This year’s PRPD Content Conference is August 20 – 23 in Austin, Texas. As we run-up to the conference we will be featuring occasional “only in Austin” stories.
|John Aielli in the KUTX Music Library|
John Aielli is a one-of-a-kind radio personality who is a perfect fit with Austin, Texas. Allelli, now in his early 70s, is KUTX’s morning drive host, Monday through Thursday 6am – 8pm.
Aielli is a KUT veteran. In 1966, while he was a student, he began working at the station as a classical music announcer. In 2013 when KUT focused its schedule on News/Talk programming, Allielli and other music hosts moved KUTX. Aielli expanded the scope of the music beyond current singer-songwriter favorites. He plays folk, classical, classic rock and Indian ragas.
But Aielli biggest draw is his stream of consciousness patter between the tunes.
For instance, he recently played a song by the group Passion Pit. He said on the air, just as the tune was ending:
“Passion Pit…peach pit…life is the pits. There are a lot of pits in this world. Watch out for the ones you can fall in.”
|Aielli at KUT in 1966|
Aielli’s style is reminiscent of Joe Frank, Steve Post, Peter Schickele and Garrison Keillor’s morning drive show on MPR before APHC.
Some of Aielli’s most entertaining comments become tweets on a popular fan-owned Twitter handle, @Eklektikos
How beloved is John Aielli in Austin? On September 1, 2016, the Mayor declared the day as “John Aielli Day,” celebrating his 50 years on Austin’s airwaves. You can see and hear it here [link].
DRUNK HISTORY SALUTES FRED ROGERS
One of my favorite guilty pleasures is Comedy Central’s occasional series Drunk History [link].
If you haven’t seen the show, each episode consists of key moments in history as told by a storyteller who is totally drunk.
Characters morph in and out of the narrative in hilarious routines.
One of the reasons I like Drunk History [link] is that the stories from the past are accurate.
Last week the show featured the backstory of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood and the fight to save public broadcasting from cuts threatened by Richard Nixon.
|Colin Hanks plays Fred Rogers|
Not only were the facts right, the segment includes one of the best pitches about saving public broadcasting I have every heard.
In the episode, Fred Rogers fights for continued CPB funding in front of Congress. He creates the classic children's show Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Then Rogers helps stop budget cuts to public television proposed by Richard Nixon.
You can see the Mr. Rogers segment free at [link].
THIS AMERICAN LIFE, THE DAILY & RADIOLAB TOP JANUARY PODTRAC’S TOP 20 PODCAST RANKINGS
There are very few changes in Podtrac’s Top 20 Podcast according to the January 2018 numbers. PRX and WNYC Studios each have two podcasts on the list.