Rolling into Saturday, Day 3 of Phily Folk Fest we already had some great performances behind us, but was also stoked for what was still to come. Here’s some highlights from the day on the Old Pool Farm. Continue reading →
Legendary Folk DJ Gene Shay was in for a big surprise after closing out his final Folk Show a few weeks back. Shay was led into a room with over 100 folk musicians who had prepared an enormous singalong for the DJ as a tribute to the man’s overwhelming contributions to the Philadelphia folk scene. After 20 years with WXPN, The Folk Show host retired to focus efforts on other projects he is involved in, but not before the folk scene would give him a genuine, heartfelt farewell. Continue reading →
Despite the snow and sleet falling from the sky on Sunday, a packed house of folk music enthusiasts, performers and friends of Gene Shay filled the sanctuary of the First Unitarian Church to celebrate the legendary folk DJ’s 80th birthday. The concert, which featured big names like Tom Paxton, Janis Ian, Tony Trischka and David Bromberg, was a benefit show for Sing Out! Magazine.
Shay retired from the XPN airwaves in early February – see photos from his final show here – in order to focus on other projects and organizations he’s been involved with over the years. As a long time board member of Sing Out!, this benefit fell into that category, and he showed up to the even decked out in a Willie Wonka-esque purple top had and scarf, jovial as ever. Below, check out a gallery of photos from the event shot by folk scene photographer Jayne TooheyContinue reading →
Gene Shay joked in the middle of the afternoon yesterday that he was in the middle of the longest retirement show any DJ has ever had. But the celebration was hardly unwarranted; Shay has been a guiding force in the Philadelphia folk community since the 1960s. He co-founded the Philadelphia Folk Festival and has hosted his Folk Show on various radio stations in the city – including XPN, where he had been for the past 20 years.
Yesterday, Shay’s broadcast career drew to a close with laughter, tears, some of his favorite music from over the years, and a surprise singalong featuring 111 musicians and friends from the Philadelphia area folk music community. Continue reading →
This Sunday will be Gene Shay’s final Folk Show. After more than five decades as a guru of the genre on the Philadelphia airwaves – 20 of those years spent on WXPN – he is stepping down from his broadcaster’s mic to retire. This week he spoke with Bob Bumbera of the XPN morning show, who says “[Shay’s] name is synonymous with the music genre he has supported and cultivated for half a century.” Continue reading →
“Sing For Gene Shay” is a new tribute song to the “Dean of Folk DJs” Gene Shay in honor of his retirement this Sunday, February 1st as the host of WXPN’s Folk Show. Written, recorded and produced under the name of “Friends Of Gene,” 25 local musicians and a team of four producers and engineers came together to pay a loving tribute to Shay, who has been on the air for 50+ years hosting folk music in Philadelphia. Continue reading →
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 →