New to the airwaves: WFDU introduces three shows
Radio personalities Big Frank Mirra (left), Ghosty (center) and Ed Alstrom (right) add to WFDU 89.1 FM's impressive line-up of on-air personalities.
WFDU 89.1 FM, “The Radio Voice of Fairleigh Dickinson University,” recently welcomed three new programs to the local broadcast area and to its worldwide audience.
Big Frank Mirra, a well-known blues musician in the area for more than three decades, will serve up tasty treats on Fridays from noon to 3:45 p.m. in Big Frank’s Blues Kitchen. The shows focus on traditional American roots music, blues and vintage pop and rock.
Mirra knows his way around the music, having opened for such acts as Little Charlie and the Nightcats, Bo Diddley Jr. and Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. He has played with blues greats, including the late Hubert Sumlin and Moose Walker.
A guitar player since his teenage years, Frank became interested in the blues from listening to rock and roll and recognizing the importance of the genre’s blues foundations.
Frank’s band, Big Frank and the Healers, released their third album in 2012, “Sparky’s Lounge.” Titled for his beloved pooch, the CD has been receiving heavy airplay in the U.S. and Europe.
On Sundays, classic pop and rock take over the airwaves at 11 a.m. as David Wills —also known as Ghosty, opens the doors to the Vintage Pop and Rock Shop. Ghosty spins top hits and lost gems from the mid-1950s through the mid 1960s. Listeners will be treated to artists including Elvis Presley, Ronnie Dawson, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, Connie Francis, The Four Seasons, The Beach Boys, The Beatles and more. Listeners will also enjoy nostalgic TV show themes, interview clips and music trivia.
Ghosty’s interest in radio began when he was a wee lad listening to far away a.m. radio stations at night in his secret bunker under the covers in his bedroom. That long-distance listening, known as AM DXing, served to fire his imagination and cement his future in broadcasting.
He has been a staff announcer for WFDU for more than two decades. And, when he is not spending long hours locked in the station’s production studio, heading up the production unit, he frequently lends his voice to a variety of TV projects including Saturday morning cartoons. He has also hosted several programs on Sirius Satellite Radio.
When country, rock, folk, blues and a touch of R&B and gospel are put in a blender, a great modern genre emerges — Americana. This is music with great singing, playing and storytelling and a whole lot of honesty and soul.
Americana will be found in abundance on Root 891, Sundays at 1 p.m. The show will explore the music of the founding fathers of Americana including The Band, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, but also the people making the Americana scene the phenomenon it is today — Rodney Crowell, Ray Wyle Hubbard and the Lumineers.
Ed Alstrom is the host of Root 891. He has maintained a busy career as a professional multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger in pop, rock, jazz, blues, cabaret, Broadway and other genres. He’s created four CDs of his own and appeared with Bette Midler, Herbie Hancock, Chuck Berry, Steely Dan and Odetta amongst others. Alstrom has served as the weekend organist at Yankee Stadium since 2004, replacing the great Eddie Layton.
WFDU has been serving the public and Fairleigh Dickinson University since 1971. The station broadcasts from the historic Armstrong Tower in Alpine, N.J. and can also be heard on the Internet and a variety of mobile devices.