Thank You For 25 Years... And Counting

by Brazil Club - Let The Music Take You There on 04/05/2017 - 03:25 pm

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Thank You For 25 Years... And Counting

The Sounds of Brazil made its broadcast debut on 90.9 FM WDCB exactly 25 years ago today. We'll celebrate by recreating that very first playlist in the exact order it was presented on April 5th, 1992.

The time was right. Many of today's established Brazilian jazz stars were just starting out with their careers, and several had already been signed to Verve Records by virtue of their years at Berklee School of music in Boston. Sometimes I still wonder if there was 'cap and gown' moment for Leo Gandelman, Toninho Horta, Claudio Roditi and Ricardo Silveira. What a picture that would be!

On the radio side Jazz was in full bloom, riding on a pop trend started in the 70's which gave rise to the careers of the new jazz generation, like Chuck Mangione, Grover Washington, Jr and Pat Metheny. The New Age format arrived in 1987 to give a spot on the dial for Baby Boomers to discover.

And The Sounds of Brazil found its place.

The show spent a relativity short time with WDCB initially. I had my sights set on WNUA, which was my radio home in Chicago for 17 wonderful years. A brief run with WLFM followed before I returned home to WDCB four and a half years ago to anchor Sunday afternoons at 2 pm.

As the Smooth Jazz format grew in popularity, so did our affiliates list which brought The Sounds of Brazil! to fans in more than 60 cities inthe US, Caribbean and Central America. Today, our show reaches more than 1,000 cities around the world with our 'Always Live' 24/7 streaming station, and it's still growing, thanks to the creativity of the musicians and the passion of our loyal listeners. After having the privilege of hosting this show for 22 years, somehow the words 'thank you!' seem woefully inadequate to express my deep appreciation to you.

And I'll be forever grateful to WDCB's Ken Scott, Scott Wager and Dan Bindert, and WNUA's Lee Hansen, John Gehron and Rick O'Dell for the incredible support they have shown me over the years. 

The music from that first show is telling: many of these songs are still part of our playlists today due to their popularity of the years. And unlike most radio stations, where the music is selected by automation software, The Sounds of Brazil has always been programmed 'one song at a time' - to show off the emotion of the music in its best possible way. I recall agonizing over each song for that critically important first show, and it's no different today.

Except for this week, where the hard work was done more than two decades ago, allowing us to kick back and relive how it all began with our 1,297th consecutive weekly show, er, I meant ‘Program #1’ for The Sounds of Brazil! 

  • Do you have a favorite story or memory for The Sounds of Brazil? Share it below! 


Kyle Koiner - 04/07/2017 - 04:13 pm

Thank you Scott for visiting Brazil, bringing all of this wonderful music back and beginning your program.

I was just listening to my Sergio Mendes / Brazil 66 album and am listening to your anniversary program right now.

I only found "Bossa Nova Breeze" about 4 years ago while working, but being born in 1960, I remember Bossa Nova really young during the 60s. The "Breeze" is your best program. I appreciate the history you tell and write about Bossa, its musicians and songs. I’m glad you still include “Chega de Saudade” in your programs along with the other early classics.

I tell you Bossa Nova is NOT an easy style to play. Joao and all the others make it look and sound easy, but it is actually exhausting playing all those complicated chords and melodies. The beat is easy and natural but the notes are all over the place. Ah but is so relaxing to listen to. Not only is the music great but I admire and respect the musicians who have mastered this unique genre, and long before all these "shredders" today. I may give up and just listen.

I wish the new young singers and players would keep the traditional style going with the simple instruments and effects used in the beginning. Not crazy about it being modernized with their own style. The originals have it right, thankfully some of the young ones do too.

What would happen if we played Bossa at a riot taking place? Perhaps an experiment worth trying.

Please keep it going. I am working on a collection of Bossa albums, but they are so rare to find now. I am a consultant and work around the country, but I always take my record player and Brazil Club is always an internet connection away.

Thanks again Scott and all of you Bossa fans,
Kyle from Texas.