On March 31, 1998, KCRW General Manager Ruth Seymour telephoned me to inform me that the station will no longer carry my roots and traditional music program "Gumbo" on the air.
Gumbo's broadcast version has been cancelled by KCRW.
However, in a quite unusual move and one that's very much appreciated, I was allowed to do one final farewell program for my audience. I hope to digitize it and have it up here sometime soon; in the meantime, please have a look at the farewell show's playlist.
On April 20, 1998, I got a call from KCRW approving my request to produce "Gumbo" for virtual Internet radio, in RealAudio format, beginning in May. Thanks to Ruth Seymour and Josh Berman for making this work! The program will resume in mid-May ... stay tuned!
To get onto my radio program mailing list, which will consist of periodic mailings about the future of the program, plus great records and gigs in town that I think you should know about, send me some email! Put "Please add me to your radio mailing list" in the subject line.
"Gumbo" is a weekly program of roots and traditional music, with a heavy emphasis on the music of New Orleans, of the rest of Louisiana, of Ireland and the other Celtic lands. Its most recent incarnation (formerly entitled "Global Gumbo") aired on KCRW 89.9 FM in Santa Monica, California from June 1991 to April 1998, with a wee hiatus from mid-December 1993 to mid-March 1994. Previously, I produced and hosted a one-hour Cajun/zydeco/New Orleans program called "Gumbo Ya-Ya" from May 1988 to June 1991.
On "Gumbo", you'll hear roots and traditional music from around the world, especially Cajun, zydeco, and New Orleans music; folk, traditional and "world" music of myriad styles and genres, old-time and traditional American music, blues, African, Latin, Irish, Scottish, other Celtic music, Tex-Mex, real country, and insurgent/alternative country and country/rock, bluegrass, anything else I may happen to like, and whatever else happens to tickle my fancy.
So what's this program all about?
[Shameless chest-puffing: "Gumbo" was listed regularly in the "Radio Picks" column of the L. A. Weekly, which describes the program as "a lip-smacking spicy cauldron of Cajun, zydeco, Celtic and roots music."]
And please browse through my playlists, current and past. If you're inspired to run out and buy a record because of them, I'll have done my good deed for the day.
Artists who've performed live on "Gumbo" include the Balafón Marimba Ensemble, Battlefield Band, Beausoleil, Black 47, Brave Old World, Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick, Boozoo Chavis, Cordelia's Dad, John Delafose & the Eunice Playboys, The Iguanas, The Jayhawks, Kitchens of Distinction (in an extremely rare acoustic performance), Lillis Ó Laoire, Maldita Vecindad, D. L. Menard, Peter Ostroushko and Dean Magraw, Archie Roach, The Savoy-Doucet Cajun Band, Terrance Simien & the Mallet Playboys, Chris Smither, Matthew Sweet, Värttinä, and more.
"Gumbo" Live Performances
Well, as you can see, I'm having a difficult time getting up off my lazy butt and typing up annotated playlists. I'd like to start gradually putting up some of my old playlists from past shows, if for no other reason than to turn you on to some great music -- we'll see if I can manage! Now that I'm on hiatus from doing the show, it'll be a nice lil' project to help keep my hand from becoming idle.
In the meantime, if you have the Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can see my playlists in KCRW's playlist archives; just click on the date. Remember, I'm in the Sunday batch. Hardcores can also peruse the file listing of my old playlists, whichever ones are still there.
Special thanks to my good friend, loyal and intrepid in-studio assistant Michael Yasui, who worked on the show with me for many years, and thanks as well to Sean Allen, who assisted on the show during its god-awful midnight to 3:00am time slot.
Thanks and Dedications
In memory of Canray Fontenot, Creole fiddler, singer, songwriter, and the man who had the brightest smile in the world, who passed away in Welsh, Louisiana, on July 29, 1995, at age 72; and John Delafose, zydeco musician, accordionist and singer, who passed away near Opelousas, Louisiana, on September 18, 1994 at age 55.
In ómós do Frankie Kennedy, ceoltóir agus múinteoir, a fuair bas 19 Mean Fómhair 1994, aois 38 bliain. Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam.
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Chuck Taggart (e-mail chuck)