show was a real asset. He's alluded to being able to listen to the live stream during the recording. We'd definitely be interested in that.

Comments (6)

Sorry, Jonathan's age is showing. We've tried enduring him on Sirius/XM; love most of the music, but the talk . . . And too bad we don't have music like that on local radio. But, local terrestrial radio is dead isn't it?

You'll miss him when he's gone.

Your right, of course. He is the last of the radio jocks who "know" the music and the artists. KInda like the late Al "Jazzbeau" Collins
but much more mellow.

Unfortunately WNYC.org is having legal problems streaming Schwartz. What they're saying today on the 'listen now' link: "Due to licensing restrictions from Sirius XM Radio, we are unable to provide live streaming audio of the Jonathan Schwartz Sunday Show. Instead we offer an encore Jonathan Schwartz program from the WNYC archives." Too bad.

(Note that I can't find a link to his shows on itunes - possibly that's the place to go for more Schwartz, but I can't find it.)

The Sunday show has never been streamed live on the internet. It's been available only on Sirius (previously XM) and broadcast in New York. The Saturday show, however, is available on wnyc.org, and on iTunes. If you go to iTunes, Radio, News and talk, you'll see WNYC-FM. Saturdays 8 p.m. to midnight New York time, that will be Schwartz. But alas, not live Schwartz. Recorded eight hours earlier.

Portland, holla! You can tune in the live stream at noon on Saturday. Find the red link marked "SPECIAL" between the links to the other WNYC outlets. Then click LISTEN NOW and you're in.

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