Hot Air: Speaking Of…

More, Ma’am?

I’ll admit it: I’m uncomfortable putting the bite on people for money so this’ll be a lot harder than it looks.

It’s fall fund drive time at WFHB. Sure, there are gazillions of people, organizations, and causes hoping you’ll unbelt for them. There are relief efforts for Puerto Rico and Houston and Northern California (which is burning up before our very eyes) and political candidates who beg you daily for your hard-earned cash.

Honestly, I ignore 99.9 percent of the touches I get. I’ll bet you do too. But if I can persuade just one or two of you to throw a little coin at this town’s community radio station, then you and I will have accomplished something.

Here are just a few thing your hard-earned dough will pay for should you decide to reach for your wallet:

And then there are all our fabulous DJs like Dancing Don, Carolyn VandeWeile, Charlotte Wager Miller, Cindy Beaulé, Mark Richardson, Roscoe Medlock, Scott Weddle, Jason Fickel and too many more for me to list here.

Here’s how you can pitch a few coins at one of Bloomington’s cultural treasures — simply click on the image below and then click on the big red Donate Now button on WFHB’s home page. Simple.

Big Talk This Week

Jar Turner

Speaking of fund drive time, my guest on Big Talk this week will be WFHB General Manager Jar Turner.

Tune in to 91.3 FM Thursday afternoon for the 5:00pm Daily Local News when Jar and I gab about what makes the little-radio-station-that-can go.

Sam’s Book Club

Bloomington émigré Sam Stephenson, himself a Big Talk alumnus, learned a little something about the book distribution racket this week.

His latest, Gene Smith’s Sink, is a follow-up to his terrific The Jazz Loft Project. Both tomes deal with the second half of the renowned photojournalist Gene Smith‘s career, during which Smith chucked his family and all his worldly goods and moved into a dingy New York City loft. Fortunately for him, a brilliant gang of mid-century jazz musicians hung out in an adjoining loft and Smith audio recorded and photographed the likes of Thelonius Monk, Zoot Sims, Chick Corea, Roland Kirk, and many others, creating a precious and invaluable archive of sights and sounds.


Stephenson’s Sink has only been on the shelf for a couple of months when, the other day, he — like any author — checked Amazon for his sales numbers. Lo and behold, he found that Amazon was hawking the book for a mere six bucks. Those of us in the know would interpret that as Amazon saying This damned thing ain’t movin’ so we’re “remaindering” it. Sam was crushed. The word Fuck! sprang from his lips once, twice, maybe a few dozen times.

After a little digging, Sam found that Amazon’s got a scheme wherein it slashes the prices of selected books for a few hours at a time so as to cut off at the knees other third-party dealers like Abe Books and Barnes & Noble.

The word Phew! then issued from Sam’s pan two, maybe three dozen times.

The lesson for all you readers and jazz aficionados? Keep monitoring Amazon for the next time the online peddler cuts the price on your fave book.


Speaking of Big Talk alumni, check out South Bend mayor Pete Buttigeig‘s spanking new Hitting Home PAC.


Buttigieg, who appeared on Big Talk this past summer, is a rising star in the Democratic firmament. He ran a spirited campaign last winter for national party chair and has earned notices as a potential candidate for the 2020 presidential nomination.

“Hitting Home,” Buttigieg says, “will mobilize resources to elect progressive candidates, at every level and in communities both red and blue. We will support candidates who focus on showing voters what we are for — not just what we are against — and understand how to do so in terms of our everyday lives.”

BTW, Buttigieg, a member of the US Naval Reserve and veteran of the Afghanistan War, has characterized our sitting president as a “draft-dodging chickenhawk.”

You’ve gotta love a plain-speaker like that.

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