Sun Ra Day on WKCR-FM NYC May 22
- 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@...>
Subject: 'SUN RADIO OMNIVERSITY' - SUN RA ARRIVAL DAY CELEBRATION
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
'SUN RADIO OMNIVERSITY' - SUN RA ARRIVAL DAY CELEBRATION
32-HOUR RADIO MARATHON
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
WKCR SUN RA ARRIVAL DAY CELEBRATION: PRELIMINARY SCHEDULE May 22nd, 2006
- 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
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.
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) 975-5963 [fax]