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Folk DJ Hall of Fame

Folk DJ Hall of Fame

The Folk DJ Hall of Fame has been established to recognize radio DJs who have made an outstanding contribution to the preservation, promotion, and presentation of folk music, and who have demonstrated and inspired leadership in the broadcast field.

FAI members can nominate a candidate here.


2019 Inductees

BOB HARRIS

“Whispering” Bob Harris OBE has been at the very heart of UK music scene for the best part of fifty years. He has established a worldwide reputation as one of the most trusted and influential broadcasters of his generation – described by Radio Times as “…one of the greats of British contemporary music broadcasting” and by The Mail On Sunday as “a national treasure.” Few people have taken as many bands into mainstream consciousness as Bob Harris – from his groundbreaking work in the 1970’s on BBC Radio 1 and the legendary Old Grey Whistle Test TV shows to his current program Bob Harris Country on BBC Radio 2. Iconic artist Robert Plant stated, “He champions the unknown, the obscure and legendary with equal zest and detail.”

 

MATT WATROBA

As a radio host and performer, Matt Watroba has spent most of his adult life sharing his knowledge and passion for folk music with just about anyone who would listen. He made his radio debut as producer and host of the popular Folks Like Us program, a show that ran for over two decades on Detroit public radio. He has interviewed hundreds of performers, from Pete Seeger to Townes Van Zandt, and he has hosted and produced syndicated shows for Sing Out! Magazine and Folk Alley. Matt has contributed programming to WEMU in Ypsilanti, MI, WKSU in Kent, OH, and is currently on WKAR in East Lansing, MI.

 

WANDA FISCHER

Born in Tennessee and raised in the Boston area, Wanda Fischer learned about folk music as a child from her father, who was a close friend of members of the Carter Family. During the 1960s, she frequented the Boston-area coffeehouses, sometimes as a performer, sometimes a spectator. In 1975, she volunteered at a community radio station and found herself doing a folk music show on the air for four years. After moving to the Albany, New York area in 1982, WAMC-FM, a major NPR affiliate, finally acquiesced and gave her a spot on Saturday night, following A Prairie Home Companion. She’s been on the air since then with The Hudson River Sampler for the past 36 years, for a total of 40 years in radio. She still plays and sings sometimes, for fun now.

2018 Inductees

DIck pleasants

Pleasants began his career hosting folk music programs on radio stations around Emerson College in Boston. Pleasant helped to start and manage the first full-time commercial folk music station and has launched and led many iconic music events and venues in the Northeast including Summer Acoustic Music Week, the Boston Folk Festival, and the South Shore and Woods Hole Folk Music Clubs. For the final 15 years of his on-air radio, Pleasants hosted a daily radio show on UMass Boston’s public radio station, WUMB.

 

Fiona ritchie

Fiona Ritchie has hosted one of NPR’s most popular music programs, The Thistle & Shamrock, each week for over three decades. Ritchie joined NPR member station WFAE-FM in Charlotte, NC, in 1981, soon after graduating from from Scotland’s University of Stirling, and in 1986 became the full-time producer and host. Ritchie launched Radio Scotland’s world music series “Celtic Connections” in 1993. In 2014, she was awarded a Member of the Order of the British Empire for Services to Broadcasting and Traditional Music.

 

Mary cliff

Mary Cliff is the long-time host of Traditions radio show. Traditions explores the diversity of folk music, including bluegrass, blues, ballads, ethnic, topical and political. Cliff fell into radio in 1966 as a typist, and began hosting in 1968. For 35 years as a WETA staffer, Cliff produced and presented classical and other music, news, public affairs, and interviews.

 

 

2017 Inductees

OSCAR BRAND

The late host of the world’s longest-running radio show Oscar Brand’s Folksong Festival on WNYC-AM 820 in New York City, which ran for 70 years.

 

MIKE REGENSTREIF

Ottawa based veteran music journalist, broadcaster and host of Folk Roots/Folk Branches radio show, which was heard on Montreal’s CKUT from 1994-2007.

 

HOWARD AND ROZ LARMAN

The late hosts of FolkScene, a highly influential syndicated music program started in 1970 on KPFK-FM (90.7) in Southern California. FolkScene is now hosted by Roz and Howard Larman's son, Alan Larman, his wife, Kat Griffin, and the show's longtime engineer Peter Cutler and his wife Deborah Hand.

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