Remembering Chris Peterson

This week we remember Chris Peterson, one of our brilliant DJ's who passed away in July of 2016. Peterson was a community advisor at WCBN and an English teacher at Skyline High School. He was known for his commitment to bringing world music to Ann Arbor and broadening our listenership's musical horizons. Most notably, he hosted the Latin Hour and the Pan African Heartbeat, as well as occasional freeform from 3 to 6am. We've compiled an archive containing several of his shows. Chris and his contributions to the station are deeply missed.

Please take a minute to listen to any of the audio clips he wanted to share with you.


July 28: Interview with Bob McAllen

We are excited to announce that on July 28 at 10AM on our show Right on Radio, DJ Rodney Pate will be airing his interview of Bob McAllen. McAllen recorded a now-obscure 500 pressed folk rock album out of the Lansing area in 1967, with a failed release in 1971. He then vanished, and was presumed dead for nearly 40 years. This is the first time he has ever been contacted and has spoken about the album and his music. Some collectors consider this album a lost folk rock masterpiece, with delightful fingerpicked guitar and tenor voice drenched in reverb. The introspective song writing ranges from deep subjects like the Vietnam war to light love songs about his pet cat, making an album with a dream-like vibe. We hope you can tune in!

World Tour 1st Stop: Mali

Listen along to the styles you’re reading about on our Spotify playlist! (Or on our SoundCloud, depending on song availability)

By Tarek Tiba

Every Monday at WCBN, a group of around 5 people sit in the lobby and listen to snippets of new albums that we’ve received in the last week. My first time sitting in as an intern, specifically a music review intern, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I sat down, Paul the music director here at WCBN walked out from his office with a bunch of CDs, sat down with a CD player at the table and just started going through albums, saying the name of the artist, playing maybe 20 seconds of a song and then moving on to the next one. At the end, we all pick and choose from a pile of albums that has accumulated on the ground. It is through this I was introduced to the band Tamikrest.

Tamikrest is a band originating from the northeastern region of Mali, specifically from the city of Kidal. The members of the band belong to the Tuareg ethnic group, who inhabit a large area of land in Sub-Saharan Africa. The Tuareg people have long faced many hardships, starting with French colonization in the late 19th century to famine in the later years of the 20th century, as well as revolutions and intrusion from outside terrorist groups. In the face of all of these struggles, many Tuareg people have turned to music to spread their message and make aware the difficulties that their people have to face. Ousmane Ag Mossa, one of the founding members of the band, took inspiration from another Tuareg group; Tinariwen. Ag Mossa has said that it was Tinariwen who blazed the path for other Tuareg musicians, and that it is the responsibility of the younger generations to follow along that path. To hear the blues driven sound of these musicians, listen to Erres Hin Atouan by Tamikrest or Imidiwan Win Sahara by Tinariwen.

Listening to this band for the first time, hearing the blues inspired guitar mixed with traditional rhythms and the language of the Tuareg, Tamashek, which Ag Mossa sings in, made me aware of a whole new world of music that I had previously not known of. It also gave me the idea for a musical world tour. An exploration of music from different countries around the world, to be compiled onto a playlist for others to enjoy, and what better place to start than Mali.

Mali is a country rich in history and culture, and the music of Mali represents a manifestation of the cross between traditions of the past and new trends of the present. Almost all the artists on the playlist showcase traditional Malian instruments, and some of them, such as Toumani Diabaté and Ballaké Sissoko, have gained worldwide recognition for their solo work. Both artists play the Kora, an instrument similar to the harp in nature. To hear the beauty of the Kora, played by true masters of the instrument, listen to Si Naani by Toumani Diabaté or Maimouna by Ballaké Sissoko. Malian percussion instruments are also heavily featured on many of the songs, such as the balafon, a type of African marimba, and the calabash, a hollowed-out gourd. Mali has also produced many talented guitarists, such as grammy award winning blues guitarist Ali Farka Touré, and Boubacar Traoré, who first gained fame in Mali shortly after the country’s independence from France in 1960, earning the nickname of the “Malian Elvis Presley.” To hear the magnificent guitar playing of two Malian greats, listen to Ruby by Ali Farka Touré and Toumani Diabaté or Djonkana by Boubacar Traoré.

The playlist features many of the artists talked about above and some more. Most of the songs were found off of albums that were here at WCBN. This playlist should be seen as a glimpse into the music of Mali, and a stepping stone for further exploration, should you find something that piques your interest. Two versions can be found on our WCBN Spotify and Soundcloud accounts.


Hear The Straight Dope about The Mothers of Invention

Tune in tonight (May 22 2017) for Frank Uhle's presentation of a Frank Zappa interview from 1967.

Frank says:

In November 1967 WCBN DJ Joe Doll interviewed Frank Zappa for his pioneering Ann Arbor psychedelic-themed radio show "Strobe." All these years later he has found the tape of the 30-minute interview, and I am going to re-air it at 11pm this Monday, 5/22! It's a fascinating, slightly-contentious chat, which was taped at a Detroit head shop for added atmosphere.

The interview will be the centerpiece of a one-hour re-creation of "Strobe," using other vintage WCBN tapes Joe saved including amazing carts and commercials, a readback of campus events, and of course some early Mothers of Invention music.

Tune in Monday May 22 at 11pm at 88.3 FM or to catch the extraordinary conversation between Joe Doll, fellow CBN'er Dave Pierce, and Frank Zappa, along with an atmospheric re-creation of WCBN 50 years ago.

Frank Uhle
Radio Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa

WCBN Presents: Water Hill Music Fest After Party

Join us on May 7th at 6pm for the Water Hill Music Festival After Party hosted by the Ann Arbor Distilling Company. Don't miss out on a chance to meet a stellar lineup of local musicians including Danny Kroha, The Wiccans, and The Royal Sweets.

Prison Reform Round Table

WCBN explores the flaws in our justice system pertaining to racial bias, women's rights and rights for prisoners after facing incarceration. Speakers include those from University of Michigan Prison Creative Arts Project (PCAP) and other students involved in making a difference in our justice system.

Внимание! Важное объявление!

Доброе утро, товарищи. Исполняющий работу день ожидает тех, кто наполнит их ночь сном. Все для одной страны для всех. Продолжайте следить за программами этой радиостанции. Они будут информировать вас о происходящих событиях.

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