For the past five years, Rockford’s new community radio station WTPB-LP 99.3 FM has been playing music by local jazz bands and singers. Each day, the station features the Mike Williamson Show aired twice, plus selections by the area’s finest musicians. The station is operated by Third Presbyterian Church.
In the past, we have played excerpts of performances by many talented area people recorded at the Waterfront, the Stockholm Inn and the Mendelssohn Club. Tunes by Val Eddy, Mike Alongi, Bruce Warden, Jack Farina, Harold Smith, Jack Brand, Bill Doll, Guy Fiorenza, Matt Spinello, Ken Stein, Dorothy Paige-Turner, and the Moonlight Jazz Orchestra are played often on the air. The station has also interviewed many area performers who have left us in recent years like Johnny Porrozzo, Tony Principali, Pete Quinto, and Ken Flodin of the Bill Engberg Orchestra as well as many others.
During the holiday season, the station interviewed Rockford singers Jodi Beach and Kathy Schweiger and played music from their new albums. WTPB-LP also interviewed members of the Little Big Band directed by former Glenn Miller Orchestra trombone player Cary Sheley and covered their local CD release party.
No other Rockford radio stations are playing music by these fine musicians, who are trying to keep quality entertainment available in our community.
Each year, I have been told by the RAMI people that no one nominated the station, or our letter was too late, etc. Now the balloting has just begun. I hope that RAMI and the public will finally recognize who is doing all the work in promoting good music in this community. It’s WTPB-LP 99.3 FM, a volunteer, nonprofit community radio station. It’s time to give credit where credit is overdue.
John Russell Ghrist