Joel Najman

Host, My Place

Joel has been a part of Vermont's radio scene since 1964. He began his career at WIPS in Ticonderoga, New York. In 1965, he moved to WFAD in Middlebury, Vermont, where he attended Middlebury College. Over the years, Joel worked at radio stations WJOY, WQCR, WDOT, WDEV and WVAA where he served at various times as Morning Announcer, Program Director and News Director.

None of his radio gigs allowed him to express his love for 50s and 60s rock 'n roll music - until VPR. Joel began his association with Vermont Public Radio in the early 1980s, and since 1982 has been the host and producer of VPR's weekly My Place program. Self-taught, he weaves musicology, anthropology, sociology and even psychology among the music, creating a snapshot of life at that time.

Joel was inducted into the Vermont Association Of Broadcasters Hall Of Fame in 2004.

 

Ways to Connect

Courtesy, Joel Najman

Songwriter Harry M. Woods composed some of the biggest pop hits in the years between the two World Wars.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

The song, "Tom Dooley," as recorded by The Kingston Trio in 1958 spurred a folk music revival in contemporary popular music.

My Place: Tim Hardin

May 4, 2017
Courtesy, Joel Najman

During the dawning of the folk-rock era of the mid-to-late 1960's, singer/songwriter Tim Hardin wrote some of the most enduring confessional songs of love and life.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

Drummer Hal Blaine is a charter member of Los Angeles's elite group of first-call studio musicians know collectively as "The Wrecking Crew."

Courtesy, Joel Najman

Singer/songwriter Don Covay's music career encompassed constantly evolving genres of black music from 1950s retro doo-wop to early 1960s teen dances.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

This week's My Place program is the conclusion of a two-part profile of session guitarist Hugh McCracken.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

Hugh McCracken was one of New York's most skilled, first-call studio guitarists. He played on countless sessions with top-name artists over a four-decade period.

My Place: Chuck Berry

Mar 29, 2017
Courtesy, Joel Najman

Rock 'n' roll pioneer Chuck Berry passed away at age 90 on March 18, 2017. He was about to release his first new album in 40 years.

This week on the program, I'll tell you the improbable story of singer/songwriter, Johnny Bragg.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

On this week's program, I'll feature part two in the series on the career of master guitarist Billy Mure. 

Courtesy, Joel Najman

Guitarist Billy Mure's professional career as a musician extended a full eight decades. As a studio session musician in New York, Billy Mure has played on dozens of major hit records.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

Throughout the history of popular music, we can find references to cigarette smoking.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

This week's My Place program is a collection of popular songs about roses!

Courtesy, Joel Najman

After hearing many excellent suggestions from My Place listeners, this week's program is another collection of very different songs that share the identical title.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

This week on My Place, I'll present another series of very different popular songs that share an identical title. We will feature memorable recordings by the Beach Boys, Art Garfunkel and Steely Dan.

Courtesy, All Songs

Otis Blackwell grew up in Brooklyn in the 1930s, listening to cowboy music. Blackwell went on to write some of the biggest seminal hits of the early rock-and-roll era.

My Place: The Cookies

Jan 20, 2017
Courtesy, Joel Najman

This week on My Place, we spotlight The Cookies, originally a trio of singing cousins who got together in Brooklyn in 1953.

courtesy of Joel Najman

This week, My Place traces the career and music of British songwriter, producer and orchestrator, Tony Hatch.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

In a career that extended some 40 years, composer and lyricist Frank Loesser provided original songs for over 60 Hollywood motion pictures as well as many musical stage productions, including Broadway's classic, "Guys And Dolls."

 

The New Year's Eve edition of My Place visits the classic doo-wop group harmony hits of the early years of the rock 'n' roll era. Memorable recordings by the Dell-Vikings, the Penguins and The Five Satins are among the selections featured.

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