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Discuss WRTI

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1. Posted on Sunday, July 17, 2011 by Nadim Sulaiman Ali:
I worked at wrti in the late 70's along with Samir ali Sadiq, Nasir Azim Abdullah, Umar A. Abdul-Hafez,and many others.

2. Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2011 by David Muhammad:
AS-SALAAM-ALAIKUM(PEACE)ITS A pleasure to be corresponding to someone from 90.1 Wrti radio..when you all inspired me in the 70'S WITH INSPIRATIONAL JAZZ MUSIC.I often reflect on those times of listening,,when every communicator was playing good jazz music..I HAVE BEEN TRYING AND THINKING ABOUT A CUT THAT SAMIR ALI SADIQ USED TO PLAY CALLED JOURNEY TO particular..take care..peace

3. Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011 by David Muhammad:

4. Posted on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 by Alex:
Does anyone knows the name of the theme song of jazz Journeys hosted By Earle Brown (WRTI) around 1990s?

5. Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2012 by Gerry Hanlon:
Greetings, brothers and sisters of the 70s and early 80s. I'm honored to have "grown up on the air" of WRTI from 1976 through '86, hosting Wednesday evening live jazz sessions (assisted by Brother Gil and numerous others) as well as Saturdays into Sunday starting at midnight. I well remember Samir Ali Sadiq, Brother Nasir (always a peaceful influence) and so many others to whom I'm grateful for the opportunity to have expanded my own musical horizons, as well as the many local musicians (Ted Gerike, I'm talkin' 'bout you) as well as C.T. Johnson, a regular guest who ran the Capricorn Club in South Philly for many years before his passing. Miss the glory days for jazz in Philadelphia, and though I moved on to WDCU in Washington in '86 for another ten year run, WRTI was magical. Yes, quite a few over-the-air lines were crossed in those days, but through all of it, jazz was on the air 24/7. When I come back to visit the magic of Philadelphia - seriously, do those of you who live there appreciate that great city? - I'm visiting great memories. And wouldn't it be wonderful if somehow, some forward thinking - or heritage conscious - university administrator somewhere in the Philadelphia area would revive all-day and all-night jazz radio for the many thousands of hipsters in the region who would support it? Ah well, one can dream. Thanks for the opportunity to let me share, then and now. Gerry Hanlon

6. Posted on Friday, November 1, 2013 by Nadim Sulaiman Ali:
Peace to you Gerry. I remember you well, and the fine taste in music that you offered the city for many years. I continued the tradition here in Atlanta for many years, but I have never forgotten my roots. Br. David the record that Samir(RIP) use to play was Journey to Mecca by Wali and the Afro Caravan

7. Posted on Friday, November 1, 2013 by Warren Lubline:
I became a listener in high school to Greg Ross, an enthusiastic guy that might have been named Dave or Kenny Anderson (still have a cassette of him breaking into a song saying "could someone please sign me up for the Down Beat broadcasters pole" during a fantastic piano solo - priceless)afternoon be-bop and later, the retrospective shows of Edgar Brown (still have some cassettes of his programs that he ended with "Revolution means change but not all change is revolutionary. Kwaheri." I wonder what happened to him. I met Steve Roland in a Sociology class, became friends and did demos to work on-air. This was a bad time for the station with Samir ali Sadiq packing the first half hour of his shows with calls to prayer, endless Malcolm X speeches, and finally the disappearance of a large amount of the station's jazz collection into the trunk of Sadiq's car. Still, it inculcated a life long love of the music and working at the station got me into lots of shows that I still remember in detail (Betty Carter, Ron Carter, Horace Silver, Quest. . . down at the old Bijou at Broad and Lombard), shows at Prince's Total Experience, the old and new Foxhall cafe, first in the basement of St. Mary's at the U of P and later at the Rittenhouse Square Ethical Society, and many other shows. I must have seen Philly Joe 30 times over the years, too. Sad to see the abandonment of the all jazz format but even more the loss of the presentation of the cutting edge of the music. Turning over prime time to the doddering BP with GM, already an elephant 35 years ago was unconscionable. Can anyone really understand his semi-senile ramblings? Edgar Brown could mumble with the best, but he was still an erudite broadcaster and put together great retrospective programs. It's all a long, long time ago. Kwaheri.Ludvig van Trek (what a name!) with his Point of Departure was the last really good program I listened to on my visits to town.

8. Posted on Saturday, December 28, 2013 by Charles:
What was the name of Joe Hunters theme song when he was a disc jockey at WRTI? His show was called, "Night of the Hunter."

9. Posted on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 by Rob Vaughn:
Greetings all WRTI. It was my great privilege to start in this crazy business by going on the air one morning at WRTI to do a newscast. 1977 -- while studying at Temple. Samir Ali Sadiq was the jock -- didn't know me from Adam, or my name. But it was a start. Thanks, Samir, and thanks, WRTI.

10. Posted on Monday, November 10, 2014 by Bill Breslin:
Answer to 8. Posted at 3:34 PM on 12/28/2013 by Charles: What was the name of Joe Hunters theme song when he was a disc jockey at WRTI? His show was called, "Night of the Hunter." The music was from "the deadly affair" composed by Quincy Jones; I have a copy of the CD. Back around 1969-1971 I made a reel-to-reel recording of one of Mr. Hunter's broadcasts. Sadly, I recorded over this "treasure" and lost my only copy. Do you know if anyone has copies of his shows? Thank you, Bill Breslin. Home phone: 949-722-7042

11. Posted on Tuesday, March 10, 2015 by gene:
I have some old cassettes of Sister Aquilla.

12. Posted on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 by James Dickerson:
The Muslim influence on WRTI jazz seems apparent in this thread. My experience, however, is colored by the residence of Edgar Brown (RIP), Perri Johnson and Primus Robinson - who were all, incidentally, 1964 and 1965 graduates of Ben Franklin High School. Edgar Brown was known as "The Hawk" and preceeded Harrison Ridley as on-air jazz historian. Perri Johnson, who created the term "Muzak" and later became a personality on WDAS-FM, presented as his theme the haunting Pharoah Sanders version of Astral Traveling by Dr. Lonnie Liston Smith. Primus went on to work for Atlantic Records, I believe.

13. Posted on Friday, October 16, 2015 by Brother Ujima:
Unfortunately, Brother Samir passed. However, the name of the track was "Afro Journey to Mecca" by Wali And The Afro Caravan from the album "Home Lost And Found (The Natural Sound)" on the Solid State label released in 1070. They also used to play it on "Al Islam In America" based in New Jersey, which I listened to from New York.

14. Posted on Thursday, January 7, 2016 by Bill Cohen:
First of all, I love this station (most of the time). I am principally a classical music listener, but do like to slip into a little jazz -- if its listenable. Second, after 10:00 p.m. the classical music programming format is really boooooring. 90 seconds of music and talk from Peter Van Dergrift (I don't know the spelling). He knows his stuff, but after that hour, please just music, no talk. I immediately turn it off and go to another station (e.g., Maine Public Radio which fits the bill. Third, B.P. is very good, but has such a sporadic play list at 6:00 p.m. That is the time for classic or cocktail jazz, not the fast paced be-bop that he slips in. Bob Craig knows what people want to hear when they are pouring a glass of wine before dinner. Keep B.P. but have him broadcast later. OK, that is what I have to say. Don't worry you will still get my (mola) support). Bill Cohen

15. Posted on Thursday, March 3, 2016 by Jim Greene:
Answer to 8 and 10. The Sound track for "the Deadly Affair" had Stan Getz as a studio musician for the Verve label. I have the album in vinyl. I called the station back when I was pretty young so I could get a hold of the Sound track

16. Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2016 by edith maletsky RN MS:
many years ago I did public health ed and became friends with Joe Hunter who was such a huge support system I have lost track of Joe does anyone know where he is and how he is? Shalom Edie Maletsky RN

17. Posted on Monday, May 9, 2016 by Rasheeda Young:
ASA, I'm trying to find a piece of which I have no idea of the title or artist(s). All I remember is that the Al-Fatiha was being sung with a rhythmic beat to it. I'm pretty sure it was a black group. Please help me...Allah'u Akbar *)

18. Posted on Thursday, September 1, 2016 by Nadim Sulaiman Ali:
Sister Rashida The Artist is Abdullah Ibrahim. The song is called Ishmael:

19. Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2016 by Robert black:
Still looking for answer to number 4

20. Posted on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 by ray filipponi:
I used to like a jazz host from the late 80s or early 90s on WRTI. Sunday mornings. Can't recall his name. Nice mellow music. Who was he? Thanks!

21. Posted on Tuesday, May 2, 2017 by Michael D. Anderson:
FROM A FORMER WRTI-FM STAFFER 1974-1984 During the late 60's and mostly 1970's, WRTI was known as "THE FREEDOM SOUNDS" and was the best station in the world to hear Jazz. The early 70's staff included people like Edgar Brown (The Hawk), George Cross, Camille Steed (Sunday Afternoon Magic), Bob Brown, Russ Musto, Buddy Korn, Allen Harris and a few others. They played the serious music. The music coming through the box from 'RTI was beyond incredible. Every show basically was a perfect continuation of the previous. At this time The NEW JAZZ of the 70's was taking the music to the next level with people like Doug & Jean Carn, Carlos Garrett, Woody Shaw, Charles Tolliver, Gary Bartz and Andy Bey, "The Visitors" (Earl & Carl Grubbs), Rahsaan Roland Kirk…. You get my point. It was the shooby dot kiddies. During the day you could walk from Broad and Diamond Street where the station was originally located and walk down Broad to Vine Street and every news stand had "RTI on the box blasting. I know I walked that walk many a day. The music was everywhere. As a child at age 9, Sundays were very special for me because of the program called "Blues Graveyard" hosted by Bart Tatem Jr. The Graveyard is where you heard the roots of Jazz and Blues. When I was age 13, I called Mr. Tatem and he invited me to the station because I knew so much about the history of Black Swing & Big Band Music. Basically this knowledge came from my listening to his show. Shortly thereafter Mr. Tatem brought me in as his assistant helping choose music his show. I later took over the show (1975-1977) as a community music specialist prior to Harrison Ridley Jr. joining the station in 1976. In 1977 while I was a student at Simon Gratz High School I was offered a Saturday evening 12-4 AM after Jonathan Bey and a Wednesday afternoon 2-6 PM slot. My teachers who were students at Temple U. would laugh to realize I would cut school to do my show at 'RTI which they listened to. Ms. Roberta Millard, one of my teachers helped me a get student work program document. Sadly, in 1976 we lost Allen Harris (DJ) and Michelle Freeman from our news department due to them having severe asthma attacks while they were on the air. This is the same year I joined The Sun Ra Arkestra as one of his many drummers. By 1977 the 'RTI staff had changed and we became "THE POINT". The new people on staff were Jonathan Bey, Skip Jackson, Aqueelah Jamal, Geetu Sanger, Samir Ali Sadaak, Brother William from

22. Posted on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 by Steve Rowland:
Hey, I just found this list - very nice. Hey to Gerry, Mike Anderson, Felix & Karen, Bernadette Hicks, Homer, Greg Ross, Aqueelah, Justin, -- I have a lot to say - but I see this is not frequented too often. Peace, Love and Music to you all!

23. Posted on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 by Mark MacQueen:
I used to do news and sports announcing at WRTI in the early 1970s. Until then I knew next to nothing about jazz. But one night I followed a jazz program with an 11 o’clock report and before I went on the DJ played his closing theme, Yusef Lateef’s “Love theme From Spartacus “. Such began a lifetime of loving jazz. Does any recall who the DJ was who used that song as his closing?

24. Posted on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 by Solar Mccoy :
anyone know what year Samir Ali Al Sadiq died

25. Posted on Monday, January 1, 2018 by Jitu Songea:
Fall semester of 1977 I enrolled as a student in the school of communication at Temple University. In November I was on-the-air at the university’s radio station, WRTI, 90.1 FM. While on the staff at the station I served as an on-air communicator, Public Affairs Director and Music Director.*** During the 70’s WRTI exclusively played the music known as “jazz”. As a staff member I had the opportunity to meet many of the top artist of this musical genre including; Max Roach, Philly Joe Jones, Jackie McLean, Betty Carter, Sun Ra, Art Blakey, Lex Humphries and Al Gray, to name a few.*** I was also producer and host of a public affairs program called “Community Struggle”. With co-host Jeral Ojubana and Atiba Moata, the program’s focus was the Black Freedom Movement. We covered many human rights issues including; social and racial justice, African cultural identity, liberation theology and the principles and practice of the pan-African holiday called Kwanzaa. We also featured the thoughts and activities of movement icons like Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Maulana Karenga, Sonia Sanchez and Imari Obadele.*** A roll call of some of the names I remember during my three year at WRTI include; Samir Ali Al-Sadiq, Harrison Ridley Jr. Edgar Brown, Alan Harris, Kamau Kenyatta, Nasir Azim Abdullah, Bruce Flowers, Justin Scott, Jonathan Bey, Aquilla Jamal, Umar Abdul-Hafez, Nadim Sulaiman Ali, Jim White, David James, Fatima Afifa, Gerri Lewis and Bro.Gil. Also there was Wayne Nance, Michael Briggs, Felix Hernandez, Steve Rowland, Greg Ross, Gerry Hanlon, Russ Musto, Java, and David Ortiz. In news and sports there was, Durwood Hankinson, Tommy St.Hill, Bill Vargas and many others.*** A shout out also to my fellow Gratz High and WRTI alumni George Cross, Rhoda Blount and Michael Anderson. Much peace, love, truth, and justice. -- Jitu Songea

26. Posted on Monday, February 5, 2018 by jj bishop:
I met "Brother Nasir" in the old WRTI studio in 1974. He was using his name "Bill Holmes" on the air at the time. He was extremely friendly and I immediately was impressed with his free-wheeling spirit! Fast forward to 1980, after he got fired from WDAS-FM: I ran into him again at the WRTI studio, and he was a completely changed individual. His demeanor was standoff-ish and arrogant. When I greeted him enthusiastically with "Hi, Bill!", he gave me a "if looks could kill" glance. I wasn't aware that the "Nasir" transformation had turned him into such a negative person. I was embarrassed, to say the least. What a shame it is to remember him in that way, but I can only be honest. Oh well, as Earth Wind And Fire once sang "A child is born with a heart of gold, and the way of the world makes his heart grow cold." Rest in peace, Bill.

27. Posted on Saturday, September 8, 2018 by Robert Bernabe:
What was the theme song for wrti in 1959 thru 1963. Thanks.

28. Posted on Saturday, September 7, 2019 by Lori Limper:
Does anyone remember the time frame when Java hosted a Saturday morning reggae program? I was in high school during some of those years and I can honestly say that this program might have saved my life (it helped me through some major depression). Thanks Java, wherever you are.

29. Posted on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 by Dan Deal:
I remember the Saturday morning show fondly. Truly appointment radio for me. Was the show called Caribe? I recall the big fad that took over was the sleng teng riddem. That was a huge hit in 84. I believe the show was on a few years before that. I think that Bob Marley might have passed while it was on, that was 81. I vaguely recall the show that preceded it was more Calypso oriented...

30. Posted on Saturday, January 11, 2020 by Gary Jeffries:
What an honor it was to have learned the craft of broadcasting and to have been raised spiritually up at such a young age through this profoundly power and sublime art, sound, living form. I steeped myself in the station's recording collection beginning my first year at Temple and have benefited from 'a continuing education' to my life ever since--sound as salvation, medicine, transformation. Each of the station's personnel previously mentioned contributed something unique to The Freedom Sound. Many things make Phily special. This is is one of them. Other contributors included Renee Turner, Craig Baylor, Harold Jamison, Brother Jorge, Sandy Goldsmith. Love and Respect to all my former colleagues! Gary Jeffries

31. Posted on Tuesday, August 18, 2020 by Joe Jennings:
Anyone remember the theme song for Chuck Sherman's 'Sounds in the night' program--

32. Posted on Saturday, August 29, 2020 by Robert Kimmel:
Anyone still around from when I was connected to WRTI at Temple University in the mid-1950s? Recall we did a show recorded at WFIL, with Dick Clark as the announcer. (Before he became Bandstand's host)I graduated from Temple in 1955.

33. Posted on Thursday, September 17, 2020 by Will Springer:
I volunteered in the station's news and sports depts. back around 1979-1981. Great experience, calling Temple football and basketball games as well as Sonny Hill Summer League games. If anyone from that era remembers me, please give me a shout. ( To No. 28 (Lori), I recall Java hosted Carribe from 4am-8am on Saturdays while I was there. I don't recall his full name. He was a wonderful gentleman to me. Back then, we received a letter in the mail from a listener in Sweden(!) indicating the person faintly heard Java's broadcast - pretty incredible for a 5,000-watt university station.

34. Posted on Tuesday, December 29, 2020 by Steve Rowland:
Nice to see this conversation still going on here - into 2021! Good to see memories of Java's very important reggae show. It was on in the early 80's - usually from 8am-noon. Then I had a show called "World Music" from noon-2pm and then the wonderful David Ortiz came on with his great show El Viaje from 2-5 or 2-6. Java and I once interviewed Bob Marley together -it must have shortly before he died in 1981- so maybe late 1980 - We taped the interview but I never got a chance to hear it -if anyone has a copy I'd love to get in touch . there are so many great memories of people and times there - Richard Nichols, Homer Jackson, Bernadette Hicks, Aqueelah Jamal, Misty, Justin Scott, Mike Anderson, Bill McLaurin, Ludwig Van Trikt, Brother Nassir, Jonathan Bey, so many others mentioned above all magical.

35. Posted on Thursday, January 14, 2021 by Ludwig vanTrikt :
What a delight to discover this posting! I spent over a decade on WRTI brought to the station through the mentoring of Steve Rowland , this after growing up in racially torn South West Philly. During this time the so called black community still had the opportunity to hear jazz....The Aqua Lounge, Geneo’ Empty Foxhole then even WDAS might slip in some late night Coltrane. I studied music at The Model Cities Program meeting members of The Catalyst- Odean Pope, Sherman Ferguson, Eddie Greene and Tyrone Brown. My studies were with Sly Saudi Smithers who played trumpet on the early Sugar Hill records. While on WRTI I hosted the self named “Out of The Afternoon” then became The Nigth Creature playing the so called avant- grade...friendships were formed with Skip Homer Jackson, Miyoshi Smith, Craig Baylor and the late Richard Nichols. Richard was one of the most profound black men I have ever known. Great conversations were had at the old THIRD STREET JAZZ where Gerry Gordon would discourage me talking with FRANCIS DAVIS. I created The Jazz AUDIO JOURNAL with help from some of the cats mentioned above. WRTI alert me transition to being the Jazz Program Director at The Painted Bride Art Center for several years (what a great chapter in my life and hopefully the cultural scene in Phil’s). Also I started writing for Cadence magazine (still there),BE BOP AND BEYOND, The deep sadness is that this collective experience is not likely to come this way in time again...Being a weird jazz loving kid and having the late Edgar Brown let me read a badly written but earnest poem on his show. Stoping everything I was doing on Friday nights to make sure I caught his show.......My hope is that just a small number of what I have done created similar bright moments in someone else life like some of the good people I mentioned did in my own life.

36. Posted on Friday, March 19, 2021 by Randy Hersom:
I was at WRTI from 1976 to 1979, and have fond memories of Mike Anderson, Gerry Hanlon and Garry Jeffries among the DJs who have posted here, and I do remember Will Springer and Steve Rowland, but didn't get to know them as well. I think I did play intramural floor hockey with Will. I took over a time slot from Mark Goodman, one of the original MTV VJs. The love of the music of Coltrane, Tyner, Billy Harper, Woody Shaw and Cecil Taylor I picked up there has been lifelong.

37. Posted on Sunday, March 28, 2021 by Anita Balabon :
Java on the radio, the roots communicator...I will never forget how amazing his show was. He introduced us all to the genius of Frankie Paul, Big Youth (La Luta Continua), Barbara Paige (Island Stomp), Buju Banton, Marcia Griffith, Gregory Isaac's among so many more. The memory of this Saturday morning show certainly lives on. Thanks and praises!

38. Posted on Saturday, June 26, 2021 by Bruce P.:
I listen to WRTI almost constantly. I'm glad they rescued WFLN's music library but I do miss the old days of jazz 24/7. Started listening in 1972. BTW, anyone remember Gerard Bates, the Mysterious Traveller?

39. Posted on Thursday, June 30, 2022 by David Sharp:
A white suburban kid…..gets turned on to Lee Morgan by Aquila …..will always be indebted!

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