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WSIU Radio Launches New Music Show

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Dr. John Hockhheimer records audio for
WSIU's new jazz series, Rhythm in Bloom.

Photo: Rachel Snow

We're thrilled to announce the launch of the new music series, Rhythm in Bloom, coming to WSIU Radio on Sundays from 7-8pm beginning October 11. Hosted by Dr. John Hochheimer, a professor in SIUC's Department of Radio and Television, this recorded program will feature a variety of jazz and blues tunes that have helped to shape America's musical landscape.

The title of the show interestingly stands as a double pun. It combines the musical genre of "rhythm and blues" with a tribute to a special collection of records presented to Hochheimer by his late friend and jazz enthusiast, Augie Blume.

"I received this big collection of records, and I wondered what would I do with it," states Hochheimer. "The nature of my relationship with Augie was such that I couldn't imagine anything pleasing him more than to fi nd an outlet to share this wonderful music with listeners."

Blume's collection includes a variety of artists and musical genres. "Augie had a very eclectic taste," says Hochheimer. "He was in to jazz, swing, bebop, and Mongolia Tuva, which is known as throat singing." However, on Rhythm in Bloom, listeners can expect to hear exclusively jazz and blues music.

Hochheimer's love for music, specifi cally jazz, is not something that arbitrarily happened. "I've always been interested in where music comes from," he says. "When I was a kid, I went to the local public library, expressed my interest in jazz music, and checked out three records – one by Nat King Cole, one by Count Basie, and one by Duke Ellington. Those were three great places to start." Hochheimer's list of favorite jazz artists goes beyond these three musicians to include John Coltrane, Fats Waller, Lee Morgan, Ray Charles, and more.

Hochheimer has been affi liated with the radio business for over 40 years. He got his start in the radio industry at WBAI in New York, working with the Saturday evening news. After moving from New York to Boston, Hochheimer hosted his fi rst radio music show in 1969. For two years, he entertained listeners with a variety of music for approximately 7 hours each night, 5 nights per week.

Rhythm in Bloom gives Hochheimer the opportunity to return to his roots as a radio DJ while paying tribute to his dear friend and the world of jazz music. "I always loved doing radio, and there is really nothing locally produced for this genre of music." Hochheimer feels that WSIU Radio is the ideal outlet to broadcast the new show. "Most of my career has been in community and public radio, and I have always supported it one way or the other," he states. "I believe in WSIU's mission, and I feel it is also a great opportunity to bridge the mission of the stations and the mission of the Department of Radio and Television."

Hochheimer hopes that the sounds listeners will hear during Rhythm in Bloom will inspire a greater appreciation of music. "One of the things that I take great pleasure in doing is juxtaposing diff erent kinds of music to see how they work with each other and crafting appropriate segues to provide a seamless transition between songs."

Be sure to tune in and to let us know what you think of the show!

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