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.

 

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Joel Najman / VPR

When the Beatles arrived in the U.S. in 1964 they were quickly followed by a profusion of other British bands that quickly changed the North American popular music landscape. This week's My Place program presents an hour of those bands that followed the Beatles in the order they appeared on the US  pop music charts. Memorable hits by the Dave Clark 5, the Searchers and the Rolling Stones are among the featured selections.

Joel Najman / VPR

Each year the Recording Academy - the institution that awards the annual music industry Grammys - designates 25 songs deemed  "of lasting qualitative or historical significance" that are at least 25 years old for inclusion in the Grammy Hall Of Fame. This week's My Place program looks at the 2017 inductees, with memorable recordings by Elvis Presley, Arlo Guthrie and Bonnie Raitt among the selections presented.

Joel Najman / VPR

Johnny Mercer was one of the foremost lyricists of the 20th century, with a songwriting career that extended from 1930 into the early 1970's. Mercer wrote some 1,400 songs, many of which have endured as cherished standards.

Joel Najman / VPR

In this second program of a My Place series on song lyricist Johnny Mercer, the focus is on songs Johnny wrote early in his career for Hollywood motion pictures.  Memorable recordings by Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, and Johnny Mercer himself are among the selections featured.

This week's My Place is a collection of popular songs about cats.

Arthur Conley was one of the many soul artists who recorded music at Fame Studios in Alabama.
Joel Najman, courtesy

This week's My Place is a concluding part two of the music that was produced at Rick Hall's Fame Recording Studios.

Hear the many soulful hits that emerged in the 1960's and 70's from these studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. 

Listen Saturday, July 8 at 8 p.m. on VPR.

Joel Najman

This week's My Place spotlights record producer Rick Hall and his Fame Recording Studios which gave rise to the "Muscle Shoals" sound in Southern soul music.

Joel Najman

Composers Jerry Ross and Richard Adler wrote the words and music of two of the most enduring Broadway musicals of the 1950's as well as a slew of other pop music hits of the pre-rock&roll 1950's. This week's My Place program spotlights the Ross/Adler songwriting partnership with memorable recordings by Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Sarah Vaughan and others.

Courtesy of Joel Najman

This week's My Place spotlights Billy Strange, who excelled as a guitarist, arranger, singer and songwriter.

Courtesy of Joel Najman

This week's My Place program spotlights the Old Town Record Company of New York City and its colorful founder, Hy Weiss.

In a kind of slow-motion 'call-and-response,' this week on "My Place" we'll hear songs that "answered" some questions sung in hit tunes by Elvis Presley.
Joel Najman, Courtesy

This week on My Place, a program of records that "answered" or responded to a hit of Elvis Presley.

Courtesy, Joel Najman

Beginning in the late 1950s, music composer Paul Vance has had over 300 songs recorded over a career that has extended well over half a century.

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.

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