Night Lights Classic Jazz: Specials

Series produced by WFIU

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Enjoy these special editions of Night Lights -- a weekly jazz program hosted by David Brent Johnson, focusing on classic jazz from 1945-1990. Visit our online archives and the producer's jazz blog at: http://nightights.blogs.wfiu.org

Night Lights, WFIU's weekly jazz program hosted by David Brent Johnson, focuses on jazz from the 1945-1990 era - a timespan that, as Johnson notes, "weirdly parallels Miles Davis on record and the Cold War." Covering artists such as Jackie McLean, Charles Mingus, and Nina Simone and themes ranging from jazz recordings of spirituals to avant-garde interpretations of the Great American Songbook, Night Lights also features many lesser-known talents of post-1945 jazz, such as saxophonist J.R. Monterose, trumpeter Freddie Webster, and piano/singer duo Dick and Kiz Harp.

Host David Brent Johnson also maintains a widely read jazz blog and website which contains streaming archives of all past programs at: http://nightights.blogs.wfiu.org.

Stations wishing to carry Night Lights as a weekly program can contact LuAnn Johnson at lujohnso@indiana.edu for subscription and carriage information. Hide full description

Night Lights, WFIU's weekly jazz program hosted by David Brent Johnson, focuses on jazz from the 1945-1990 era - a timespan that, as Johnson notes, "weirdly parallels Miles Davis on record and the Cold War." Covering artists such as Jackie McLean, Charles Mingus, and Nina Simone and themes ranging from jazz recordings of spirituals to avant-garde interpretations of the Great American Songbook, Night Lights also features many lesser-known talents of post-1945 jazz, such as saxophonist J.R. Monterose, trumpeter Freddie Webster, and piano/singer duo Dick and Kiz Harp.Host David Brent Johnson also maintains a widely read jazz blog and website which contains streaming archives of all past programs at: http://nightights.blogs.wfiu.org.Stations wishing to carry Night Lights as a weekly program... Show full description


Additional Files

47 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
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This hour explores Duke Ellington’s music for the 1959 film Anatomy Of A Murder and John Lewis’ score for Odds Against Tomorrow, released the same ...

  • Added: Jan 20, 2023
  • Length: 59:02
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Night Lights celebrates the holidays with jazz from Fats Waller, Joe Williams, Claude Thornhill, and more.

  • Added: Dec 19, 2022
  • Length: 59:02
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A look at the early jazz career and subsequent Peanuts success of pianist Vince Guaraldi, including interviews with jazz critic Doug Ramsey, Guaral...

Bought by KAZU Seaside, Calif.


  • Added: Dec 05, 2022
  • Length: 59:01
  • Purchases: 1
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Music for the holiday from Duke Ellington, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Kay Starr, and others. We'll also hear comedian Lenny Bruce's impersonation of Drac...

Bought by KAZU Seaside, Calif.


  • Added: Oct 25, 2021
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 1
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In 1952 Billie Holiday began her last great period on record with a series of small-group sessions that capture the twilight glow of a jazz star. ...

Bought by Northeast Indiana Public Radio, KLCC, High Plains Public Radio, WKMS, KAZU Seaside, Calif. and more


  • Added: Mar 13, 2020
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 8
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In 1943, Duke Ellington debuted a landmark 43-minute musical portrayal of the African-American experience at Carnegie Hall. We'll hear music from i...

Bought by WWNO, WVIA, KLCC, WCPN, Northeast Indiana Public Radio and more


  • Added: Aug 25, 2022
  • Length: 59:03
  • Purchases: 15
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In the late 1960s, young musicians such as The Free Spirits, the Fourth Way, and other now-forgotten fusioneers made the first attempts to blend ja...

Bought by KLCC, WVAS, and KLCC


  • Added: Feb 22, 2019
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 3
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America in the 1920s: Wall Street was on the rise, cops were on the take, jazz was in the air, and alcohol had been banished—but it certainly hadn’...

Bought by Northeast Indiana Public Radio, KLCC, Northeast Indiana Public Radio, WVAS, KLCC and more


  • Added: Feb 22, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 7
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Throughout jazz history the harp has rarely been heard as a soloing or primary instrument, but in the 1950s and 60s Dorothy Ashby, a musician out o...

Bought by KLCC, WNMU-FM, and KMUW


  • Added: Jul 27, 2022
  • Length: 59:01
  • Purchases: 3
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We’ll hear some McPartland recordings with a special emphasis on her own compositions, as well as excerpts from a 1975 interview in which she talks...

Bought by KLCC and High Plains Public Radio


  • Added: Feb 21, 2019
  • Length: 59:04
  • Purchases: 2
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As the 1990s brought the 20th century to a close, women musicians continued to increase their visibility in the jazz world and to erode the notion ...

Bought by KLCC and KMUW


  • Added: Feb 21, 2019
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 2
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A decade that saw female artists making further inroads into the male-dominated world of jazz.

Bought by KLCC and KMUW


  • Added: Mar 13, 2020
  • Length: 59:02
  • Purchases: 2
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As television rocketed into the entertainment culture of mid-20th-century America, many jazz musicians were called upon to write and/or perform the...

Bought by Harford Community Radio and WDCB


  • Added: Oct 17, 2018
  • Length: 45:40
  • Purchases: 2
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In the 1960s Herbie Hancock seemed to be everywhere on the jazz scene, recording both as a leader for Blue Note and as a sideman with Miles Davis a...

Bought by WNMU-FM, Northeast Indiana Public Radio, WMOT, and WNMU-FM


  • Added: Apr 05, 2018
  • Length: 59:01
  • Purchases: 4
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Long before the rise of the black-pride movement in the 1960s, Ellington was writing music that celebrated African-American culture, personalities,...

Bought by Northeast Indiana Public Radio, KTXK, and Radio Catskill


  • Added: Jan 31, 2022
  • Length: 59:02
  • Purchases: 3
Caption: Jackie Robinson
Music tributes to African-American figures such as Paul Robeson and Joe Louis from Count Basie, Clifford Jordan, Charles Mingus, and others.

Bought by KRCU Public Radio, KUFM - Montana Public Radio, WJSU, WESM 91.3 FM, Northeast Indiana Public Radio and more


  • Added: Jan 31, 2022
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 11
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Wilson's records blended big-band and small-group elements with pop orchestration and doses of soul that could be both big-city hip and suburban cool.

Bought by KAAD-LP, WCAI / WNAN Cape & Islands, Mass., KMUW, WCPN, WRGY and more


  • Added: Dec 16, 2015
  • Length: 58:59
  • Purchases: 11
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An hour-long program of classic jazz: An exploration of the path of Melba Liston as she became an arranger/composer and an instrumentalist in the j...

Bought by Northeast Indiana Public Radio, WNMU-FM, KUFM - Montana Public Radio, Northeast Indiana Public Radio, KMUW and more


  • Added: Mar 09, 2015
  • Length: 58:58
  • Purchases: 8
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A "frighteningly" awesome Halloween special! Paranormal jazz encounters...with music from Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Red Norvo, and more.

Bought by WNMU-FM, WLVT, KLCC, Delmarva Public Media, Troy Public Radio and more


  • Added: Oct 20, 2022
  • Length: 59:00
  • Purchases: 11
Caption: Andrew Hill's Black Fire LP
An hour-long jazz special: It was a year of raised hopes and devastating tragedy, and the world of jazz continued to reflect both the growing uneas...

Bought by WRGY, Troy Public Radio, KAAD-LP, Radio Catskill, KBUT Crested Butte, Colo. and more


  • Added: Jan 02, 2022
  • Length: 59:01
  • Purchases: 22