East Longmeadow native Alexi Cohan just celebrated her first anniversary as a reporter with the Boston Herald. She served an internship as a field reporter here at Pioneer Valley Radio in the summer of ’17 while attending Hofstra University as a communications major. Michael Harrison conducts a fascinating interview with this bright young woman destined to go far in the media.
A new controversy has emerged featuring the much loved Irving Berlin song, “God Bless America.”
The issue has flashed from Philadelphia to New York City, affecting not only this iconic song, but two major league sports teams, and all hinging on a famous female vocalist who has been dead for 33 years.
The signature version of this song is by radio and recording star Kate Smith, whose recording of a 1931 song has lyrics interpreted by today’s standards as extremely racist. This has resulted in the use of “God Bless America” being temporarily and most likely permanently discontinued by the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Yankees.
In Philadelphia, the statue of Kate Smith outside the stadium had been covered in a shroud, and subsequently has been completely removed.
Pioneer Valley Radio’s Brad Shepard appeared with WMAL, Washington, D.C. guest host, Michael Harrison, to discuss the many levels of this issue, particularly where political correctness and historical context meet.
What a difference a year makes!
In this holiday feature program, Brad Shepard and special guest Michael Harrison examine the changes in the season, from last year to this.
Gift giving, the malls, online shopping, stress levels, the casino, and legalized recreational marijuana are all under discussion.
Where does it go from here?
In 1968, a young man named Robert Holland graduated from East Longmeadow High School. He went on to Westfield State and then entered the field of radio locally at WHYN and WSPR. Known professionally as Holland Cooke, he established himself as a big time player in the radio industry as an air personality and program director at major stations on the East Coast and eventually became an influential national consultant. This past year, he entered a new phase in his career as the host of a weekend TV talk show called “The Big Picture” on the RT America Network. Several weeks ago, the ELHS class of 68 held its 50th reunion which Holland – now a resident of Rhode Island – enthusiastically attended. Michael Harrison caught up with him for this exclusive Pioneer Valley Radio interview.
Four Springfield City Council members just returned from a two-day fact-finding mission to Denver, CO to gain information and insight into how the Council can best regulate future recreational marijuana business in the city. Michael Harrison interviews Councilor Kateri Walsh about the trip. Pictured at the Native Roots marijuana production facility (l-r) in Denver: Councilors Adam Gomez, Justin Hurst, Kateri Walsh, and Council President Orlando Ramos.
Topic: Straw Dog Writers Guild Presentation of the Abel Meeropol Social Justice Writing Award to Poet Patricia Smith at 3:30 pm on November 12, 2017 at Gateway City Arts in Holyoke.
Robert Meeropol is the younger son of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. In 1953, when he was six years old, the United States Government executed his parents for “conspiring to steal the secret of the atomic bomb.” For over 40 years he has been a progressive activist, author and public speaker. In this fascinating interview he discusses an upcoming event in Holyoke – free to the public – of enormous historical and cultural importance. It is a story of music, freedom and justice that goes all the way back to 1935 and remains completely relevant to the times here in 2017. Don’t miss this!
A VISIT TO THE RADIO MUSEUM
Western Mass. resident and Pioneer Valley Radio personality Michael Harrison paid a visit to the nearby Vintage Radio and Communication Museum of Connecticut in Windsor where he interviewed the institution’s Founder and Executive Director, John Ellsworth. Harrison describes the museum as a “regional treasure” that should be visited by residents of the Springfield area interested in the colorful history of radio, TV, and electronic media. This interview appears on Harrison’s locally-produced, award-winning international podcast “Up Close and Far Out with Michael Harrison.” Don’t miss this!
Pioneer Valley Radio’s very own Michael Harrison (also the publisher of TALKERS magazine) of Longmeadow made a rare appearance on WTIC, Hartford on the Fourth of July discussing his involvement in helping that Connecticut station go to an all-talk format 26 years ago! Link to it here.