The only drawback to my all-time favorite radio show, Riverwalk Jazz, was that I had to wait until Saturday mornings to listen.
Thanks to Stanford University’s Archive of Recorded Sound, twenty five years of this exalted show—over 350 radio shows, over 4,000 song performances—are now available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week on your computer.
Bookmark this address: riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu.
Presented on two channels, the music never stops. Allow me to quote from the superb website of these continually streaming shows: “Singular musical arrangements, created by band members, including leader Jim Cullum Jr. and pianist John Sheridan, enhance the classical forms of jazz the Band embraces. Co-host David Holt interviews guests and presents scene-setting narratives embedded with historical recordings and rare archival interviews.”
As I type, I’m listening to a fascinating show about the trumpet in jazz, including live recordings of Clark Terry and Harry "Sweets" Edison playing with the Jim Cullum Band. Wait a second. Now David Holt is introducing me to a Bobby Hackett recording from the early 1940s that I’ve never heard—and I thought I’d heard them all!
Currently the listener is not able to access the 350 shows at will. “Due to copyright restrictions, we are unable to provide a jukebox-style program where the user selects individual radio shows,” says the website. I find this no problem at all. With the Jim Cullum Band, you can’t go wrong. “It’s like a box of chocolates. Drop in and discover what’s on the air.”
Shows are organized, in groups of three, around a theme such as: Harlem Renaissance; New Orleans; Paris in the 30s; Birth of Swing; Blues Queens; Tunesmiths; Jazz and Civil Rights. Like I said, you can’t go wrong.
Over the past quarter century, the number of jazz greats who have appeared on the show is stunning: Howard Alden; Harry Allen; Dan Barrett; Benny Carter; Doc Cheatham; Kenny Davern; Harry "Sweets" Edison; Bob Haggart; Lionel Hampton; Milt Hinton; Peanuts Hucko; Yank Lawson; Susannah McCorkle; New Black Eagle Jazz Band; Nicholas Payton; Ken Peplowski; Clark Terry; Warren Vaché, and dozens of others. These artists are now available to play for you at the touch of a mouse.
The trumpet show over, I’m now listening to a show on the trombone in jazz. Jack Teagarden is playing “Stars Fell on Alabama.” It’s beyond beautiful.
Remember, folks: riverwalkjazz.stanford.edu, Precious music and historical context, now available 24/7 for free.
Is this a great country or what?