Radio has unquestionably been the most enduring of all mediums when it comes to the spoken word as well as music, and it seems that no matter how much technology has tried to dwarf the giants of the past, radio just keeps on rolling along. There is just something about not only the spoken word and the music, but also the sheer mystique of wondering who that voice on the other side of the radio really is, and what they look like. I can remember always being dumbfounded whenever I finally got to see a picture of one of the DJs I grew up listening to. Back in those days, they seemed to understand the importance of remaining anonymous and mysterious to the listeners, and it kept the people who were listening focused more on the thing that really mattered; the music!
I have of course done a lot of radio in my life, and the other day, NPR aired an interview that I did only a month ago, and it turned into a really nice hour-long piece they did on me that was almost a mini-biography, and also a retrospective of my musical career. What I enjoyed about how they put it together was the fact that it was not something to obviously promote anything….rather it was to educate the listeners about me and music in general. This “lack” of obvious promotion is probably the strongest suit that this radio interview had, and therefore, it actually served as a huge piece of promotion, which in the end helped promote my albums, my instruction, my career and Gibson too, since there was a great emphasis on Gibson guitars throughout the interview.
A wonderful thing they did was to surprise me in the studio with a guitar, on the air, that I had never seen before. This was a way of them getting some very off the cuff, honest “takes” on an instrument you meet for the first time, and to see and hear my reactions! As it turned out, the mystery guitar in the mystery case was a wonderful old Gibson J-45 acoustic that was all original, and that played like a dream! By that point, already being such a lover and supporter of Gibson acoustic guitars, I just could not hold back my enthusiasm for this wonderful guitar, and even though I said I was not going to play on the show, I ended up playing for an eternity with this wonderful instrument! The interviewer was excellent, and he knew just how to push the right buttons in me to get me to talk about many subjects (but that’s never really too much of a problem!), and as you’ll see, it was an hour well spent. I also really like how they edited in certain interesting things, such as a clip of Buddy Guy from one of the Hot Licks videos I did, as well as musical moments and segues from many of my albums! So pull up your chair and relax as we take a trip through radio-land! Hope you enjoy it!