Sunday, April 20, 2014
Sow's ear and pearl on a Sunday morning . . .
The difference in quality and content that separates the new "High Praize" program and "Through the Opera Glass" has never been more glaring than this morning.
Daulton Anderson's program—his third for WBAI—was another adulterated mixture of pseudo gospel music and the kind that makes people consider heathenism. Among the non-gospel fare this morning, he threw into the mix Edward Hawkins' unfortunate version of Bob Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind" and George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord". We were led to believe that this program would take us to church, literally, and feature weekly live remotes of wonderful choirs and soloists. That, as it turned out, was but a sales pitch from Berthold Reimers, and it isn't the first time he has colored the truth to hide his own inadequacies.
"Through the Opera Glass" has been on WBAI's air for over a decade and is hosted by several people, all of whom love the music and don't have to read liner notes and internet blurbs when telling us about it. This morning, the host was Manya LaBruja and the three-hour program was truly worthy of Pacifica's air. Ms. LaBruja presented a delightful portrait of mezzo-soprano Christa Ludwig, based upon her interview with the singer and produced with a professional flair that has become rare at WBAI. This is the caliber of programming that the station needed to return to, and it would have made a great premium.
A stark contrast between two programs. I recommend that you visit the WBAI archive and listen for yourself. I also suggest that Mr. Anderson's program (which is also heard in a similar version on WHCR) be replaced by a real quality presentation of gospel music.