Friday, February 17, 2012

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Saturday's concert by guitarist Tom Byrne's group Have U Heard at the Wildey Theatre is the subject of a preview story by Bill Tucker of the Edwardsville Intelligencer.

* Jazz St. Louis has a new podcast online, featuring an interview and "blindfold test" with trumpeter Byron Stripling. Stripling (pictured) will be here next week to do an educational residency for JSL and perform on Friday and Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

* Radio station KDHX's (88.1 FM) website has a brief review of last Saturday's performance by Chucho Valdés at the Sheldon Concert Hall, written by the station's Jared Corgan.

* Writing on Facebook, saxophonist Oliver Lake says he's just completed the first of two recording sessions for his next album, which will feature his Big Band. Lake is trying to raise money for the production via the website IndieAGoGo. As of this writing, he's raised $1,460 toward a goal of $6,000, with 44 days left in the campaign.

* Time magazine has just put online 13 never-before-published photos of Miles Davis, from the archives of now-defunct sister magazine Life.

* Because of the snowy weather on Monday, the St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts had to reschedule the workshop "Inside the Music Biz: Legal Essentials" that was to have been presented that evening. The new date is Monday, April 16; registration info is at the first link above.

* New Orleans funk band Galactic will be in St. Louis to perform on Wednesday, March 14 at The Pageant in support of their new album Carnivale Electricos, which is being released to the public next Tuesday. However, you can get a first listen to the new album online right now, via a free audio stream on the website of talk show host Conan O'Brien.


dlwilson26 said...

I lived in St. Louis and worked in East St. Louis for 1 a year in 1999. Both are great music towns. I was especially impressed by Leo Chears, the "man in the red vest." He sure knew the music and his radio program was a wonderful source of music discovery. Someone I know is doing an article on jazz deejays and he is seeking airchecks. Do you know where we can find airchecks by Leo?


David Wilson

Dean Minderman said...

Thanks for commenting, David. Regarding airchecks of Leo Chears, I'd suggest getting in touch with Greg Conroy, station manager at WSIE, the public radio station affiliated with Sourthern Illinois University in Edwardsville. Their wesbite is

That's the last station at which Chears worked before he died; perhaps they may have saved some recordings of his broadcasts. I believe they also aired a tribute to him after his death, though I don't know if was archived.

Most of the other commercial stations where Chears worked years ago have changed ownership and formats multiple times, and are unlikely to have recorded or saved any of his work.

Also, I'd suggest checking in with Frank Absher, who runs a site about St. Louis radio history at Frank is a longtime veteran of the local radio business who was around when Chears was active. He has a number of airchecks of St. Louis radio and TV personalities posted online at his site, and while there currently are none of Leo Chears that I can find, it's possible he may have something in his files that just hasn't been posted yet.

You also might want to check with Don Wolff, longtime St. Louis jazz broadcaster and jazz historian, who was a contemporary of Chears'. He can be contacted through his website at