|Ralph Johnson. Photo courtesy of BBC Radio 2|
Percussionist Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind & Fire is presenting four shows which are transmitted on Wednesdays at 10pm on BBC Radio 2. He has recorded the shows in Los Angeles, and wants to re-create the vibe of the 24-hour Los Angeles station KBCA 105.1 which both he and Maurice White used to listen to back in the day. The station broadcast from 1959 until 1982, and one Los Angelino I spoke to still has his fond memories of listening to Chuck Niles, who was one of the main presenters.
The Radio 2 show, entitled Ralph Johnson’s Jazz Epicenter, has a playlist exclisively from the 1960s and 1970s. The concept, the vibe of the show. and Johnson’s informative mix of personal memories and history are similar to the programme Ramsey Lewis used to do for JazzFM.
The first programme was last Wednesday 7th October and kicked off with Joshua by Miles Davis Joshua from the live 1964 album Four and More, and also featured Gerald Wilson’s signature tune Viva Tirado.