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!”

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Record Bin Roulette
12:04 am
Thu October 18, 2012

Giving Pop Music "The Business"

Radio with moving pictures, a miracle! Heres the new video version of Record Bin Roulette!

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Taming the Forces of Nature with Music

This is how radio looks, the new video version of Record Bin Roulette! 

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu October 4, 2012

A Tip of the Hat to these Songs About Hats

This is how Record Bin Roulette LOOKS in VIDEO !

This week the Record Bin Roulette Wheel randomly stopped on the category “Hats”. We rarely question The Wheel’s judgment, but we must admit we were a little worried The Wheel might be spinning eccentrically.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu September 20, 2012

Winning Elections With Music

Paul Ryan's favorite band?

Here's the sparkling new VIDEO version of Record Bin Roulette:

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Singin' about the country life

Here's the shiny video version of Record Bin Roulette:

Although 8 out of 10 Americans live in cities, we still idealize a life in the country, and there are plenty of songs to prove it. And if you are considering a move to the boonies, there is actually free land available. The only catch is you’d have to live in Plainville, Kansas.

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Jazz & Blues
11:30 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Heavy Metal from the Delta - "When The Levee Breaks"

The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 was a disaster that reshaped the South. With flooding in 10 states, the river below Memphis reached 60 miles across in some places. Not only was farmland swallowed up, but many poor blacks were forced to work rebuilding levees. With no crop that year, many headed north in what was part of a large migration to urban centers.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu September 6, 2012

A Sugar Rush of Pop Songs

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's the new video version of Record Bin Roulette!

There is a lot of disagreement about whether a “sugar rush” exists, but these studies have obviously been conducted by scientists without young children. But there is agreement that anything this good must be bad for you.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu August 30, 2012

Work songs for Labor Day

Hey! It's the shiny new video version of Record Bin Roulette! Check it out!

It's a shame that the only thing a person can do for eight hours a day is work. Can't eat for eight hours; can't drink for eight hours; can't make love for eight hours. The only thing a person can do for eight hours is work.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu August 23, 2012

Product placement in Pop Songs

Smells Like a Hit Song

Companies like Coca Cola spend billions of dollars on advertising each year, much of it for product placement in movies, TV and books. But sometimes it happens the other way around—products find themselves written into pop songs. From Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome” to Janis Joplin’s “Mercedes Benz”, brand names have inspired some big hits…and the advertising is free.

Here’s the spiffy new video version of Record Bin Roulette:

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu August 16, 2012

Singing the praises of the 1 percent

We could shock you with startling statistics about how the richest 1 percent own about 50 percent of the wealth, and how it’s been getting worse for the rest of us for a few decades now. But that’s depressing! And we’d much rather watch cartoons.

Like this 1933 Merrie Melodies gem “We’re in the Money”:

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu August 9, 2012

A Nice Hawaiian Punch of Songs

Watch the episode in glorious video here:

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Blues Time Machine
5:00 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Tracking the 'Big Road Blues' and a soul sold at the crossroads

The only known image of Tommy Johnson

Tommy Johnson’s songs may not be very well known, but he was a hugely influential blues player and also may be the source of one of the most enduring legends of the blues – the Devil and the Crossroads.

While this legend is sometimes associated with Robert Johnson (no relation), it was Tommy Johnson who first cultivated a story about himself that he met the devil at a crossroads, and sold his soul in exchange for his musical ability.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu August 2, 2012

Dialing up our favorite telephone songs

 Somehow we got along fine before there were cell phones. You couldn’t call as your plane was taxiing to the gate, couldn’t call for help when the car broke down, and couldn’t call ahead when visiting friends. We were often late, had to ask strangers for help, and dropped in on folks without warning. It was kinda nice, actually.

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu July 26, 2012

It’s all about me - songs that brag and boast

Hey kids! It’s the latest thing…radio with pictures! Now Record Bin Roulette has visuals to accompany the sound! Thanks to our intrepid intern Katy, who came up with this new way to enjoy the show. Check it out!

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Record Bin Roulette
4:30 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Monkeying around with pop songs

We actually have a lot in common with Monkeys, Chimpanzees and Apes. Seems we share 96 percent of the same DNA. But it also turns out that we share 50% of the same DNA as a banana, which actually may explain why we all like them so much.

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