WBGO Journal

Saturday 6:30am - 7am

Hosted by Doug Doyle

The WBGO Journal is an award-winning half-hour news magazine that airs Saturdays at 6 am. Reports and analysis, informative interviews and features.

Medieval Times
Medieval Times for WBGO

The times...they are changing at Medieval Times housed at the Lyndhurst, New Jersey castle. In the Medieval Times’ 34-year tradition, a queen has never ruled the land…until now.

It started late last week. Queen Isabella is now in charge. Isabella is cast as firm but kind ruler respected throughout the kingdom, inheriting the throne after her father passed away.

Medieval Times leadership team developed the idea to cast a matriarch, based in part on guest feedback that they would like to see women having more significant roles.

Spongebob Squarepants
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews Farinelli and the King, Meteor Shower, and SpongeBob SquarePants.

David Sanborn
David Sanborn for WBGO News

Legendary saxophonist David Sanborn and his quintet performed two shows at B.B. King's in New York City Friday night.

WBGO's morning host Gary Walker spoke with Sanborn about the musician's career and thoughts on jazz and an upcoming internet series called "Sanborn Sessions."

Sanborn doesn't want to be put in a genre box.

Governor Christie
Phil Gregory for WBGO News

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is now serving his final days in office. On Tuesday, Democrat Phil Murphy will be sworn in. With a bigger than life personality, Christie was hailed for his commanding leadership after Superstorm Sandy, but Bridgegate took its toll on his political viability.

He leaves office with historic low approval ratings for a governor. Political analysts say Christie made some big changes, many positive, but they say most residents are glad to see him go.

Seeing Eye
Jon Kalish for WBGO

The first institution to train guide dogs for blind people in the United States began in 1929. Two years later it moved to New Jersey and it's been here ever since.

Now located in Morristown, the Seeing Eye helps about 250 blind people bond with their new four-legged partners every year. WBGO's Jon Kalish visited the Seeing Eye.

NEON

2017 was, all in all, a good year for movies. The quest for the perfect too often drives out the arrival of the merely wonderful and good in parts. We’ve been hectored by the self-esteem tyrants that we are sublime creatures who deserve only the very best every second of the 24-hour day — in food, clothes, cars, beds, books (whatever they were), TV, and seats at spectacles, music, and movies. The demand for perfect self-offerings prevents us from appreciating what is merely wonderful and good in parts. We short change ourselves that way, particularly when it comes to film.

Mildred Antenor
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO commentator Mildred Antenor talks about her concerns regarding how people treat immigrants in the United States.

Mildred is a social commentator, author and Seton Hall University Professor.

The Children
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews Junk, Describe The Night and The Children.

The History of the New Year's Eve Ball Drop

Dec 29, 2017
Times Square
Scott Pringle for WBGO News

Many eyes will be on Times Square as officials drop the ball to bring in the New Year.

The very first Times Square celebration to bring in the new year was back in 1904.

“When they came here to Times Square the first couple years, they did fireworks. The hot ashes would reign down on revelers below, burning their heads, not a great way to start the new year.” So, Jeff Strauss with Countdown Entertainment says in 1907 the New York Times asked its chief electrician, Walter Palmer to come up with a new idea.

Harlan Jacobson
David Tallacksen for WBGO

It’s been a good December at the movies.

Major titles that are out there to see include James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, which finds fun and meaning in the worst movie of all time, The Room, made in 2003 by a couple of strange actors; Guillermo del Toro’s, The Shape of Water, a sugar water addition to his fantasy canon, with Sally Hawkins courting a best actress nomination as cleaning crew in a top-secret military research facility who is in the tank for an alien merman.

Pride and Prejudice
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater Critic Michael Bourne reviews Twelfth Night, Pride and Prejudice and It's a Wonderful Life!

Kathy Fitzgerald
Doug Doyle for WBGO

Roald Dahl’s treasured tale is now Broadway’s Golden Ticket! Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is hilarious and filled with energy.  The show for all ages includes songs from the original film, including “Pure Imagination,” “The Candy Man” and “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” alongside a toe-tapping and ear-tickling new score from the songwriters of Hairspray.

Joanna Wolper's The Man Who Could Be Santa

Dec 22, 2017
Joanna Wolper
Joanna Wolper for WBGO News

Joanna Wolper, an Emmy Award winning writer and documentary filmmaker, has uncovered the true identity of Santa Claus. She writes about her discovery in a children's book called The Man Who Could Be Santa, based on a true family adventure.

Joanna Wolper's book has a web site, at www.themanwhocouldbesanta.com, featuring the real children in the story.

Original music written and performed by Gabrielle Gewritz.

Click above to hear the entire podcast.

Ang Santos / WBGO

  

The line stretches around the block as hundreds of Newark families wait outside on an unseasonably warm December day with their kids, for early holiday presents.  Newark Mayor Ras Baraka makes small talk with residents and looks over piles of toys organized by the appropriate age group. 

What were some of the toys a young Ras Baraka desired as a kid?

“I loved those chemistry sets, bikes, skateboards, or a football uniform.  Pittsburgh Steelers, football uniform, Lynn Swann.”

Mildred Antenor
David Tallacksen for WBGO

WBGO commentator, author and Seton Hall professor Mildred Antenor has some major concerns about students as the fall semester comes to a close.

Nate Burleson
Joe Favorito for WBGO

Former NFL wide receiver Nate Burleson's transition into sports television has been impressive.  Burleson is the co-host of the NFL Network's Good Morning Football and he's also an analyst on CBS' NFL Today.

Burleson sat down recently with SportsJam host Doug Doyle to talk about his work in television, his NFL career and his family.

Burleson, his wife and children have recently moved to Ridgewood, New Jersey.

More than 94,000 New Jersey residents with criminal convictions are not allowed to vote.  Civil rights groups are pushing for that to change.

Blacks make up about 15 percent of New Jersey's population but represent about half of those who cannot vote because of a criminal conviction.

Senator Ron Rice says that disproportionately reduces the political power of black communities because of systemic racism in the criminal justice system. 

Uma Thurman
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews several shows that don't shed positive light on President Trump, including a new play starring Oscar nominee Uma Thurman.

Armando Galella
Scott Pringle for WBGO News

Thursday was the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  More than 23 hundred Americans were killed on that early Sunday morning.

newarkyogamovement.org

The Newark Yoga Movement has been trying it’s best to reduce stress around the city for a number of years. 

“And in regard to the schools which is our primary focus, it was really to try to help children perform a little bit better academically and feel better personally," said Debby Kaminsky, founder of the Newark Yoga Movement.  Her classes are regularly visiting students and teachers in city classrooms ranging from K-12.

Ashley Cole
Jerry Milani for WBGO

Here's the transcript of this edition of SportsJam with Doug Doyle featuring Ashley Cole:

Doug Doyle: We’re here in New York City for this edition of SportsJam, and what a special edition it is. Ashley Cole, the legendary footballer is here to talk to us about a special event coming up right after this interview. You’re heading over to Harlem to dedicate a new field. The kids are going to go crazy when they see Ashley Cole. Tell us how Chelsea F.C. gets involved in community activities like this.

The Band's Visit
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne reviews Broadway's The Band's Visit and Desperate Measures off-Broadway.

Click above to hear Michael's reviews.

Aljira

A new art exhibit at Aljira in downtown Newark is bringing social justice advocates together to bring attention to the issue of mass incarceration.

Recent statistics from the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey show there’s over 35,000 people living behind bars in state penitentiaries. ACLU Criminal Justice Transparency Fellow Portia Allen Kyle says that comes at a cost of about 55,000 dollars for each incarcerated person per year.

Arthur Browne
Allan Wolper for WBGO

In 1973, Arthur Browne became a copy boy at the Daily News.  Now 44 years later he is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of New York City’s home town newspaper.

In the past four decades, Browne has covered the city’s most compelling stories…as a reporter, a columnist, editorial page editor and editor, investigative editor, managing editor, and now editor-in-chief and publisher.

Politico calls Browne the “tortured heart and soul” of the newspaper.

Dr. Lewis Porter
Bill May for WBGO News

WBGO's Nate Chinen chats with jazz historian, musician, author and University of Rutgers-Newark Professor Dr. Lewis Porter about the various versions of Round Midnight and the history behind the tune.

Dr. Porter's Deep Dive posts can be found at www.wbgo.org. 

Click above to hear the entire interview with Dr. Porter and Nate Chinen.

Office Hour
Michael Bourne for WBGO

Theater critic Michael Bourne is very rarely surprised while watching shows, but he was actually shocked by a new play off-Broadway Office Hour, now playing at the Public Theater. 

Michael also reviews John Leguizamo one-man show at Studio 54.

 

House Framing
Jon Kalish for WBGO

On this weekend after Thanksgiving we thought we'd re-visit a character in Maine we met on the WBGO Journal last spring. Gardner Waldeier has been producing videos for YouTube about his quest to build a house from trees on his property.

These days he's very grateful for friends and neighbors who helped him raise the frame of that house on a chilly weekend earlier this month.

Jon Hendricks
npr.org

Legendary and pioneering jazz singer and songwriter Jon Hendricks died on Wednesday.  He was 96.  WBGO's Doug Doyle has a special tribute to the man Time Magazine called the "James Joyce of Jive."

For more on the life of Jon Hendricks, you can check out this post on our website.

deedeebridgewater.com

It’s been a busy year for vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater.  WBGO’s Ang Santos caught up with the jazz icon in New York City, as she tours in support of a new album.

Ang Santos:  Joining us on the WBGO Journal is Dee Dee Bridgewater, at the Blue Note in New York City.  No stranger to our airwaves, Thanks for being with us.

Dee Dee Bridgewater:  You’re welcome

AS:  You’re touring for your new album, 'Memphis, Yes I’m Ready'. To my understanding the album was a project that spanned over several years?

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