If you heard Gene Shay’s archived interview with Joni Mitchell last Sunday on the Folk Show, this will be a great companion listen (if you didn’t catch the show, listen back to it here). To accompany the on-air interview with Shay, his former assistant Ed Sciaky recorded Mitchell’s show at the Second Fret on Sansom St. in March of 1967. During the hour-long performance she sings “Morning Morgantown,” “From Both Sides Now,” and other favorites while explaining the backstories of each song in between. Listen to the recording below and read more about Shay’s retirement here. His next shift on the Folk Show is this Sunday, January 18th at 8 p.m.
Last night on WXPN, long time Folk Show host Gene Shay began his final run behind the mic with a dip into his archives as well as a showcase of the present-day folk world. The show included a live session from long-running West Chester trio Mason Porter, as well as a revisit of sessions with Tom Rush from 1994 and 2001. In addition, Shay dug into his archives for a 1967 interview with Joni Mitchell, originally broadcast on WMMR. Continue reading →
“Who’s he going to hand the baton to? Who’s the next Gene?” wonders Lisa Schwartz. “Because he just knows so much. … Everybody knows him, everybody loves him, he’s got an incredible ear.”
The president of the Philadelphia Folksong Society was reminiscing about a man she described as “a well-deserved godfather of folk,” Gene Shay, who this week announced his retirement from the airwaves. Sunday, January 11th, is the first of his final four runs hosting The Folk Show on WXPN, with his final show coming on February 1st.
“I can’t imagine a Sunday night without him on the airwaves,” Schwartz says. Continue reading →
An icon of the Philadelphia region’s music community, “Dean of Folk DJs” Gene Shay will retire from the airwaves this winter after more than five decades on the air. The bittersweet announcement was made by WXPN this morning that his final turn at the helm of The Folk Show will be on February 1st.
Shay, who debuted on Philadelphia radio network WHAT in 1962 – and has hosted the folk show on WXPN since 1995 – says retirement affords him the time to travel and take on special projects that remain important to him. “[It] will allow me to enjoy spending more time with my family,” he says. “It gives me an opportunity to do more for the organizations that I have been working with over the years, such the American Composers Forum in Cleveland, the National Recording Academy in Hollywood, and other organizations.”
The weight of Shay’s departure is being felt by his colleagues; his retirement from broadcasting leaves big shoes to fill. Continue reading →
Countless people can say Pete Seeger influenced them – as musicians, or as songwriters, or as folks with an empathetic view of the world around them.
Few can say that Pete Seeger was their friend.
Gene Shay of WXPN’s Folk Show is one of those few, and this morning he phoned into the XPN airwaves to share his memories of Seeger – who died yesterday at 94 years old – with Morning Show host Michaela Majoun. Listen to their tribute to Seeger below.
Tomorrow, Thursday, October 24th, WXPN’s Folk Show host Gene Shay is being inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame. The ceremonies, free and open to the public, are scheduled at Noon on 10/24 in front of the Doubletree Hotel along the Avenue of the Arts. Other inductees include producer and label executive Joel Dorn (“Killing Me Softly”); songwriting team Madara & White (“At the Hop”); producer-songwriter-publisher Jerry Ross (“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” with Gamble & Huff; “Venus”); producer-arranger-conductor Vince Montana Jr., (whose work with TSOP and the Salsoul Orchestra is legendary) John Davis & The Monster Band (who had the 1976 disco hit with a cover of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day,”) and Macy’s Grand Court organist Peter Richard Conte. Gene had a chance to talk with WXPN Morning Show host Michaela Majoun about his career and told stories about his early years in the folk music scene, copywriting radio spots for Woodstock and an important phone call he made to Bob Dylan in the early Sixties.
Go here for more information about the events and awards luncheon.
This Thursday, October 24th, The Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame, along the Avenue of the Arts, will induct seven new Philly musical movers and shakers, including WXPN’s Gene Shay. A big congratulations goes out to Gene. We’re thrilled and honored to have Gene host The Folk Show on Sunday nights at XPN. Other inductees include producer and label executive Joel Dorn (“Killing Me Softly”); songwriting team Madara & White (“At the Hop”); producer-songwriter-publisher Jerry Ross (“I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” with Gamble & Huff; “Venus”); producer-arranger-conductor Vince Montana Jr., (whose work with TSOP and the Salsoul Orchestra is legendary) John Davis & The Monster Band (who had the 1976 disco hit with a cover of Cole Porter’s “Night and Day,”) and Macy’s Grand Court organist Peter Richard Conte. The ceremonies, free and open to the public, are scheduled at Noon on 10/24 in front of the Doubletree Hotel along the Avenue of the Arts. Philadelphia Walk of Fame Alumni, including Bobby Rydell, Kenneth Gamble & Leon Huff, Kal Rudman, Earl Young (Baker, Harris & Young); Jerry Gross (The Dovells); Joe Tarsia; Dave Appel (of Cameo-Parkway) will also be there. Jerry Blavat, The Geator With The Heator is the MC and host for the events.
Gene, known as the “Grandfather of Philadelphia Folk Music,” and “the Dean of American folk DJs,” has been playing folk music on the radio since 1962 and was the co-founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival. Shay’s early interviews with Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, John Denver, Tom Waits, Phil Ochs, Bonnie Raitt and Judy Collins are legendary. He was the first to bring Bob Dylan to Philadelphia in 1963 for his debut concert. As an advertising writer and producer, he wrote the original radio commercials for Woodstock. He helped design the famous “smiling banjo” logo for the Philadelphia Folk Festival and came up with the name World Cafe for the show.
For more information about the ceremony and the PMA here.