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90.3 WCPN
WCLV 104.9
WVIZ/PBS

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90.3 WCPN
WCLV 104.9
WVIZ/PBS
WCLV 104.9 ideastream

Three Decades of Footlight Parade

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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The program is more than just spinning an original cast album or two.

It was 30 years ago in June that Bill Rudman (L. above; Eric Coble. R) suggested to Robert Conrad that he, Rudman, do a weekly program of Broadway musicals. Bill had grown up listening to a Saturday night two hour Broadway program on WCLV that Conrad did from 8:00 to 10:00 PM, prior to his legendary WCLV Saturday Night show. Conrad bought the idea, and thus was born Broadway Melody. The name was later changed to Footlight Parade when the program went national. It’s now heard on some 100 stations around the country as well as twice a week on the Broadway Channel of Sirius/XM satellite radio, where its called On the Aisle. Here on WCLV, the show is aired on Saturdays at 6:00 PM.

The program is more than just spinning an original cast album or two, Each show has a theme that ties the airing together - songs about unrequited love, songs about writers or music from shows from certain years. From time to time, Bill includes interviews with theatrical personalities such as George Abbott and Hugh Martin.

A few years ago, Robert Conrad was quoted as saying, “We discovered that our classical music listeners really want to hear Broadway, too; because the show explores the vast landscape of theater and film musicals with imagination, taste and an extremely deep knowledge of the subject.”

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