Say it ain’t so: XPN Sleepy Hollow host Keith Brand retiring after 27 years behind the mic

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Photo by Tom Gralish http://articles.philly.com/2013-04-08/news/38348689_1_ned-eckhardt-rowan-university-documentaries
Photo by Tom Gralish http://articles.philly.com/2013-04-08/news/38348689_1_ned-eckhardt-rowan-university-documentaries

Every Sunday Morning for the last 27 years, XPN Sleepy Hollow host and producer Keith Brand has been sharing his love for the “eclectic, quiet sounds of Sleepy Hollow” with loyal XPN and Sleepy Hollow listeners. Brand’s extensive depth of musical knowledge, passion, and ability to hand craft an engaging listening experience on Sunday mornings is what makes easing into Sundays so wonderful. From Nina Simone, soundtrack music and French pop gems to Massive Attack, ambient singer-sopngwriters and traditional jazz, Brand created a unique vibe each week with attention to musical detail and musical segues that made connections between genres and songs and musicians where you wouldn’t expect and made it sound seamless. So, it’s with sadness (as Keith writes below) that he’s decided to retire from Sleepy Hollow. We wish Keith all the best down the road. We’re sure he’s happy to get his weekends back. His final Sleepy Hollow shift will be on Sunday, May 5th from 8AM-11AM. Tune in and wish him well. But before he goes, we’ve asked him to put together a Spotify playlist of Sleepy Hollow tunes that you can listen to below. Keith, thanks for the great music and we wish you all the best. And now, a letter from Keith Brand:

Dear Sleepy Hollow listeners,

It is with both sadness and anticipation that I announce that I will be retiring from Sleepy Hollow after 27 years. My last show will be May 5th. When I began broadcasting at WXPN, it was still a community radio station with a small but dedicated listenership. Today, WXPN is a force to be reckoned with. I have been fortunate to quietly watch that transition over the past three decades.

I stayed at WXPN all these years because I believe that what Chuck Elliot and I created, along with a number of supplementary hosts, was unique. I often said that in my travels I never heard radio quite like Sleepy Hollow. That is as true today as it was 27 years ago. It seems like an appropriate time to go as Sleepy Hollow celebrates its 40th anniversary.

What I am most proud of has been presenting music that I found interesting to an eager weekend audience. Often, that music found its Philadelphia premier on Sleepy Hollow. Musicians like Sigur Ros, Damien Rice, Grizzly Bear, and Pink Martini found an early and welcome home on Sleepy Hollow. And I am just as proud to play lesser-known musicians like Jherek Bischoff, Anias Mitchell, Sam Amidon, and The Clogs. I never thought I was a great radio DJ, but I was passionate about different kinds of music and had a desire to find the connections between them.

The main reason I am retiring is that after 27 years it is time to do something else with my weekends. Hosting Sleepy Hollow required a lot of my time and I want that time back. I’ve recently been elected the Chair of the Radio Television and Film Department at Rowan University and that will require a lot more of my time and energy. The time devoted to producing Sleepy Hollow will be diverted to other creative outlets, including hopefully producing more stories for NPR programs. So I don’t feel like I’m giving up on radio.

It’s been a pleasure to wake up with you for so many Sunday mornings. Your phone calls of encouragement were always welcome. But it’s time to sign off one last time. Keep that dial tuned to 88.5.

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