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Applause and The Sound of Applause

Fraternity and Sorority Stepping

Thursday, July 26, 2012

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Some of you might remember DJ Norm N. Nite and his oldies format show in the 70s on WGAR in Cleveland dubbed the “Night Train.” Others might know his name from his weekend show on Sirius Radio featuring early Rock and Roll. But what most people don’t know about Norm N. Nite is the important role he played in bringing the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum to Cleveland.

Another distinguished voice among Cleveland announcers is Joe Tait, the voice of the Cleveland Cavaliers, who joined the organization in 1970 and broadcast over 3,000 games. But basketball isn’t Joe’s only forte. From 1973 to 1979, Tait called games for the Cleveland Indians and even did games for the Chicago Bulls, New Jersey Nets and the Women’s National Basketball Association. In March, Tait decided to retire after a bout with pneumonia caused him to miss the 2011 season. But it did give him time to write a book, called Joe Tait: it’s Been a Real Ball (co-authored by Plain Dealer sports columnist Terry Pluto) and covering Tait’s many years in broadcasting.

Predominately African-American fraternities and sororities have been around for over a century. The first was Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity incorporated in 1906 at Cornell University in New York. The organization began as a way of providing support for black students on campus who were denied access to university sponsored activities and associations. The process of joining a Black Greek organization can be rewarding, challenging and sometimes take months. It combines learning about the group’s history, community service, secret rituals...and, a tradition known as stepping.

Additional Information

Mister Music Norm N. Nite
Joe Tait, “It’s Been a Ball”
The Art of Stepping


Arts and Culture, Dance, History, Music

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Special Thanks

Special thanks to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College for the use of their Steinway Piano.

ideastream Arts Funding

Production of arts and culture programming on ideastream is made possible by grants from:


By residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

The Cleveland Foundation; The Dominion Foundation; Eaton; The George Gund Foundation; The George W. Codrington Charitable Foundation; The Kulas Foundation; The John P. Murphy Foundation; Stroud Family Exempt Trust; The Robert O. and Annamae Orr Family Foundation; and The Nord Family Foundation.


The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this program with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

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Applause is an Emmy award-winning locally produced TV show that celebrates artists and cultural groups around Cleveland and Northeast Ohio.

The Sound of Applause, ideastream’s weekday radio magazine, celebrates the visual and performing arts, explores cultural trends, and examines current events through an artistic lens.

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Dee Perry image courtesy Chris Stephens, The Plain Dealer