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Re: Robert J Obsequies

Vermont Public Radio also has some space devoted to RJL memories at its
site <http://www.vpr.net/robertj.html>, including the fact that most of
the folks whose contributions put VPR on the air in the first place (in
1977) insisted that Morning Pro Musica be part of programming.  Things
were a bit different by the time New Hampshire Public Radio debuted in
1981 (actually, it was Granite State Public Radio back then, known to
all simply as WEVO).  New Hampshire was assaulted by RJL from all sides
(except Québec) and there was a demand for something different (which
ended up being Morning Edition until 9 a.m. followed by a locally hosted
classical show).  Some charter members still wanted RJL on their
station, though, and he was carried on weekends during the first couple
years of WEVO.  Wednesday's All Things Considered segment about RJL was
preempted on NHPR by a local feature.

Besides being a classical programmer and idiosyncratic newscaster,
Robert J.'s radio career also included hosting folk music.  In the early
'60s RJL had a folk show on WCRB (it was fairly late on either a
Saturday or Sunday night, I think) and in the early '70s he did an
hourlong program called Heritage on WGBH Sunday afternoons.  My chief
memory of Heritage is the time Lurts decided he would play every
recorded version of "John Henry" he could get his hands on.  Then he
expanded the concept to include "John Hardy" which isn't the same ballad
at all but at least the title characters' initials are the same.  To his
credit he even played the Manfred Mann version of "John Hardy" (the
flipside of "Sha La La") but by the 4th week of this "JH" marathon I was
really ready for something different.  RJL continued to give some
exposure to folk on MPM, with Gordon Bok, Jean Redpath, and Michael
Cooney being regular visitors to the Western Avenue studio.

WGBH promises "A Retrospect of Robert J." on MPM this Saturday and
Sunday (7 a.m. to noon) and a tribute to RJL throughout the weekend of
July 1-2.