John Kessler

All Blues Host

John has worked as a professional bassist for 20 years, including a 15 year stint as Musical Director of the Mountain Stage radio program. John has been at KPLU since 1999 where he hosts “All Blues”, is producer of the BirdNote radio program, and co-hosts “Record Bin Roulette”. John is also the recording engineer for KPLU “In-Studio Performances”. Not surprisingly, John's main musical interests are jazz and blues, and he is still performing around Seattle.

His most memorable and satisfying KPLU radio moment was getting an email from Jimmy Lane, a bluesman and the son of blues legend Jimmy Rogers, who said something like “You’re playing the good stuff, keep it up!”

Ways To Connect

“Blues in the Night” first was heard in the 1941 movie “Hot Nocturne."

Written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, it’s considered to be a landmark in American popular music because it was one of the first times that rural black dialect and an explicitly bluesy melody was used in a popular song.

wikimedia

Things are so bad, a picture is now only worth 200 words. People are using the sun to get a tan. Everyone is downsizing — CEOs are even playing miniature golf.

Recession has us in depression, and we are certainly not going to let a good crisis go to waste, hence this week’s episode on songs about hard times ...

For the first "Blues Time Machine," I’ve chosen “Rollin’ and Tumblin’," a song that goes through some major changes on it’s way to the 21st century.

The story of "Rollin' and Tumblin'" also shows us that although the sound may evolve through time, the song remains true to the original.

quicheisinsane / Flickr

This week RBR takes a look at the money train of the music industry and the mysterious world of song royalties.

This one sounds like an urban myth, but it’s true: Michael Jackson really did acquire the rights to most of the Beatles songs. It’s a strange and sordid tale, but it’s hard to feel too sorry for people who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars …

Dunechaser / Flickr

This we talk about the weather, but as usual, don't do anything about it ... except offer some favorite sayings for your amusement, starting with the classic, definitive bad opening line of all time:

It was a dark and stormy night.
– Edward Bulwer-Lytton

Chuckumentary / Flickr

Political figures have frequently used pop music for an image boost. Bill Clinton played Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow,” and President Obama used the Allen Toussaint song “Yes We Can Can” to great effect.

But the musicians aren’t always so keen on the idea ...

Moff / Flickr

Until about 120 years ago, if there was music, an actual person was playing it. There weren’t rock stars and music heroes, because there weren't machines to reproduce music and radios to broadcast it.

But technology has not only changed music, it's also changed our relationship to it ... not always for the better of the music.

Klearchos Kapoutsis / Flickr

Believed to be an evil time "when the seas boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad, and all creatures became languid," summer was also considered to cause "fevers, hysterics and frenzies." But, there are  some redeeming values, including beer and bikinis.

Actually neither of us drink beer or wear bikinis, but that was the first thing to come to our mind(s).

e-strategyblog.com / Flickr

One small step for man ... and one giant leap of believability. As many as 25% of us Earthlings think the moon landings were a big fake, staged by Stanley Kubrick on a Hollywood sound stage.

Camera Slayer / Flickr

For the Fourth of July, we cover our Top Ten Patriotic Songs of All Time, ever, at least 'til next year. And it’s amazing what you can find when you dare to look beneath the surface…

For a grab bag of irony, it’s hard to top “God Bless America."

ChrisM70 / Flickr

We have nothing against school. Between the two of us we have 27 years of schooling and 3 ½ degrees. But now that school’s out, it’s time to cut loose with some of our favorite apophthegms…Look it up…

kevindooley / Flickr

For Father's Day we put together an episode of Good Dads and Bad Dads...you be the judge.

Here are some ponderables for Dad's Day...

yle.fi/pop / Flickr

This week it’s stories about artists with diseases, disabilities and injuries who have had great success in the music biz. From Beethoven to Def Leppard with stops in between at Django Reinhardt and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

Monceau / Flickr

It’s springtime and thoughts are turning to…infidelity!

With countless celebrity role models, cheating is more popular than ever--up to 60% of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe.

Men can’t help it. Most men think monogamy is something you make tables out of.

Here’s what other people are saying…

Memorial Day

May 26, 2011
Steve took it / Flickr

This week’s show takes us from Gomer Pyle to Puffed Wheat cereal in the space of 3 minutes, and it’s a twisted road between the two. In between we hear from The Andrews Sisters,  Enrico Caruso and General George Patton.
Here are some interesting tidbits we found: 

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