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

Singer/songwriter Laura Nyro was inducted into the Rock amp; Roll Hall Of Fame, class of 2012.

Though she never enjoyed a hit single or top-40 LP as a recording artist herself, others who covered her songs enjoyed a slew of major pop hits with her compositions from the late 1960's into the 1970's. In the years that followed, Laura Nyro earned a cult following of fans that still grows in numbers in the fifteen years following her untimely passing.

AP / Andy Williams performs on television in 1961.

On September 25, 2012 crooner Andy Williams died at age 84 at his home in Branson, Missouri. In a singing career that spanned more than seven decades, Andy Williams placed more than fifty hit singles on the national popularity charts and recorded eighteen gold and three platinum-certified albums, reflecting many millions in record sales. This week Joel Najman's My Place program celebrates the life in music of Andy Williams with a collection of his most significant and memorable recordings.


Etta James 1938-2012

Oct 27, 2012
AP/Jeff Christensen / Etta James performs during the 2006 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in New Orleans.

On January 20, 2012 singer Etta James passed away five days shy of her 74th birthday. She began her career as a rhythm amp; blues singer, bringing to her craft such a boundless talent that her repertoire defied categorization; blues, ramp;b, rock amp; roll and jazz were all part of the mix. This week Joel Najman's My Place program celebrates the life in music of Etta James.


This week Joel Najman's My Place program puts the ladies in the spotlight with a sampling of hit recordings primarily from the 1960's by female singers and vocal groups. Memorable hits by Brenda Lee, Skeeter Davis, Betty Johnson and many others are among the selections included.


Music, Music, Music
Album no album name - 45rpm single
Record Label Argo 5391

On July 16, 2012 country music singing star Kitty Wells passed away in Madison, Tennessee at age ninety-two. Kitty Wells was the first female country music megastar and the one who paved the way for all the female country headliners who followed. In 1952 Kitty Wells was the first female recording artist ever to score a national number-one hit single, and she went on to place an astonishing 81 hit singles on the national top 100 country music popularity charts during a singing career that extended over six decades.


Continuing a series of programs of songs that ask a question, this week's My Place with Joel Najman features an hour of vintage popular songs that ask the question "Why?". Interrogative classics by Frankie Lymon, the Belmonts , Pat Boone and many others are featured.


On September 1, 2012 Hall Of Fame popular music lyricist Hal David passed away at age 91. Many in collaboration with composer Burt Bacharach and with vocalist Dionne Warwick, Hal David's songs are among the most enduring and cherished of the 1960's and beyond.

This week Joel Najman's My Place program celebrates the life in music of Hal David with a collection of his most significant and memorable compositions. In addition to Ms Warwick, Dusty Springfield, Jackie DeShannon, and Herb Alpert are among the recording artists featured.