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Sun Ra Day on WKCR-FM NYC May 22

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  • Amos J Wright
    As some of you may know, Birmingham native Harold Poole Blount became better known to the music world as jazz musician Sun Ra. In honor of his birthday--or, as
    Message 1 of 1 , May 9, 2006
      As some of you may know, Birmingham native Harold Poole Blount
      became better known to the music world as jazz musician Sun Ra. In honor
      of his birthday--or, as Sun Ra contended, his
      arrival-on-Earth-from-Saturn day--on May 22, New York City radio station
      WKCR-FM is presenting a 32-hour Sun Ra festival. The station, affiliated
      with Columbia University, is at http://www.wkcr.org/ and online
      streaming is available in RealAudio or MP3 format. Details of the
      broadcast are below.

      Born in 1914, Sun Ra died--or departed--in 1993 and is buried in
      Birmingham's Elmwood Cemetery. More about Sun Ra is at Joe Moudry's
      Saturn Web http://www.dpo.uab.edu/~moudry/ , Sun Ra's Wikipedia entry at
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Ra and the biography _Space Is the
      Place: The Lives and Times of Sun Ra_ by John F. Szwed. The Sun Ra
      Arkestra continues to tour the world, playing his music.

      Date: Sun, 7 May 2006 20:16:53 -0700
      From: Stephen Antonelli <theant99@...>

      Folks - Do not miss this special event. On behalf of Charles Blass, I am
      posting this message to the Saturn List.

      For Immediate Release: May 5, 2006

      Jordan Paul - Director of Publicity, WKCR - jtp2104@... /
      212.854.9920 Charles Blass - Festival Producer - lovolution@... /

      Sun Ra Institute and WKCR-FM NYC present


      MONDAY, MAY 22nd at midnight to TUESDAY, MAY 23rd, 8:20 AM
      89.9 FM NYC & WWW.WKCR.ORG streaming live across the galaxies

      The Sun Ra Institute and WKCR-FM are proud to announce the Sun Ra
      Arrival Day Celebration, a 32-hour radio marathon featuring work of the
      innovative and iconoclastic composer, bandleader, and keyboardist Sun
      Ra. Each segment of the festival will focus on a specific feature of
      Ra's musical legacy: Standards and Ballads, The Swing Tradition, Solo
      Piano and Poetry, Late 1950's and Early Rarities, Tone Science, Singers,
      and more. The Arrival Day Celebration will include exclusive recordings
      from WKCR's archives as well as live special guest interviews with
      Marshall Allen, Director of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and Arkestra members of
      the past, present and future.

      Born Herman Poole Blount in Birmingham, Alabama on May 22, 1914, he was
      nicknamed Sonny from his youth. He later abandoned his birth name and
      took on the name and persona of Sun Ra ("Ra" being the name of the
      ancient Egyptian god of the Sun). He did not consider himself "born";
      rather, he "arrived" on the planet, entering via Birmingham.
      From the '50's to the '90's Sun Ra led a large ensemble with a fluid
      lineup under a variety of names: The Solar Myth Arkestra, The
      Intergalactic Space Research Arkestra, and many others. Sun Ra departed
      on Memorial Day - May 30, 1993.

      Sun Ra's prolific achievements on Planet Earth have been widely
      acclaimed and recorded in documentaries, books, and a feature film
      titled "Space is The Place". He founded his record label, El Saturn
      Records, in the 1950s, and proceeded to unleash nearly 200 fiercely
      individualistic and extremely diverse albums on an unsuspecting and
      largely unprepared public. He also recorded for a handful of major
      labels, and he attained widespread notoriety from his legendary
      concerts, radio, and television appearances. His interstellar musical,
      poetic, linguistic, and spiritual explorations are unparalleled in the
      history of modern music and culture.

      With The Arkestra, Sun Ra gave astonishing performances around the world
      for decades. He was always accompanied by stellar musicians in fantastic
      costumes, and a joyful atmosphere of mischievous space camaraderie was
      ever present. His music is most often regarded as 'Jazz', though it
      spans the full spectrum from Swing to Space, with ballads, show tunes,
      hard- and post-bop, exoticism, funk, energy music, and electronic

      - 89.9 FM NYC & WWW.WKCR.ORG

      12-5 AM Sun Ra Potpourri
      The broadcast will begin with a variety of great Sun Ra sounds to warm
      up this event.

      5-8 AM Sun Ra Plays Standards and Ballads
      The Daybreak Express show will feature Sun Ra's performances of
      standards, ballads, and show tunes.

      8-9:30 AM The Swing Tradition
      The Bird Flight slot will be an extension of the previous show, but
      this time focusing on the compositions of Jelly Roll Morton, Duke
      Ellington, Fletcher Henderson, and others. Little known facts:
      Fletcher himself once gave up his own piano chair to Sun Ra. Sun Ra
      wrote charts that Coleman Hawkins had difficulty playing. Monk was
      impressed, too.

      9:30 AM-Noon Solo Piano and Poetry
      Our morning Classical show will present Sun Ra's solo piano recordings,
      including an exclusive performance at WKCR in July 1977.
      This segment will also incorporate Sun Ra's extensive poetic works.

      Noon-5PM Omniversity: Late 1950's and Early Rarities
      Phil Schaap will shine the spotlight on Sun Ra's elemental work from
      the later 1950's. Following this segment, we will shift into a survey of
      the very earliest recordings of Sun Ra, arranging for singers and
      performing as a sideman. Phil will be joined by a panel of scholars and
      band members, presenting the rarest of Sun Ra sides.

      5-8 PM Tone Science
      The synthesizer and abstract works of Sun Ra. Tune in for some of the
      most adventurous recordings of Sun Ra's career. This segment will
      include both solo synthesizer performances as well as those with an

      8 PM-1 AM From the Ark
      The evening segment is expected to be the highlight of the marathon.
      We will play live recordings and interviews, with visits from special
      guests and a focus on materials from WKCR's own "Arkives", as well as a
      collection gathered by The Sun Ra Institute. We will take some time to
      honor the current living-and-breathing Sun Ra Arkestra, under the
      masterful direction of Marshall Allen, and celebrate Marshall's 82nd
      birthday a few days early. Stay tuned for extra features in the works,
      including remote broadcast from the Sun Ra House in Philadelphia.

      1-2 AM The Singers
      This hour will give a closer look at Sun Ra's work with vocalists,
      including his R&B and Doo-wop efforts.

      2-5 AM Overnight Sun Ra
      5-8:20 AM Daybreak Sun Ra
      Sun Ra will again be the focus of Transfigured Night and Daybreak
      Express. Here is another chance Travel the Spaceways with Sun Ra and The

      "Life Is Splendid"

      *** Dedicated to the preservation of Sun Ra's legacy ***

      A.J. Wright, M.L.S.
      Associate Professor
      Director, Section on the History of Anesthesia

      Department of Anesthesiology Library
      University of Alabama at Birmingham
      619 19th Street South, JT965
      Birmingham AL 35249-6810

      (205) 975-0158
      (205) 975-5963 [fax]

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