Many radio listeners know Robert Conrad as the subdued, perhaps even staid and conservative, host of the Cleveland Orchestra broadcasts. He is, in fact, the dean of orchestra commentators, having been the resident of the Severance Hall announce booth since 1965. (Research indicates that he has been a continuous orchestra commentator longer than anyone in the history of American radio.)
Since 1982, however, the other side of Robert Conrad - the one with the unique sense of humor and circuitous imagination - has been displayed to the national radio audience via Weekend Radio, that “curiously strange and offbeat potpourri of music, wit and convivial companionship” that is heard each week over some 80 outlets.
Weekend Radio is the national spin-off of a local program on WCLV, Cleveland - where Conrad is President - that ran Saturday nights for 27 years until his wife persuaded him that there were other things to do on Saturday than go to a radio studio. The hour-long show is a skillful mixture of classical music, cross-over selections and comedy bits, the latter drawing on WCLV’s extensive collection of comedy and humor LPs and CDs that dates back to the late 50s.
Conrad takes his cue for particular programs from Chases’ Calendar of Events, an encyclopedia of offbeat happenings, which has resulted in programs about Mole Day (a mole equals 6 x 10 to the 23rd power), Computer Learning Month, Weatherman’s Day, and National Chicken Month.
Some of the unique and rare items that he presents have become so popular that the audience forces him to repeat them periodically over the years. These include Wayne and Shuster’s Shakespearean Baseball Game, What Goes Up, Must Come Down (a description of how to fly a 747 from England to New York) and a Freudian explanation of football.
A popular feature of the program is “This Week in the Media,” a contest that awards prizes to listeners who send in errors they find in the media.
Also presented each week is “Marginal Considerations,” humorous audio essays by Cleveland writer Jan C. Snow on such topics as “The Life Cycle of Socks,” “Zucchini Control” and “The Non-existence of Rutabagas.” Plano, Texas, commentator Richard Howland-Bolton chimes in every third week as does Mark Levy from Boynton Beach, Florida,
Cue sheets provide detail about everything that's included in each edition of Weekend Radio. Programs are numbered by year and week. For example, WRC 1326 is the 26th program produced in 2013. Recommended air dates are noted at the top of each cue sheet.
The Weekend Radio with Robert Conrad cue sheet archive is available here.
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