Happy 114th Birthday, Rudy Vallée!

We were slow to come around to Rudy Vallée but we’re big fans now. He was a true eccentric and his singing style can take a little getting used to, for some, but once you’re won over, you’re hooked but good.

Rudy was born 114 years ago today, and we’ll be celebrating by enjoying his music throughout the day. We recommend you do the same! Heigh-ho, everybody!

Rudy Vallée

Ad-Free Listening, at a Savings of 25%!

A banner advertising a bargain price on VIP memberships

Do you ever wish you could listen to the toe-tapping tunes of Cladrite Radio without the commercials? We don’t mean the vintage ads that we share with you every hour or so, but the other ones—the commercials our streaming provider, Live365, adds to the mix.

By becoming a VIP member at Live365, you get to avoid hearing those ads, leaving more time to enjoy the great music of the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. And right now, Live365 is offering a special deal that we think is worth telling you about.

Sign up now for a year of VIP membership, and you’ll receive an extra four months for free, a 25% savings! Usually, a year’s membership comes to right around $5 a month, but with this special offer, you’ll pay just $3.75 per. And best of all (from our point of view, anyway), you’ll be showing your support for Cladrite Radio. That’s right, we’ll receive a percentage of your VIP membership fee, which helps us to keep the music streaming.

To participate, all you have to do is sign up for the 12-month VIP membership by July 4th! That’s just around the corner, so don’t delay!

Happy Birthday, Benny Goodman!

Benny Goodman, one of the true giants of American music, was born 106 years ago today.

Known as The King of Swing, Goodman is best remembered as one of the greats of the swing era in the late 1930s and ‘40s, but he began playing professionally way back in the early ‘20s. He can be heard as part of the ensemble in some of the greatest records of the 1920s and early ‘30s.

We had the great pleasure of seeing him perform at Carnegie Hall on June 25, 1982. We’d moved to New York City just four days before, and we had no business spending the money it would cost to get a ticket, but this was just the sort of opportunity that had inspired us to relocate to the Big Apple, the chance to experience the best the world has to offer in every artistic discipline. To be in the same room with the likes of Mr. Goodman and the musicians who graced the stage with him that night—Teddy Wilson, Lionel Hampton, Panama Francis, and Phil Flanigan—as they shared their estimable gifts with the audience in that historic hall.

That was what New York meant to us then; it still does today.

After the show, we ran over to Colony Records near Times Square to buy a Benny Goodman album, with the intent of waiting by the backstage door and asking him to sign it when he came out.

That meant waiting several hours for the evening’s second show to end, but we stuck it out. Why we didn’t go find a coffee shop and have some dinner, we don’t recall. We probably thought there would be a mob of people awaiting Mr. Goodman’s appearance and figured we’d better stake out our spot as close to the stage door as possible.

But when he finally exited the Hall, there weren’t more than eight or ten people there, and he wasted no time in whisking right by every last one of us to duck into a waiting limousine.

It was disappointing, of course, that he didn’t stop to interact at least briefly with us, but hey, we can say we got to see Benny Goodman perform at Carnegie Hall and how many people can say that? What’s more, we stood not five feet from him as he exited the building and made his way home. So no regrets at all on our part, even if our LP went unsigned and our hands went unshaken.

Happy birthday, Mr. Goodman, and thanks for a wonderful evening.

Benny Goodman quote

Happy Birthday, Billie Holiday!

The late, utterly great Billie Holiday was born 100 years ago today, and we recommend you spend the whole day listening to her records to mark the occasion.

Her later recordings, when her health was letting her down and her demons were catching up to her, don’t hold the romantic appeal for us that they do for many, but hoo-boy, when she was young and healthy, she was amazing.

Happy birthday, Lady Day. We miss you around these parts.

Billie Holiday quote

Keep the Music Alive and Streaming!

We’re about ten or twelve days into our fundraising drive to keep Cladrite Radio alive and streaming; the renewal of our annual contract with Live365, our streaming provider, comes due in mid-April. If we’ve not reached our goal of $500 by the 15th of next month, the best-case scenario is that the number of recordings that we’re able to offer, the range of performance styles and genres of music, the variety of orchestras and vocalists will become much narrower than what you’ve grown accustomed to.

Worst-case scenario? The music will stop altogether.

We recognize that sounds a bit dramatic, but we’re giving it to you straight. Ou budget is very tight this year, and unless you, our listeners, come through for us, a belt-tightening (or worse) will be unavoidable, and there will be less of the music we all love to be enjoyed.

The good news is, a few loyal listeners have come through with contributions—we’re just under 20% of the way to our target of $500—and there’s still time for you, too, to play a role in keeping alive the stream of toe-tapping tunes. Every dollar helps, of course, but we’ve got some enticing premiums to for those who chip in at various levels.

$10 — A ten-spot will bring you a Cladrite Radio magnet for your refrigerator, your office cube, any metallic surface that could do with some decorating.

$25 — Send us twenty-five dollars and we’ll let you assist us in creating an hour of programming on Cladrite Radio: We’ll devote sixty minutes to playing your favorite songs from the Cladrite Era, your favorite artists, and when possible, your favorite songs performed by your favorite artists. And we’ll do our best to schedule that hour of programming in a time slot that suits you, so that you can invite friends, colleagues and family to listen in.

$50 — Slip us fifty bucks, and we’ll send you a Cladrite Radio t-shirt in your size of choice, plus you’ll get to help us create an hour of programming (and what the heck, we’ll throw in a magnet, too).

Don’t wait. Show your support for Cladrite Radio today.